1980 VFL Grand Final
Grand final of the 1980 Victorian Football League season
Top 3 1980 VFL Grand Final related articles
|1980 VFL Grand Final|
|Date||27 September 1980|
|Stadium||Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia|
|Broadcast in Australia|
The 1980 VFL Grand Final was an Australian rules football game contested between the Richmond Football Club and Collingwood Football Club, held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne on 27 September 1980. It was the 84th annual Grand Final of the Victorian Football League, staged to determine the premiers for the 1980 VFL season. The match, attended by 113,461 spectators, was won by Richmond by a margin of 81 points, marking that club's 10th premiership victory.
1980 VFL Grand Final Intro articles: 6
It was Richmond's first appearance in a premiership decider since winning the 1974 VFL Grand Final, while Collingwood had competed in and lost two of the previous three Grand Finals, in 1977 and 1979. The Magpies had not won a flag since the 1958 VFL Grand Final.
Richmond, under coach Tony Jewell, made the decision in the 1980 home-and-away season to move rover Kevin Bartlett to the half-forward flank, leading to him kicking 84 goals. At the conclusion of the season, Richmond had finished third on the VFL ladder (behind Geelong and Carlton) with 16 wins, 5 losses and a draw. Collingwood had finished fifth with 14 wins, 7 losses and a draw. Collingwood was coached by Tom Hafey, who at one time had coached Jewell at Richmond.
In the finals series leading up to the Grand Final, Collingwood defeated North Melbourne in the Elimination Final by 8 points before comfortably beating Carlton by 50 points to progress to the Preliminary Final. There they defeated Geelong by just 4 points to advance to the Grand Final. The Magpies became the first team to reach the Grand Final via the Elimination Final. Meanwhile, Richmond defeated Carlton by 42 points in the Qualifying Final and then Geelong by 24 points in the Second Semi-Final to progress to the Grand Final.
This was the first Grand Final in league history without either of the top two teams on the ladder after the home-and-away season. It wasn't until 2019, 39 years later, that this set of circumstances would be repeated.
1980 VFL Grand Final Background articles: 11
The first few minutes of the first quarter were a tight affair, with the two teams trading scores. Collingwood led by a point 16 minutes into the game but from then Richmond completely outplayed the Magpies, with the game being effectively over at half time when the Tigers led by 43 points. Their midfield of Geoff Raines, Bryan Wood, Robert Wiley, Mervyn Keane and Dale Weightman dominated the clearances, feeding forwards Kevin Bartlett, Michael Roach and David Cloke.
Bartlett was awarded the Norm Smith Medal for being judged the best player afield, kicking seven goals. His goal tally for the 1980 VFL finals was 21 which saw him become just the fourth player in history to kick 20 or more goals in a finals series. Cloke contributed 6 goals and Wiley 3 to the team's winning score.
The 81 point winning margin broke the record for the greatest margin in Grand Final history, and stood for three years until Hawthorn surpassed it in the 1983 VFL Grand Final. Richmond's next Grand Final appearance was in 1982, but they did not win another premiership until 2017.
This was Collingwood's seventh Grand Final loss since 1958, in the era dubbed "the Colliwobbles".
1980 VFL Grand Final Match summary articles: 12
- The Official statistical history of the AFL 2004