AFL Elimination Final – Port Adelaide v Richmond: After 3,942 days

It was 14,946 days ago that Richmond played Glenelg in the 1973 Championship of Australia. I remember watching the game on our old black and white television. It was the first game of the tournament where the VFL premiers were drawn to play the SANFL premiers. The problem was that both clubs wore black with a yellow sash. How did the NFL resolve this problem? Easy. With a toss of the coin and the loser had to wear an agreed jumper. Richmond won the toss, Glenelg played in a plain gold guernsey and the jumper clash was resolved. In 2014 the AFL doesn’t need to toss a coin as all it has to do is mandate that all clubs have a pre-approved clash jumper that differs significantly from the home teams jumper. For example St Kilda could have three clash jumpers. A predominantly black jumper when it plays away to the Swans, a predominantly red jumper when Collingwood are hosting them and a predominantly white jumper when the home team is Essendon. The farce of earlier this week is due to negligence by the AFL. Richmond should have had a pre-approved clash jumper in case it played a final against a higher finishing team whose home jumper is predominantly black like Essendon or Port Adelaide. As a result of the AFL’s negligence Richmond played in their predominantly black clash jumper and black shorts and Port played in their black and white prison bar jumper and white shorts.


Although I never attended the 1973 Championship of Australia my brother Fred took me to the 1974 and 1975 championship tournaments. In 1976 the NFL organised a midseason championship which garnered little interest from the football world and the national championship was discontinued. After Port won the 1977 SANFL premiership I was disappointed they never had the opportunity to claim a fifth Championship. There were other games where the best of the VFL played the best of the SANFL. For example, back in 1978 the VFL minor premiers North Melbourne played the SANFL minor premiers Sturt in a trial game during the first week of the finals when under the old final five system the minor premiers had the first week off. There was also the time when the 1980 VFL premiers Richmond played the 1980 SANFL premiers Port Adelaide in a preseason trial game.


It was 12,230 days ago on the 14th of March 1981 when my brother, Fred, took us to Alberton Oval to watch Port play Richmond in what the club marketed as the unofficial Championship of Australia. There are a few things I can remember from that game. The first was there was no guernsey clash. It was easy to distinguish the difference between the traditional Port Adelaide prison bar jumper and Richmond’s black with a yellow sash jumper. I can also remember it was a near full house and Port matched Richmond for three quarters. In the last quarter Richmond opened up a bit of a gap. With about five minutes to go Richmond were about twenty seven points up and we started to head for the exit. As we were walking at the back of the outer embankment we heard a cheer, and then another, followed by another. Port had kicked three goals in about three minutes and was suddenly within two kicks. We rushed back up the embankment and watched Port kick a fourth goal and they were only one point down. An unlikely win was now a distinct possibility. The ball was bounced in the centre and the final siren blew leaving Port so agonisingly close.


At the time the trial game seemed important but that pales into insignificance compared to today’s game. The expectations were on both teams were huge with most expecting a close game and that’s how it panned out for the first minute. Westhoff started the game in the forward fifty and Troy Chaplin was manning him up. Chaplin doesn’t like standing a man at the best of times so why should a final be any different. At the seventy second mark Robbie Gray had the ball on the fifty metre arc when Chaplin made a “wet lettuce” attempt at tackling him. Gray easily shugged off the tackle and handpassed to Westhoff who found himself all alone forty five metres out at a forty five degree angle. With no pressure on him Westhoff kicked the ball straight through the middle. Thanks to Chaplin, this was the turning point of the game and the floodgates had opened.


Thirty seconds latter Westhoff dropped a relatively easy mark on the wing. He picked up the ball and Chaplin should have wrapped him up and caused a ball up. However Chaplin put in another trade mark soft tackling attempt and a few seconds later Westhoff kicked a lace out pass to Schulz in the pocket. A few minutes later Chaplin did lay a tackle on Westhoff. However this time it was after Westhoff had already handballed and Chaplin dragged him to ground. Westhoff was correctly awarded a free kick and fifty metres. Hardwick must have sensed a mismatch as less than a minute later Chaplin found himself standing Schulz as a kick from Ebert was delivered into the forward line. Schulz marked and was lining up for goal with Chaplin was standing the mark with his hands up high.


Goals to Boak, White (thanks to another missed tackle by Chaplin), Polec, Wines and Neade and Port were forty three points up with over eight minutes to go in the first quarter. The text messages started to hit my phone. Messages such as “Wow”, “Can you believe this” and “That’s seven in a row”. I sent the same reply to everyone, “It’s the prison bar guernsey. It gives ordinary men superhuman strength”. Richmond did manage to avoid a pants down quarter but as soon as they goaled Port replied to end the quarter with a seven goal lead.


Port Adelaide smashed Richmond in the first quarter, not because they were kicking with the wind but because they took the game on and tried to move the ball quick at all times. The second quarter was no different. Port continued to move the ball fast and usually found one on ones in their forward fifty. Richmond did manage to kick two goals with the wind but on both occasions Port quickly replied. At halftime Port had a sixty nine point lead.


Boak was in everything in the first half. At halftime he had racked up eighteen disposals including eight score involvements. During the third term he increased his possession account, both inside and outside, as Port opened up their lead to eighty seven points by the midway mark. From then on it was just junk time football. By contrast Chaplin started the third term with three kicks and three handballs to his name. He also ended the third term with three kicks and three handballs to his name.


The last quarter saw one team preparing for next week and the other preparing for their end of season trip. Wingard took a couple of good marks and there was a bit of dummy spitting by Rance and Cotchin which made it mildly entertaining. Other than that it was soft football with Richmond bringing the lead to under ten goals with a Griffiths goal from seventy metres out on the siren.


It was 3,942 days ago that Port drafted Troy Chaplin. During that time he has cost us many games. I remember one game against Brisbane where he pulled out of a marking contest against Luke Power who then sealed the game for the Lions. It has taken a while but based on his performance today he has finally won us a game.


PORT ADELAIDE                                8.1          14.5        19.8        20.12 (132)

RICHMOND                        1.1          3.2          6.5          11.9 (75)



Port Adelaide: Neade 3, Westhoff 2, Schulz 2, Polec 2, Wingard 2, Monfries 2, Wines 2, Ebert 2, Boak, White, Gray

Richmond: Riewoldt 3, Gordon 2, Conca, Maric, Grigg, Deledio, Griffiths, Edwards



Port Adelaide: Chaplin, Boak, Westhoff, Wines, Neade, Wingard

Richmond: Miles, Deledio, Maric, Cotchin


Umpires: Farmer, Stevic, Mitchell


Official crowd: 50,618 at Adelaide Oval


Our Votes: 3 Chaplin (PA), 2 Boak (PA), 1 Westhoff (PA)


  1. I love the look of Port Adelaide in the Prison Bars guernsey. As soon as they ran out I was back to the Fos Williams v Jack Oatey of my childhood.
    Port Adelaide should ask the AFL if they can wear it for the rest of the finals. Next season they could wear it for every game, and just bring out the teal for Collingwood games.
    Love your work Dan. Troy sends his regards.

  2. Love it! Do you think he did the airplane arms on his way through the departure gates yesterday evening?

    There was a National Cup awarded in 1977, Dan. No prizes for guessing who won it. Sure the VFL didn’t participate but that was their problem…

  3. I remember going to Norwood Oval for the 1977 final of the series played between some SANFL, WANFL and VFA clubs. Norwood beat East Perth by a couple of goals.

    There was a few times afterwards where the VFL allowed a few SANFL and WANFL teams to compete in their mid week knockout cup. I used to enjoy them. I remember North Adelaide doing well in the mid 80s.

  4. Was brilliant to hang it on Chaplin. For so many years he fumbled his way into the scorn of Port supporters; now he is doing it for the opposition.

    I can’t remember a more perfect quarter of football. I was high-fiving a complete stranger after each goal, the sun was shining, the numerous Richmond supporters were very subdued. The Hoff, Neadey, Ebo and White were kicking goals from impossible positions.

    Hard to imagine that only two seasons ago we, Port Adelaide Football Club, its supporters, the tarps, the players, including aforementioned Chaplin, were a basket case. An irrelevance in the competition.

    The Phoenix-like rise is extraordinary. A great deal of the credit for that rise is embodied in that prison bar jumper. It stands for something: a culture of winning. Not accepting mediocrity. Placing fear in the minds of the enemy; leading to the vanquishing of foes.

  5. Robyn Bonser says

    Yesterday will go down as the day Port Adelaide Football Club stamped their mark on the AFL. I loved the 2004 GF, but this team was savage. Bring on Freo.

  6. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Gold Danny do you think Chaplin will need counselling like a player years ago with the abuse we gave him at footy park ? A enjoyable read I thought you let , Chaplin off lightly he is as bad a player as I have ever seen under pressure may well go down as the worst , 150 plus game player in afl history and the least respected as well .
    I have more time for , Shane Watson enough said . In relation to the night series when , Norwood def Footscray in 83 I think and it was a awesome night I reckon the players drunk more beers that night than they would in a season now days
    Thanks, Danny Valdeermeer , Valdemar , Holiday , Handbag , the Great Dane , Hansen

  7. Dan,
    Just a little concerned you may have made an error regarding the best players with the fine effort put in by Chaplin I can’t understand why you didn’t have him in our best players? That too would of been a first!

  8. Skip of Skipton says

    I remember Norwood beating Geelong in the Fosters Cup at Foopbaw Park. 1985 maybe.

  9. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    I’ve just pulled out my copy of the “Winfield Cup 1973 Champions of Australia Series Football Budget”, foolishly I managed to texta in most of the action photos in team colours.

    Included in the Players’ Pen-Pix for Subiaco were Mike Fitzpatrick – ‘promising young ruckman’, Peter Featherby, Austin Robertson, Mick Malone (who kicked a bag against Scottsdale in the early game) and of course Roch Devenish-Meares.

    Richmond kicked 10.3 to 2.0 in the second term, so the Bays did well to only go down by 15 points. Interestingly, each Richmond player’s occupation was listed – KB was down as “P.M.G. Instrument Maker”

    I’m glad you can count back that far Handbag, I can’t count past 21 in the shower. Enjoyed your report.

  10. And so sang 40,000 passionate Power Supporters! “Chaplin’s a Wanker!” Take that haunting memory back with you Troy! LOL

  11. The most committed Power fan I know is also (perhaps the only) staunch South Adelaide. Like many others his conversion to Power was partly a reaction to the Crowfever that fogged the town of Adelaide as well as a belief they at least hatched from a Club rather than being “franchised”. But the prison bars were, as others have commented, SANFL and tribal….the Port Maggies do not constitute the supporter base of Power despite having been the “generator”. Port needed to expand their “brand” and this is not the answer.

  12. I’m glad the guernsey saga is now finally behind us…
    Frightening display of Port’s ability if they get off the leash. But it must be said; Richmond were woeful, Hardwick didn’t seem to have anything to fall back on, and Craplin is most certainly eating plenty of humble (or not) pie.

  13. My cab driver here in Adelaide tonight was absolute in his conviction that Port could slice up the Cats if they met them in the GF…nothing could deflect from this obsession, certainly not the trifle of trips to Freo and then Hawkland, which seemed incidental!!!

  14. Nick Raschella says

    Old Charlie Chaplin – built like Tarzan plays like Jane was at it again yesterday. He actually was a good developing player in 2006 and 2007, but was so mentally scared by the GF that he has gone nowhere since.

    I was hoping he would start his pointing act so that 40,000 Port fans could join in and point back at him.

    Great finals footy effort by the Port boys but the game was over in 18 minutes and the AFL charged us $85 for an Elimination Final, the same as a Qualifying Final. Between 2007 and 2013 all 14 QF winners have played in a GF. Since 2000, 25 of the 28 QF winners have played in a GF.

    No EF winner in that time has made it past the SF. Between 2000-2013 under the current 8 system 26 of the 28 QF losers have made it to the PF and only 2 teams, one 5th and one 6th have made it to the PF.

    A QF is doubly important as an EF so the EF top ticket should have been $42.50.

    Great to see the wharf and pylons jumper out there in front of a couple of million viewers around this great big brown land of our that is girt by sea. September is the month to use girt in a sentence.

    It looked like a Port v Glenelg final out there yesterday with the normal result.

    I will now refer to Footy Ops boss as Mark The Moron Evans. He thinks we footy fans are morons and can’t distinguish colours and are blind as he is after sipping red wine for 3 hours as he does at pre game functions. The Moron has many other issue he has failed at which I will discuss elsewhere when I come off the Michael Holding run at Sabina Park pushing off the sightscreen.

    But even Richmond sent Mark The Moron Evans an FU message by wearing their clash jumper.

    I had decided to start referring to the AFL as Football League and what is hopefully the final moronic decision for the 2014 footy season.

    A … Cameron Ling and us

  15. Skip of Skipton says

    Not quite,

    Pies in ’07 made it to the PF from the EF. They knocked the Eagles out in straight sets in extra time, then nearly rolled the Cats late in the PF.

    Interestingly, all three teams that have lost a QF then rebounded to make the GF, went on to win the flag. Lions ’03, Swans ’05 and Eagles ’06.

  16. Michael Fischer says

    Brilliant!! 3 votes Chaplin haha – port played bloody well! Bring on the Dockers

  17. Scott Hughes says

    Love you work boys – past is past we are Port Adelaide and wouldnt it be great to win it from 5th and be history Makers and take that Mantle off Norwood from 1984 against us. Bring it home boys no matter what we are damn proud.

  18. G’day DV Hansen.

    This is the most hilarious Match Report I have ever read!
    Fantastic read, fantastically funny – and I love the bloggers follow up posts too.

    It certainly was a great game for the True believers, and yes, Chaplin had a shocker ;-) He left, as is his free choice, no problem with that, but he burnt his bridges; that was his choice too, and now he has paid the penalty!


  19. Nick Raschella says

    Skip of Skipton says:
    September 8, 2014 at 11:19 pm
    Not quite,
    Pies in ’07 made it to the PF from the EF. They knocked the Eagles out in straight sets in extra time, then nearly rolled the Cats late in the PF
    As I correctly wrote, 26 of the 28 QF losers have made it to PF. The two that didn’t were Port in 2001 who lost Brisbane at the Gabba in the QF and then lost to Hawks – game after Sept 11th – by 3 pts at home. And the WCE lost tp Port in 2007 QF at Footy Park by 3 points and then lost to Collingwood in extra time at home in the SF.

    History shows its bloody tough for a EF winner to get past a SF – its taken a 3 pt win and an extra time win. But both results involved a non Vic team travelling in Week 1 losing to a Vic team that played at home in week 1.

    Since 2007 its been win the QF and you play in the GF. Sydney are guaranteed a GF spot as far as Im concerned given who they play and the Hawks pretty much the same

    And yes you are correct only 3 QF losers of the 28 losers have made it to a GF, but all went on to win the flag. But all were pre 2007.

  20. Cotchin also has a bit to answer for kicking against the wind. Presumably he asked Chaplin for advice.

  21. LMFAO!
    Good one Raj.
    The Blog gets better.

    Yes, loved Jonathon Brown’s Tweet during the game “Captaincy 101 …”
    Especially in a Final, away from home in front of a huge, loud, sell out crowd – wouldn’t you want to silence them early? I wonder if he discussed that with Hardwick before making the famously wrong call…

    Lastly, Cotchin’s personal game was very ordinary – especially when compared to Boak’s! Mind you, having Kane Cornes up ya butt all day would NOT make life easy!


  22. Luke Reynolds says

    Isn’t it great to see your draft selections finally pay off. Even if it takes 3942 days.

  23. That’s right Luke. I can’t wait until 3 Sep 2021 for our drafting of Ban Jacobs to pay off.

  24. Very entertaining.

  25. Great stuff Dan, very entertaining indeed. Interesting that you mentioned 1973, last night I heard a wonderful interview on the radio with G. Cornes and they spoke in depth about the 1973 SANFL GF and his winning mark and goal.
    I hope Port go all the way. For me, the story of the year has been South Australian footy, and more specifically Port – their running game is something to behold.

  26. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Danny can you confirm the rumour that this year will be , Chaplins highest ever polling in , Ports b and f count ? With yesterday being are you ok I am sure you would have called to check on , Troy ? ( worst player in the comp )

  27. The subject of Troy Chaplin came up 1 night at the pub I replied with I have had 3 great moments in my life 1 My son being born he smiled glowingly
    2 Port winning the 2004 flag 3 looking at my son I said and the day , Troy Chaplin left the club frankly don’t ask me to put them in order . Sam smiled and said fair enough 2 dad geez it was a great day when that scrubber left , like father like son
    Great article

  28. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Danny just using this article mucking around on face bob re tiger supporters trying to say they’re coming just letting them no nothing has changed ( a lot of Steve and Mark wah wah )

Leave a Comment