Alternate History

2001 Grand Final (What They Can Do Next Week)

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2001 AFL Grand Final
2001 AFL Grand Final logo
1 2 3 4
HAW 3.1 (19) 5.4 (34) 8.9 (57) 13.11 (89)
PORT 2.3 (15) 8.5 (53) 14.8 (92) 19.12 (126)
Date 29 September 2001
Stadium Melbourne Cricket Ground
Attendance 90,133
Umpires Matthew James, Scott McLaren, Martin Ellis
Coin toss won by
Kicked toward
Pre-match entertainment Vanessa Amorosi
National anthem Julie Anthony
Halftime show
Post-match entertainment
Norm Smith, Medalist Josh Carr (Port Adelaide)
Jock McHale, Medalist Mark Williams
Broadcast in Australia
Network Seven Network
Announcer Bruce McAvaney and Sandy Roberts
< 2000 AFL Grand Final 2002 > 

The 2001 AFL Grand Final was an Australian rules football game contested between the Port Adelaide Football Club and the Hawthorn Football Club held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground to determine the premiers of the 2001 AFL season. Held on the 29 September 2001, the match was attended by 90,133 spectators, and was won by Port Adelaide by 37 points, marking the club's first premiership. 


Following the 2001 grand final, the reigning premiers in Essendon fell from the top four, ending up in 5th position following the home-and-away season. To fill the power gap, Hawthorn rose to the top of the ladder on the back of a nineteen-win, three-loss season, finishing up as the minor premiers. The grand final was Hawthorn's first since the 1991 Grand Final a decade earlier. Port Adelaide on the other hand were entering after finishing 2nd on the ladder, and they were going into their first Grand Final since the clubs introduction into the AFL in 1997.

In the 2001 finals series, Hawthorn defeated a fourth placed Brisbane team by 40 points in the first qualifying final, before defeating the 7th place Western Bulldogs two weeks later in the preliminary final. Port Adelaide earned their way to the Grand Final after defeating the third placed Sydney in a close game, winning by three points, before defeating Brisbane in the second preliminary final.

The coaches of both teams were well known, as both Port Adelaide coach Mark Williams (playing for Collingwood and later, the Brisbane Bears) and Hawthorn Coach Peter Schwab (playing for Hawthorn) fought against each other during the Hawthorn heyday of the 1980's.

Match Summary 

After winning the toss, Port Adelaide started the game well, and after a two-goal lead early in the first quarter, followed by a brief comeback by Hawthorn which saw Ben Dixon kick three goals, winning them the quarter. Port Adelaide rebounded in the 2nd quarter however, led by captain Matthew Primus. The club took a 19 point lead going into the second half, thus ensuring psychological dominance. 

After what looked like a small comeback in the third quarter, Hawthorn fell behind the fast playing Port Adelaide, and after trailing by 35 at the last change, Hawthorn lost, 89 to 126. 

Josh Carr was awarded the Norm Smith medal after being judged best on ground with two goals and 37 disposals. On Hawthorns side, Ben Dixon was best giving a five-goal, 31-disposal performance. 

The 2001 grand final would be the first of three for the Port Adelaide side, and as for Hawthorn, the 2001 grand final would be their last, having not made a grand final since. 

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