1966 and all that: Second Semi-final – Collingwood v St. Kilda: ‘Pies through to Premiership decider



Saturday 10th September



The teams:




B. Montgomery, Boyne, Waters

HB. Clark, Potter, Adamson

C. Patterson, Price, Tully

HF. Pitt, Searle, Tuddenham

F. Wallis, Graham, Gabelich

Foll. Thompson, Rose

Rov. Richardson

19th man. Hutchesson

20th man. Steer



St. Kilda


B. Head, Murray, Sierakowski

HB. Howell, Synman, Griffiths

C. Moran, Stewart, Oakley

HF. Kennedy, Baldock, Cooper

F. Breen, Neale, Rowland

Foll. Morrow, Mynott

Rov. Smith

19th man. Payze
20th man. Davis



St. Kilda brought in veteran defender Verdun Howell after he had spent five weeks on the sidelines with a broken jaw. Making way for Howell in the ‘eighteen’ was young Allan Davis who took the 20th man spot from Kevin Billing. Collingwood made two changes with Ian Bremner and Laurie Hill out of the side replaced by Ted Potter and Len Clark.


Second semi-finals under the Page-McIntyre final four system provided a golden opportunity for one of the top two teams to proceed straight to the grand final with the bonus of a week off. They also gave a chance for the victor to gain some valuable psychological advantage over the vanquished, who may or may not earn a rematch and a tilt at the premiership. The stakes were high for the Magpies and the Saints.


Pundits looked at the game from opposing angles: those who favoured the Saints pointed to an improved and mature St. Kilda who had won the corresponding game in 1965; while those who favoured the Magpies reflected on the most recent history between the two clubs – round 10 1966 when Collingwood, emboldened by youth, trounced St. Kilda.


The footy gods looked to have deserted Collingwood earlier in the day when the Magpies’ Under 19’s and Reserves both lost. Adding to their supporters’ unease, captain Des Tuddenham lost the toss, but Collingwood’s fortunes turned in an instant with a goal within the first 30 seconds and three more in the first 10 minutes.


Collingwood dominated the first quarter and established a five goal lead at the first change, but St. Kilda awoke from its slumber and slammed on six goals to one in the second term. The game was a see-sawing affair in the third quarter with first the Magpies then the Saints taking the ascendancy in play. Scores were close at three quarter time, with St. Kilda’s just four points in front.


Des Tuddenham, affectionately known at Victoria Park as the “Ballarat bull”, was superb throughout the afternoon kicking seven goals. He was the match winner for Collingwood, booting two quick goals in the time on period of the last quarter, which sealed his team’s courageous ten point victory. Leading by example, he charged through packs with no concern for personal safety. The 23 year old Tuddenham commented after the match that it was the most rewarding game he had played for Collingwood. He was carried off the ground high on ‘Bear’ Ray Gabelich’s shoulders in a spontaneous gesture of love for the skipper.


Sadly for the Saints, wingman Ross Oakley’s September was over, going down with a cartilage injury to his left knee in the third quarter. Likewise, half forward flanker Des Kennedy was also in trouble with a knee injury. Second rover Ian Rowland had a quiet day with only ten kicks and with selectors looking for changes, his place in the side was at risk.


Bob Rose, reflecting on the game, paid tribute to Tuddenham and noted that it was youthful endeavour, pace and fitness that were decisive factors in his side’s victory. St. Kilda coach Allan Jeans rued his team’s slow start and the size of the lead they gave up in the first quarter. But he added, “Its not the end of the world. We hope to win next Saturday and have another go at Collingwood in the grand final.”


Both teams could take a lot out of the semi final – Collingwood for its great fighting spirit to repel St. Kilda’s charge and rise again late in the final quarter. St. Kilda could take heart from its tremendous belief and persistence after a poor start. The Age columnist Percy Beames summed up St. Kilda’s effort as equally worthy of the honors of the game and as a defeat without shame.


Victory in the Second Semi-final meant that Collingwood went straight into the Grand Final to be played a fortnight later and for St. Kilda a chance to atone in the Preliminary Final against Essendon.


Umpire Lance Perkins, in his first season as a senior VFL umpire, was handed the honour of controlling the game. He was given the thumbs up by The Age for allowing the game to flow which resulted in crowd-pleasing football.




Collingwood   5.2 (32)          6.3 (39)          10.5 (65)       15.9 (99)

St. Kilda          0.1 (1)              6.5 (41)          10.9 (69)       13.11 (89)



Collingwood – Tuddenham 7, Graham 2, Wallis 2, Searle 2, Richardson, Price

St. Kilda – Payze 3, Neale 2, Smith 2, Baldock 2, Cooper, Breen, Mynott, Oakley



Collingwood – Tuddenham (best on ground), Rose, Waters, Potter, Thompson, Pitt

St. Kilda – Murray, Morrow, Synman, Cooper, Oakley, Stewart


Des Tuddenham and Kevin Rose led the disposals for the Magpies while Ian Cooper topped the count for the Saints. Collingwood ruckmen Len Thompson and Ray Gabelich had twice the number of hit outs than their St. Kilda counterparts.




Collingwood: Tully (ankle), Potter (hip)

St. Kilda: Oakley (knee), Kennedy (knee)


Umpire: Perkins                                            Crowd: 95 614



Read The Age, Monday 12th September 1966, for coverage HERE.



Country Footy


There was a good omen for St. Kilda from north east Victoria that Saturday. Lavington (the Saints) took out the Tallangatta League premiership when they defeated Bogong for the second year in a row. In other Victorian country grand finals, West Bairnsdale, Bears Lagoon-Serpentine and Nullawill were victorious.


In Tasmania’s Fingal District Football Association, Swansea 13.8 (86) defeated Rossarden 5.16 (46) and in doing so ended Rossarden’s run of five successive premierships.


Meanwhile …


In the South African House of Assembly Prime Minister Dr. Hendrik Verwoerd was assassinated.


The VFL reaffirmed its position of not permitting direct telecasts of final matches. Despite all finals tickets being sold, the VFL rejected calls for live broadcasts.


During the week, the presidents of the Carlton and Fitzroy football clubs announced that the Lions would play home games at Princes Park in 1967. Approval from the VFL for the arrangements was considered a formality.



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


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  1. Thanks Peter,

    St Kilda supporters were gloomy after this defeat – and facing nemesis Essendon in the preliminary final…
    So we wait with baited breath for next week’s report.

  2. Good work Peter.

    I noticed Doug Searls’ name in the Pies forward line. I’m too young to recall him there but he was good with the Roy Boys; i mainly recall him @ Centre Half Back.

    He went onto coach Port Melbourne,a club his father had played for.

    Live telecasts of the VFL !?! It took until 1977 to get this treat. For those under 55 or so, it would be impossible to believe TV coverage of the footy in this period; what little there was.


  3. Peter Clark says

    Interesting Glen!

    Doug Searl’s career is in some ways mirrored by that of Gareth Andrews (Geelong). Started at centre half forward and ended his career playing mostly at centre half back for his second club.

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