The Roar
The Roar


A look back at the last fifteen grand finals

Marcus Bontempelli. (AAP Image/Julian Smith)
Roar Guru
27th September, 2017

The last fifteen grand finals have had some exciting moments, some great Norm Smith Medallists, and great finals moments.

Let’s go back to the past before this weekend’s exciting game between Adelaide and Richmond.

All the wash-up from the 2017 AFL Grand Final
» Match Report: Tigers are premiers
» BUCKLAND: Richmond go from rabble to flag
» Six talking points from the match
» Richmond Tigers player ratings
» Adelaide Crows player ratings
» Watch video highlights from the match
» Re-live the match with our live blog

2002 and 2003 – Collingwood (66 in 2002 and 84 in 2003) v Brisbane (75 in 2002 and 134 in 2003)
A chapter of two grand finals, with one a close game and one a blow-out. 2002 was tight, exhilarating, exciting contest, with Anthony Rocca kicking four for the Pies and Alastair Lynch doing the same for the mighty Lions.

Now-Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley took out the Norm Smith Medal with 32 disposals and a goal. 2003 was a very different story, with the Lions being victorious by fifty points. Jason Akermanis had a day out with five goals, while Alastair Lynch repeated his performance against Collingwood the year before with four goals.

Simon Black became best on ground with 39 disposals and a goal.

2004 – Port Adelaide (113) v Brisbane (73)
The first all non-Victorian grand final turned out to make history whichever way the result went. It ended up going Port Adelaide’s way, with them turning on the Power at the MCG to win their first premiership, ending Brisbane’s run of three consecutive flags.

Gavin Wanganeen, Byron Pickett, and Toby Thurstans kicked ten goals between them, with Byron Pickett taking out the Norm Smith Medal. It would turn out to be the last barr one until this year that didn’t feature Sydney, Geelong, or Hawthorn.

2005 and 2006 – Sydney (58 in 2005 and 84 in 2006) v West Coast (54 in 2005 and 85 in 2006)
These two teams made a run of three consecutive non-Victorian grand finals between 2004 and 2006. There were no dominant goalkickers on the final day of footy for 2005, with Chris Judd winning the Norm Smith Medal with 29 disposals.


A year later, the Swans and Eagles met again on the big stage. This time around, Michael O’Loughlin, Nick Davis, and Quinten Lynch kicked three goals apiece – O’Loughlin and Davis for Sydney and Lynch for West Coast. Andrew Embley won the Norm Smith Medal with 26 disposals and two goals.

2007 – Geelong (163) v Port Adelaide (44)
It was an absolute domination the Cats way, winning the game by 119 points, the biggest margin ever in a grand final. Cameron Mooney, Paul Chapman, and Steve Johnson kicked thirteen goals between them, and Stevie J receiving the Norm Smith Medal.

Gary Ablett AFL Geelong Cats

(Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

2008 – Hawthorn (115) v Geelong (89)
The Hawks won their first premiership in an era of Clarkson domination. Mark Williams kicked the most goals of any player on the ground as Hawthorn won by 26 points. Luke Hodge won the Norm Smith Medal despite playing injured, finishing with 26 disposals and a goal.

2009 – St Kilda (68) v Geelong (80)
It was a very intriguing game, with the Saints leading at every break barr full time, as the Cats ran out victors. Paul Chapman won the Norm Smith Medal after kicking 3 goals to go with 26 disposals.

2010 – Collingwood (68 first time, 108 second time) v St Kilda (68 first time, 52 second time)
Two grand finals. One drawn, one a blowout. It’s almost a repeat of the Brisbane v Collingwood grand finals, just in the same year. Lenny Hayes won the Norm Smith Medal in the drawn grand final. Scott Pendlebury won the Norm Smith Medal following 29 disposals in the last replay in AFL history, with drawn grand finals to be decided in extra time from now on. This grand final is the only grand final since 2004 until this year that doesn’t feature one of Hawthorn, Sydney, or Geelong.

Scott Pendlebury Collingwood Magpies AFL 2017 tall

(AAP Image/Julian Smith)

2011 – Geelong (119) v Collingwood (81)
The first year after Gary Ablett turned out to be a treat for the Cats, winning their third premiership in five years. Stevie J, Jimmy Bartel, Tom Hawkins, and Travis Varcoe kicked thirteen goals between them, with Bartel becoming the fifth player to win a Norm Smith Medal, Brownlow Medal, and a premiership medallion.


2012 – Hawthorn (81) v Sydney (91)
This has got to have been one of the most exciting grand finals since the turn of the century. It had everything. A run down the wing from Lewis Jetta. A snapping goal from Nick Malceski to lock in the win. It was fantastic! Ryan O’Keefe won the Norm Smith Medal after collecting 28 disposals and laying 15 disposals.

2013 – Hawthorn (77) v Fremantle (62)
In Fremantle’s only grand final in their history, Hawthorn managed to win the first of a hat-trick between 2013 and 2015. Jack Gunston kicked four goals for the Hawks, while Matthew Pavlick kicked three at the other end. Brian Lake won the Norm Smith Medal after taking ten marks in defence.

2014 – Sydney (74) v Hawthorn (137)
Ghee, wouldn’t Lance Franklin have been wishing he had have stayed at Hawthorn after the game. Jarryd Roughead, Will Langford, and Luke Breust kicked eleven goals between them. The best players in the Hawks domination were their trio of midfielders Luke Hodge, Sam Mitchell, and Jordan Lewis, with all of them accumulating over 30 disposals. Luke Hodge took out the Norm Smith marginally over his partners in crime.

Lance Franklin of the Sydney Swans

(AAP Image/Julian Smith)

2015 – Hawthorn (107) v West Coast (61)
The final would turn out to be the last for Hawthorn champions Brian Lake, Josh Gibson, Sam Mitchell, Luke Hodge, and David Hale. Jack Gunston, Isaac Smith, and Cyril Rioli kicked nine goals between them, with Cyril Rioli joining his uncles Maurice Rioli and Michael Long as Norm Smith Medallists.

It would turn out to be the most recent of Hawks grand final’s as Hawthorn neared the end of a great era. Next time the brown and gold win a premiership, they are sure to have different personnel.

2016 – Sydney (67) v Western Bulldogs (89)
It turned out to be a fantastic end of a magnificent finals fairy-tale, with the Dogs reigning victorious by twenty-two points in their first grand final since 1961 and first premiership since 1954.

Tom Boyd, Tory Dickson, and Liam Picken kicked three goals each to kick nine of the Dogs thirteen goals. Rebounding defender Jason Johannisen won the Norm Smith Medal following 33 disposals. The Dogs became the first team in history to win the premiership from seventh.


2017 – Adelaide v Richmond
Who knows what will be in store for this year’s grand final, in which either team winning will have added emotion to it. For Richmond, it will be their first premiership since 1980 if they win.

If Adelaide win, it will be their first premiership since 1998, and there will surely be some very emotional Crows players who will be honouring the late Phil Walsh in some way. Will it be Taylor Walker’s bunch of Crows to win the premiership, or will Trent Cotchin and Dustin Martin inspire the Tigers to get over the line?