1980: A Personal Footy Almanac: Round 14, Saturday 28 June, v Collingwood, MCG

In the respectable household of my childhood, the ABC was our default TV channel. So when it came to footy, my weekly staple was “The Winners”, an hour-long highlights package of the best 2-3 games of the round. Buried late on a Saturday night, it wasn’t the ideal viewing time, but there was nothing quite like the rousing music, pinched from “The Great Escape” and the almost child-like eagerness of the young host, Drew Morphett, to get the adrenalin pumping.

“Gee, they might top 90,000 at this one”, enthused Drew in the Round 13 edition, as he looked ahead to the matches the following week.

He was referring to Collingwood, fresh from a shellacking of North, up against the Tigers, going for 11 straight wins, at the MCG.

But that was not accounting for the mid-winter blast that hit Melbourne this weekend. Torrential rain and freezing temperatures made Round 14 a real test of the loyalty of VFL fans, even for a match of this significance.

In the end, a respectable 64,000 brave the atrocious conditions, mostly shoe-horned into the sheltered areas of the “G”. The five other games played in Melbourne and Geelong attract about 74,000 combined!

In his inimitable fashion, Jack Dyer on 3KZ summed up the day: “Unless you’re a big-time football operator, you wouldn’t be leaving your fireside today!”

Needless to say, it’s like a sardine tin under the Southern Stand roof at the Punt Road end. The crush of bodies and our warmest clothes keep the cold at bay, as does plenty of hearty barracking in what turns out to be a gripping slog of a game. From memory, I think Tony Jewell swapped the check sports-coat for a fetching sheepskin number. The indefatigable Tommy Hafey wears the trademark Adidas T-shirt as usual.

Richmond is now definitely the hunted. For the fifth successive week, we’re slow out of the blocks. Collingwood peppers the goal in the first quarter but manages a profligate two goals nine. In these conditions the two goal deficit is just manageable. Four or five would have finished the Tigers.

We’ve been blessed in recent weeks by a string of inaccurate opponents, masking a clear drop-off in our own form. Our luck holds again today and we establish the decisive break in the match with a five goal second quarter, as Collingwood continues to squander chances. This would be like a 10 goal blitz in normal circumstances. The second half degenerates into mud-wrestling and the abysmal conversion continues. Richmond manages 3.11 to 1.11, maintaining a narrow lead throughout the half.

On a day when you’d forgive him for donning a dressing gown and fluffy slippers and staying indoors, Kevin Bartlett is in the thick of the action, nailing opportunities when all about him are missing them. On a day when just 16 goals are scored, Collingwood’s Leigh Carlson has the honour of being one of only two multiple goal-scorers. He manages two. Bartlett finishes with four!

The Tigers have prevailed in another close one and the oldest bloke on the park has been the difference. What a marvel!

Saturated, muddy bodies trudge off the ground, exhausted. Even the hard-as-nails Francis Bourke describes the game to “The Age” as “a slog”.

Bourke, along with a number of other Richmond players, will be in next weekend’s State of Origin matches, but for the team, there’s a definite sense that a week’s break has come at just the right time.

The Wrap
Richmond 1.4 6.8 8.14 9.19 (73)
Collingwood 2.9 6.11 6.18 7.22 (64)

Rich: Bartlett 4, Bottams, Keane, Monteath, Roach, Tempany
Coll: Carlson 2, Banks, Brewer, Morris, R. Shaw, T. Shaw

Major Stats
On a filthy day, just 82 marks were taken in the entire match. Of all players, Tony Shaw and Dennis Collins were the leaders for their respective teams on this statistic, taking seven apiece. Another little bloke, Dale Weightman, also relished the heavy going, accumulating 35 possessions, just shading T. Shaw (32) and Peter Moore (28). Bartlett’s four goals three from 18 kicks proved the match-winning set of numbers.

Although Richmond’s ruck dominance (34 – 19 in the hitouts) was, as in their earlier Victoria Park encounter, a significant factor, Collingwood’s dominance (again) in free kicks (48-29) was not!

And to be fair about the shocking kicking for goal, there were six “posters” and 10 rushed behinds in the 41 point tally.

64,054 at MCG

In other games…
South Melbourne 5.9 (39) v Carlton 10.18 (78) at Lake Oval
Essendon 6.12 (48) v St Kilda 7.11 (53) at VFL Park
Hawthorn 21.17 (143) v Fitzroy 8.7(55) at Princes Park
Footscray 10.13 (73) v Melbourne 6.7 (43) at Western Oval
Geelong 13.6 (84) v North Melbourne 4.3 (27) at Kardinia Park

In the wintry conditions, high scoring was rare, but North Melbourne found the going toughest of all, failing to trouble the scorers after the 12 minute mark of the second quarter. Geelong’s rock-solid defence relished the conditions and propelled the Cats to another emphatic win against quality opposition.

Carlton picked a good time to make the trip to the Lake Oval, capitalising on the home team’s form slump and inflicting the Swans’ only home defeat for the season. At Waverley, the luckless Bombers couldn’t take a trick, for the second time losing to lowly St Kilda by less than a kick after conceding the last four goals.

Footscray made it three on end, with another home win over Melbourne, Templeton dominating. This result saw Fitzroy tumble to the bottom of the ladder, as they were comprehensively thrashed by Hawthorn at Princes Park including 11.4 to nil in the third quarter. The Hawks replaced Collingwood in the Five.

The Ladder
Team               W     L     D     PF     PA     %     Points
Richmond      12     1     1     1789  1255 142.5   50
Geelong           10    4     0     1513   1237 122.3   40
Carlton           10    4      0     1533   1318 116.3   40
Nth Melb         9     5     0      1522   1244 122.3   36
Hawthorn       8     6    0       1519   1458 104.2   32
Collingwood       7     6     1       1355     1342 101.0    30
Sth Melb             7     7     0       1438    1473   97.6    28
Essendon            6     8     0       1400    1309 107.0    24
Melbourne          5     9     0       1445     1691   85.5    20
St Kilda               3    10    1       1248      1697   73.5    14
Footscray            3    11    0       1378      1797   76.7    12
Fitzroy                2     11    1       1492      1847   80.8   10

(Next Week – 1980: A Personal Footy Almanac takes a mid-season break to coincide with the 1980 State of Origin matches. It will return the following week as the regular season resumes with Round 15)

About Sam Steele

50 years a Richmond supporter. Enjoying a bounteous time after 37 years of drought. Should've been a farmer!


  1. Chris Weaver says

    I’ve probably said it before, but really loving this series. Particularly love the asides where you look at aspects of the stadiums you visited and what it meant to follow VFL footy in a tribal era.

    Keep it up, Stainless – great stuff.

  2. Goodness, that was a cold weekend. I was at the Western Oval, though as a young Geelong supporter i was more captivated by the scores at Kardinia Park. North had dominated Geelong for a long time, 1973 onwards, and a win of this magnitude was appreciated, though i was more than 60k away. With mates from High School watched the dogs roll the dees as we thrlled to the prformances of Shane Loveless, Kelvin Templeton, Geoff Jennings,etc. Correct me, this was the third of three consecutive wins for Footscray, three of five for the season.


  3. craig dodson says

    As I was only two at the time I’m unsure of how the swans finished up in 1980 and I’m actually making a point not to look up the results so I can live week by week on the updates! Sad yes but i’m finding it enjoyable but concerned at Souths slide in recent weeks!!!

  4. Stainless,what ever happend to Bruce Tempany; where did he finish up ? He always presented as a good, handy player. The free kick tally did not suprise. Where there any games in that period Collingwood got less frees than their opponents?


  5. Jeff Dowsing says

    Peter Moore’s 28 possessions in those conditions is fairly remarkable for a big guy.

    As is the Hawks score line.

    Keep up the great work Stainless.

  6. Stainless says

    Glen – Bruce Tempany played 87 games over 7 injury-riddled seasons. He finished at Richmond in 1983, well before his age and talent should have allowed. I certainly rated him in Richmond’s best 20 in 1980.

    I don’t know what if any football he played after his time at Richmond but I did meet him at Surrey Park Footy Club when my kids played there six or seven years ago. I think he also had kids playing there but he may have played for the senior team as well.

    And yes – that game you watched was the Doggies’ third win on the trot.

    And a thanks to you all for the encouraging comments. The mid-winter grind is well and truly on and I’m looking forward to the “bye” but your feedback is certainly helping me through to September!

    There will, however, be a Stainless post this week – on something completely different.

  7. Skip of Skipton says

    This is the best nostalgia trip. Whoever imagined having a nostalgia trip about 1980? I certainly didn’t. I feel sorry for Craig Dodson being only two-years old. Go the old VFL.

  8. Think you’ll find Bruce Tempany had to retire prematurely because of continuing asthma attacks while playing.

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