1930 VFL Grand Final

The 1930 VFL Grand Final was an Australian rules football game contested between the Collingwood Football Club and Geelong Football Club, held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne on 11 October 1930. It was the 34th annual Grand Final of the Victorian Football League, staged to determine the premiers for the 1930 VFL season. The match, attended by 45,022 spectators, was won by Collingwood by a margin of 30 points, marking that club's ninth premiership victory and fourth in succession.

1930 VFL Grand Final


9.16 (70) 14.16 (100)
1 2 3 4
GEE 2.5 (17) 6.10 (46) 6.11 (47) 9.16 (70)
COLL 3.2 (20) 3.7 (25) 11.13 (79) 14.16 (100)
Date11 October 1930
StadiumMelbourne Cricket Ground
 1929 VFL Grand Final 1931 


The Great Depression had taken hold by the 1930 VFL season, and, for many, sport was a rare diversion from dire circumstances. While Don Bradman and Phar Lap enthralled the cricket and racing worlds respectively, the residents of Collingwood, many of whom were made virtually destitute, were inspired by the Collingwood Football Club, who had won the previous three flags.

Stan Judkins (Richmond), Allan Hopkins (Footscray) and Harry Collier (Collingwood) all finished with an equal number of votes in the Brownlow Medal. The Umpires Board (which administered the award) recommended that no medal be awarded as there was no provision for a tied result. However, the VFL administration overruled the umpires board and created a criterion that the medal should be awarded to the player who played the least number of games. Judkins' banishment to the seconds had won him the award. Adding to the controversy, one vote for a Collingwood game was simply labeled "Collier", but as there were two Collier brothers playing in the game, the vote wasn't counted. To avoid situations like this in the future the rules were altered to a 3-2-1 system in 1931. In 1989, Hopkins and Collier, while both still living, were awarded a Brownlow Medal retrospectively for their performances in the 1930 VFL season.

The Magpies finished on top of the ladder with 15 wins and 3 losses. Carlton was highly fancied to finish on top after winning 13 of their first 14 home-and-away games, but in losing 2 of their last 4 games, they finished second. Richmond, Geelong and Melbourne filled the next 3 spots, all on 11 wins.

Geelong beat a woefully inaccurate Carlton in the First Semi-Final, while in the Second Semi-Final Collingwood beat their old rival in Richmond in a thriller by 3 points.

Collingwood met Geelong in the Final, and, as minor premiers, they had a right to another game if defeated. They were required to exercise this right after Geelong won by 26 points.

Match summary

Collingwood's famous coach, Jock McHale, could not attend the 1930 Grand Final, being confined to bed with the flu. Veteran administrator, club treasurer and former premiership player Bob Rush took charge in his place. Nevertheless, following a decision by AFL historians in 2014, McHale is now credited as Collingwood's sole coach in the game for the purposes of coaching statistics.[1]

The Magpies started the match aggressively, and seemed too intent on playing the man. The Cats, however, focused on the ball and kicked the goals. Their pace and work in the air saw them leading by 21 points at half time.

At half time, Rush delivered what Harry Collier recalled was one of the most inspirational speeches that he had ever heard, and the team produced one of the most dominant and important quarters in the club's history, coming from a 27-point deficit to lead by 32 at 3-quarter time. Goals came from Gordon Coventry, Makeham, H Collier and Beveridge. Geelong had become "listless and ragged whereas Collingwood were tearing along in their best style". The Sun described the club's third term as "one of the finest ever seen in football… it was an object lesson to every team in rising to the occasion after being apparently beaten, and by sheer grit and magnificent teamwork, sweeping down every obstacle in their way of finals success."

Both teams kicked 3 goals in the final quarter, but Collingwood won by 30 points.

In winning four successive premierships from 1927–1930, Collingwood set a record that has not been equalled to date. The teams from this era became known as "The Machine" for the teamwork, efficiency and effectiveness with which they played.

Match statistics

1930 VFL Grand Final
Saturday 11 October 1930 2:50pm Collingwood def. Geelong MCG (crowd: 45,022) Report
3.2 (20)
3.7 (25)
11.13 (79)
 14.16 (100)
2.5 (17)
6.10 (46)
6.11 (47)
 9.16 (70)
Umpires: Scott
Gate: ₤2,061
7 G. Coventry
2 Makeham
1 Beveridge, H. Collier, Edmonds, Froude, L. Murphy
Goals 3 Troughton
2 Llewellyn
1 L. Hardiman, Kuhlken, Rayson, Williams
Andrew, Clayden, H. Collier, G. Coventry, Makeham, F. Murphy Best Carney, Evans, Llewellyn, Mockridge, Todd, Troughton
  • Collingwood became the first and so far only team to win four consecutive flags. The Magpies were down by 21 points at half-time before coming back to win by five goals, keeping Geelong to one point in the third quarter.


B: Albert Lauder Charlie Dibbs Percy Bowyer
HB: Harold Rumney Albert Collier George Clayden
C: Bruce Andrew Jack Beveridge Harry Chesswas
HF: Bob Makeham Frank Murphy Bill Aldag
F: Horace Edmonds Gordon Coventry Harry Collier
Foll: Syd Coventry (c) Len Murphy Billy Libbis
Res: Fred Froude
Coach: Jock McHale
B: Milton Lamb George Todd Frank Mockridge
HB: Arthur Coghlan (c) Reg Hickey Rupe McDonald
C: Frank Keppel Jack Williams Jack Carney
HF: Arthur Rayson Jack Collins Les Hardiman
F: Ted Llewellyn Bill Kuhlken Bob Troughton
Foll: Peter Hardiman Jack Evans Len Metherell
Res: Ralph Lancaster
Coach: Arthur Coghlan

See also


  1. Courtney Walsh (31 October 2014). "No fudge: AFL insists Mick Malthouse celebration will be by the numbers". The Australian. Melbourne. Retrieved 25 April 2015.

  • 1930 VFL Grand Final statistics
  • The Official statistical history of the AFL 2004
  • Ross, J. (ed), 100 Years of Australian Football 1897–1996: The Complete Story of the AFL, All the Big Stories, All the Great Pictures, All the Champions, Every AFL Season Reported, Viking, (Ringwood), 1996. ISBN 0-670-86814-0
  • Atkinson, Graeme: The Complete Book of AFL Finals, 1996. ISBN 1-875971-47-5
  • McFarlane, Glenn and Roberts, Michael: The Machine – The Inside Story of Football's Greatest Team, 2005. ISBN 0-9586412-3-4
  • Lovett, Michael: AFL Record: Guide to Season 2007, AFL Publishing, 2007. ISBN 978-0-9758362-7-9
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