1966 and all that: Round 16 – St. Kilda v South Melbourne


Skilful Saints in the wet


Saturday 13 August




Back at a wet and slippery Moorabbin Oval in round 16 the Saints annihilated South Melbourne by 67 points. It was an even team performance by the Saints, highlighted by intelligent play in the conditions with effective use of handball and accurate passing.


The St. Kilda centreline completely dominated their South Melbourne counterparts. Ross Oakley, Jeff Moran and Ian Stewart were among the best for the Saints putting in a brilliant and skilful performance in the muddy conditions. Adding support, rovers Ross Smith and Ian Rowland were irrepressible around the packs. Up forward the masterful ‘Doc had the ball on a string, carving the South Melbourne defence open, kicking goals and helping set up a productive afternoon for Cowboy Neale.


But the win came at a cost as best on ground Baldock suffered a knee injury and was replaced in the last quarter with worries about his availability for the important games ahead. ‘Cowboy’ Neale had his kicking boots on, booting eight goals in a return to accuracy in front of the big sticks. Rover Ian Rowland chipped in again with two handy goals.


St. Kilda’s win was a further sign of the team’s ability to adapt to the conditions and play a highly skilful game despite the apparent difficulty of ball handling in the wet. Come September, when at least one wet day could be expected, that would be a valuable asset.



At the colosseum of football, the Cats destroyed the Tigers, tipping them out of the four, which allowed Essendon to come back in. Only a fortnight before, the Tigers stood on top of the ladder and a place in the September action seemed assured.




St. Kilda                      5.4 (34)          10.10 (70)     14.16 (100)   19.19 (133)

South Melbourne      2.2 (14)          5.4 (34)          9.5 (59)          10.6 (66)


Goals: St. Kilda – Neale 8, Baldock 3, Morrow 2, Rowland 2, Smith, Ditterich, Davis, Moran

South Melbourne – Robertson 2, Phillips 2, Johns, Papley, Skilton, Harrison, Heriot, McAuliffe


Best: St. Kilda – Baldock (best on ground), Moran, Stewart, Oakley, Smith, Rowland, Griffiths

South Melbourne – Papley, Way, Phillips, Skilton, Matthews


Two of St. Kilda’s four ‘Ians’ had a big day for St. Kilda. Ian Stewart had 31 disposals while Ian Rowland had 29. Eric Sarich recorded the highest stats for South, with 26 kicks, 7 marks and 6 handballs for a tally of 32 disposals.


Umpire: Gaudion                   Crowd: 20 083


Reserves: South Melbourne 8.4 (52) defeated St. Kilda 5.6 (36)

Under 19s: South Melbourne 6.12 (48) defeated St. Kilda 6.4 (40)


Around the grounds


At Princes Park– Carlton 14.15 (99) defeated Melbourne 10.10 (70)

At Victoria Park – Collingwood 12.21 (93) defeated North Melbourne 6.8 (44)

At Windy Hill – Essendon 14.9 (93) defeated Fitzroy 6.9 (45)

At Glenferrie Oval – Hawthorn 18.11 (119) defeated Footscray 9.13 (67)

At the MCG – Geelong 11.16 (82) defeated Richmond 6.12 (48)



Highlights of the round


Cowboy Neale was the star forward of the round kicking 8 goals, a feat he achieved only once more in his 256 game career with the Saints. Geelong’s fill-in centreman Denis Marshall had another big afternoon with 27 kicks, all of which were telling ones. It was the second week in a row Marshall had beaten a top class opponent – Ian Stewart in round 15 and Bill Barrot this round. Richmond’s John Perry, recruited from Wodonga, was the Tiger’s only star that day according to The Age reporter.


The promise of youth was on display again for Richmond as their Reserves team won its 16th straight match of the season.


Read The Age, Monday 15th August 1966, for coverage of all matches HERE.



Country Footy


In the Sunraysia League that day Imperials had a huge win against Mildura, NSW club Wentworth scraped home against Redcliffs, Irymple were too strong for Merbein while Robinvale easily accounted for South Mildura. Irymple won the 1966 premiership.


Former Merbein (and Rutherglen) player ‘Hassa’ Mann was captain of Melbourne in 1966 and enjoying the high point of his 178 VFL game career.


In another cross-border league the Ovens and Murray League, ‘Hassa’ Mann’s former club Rutherglen had a narrow loss to Yarrawonga, while Richmond player John Perry’s former club Wodonga were defeated by Wangaratta. 1966 premiers Albury had a comfortable win over Wangaratta Rovers. Richmond half back flanker Geoff Strang, a cousin of John Perry, was recruited from Albury. In other Ovens and Murray League games that day Corowa downed Benalla and Myrtleford were too good for North Albury.



Meanwhile …


Tragically, 29 men staying overnight at a Salvation Army hostel in Melbourne died in a fire which swept through the building.


On the musical scene, “Mama” by singer BJ Thomas hit number one on the Australian charts in mid-August only to be displaced a week later by the Easybeats with “Easyfever“.


Read more of Peter Clark’s weekly reviews of  St Kilda’s triumphant 1966 footy season HERE






Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


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About Peter Clark

is a lifetime Geelong supporter. Hailing from the Riverina, he is now entrenched on the NSW South Coast. His passion for footy was ignited by attending Ovens and Murray League matches in the 1960's with his father. After years of watching, playing and coaching, now it is time for some serious writing about his favourite subjects… footy, especially country footy, and cricket.


  1. Dr Rocket says

    Thanks again Peter.

    The Sainters – with so many Tasmanians – always played well in the wet, none more critically so than in the preliminary final.
    Hard to understand how Doggy Rowlands got dropped in the finals with his high number of disposals and couple of goals…

    I notice Ocker Robertson booted 2 goals for South that day, think he booted 60-odd for the season.
    But was told by in-coming coach Alan Miller that he wasn’t in his plans in 1967 – so he went back to WA.
    After kicking bags of goals for Subiaco he came to Sydney in the 70s and coached East Sydney to flags in 1976 and their much celebrated centenary premiership in 1980.

  2. Ta Peter.

    I was only three in 1966 but i have some vague memory of hearing about the [email protected] the Salvos Hostel: sad.

    Too young to recall Ian Rowlands but from what i’ve read/heard he was a handy player. Like Dr Rocket i’m surprised he didn’t have role in the GF side.

    Fred Way from Berrigan in South Melbourne’s best. I’m fairly sure he had a trucking business up there. Other South Melbourne names catch the eye. Graeme John , later to coach them; also head honcho for Australia Post. John Heriot: must have been near the end for him? Hayden McAuliffe, second season ? Max Papley, grandfather of the current Sydney player.


  3. Glen!, in the Ovens and Murray League that day a few footballers we are familiar with played for South Melbourne: Greg Lambert from Corowa and Fred Way from Berrigan. Corowa won only two games in ’66, the other win was against Rutherglen earlier in the season.
    Dr Rocket, I noticed that Doug Priest (Wagga) played for South Melbourne that day. One of his best games for South, was in round 17 against the Tigers.

  4. Dr Rocket says

    Thanks Peter,

    As you know Doug Priest is a ripper bloke and the family history in footy in the Riverina runs very deep.
    From Wagga Tigers to Holbrook and all the way to Rannock. A place close to your heart and soul.

    A terrific effort from Corowa to come from 2 wins in 1966 to win the flag in 1967!
    The local derby against Rutherglen must have been very fierce back in the day
    I guess the local derby for Benalla must have been Wang, but then it became Magpies v Rovers?

  5. Dr. Rocket,
    Corowa were wooden spooners in both ’66 and ’67 before Fred Swift, fresh from Richmond’s ’67 triumph, arrived at John Foord Oval and turned their fortunes around. The Spiders’ 1968 premiership, against hot favourites Wodonga, was only their second O&M flag (first flag was 1932).

    The local derby between Corowa and Rutherglen was known by many as the ‘Battle of the Murray’. In 1979, ironically, the two clubs merged. Certainly Wang and the Rovers had a great rivalry. I’m not sure about Benalla.

  6. St Kilda has doubled or more than doubled Sth Melbourne/Sydney’s score in 12 matches.
    R14 1903 – 81 vs 32
    R3 1908 – 55 vs 26
    R8 1961 – 110 vs 46
    R17 1963 – 128 vs 55
    R13 1965 – 117 vs 48
    R16 1966 – 133 vs 66
    R12 1968 – 109 vs 45
    R10 1971 – 131 vs 60
    R21 1971 – 122 vs 50
    R19 1978 – 85 vs 37
    R17 1990 – 148 vs 73
    R10 1998 – 154 vs 53

  7. Dr Rocket says

    That’s interesting Michael.
    Of course, St Kilda uses to play South for the Lake Premiership, back in the day.
    When the Saints were at the Junction, and South at the Lake Oval.

    Don’t suppose you know how many times the swans have doubled St Kilda’s score?

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