History

The 8th ANFC Interstate Carnival was held at the S.C.G. in Sydney between August 2nd and August 12th 1933. The previous carnival had been held in Adelaide in 1930.

Although interstate games were not uncommon, four in 1931 and 1932 respectively, most involved games against the VFL. The Sydney Carnival included the only interstate matches for 1933 and included the first WA v SA matches since 1930.1

The 3rd ANFC Carnival had also been held in Sydney in 1914. Unfortunately that attempt to bolster the game in Sydney coincided with the start of the First World War and the carnival was not a success. The 1933 Carnival was eventually more successful as it was widely reported, the home team played well and there were a number of close encounters. The competition was not a financial success, but that was not expected and provision to cover the debts had been made before the Carnival had even started.

1933 Australian National Football Carnival - Sydney - Source: Col Hutchinson
1933 Australian National Football Carnival - Sydney - Source: Col Hutchinson


Scheduling

The 1933 Carnival saw the introduction of a weak Canberra for the first time. This includion and the experience of the 1930 Adelaide Carnival where each side played every other side, and there had been many one-sided matches, probably led to the use of a two tiered competition in 1933.

The 1933 Carnival combined a round robin for NSW, Queensland, Tasmania and Canberra, where the ladder leader become minor grade champions and played off against the loser of Western Australia v South Australia for 4th place.

Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia played a round robin, followed by a SA v WA game where the loser played the minor grade Champions for 4th place and the winner played off against Victoria for first and second place. Even before the competition was started, Victoria was guaranteed a position in the final.

Victoria also played two extra games, one against hosts NSW to open the competition and a second against Tasmania, possibly to counteract the demotion of NSW and Tasmania into the second tier. 2

Selection


Interstate Players in Victoria

The selection of players in the 1933 carnival was limited to those playing in the relevant leagues. It was not State of Origin.

The tight 1933 competition certainly demonstrated the depth of talent in the South Australian and Western Australian competitions.

Consider that 1933 was the year that South Melbourne’s Foreign Legion of quality interstate players won the club a rare premiership. South's Interstate players included star players such a Brighton Diggins and Bill Faul (WA) alongside Ossie Bertram (SA) and Laurie Nash (Tas).

South Melbourne was not alone in recruiting interstate players; Eric Huxtable (Tas), Ron Cooper (SA) were regulars at Carlton, Tom Quinn (SA), Jack and Len Metherell (WA) at Geelong, George Margitich (SA) at Melbourne, Alan Rait (Tas) at Footscray did more than make up the numbers. A list of interstate transfers from the Melbourne Age in 1939 shows 24 players transferring from interstate to VFL teams between 1930 and 1933. (Age 14-Jul-1939 p7)

South Australia

South Australia was captained by S.A. Football Hall of famer Percy Furler who played 187 games and kicked 152 goals for North Adelaide from 1922 to 1933. Ex Carlton player Charlie Parsons who had moved to South Australia due to work commitments had found success at Norwood and was Vice captain. Goal kicking machine Ken Farmer who kicked 1419 SANFL goals at 6.33 per game lead the forward line and was another of five North Adelaide players in the team.

Adelaide Advertiser 4-Aug-1933 p28 SA Team - Source: Trove
Adelaide Advertiser 4-Aug-1933 p28 SA Team - Source: Trove


S.A. Team List

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Tasmania

Tasmania sustained three geographically separate Football leagues with the Northern Tasmanian Football Association (NTFA) and North West Football Union (NWFU) in the north and the Tasmanian Football League (TFL) centred around Hobart in the South. In Tasmania, a North v South game preceded selection.3

The Hobart Mercury 31-Jul-p10 Tasmania Carnival Team - Source: Trove
The Hobart Mercury 31-Jul-p10 Tasmania Carnival Team - Source: Trove


Captain Hilton Buckney had played for Hawthorn in 1932. Buckney was voted the Team’s best and fairest player at the end of the Sydney Tournament. Launceston’s Trevor Ranson was voted second best.
Three players in the team had VFL tryouts in 1934, Trevor Ranson and Pat Hartnett at St Kilda and Len Pye at Fitzroy.

Tasmania Team List

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Victoria

The Age 4-Aug-1933 p6 Victorian Team - Source: Google News Archive
The Age 4-Aug-1933 p6 Victorian Team - Source: Google News Archive


The VFL selected a squad of 24 players for the carnival. Selectors were under instructions to select two players from each of the 12 teams and to choose only ‘Victorians’.4 Of the initially selected players Jack Wrout fractured his leg and was replaced by another North Melbourne player Jimmy Adamson. Melbourne’s Percy Beames was also unable to make the team due to business reasons and was replaced by Collingwood’s Billy Libbis. Syd Coventry was again captain and Reg Hickey Vice Captain.

Injuries eventually caused other changes as well during the competition with George Claydon (Collingwood) and Selwyn Baker (North Melbourne) called in for the final two games. The inclusion of Claydon and Baker and Victoria’s playing of 26 men, one above the agreed maximum of 25, was not appreciated by the other teams who also had injury worries and did not have players at hand to fill their places.5

Injuries and changes meant that in the final against South Australia, Collingwood provided the three players on aforward line staring Syd Coventry.

The Age newspaper reported the injury list of players unavailable for the final game (The Age 14-Aug-1933 p6)
• Norm Ware Sleepless night due to internal injury
• Jack L. Collins Temp over 100 in bed
• Bill Lowenthal infected leg, returned to Melbourne
• Bob Pratt Knee Injury still bad

George Bennett though selected in the original 24 did not play a game and ended up never representing Victoria in his 14 year, 200 game, career.

Victoria Team List

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Western Australia

The Western Australian Team included full forward Ted Tyson from West Perth (1931-41) who kicked 1203 goals in 227 games. Geoff Smith, the Subiaco rover, who retired in 1934 and died in WW2 as well as Jerry Dolan (East Fremantle) and Herbie Screaigh (East Perth), both in the West Australian Football Hall of Fame.

The Age 8-Aug-1933 p15 WA Team - Source: Google News Archive
The Age 8-Aug-1933 p15 WA Team - Source: Google News Archive


Western Australia Team List

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Preparations and Travel

South Australia took nearly three days train travel to arrive. Before the Carnival started, one of their complaints was that if they left on Sunday, after the Saturday matches in Adelaide, their train would not arrive in Sydney until the Wednesday Morning, the day of the first match and that their players would not be in top condition to play the vital game against Western Australia in the afternoon.6 Ironically, the West Australian Captain attributed his teams defeat that afternoon to ‘leg weariness’ from their own long journey. 7

Sydney Morning Herald 1-Aug-1933 p12 SA n Vic Arrival - Source: Trove
Sydney Morning Herald 1-Aug-1933 p12 SA n Vic Arrival - Source: Trove


Western Australian newspapers regularly included news about the preparations for the carnival. The regular reporting demonstrating what an important sporting event the carnival was seen as in the State. With just over 30 years since Federation, the carnivals provided a method of fostering a State identities. This was especially important for Western Australia, which would not be involved in interstate cricket until 1947-48. It was not that football was the only inter-state sport, but culturally in the football states, it was the most important.
Perth Mirror 22-Jul-1933 p1 WA Kit - Source: Trove
Perth Mirror 22-Jul-1933 p1 WA Kit - Source: Trove


Other Arrangements


Tasmanian Travel

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Opening Ceremony

The carnival was opened by the austere Governor General Issac Issacs and Prime Minister Joseph Lyons. The ceremony and march by the teams around the ground was held in between the two matches on the first day. The parade started late, South Australian and Western Australian comentators blamed Victoria, especially as their final quarter was later played in semi darkness. A second parade including Queensland and Tasmania (who did not play on the opening day) was also held three days later.

Adelaide Advertiser 5-Aug-1933 p20 Opening - Source: Trove
Adelaide Advertiser 5-Aug-1933 p20 Opening - Source: Trove


Tas/NSW/Qld/Can Matches

Tasmania and New South Wales easily accounted for their rivals, and it was NSW who finally defeated Tasmania in the playoff and took the minor grade championship. As minor champion, NSW played off against WA for fourth position.

There were a number of one sided encounters especially those featuring Queensland and newcomer Canberra. Queensland won it's first ever victory in interstate matches when it joined in with the others by defeating Canberra.

In other news, and with another complaint about the schedule, Tasmania were unhappy that their only encounter against Victoria was scheduled on the day before their vital playoff game against NSW. 8

At the end of the tournament, NSW rover J. Stiff received the best player award. Stiff was later inducted into the Sydney AFL Hall of Fame as one of the inaugural members. Another NSW player Reg Garvin performed well in the carnival. In 1937 Garvin moved to Melbourne where he played for, and later captained St Kilda.

Date Winning team G P T Losing team G P T Margin
Round Robin
4-Aug-1933 Tasmania 31 29 215 Canberra 12 5 77 138
4-Aug-1933 New South Wales 19 22 136 Queensland 6 15 51 85
5-Aug-1933 Tasmania 21 11 137 Queensland 7 14 56 81
7-Aug-1933 New South Wales 16 14 110 Canberra 12 10 82 28
10-Aug-1933 Queensland 20 16 136 Canberra 14 10 94 42
10-Aug-1933 New South Wales 20 12 132 Tasmania 15 17 107 25
Final
12-Aug-1933 Western Australia 17 22 124 New South Wales 16 18 114 10


Sydney Morning Herald 5-Aug-1933 p16 Tas v Can - Source: Trove
Sydney Morning Herald 5-Aug-1933 p16 Tas v Can - Source: Trove
Sydney Morning Herald 11-Aug-1933 p14 NSW v Tas - Source: Trove
Sydney Morning Herald 11-Aug-1933 p14 NSW v Tas - Source: Trove
Sydney Morning Herald 7-Aug-1933 p12 Tas v Qld - Source: Trove
Sydney Morning Herald 7-Aug-1933 p12 Tas v Qld - Source: Trove
NSW v WA Sam Hood Studios - Source:wikicommons
NSW v WA Sam Hood Studios - Source:wikicommons


SA/WA/Vic Matches

Although the final was a blow out, all the other games were great contests. Many games were only won in the final quarters and the numerous injuries indicate the seriousness with which the players approached the matches.

For a review of the individual matches see
1933 ANFC Carnival Matches for Vic WA and SA games

Date Winning team G P T Losing team G P T Margin
2-Aug-1933 South Australia 13 17 95 Western Australia 10 24 84 11
5-Aug-1933 VFL 14 16 100 Western Australia 12 13 85 15
7-Aug-1933 VFL 19 14 128 South Australia 17 11 113 15
Playoff
10-Aug-1933 South Australia 13 18 96 Western Australia 12 11 83 13
Final
12-Aug-1933 VFL 15 16 106 South Australia 9 8 62 44


Sydney Morning Herald 3-Aug-1933 p12 WA v SA - 1933 Carnival
Sydney Morning Herald 3-Aug-1933 p12 WA v SA - 1933 Carnival
Sydney Morning Herald 10-Aug-1933 p12 WA v SA - Source: Trove
Sydney Morning Herald 10-Aug-1933 p12 WA v SA - Source: Trove


Other Matches

Gordon Coventry kicked 12 goals in the game against Tasmania, taking his total to over 100 goals in interstate games.9

Date Winning team G P T Losing team G P T Margin
Date Winning team Score Losing team Score Margin
2-Aug-1933 VFL 23 17 155 New South Wales 14 18 102 53
9-Aug-1933 VFL 24 16 160 Tasmania 15 10 100 60


Victoria v Tas Sam Hood Studio Source: WikiCommons
Victoria v Tas Sam Hood Studio Source: WikiCommons

ANFC meeting

The Australian National Football Council met in Sydney throught the carnival. The nationally accepted rules were reviewed and a number of other issues were officially and privately discussed.

Western Mail 24-Aug-1933 p17 ANFC Meeting Sydney - Source: Trove
Western Mail 24-Aug-1933 p17 ANFC Meeting Sydney - Source: Trove


Transfer Fees
Before the carnival, the NSW League meeting discussed whether they should raise the issue of transfer fees at the ANFC meeting, noting that there was ‘strong trafficking of players’ at the carnivals.10 Smaller and poorer leagues such as NSW and Tasmania were vulnerable to poaching by the richer competitions. Transfer Fees were to be an issue for many years to come.

Daily News- Perth 2Aug1933 p6 Sounding Footballers
Daily News- Perth 2Aug1933 p6 Sounding Footballers


Merging with Rugby
An attempt was made to create a merged form of game with Rugby, to be played nationally. A trial game was held during the carnival. It was not a success. The Age Newspaper reported; A leading Rugby official says:-“ From the first word uttered it was certain that the much boosted merger proposals would go up in smoke. The mystery game on Friday, in which men went on the field absolutely ignorant of the new rules, and even carrying their typewritten sheets on to the field to consult as the game progressed, spelled the ruination of all hopes.” 11

Profitability
The carnival in Sydney was unlikely to have been intended to be profitable, rather the location was run to improve the profile of the game in New South Wales.12 In March 1933, months before the carnival had started the VFL was already guaranteeing Western Australia that they would cover any losses sustained.13

Review

The 1933 Carnival did not change the hearts and minds of Sydney toward Australian Rules football. Neither was the carnival a financial success. But in terms of great games and a measure of the game around the country, the carnival delivered. Small margins of victory demonstrated the quality of the South Australian and Western Australian competitions and the good showing of NSW and Tasmania reaffirmed Australian Rules Footballs claim to being the National Game.


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End Notes


2. FOOTBALL CARNIVAL IN SYDNEY. (1933, July 26). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954), p. 18. Retrieved December 30, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article46989889. There is a discrepancy as to the effect of a WA win in the second SA v WA game. Either the winner went through automatically, or maybe the team with the higher percentage. Newspaper reports vary. See an alternative in FOOTBALL CARNIVAL. (1933, August 8). Kalgoorlie Miner (WA : 1895 - 1950), p. 5. Retrieved January 1, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article94866152
3. NORTH v. SOUTH MATCH TO PRECEDE SELECTION OF CARNIVAL TEAM. (1933, July 13). Examiner (Launceston, Tas. : 1900 - 1954), p. 2 Edition: DAILY. Retrieved January 1, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article51830255
4. INTERSTATE FOOTBALL. (1933, July 10). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 9. Retrieved January 1, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4747570
5. W.A. Resents Victories Call on Extra Players for the Carnival. (1933, August 9). The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950), p. 5 Edition: LATE CITY. Retrieved January 1, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article83400925
6. Unfair Football Carnival Arrangement. (1933, March 31). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954), p. 9. Retrieved January 1, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74012326
7. W.A. Beaten in Dramatic Game. (1933, August 5). The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950), p. 1 Edition: FINAL SPORTS EXTRA. Retrieved January 2, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article83403498
8. THE FOOTBALL CARNIVAL Victoria Wins Again South Fails in Final Term New South Wales Defeats Canberra Tasmania v. Victoria To-morrow. (1933, August 8). The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), p. 7. Retrieved January 2, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article24897489
9. The Age 10-Aug-1933 p5
10. TRAFFICKING IN FOOTBALLERS. (1933, August 1). The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950), p. 1 Edition: LATE CITY. Retrieved January 2, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article83408104
11. The Age 14-Aug-1933 p6
12. CARNIVAL COSTS. (1933, August 31). The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950), p. 2 Edition: LATE CITY. Retrieved December 30, 2012, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article83408849
13. FOOTBALL CARNIVAL IN SYDNEY. (1933, March 6). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954), p. 11. Retrieved January 2, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article74006332