Greatest AFL Finals of the Modern Era

by The Know

On the eve of the 2017 AFL Finals Series we look at the greatest games that have shaped the Finals series in the modern era. Great finals are etched into history and are games that are never forgotten by fans and players.

Here’s our list of the Greatest AFL Finals of the Modern Era:

2013 Elimination Final: Richmond vs Carlton

The Scene was set, Richmond playing finals for the first time since 2001 faced Carlton who finished 9th but promoted due to the Essendon Drug Saga,
A record elimination crowd of 94,060 roaring fans – majority of them Tiger fans saw their team lead as much as 32 points before the Blues inspired by Chris Judd on one leg oversaw the comeback,
In a see sawing final quarter Carlton would run out eventual 20 point winners with Richmond condemned to further September misery.

2016 Preliminary Final: GWS vs Western Bulldogs

Two of the most exciting teams of the 2016 season faced off in an absolute epic battle. GWS looking to earn their first Grand Final berth against the Bulldogs chasing their first Grand Final appearance since 1961. In a cliffhanger, it was goal for goal until Devon Smith had the chance to square it with 2 minutes to go but missed. Tory Dickson then sealed the victory with a behind just before the siren to run away 6 point winners!

2013 Preliminary Final: Hawthorn vs Geelong

The Hawks first win against the Cats since the 2008 Grand Final to break the ‘Kennett Curse’. Booting the last three goals of the game to overturn a 20 point three-quarter time deficit, the Hawks recorded a famous 5 point victory over the old enemy. The stage was set with 30 seconds to go, Cat Travis Varcoe had a set shot 30 metres out from goal but could not convert. This victory effectively started the golden three-peat era of the Hawks.

2005 Semi Final: Sydney vs Geelong

A Young Geelong side were on its way to the Preliminary Finals, leading Sydney by 23 points in the Final Quarter,
The Swans had kicked 3.12 for the night and with the game all but decided – Enter Nick Davis who single handily won the game off his boot kicking the last 4 goals and importantly the winner with less then 10 seconds remaining.
Heartbreak for the Cats but for Davis he reignites the Swans Finals hopes which then went on to win their drought breaking Premiership 2 weeks later.

2011 Preliminary Final: Collingwood vs Hawthorn

Leading by 17 points at three-quarter time, the Hawks looked set to cruise their way into the 2011 Grand Final until a great Magpie fightback turned the game on its head. In a seesawing last quarter, with only minutes to go Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin kicked one of the great finals goals from the boundary line to all but seal the game. The ball was then frantically rushed down the other end as Luke Ball snapped a goal to put the Pies back in front. Cyril Rioli streamed from defence with under a minute to go which looked promising for the Brown & Gold but a desperate chase and tackle from Dale Thomas ended the Hawks charge forward and ultimately saved the game. Collingwood were into their second straight Grand Final.