There's been much debate about it, but the evidence is strong that this game in 1858 was the birth of Australian rules. Geoffrey Blainey spoke at the lunch. He said the match took place in the Richmond paddock between the Melbourne Cricket Ground and where Jolimont railway station is now. There were 40 players a side, no behind posts and the ground was maybe 800 yards long. However, Paul Sheahan, headmaster of Melbourne Grammar, says he has some 1858 diary notes from Dr Bromby, headmaster of MGS, who says it was a mile between goal posts.
Blainey says they started at noon and kept playing until dark. By that time they had scored just one goal each. They had to play through gum trees and there was a rule that if a kick went through the posts off a tree it was still a goal. There was no winner so they tried again the next Saturday, with no score at all, and again on the third Saturday, still no further score, so the game was abandoned.
The schools have kept tally ever since. By the time of the big lunch they had played 161 games. Scotch had won 75, Grammar had won 74, and 12 were drawn. The match in 1937 was cancelled because of an infantile paralysis epidemic. Scotch won in 1912, but the match was taken away from them because they played a young gentleman who was over age.
After lunch, the 162nd match took place at the MCG. Scotch boy barrackers in crimson were on one side of the ground and MGS boys in dark blue, were carefully separated on the other side. It is sad to report that the game was a massacre. Scotch scored 21 goals 19 behinds to Melbourne Grammar's one goal two behinds. The gloom in the MGS camp was so profound there has been nothing like it since Prince Albert or Queen Victoria passed away.
After the match, the Governor-general Peter Hollingworth, unveiled the sculpture, which is close to the MCG members' entrance. It depicts two Scotch and Grammar boys going for the ball and behind them is Tommy Wills, generally considered to be the father of Aussie rules. He was one of two umpires on the day.
Oddly enough, the Australian Football League thought again about having two umpires about 142 years later.