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1997 Grand Final (What They Can Do Next Week)

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1997 AFL Grand Final
1997AFLGrandFinal
1 2 3 4
STK 2.4 (16) 5.7 (37) 10.10 (70) 14.11 (95)
WST 1.7 (13) 8.10 (58) 15.12 (102) 22.15 (147)
Date 27 September 1997
Stadium Melbourne Cricket Ground
Attendance 98,027
Umpires Hayden Kennedy , Bryan Sheehan, Mark Nash 
Coin toss won by Western Bulldogs
Kicked toward Punt Road End
Ceremonies
Pre-match entertainment Marina Prior
National anthem Marina Prior
Halftime show
Post-match entertainment
Accolades
Norm Smith Medallist Tony Libertore (Western Bulldogs)
Jock McHale Medallist Terry Wallace
Broadcast in Australia
Network Seven Network
Announcer Bruce McAvaney, Dennis Cometti and Sandy Roberts
 < 1996 AFL Grand Final 1998 > 

The 1997 AFL Grand Final was an Australian rules football game contested between the Western Bulldogs and the St. Kilda Saints, held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne on 27 September 1997. It was the 101st annual Grand Final of the Australian Football League, staged to determine the premiers for the 1997 AFL season. The match, attended by 98,027 spectators, was won by Western Bulldgos by a margin of 52 points, marking the club's 2nd premiership.

Background

The 1997 premiership decider was the first for the Saints since the 1971 grand final were they lost, whilst it was the first for the Bulldogs since the 1961 grand final were they to lost.

At the end of the 1997 home-and-away fixtures, St Kilda finished first with a 15 wins seven losses record, thus possessing the McClelland trophy. The Bulldogs on the other hand, led by Terry Wallace, finished in 3rd behind Geelong and St Kilda.

The Saints entered the grand final following a win against 8th placed Brisbane, sending them into a preliminary final against North Melbourne, a game which they won easily.

The Bulldogs on the other hand won their qualifying match against Sydney by 35 points to send them into a home preliminary against 4th placed Adelaide. After leading at all changes, Adelaide almost managed a come-from-behind win. However, a goal by Chris Grant won them the game by three points. They entered the grand final as minor underdogs.

Match summary

Despite being in front at first quarter time, the Saints failed to put any scoreboard pressure on during the second quarter, and by three quarter time the Bulldogs had run away with the game.

Tony Libertore, a Brownlow medalist for the Bulldogs, won the Norm Smith medal after a five goal haul in the second and third quarters put the Bulldogs into winning position. Chris grant was runner up after a four goal game whilst the most prominent Adelaide player, Andrew McLeod, kicked four goals of his own.

The Western Bulldogs went on to win the next two grand finals in 1998 and 1999, whilst appearing in but not winning in their fourth consecutive grand final in 2000.

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