Betfair is thrilled to introduce Brownlow medal winner and AFL Hall of Fame inductee Mark Ricciuto to our tipping team with his wealth of footy insight for the 2012 AFL Season.Read more »
With Christmas upon us, Pauly B is counting down the number of sleeps...until the start of the 2012 AFL Season.Read more »
After what will be remembered as one of the 'grandest' Finals of the modern game, at least for three of the quarters, Paul Bugeja sums up the 2011 AFL Grand Final. Read more »
Mick Malthouse may deserve to walk away from Collingwood on a high, but Andy Morris truly wonders how can he possibly lift his team ahead of the Grand Final.Read more »
In what will no doubt be a scrap up of feathers and fur, Nick Tedeschi brings you his take on how the 2011 AFL Grand Final will play out this weekend when the Cats meet the Pies.Read more »
Despite the Eagles remarkable turnaround in 2011, given they come up against a virtually unbeatable Cats, Andy Morris can't see that miracle taking West Coast to a Grand Final.Read more »
Despite Collingwood's good record against Hawthorn, Andy Morris believes recent form raises some doubts about whether this will be their year for back to back Premierships. Read more »
Nick Tedeschi is looking forward to two tightly contested games this weekend in the prelim to the 2011 Grand Final.Read more »
In the semi-final out west, Andy Morris sees the selection of Dean Cox as handing West Coast a major boost with their big date with Carlton.Read more »
Nick Tedeschi thinks the odds are spot on as he looks towards a bounce back for the Hawks when they meet Sydney in a big semi-final at the 'G this Friday night.Read more »
Andy Morris can't but help see a contrast in recent form between Manly and North Queensland, who lock horns at the SFS on Saturday.Read more »
Despite their all-time series being pretty close, Andy Morris feels there could be some daylight between Carlton and Essendon when they meet at the MCG on SundayRead more »
Going on last week's results, Andy Morris wouldn't blame anyone for thinking it would be a no-brainer that West Coast will beat Collingwood this weekend. Read more »
We're only in the first week of the finals, but there won't be too many clashes that Andy Morris will anticipate as much as Geelong's meeting with Hawthorn on Friday. Read more »
Previous grand finals
The last Saturday in September is one of the premier sporting dates in Australia, and the AFL Grand Final rarely disappoints. With a crowd of over 100,000 at the MCG and a huge television audience - the largest overall interest of any Australian sporting event - the day is of huge significance across the country.
And as 2008 proved, it can have the kind of drama that scriptwriters couldn't conjure up.
Geelong, the 2007 premiers, had won 21 of 22 games in the regular season which tied the 2000 Essendon Bombers for most wins ever in a season. They were 58-point winners in their qualifying final against St Kilda, then defeated the Western Bulldogs by 29 points in their home preliminary final, so everything pointed the way for another Cats success in the Grand Final.
But in the way stood Hawthorn, a team which had won its first nine games of the season and finished second on the AFL ladder with 17 wins and five losses. And in Lance "Buddy" Franklin they had a goal kicker who had single-handedly won them games during the season, so no-one was writing them off in what was their first Grand Final appearance since 1991.
The fact that Geelong had won the only regular season meeting between the sides, in Round 17, by 11 points despite being without fan favourite and eventual Leigh Matthews Trophy winner Gary Ablett helped ensure the Cats started as warm favourites.
Each team kicked five goals in the first quarter but Hawthorn restricted the Cats in the second quarter and Geelong's inability to score continued to hurt them in the third term, while Hawthorn took advantage to open up a five-goal lead.
The Cats were still in it as the game entered the final quarter, having scored two goals against the run of play in the final minute of the third term. But after Franklin scored the opening goal of the fourth quarter to increase the margin to 21 minutes and both Sam Mitchell and Rick Ladson scored, the game was sealed as Hawthorn ran out 18.7 (115) to 11.23 (89) winners.
The Hawks' win prevented Geelong winning back-to-back premierships for the first time since 1951-52, and continued a record of new winners each year in the sport.
Since the Brisbane Lions won three Grand Finals in a row from 2001-03 there has been a new name on the trophy each year.
Port Adelaide won its first premiership in 2004, then Sydney defeated the West Coast Eagles in 2005 in an exciting final which produced the closest result since the 1977 drawn Grand Final. The Swans secured their first premiership in 72 years by four points.
The West Coast Eagles gained revenge for that defeat a year later, edging the Swans by a single point this time.
And after the closest of matches, the 2007 Grand Final proved to be just the opposite as Geelong ended their 44-year premiership drought by winning with the highest ever Grand Final winning margin of 119 points over the Port Adelaide Power.
There is always considerable interest in, and betting on, who will win the Norm Smith medal for the game's best player. Luke Hodge of Hawthorn was voted winner in 2008, while the West Coast Eagles had back-to-back wins in 2005-06, with Chris Judd being named despite being on the losing side in the former final.