2003 AFL Grand Final

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2003 AFL Grand Final
The Melbourne Cricket Ground, where the 2003 AFL Grand Final took place.
Brisbane Lions
Collingwood icon.svg
20.14 (134) 12.12 (84)
1 2 3 4
BL 5.5 (35) 11.7 (73) 14.12 (96) 20.14 (134)
COLL 3.3 (21) 4.7 (31) 9.7 (61) 12.12 (84)
Date27 September 2003 (2003-09-27), 2:40pm
StadiumMelbourne Cricket Ground
Umpires#3 Stephen McBurney, #7 Hayden Kennedy, #10 Brett Allen
Coin toss won byMichael Voss (Brisbane Lions)
Kicked towardPunt Road End
Pre-match entertainmentChristine Anu, Gorgi Quill, the finalists from the first season of Australian Idol
National anthemChristine Anu
Norm Smith MedallistSimon Black (Brisbane Lions)
Jock McHale MedallistLeigh Matthews (Brisbane Lions)
Broadcast in Australia
NetworkNetwork Ten
CommentatorsStephen Quartermain (Host)
Anthony Hudson (Commentator)
Robert Walls (Expert Commentator)
Malcolm Blight (expert commentator)
Christi Malthouse (Boundary Rider)
Gerard Whateley (Boundary Rider)
← 2002 AFL Grand Final 2004 →

The 2003 AFL Grand final was an Australian rules football game contested between the Brisbane Lions and the Collingwood Football Club, held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne on 27 September 2003. It was the 107th annual Grand Final of the Australian Football League (formerly the Victorian Football League),[notes 1] staged to determine the premiers for the 2003 AFL season. The match, attended by 79,451 spectators, was won by Brisbane by a margin of 50 points, marking that club's third consecutive premiership victory and third premiership overall.[1]


Brisbane had appeared in the AFL Grand Final for the past two years, winning both contests. Collingwood had competed against Brisbane in the previous year's Grand Final, losing by a margin of 9 points.

At the conclusion of the home and away season, Port Adelaide had finished first on the AFL ladder with 18 wins and 4 losses, winning their second successive McClelland Trophy. Collingwood had finished second with 15 wins and 7 losses.

The 2003 Grand Final had a unique build-up. History certainly repeated itself this year as Anthony Rocca, a Collingwood forward and thought to be one of the most important players in the team, was suspended during the week for an elbow to the head of a Port Adelaide player during the Preliminary Final. This suspension was considered a major blow to the Magpies' chances. Brisbane's had numerous key players under injury clouds, including captain Michael Voss with an injured knee, Nigel Lappin with broken ribs and both Alastair Lynch and Martin Pike with hamstring injuries.[2]

The build-up was further magnified due to the Lions' chance of being the first team since Melbourne in the 1950s to win three successive premierships. Collingwood had achieved this feat, winning four successive premierships from 1927-30. Attention was also focussed on whether the Magpies would avenge their close loss to the Lions in the previous year's Grand Final.

In the week leading up to the Grand Final, Collingwood's Nathan Buckley was awarded the Brownlow Medal, which was tied between Buckley, Sydney's Adam Goodes and Adelaide's Mark Ricciuto.

The match attendance of 79,451 spectators was the smallest Grand Final attendance at the MCG since the 1946 VFL Grand Final, owing to the construction of new seating at the ground for the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Match summary[edit]

The Lions dominated the Magpies and led throughout the match, leading 5.5 (35) to the Magpies' 3.3 (21) at quarter time. They stretched their lead in the second quarter, leading 11.7 (73) to 4.7 (31) at half time.

Collingwood fought back early in the third quarter, kicking the first two goals after the main break, but could not maintain their intensity and still had a long lead ahead of them at the last break, trailing 9.7 (61) to Brisbane's 14.12 (96). The Magpies were at risk of being absolutely humiliated as the Lions piled on six goals during the last quarter, but Collingwood saved face by scoring three late goals, reducing the margin to 50 points.

Final scores: Brisbane 20.14 (134) defeated Collingwood 12.12 (84).

Simon Black of the Lions was awarded the Norm Smith Medal for being judged the best player afield.[1] Jason Akermanis kicked 5 goals for Brisbane.

With this win, Brisbane became AFL Premiers for the third consecutive year, the fourth club and fifth team in VFL/AFL history to do so and earned a place as one of the greatest teams of the modern era. Hawthorn would be the next club to win three flags in a row (2013, 2014 & 2015). Brisbane would go on to contest a fourth consecutive Grand Final in the 2004 AFL Grand Final, but would lose that game to Port Adelaide.


Brisbane Lions
B: 2 Chris Johnson 15 Mal Michael 33 Darryl White
HB: 6 Luke Power 23 Justin Leppitsch 44 Nigel Lappin
C: 12 Jason Akermanis 3 Michael Voss (c) 13 Martin Pike
HF: 9 Ashley McGrath 16 Jonathan Brown 30 Robert Copeland
F: 4 Craig McRae 11 Alastair Lynch 36 Daniel Bradshaw
Foll: 27 Clark Keating 20 Simon Black 32 Shaun Hart
Int: 19 Jamie Charman 1 Blake Caracella 10 Marcus Ashcroft
14 Richard Hadley
Coach: Leigh Matthews
B: 26 Ben Johnson 14 Shane Wakelin 8 James Clement
HB: 39 Matthew Lokan 35 Simon Prestigiacomo 13 Richard Cole
C: 6 Brodie Holland 5 Nathan Buckley (c) 37 Ryan Lonie
HF: 11 Shane O'Bree 34 Jason Cloke 17 Scott Burns
F: 28 Ben Kinnear 38 Tristen Walker 20 Chris Tarrant
Foll: 25 Josh Fraser 2 Shane Woewodin 18 Paul Licuria
Int: 4 Alan Didak 29 Heath Scotland 22 Rhyce Shaw
1 Leon Davis
Coach: Mick Malthouse


Saturday, 27 September 2:40pm Brisbane Lions def. Collingwood MCG (crowd: 79,451) Report
5.5 (35)
11.7 (73)
14.12 (96)
 20.14 (134)
3.3 (21)
4.7 (31)
9.7 (61)
 12.12 (84)
Umpires: McBurney, Kennedy, Allen
Norm Smith Medal: Simon Black (Brisbane Lions)
Television broadcast: Network Ten
National anthem: Christine Anu
Akermanis 5
Lynch 4
Caracella, Brown 2
McRae, Pike, Hadley, Black, Leppitsch, Hart, Bradshaw 1
Goals 3 Didak
2 Burns
1 Davis, Woewodin, Buckley, Licuria, Tarrant, Fraser, Scotland
Black, Akermanis, Voss, Lappin, Hart, Michael, Pike, Power Best Fraser, Burns, Buckley, Johnson, Licuria
Nil Injuries Nil
Nil Reports Nil

See also[edit]


  1. ^ In 1897 and 1924 there were no Grand Finals and instead the premier was decided by a finals play-off. In 1948 and 1977 there were Grand Final replays after initial draws.


  1. ^ a b Davis, Greg (28 April 2012). "2003 grand final was Simon Black's standout performance, says Leigh Matthews". The Courier-Mail.
  2. ^ "2003 Premiership".