This was the second consecutive year that these two teams played in the premiership decider, with the Swans having won the 2005 AFL Grand Final by a margin of 4 points. At the conclusion of the home and away season, West Coast had finished first on the AFL ladder with 17 wins and 5 losses, winning the McClelland Trophy. Sydney had finished fourth with 14 wins and 8 losses.
The Red and White army celebrate a goal at the AFL Grand Final
West Coast started the better, and outplayed the Swans in the first half but only led by 25 points at half time. The Swans fought back in the third quarter and the margin was just 11 points at 3/4 time. Goodes goalled within the first 15 seconds of the last quarter and the margin was suddenly less than a kick. It was goal for goal in one of the most intense final quarters of modern Grand Final history, with West Coast hanging on by a single point to win its first premiership since 1994 and avenge its heartbreaking 4-point loss to the Swans in the previous year's Grand Final.
It was the fifth consecutive match between the two teams to be decided by less than a goal, and the first Grand Final to be decided by a point since St. Kilda edged out Collingwood in the 1966 VFL Grand Final (two other Grand Finals have been decided by a point, in 1899 and 1947). The match has been labelled as a 'classic'.
The Sprint, which had heats ran before the pre-match entertainment and the final ran during the half-time break, was won by Carlton's Brendan Fevola. 2006 saw the first use of handicaps during the sprint.
The 2006 Grand Final placed Sydney vs West Coast games further in the VFL/AFL record books for closeness, with the five most recent margins up to and including this game standing at 4, 4, 2, 1 and 1. With 12 points total difference across five games, Sydney vs West Coast comprehensively beat the previous five-game record of 19 points, set by Hawthorn vs Collingwood in 1958-60. They also became the seventh pair of teams in VFL/AFL history (and the second in 2006 after Geelong vs Western Bulldogs) to contest two consecutive one-point games.
These records were further reduced in the Grand Final rematch in Round 1, 2007, which was again decided by a single point, giving the pair the record for four games, five games and six games (5 points, 9 points and 13 points respectively), and positioning them equal second for three games behind Brisbane vs Port Adelaide (2 points, 1997–98) and Hawthorn vs Footscray (3 points, 1956–57).
The 2006 Grand Final also marked the fourth time in VFL/AFL history that consecutive games between two teams were decided by the same total scores, with both the qualifying final and the Grand Final decided by 85-84. This previously occurred between South Melbourne vs Melbourne (1903–04), St Kilda vs Collingwood (1913–14) and Melbourne vs Richmond (1954–55). On none of the four occasions have the goals and behinds tallies been identical (Sydney outscored West Coast by 13.7 (85) – 12.12 (84) in the qualifying final, whilst West Coast pipped Sydney by 12.13 (85) – 12.12 (84) in 2006).
The 2006 Charles Brownlow Medal Presentation was held at the Palladium at Crown Casino, Melbourne on 25 September 2006. The Charles Brownlow Medal is awarded to the "Best and Fairest" AFL Player of the year. It is selected by a 3-2-1 voting system awarded by the umpires of each match for the whole year (excluding finals and pre-season). The winner of the 2006 Brownlow medal was Adam Goodes, the Sydney Swans utility who was playing in the Grand Final later that week.