1927 Melbourne Carnival

The 1927 Melbourne Carnival was the sixth Australian National Football Carnival: an Australian rules football interstate competition.

New South Wales caused the biggest upset of the carnival when they defeated Tasmania by three points and, also, came close to beating Western Australia. Victoria again finished on top of the table.

Participating teams


Queensland did not send a team to the Carnival.

Victoria's two-teams controversy

Victoria caused a controversy when it played a second eighteen in a match against a weaker state (i.e., against NSW, on 19 August 1927: see below) in order to keep its first eighteen fresh for the final match of the carnival, when it was to play against Western Australia.

Consequently, on 19 August 1927, the Australian National Football Council — on the grounds that, "it was an unfair advantage £or the home team to choose from 200 players when the Visiting team had only 23 to 25 to pick from" — unanimously adopted a new rule for future carnivals; namely that, "in future football carnivals, the controlling bodies in each State shall nominate 25 players for the opening of the carnival, and the players so nominated, and no others, shall be entitled to play".[2][3]


All competing teams had 18 players, with no reserves.

New South Wales

Jack Sheehan (coach); Clement "Stumpy" Clark, Frederick "Snowy" Davies, Charlie "Mustard" Kean, George S. Knott, Samuel George "Sam" Organ, and Raymond Samuel "Ray" Usher of Eastern Suburbs; Douglas Rupert Gordon "Doug" Ayres, Horrie Finch, Arthur "Chubby" Gloster (captain), Eric William Justice, and Robert "Bobby" Smith of Newtown; Albert "Bert" McLean, and Hedley Clive Rooke of North Shore; Roy Pembroke Skelton, of Railway; Frank Cawsey, Harold John "Nugget" Green, Jack Hayes, Joe Smith, and Clifford "Snowy" Stanford of South Sydney; Emmett Joseph McGuire, and William Robert "Bill" McKoy of Sydney; and three players from the Riverina: Jack Dunn, of Ganmain; Ignatius Patrick "Nace" Kane, of Holbrook; and Walter Thomas Longmire, of Corowa.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11]

South Australia

Managed by Mr. C.F. Young,[12] the secretary of the North Adelaide Football Club, the players were Bruce McGregor (captain), from West Adelaide; Walter Scott (vice-captain), from Norwood; Gordon Barbary, Jim Handby, and Jack Owens, from Glenelg; Bert Hawke, Edward "Boy" Morris, Raymond Munn, and William James "Billy" Thomas, from North Adelaide; Alick Lill, and Ernest William Charles Wadham, from Norwood; Peter Bampton, Victor Johnson, Clifford Keal, and Ernest Warden Gordon "Punch" Mucklow, from Port Adelaide; Alfred Ryan, and William George "Bill" Oliver, from South Adelaide; Norman Barron, Horrie Riley, and Charlie Whitehead, from Sturt; and Len "Buck" Ashby, Ernest John Hine, and Tom Kempster, from West Torrens.[13][14]


Frank Burridge, of Burnie; Jack Charlesworth (captain-coach), Horrie Gorringe, Fred Pringle, and Alan Scott of Cananore; Derek Bloomfield, and Keith Roberts of New Town; Albert "Alby" Bonnitcha, and Stan Felmingham of North Hobart; H.O. "Nip" Smith, of Penguin; Harry Pollock, of Ulverstone; Fred Aherne, Hector Brooks, Jack Dunn, Dick Freeman, Max Hay, Max Hislop, Fred Peacock, Hector Smith, J. Lewis, James Archibald "Snowy" Atkinson, T. Atcheson, D. Adams, and E. Foley.[9][15][16]


The Victorian squad was: Alex Duncan of Carlton; Ted Baker, Gordon Coventry, and Syd Coventry of Collingwood; Garnet Campbell, Allan Geddes, Frank Maher, and Greg Stockdale of Essendon; Jack Moriarty of Fitzroy; George Jerram and Arthur Rayson of Geelong; Bert Chadwick, Bob Corbett, Dick Taylor, Ivor Warne-Smith, and Herbert White of Melbourne; Dave Walsh of North Melbourne; Jack Baggott, Donald Don, Basil McCormack, and George Rudolph of Richmond; and Bill Berryman, and Martin Brown of South Melbourne.[17][18]

Two Victorian teams

The weaker Victorian team — the centre of the controversy (on the grounds that only four of the team's players had appeared in either of Victoria's two earlier Carnival matches)[19] — made up of Frank Maher of Essendon (captain); Gordon Coventry of Collingwood; Garnet Campbell, Joe Harrison, and Greg Stockdale of Essendon; Gordon Hellwig, and Len Wigraft of Fitzroy; Charlie Gaudion, Alby Outen, and Roy Thompson of Footscray; Ted Pool of Hawthorn; Tommy McConville of Melbourne; Leo Dwyer, and Bill Russ of North Melbourne; Percy Bentley, and Tom O'Halloran of Richmond; and Martin Brown, and Austin Robertson of South Melbourne, played against New South Wales on Friday, 19 August, the day before the State's final match against West Australia.[20]

Weaker Victorian Team — (19 August)
B: Charlie Gaudion Gordon Hellwig Greg Stockdale
HB: Alby Outen Joe Harrison Roy Thompson
C: Garnet Campbell Leo Dwyer Bill Russ
HF: Tommy McConville Tom O'Halloran Austin Robertson
F: Percy Bentley Gordon Coventry Ted Pool
Foll: Len Wigraft Martin Brown Frank Maher (c)

The full-strength Victorian team that played against West Australia on Saturday, 20 August, contained only two of those (Greg Stockdale and Gordon Coventry) who had played the day before; George Todd of Geelong, and Greg Stockdale of Essendon, replaced the injured Donald Don and Arthur Rayson (respectively) in the (well rested) full-strength side that had played against Tasmania five days earlier.[21]

Full Strength Victorian Team — (20 August)
B: Bob Corbett George Todd Bill Berryman
HB: Bert Chadwick (c) Alex Duncan Basil McCormack
C: Dick Taylor Ivor Warne-Smith Allan Geddes
HF: Greg Stockdale George Jerram Jack Baggott
F: Ted Baker Gordon Coventry Jack Moriarty
Foll: Syd Coventry George Rudolph Herbert White

Western Australia

Phil Matson (coach), and Arthur Howson, of Claremont-Cottesloe; Denis "Dinny" Coffey, and Dave Woods of East Fremantle; Hugh "Bonny" Campbell, Wally Fletcher, Jack Guhl, James "Brum" O'Meara, Albert George Percy "Staunch" Owens, Henry James "Harry" Sherlock, Valentine Christopher "Val" Sparrow, Albert Western of East Perth; Allan Evans, Leo M'Comish, and Albert Watts (captain) of Perth; C.J. "Jerry" Sunderland, of South Fremantle; Wilfred James Patrick "Bill" Brophy, Arthur Robert Green, John McGregor "Snowy" Hamilton, Johnny Leonard, Tom Outridge (vice-captain), and Alf Smith of Subiaco; and Jim Craig, and Jack McDiarmid of West Perth.[15][22][23]

Individual match results

Winning team Score Losing team Score Date Venue
Western Australia 12.15 (87) South Australia   9.18 (72) 10 August 1927 M.C.G.
New South Wales 12.11 (83) Tasmania 11.14 (80) 11 August 1927 M.C.G.
Western Australia 18.14 (122) New South Wales 14.19 (103) 13 August 1927 M.C.G.
Victoria 21.19 (145) South Australia 14.12 (96) 13 August 1927 M.C.G.
Victoria 24.11 (155) Tasmania 13.12 (90) 15 August 1927 M.C.G.
South Australia 29.20 (194) New South Wales   6.11 (47) 17 August 1927 M.C.G.
Western Australia 12.16 (88) Tasmania 12.15 (87) 17 August 1927 M.C.G.
Victoria 24.10 (154) New South Wales   9.12 (66) 19 August 1927 M.C.G.
South Australia 20.23 (143) Tasmania 14.24 (108) 20 August 1927 M.C.G.
Victoria 11.19 (85) Western Australia 10.12 (72) 20 August 1927 M.C.G.

Carnival championship table

Team Played Won Lost Points
% Pts
Victorian Football League 4 4 0 539 324 166.3 16
Western Australia 4 3 1 369 347 106.3 12
South Australia 4 2 2 505 387 130.5 8
New South Wales 4 1 3 299 550 54.4 4
Tasmania 4 0 4 365 469 77.8 0

Leading Goalkickers


  1. The Carnival Teams: Their Colors, The Referee, (Wednesday, 17 August 1927), p.13.
  2. The Football Council: Restricting Carnival Teams, The (Adelaide) Chronicle, (Saturday, 27 August 1927), p.22.
  3. "Football council – Victorian action – new rule introduced". Daily Telegraph. Launceston, TAS. 20 August 1927. p. 13.
  4. New South Wales v Tasmania (1927-08-11), New South Wales Australian Football History Society, 2018.
  5. New South Wales v Western Australia (1927-08-15), New South Wales Australian Football History Society, 2018.
  6. New South Wales v South Australia (1927-08-17), New South Wales Australian Football History Society, 2018.
  7. New South Wales v VFL (1927-08-19), New South Wales Australian Football History Society, 2018.
  8. "Wearing the Waratah": Wells (1927).
  9. Interstate Football Carnival, The (Adelaide) News, (Thursday, 11 August 1927), p.1: note that the report's team list (mistakenly) has "Usher" as "Asher".
  10. W.A. Win Easily, The Sporting Globe, (Saturday, 13 August 1927), p.2.
  11. South Australians Win, The (Adelaide) News, (Wednesday, 17 August 1927), p.1.
  12. In Business Life: Work of Secretaries: No.4 — Mr. C.F. Young, The (Adelaide) News, (Thursday, 14 March 1929), p.15; Mr. C.F. Young (Secretary of North) is a Printer, The (Adelaide) News, (Thursday, 14 March 1929), p.15.
  13. The Melbourne Football Carnival: The South Australian Team, The (Adelaide) Register, (Saturday, 13 August 1927), p.15.
  14. "A group from South Australia": Wells (1927).
  15. W.A. v. Tasmania, The (Perth) Daily News, (Wednesday, 17 August 1927), p.2.
  16. "Apple Islanders": Wells (1927).
  17. Victorian Carnival Football Team, The Referee, Wednesday, 17 August 1927), p.13.
  18. "Victoria's Contingent": Wells (1927).
  19. Carnival Football, The Western Argus, (Tuesday, 23 August 1927), p.17.
  20. Scratch Teams Meet: Victoria v. N.S.W., The Herald, (Friday, 19 August 1927), p.3.
  21. 'Kickeroo', "W.A. Open with Great Dash", The Herald, (Saturday, 20 August 1927), p.3.
  22. 'Onlooker', "Carnival Team Chosen", The Western Mail, (Thursday, 21 July, 1927), p.16.
  23. "From the Land of the Swan": Wells (1927).


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