Best and worst grand finals of all time

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Goggin Our Best

Norm Smith Medallist
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1968 long time ago - thats as bad a GF ive seen - and i actually went to it - terribly scrappy game

Windy cross breeze so it did make it difficult - yes it was close 7 goals to 8 - i think Carlton were the 1st side to kick less goals and win the GF - but the standard and skill was apalling - absolute borefest

And i did go to the 70 GF as well and its chalk and cheese ,fantastic game ,and the skill level was 5 times better than the 68 game
 

TEDDY24INC

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Objectively

Best: 1989. Only game I've ever rewatched as a neutral because it has a reputation.
Worst: 2022. I'll agree it was a stinker. Such a let down for everyone. 2015 is close though because as others said, most people forget who was playing.

Personally

Best: 2012. Game had it all. Momentum swings. Memorable moments. Fairly high scoring. Big finish.
Worst: 2016. I think people turn a blind eye to just how bad the officiating was and are swept up in the fairytale even to this day.
Quality wise 2011 was panels on 2012, it only gets overlooked as Geelong made a mess of the pies in the last qtr, which is a shame because that in itself was superb football to watch.
The quality of footy produced in that GF is the best I have witnessed
 

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jwint43

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I agree,only thing interesting about it was that the Hawks had cemented themselves as one of the greatest teams ever, that and the Luke Hodge goal

The game itself was poor though. Hawks vs Swans the year before , whilst was also a blow out, I just couldn't believe how good the Hawks were and that made it more 'entertaining' for me

2014 had potential to be the best game of all time in terms of hype, I remember that game being built up like nothing else in my lifetime. The last two premiers meeting at the peak of their powers, Buddy against his old side, Sydney beating the Hawks in 2012 and they had a huge rivalry at the time. The first 15 or so mins was some of the most intense football I had ever seen, it's a shame Sydney went to water because that was a potential Ali vs Frazier matchup that we never got to see.
 

garlic munchers

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Best - 1989 GF, just brutal and whilst the game is better for not having the big hits, this is a viewing must for every future generation.

Have to put out a thumbs up for the 2013 GF as well. Freo losing was nearly as good as the 94,96,06 & 18 GF's.

Worst - 1997. Didn't mind the Cats getting up as they deserved one, but gee those Port pretenders should never have been allowed on the big stage and provided food for thought as to whether the mercy rule should be brought in.
 
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Decent go. Not going to hide my bias by saying 2016 should be lower. 2010 replay wasn't great, but I think 2019 and 2022 should occupy 22nd and 23rd with plenty of daylight between them and the one above. Not a strong enough word for how bad those two games were to watch. I wonder where you'd put 2023.
5th for me. Above 2010 but below 2009
 

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peetoo

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Much like 2015 may have been a sprinkle of hope but as far as I’m concerned, one side was well on top and was never going to lose that one.

Funny thoug in 13-15 the pundits seemed to overflow its reasons why the hawks would lose each time Notably king in 2014
 

Blues177

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Best: 2012. Fluctuating game, good standard and close. Game could have gone either way. A great game for neutrals to watch.

Worst: 1983. An even season but ended up with a horrible grand final. Hawks led by almost 10 goals at half time and bombers were goalless from 1/4 time until halfway in the last. Behinds scored by Essendon received loud ironic cheers. Atmosphere died. Margin at one stage was 100 points.
 

AlwaysHawks15

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Ranking the grand finals of the 21st century

2. 2012 - literally the perfect game of footy. Momentum swings galore, an insane final quarter and finish.
2. 2018 - the best finish of all from a neutral's perspective. Only its good but not great first half prevents it from being top dog.
3. 2002 - two incredible performances by sides duking it out in the wet. Margin never blew out to double figures either way.
4. 2009 - pretty complete game by two champion teams, with the finish to cap it off.
5. 2010 draw - remarkably tense with twists and turns all day. The most unique finish of all listed.
6. 2011 - last quarter marks it down but it truly was a special game for three quarters.
7. 2016 - poor officiating at times hurts, but it was incredibly tense from start to finish.
8. 2004 - 2011 was this granny on steroids. Two great sides battling it out for three quarters before one came out very much on top.
9. 2021 - outstanding game for three quarters and even the late blowout was entertaining in itself.
10. 2006 - strong game with an incredible finish.
11. 2001 - shattered to mark this down so low. The first great granny after close to none in the 80's and 90's. Full of momentum shifts.
12. 2008 - strong all game without being remarkable. The result was crazy, but the rushed behinds ploy marks it down.
13. 2005 - great finish, but an eye sore for much of three quarters. Only Sydney fans would watch it over.
14. 2013 - close-ish but very unremarkable game. The only GF in memory that neither team played well.
15. 2017 - ripper first half before a second half onslaught
16. 2020 - good game but not quite right because of the shortened quarters
17. 2014 - shellacking but some very champagne Hawthorn footy made it entertaining
18. 2015 - boring, predictable
19. 2007 - entertaining in the sense of the records that were set, but still shite
20. 2003 - over in a quarter and a half
21. 2019 - inevitable result, but okay first quarter
22. 2010 replay - closed early in the second, only one great moment (smother)
23. 2022 - over in about 15 minutes
What doesn't get talked about that much about 2012 was how Buddy came very close to immortalising himself in GF folklore if not for poor kicking for goal. From memory Kicked 3.6 and 1 out on the full. He played like a monster key forward that day or just the athletic beast we knew him for yet he was part of the reason we lost unfortunately as harsh as that sounds. Played just about the perfect match for a key forward apart from the behinds and other shanks. 1 of the goals he did kick is as good as any GF goal in recent history. Huge contested mark. Wheeled around and pumped a 55-60m goal out on the flank. Goosebump inducing moment.
 
Mar 18, 2013
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What doesn't get talked about that much about 2012 was how Buddy came very close to immortalising himself in GF folklore if not for poor kicking for goal. From memory Kicked 3.6 and 1 out on the full. He played like a monster key forward that day or just the athletic beast we knew him for yet he was part of the reason we lost unfortunately as harsh as that sounds. Played just about the perfect match for a key forward apart from the behinds and other shanks. 1 of the goals he did kick is as good as any GF goal in recent history. Huge contested mark. Wheeled around and pumped a 55-60m goal out on the flank. Goosebump inducing moment.
I can't speak highly enough of that game. Absolutely sensational.
 

AlwaysHawks15

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Quality wise 2011 was panels on 2012, it only gets overlooked as Geelong made a mess of the pies in the last qtr, which is a shame because that in itself was superb football to watch.
The quality of footy produced in that GF is the best I have witnessed
Nah it was quality too. We were a powerhouse team and were on the brink of something special and Sydney played out of their skins to beat us. We weren't that far off our best hence why it's rated as high as it is. We finished top in 2012 only did it once again in 2013 in that golden era. We arguably played our most scintillating footy across that season during the whole 2011-2016 period. 2011 was amazing but ours just pips it because it was sustained across the whole game. Perhaps a little bit lower in terms of quality I'll agree with you there.
 
Best - 1989 GF, just brutal and whilst the game is better for not having the big hits, this is a viewing must for every future generation.

Have to put out a thumbs up for the 2013 GF as well. Freo losing was nearly as good as the 94,96,06 & 18 GF's.

Worst - 1997. Didn't mind the Cats getting up as they deserved one, but gee those Port pretenders should never have been allowed on the big stage and provided food for thought as to whether the mercy rule should be brought in.

Don’t you mean 2007?
 
Mar 2, 2015
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Hodge's goal was insane. But nothing much else to say. One great side vs one very ordinary side.
Isaac Smith kicked 2 of the great GF goals that day

The Hawks defence was like a brick wall with Gibson, Frawley, Lake, Burgoyne, Birchall, and Stratton
(Frawley had 22 disposals and kept Josh Kennedy to 9 touches, 0 goals)

Sam Mitchell dominated in the centre, had the ball on a string.

...and Cyril put on a masterclass. He brought his full bag of magic tricks and had the whole crowd chanting his name.
 
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Mar 2, 2015
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It's pretty bizarre the way football fans on these boards can't appreciate greatness: one-sided Grand Finals where the second best team in the comp tries their best, but gets put to the sword by an incredible team firing on all cylinders.

I'm not having a go at anyone in particular... Just people in general... Neutrals always throw a tantrum when a Grand Final isn't close and it doesn't captivate them for the entire afternoon.

It's as though the Grand Final is a Hollywood movie and the script was bad if the game isn't close. :D

Close games are entertaining and all.... But it's a pretty moronic way of remembering Grand Finals, to only ever talk about the close ones and completely dismiss the one-sided GF's.

The media have ALWAYS done exactly that from when I was a little kid... They just said the same stuff over and over and over about the 1966, 1970, 1971, 1977, 1979, 1984, and 1989 Grand Finals and basically forgot about all the other Grand Finals...

Everything gets reduced down to a single incident... or reduced to nothing at all.

1966... Breen kicks a point ("Hit the boundary!" screams Ted Whitten)
1971... Hudson stuck on 150 goals and misses 2 shots for his 151st.
1977 Replay... Phil Manassa's run & long goal.
1979... Wayne Harmes taps the ball across to Kenny Sheldon
1982... The streaker chases after Bruce Doull
1989... Ablett 9 goals.

The game's history is basically erased because dumbasses want to simplify everything to one "magic moment" and only talk about the close GFs



I don't get it.

Why bother even having a discussion thread?

We may as well just list the Grand Finals ranked by the final margin and close the thread.

2010 Collingwood 9.14 (68) drew St Kilda 10.8 (68)
2006 West Coast 12.13 (85) d. Sydney 12.12 (84)
2005 Sydney 8.10 (58) d. West Coast 7.12 (54)
2023 Collingwood 12.18 (90) d. Brisbane 13.8 (86)
2018 West Coast 11.13 (79) d. Collingwood 11.8 (74)
2002 Brisbane 10.15 (75) d. Collingwood 9.12 (66)
2012 Sydney 14.7 (91) d. Hawthorn 11.15 (81)
2009 Geelong 12.8 (80) d. St Kilda 9.14 (68)
2013 Hawthorn 11.11 (77) d. Fremantle 8.14 (62)
2001 Brisbane 15.18 (108) d. Essendon 12.10 (82)
2016 Bulldogs 13.11 (89) d. Sydney 10.7 (67)
2008 Hawthorn 18.7 (115) d. Geelong 11.23 (89)

There you go... That's all you need to know...

Just forget about all these other GF's... Nothing happened... :rolleyes:

2020 Richmond 12.9 (81) d. Geelong 7.8 (50)
2011 Geelong 18.11 (119) d. Collingwood 12.9 (81)
2004 Port Adelaide 17.11 (113) d. Brisbane 10.13 (73)
2015 Hawthorn 16.11 (107) d. West Coast 8.13 (61)
2017 Richmond 16.12 (108) d. Adelaide 8.12 (60)
2003 Brisbane 20.14 (134) d. Collingwood 12.12 (84)
2010 Collingwood 16.12 (108) d. St Kilda 7.10 (52)
2000 Essendon 19.21 (135) d. Melbourne 11.9 (75)
2014 Hawthorn 21.11 (137) d. Sydney 11.8 (74)
2021 Melbourne 21.14 (140) d. Bulldogs 10.6 (66)
2022 Geelong 20.13 (133) d. Sydney 8.4 (52)
2019 Richmond 17.12 (114) d. Giants 3.7 (25)
2007 Geelong 24.19 (163) d. Port Adelaide 6.8 (44)
 
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Blues177

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It's pretty bizarre the way football fans on these boards can't appreciate greatness: one-sided Grand Finals where the second best team in the comp tries their best, but gets put to the sword by an incredible team firing on all cylinders.

Regarding one-sided Grand Finals I reckon the 1972 GF is the best out of the ones where the winning team led comfortably for almost the entire game.

Carlton 28.9.177
Richmond 22.18.150

Richmond coach Tom Hafey once described it as a freak game. During the second quarter Ron Barassi commentating on ch7 said that it was “not an even game but it’s so exciting to see the brand of football”.

It was similar to the 1989 GF regarding both teams playing at a high standard and how far ahead the winning team was throughout most of the game. Richmond scored 5 goals in 10 minutes early in the last quarter but didn’t get as close as the cats did in the 1989 GF.
 

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