Following last year’s elimination final heart-stopper, I put pen to paper on how I believed the Eagles managed to short-circuit the Power, and snatch victory at the death.
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The 1977 AFL Grand Final between North Melbourne and Collingwood is regarded as one of the most dramatic grand finals in VFL/AFL history.
The Kangaroos were appearing in their fourth straight Grand Final under master coach Ron Barassi, while Collingwood had come from wooden spooners in 1976 to make the Grand Final under new coach Tom Hafey.
The VFL allowed a live telecast of the 1977 Grand Final into Melbourne and throughout Australia and the world through the Seven Network.
North were missing dual Brownlow Medallist, Keith Greig, while the Magpies were still coming to terms of the suspension of key Collingwood player, Phil Carman, who was suspended for two matches by the tribunal.
North won their way into the Grand Final after first losing to Hawthorn in the qualifying final, but bounced back to beat Richmond in the first semi and then Hawthorn in the preliminary final.
Collingwood on the other hand won by just two points in the second semi-final against the Hawks.
North got off to a good start, leading 4.4 to 1.5 at quarter time, with Phil Baker kicking three goals.
But in the second quarter, Collingwood reduced the lead to just two points, thanks to some bad errors by the North defence.
The Magpies then went into overdrive to lead by 27 points at three-quarter time, with North not managing to score a goal, during the second and third quarter, with Arnold Briedis the chief offender.
But just as he had done seven years before in the epic 1970 Grand Final, Barassi made the moves that turned the game on its head by switching David Dench and Daryl Sutton to the forward line.
North got on with the job to such an effect they actually hit the lead with only minutes left.
Then Collingwood responded with a goal by Ross ‘Twiggy’ Dunne to level the scores, and they stayed level until the final siren.
North Melbourne ended up winning the replay by 27 points, with the major highlight the run and goal of Collingwood’s Phil Manassa.