1920 Grand Final details

Richmond 1.2 2.5 4.7 7.10 52
Collingwood 1.2 1.2 3.4 5.5 35

Goals: Don 2, Weatherill, Harley, H James, W James, Hall.
Best: Hislop, H.James, Hall, Moffatt, Herbert, Smith, Thorp, Hede.

The 1920 premiership team

Backs R Hede V Thorp E Taylor
Half Backs J Smith M Hislop G Parkinson
Centres S Morris F Hughes R Carew
Half Forwards D Don R Weatherill F Harley
Forwards H James D Minogue W James
Ruck B Herbert D Moffatt  
Rover C Hall    
Coach Dan Minogue    

1920 Grand Final review

This game was played in fine weather before a crowd of 53,908 people. Richmond went into this game as slight favorites. Both teams were missing their champion full-forwards, Bayliss from Richmond, who was ill and Lee from Collingwood, injured. Richmond skipper, Dan Minogue who was also ill moved himself to full-forward to cover this loss; however, the move proved unsuccessful. Richmond won the toss and kicked with the wind. The Tigers started in a far more determined manner than Collingwood, with revenge for the previous year a prime motivator. The first quarter was very even with scores level at the first change. The Richmond defence led by Max Hislop prevented Collingwood from scoring in the second quarter when they had the wind. This proved to be a crucial period of the game as Richmond went to the long break with a 9-point lead after a fiercely fought first half. Early goals in the third quarter to Harley and Don ensured Richmond maintained their 9-point led at three-quarter time.

Richmond attacked early in the last quarter before Donald Don goaled after 3 successive points. Robert Weatherill followed soon after and the Tigers were well on their way to their first Premiership. Two late goals to Collingwood were answered when Richmond’s first gamer Bill James, ran in to kick the last goal of the match and signal the beginning of Premiership celebrations. This victory proved that Richmond had learned from the 1919 defeat. Instead of trying to outmuscle the Magpies, they kicked into the open spaces, allowing their superior pace and skill to keep the game open and flowing.

After the game, champion player Bernie Herbert shouted to the excited Richmond crowd, “What did we do?” The crowd replied, “we ate’em alive.” Thus a famous club catch-cry was born. Collingwood later complained that the loss of Dick Lee had disadvantaged their side more than Bayliss did for Richmond. Richmond officials dismissed this statement as sour grapes. 

VFL records show that George Bayliss won VFL Competition Goal kicking award for the 1920 season.