The 2023 Toyota AFL Grand Final was a nail-biter that pitted the Collingwood Magpies against the Brisbane Lions. In a match that came down to the last minute, Collingwood emerged victorious with a final score of 12.18 (90) to Brisbane’s 13.8 (86), claiming their 16th VFL/AFL flag and tying with rivals Essendon and Carlton for the most premierships in competition history.
The game was a spectacle of remarkable highlights, brutal toughness, and brilliant goals. Bobby Hill of Collingwood was the star, kicking four goals from 18 disposals and winning the Norm Smith Medal for his career-best game. On the other side, Lions’ Charlie Cameron looked set to snatch the flag for Brisbane when he put his team four points ahead with just over five minutes to play.
Strategies and Tactics
Both teams showcased hard-nosed team ethos and individual brilliance. Collingwood’s coach, Craig McRae, and Brisbane’s coach focused on different strategies to gain an edge. McRae’s men were the kings of close contests, a skill they’ve honed over the past two years. Brisbane, on the other hand, tried to keep the ball at ground level in defense, unsettling Collingwood’s game plan for a while.
The game saw 10 lead changes, making it one of the most thrilling Grand Finals in recent history. One pivotal moment came when Collingwood’s Nick Daicos and Jordan De Goey teamed up to immediately grab back the lead after Cameron’s snap. Another turning point was a 50-metre penalty awarded to Steele Sidebottom, which he converted into a goal, giving Collingwood a 10-point lead with just over four minutes remaining.
Awards and Recognitions
Bobby Hill’s performance earned him the Norm Smith Medal, while Nick Daicos had a game-high 29 disposals and a goal, ending his special second season on a high note. Collingwood’s triumph also broke a 13-year drought without a premiership.
The 2023 AFL Grand Final will be remembered as one of the most thrilling in the history of the sport. Collingwood’s victory not only adds another flag to their collection but also places them at the pinnacle of AFL history. For Brisbane, the loss is a hard pill to swallow, but their young and talented squad shows promise for the future.