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Encyclopedia > Leichhardt Oval

Leichhardt Oval is a rugby league stadium in Leichhardt, New South Wales, Australia. It is a home ground for the Wests Tigers rugby league team. The stadium has a nominal capacity of 20,000, with a record highest crowd figure of 22,877 for the July 24, 2005 NRL game of Wests Tigers v South Sydney Rabbitohs, in which the Tigers won 42-20. Leichhardt is a suburb in the Municipality of Leichhardt in the inner-west of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. ... The Wests Tigers are a team in the National Rugby League (NRL), the premier rugby league football competition in Australia. ... Rugby league is a team sport played by two teams of 17 players, with 13 on the field at any one time and 4 on the bench (reserves). ... July 24 is the 205th day (206th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 160 days remaining. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The National Rugby League (NRL) is the premier rugby league competition in Australia and New Zealand. ... The Wests Tigers are a team in the National Rugby League (NRL), the premier rugby league football competition in Australia. ... The South Sydney Rabbitohs (commonly nicknamed Souths, the Bunnies or the Pride of the League) are a team in the National Rugby League (NRL), the premier rugby league competition in Australia. ...


The ground is considered by some to be antiquated but home supporters and many league fans in general consider it to be a good watching ground due to the proximity of supporters to the playing area. The grounds roots lie with the Balmain Tigers who were in the national competition between 1908-1999. The Balmain Tigers merged with the Western Suburbs Magpies for the start of season 2000 to become what they are today the Wests Tigers. The Balmain Tigers is one of the founding clubs of the New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL). ... The Balmain Tigers is one of the founding clubs of the New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL). ... The Western Suburbs Magpies are a Rugby League club in Sydney, Australia. ... The Wests Tigers are a team in the National Rugby League (NRL), the premier rugby league football competition in Australia. ...


History

Leichhardt Oval has been a venue for first grade rugby league since 1943 as the home ground of the Balmain Tigers. The ground underwent a major overhaul during the 1970s when the configuration of the ground was changed (from east-west to north-south) and lighting installed. As it was one of the few rugby league grounds with lighting and was located close to the city, Leichhardt Oval began to be used for non-Balmain games such as the pre-origin interstate games. For many years in the 1970s and 1980s it was also the headquarters for the midweek night time knockout competition. Balmain left the ground in 1994 when they moved to Parramatta Stadium as part of an identity change to the Sydney Tigers. The move was not popular with supporters and the club returned to Leichhardt for the 1997 season. Balmain played their final game as a stand alone team in 1999 when they defeated Parramatta 20-10 in appauling conditions. The ground then became one of the home grounds of the new Wests Tigers team.


Leichhardt Oval Today

The ground remains a venue for high level rugby league in Australia although it currently holds only three games a year of National Rugby League games. This decision to reduce the amount of games is mainly financial and related to issues such as ground capacity, corporate facilities, and financial incentives to play games at Telstra Stadium. Ironically for a ground once prized for its lighting, the cost of playing night games is another factor as the current lighting is not considered acceptable. In spite (or perhaps because) of its anitquated facilities, Leichhardt Oval is beloved by Tigers fans especially those who formerly supported Balmain. Match attendances are usually close to or at capacity. Attempts to improve facilities are underway with the goal to return Leichhardt to its place as a top level rugby league venue.


Wests Tigers record at Leichhardt Oval

2006 Played 3 Won 3 (Melbourne, Manly, Souths)


2005 Played 3 Won 2 (Manly, Souths) Lost 1 (Melbourne)


The Leichardt oval was first used as a Rugby League Football Ground in 1976


 
 

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