AFL football: wind the clock back to 1910
Roar guru Damo claimed earlier this week that Australian football is unrecognisable from what it was a hundred years ago. I think this is false.
Below is a slightly delayed report of the Collingwood-Richmond game of 22 August 1910, courtesy of the Melbourne Argus and the National Library of Australia.
See any similarities?
COLLINGWOOD BEATS RICHMOND: AN UNEVENTFUL GAME
When Collingwood and Richmond met at Victoria-park on Saturday, the latter were without their useful follower, Burke. In his place they had M’Cashnie, while Angus, who has been resting for several weeks, appeared once more in Collingwood colours.
At Victoria-park the wind, though not blowing at all directly to the river goal, considerably favoured that end, and on Richmond winning the toss, they had the use of it in the first quarter. Of the general play, it may be said that during that term Richmond, though having something of the advantage in kicking for goals, had in other respects very little gain as against Collingwood.
Of the Magpies, Lee got a shot early in the quarter, kicked badly, and the ball was carried out of bounds. As soon as it was thrown in again he snapped it up quickly, and scored the goal. The first for Richmond was got by Incignari from a long shot, and soon afterwards James got a second from a free kick, while Ohlson, as the result of a very fine mark, bagged the third.
At the end of the quarter Richmond had only had one try more than Collingwood, but they had three goals to one, and led by 11 points. In the second term Collingwood were attacking for the greater part of the time, but Richmond’s defence was always pretty sound, and they managed to keep their goal front clear for some distance out, and so forced Collingwood into the worst scoring positions.
In this way the home team, although having several shots in fairly quick succession, only had four behinds to their score, until Lee came to the rescue in scoring a goal from a mark, though he failed soon afterwards with a shot from a free kick. Then in quick succession Norris and Gilchrist scored goals for Collingwood, and, as a re sult of the first half, Collingwood had in points the equivalent of a three-goals lead.
So successfull was Collingwood’s defence right through the third phase of the game, that the scoring was light. Neither side were able to get a goal. Richmond practically lost whatever chance they had of the match by scoring only one point, while Collingwood got two. Even with a failing wind, there was never any doubt afterwards about the result. Gilchrist snapped a goal for Collingwood about two minutes after the quarter had started and then a remarkably fine mark by Schmidt, of Richmond, followed by an equally good shot, got their fourth goal.
Hughes chipped in with one for Collingwood, chiefly the reward of a good high-mark, and then Maybury scored again for Richmond with a free kick. At this stage Collingwood’s luck was bad, for both Norris and Gilchrist hit the goal-post, and this happened to them no less than four times during the match.
Just at the finish Oliver, who was somewhat lame, marked in front, and scored the eighth and last goal for Collingwood, who right through the day were always slightly the better team. Their wing play was superior to that of Richmond, whose best men in open football were always considerably hampered by the pack. Contrary to expectation, Richmond did their best work when play was fairly open.
Collingwood played so evenly that, to note individual effort, is not at all easy, but amongst their backs Scadden was always dashing, and Rowell valuable for his coolness. He scarcely made a mistake. M’Haile did very well on the centre, though on that line Gibb was, perhaps, their best man. Angus was not affected by his long rest, for he played really fine football, both as a half-forward and in the ruck, where Hughes was also a conspicuous man.
Ever Since Lee has been given greater freedom, he has proved an exceedingly useful man for Collingwood. In this instance he played well, both back and forward. His high-marking was very fine, and he scored three goals. Other useful men for Collingwood were Gilchrist, who looks like making a first-rate player; Oliver, and Baxter.
For Richmond several men who are usually very prominent were not notably so in this game, Mahony being amongst them. Of their backs, Gibson, Ellis, and Abbott were always doing sound work. Bowden was the best of their centre-line, and Incignari of value both forward and on the ball. Maguire roved fairly well; Ohlson and Thomas were hard workers in the ruck, and Herbert was also of great use.