On This Day: Benny Wearing's First Souths Try
On this day in 1921, legendary Souths winger Benny Wearing, then 20 years old, scores his first try for Souths to start him on his way to setting the all times Souths try-scoring record. Wearing's record would stand for 81 years until broken by Nathan Merritt.
It would be the first of three tries Wearing, a South Sydney Junior, would score in the 45-7 win over University at North Sydney Oval.
The tragedy of great winger Benny Wearing's career was that while he was a record-maker at Souths, and the ‘people's champion’ in the Sydney premiership, he only made the one Test appearance.
A great goal-kicker with a good short kicking game, Wearing played for NSW between 1924-28 and won seven premiership titles with Souths (1925-29 & 1931-32) but was constantly overlooked for Test duty.
After the Australian Board of Control did not go ahead with the 1926-27 Kangaroo Tour Wearing was expected to be one of the first players selected in the Test series against England in 1928. He was not chosen for the first two Tests but he was just too good to leave out of the Third Test.
Wearing scored the then individual points record (12pts - 2t, 3g) in Australia's only win of the series but was again omitted when the Kangaroos squad was selected the following year.
He retired in 1933 with a club record 144 tries to his credit – a record that stood until it was broken in 2014 by Nathan Merritt when he scored his 145th try in an 18–2 victory over the Penrith Panthers.
Wearing retired having played 173 first grade games for Souths between 1921 and 1933 which stood as the club record until Jack Rayner eclipsed it in the late 1950s.
He scored 836 points for the Rabbitohs (144 tries and 202 goals) which stood as the club record for several decades.