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Joe "Chimpy" Busch

Halfback

Player Bio

Inducted:
2008
Birthplace:
Maclean, NSW
Date of Birth:
04 June 1907
Nickname:
Chimpy
Debut Team:
Eastern Suburbs
Opposition:
University
Date:
21 April 1928
Venue:
Royal Agricultural Society Ground, Sydney,
Representative:
City, Combined City, New South Wales, Australia
Clubs:
Harwood Island, Eastern Suburbs, Leeds, Balmain

Career

Milestones
  • Kangaroo Tour: 1929-30
  • Rated No. 20 in Rugby League Week’s Top 100 players: 1992
First Class Games
229
Points
175
Tries
57

Biography

Joe ''Chimpy'' Busch is one of the most famous names in league history. Tall for a halfback, Busch was a lightning fast exponent of scrum-base play who could throw a bullet-like pass to his five-eighth and was a star in both hemispheres in the late 1920s and 1930s.

Busch gained his celebrity from an incident in the third Test of the 1929–30 Ashes series at Swinton. In the final minutes of a tense affair in which neither side had scored, Busch dashed 30 metres down the sideline after a scrum win and crashed over in the corner, with English lock Frank Butters making a desperate attempt to stop him.

Referee Robinson was about to award the try when a touch judge ran onto the field claiming Busch had touched the corner post while diving over. Robinson reportedly told the Australians, ''Fair try, Australia, but I am over-ruled.''

Busch's career had begun on the NSW Far North Coast in the 1920s. Invited to trial with Eastern Suburbs in 1928, he made an instantaneous impact.

After just a few games as first-gradehalfback he represented NSW and was then chosen for Australia for the final two Ashes Tests.

Though he played only three years with Easts, long-time supporters compared him favourably with Pony Halloway, the club's first great halfback.

Busch played six Tests for Australia, before signing with top British club Leeds. He stayed five seasons in England, and then returned to Australia to play out his career with Balmain.

“Busch was a natural halfback. He was exceptionally fast at the scrum-base and as bouncy as a rubber ball.”

Rugby League’s Greatest Players, 1977

Career Stats

Club Career

Club
Team Name Competition Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
Maclean Group 2 Premiership 1926 1927 - - - - -
Eastern Suburbs Premiership 1928 1930 32 11 - - 33
Leeds English First Class Games 1931 1935 138 27 1 - 83
Balmain Premiership 1935 1936 19 9 - - 27

Representative Career

City - Country

City - Country
Team Name Opponent Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
City Seconds Country Seconds
1928
1935
1929
1935
3 1 - - 3
City Firsts Country Firsts 1930 1930 1 - - - -
City Country 1928 1928 1 1 - - 3
Combined City Combined Country 1929 1929 1 - - - -

State

State
Team Name Competition Opponent Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
New South Wales Interstate Series Queensland 1928 1930 6 2 - - 6
New South Wales Touring Teams
1928
1930
1928
1930
4 2 - - 6

International

International
Team Name Competition Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
Australia Tests 1928 1930 6 - - - -
Australia Tour Matches 1929 1930 15 2 - - 6

Other Representative

Other Representative
Team Name Opponent Year Start Year End Played Tries Goals Field Goals Points
Other Nationalities 1933 1933 1 1 - - 3

Hall Of Fame Members