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Interstate matches in Australian rules football

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Title: Interstate matches in Australian rules football  
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Interstate matches in Australian rules football

Players contest a mark at the 1933 Australian Football Carnival, at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The teams are Victoria and Tasmania. (Photographer: Sam Hood.)

Australian rules football matches between teams representing Australian colonies/states and territories have been held since 1879. For most of the 20th century, the absence of a national club competition and international matches meant that football games between state representative teams were regarded with great importance. Football historian John Devaney has argued that: "some of the state of origin contests which took place during the 1980s constituted arguably the finest expositions of the game ever seen."[1]


  • Description 1
  • History 2
    • Inter-State competition, 1879–1976 2.1
      • 1879–89 2.1.1
      • 1890–1907 2.1.2
      • 1908–18 2.1.3
      • 1919-76 2.1.4
    • State of Origin competition & results 1977–1999 2.2
    • Australian National Football Carnival 2.3
    • State of Origin Representative Teams 2.4
    • AFL Hall of Fame Tribute Match, 2008 2.5
  • Importance 3
  • Other interstate matches 4
    • E. J. Whitten Legends Game 4.1
    • Games between state leagues, 1991 to present 4.2
      • State League awards 4.2.1
      • State League Representative Match Results (1991–) 4.2.2
  • Interstate Aussie Rules in Popular Media 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Until 1976, interstate Australian rules football games were played by teams representing the major football leagues or organisations. From 1977 to 1999, players were generally selected under State of Origin selection rules and they were chosen mostly from the Australian Football League (AFL). Since 2000, all matches have been between teams representing the second-tier state or territorial leagues. Players from the AFL no longer take part in interstate matches.

The matches have mostly been held on a stand-alone basis. However, an Australian Football Carnival, a national championship series, held in either one or two cities, took place between 1908 and 1993, usually at three year intervals. Teams which have taken part have included a combined Australian Amateurs team, Australian Capital Territory (ACT), New South Wales (NSW), NSW-ACT, New Zealand (NZ; 1908 carnival only), Northern Territory, Queensland (Qld), Qld-NT, South Australia (SA), Tasmania (Tas), Victoria (Vic), the Victorian Football League (VFL), the Victorian Football Association (VFA) and Western Australia (WA). The Allies, a combined team representing the states and territories other than the three major Australian rules states — South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia — also took part in State of Origin games during the 1990s.

Between 1937 and 1988 the player judged the best at each of these carnivals was awarded the Tassie Medal.

Between 1953 and 1988, the selection of All Australian Teams was based on players' performance during Australian Football Carnivals, and the team was named after each carnival concluded.


Inter-State competition, 1879–1976


As the birthplace of Australian rules, and with advantages of population and finances, Victoria dominated the first hundred years of intercolonial and interstate football. This was the case in the first ever interstate game, held on Tuesday, 1 July 1879 (a public holiday), at East Melbourne Cricket Ground. The final score was Victoria (represented by the VFA) 7.14 to South Australia 0.3. The match was attended by more than 10,000 people.

The third and fourth teams to commence intercolonial competition were New South Wales and Queensland, playing each other in a two-game series in Brisbane in 1884; the result of the series was a one-all draw. Tasmania played its first game, against Victoria, in 1887. New Zealand entered the competition with a victory over NSW in Sydney, in 1889.


Victoria's long-term dominance briefly faltered in the 1890s, when other Colonies recorded their first ever wins over the Victoria: South Australia in Adelaide in 1890 and 1891 and Tasmania in Hobart in 1893 (twice). In 1897, the VFL split from the VFA and the two selected separate representative teams, further weakening Victoria in intercolonial competition, which became interstate competition following Federation of the six British colonies in Australia, in 1901.

Western Australia played its first two interstate games in 1904, including a win over SA in Adelaide.


The VFL's dominance, at least within Victoria, was established by the time an interstate carnival was held for the first time — in Melbourne in 1908 — to celebrate the

This impression was reiterated by the 1911 Carnival, in Adelaide, which also set the pattern of a carnival every three years. Victoria only lost one game, against SA. At the Sydney carnival of 1914, Victoria was once again undefeated. Following the onset of World War I interstate matches went into a five-year hiatus.


During this period interstate matches were held every year, and interstate carnivals were held usually every 3 years, with a few exceptions. Carnivals were contested by the full members of the Australian National Football Council: Victoria (VFL); South Australia; Western Australia; Tasmania; Queensland; New South Wales; Canberra (from 1933 onwards); the Australian Amateur Football Council (from 1950 onwards); and the Victorian Football Association (from 1950–1966). In most carnivals, the stronger states competed separately from the minor states; and on many occasions the stronger states and minor states carnivals were held in separate locations or years. At the peak of its popularity, the carnival was known symbolically as "the Ashes" of Australian rules football.[2][3]

Victoria (VFL) continued its dominance in interstate football by winning 15 of the 17 carnivals held during this time, and usually winning the individual matches held every year.

State of Origin competition & results 1977–1999

Map of Australia with each state shaded in that state's main jumper colour.

By the 1970s, VFL clubs were signing up an increasing number of the best players from other states and Victoria dominated state games. West Australians, led by the marketing manager of the Subiaco Football Club, Leon Larkin, began to campaign for players to be selected according to state-of-origin rules. The West Australian Football League (WAFL) negotiated with the VFL for two years before agreement was reached on the format.

In the first such game, at Subiaco Oval in Perth, on 8 October 1977, Western Australia defeated Victoria, 23.13 (151) to 8.9 (57), a huge reversal of the results in most previous games. In the words of one football historian:

"A Western Australian team composed entirely of home-based players had, on 25 June, taken on a Victorian team containing many of the same players who would return to Perth three and a half months later for the state of origin clash. The respective scores of the two matches offered a persuasive argument, if such were needed, of the extent to which the VFL had denuded the WAFL of its elite talent:
  • On 25 June 1977 Victoria 23.16 (154) defeated Western Australia 13.13 (91) – a margin of 63 points
  • On 8 October 1977 Western Australia 23.13 (151) defeated Victoria 8.9 (57) – a margin of 94 points, representing an overall turn around of 157 points
Western Australia's previous biggest winning margin against a Victorian state team had been a mere 38 points in 1948. Almost overnight, an inferiority complex was dismantled: Victoria, it seemed, was not intrinsically superior, only wealthier."[4]

Games involving each of the other states soon followed. Western Australia and South Australia began to win more games against Victoria.

The State of Origin eligibility rules varied from game to game, and matches during the 1980s were sometimes played under partial, rather than full, State of Origin rules. This was in large part so that neutral leagues were not disrupted by a stand-alone game between two other states; e.g. VFL clubs would not lose access to interstate origin players on the weekend of a game between South Australia and Western Australia. For example, in the stand-alone 1982 match between South Australia and Victoria, a quota of up to six VFL players of South Australian origin, and no more than one from any VFL club, could play for South Australia; but otherwise, all SANFL and VFL players were eligible to play for South Australia and Victoria respectively – indeed Victoria fielded five VFL players of Western Australian origin in that match, including their captain, Mike Fitzpatrick.[5][6] Jason Dunstall and Terry Daniher, who were born in and recruited from Queensland and New South Wales respectively, both played several partial-origin matches for Victoria; and in a partial-origin match against Victoria in 1990, New South Wales was allowed to be represented by players of New South Welsh origin and any player who had played for the Sydney Swans.

A full interstate carnival under state-of-origin selection was held with success in October 1979 in Perth. A second carnival was held the following October in Adelaide, but were a financial disaster for the organisers, with only 28,245 people attending the four games. Following this series, the VFL decided to not participate in any future carnivals which put the future of the carnival concept in doubt.[7]

However, during the 1990s, following the emergence of a national club competition, the Australian Football League, state of origin games declined in importance. Due from clubs putting pressure on players to withdraw from games due to risk of injury there were an increasing number of withdrawals by AFL players.


Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Ground Crowd Date Time Broadcast Network
Victoria 17.19 (121) South Australia 10.7 (67) MCG 26,063 29 May 1999 2:00 PM Seven


Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Ground Crowd Date Time Broadcast Network
The Allies 14.11 (95) Victoria 22.16 (148) The Gabba 13,977 10 July 1998 7:00 PM Seven
South Australia 22.11 (143) Western Australia 16.11 (107) Football Park 18,204 11 July 1998 4:00 PM Seven


Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Ground Crowd Date Time Broadcast Network
South Australia 12.13 (85) Victoria 13.15 (93) Football Park 40,595 21 June 1997 8:00 PM Seven
Western Australia 16.12 (108) The Allies 18.8 (116) Subiaco Oval 16,795 20 June 1997 6:00 PM Seven


Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Ground Crowd Date Time Broadcast Network
South Australia 20.6 (126) Western Australia 13.13 (91) Football Park 16,722 2 June 1996 2:30 PM Seven
Victoria 20.17 (137) The Allies 11.18 (84) MCG 35,612 1 June 1996 2:10 PM Seven


Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Ground Crowd Date Time Broadcast Network
Victoria 18.12 (120) South Australia 8.9 (57) MCG 64,186 17 June 1995 2:00 PM Seven
Western Australia 8.13 (61) The Allies 13.14 (92) Subiaco Oval 15,722 18 June 1995 12:00 PM Seven


Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Ground Crowd Date Time Broadcast Network
South Australia 11.9 (75) Victoria 10.13 (73) Football Park 44,598 3 May 1994 8:00 PM Seven

1993 - State of Origin Carnival

Round Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Ground Crowd Date Time Broadcast Network
Section One - Semi Final Victoria 19.16 (130) New South Wales/ACT 8.17 (65) MCG 22,409 1 June 1993 7:00 PM Seven
Section One - Semi Final South Australia 19.13 (127) Western Australia 14.7 (91) Football Park 21,487 2 June 1993 8:00 PM Seven
Section Two - Final Tasmania 10.13 76) Queensland/NT 16.14 (110) Bellerive Oval 9,660 6 June 1993 12:00 PM Seven
Section One - Final Victoria 14.13 (97) South Australia 16.13 (109) MCG 31,792 5 June 1993 2:30 PM Seven


Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Ground Crowd Date Time Broadcast Network
New South Wales 22.9 (141) Queensland 6.12 (48) SCG 7,223 12 May 1992 7:00 PM Seven
Victoria 23.19 (157) Western Australia 13.12 (90) MCG 32,152 26 May 1992 7:00 PM Seven
South Australia 19.19 (133) Victoria 18.12 (120) Football Park 33,984 7 July 1992 12:00 PM Seven


Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Ground Crowd Date Time Broadcast Network
Tasmania 14.20 (104) Victoria 2nd XVIII 17.14 (116) North Hobart Oval 16,000 28 May 1991 12:00 PM Seven
South Australia 11.4 (70) Victoria 12.14 (86) Football Park 37,277 28 May 1991 8:00 PM Seven
Queensland 23.14 (152) Victoria 2nd XVIII 15.8 (108) Gabba 8,519 16 July 1991 12:00 PM Seven
Western Australia 19.13 (127) Victoria 7.9 (51) WACA 24,397 16 July 1991 12:00 PM Seven
Western Australia 17.20 (122) South Australia 11.12 (78) Subiaco Oval Seven


Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Ground Crowd Date Time Broadcast Network
New South Wales 13.8 (86) Victoria 10.16 (76) SCG 13,482 22 May 1990 8:30 PM Seven
Tasmania 20.14 (134) Victoria 14.17 (101) North Hobart Oval 18,649 24 June 1990 12:00 PM Seven
Western Australia 8.12 (60) Victoria 14.13 (97) WACA 21,897 26 June 1990 6:30 PM Seven
South Australia 17.19 (122) Western Australia 14.16 (100) Football Park Seven


Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Ground Crowd Date Time Broadcast Network
Western Australia 10.12 (72) Victoria 19.12 (126) WACA 20,993 16 May 1989 12:00 PM Seven
Victoria 22.17 (149) South Australia 9.9 (63) MCG 91,960 1 July 1989 2:10 PM Seven
Tasmania 15.7 (107) Victoria 2nd XVIII 25.13 (163) North Hobart Oval 12,342 2 July 1989 12:00 PM Seven

1988 Adelaide Bicentennial State of Origin Carnival

Round Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Ground Crowd Date
Section Two - Preliminary Stage Northern Territory 19.20 (134) Tasmania 10.8 (68) Football Park - 2 March 1988
Section Two - Preliminary Stage Australian Amateurs 14.12 (96) ACT 12.11 (83) Football Park - 2 March 1988
Section One - Semi Final Victoria 20.13 (133) Western Australia 10.13 (73) Football Park 5,195 2 March 1988
Section Two - Preliminary Stage VFA 17.10 (112) Queensland 4.11 (35) Football Park - 3 March 1988
Section Two - Preliminary Stage Northern Territory 11.19 (85) Australian Amateurs 8.9 (57) Football Park - 3 March 1988
Section One - Semi Final South Australia 12.8 (80) New South Wales 8.11 (59) Football Park 5,755 3 March 1988
Section Two - Semi Final VFA 18.20 (128) ACT 9.16 (70) Norwood Oval - 4 March 1988
Section Two - Wooden Spoon Play Off Tasmania 11.16 (82) Queensland 10.10 (70) Norwood Oval - 4 March 1988
Section Two - Final Northern Territory 17.10 (112) VFL 9.13 (63) Football Park - 5 March 1988
Section One - 3rd Place Play Off New South Wales 10.8 (68) Western Australia 9.12 (66) Football Park 5 March 1988
Section One - Final South Australia 15.12 (102) Victoria 6.6 (42) Football Park 19,387 5 March 1988
Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Ground Crowd Date
Western Australia 15.9 (99) Victoria 21.23 (149) Subiaco Oval 23,006 5 July 1988
South Australia 17.17 (119) Western Australia 11.13 (79) Football Park 24 May 1988
Western Australia 18.14 (122) South Australia 17.13 (115) BC Place Stadium


Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Ground Crowd Date
South Australia 12.13 (85) Victoria 11.15 (81) Football Park 41,605 27 May 1987
Western Australia 13.14 (92) Victoria 16.20 (116) Subiaco Oval 22,000 22 July 1987
Western Australia 9.9 (63) South Australia 18.16 (124) WACA Ground


Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Ground Crowd Date
South Australia 18.17 (125) Victoria 17.13 (115) Football Park 43,143 13 May 1986
Western Australia 21.11 (137) Victoria 20.14 (134) Subiaco Oval 39,863 8 July 1986
Western Australia 18.19 (127) South Australia 12.16. (88) Football Park


Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Ground Crowd Date
South Australia 11.10 (76)* Victoria 20.13 (133) Football Park 44,287 14 May 1985
Western Australia 16.15 (111) South Australia 30.18 (198) Subiaco Oval 15 June 1985
Western Australia 9.11 (65) Victoria 19.16 (130) Subiaco Oval 38,000 16 July 1985

The match between South Australia and Victoria was awarded to South Australia on protest, as a result of Victoria playing with four interchange players instead of the permitted three.[8]


Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Ground Crowd Date
South Australia 16.8 (104) Victoria 16.12 (108) Football Park 52,719 15 May 1984
Western Australia 21.16 (142) Victoria 21.12 (138) Subiaco Oval 42,500 17 July 1984
South Australia 14.13 (97) Western Australia 14.14 (98) Football Park 26,649


Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Ground Crowd Date
South Australia 26.16 (172) Victoria 17.14 (116) Football Park 42,521 16 May 1983
Western Australia 16.22 (118) Victoria 16.19 (115) Subiaco Oval 44,213 12 July 1983


Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Ground Crowd Date
South Australia 18.19 (127) Victoria 21.13 (139) Football Park 40,399 17 May 1982
Western Australia 15.11 (101) Victoria 19.10 (124) Subiaco Oval 29,182 13 July 1982
South Australia 29.23 (197) Western Australia 12.9 (81) Football Park 27,283
Western Australia 21.18 (144) South Australia 8.5 (53) Subiaco Oval


Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Ground Crowd Date
Western Australia 16.23 (119) Victoria 13.12 (90) Subiaco Oval 26,000 27 May 1981
Tasmania 16.12 (108) Victoria 31.20 (206) North Hobart Oval 6,349 4 July 1981
Queensland 12.18 (90) Victoria 32.29 (221) Gabba 9,000 12 July 1981


Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Ground Crowd Date
Victoria 18.15 (123) Western Australia 15.12 (102) VFL Park 31,467 5 July 1980
Queensland 16.10 (106) Victoria 2nd XVIII 28.18 (186) Gabba 16,000 6 July 1980
ACT 13.17 (95) Victoria 3rd XVIII 11.16 (82) Manuka Oval 10,600 6 July 1980
Western Australia 21.30 (156) South Australia 10.9 (69) Subiaco Oval

1980 Adelaide State of Origin Carnival

Round Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Ground Crowd Date
Semi Final 1 South Australia 22.18 (150) Tasmania 8.13 (61) Football Park 10,666 11 October 1980
Semi Final 2 Victoria 14.20 (104) Western Australia 9.15 (69) Football Park 10,666 (double-header) 11 October 1980
3rd Place Final Western Australia 17.23 (125) Tasmania 12.18 (90) Football Park 17,579 13 October 1980
Grand Final Victoria 15.12 (102) South Australia 12.13 (85) Football Park 17,579 (double-header) 13 October 1980


Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Ground Crowd Date
South Australia 6.13 (49) Victoria 15.20 (110) Football Park 32,054 21 May 1979
Tasmania 8.14 (62) Victoria 26.21 (177) North Hobart Oval 12,197 18 June 1979

1979 Perth State of Origin Carnival

Round Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Ground Crowd Date
Section 1 Qualification Play Off Tasmania 17.20 (122) Queensland 13.12 (90) Perth Oval - 4 October 1979
Section 1 Semi Final 1 Western Australia 23.33 (171) Tasmania 9.10 (64) Subiaco Oval - 6 October 1979
Section 1 Semi Final 2 Victoria 25.30 (180) South Australia 20.15 (135) Subiaco Oval 15,186 6 October 1979
Section 2 Final Queensland 23.13 (151) ACT 18.12 (120) Leederville Oval - 7 October 1979
Section 1 3rd Place Playoff South Australia 22.20 (152) Tasmania 17.11 (113) Subiaco Oval - 8 October 1979
Section 1 Final Western Australia 17.21 (123) Victoria 16.12 (108) Subiaco Oval 30,876 8 October 1979


Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Ground Crowd Date
Tasmania 18.6 (114) Victoria 25.11 (161) North Hobart Oval 16,776 10 June 1978
Victoria 25.13 (163) Western Australia 8.15 (63) VFL Park 45,192 10 July 1978
ACT 12.11 (83) Victoria 21.21 (147) Manuka Oval 10,300 11 June 1978
Western Australia 14.17 (101) Victoria 17.13 (115) Subiaco Oval 30,195 7 October 1978


Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Ground Crowd Date
Western Australia 13.12 (90) Victoria 23.16 (154) Subiaco Oval 44,891 25 June 1977
Western Australia 23.13 (151) Victoria 8.9 (57) Subiaco Oval 25,467 8 October 1977

Australian National Football Carnival

For most of the 20th Century there was a National Football Carnival held usually every 3 to 5 years. Some of the carnivals the format would be qualification matches at the start of the tournament, with the winners playing off in a Final. And other Carnivals the format was a Round-Robin format, with a points system, and the team with most amount of points at the end of the tournament declared the winner.

State of Origin Representative Teams

Logo Club Nickname Years Matches States Represented Awards
Allies Allies 1995-1998 4 Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales
Northern Territory
Alex Jesaulenko Medal
Australian Amateurs
Australian Amateurs
Amateurs 1988 2 All ?
Australian Capital Territory
Australian Capital Territory
? 1978-1988 5 Australian Capital Territory ?
New South Wales Blues 1988-1992 4 New South Wales ?
New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory
Rams 1993 1 New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory
Northern Territory
Northern Territory
Thunder 1988 3 Northern Territory ?
Queensland Maroons 1979–1993 9 Queensland ?
South Australia Croweaters 1979–1999 24 South Australia Fos Williams Medal (1981-1999)
Tasmania Devils 1978–1993 14 Tasmania Lefroy Medal
Victoria Big V 1979–1999 53 Victoria E. J. Whitten Medal
? 1988 3 Victoria ?
Western Australia Sandgropers 1979–1998 28 Western Australia Simpson Medal
Graham Moss Medal

AFL Hall of Fame Tribute Match, 2008

No official State of Origin matches were held between 1999 and 2008. In 2008, the concept made a return, to celebrate 150 years of Australian football. In spite of lobbying for three or more games, involving at least six different teams, or even an Interstate Carnival, one all-star game was played in 2008. The sides competing were Victoria and a "Dream Team", representing the rest of Australia and the world.

Home team Home team score Away team Away team score Ground Crowd Date Time Broadcast Network
Victoria 21.11 (137) Dream Team 18.12 (120) MCG 69,294 2008; May 10 7:40 PM Ten


At its peak, interstate matches were among the most important events on the annual football calendar in South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania. The crowds drawn to interstate matches in those states regularly dwarfed home-and-away crowds, and at times throughout history would match or exceed Grand Final attendances. In Perth, interstate matches at the 1921 carnival, in 1929, and at the 1937 carnival successively set records as the Western Australia's highest ever sports crowd; the crowd of 40,000 drawn to that 1937 match was more than 10,000 higher than any previous Western Australian crowd,[9] and almost double the record club Grand Final crowd at that time. Likewise in Tasmania, carnival fixtures in 1924,[10] 1947[11] and 1966 each set new Tasmanian state football attendance records,[12] and the 1966 carnival crowd of 23,764 remains the third-highest football attendance in Tasmania's history. State of Origin matches in 1980s in South Australia and Western Australia regularly drew crowds between 30,000 and 50,000, on par with Grand Finals in those states during that era; and interstate matches in Tasmania, even those against minor states, consistently drew crowds which either exceeded or were second only to the Grand Final attendances.[13]

Interstate football was less popular in Victoria than it was in the other states. A match in Victoria in 1989, between Victoria and South Australia set the national interstate football record crowd of 91,960, with 10,000 people turned away at the gate,[13] but other than that the largest crowds drawn to interstate games in Victoria were between 60,000 and 70,000,[14] on par with some large home-and-away games but lower than a typical finals attendance. At its worst, interstate games in Victoria during the 1930s could sometimes fail to draw 10,000 spectators – less than the average home-and-away crowd – at a time when state record crowds were drawn to the matches elsewhere.[15] Eventually, due to these lower levels of public interest, less interstate football came to be played in Victoria: and between 1981 and 1988, when State of Origin football was at its peak, the Victorian team did not play a single match at home.[13] The primary reason for the difference in popularity between Victoria and the other states was the Victorian team's historical dominance for most of interstate football. Particularly during the pre-State of Origin era, the Victorian team was always expected to win and regularly won easily; therefore, Victorian spectators were disinclined to attend matches because there was little pride on offer for victory and a high chance of a one-sided contest.[16][17] The record crowd of 91,960 drawn in Melbourne in 1989 came after South Australia had beaten Victoria three years in a row, demonstrating that Victorian fans were willing to embrace interstate football when the rivalry and contests were closely fought.[13] Additionally, differences in supporter culture between the states meant that club football and club parochialism had much greater importance in Victoria than in the other states.[18]

Amongst the competing states, the rivalry with Victoria was the strongest. Victoria's long-term dominance of interstate football created a culture of disdain towards it; as a result the most popular games always involved Victoria, and beating Victoria was considered the pinnacle of interstate football in South Australia and Western Australia.[19] South Australia's rivalry towards Victoria was characterised during the 1980s with the slogan "Kick a Vic".[20]

Players from all states, including Victoria, viewed selection and participation in interstate football with great importance. Ted Whitten, who was widely noted for his involvement in and passion for the Victorian team described how "the players would walk on glass to wear the Victorian jumper".[21] Graham Cornes, well known for his involvement in the South Australian team, always spoke equally proudly of the experience of representing his state.[22] John Platten, a highly decorated player, described a drought breaking victory playing for South Australia, over Victoria, as one of his proudest football moments.[23]

Other interstate matches

E. J. Whitten Legends Game

Following the death of E. J. Whitten Legends Game was played at Whitten Oval in 1996, and it has become an annual event. The games have often attracted crowds of over 10,000, and this has resulted in it being moved from the Whitten Oval to Optus Oval, to Adelaide Oval (South Australia) and finally to Etihad Stadium.

Games between state leagues, 1991 to present

With the advent of interstate teams into the expanding VFL and its eventual re-badging and change to a national league in 1990, the state leagues would undertake steps to ensure that representative football would not be reserved solely for those players in the Australian Football League. State League Representative matches would allow those players participating in competitions that would be, in later years, categorised as second-tier leagues, to be selected for interstate duties. While State of Origin would continue for several more years with pre-dominantly AFL-listed players, this format would for many players, become the pinnacle of their football careers outside of playing in a premiership. For the most part during the ensuing years between the inception of State League and the end of Origin, it was the South Australian and Western Australian leagues championing the concept with the two leagues facing off many times. The other state leagues did take part in the concept, but on a far more limited basis. The Queensland, ACT and Tasmanian competitions featured on several occasions, the New South Wales league made scattered appearances while the Northern Territory was far less featured on the interstate stage mainly due to their domestic league being played in a different part of the year. Meetings between those competitions and the SANFL or WAFL were a rare occurrence.

The Victorian Football Association eventually made some appearances of their own at state league level from 1994, but also didn't have meetings against South Australia or Western Australia for a few years. Eventually, after a re-structure of that competition in 1996 which saw them adopt the name of the VFL, they would face the SANFL on the MCG in the curtain raiser to what would be the swansong of State of Origin football in 1999. From this day onwards, interstate football would become the domain of the leagues that underpin the AFL. In the years following, the participation of the "non-traditional" football states was not as high as that of SA, WA or Victoria. Queensland and the ACT continued to play a part, while Tasmania's football system was split in half between north and south, as well as the state team being replaced by a club entered into the VFL in 2001. The "Big 3" in the SANFL, WAFL and the VFL would enter into an agreement in 2003 to adopt a program where they would play each other in a rotational system over every three years, which would see one state either sit out interstate football for one season or require said league to find alternative opposition.

Towards the end of the 2000s, the AFL by this time had control of the football administrations across the eastern states and the Northern Territory. Tasmania withdrew from the VFL and re-launched the statewide Tasmanian State League competition in 2009, then in 2011 the AFL created the North East Australian Football League out of established state league teams from NSW, ACT, Queensland and the NT as well as reserves sides from the four AFL clubs within those regions. With this, the representative football calendar would virtually encompass all of Australia. At first the NEAFL's conference system would allow two representative sides with Queensland and the Northern Territory making up the Northern conference team and the NSW & ACT combination forming the Eastern conference side. A couple of years later, the NEAFL would be represented by a single team. How this arrangement fits into the individual state league schedules is still being worked on, but it has largely not disrupted the existing arrangements undertaken by the traditional football states. In fact, what would normally have been a "bye" year for the SANFL, WAFL or VFL allows them to instead play the NEAFL or the TSL.

Under this arrangement, the leagues of NSW (AFL Sydney), ACT (AFL Canberra) and Queensland (QAFL) were practically relegated to third-tier status behind the NEAFL and as a result any representative matches involving opposition outside of these territories have involved Amateur-level leagues.

State League awards

The State League Representative matches, like State of Origin, have individual best on ground medals as well.

State League Representative Match Results (1991–)

Teams in Bold represent the home team.

Year Result Venue
1991 WAFL 17.20 (122) def. SANFL 11.12 (78) Subiaco Oval
1992 SANFL 9.18 (72) def. WAFL 9.12 (66) Football Park
1993 WAFL 15.20 (110) def. SANFL 13.8 (86) WACA Ground
TFL 11.8 (74) def. QLD 9.10 (64) Bellerive Oval
1994 AFL-NT 15.13(103) def. VFA 12.8 (80) Melbourne
WAFL 10.14 (74) def. SANFL 7.18 (60) Football Park
QLD 18.18 (126) def. TFL 10.10 (70) Brisbane
1995 AFL-NT 11.11 (77) def. ACT 9.16 (70) Canberra
TFL 14.15 (99) def. SANFL 12.12 (84) North Hobart Oval
WAFL 14.14 (98) def. QLD 8.17 (65) Brisbane
VFA 16.15 (111) def. NSW 2.7 (19) Melbourne
1996 VFL 15.18 (108) def. TFL 13.8 (86) Melbourne
SANFL 15.20 (110) def. WAFL 6.9 (45) Subiaco Oval
1997 SANFL 13.17 (95) def. ACT 8.5 (53) Canberra
VFL 11.25 (91) def. ACT 10.6 (66) Canberra
1998 SANFL 17.13 (115) def. WAFL 10.10 (70) Football Park
TFL 13.10 (88) def. VFL 6.17 (53) North Hobart Oval
1999 SANFL 12.11 (83) def. VFL 8.11 (59) MCG
ACT 9.11 (65) def. NSW 9.6 (60) Sydney
WAFL 20.12 (132) def. TSFL 10.14 (74) Kalgoorlie
2000 SANFL 15.17 (107) def. WAFL 8.17 (65) Adelaide Oval
2001 SANFL 20.14 (134) def. VFL 14.12 (96) Adelaide Oval
2002 VFL 18.17 (125) def. SANFL 10.9 (69) Adelaide Oval
WAFL 24.15 (159) def. QLD 6.12 (48) Fremantle Oval
2003 SANFL 17.16 (118) def. WAFL 8.10 (58) Fremantle Oval
QLD 10.9 (69) def. ACT 5.13 (43) The Gabba
2004 VFL 10.9 (69) def. WAFL 8.10 (58) Leederville Oval
QLD 10.11 (71) def. ACT 8.9 (57) Manuka Oval
2005 SANFL 20.8 (128) def. VFL 18.16 (124) TEAC Oval
WAFL 18.21 (129) def. QLD 11.5 (71) Carrara Oval
QLD 18.14 (122) def. ACT 12.12 (84) Manuka Oval
2006 SANFL 14.14 (98) def. WAFL 12.9 (81) Adelaide Oval
2007 VFL 25.11 (161) def. WAFL 5.12 (42) TEAC Oval
ACT 16.11 (107) def. NSW 14.9 (93) Manuka Oval
QLD 13.7 (85) def. TAS 10.14 (74) York Park
2008 SANFL 25.11 (161) def. VFL 14.12 (96) Adelaide Oval
WAFL 24.20 (164) def. QLD 14.7 (97) Tony Ireland Stadium
2009 WAFL 12.10 (82) def. SANFL 12.9 (81) Leederville Oval
TSL 20.9 (129) def. QLD 11.14 (80) Bellerive Oval
2010 VFL 20.11 (131) def. WAFL 11.11 (77) Leederville Oval
QLD 23.26 (164) def. TSL 13.7 (85) Fankhauser Reserve
2011 WAFL 16.17 (113) def. QLD/NT (NEAFL North) 16.11 (107) Rushton Park
2012 SANFL 15.11 (101) def. WAFL 13.9 (87) Glenelg Oval
VFL 20.17 (137) def. TSL 3.11 (29) Bellerive Oval
QLD/NT (NEAFL North) 31.15 (201) def. NSW/ACT (NEAFL East) 8.8 (56) Fankhauser Reserve
2013 SANFL 21.14 (140) def. QLD/NT (NEAFL North) 9.4 (58) Richmond Oval
WAFL 17.16 (118) def. VFL 15.11 (101) Jubilee Oval
TSL 15.11 (101) def. NSW/ACT (NEAFL East) 8.13 (61) Skoda Stadium
2014 WAFL 19.18 (132) def. NEAFL 6.11 (47) Blacktown ISP Oval
SANFL 18.10 (118) def. VFL 14.12 (96) North Port Oval
TSL 18.12 (120) def. NEAFL 11.13 (79) Bellerive Oval
2015 WAFL 18.13 (121) def. SANFL 11.10 (76) Lathlain Park
NEAFL 11.11 (77) def. TSL 8.9 (57) Moreton Bay Sports Complex

Interstate Aussie Rules in Popular Media

Greg Champion performed a song called Don't Let The Big V Down, after the traditional navy blue jumper with a large white V used to represent Victoria in such games. It tells the story of a young man playing his first game for the State, when he's approached by a man who advises him to not "let the Big V down, not when EJ's around". Don't Let The Big V Down -

Greg Champion also performed a song called Came From Adelaide. About two people watching a game between South Australia & Victoria, when one of them turns to the other and says those Croweaters just can't play, and the other person replies that just isn't true, South Australians are great as I'm about to tell you. Came From Adelaide -


  1. ^ "Interstate Football". 
  2. ^ "Carnival champions – presentation of the Ashes". Daily Herald (Adelaide, SA). p. 9. 
  3. ^ "Victoria's football ashes". Barrier Daily Truth (Broken Hill, NSW). 11 August 1947. p. 6. 
  4. ^ "WestCoast - Part One: 1881 to 1985". 
  5. ^ Carter, Ron (17 May 1982). "Flower in Doubt". The Age. p. 26.  In addition to Fitzpatrick, the other Western Australians named to play for Victoria were Ross Glendinning, Ken Hunter, Robert Wiley and Tony Buhagiar.
  6. ^ Dunn, Jack (11 May 1982). "Eight new boys get the Big V". The Sun News-Pictorial (Final ed.) (Melbourne, VIC). p. 74. 
  7. ^ Poat, Peter (1981). Football Register (19th ed.). Morley, Western Australia: Westralian Publishers and Associates. pp. 212–213. 
  8. ^ "League sacks Victoria". The Canberra Times (Canberra, ACT). 17 June 1985. p. 28. 
  9. ^ "Football carnival". The West Australian (Perth, WA). 16 August 1937. p. 15. 
  10. ^ "Large Hobart crowd". The West Australian (Perth, WA). 1 October 1946. p. 5. 
  11. ^ "Victoria wins carnival premiership". The Mercury (Hobart, TAS). 11 August 1947. p. 17. 
  12. ^ Kevin Hogan (13 June 1966). "Battle for VFA". The Sun News-Pictorial (Melbourne, VIC). p. 31. 
  13. ^ a b c d Greg Baum (3 July 1989). "Fans united on Big V day". The Sun News-Pictorial (Melbourne, VIC). p. 85. 
  14. ^ Tony de Bolfo; Justin Brasier (1 July 1989). "Blockbuster". The Sun News=Pictorial (Melbourne, VIC). p. 84. 
  15. ^ J. M. Rohan (7 August 1935). "A big football problem". The Sporting Globe (Melbourne, VIC). pp. 1, 8. 
  16. ^ Kevin Hogan (7 July 1958). "Good meat – but no salt". The Sun News-Pictorial (Melbourne, VIC). p. 44. 
  17. ^ P. J. Millard (22 April 1936). "Thankful for no Interstate Match". The Sporting Globe (Melbourne, VIC). p. 8. 
  18. ^ "Is break in League programme justified?". The Sporting Globe (Melbourne, VIC). 22 August 1934. p. 8. 
  19. ^ [6]
  20. ^ [7]
  21. ^ [8]
  22. ^ [9]John Platten
  23. ^ [10]

External links

  •, "Interstate Football"
  • Convict Creations State of Origin
  • AFL Statistics
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