Barassi V Rose

Normal transmission is resumed this weekend with a full fixture of matches for Round 14. This round marks the 25th anniversary of the final meeting as coaches of two men, Ron Barassi & Bob Rose, who coached their respective Carlton and Collingwood teams in the 1970 Grand Final. Recollections of the Blues massive second half resurrection, Ted Hopkins’ Best Supporting performance, and the birth of Barassi the “Supercoach” have been recounted many times over, so here are 5 other coaching clashes between these two icons of the game.

Round 6  1965-Victoria Park-June 15 Carlton 13.7-85 defeated Collingwood 9.11-65 – The first time

Despite taking a 29 point lead to the first break, which increased to 35 early in the second term thanks to a Terry Waters goal, Barassi would lead by example with a best on ground performance, and the Blues would eventually overrun the Pies to record an impressive 20 point win, Carlton’s first at Victoria Park in 4 years. For the Blues, Jim “Frosty” Miller notched a career-high 6 goals. Miller would play only three more games of VFL Football. Colin Tully, another name forever linked to the events of 26 September 1970, would make his VFL debut on this day. Bob was not the only member of the Rose family Barassi had to contend with that day, brother Kevin being amongst the Pies best players that afternoon.

Round 8 1970-VFL Park-May 23 Collingwood 16.12-108 defeated Carlton 12.13-85 – Isn’t it ironic

A crowd of 55,159, the largest attendance the month old VFL Park had recorded, and Carlton’s first ever visit to the Leagues new venue in Melbourne’s sprawling eastern suburbs, saw the Blues jump out to a 29 point lead after two quarters. However it would be the Maggies, in the first of four meetings between the two powerhouses that season that would rise from the dead with a 12 goal to 4 second half resulting in a 23 points victory. Peter McKenna would kick the first 8 of a season’s tally of 32 goals against the arch enemy. Syd Jackson & Jezza would chip in with 4 each for the Blues.

Round 22  1971 –Princes Park-August 22 Carlton 16.10-106 defeated Collingwood 13.9-87 – Encore

The Blues would finish the 1971 season as they had completed their previous campaign, by staging a massive second half comeback to beat Bob Roses’ men in their final game for the year. The home team trailed by 7 goals at half time (3.5 to 10.5), but Brent Crosswell, who had missed all but two games that season due to illness would bag 5 goals in a B-O-G performance, backing up from a 4 goal season debut in the infamous fog match the previous week. This was Barassi’s last game as coach of Carlton and he would be joined by other club favourites Serge Silvagni & Ian Collins in taking their final bows in front of the Blue faithful.  The stirring second half comeback ensured Barassi would end his seven season coaching tenure at Princes Park a winner.

Round 8 1973-Arden Street-May 26 North Melbourne 8.8-56 drew with Footscray 8.8-56 – All tied up

In their first meeting since Barassi assumed the coaching reigns at Arden Street in late 1972 (anyone remember his 3 game cameo with Port Melbourne earlier that year?) and Rose, who’d replaced Ted Whitten 12 months earlier, the near neighbours shared the premiership points. On a strange May afternoon that saw a stalemate in the curtain raiser (NM16.7- F’scray 15.13), David Thorpe’s late goal would produce the only draw between the two coaching combatants, a battle that would be played out over 11 seasons. Ian Dunstan played the first of his 178 VFL games on that hazy May afternoon. These 2 premiership points would be the only ones Rose would take from Barassi during his 4 season, 89 game stint as coach of the Dogs.

Round 14 1985-MCG-29 June Collingwood 23.19-157 defeated Melbourne 12.13-85 – The last waltz

This end-of-financial year working class v establishment clash was also the final coaching matchup between Rose & Barassi. Bob Rose replaced John Cahill as coach of the Pies for the 1985 season, a decade after his previous coaching gig at Footscray ended with a mediocre 11-11, seventh place finish. Ron Barassi had been doing it tough after replacing Carl Ditterich as the coach of the Redlegs after the 1980 season, a 32-69, or 31.7% winning record all he had to show for his efforts to that point in time. His Demons were three goals up within 10 minutes of this mid-season clash, but the Pies would outscore Melbourne 18 goals to 6 after quarter time to record a runaway 12 goal smacking. For the victorious Magpies Mike Richardson kicked 6 majors, Tony Shaw racked up 31 possessions but Wes Fellowes somehow got the 3 Brownlow votes. One last hurrah in the great career of Kelvin Templeton saw him bag 5 goals for the losers, bringing his all-time tally to 593 in total. These were to be the last goals he would kick in an illustrious 12 season career that would end three weeks later.

Other points to mull over

  • When Barassi met Rose as coach for the first time in May 1965 Mick Erwin took the field for the Pies. The last Rose v Barassi meeting in May 1985 saw Erwin’s (Mick Jnr) son represent Collingwood.
  • Jim Miller would play a total of 11 games and kick 29 goals for Carlton before crossing to VFA club Dandenong after the 1966 season. He would play 183 games for the Redlegs, kicking 885 goals, averaging just under 5 goals per game during his superb career at Shepley Oval.
  • The 55,000 + fans who attended the Carlton v Collingwood Round 8 clash on May 23 1970 at VFL Park helped create a then record attendance, beating the previous high of 28,120 from 3 weeks earlier for the Melbourne v Collingwood fixture. It was the first of 19 meetings the two would have at the concrete coliseum over the next 30 seasons. The Pies won 10 of these battles.
  • 14 of the Collingwood 1970 Grand Final team backed up for the Round 22 1971 match 11 months later
  • Prior to Round 8 1973, Footscray hadn’t been involved in a drawn game at senior level for over 16 seasons, their most recent stalemate had been Round 1 1957  at Kardinia Park
  • Barassi and Rose would meet 25 times as opposing coaches with Barassi winning 15, Rose 9 with one contest drawn. Kevin Roses’ only success against Barassi during his 3 year stint as coach of Fitzroy (1975-77), would be a 17.13-115 to 11.19-85 victory at Arden Street, Round 4 1975. Barassi won the other 5 clashes.


  1. John Butler says

    Great stuff as always Mic

    It took Collingwood ages to recover from 1970. :)

    Did it have a similar effect on Bob Rose? He seems to have wandered around clubs in the latter period.

  2. Mic Rees says

    John #1 – Many thanx.

    I don’t know you do recover. Some very good Collingwood teams of the time – 18/4 in ’70, Neil Mann’s 19/3 team in ’73 weren’t able to get over the hump.

    Bob Rose. What a champion bloke. Earliest memories of the all night Footy Marathons are those of him congratulating Alan Jeans in ’66 just minutes after losing his second GF in three seasons by less than a goal. Such a tragic figure toward the end of his time with Dogs after Roberts accident on Valentines Day in ’74 & the Neil Sachse’s career ending injury in ’75. If you get the opportunity to read “Rose Boys” by Peter Rose I suggest you do.

  3. Dave Latham says

    The Rose Boys is a pretty harrowing read.

    Nice little anecdotes there about John Button and DKL.

    Was a fantastic man.

  4. Mic,

    Great stuff, as always.

    I’m amazed to read about Brent Crosswell’s 1971 season – two games!

    Every year I pick up a little more info to suggest the champion he might have been.

  5. Peter Flynn says



    What was Crosswell’s illness?

  6. Stephen Cooke says

    You blokes have probably seen it but Brent Crosswell wrote some fantastic columns for The Age in the 80s. They have been collated in the Best Australian Sports Writing 2003, which I bought on eBay. Do yourselves a favour.

  7. Mic Rees says

    Paul#4 & Peter#5

    Many thanx for your kind words.

    I think he may have had/contracted a bout of meningitis. Martin Flanagan makes reference to his illness in his marvellous publication “1970”.


    Are the columns you’re refering to the ones that appeared during the 1987 finals series ? My favourite one revolved around the 1969 GF and directives Barassi had given his players regarding sex before the game. Will attempt to locate those articles.

  8. Mic Rees says

    Paul#4, Peter#5 & Stephen#6


    Tracked down a match report 24/8 (written by the great Peter McFarline, regarding the Fog Match. Mentions Crosswell’s great return from illness. Wasn’t meningitis, but osteomyelitis (bone marrow infection). Also notes the VFL debut of Renato Serafini for the ‘Roys.

    I recommend McFarline’s article the following Monday (31/8) – “Abdication of a humble king” – spent the day in the coaches box with Barassi during the Rd22 game against the Pies. Good read.

    Apologies for the error

  9. Silvio Polimene says

    I was at the fog game at junction oval 1971. I remember the loss wiped out any chance of making the final 4. I remember Crosswell with a crew cut in the last game against Peter Eakins. I never understood why Carlton let Barassi take the silverware with him to North Melbourne.

  10. Mick, there are some other memorable matches that are worth listing in the Rose V Barassi clashes.

    The Pies beat Carlton at Princess Park in 1969,in a firey encounter. John Greening played one of his best ever matches.

    At Victoria park, late in the 1970 season when Carlton only managed two goals for the match. One of the three times Collingwood triumphed in their 1970 clashes.

    Then the VFL Pak encounter in R 11, 1971. The first time they had met since the 1970 Grand Final. Collingwood gave Carlton a damn good shellacking.


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