The A-League is a professional men's soccer league run by Football Federation Australia. At the top of the Australian league system, it is the country's primary competition for the sport; the A-League was established in 2004 as a successor to the National Soccer League and competition commenced in August 2005. The league is contested by ten teams, it is known as the Hyundai A-League through a sponsorship arrangement with the Hyundai Motor Company. Seasons run from October to May and include a 27-round regular season followed by a Finals Series playoff involving the highest-placed teams, culminating in a grand final match; the winner of the regular season tournament is dubbed the'premier' while the winner of the grand final is the season's'champion'. This differs from the other major football codes in Australia, where'premier' refers to the winner of the grand final and the winner of the regular season is the'minor premier'. Successful A-League clubs gain qualification into the continental competition, the Asian Football Confederation Champions League known as "AFC Champions League".
Similar to the United States and Canada's Major League Soccer, as well as other professional sports leagues in Australia, Australia's A-League does not practice promotion and relegation. Since the league's inaugural season, a total of six clubs have been crowned A-League Premiers and five clubs have been crowned A-League Champions; the current premier is Perth Glory. The current champions are Melbourne Victory, who won the 2018 A-League Grand Final, equaling the record of four domestic titles held by Marconi Stallions, South Melbourne, Sydney City; the A-League does not recognize the history of its predecessor, the National Soccer League, the nations premier football competition from 1977 to 2004. A national round-robin tournament existed in various forms prior to the formation of the A-League, with the most notable being the National Soccer League; the formation of the NSL came after Australia's qualification for the 1974 FIFA World Cup, which led to discussion of a national league, with 14 teams chosen to participate in the inaugural season of the NSL in 1977.
Under the guidance of the then-governing body, the Australian Soccer Federation, the NSL flourished through the 1980s and early 1990s but fell into decline with the increasing departure of Australian players to overseas leagues, a disastrous television deal with the Seven Network and the resulting lack of sponsorship. Few clubs continued to grow with Sydney Olympic, Perth Glory, the newly established Adelaide United the exception in a dying league. In April 2003, the Australian Federal Government initiated the Independent Soccer Review Committee to investigate the governance and management of the sport in Australia, including that of the NSL. In December 2003, the Crawford Report found that the NSL was financially unviable, in response the chairman of the sports new governing body, Frank Lowy of Football Federation Australia, announced that a task force would be formed to create a new national competition as a successor to the NSL which dissolved at the conclusion of the 2003–04 season after 27 years of operation.
The A-League was announced in April 2004, as a successor to the NSL. Eight teams would be part of the new national competition, with one team from each city of Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, plus a New Zealand team and one from a remaining expressions of interest from either Melbourne or Sydney; the competition start date was set for August 2005. By June 2004, 20 submissions had been received and a month 12 consortiums sent in their final bids for the eight spots. Three bids were received from Melbourne, two each from Sydney and Brisbane, one from each of the remaining preferred cities and a bid from the New South Wales Central Coast city of Gosford. Over the next three months, each bid was reviewed and on 1 November 2004, the eight successful bidders and the major sponsor were revealed, for what would be known as the Hyundai A-League, with the Hyundai Motor Company unveiled as the official naming rights sponsor for the league; the eight founding teams for the league were Adelaide United, Central Coast Mariners, Melbourne Victory, Newcastle Jets, New Zealand Knights, Perth Glory, Queensland Roar and Sydney FC, with three former NSL clubs taking part, those being Adelaide United, Newcastle Jets and Perth Glory, as well as Queensland Roar and New Zealand Knights who were formed from NSL clubs Brisbane Lions and New Zealand Football Kingz.
Each club was given a five-year exclusivity deal in its own market as part of the league's "one-city, one-team" policy. This was intended to allow clubs to grow and develop an identity in their respective region without local competition. On 26 August 2005, 16 months after the demise of the NSL, the inaugural season of the A-League began; the first season would see Adelaide United win the premier's plate by seven points over Sydney FC with Central Coast and Newcastle filling the final two spots in the final series. In the final series, it was Sydney that took out the title after they defeated Central Coast by a Steve Corica goal to claim the first title on 5 March 2006. On 20 March 2007, it was announced that Wellington Phoenix would replace New Zealand Knights from the start of the 2007–08 season. Both Gold Coast United and North Queensland Fury joined the league in the 2009–10 season. On 12 June 2009, Melbourne Heart was awarded a licence to join the 2010–11 season. On 1 March 2011 North Queensland Fury's A-League licence was revoked for financial reasons.
On 29 February 2012, Gold Coast United had its licence revoked. On 4 April 2012 it was announced that a new We
A grand final is a game that decides a sports league's championship winning team, i.e. the conclusive game of a finals series. Synonymous with a championship game in North American sports, grand finals have become a significant part of Australian culture; the earliest competitions to feature a grand final were Australia's AFL and NRL. They influenced other competitions such as soccer's A-League, the National Basketball League, netball's Suncorp Super Netball and European rugby league's Super League to adopt grand finals as well. Most grand finals involve; the Anglo-Norman term "grand" to describe a sporting event, documented in England as "grand match" in 1836, was used in Australia from the 1850s. A steeplechase in England has been called the "Grand National Steeple Chase" since at least 1839. Use of the term in Australian Football dates back to the first organised and publicised match between Melbourne Grammar School and Scotch College on 7 August 1858 at Yarra Park, Melbourne; the game was advertised as the "grand football match" in the Melbourne Morning Herald and several other local newspapers.
In 1859, a "grand football match" was advertised in Richmond, Tasmania for St Patrick's Day on Friday 18 March. In The Argus of 1861, the Royal Caledonian Society of Melbourne invited clubs to compete in a "grand football-match", to be football's first trophy, the Caledonian Challenge Cup, however the match did not proceed until the following year; the earliest known event described as "grand" in Sydney was a cricket match in 1862. In the 1871 South Yarra Challenge Cup and Melbourne drew their three matches, but won their remaining matches; as head-to-head record was the only tiebreaker at that time, the team captains and the Cup organisers arranged a "grand match", as advertised in The Argus to decide the premiership. Carlton won by two goals to nil. A football premiership final appeared to be called a "grand final" only when the losers of a final were the minor premiers and they exercised the "right to challenge" the winners to a second premiership decider. Prior to 1898, the South Australian Football Association was awarded to the team that finished top of the end-of-season ladder placings.
In 1889, Norwood and Port Adelaide finished equal first, meaning a play off match was required to determine the premiers. In promoting the decider match, local press referred to the match as a "premiership match"; this was played on October 5, Norwood won the match 7.4 to 5.9. In 1894, Norwood and South Adelaide finished with a 13-5 record from their 18 matches; the match was fixed for October 6, despite a provision for 20 minute periods of extra time in the event of a draw at full time, the match was abandoned due to darkness with the scores level at 4.8 apiece. The SAFA fixed a replay for October 10, Labor Day: this was the first of seven grand final replays in elite Australian football history. Norwood won the replay 4.7 to South Adelaide 3.5 with a goal from Bos Daly. In the Victorian Football Association, Victoria's top level of senior football from 1877 until 1896, the premiership was awarded on the basis of the rostered premiership matches. However, the rules stipulated that where two or more teams finished equal on premiership points, a playoff match or matches would be scheduled amongst those teams to determine the premiers.
This was required in 1896, when South Melbourne and Collingwood finished level on top of the ladder with records of 14 wins and one draw. The playoff match between them, retrospectively treated as Victoria's first Grand Final, was won by Collingwood 6.9 – 5.10. There was one previous premiership playoff match during this time in the VFA between Melbourne and Geelong in 1878, but this match did not break a tie at the top of the ladder, as Geelong had a better win-loss record than Melbourne: the match was organized by the VFA to resolve a dispute between the two clubs. In 1897, when eight teams broke away from the VFA to form the VFL, the concept of finals football was high on the agenda, with teams buoyed by the success and attendances of the 1896 Grand Final. Over the following ten years, all top-level Australian football leagues adopted a finals structure. In 1931 the VFL adopted a system, the Page–McIntyre system, which ensured a grand final, the concept became entrenched; the New South Wales Rugby Football League experimented with a finals system in 1908, its inaugural year, but abandoned it the following season.
Finals were reintroduced in 1926, the premiership decider appeared to only be called a "grand final" if it involved the minor premiers. By the 1930s, the NSWRFL adopted the term "grand final" to describe the premiership decider. Up until 1954 a ` grand final' match was only held; the adoption of the VFL's Page–McIntyre system for the 1954 NSWRFL season meant for the first time grand finals would become necessary every season, so the term grand final has become used to describe all premiership deciders. The tradition is maintained by the present-day NRL National Rugby League; the term "Grand Final" was introduced to Europe in 1995 in a different sport—golf. In that year, the Challenge Tour, the official developmental tour for the European Tour, launched its season-ending Challenge Tour Grand Final. British rugby league would adopt the term in two years after the start of Super League; the Super League Grand Final has now become an accepted part of the British scene, the term'grand final'
Rugby Union Players' Association
The Rugby Union Players' Association is the representative body for professional rugby union players in Australia. It was formed in October 1995 in response to the professionalism of rugby; as soon as a player signs a Rugby contract in Australia they are offered the chance to become a RUPA member regardless of nationality. As of December 2015, all of Australia's professional and semi-professional Rugby players were RUPA members, including male and female professionals across Rugby Sevens and 15-a-side Rugby, totalling 400 players. RUPA provides support services for all past professional Rugby players, its members comprise the following: Players on the Australia national rugby union team Players for the country's five Super Rugby and Super W sides: the NSW Waratahs, Queensland Reds, Western Force and the Melbourne Rebels Players from Australia's Men's and Women's Rugby Sevens squads Players from the Buildcorp National Rugby Championship All past professional players in Australia since 1996 In August 1995, the ARU, NSWRU, QRU and the ACTRU agreed to support the establishment of a players’ association and to loan it $10,000.00 for set up costs and to allow it distribute television revenue.
The RUPA was established and the following month, an initial steering committee made of Tony Dempsey, Ewen McKenzie, George Gregan, Damien Smith, Mark Harthill, Tim Kava, Rod McCall and Rod Kafer was formed with Dempsey being elected President in December 1995. Dempsey remained as president until the end of 2009 when he resigned and was replaced by Omar Hassanein as acting chief. Greg Harris was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of RUPA in 2010, upon his departure in February 2015 Ross Xenos was appointed in his place. RUPA has a thirteen-person Executive led by President Benn Robinson and Chairman Bruce Hodgkinson SC. Full RUPA board as of 11 February 2016: Benn Robinson Bruce Hodgksinon SC Head of Denman Chambers Ross Xenos Matt Hodgson James Slipper Stephen Moore Bernard Foley Mike Harris Ed Jenkins Gemma Etheridge Adam Wallace-Harrison Shannon Parry Sally Fielke GM, Corporate Affairs at Sydney Airport RUPA's head office is based in Camperdown, New South Wales; as of May 2017, working out of the head office are: Ross Xenos, Rosemary Towner, Toby Duncan, Adrian Turner, Patrick Phibbs and Pete Fairbairn.
RUPA employ Player Development Managers based at the five Australian Super Rugby franchises, dealing with the players at their allocated franchise. As of May 2017, they are Robin Duff, Lachlan McBain, Matthew Smith and Cameron Yorke. RUPA's objectives are: Provision of an Association that promotes and advances Rugby in Australia Promotion and protection of the interests and safeguarding rights of members To secure and maintain freedom from unjust and unlawful rules and regulations affecting member's careers Assisting Members in securing employment Assisting Members in their study pursuits Obtaining member benefits To provide legal advice and legal assistance Election of Members as directors to the Boards of Directors of the ARU, ACTRU, NSWRU, QRU, VRU and WARU Boards RUPA engages in collective bargaining on behalf of its members with their employers. There have been three agreements: In October 1997 RUPA negotiated its first collective bargaining agreement with the ARU, NSWRU, QRU and ACTRU that provided a regulatory framework for the employment of professional rugby players in.
Key features of this collective bargaining agreement included: A minimum wage for Super 12 players and a standard player contract An increase in death and total disability insurance for players It established a joint committee on players’ safety and welfare and an 8-week lay off period each year for players A career training scheme to provide players with vocational and career skills after rugby was established Dispute resolution procedures A requirement that rugby bodies pay 25% of player generated revenue to players each year A second Collective Bargaining Agreement was implemented in April 2001 that expanded on the 1997 Agreement. Key features of this Agreement included: An increase in the players’ share of player generated revenue from 25% to 30% An increase in the average salary per player from $120,000 to $138,000 as well as an increase in minimum salary from $28,940 to $45,000 Revenue sharing in use of players’ signatures on memorabilia and increased protection of players’ images Career Training Scheme funding went from $110,000 to $550,000 A Third Collective Bargaining Agreement came into place in December 2004.
This agreement addressed issues surrounding player burnout, agent accreditation, occupational health and safety, compulsory tertiary educationas well as improvement of the employment conditions for all players. The RUPA Medal for Excellence is awarded annually to the Australian player, voted by his peers as having excelled both on and off the field during the season. All full-time professional players who are members of RUPA are eligible to vote; the inaugural winner was George Gregan in 2001. Gregan won the award three times in total, following up 2001 by winning the Medal for Excellence in 2004 and 2006 as well. Nathan Sharpe has won the Medal for Excellence a record four times, with George Smith and
AFL Sydney is an Australian rules football League, based in metropolitan Sydney, Australia. The AFL Sydney competition comprises 23 clubs playing across eight senior men’s divisions, three women’s divisions, a Master’s Division and two under 19 competitions in season 2018; the Sydney AFL began as the NSW Australian Football Association in 1903. In 1980 it became known as the "Sydney Football League", it was renamed the "Sydney AFL" in 1998 before a new name change for season 2009, "AFL Sydney". 11 clubs contested the opening season in 1903, with East Sydney taking out the first premiership with a 6-point win over North Shore. 100 years similar to the repeated result of the centenary cricket Test in 1977. Over the years many clubs have come and gone, with the turnover of teams continuing to the present day. By 1998 the league consisted of 7 teams – Balmain, Pennant Hills, North Shore, St George, East Sydney, Western Suburbs and Baulkham Hills. In 1999, Campbelltown returned to the Sydney AFL after a 3-year stint in AFL Canberra.
The Blues, as they were known, were an exceptionally strong club at the time and dominated the league in their first year back in Sydney. In the grand final, Campbelltown 18.5 were far too good for Balmain 13.13 to take out the premiership by 22 points. In 2000, after the AFL's reserve grade competition was abolished, the Swans fielded a team in the Sydney AFL, known as the Redbacks; this move didn't turn out to be successful, with the existing clubs unable to compete against full-time professional footballers who had far superior training resources. The games were one-sided, to the point where the rules were changed halfway through the season to allow other clubs to field an extra player against the Redbacks; the Redbacks elected not to compete in the finals. During the 2000 season, several Sydney AFL clubs had formed strategic alliances with clubs in the AFL; as part of this, some Sydney AFL clubs were to change their identity over the next few years. North Shore took on the Bombers nickname of Essendon.
St George renamed themselves the St George Crows and began wearing the navy and blue strip of Adelaide. But the biggest change in identity was Baulkham Hills, who changed their colours to blue and gold and took on the new name of the East Coast Eagles. Other clubs were to follow suit. Another change in 2000 was the merger of traditional powerhouse East Sydney with the University of NSW club to form the UNSW-Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs. In 2001, with the Redbacks concept having not been considered a success, the Swans entered an alliance with Port Melbourne in the VFL and fielded their reserves with Port Melbourne, they continued to field a Redbacks team for the next 2 years as a junior development and talent-spotting team. Instead it was North Shore who led from start to finish in 2001, although the grand final was tight the Bombers got critical goals when it mattered to record a 12.12 to 10.9 victory over Campbelltown. 2002 saw a resurgent Uni NSW-Eastern Suburbs team return to the top, despite a strong challenge from North Shore the Bulldogs finished the season as minor premiers.
But the Bulldogs would have to go the long way into the grand final after North Shore came from behind to beat them by 3 points in the major semi-final. But UNSW-ES bounced back to win the preliminary final and earn a grand final berth, something that no major-final loser has managed to do in the 4 years since. On grand final day, despite the bright sunshine and perfect conditions, no side was able to score for the first 17 minutes as the defences of both teams held tight, but it was to be North Shore that cracked, although they fought back in the third term to come into the last break only a few points behind, they never led. Instead, it was UNSW-ES who ran away with the game in the last quarter to record a 16.10 to 11.6 win and their first premiership since the merger. This was the last grand final to be played at Macquarie University; the Redbacks withdrew from the Sydney AFL in 2003 and the competition was reduced to 8 teams. North Shore got the season off to a flying start and were undefeated for the first 14 rounds, the Bombers losing only 2 home & away games all season.
Campbelltown returned to form early in the season, but after being badly beaten by North Shore at Gore Hill in round 7 they fell away and only just scraped into the finals and have yet to make the finals since. Instead it was St George that came with reigning premiers UNSW-ES coming third. North Shore qualified first for the grand final. In the prelim final, St George were held goal-less in the second half and for the 4th year in a row had been defeated in the prelim final, and so the grand final in the league's centenary year, played at Monarch Oval in Campbelltown, would involve the same teams that played in the first grand final. And the result was to repeat. North Shore went in as the hottest of favourites, but poor kicking and excellent pressure from the Bulldogs saw them pull off a stunning upset. UNSW-ES 12.10 defeated North Shore 10.16, an exact repeat of the first Sydney AFL grand final. In 2004, the Sydney AFL adopted Henson Park as its finals venue. In years, the Marrickville ground which hosts the Newtown Jets in the NSW Rugby League would play a bigger role in Sydney football and be the venue for representative fixtures and night matches.
AFL Women's is Australia's national Australian rules football league for female players. The first season of the league began in February 2017 with 8 teams, expanded to 10 teams in the 2019 season, will expand to 14 teams in the 2020 season; the league is run by the Australian Football League and is contested by a subset of clubs from that competition. The reigning premiers are the Adelaide Crows. In 2010 the Australian Football League commissioned a report into the state of women's football around the country. Along with findings concerning grassroots and junior football, the report recommended the AFL Commission begin working toward the establishment of a national women's league. While the option of new stand-alone clubs was considered, a model utilising the resources and branding of existing AFL clubs was to be the preferred model for the planned league; the first on-field step towards the competition took place in 2013, when the AFL announced an exhibition match to be played between women's teams representing Melbourne and Western Bulldogs in June that year.
The historic match was won by Melbourne by 35 points. On 15 May 2013, the first women's draft was held, establishing the playing lists for the two clubs in the forthcoming exhibition match; the match was played on 29 June 2013 and marked the first time two women's sides had competed under the banners of AFL clubs. The exhibition series was repeated with one game between the clubs in 2014 and two in 2015, the last of which, played on 16 August 2015, was the first women's AFL game to be broadcast on free-to-air television, it attracted an average audience of 175,000 which outweighed the 114,000 average audience for the AFL men's clash between Adelaide and Essendon of the previous day. The success of these exhibition matches prompted the AFL to accelerate its plans for a nationwide women's competition, announcing a preferred start date of 2017. Prior to this, the league had announced only aspirational plans to have the women's competition established by 2020; the already-planned 2016 exhibition series was expanded at this time, with a total of ten matches to be played in venues across the country and featuring a range of new temporary representative teams.
In 2016, the AFL opened a process for existing clubs to tender applications to join the new competition. The eighteen clubs in the men's Australian Football League had until 29 April 2016 to place a bid for a licence, with thirteen clubs making bids; these were Adelaide, Carlton, Fremantle, Greater Western Sydney, North Melbourne, Richmond, St Kilda, West Coast and the Western Bulldogs. The AFL's preferred distribution of clubs was four clubs from Victoria and one each from New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia; the inaugural teams were announced on 8 June 2016. As the only teams to bid in their respective states, Adelaide and Greater Western Sydney were granted licences to compete in 2017. Both Western Australian clubs made bids, with Fremantle's bid chosen ahead of West Coast's. Eight Victorian clubs made bids: Melbourne, Western Bulldogs and Collingwood were successful, with Geelong, North Melbourne, Richmond and St Kilda unsuccessful. All five unsuccessful bidders were granted provisional licences.
Details about the branding of the league were released in the second half of 2016. The AFL announced that the league would be named "AFL Women's" or AFLW for short, on 15 September 2016, with the logo being unveiled on 19 September 2016; the logo is a stylised rendition of an Australian rules football ground goal square and goal posts, drawn from a perspective which shows a "W". On 10 October 2016, the National Australia Bank was named as the league's naming rights sponsor; the first premiership game was played on 3 February 2017 at Princes Park. The AFL had planned to host the game at Melbourne's Olympic Park Oval, with a capacity of just 7,000, but was forced to change the venue to Princes Park due to overwhelming interest and a lack of adequate seating; the match was deemed a "lockout" with a capacity crowd of 24,568 in attendance, with a few thousand estimated to have been waiting outside. As a result, Gillon McLachlan, the AFL's CEO apologised to those who missed out; the game was a great success on TV, attracting a national TV audience of 896,000 including 593,000 metropolitan free-to-air viewers, 180,000 regional free-to-air viewers and 123,000 on Fox Footy.
The Melbourne metropolitan audience of 424,000 was on par with that of Friday night AFL men's matches. The inaugural season concluded with the Grand Final held on Saturday, 25 March 2017; the Adelaide Crows were crowned the league's first premiers after defeating minor premiers the Brisbane Lions. The scoreline read. Brisbane 4.5. Expansion of the competition first occurred in 2019 and is set to expand again in 2020. By the end of 2020, the competition will grow by 6 teams; the ten AFL clubs not participating in the competition were invited to bid for inclusion, with priority given to the five clubs that unsuccessfully bid to participate in the inaugural season. The deadline to lodge submissions was 16 June 2017; the only clubs not to bid were Sydney. North Melbourne worked with AFL Tasmania to craft its bid, with the club aiming to play home matches in Melbourne and Launceston, has a target to select half of the playing list from Tasmania. A final decision on which clubs are admitted to the competition was expected by the end of July 2017 but was delayed several times to September 2017.
On 27 September 2017, the AFL announced that North Melbourne and Geelong had been selected to come into the competition in 2019. North Melbourne retained its co
Australia national rugby union team
The Australia national rugby union team, nicknamed the Wallabies, is controlled by Rugby Australia. The team first played at Sydney in 1899, winning their first test match against the touring British Isles team. Australia have competed in all eight Rugby World Cups, winning the final on two occasions and finishing as runner-up twice. In 1991 Australia beat England in the final at Twickenham and won again in 1999 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff when their opponents in the final were France; the Wallabies compete annually in The Rugby Championship, along with southern hemisphere counterparts Argentina, New Zealand and South Africa. They have won this championship on four occasions. Australia plays Test matches against the various rugby-playing nations. More than a dozen former Wallabies players have been inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame. Australia's first international match was played against the touring British Isles team in 1899; the first Test was played at the Sydney Cricket Ground and won 13–3 by Australia, but the tourists won the remaining three Tests.
The Australian team for the first match consisted of six players from Queensland and nine from New South Wales. The team wore the blue of New South Wales when playing in Sydney and the maroon of Queensland when playing in Brisbane, but with an Australian Coat of Arms in place of the usual emblems of each colony; the first Test between Australia and New Zealand was played at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1903, with New Zealand winning 22–3. This tour improved rugby's popularity in Sydney and Brisbane and helped to boost club match attendances. In 1907 the New South Wales Rugby League was formed and star player Dally Messenger left rugby union for the rival code; the next year the first Australian rugby team to tour the British Isles left Sydney. Newspapers in England gave the team the name'Rabbits'; the Australian players thought this nickname derogatory and replaced it with'Wallabies'. In 1909, when the new "Northern Union" code was still in its infancy in Australia, a match between the Kangaroos and the Wallabies was played before a crowd of around 20,000, with the Rugby League side winning 29–26.
The First World War had a negative effect on rugby union in Australia. All rugby union competitions in New South Wales and Queensland ceased after the state bodies decided it was inappropriate to play football when so many young men were fighting overseas; the sport of rugby union was all but closed down causing many players to switch to rugby league – which did not cease playing during the war. In Queensland regular competitions did not commence again until 1929, there was no official Australian team selected through most of the 1920s before the 1929 All Blacks tour; the New South Wales Waratahs were re-formed in 1920, played throughout the decade including series of matches against New Zealand and South Africa before their 1927–28 tour of the British Isles and Canada. Because these Waratahs teams were Australia's only representatives at the time, all international matches they played during this period were accorded retrospective Wallaby status. War hero Sir Edward "Weary" Dunlop played for Australia before World War II.
He played on the side, the first to win the Bledisloe Cup. The first Test to following World War Two was played at Carisbrook, Dunedin between Australia and New Zealand in 1946, which New Zealand won 31–8. Australia did not win on the three match tour. Australia embarked on a tour of the home nations in 1947–48; the successful tour fell short of an undefeated run when the Australia lost to France in their last match, in Paris. Players on the rise included Cyril Burke and Nicholas Shehadie. After returning from the successful European tour, Australia hosted the New Zealand Maori in a three match series in 1949. In September of that year, Australia played the All Blacks twice in New Zealand, winning both games and taking back the Bledisloe Cup for the first time on New Zealand soil. The'Number 1' All Black side was touring South Africa at the time and the wins by Australia against the B-team have sometimes been downgraded. However, in deference to the apartheid system in operation in South Africa, the NZRU did not select any Maori players for the tour.
Many of those regular All Black Maori played against Australia instead and it could be said that the New Zealand team that played Australia was at least as good as the one on tour in South Africa. The British Isles toured Australia in 1950, won both of the Tests against Australia; the following year Australia fell to a three Test whitewash to the All Blacks. Australia won in July 1952, defeating Fiji at the Sydney Cricket Ground – they lost the second Test to Fiji by two points. Australia managed to beat the All Blacks at Lancaster Park after the Fijian series. On this tour they drew against Rhodesia in Kitwe 8–8; the first match of the new decade was the win over Fiji at the SCG in the first match of a three Test series during 1961. This was followed by a second win. Australia headed to South Africa, where they lost to the Springboks in Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg. After returning home, they faced France at the SCG, who beat them 15–8. In 1962, Australia lost all but a 9-all draw at Athletic Park.
After defeating England 18–9 in 1963 in Sydney, Australia beat the Springboks in consecutive Tests in South Africa. Fewer tests were played throughout the mid-1960s, with Australia only playing a three Test series against All Bla
Victorian Football League
The Victorian Football League is the major state-level Australian rules football league in Victoria. The league evolved from the former Victorian Football Association, has been known by its current name since 1996. For historical purposes, the present VFL is sometimes referred to as the VFA/VFL, to distinguish it from the present day Australian Football League, known until 1990 as the Victorian Football League and is sometimes referred to as the VFL/AFL; the VFA was formed in 1877 and is the second-oldest Australian rules football league, replacing the loose affiliation of clubs, the hallmark of the early years of the game. Serving a administrative function, the VFA premiership served as the top level of club competition in Victoria until 1896; the VFA became the secondary level of club competition from 1897 after its eight strongest clubs seceded to form the VFL. From 1897 until 1995, the VFA remained independent from the VFL as Victoria's secondary senior club competition. Although always much less popular than the VFL/AFL, the VFA enjoyed peaks of popularity in the 1940s with a faster-paced rival code of rules, in the 1970s bolstered by playing on Sundays at a time when the VFL was played on Saturdays.
Since 1995, the league has been administered by AFL Victoria, serves as one of the second-tier regional Australian semi-professional competitions which sits underneath the professional Australian Football League. From the 2018 season it will comprise 15 teams from throughout Victoria, nine of which have a continuous VFA heritage. Since 2000, the VFL has served as a reserves competition for the AFL, with some Victorian-based clubs fielding their reserves teams in the VFL and others affiliated such that their reserves player can play in VFL teams. AFL Victoria operates a women's football competition under the Victorian Football League brand, known as the VFL Women's, established in 2016; the Victorian Football Association was founded on 17 May 1877 at the meeting of club secretaries preceding the 1877 season. It was formed out of a desire to provide a formal administrative structure to the governance of the sport, it had the power to impose binding decisions on its members on matters including the Laws of the Game, player eligibility and other disputes, as well as to facilitate intercolonial football.
Decisions were made based on a vote of the Board of Management, composed of two delegates from each senior club, a structure, retained until the late 1980s. It replaced a system under which the secretaries of the senior clubs met at the beginning of each year to decide on matters of mutual interest, but the system was informal and disputes went unresolved; the five foundation senior clubs in the Melbourne metropolitan area were Albert-park, Hotham, Melbourne and St Kilda. Provincial clubs were eligible for senior representation on the Association though most played matches against the metropolitan teams. There was no formal system of promotion and relegation between the senior and junior levels, with it at a club's discretion whether or not it joined the Association as a paying senior member; the affiliation fee for senior clubs was set at one guinea. Through the first decade of the VFA's existence, the structure of the football season did not change from the informal system which had evolved over previous years.
Setting of fixtures was the responsibility of club secretaries rather than the Association itself, in a typical season, a club could play against other VFA teams, non-VFA clubs, at odds against junior teams, in some seasons against intercolonial teams. Prior to the 1888 season, there was no formally endorsed system for awarding a VFA premiership: as had been the case since the early 1870s, the premier club was determined by public and press consensus, which by the mid-1880s was conventionally but informally understood to be the senior club which suffered the fewest losses during the season. Premierships won under this then-informal method are now considered official, consensus was uncontroversial. In 1888, the VFA first took responsibility for the onfield competition, introduced its first formal premiership system by adopting a system of premiership points; the Association's influence over the on-field competition grew, from 1894, the Association assumed responsibility for centrally setting the fixtures and standardising the number of games played by each team.
After the formal introduction of the premiership, the often-changeable collection of senior clubs in the VFA soon became settled at twelve premiership-eligible clubs: Carlton, Fitzroy, Geelong, North Melbourne, Port Melbourne, Richmond, St Kilda, South Melbourne and Williamstown. Three Ballarat-based clubs – Ballarat, Ballarat Imperial and South Ballarat – were voting members of the VFA through this time, but were not involved in the onfield premiership. During the 1890s, there was an off-field power struggle within the VFA between the stronger and weaker clubs, as the stronger clubs sought greater administrative control commensurate with their relative financial contribution to the game; this came to a hea