Anzac Day match

Last updated

Anzac Day match (AFL)
Anzac Day 2011 game 3.jpg
The ANZAC Day match of 2011
First meeting25 April 1995
Latest meeting25 April 2021
Essendon 16.13 (109) def. Collingwood 13.7 (85)
Next meeting25 April 2022
Broadcasters Seven Network (1995–2001, 2010, 2012–present)
Nine Network (2002–2006)
Network Ten (2007–2009, 2011)
Meetings total25
All-time series (Australian Football League only)Collingwood – 15 wins
Essendon – 10 wins
1 draw
Largest victoryCollingwood – 73 points (25 April 2008)

The Anzac Day match is an annual Australian rules football match between Collingwood and Essendon, two clubs in the Australian Football League, held on Anzac Day (25 April) at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). [1]


History of Australian rules football on Anzac Day

During many wars, Australian rules football matches have been played overseas in places like northern Africa and Vietnam as a celebration of Australian culture and as a bonding exercise between soldiers. [2] [3] [4] Despite this, League football was not played on Anzac Day for many years; in 1959, for example, when all VFL games were played on Saturday afternoons, Anzac Day also fell on a Saturday, and the entire round was postponed to the following Saturday. The first VFL matches played on Anzac Day occurred in 1960 after an Act of Parliament which lifted the previous restrictions on this activity. [5]

The Anzac Day Act required a donation of a portion of ticket sales to the RSL, so the RSL was active in encouraging the VFL to play on the day. The VFL was initially unenthusiastic, and on Anzac Day Tuesday in 1961 it scheduled smaller games at Windy Hill and Punt Road Oval for the day. [6] The Victorian Football Association attempted to capitalise on this, and with the RSL's support it moved a marquee match between rivals Sandringham and Moorabbin to the Melbourne Cricket Ground and put on a pre-match spectacle on a similar scale to that of the AFL's modern Anzac Day clash. The crowd of just under 14,000 was similar in size to the VFA's largest Sunday crowds at the time, but still fell well short of the VFA's pre-match expectations; nevertheless, the match was a pioneer in the treatment of football on Anzac Day as a special occasion. [7]

In 1962 and 1967, instead of playing premiership matches on Anzac Day, the VFL arranged a representative match for Anzac Day between the Victorian team from the previous year's Interstate Carnival and a team representing the rest of the league. Both matches drew small crowds between 15,000–20,000. [8] [9]

Eventually, the VFL did begin to play matches on Anzac Day. These games sometimes drew huge crowds. The 1975 Carlton-Essendon game attracted 77,770 fans to VFL Park, a then Anzac Day record; two years later in 1977, Richmond and Collingwood drew 92,436 to the MCG. [5] [10]

In 1986 the league used Anzac Day to attempt its first ever doubleheader. Held at the MCG, Melbourne and Sydney played in the afternoon, followed after a 30-minute break by North Melbourne and Geelong in the evening under lights. Due to a total crowd of only 40,117 and various logistical problems, the League would not stage another doubleheader at any venue again until 2020. [5] [10] [11]

Through the years until the mid-1990s, it was common for at least two matches to be played on the Anzac Day public holiday. [12]

History of Anzac Day match

The modern version of the Anzac Day match was conceived by then Essendon coach Kevin Sheedy while pottering in his garden in the mid-1990s. [5] Sheedy, who had served two years in the army after being drafted to Richmond in 1969, thought back to the success of the Collingwood–Richmond game in 1977, and considered how football on Anzac Day could pay suitable tribute to those who had served their country. [5] Sheedy organised a meeting with officials from Essendon and Collingwood, and the then Victorian RSL President Bruce Ruxton, who was also a keen Collingwood supporter, and proposed his concept for a game which would honour the Anzac spirit. [5] Despite their previous opposition to football on Anzac Day, Ruxton and the RSL agreed with Sheedy's proposal, as did the AFL. [5]

The first modern Anzac Day match between Collingwood and Essendon was played on Tuesday, 25 April 1995 at the MCG. The round-four match received limited publicity, as there had previously been AFL matches played on 25 April. Essendon had won its first three games of the season; however, Collingwood were without a victory at that point in the season. Soon after the Anzac Day march in the city, patrons flocked to the ground. Crowds outside the ground were so substantial at 12.30pm that Collingwood coach Leigh Matthews thought the gates to the ground must have still been locked. When the gates were closed at 1.30 pm – still 40 minutes before the start of the match – 20,000 additional people had to be dispersed by mounted police, while they attempted to gain admission into the stadium. Thousands of these people descended on nearby Fitzroy Gardens, where they listened to the match on radio.

Played on a sunny autumn day, both teams kicked six goals in the first quarter. A three-goal-to-one second quarter helped Essendon lead by 16 points at half time. However, the momentum swayed in the third quarter, when Collingwood kicked seven goals to two, giving them a 14-point lead at the break. Essendon started strongly in the final term, and when James Hird snapped a goal late in the quarter, he gave his team a six-point advantage. Saverio "Sav" Rocca leapt and took "one of the marks of the year" in the forward-line soon after. At the 28-minute mark he capitalised by kicking the goal and levelling the scores. With just seconds left, Nathan Buckley had an opportunity to score; however, he elected to kick to Rocca, who was cut off. Seconds later, the siren sounded; both teams' score on 111. Roars from the 94,825 crowd during the match could easily be heard from a kilometre away, and the crowd remains the second-highest home and away crowd in VFL/AFL history, surpassed only by the 99,346 who attended the Collingwood–Melbourne Queen's Birthday clash in 1958.

Huge crowds turn out to see the annual Anzac Day Collingwood-Essendon game (2010) Anzac Day Match 2010, Collingwood-Essendon.jpg
Huge crowds turn out to see the annual Anzac Day Collingwood–Essendon game (2010)

Today, this game is often considered the biggest match of the AFL season outside of the finals, sometimes drawing bigger crowds than all but the Grand Final, and often selling out in advance. [13] [14] As a point of comparison, in the National Rugby League, the Sydney Roosters and St. George Illawarra Dragons have played on Anzac Day since 2002, but generally without the increase in crowd numbers compared to other games as seen in the AFL. [15] However, Anzac Day matches have been a regular part of the rugby league season for over 80 years.

The Seven Network held broadcasting rights to the Collingwood-Essendon match from its inception in 1995 until 2001. Following this, the Nine Network (2002–06) and Network Ten (2007–09, and 2011) had the broadcasting rights, with the Seven Network broadcasting it in 2010. From the 2012 season onwards the Seven Network regained the broadcasting rights to the match.

In recent years, other clubs and some sections of the media have lobbied for the game to be shared amongst all clubs, not just Collingwood and Essendon. [16] [17] Since 1996, [18] one year after the team's inception, Fremantle has held the Len Hall Tribute Game, named in honour of Western Australia's last Gallipoli veteran. [19] This game is regularly held on Anzac Day as a Western Australian featured game. [18] With Anzac Day falling on a Saturday in 2009, four games were scheduled for the day, [20] yet the largest fixture (the MCG) continued to host Collingwood and Essendon at the exclusion of other clubs. Critics have argued that this fixture should be shared. [21] [22]

Meaning and significance

For many people the clash may be their closest involvement with Anzac Day remembrance services. Before the match, a special Anzac Day service is held at the MCG. This ceremony includes the recognition of Australian War Veterans as well as a Flag Ceremony, including the playing of the Last Post and Australian National Anthem. [1]

Sydney based journalist and former Australian rugby national representative player Peter FitzSimons commented in the Sydney Morning Herald of the 2008 game that he had:

...rarely seen something so impressive in the world of sport. As they played the Last Post and the national anthem, the 100,000-strong crowd [ sic ] uttered not a peep, whispered not a murmur. The atmosphere was electric and the general mood in the air one of reverence for the diggers and anticipation of the game to come...Somewhere, someone has done a superb job organising that landmark day in Australian sport. [23]

The Collingwood Football Club asserts:

The Anzac Day blockbuster between Collingwood and Essendon has become one of our biggest national sporting events ... The Anzac Day match pays tribute to the sacrifice of the servicemen and women of Australia and celebrates the Anzac spirit – courage, sacrifice, endurance and mateship. [24]

Collingwood's former President Eddie McGuire has stated that "veterans will see the reason why they fought so hard for the Australian culture with two great tribes going at each other". [16] [17]

Conversely, some commentators such as Francis Leach, Liz Porter, Chris Fotinopoulos and Ruby Murray have criticised the Australian Football League for the way it promotes the event, arguing that it has exploited the sacredness and solemnity of the Anzac story for the purpose of financial profit. [25] [26] [27] [28] [29] According to Porter:

The commodification of "the Anzac spirit" as an AFL marketing device appears to have begun with the 1995 Essendon-Collingwood clash, after which a commemorative poster of the game was produced, bearing the words "Lest we forget". A solemn pledge was reborn as an advertising slogan. [26]

Also the subject of criticism have been the comments often made in relation to the game by the AFL, sports journalists, media personalities, club officials, coaches and some sections of the media which conflate the Anzac spirit at Gallipoli with the fighting spirit on the football ground. [28] [29] In the opinion of Fotinopoulos, "the real meaning of Anzac Day has become distorted by slick marketing campaigns designed to pass footballers off as war heroes." [28] These criticisms were highlighted in 2009 when Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse stated that his team had "let the Anzacs down" in losing the game, and that "Essendon showed true Anzac spirit, the reason why we play here." [30] Journalist Patrick Smith responded in The Australian that this comparison between the game of football and the sadness and bravery of war "belittles and trivialises the suffering of the men and women which Anzac Day is set aside to remember and thank." [31] In a subsequent article, Smith argued:

The AFL itself is in danger of manipulating Anzac Day. The commission is looking to play more games than the traditional Essendon-Collingwood match which had previously been set aside as the code's mark of respect. To play more matches around the country is to move uneasily close to a ratings and money-making tool. Given that bravery and commitment in war is acknowledged with medals, the AFL seeks to capitalise on that with awarding the Anzac Medal to the best player on Anzac Day. On reflection, that is bordering on tacky. [32]

The trophy awarded to the winning team each year has etched on it the names of football players who died during war, images of soldiers from the Australian Infantry Forces and the words "Lest We Forget". Furthermore, the cup is made from glass, silver and bronze on a base of ironbark that comes from an ammunition wagon used in service at Villers-Bretonneux during the First World War, whilst the bronze columns supporting the silver bowl incorporate metal salvaged from the Gallipoli battlefields. [33]

Anzac Medal

A best-on-ground player has been named for each of the Anzac Day clashes. Since 2000, the player in the match considered to best exemplify the Anzac spirit – skill, courage, self-sacrifice, teamwork and fair play – has been awarded the AFL Anzac Medal. [13] This medal has been won three times by Collingwood champion and current captain Scott Pendlebury and retired Essendon star (and former Essendon coach) James Hird. In 2001, Collingwood's Chris Tarrant became the only player to have won the medal despite playing in the losing team.

Before the start of the 2011 Anzac Day match, the AFL presented retrospective Anzac Medals to their intended recipients for all of the matches prior to the introduction of the medal in 2000.

Match results

Year-by-year results [10]
YearWinnerEssendon scoreCollingwood scoreMarginAttendanceBrownlow VotesAnzac MedallistFootball Club
1995Draw16.15 (111)17.9 (111)094,825

3 N. Buckley
2 S. Rocca
1 R. Olarenshaw

Sav Rocca*(Collingwood)
1996Collingwood16.9 (105)17.15 (117)1287,549

3 S. Russell
2 T. Francis
1 M. Mercuri

Scott Russell*(Collingwood)
1997Collingwood10.10 (70)14.15 (99)2983,271

3 D. Monkhorst
2 G. Brown
1 M. Lloyd

Damian Monkhorst*(Collingwood)
1998Collingwood12.16 (88)15.18 (108)2081,542

3 N. Buckley
2 S.Patterson
1 A. McDonald

Sav Rocca*(Collingwood)
1999Essendon15.18 (108)15.10 (100)873,118

3 M. Mercuri
2 P. Williams
1 M. Lloyd

Mark Mercuri*(Essendon)
2000Essendon21.14 (140)15.10 (100)4088,390

3 J. Hird
2 S. Lucas
1 S. Wellman

James Hird (Essendon)
2001Essendon15.13 (103)14.11 (95)883,905

3 S. O'Bree
2 C. Tarrant
1 P. Barnard

Chris Tarrant (Collingwood)
2002Collingwood4.9 (33)9.12 (66)3384,894

3 M. McGough
2 S. Burns
1 C. Steinfort

Mark McGough (Collingwood)
2003Essendon23.9 (147)12.9 (81)6662,589^

3 J. Hird
2 N. Buckley
1 D. Cupido

James Hird (Essendon)
2004Essendon17.10 (112)11.13 (79)3357,294^

3 J. Hird
2 M. McGough
1 S. Lucas

James Hird (Essendon)
2005Essendon11.17 (83)10.9 (69)1470,033^

3 J. Hird
2 A. Lovett
1 R. Shaw

Andrew Lovett (Essendon)
2006Collingwood12.17 (89)15.16 (106)1791,234

3 B. Johnson
2 A. Didak
1 N. Lovett-Murray

Ben Johnson (Collingwood)
2007Collingwood11.13 (79)12.23 (95)1690,508

3 H. Shaw
2 D. Fletcher
1 T. Cloke

Heath Shaw (Collingwood)
2008Collingwood12.9 (81)23.16 (154)7388,999

3 P. Medhurst
2 S. Pendlebury
1 T. Cloke

Paul Medhurst (Collingwood)
2009Essendon13.15 (93)12.16 (88)584,829

3 P. Ryder
2 A. Lovett
1 D. Swan

Paddy Ryder (Essendon)
2010Collingwood8.7 (55)18.12 (120)6590,070

3 S. Pendlebury
2 B. Johnson
1 J. Fraser

Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood)
2011Collingwood11.11 (77)16.11 (107)3089,626

3 S. Pendlebury
2 S. Crameri
1 T. Cloke

Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood)
2012Collingwood11.13 (79)11.14 (80)186,932

3 D. Swan
2 S. Pendlebury
1 D. Heppell

Dane Swan (Collingwood)
2013Essendon18.13 (121)10.15 (75)4693,373

3 D. Zaharakis
2 J. Watson
1 S. Sidebottom

David Zaharakis (Essendon)
2014Collingwood8.12 (60)12.11 (83)2391,731

3 D. Swan
2 S. Sidebottom
1 D. Heppell

Dane Swan (Collingwood)
2015Collingwood6.13 (49)9.15 (69)2088,395

3 P. Seedsman
2 D. Heppell
1 J. Frost

Paul Seedsman (Collingwood)
2016Collingwood11.7 (73)22.10 (142)6985,082

3 S. Sidebottom
2 S. Pendlebury
1 A. Treloar

Steele Sidebottom (Collingwood)
2017Essendon15.10 (100)11.16 (82)1887,685

3 A. Treloar
2 Z. Merrett
1 J. Daniher

Joe Daniher (Essendon)
2018Collingwood7.10 (52)14.17 (101)4991,440

3 S. Sidebottom
2 A. Treloar
1 B. Grundy

Adam Treloar (Collingwood)
2019Collingwood10.9 (69)10.13 (73)492,241

3 S. Pendlebury
2 D. Shiel
1 B. Grundy

Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood)
2020No match played due to the COVID-19 pandemic
2021Essendon16.13 (109)13.7 (85)2478,113^^ Darcy Parish (Essendon)

* Retrospective medals awarded in 2011, for games from 1995 to 1999, as the first official Anzac Medal was awarded in 2000. [13]

^ Capacity of ground reduced due to redevelopment for the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games.

^^ Capacity of ground reduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Summary results [10]
ClubWinning years*Total wins*Anzac MedalsTotal medals
Collingwood 1996, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019151995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 201917
Essendon 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2009, 2013, 2017, 2021101999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2009, 2013, 2017, 20219

* One draw has been played, in 1995

Other ANZAC Day fixtures

ANZAC Day eve

Melbourne vs. Richmond (2015–present)

ANZAC Day Eve Clash
First meeting24 April 2015
Latest meeting24 April 2019
Next meeting24 April 2021
Meetings total6
All-time series Melbourne (3 wins)
Richmond (3 wins)
Ron Barassi with a service man lighting the torch with the Eternal Flame at the Shrine of Remembrance. This is part of the pre-match ceremony. AFL ANZAC Day Eve - Lighting the torch.jpg
Ron Barassi with a service man lighting the torch with the Eternal Flame at the Shrine of Remembrance. This is part of the pre-match ceremony.

On 30 October 2014, the AFL confirmed that Richmond and Melbourne would host an Anzac Day eve night clash at the MCG starting from the 2015 season. [34]

As part of the pre-match ceremonies, a torch lit from the Eternal Flame at the Shrine of Remembrance is carried to the ground, where it lights a cauldron on an MCG stage to burn for the duration of the match. Players from both sides, including coaches and officials, alongside returned servicemen and women, line up near the flame for the playing of the Last Post and National Anthem. The pre-match ceremony was developed by and has the full support of the RSL, the Shrine of Remembrance and the Australian Defence Force. Ron Barassi, whose father died at Tobruk during World War II in 1941, was the first person to light the cauldron. [35] In 2017, the Anzac eve match drew a crowd of 85,657, the highest ever between the two clubs, ensuring the fixture was continued the following year. [36]

Until 2021, there was no official trophy for the winning team or player's medal for best on ground. From 2021 the Frank 'Checker' Hughes medal will be awarded for the player judged best afield. [37]

YearDateRdHome TeamScoreAway TeamScoreGroundCrowdWinnerMHRTH2HBest on GroundReport
1 2015 24/44Richmond6.15 (51)Melbourne12.11 (83) Melbourne Cricket Ground 58,175Melbourne32L+13. N.Jones(MEL)
2. B.Vince(MEL)
1. S.Edwards(RIC)
2 2016 24/45Melbourne20.9 (129)Richmond14.12 (96) Melbourne Cricket Ground 59,968Melbourne33W+23. M.Gawn(MEL)
2. J.Viney(MEL)
1. D.Tyson(MEL)
3 2017 24/45Richmond12.16 (88)Melbourne11.9 (75) Melbourne Cricket Ground 85,657Richmond13W+13. J.Riewoldt(RIC)
2. T.Nankervis(RIC)
1. D.Martin(RIC)
4 2018 24/45Melbourne8.8 (56)Richmond15.12 (102) Melbourne Cricket Ground 77,071Richmond46W03. K.Lambert(RIC)
2. D.Martin(RIC)
1. S.Edwards(RIC)
5 2019 24/46Richmond12.13 (85)Melbourne6.6 (42) Melbourne Cricket Ground 72,704Richmond43W+13. N.Vlastuin(RIC)
2. K.Lambert(RIC)
1. B.Houli(RIC)
2020 No match played in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic
6 2021 24/46Melbourne12.10 (82)Richmond6.12 (48) Melbourne Cricket Ground 56,418Melbourne34W0 Christian Petracca (Melbourne)

New Zealand match

St Kilda vs. various clubs (2013–15)

New Zealand ANZAC Day Clash
First meeting25 April 2013
Latest meeting25 April 2015
Meetings total3
All-time series St Kilda (0 wins)
Sydney (1 win)
Brisbane Lions (1 win)
Carlton (1 win)
Panorama of Westpac Stadium in Wellington, the home venue for every New Zealand ANZAC Day clash (2013-2015). Westpacstadium.png
Panorama of Westpac Stadium in Wellington, the home venue for every New Zealand ANZAC Day clash (2013–2015).

The New Zealand ANZAC Day matches were held to commemorate the centenary of the forming of the ANZACs in 1913 through to the centenary of the Gallipoli landings in 1915. In 2013, St Kilda and Sydney played an Anzac Day match in New Zealand in remembrance of the centenary of the forming of the ANZACs in 1913. This was the first AFL game ever played for premiership points outside Australia. [38] The game was played between St Kilda and Sydney as a night game at Westpac Stadium in New Zealand's capital, Wellington, in front of a crowd of 22,546. [39] Sydney won the game by 16 points, scoring 11.13 (79) to St Kilda 9.9 (63), [40] while the first New Zealand–awarded Anzac Medal went to Sydney's Dan Hannebery. [39] Before the game St Kilda captain Nick Riewoldt said "To play on Anzac Day in another country for the first time in the history of the sport is a momentous occasion and as a playing group we feel really privileged to be doing that...". [38]

The game was attended by the Prime Minister of New Zealand, John Key; Australian Minister for Sport, Kate Lundy; and AFL chief executive, Andrew Demetriou. [39] Key reflected on the significance of the Anzac relationship, commenting shortly before the game began on Australia's immediate assistance following the Christchurch earthquake, and saying "The Anzac spirit is as alive today as it was in 1915". [39] Key also used the occasion to raise the prospect of a New Zealand-based AFL team, saying at the official pre-match function "Let's get real. We've got to get a New Zealand side in the AFL.". While Demetriou would not comment further on Key's statements, he said he planned to chat to Key about it at a later date, and stated New Zealand was "unquestionably our fastest growth market outside Australia". [39]

The winning club received the "Simpson–Henderson Trophy", named in honour of Australian John Simpson Kirkpatrick and New Zealander Richard Alexander Henderson, both known for carrying wounded soldiers from World War I battlefields on donkeys. [41] The New Zealand fixture was retained for the 2014 and 2015 seasons, with the Saints' opponents in those years being the Brisbane Lions [42] [43] and Carlton respectively. [44] However, the fixture was subsequently scrapped. [45]

YearDateRdHome TeamScoreAway TeamScoreGroundCrowdWinnerMHRTH2HBrownlow VotesANZAC Medallist
1 2013 25/45St Kilda9.9 (63)Sydney11.13 (79) Wellington Regional Stadium 22,546Sydney16W+13. T.Richards(SYD)
2. D.Hannebery(SYD)
1. K.Jack(SYD)
Dan Hannebery(SYD)
2 2014 25/46St Kilda11.13 (79)Brisbane Lions12.10 (82) Wellington Regional Stadium 13,409 Brisbane Lions 3L +1 3. L.Montagna(StK)
2. J.Redden(BL)
1. L.Hayes(StK)
Leigh Montagna(StK)
3 2015 25/44St Kilda12.9 (81)Carlton18.13 (121) Wellington Regional Stadium 12,125Carlton40L+13. M.Murphy(CAR)
2. Z.Tuohy(CAR)
1. L.Henderson(CAR)
Marc Murphy(CAR)

Len Hall Tribute game

Fremantle vs. various clubs (1996–)

The Len Hall game is named in tribute to the last Gallipoli veteran from Western Australia, Len Hall (1887–1999). Matches are either played on ANZAC Day itself or over that weekend during the same round.

The winning team receives the Anzac Day Trophy, while the player judged best on ground receives the Len Hall Anzac Day Medal. [46]

YearDateRdFremantle ScoreAway TeamScoreGroundCrowdWinner
1199626/4513.18 (96)Melbourne8.11 (59)WACA26,618Fremantle
2199725/4516.11 (107)St Kilda15.11 (101)Subiaco23,504Fremantle
3199825/4516.8 (104)North Melbourne12.15 (87)WACA26,335Fremantle
4199925/457.11 (53)Brisbane15.18 (108)Subiaco24,044Brisbane
5200025/4717.9 (111)Brisbane15.10 (100)Subiaco19,800Fremantle
62003*27/4510.13 (73)West Coast16.12 (108)Subiaco41,654West Coast
7200425/4518.9 (117)Geelong14.7 (91)Subiaco35,021Fremantle
8200523/4515.13 (103)Carlton11.18 (84)Subiaco36,056Fremantle
9200622/449.5 (59)Adelaide9.16 (70)Subiaco35,090Adelaide
10200729/457.16 (58)Adelaide8.9 (57)Subiaco37,172Fremantle
11200825/4613.10 (88)Geelong13.11 (89)Subiaco38,022Geelong
12200925/4518.13 (121)Sydney16.4 (100)Subiaco32,884Fremantle
13201025/4515.22 (112)Richmond11.7 (73)Subiaco38,010Fremantle
14201125/4512.13 (85)Western Bulldogs11.12 (78)Patersons37,551Fremantle
15201227/457.15 (57)Carlton10.5 (65)Patersons38,847Carlton
16201326/4512.9 (81)Richmond12.8 (80)Patersons36,365Fremantle
17201425/468.13 (61)North Melbourne10.14 (74)Patersons37,624North Melbourne
18201525/4411.8 (74)Sydney8.12 (60)Domain39,009Fremantle
19201624/459.14 (68)Carlton10.12 (72)Domain34,796Carlton
20201722/459.13 (67)North Melbourne9.8 (62)Domain33,319Fremantle
21201821/4516.12 (108)Western Bulldogs8.6 (54)Optus Stadium43,056Fremantle
22201927/4613.10 (88)Western Bulldogs9.15 (69)Optus Stadium43,732Fremantle
2020No match played in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic
23202124/4614.15 (99)North Melbourne6.12 (48)Optus Stadium0^Fremantle

* There was no match played in 2001 and 2002 because Fremantle played away in the Anzac Round in both of those years. [47]

^ Match played without crowd attendance, due to COVID-19 restrictions.

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The Australian Football League (AFL) is the pre-eminent and only fully professional men's competition of Australian rules football. Through the AFL Commission, the AFL also serves as the sport's governing body and is responsible for controlling the laws of the game. Originally known as the Victorian Football League (VFL), it was founded in 1896 as a breakaway competition from the Victorian Football Association (VFA), with its inaugural season commencing the following year. The VFL, aiming to become a national competition, began expanding beyond Victoria to other Australian states in the 1980s, and changed its name to the AFL in 1990.

Rivalries in the Australian Football League exist between many teams, most of which typically draw large crowds and interest regardless of both teams' positions on the ladder. The AFL encourages the building of such rivalries, as a method of increasing publicity for the league, to the point of designating one round each year as Rivalry Round where many of these match-ups are held on the one weekend. Whilst some rivalries, such as between teams from adjacent areas, are still strong, the designation of an entire round of fixtures as Rivalry Round is often criticised due to some arbitrary match-ups, or ignoring stronger, more recent rivalries.

The 1996 Australian Football League season was the 100th season of the elite Australian rules football competition and the 7th under the name 'Australian Football League', having switched from 'Victorian Football League' after 1989. This was the last season in which the Brisbane Bears and Fitzroy Lions competed, before their merger at the end of the year to for the Brisbane Lions.

1915 VFL season

The 1915 Victorian Football League season was the 19th season of the elite Australian rules football competition.

The 1995 Australian Football League season was the 99th season of the elite Australian rules football competition and the 6th under the name 'Australian Football League', having switched from 'Victorian Football League' after 1989.

The 1983 Victorian Football League season was the 87th season of the elite Australian rules football competition.

1921 VFL season

The 1921 Victorian Football League season was the 25th season of the elite Australian rules football competition.

1933 VFL season

The 1933 Victorian Football League season was the 37th season of the elite Australian rules football competition.

The St Kilda Football Club, nicknamed the Saints, is an Australian rules football club, based in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The club plays in the Australian Football League (AFL), the highest league in the country.

The Queen's Birthday match is an annual Australian rules football match between the Melbourne Football Club and Collingwood Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL), held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on the Queen's Birthday public holiday in Victoria.

The AFL Australian Football League is the top professional Australian rules football league in the world. The league consists of eighteen teams: nine based in the city of Melbourne, one from regional Victoria, and eight based in other Australian states. The reason for this unbalanced geographic distribution lies in the history of the league, which was based solely within Victoria from the time it was established in 1897, until the time the league expanded through the addition of clubs from interstate to the existing teams starting in the 1980s; until this expansion, the league was known as the VFL (Victorian Football League).


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Coordinates: 37°49′12″S144°59′00″E / 37.82000°S 144.98333°E / -37.82000; 144.98333