Alternate History

2003 Grand Final (What They Can Do Next Week)

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2003 AFL Grand Final
1 2 3 4
SYD 3.2 (20) 4.2 (26) 9.7 (61) 15.11 (101)
PORT 2.6 (18) 4.9 (33) 5.13 (43) 7.17 (59)
Date 26 September 2003
Stadium Melbourne Cricket Ground
Attendance 75,472
Umpires Stephen McBurneyHayden KennedyBrett Allen
Coin toss won by Port Adelaide
Kicked toward City end
Pre-match entertainment Christine Anu, Gorgi Quill
National anthem Christine Anu
Norm Smith Medallist Nic Fosdike (Sydney Swans)
Jock McHale Medallist Paul Roos
Broadcast in Australia
Network Network Ten
Announcer Anthony HudsonStephen Quartermain
< 2002 AFL Grand Final 2004 >

The 2003 AFL Grand Final was an Australian rules football game contested between the Port Adelaide Football Club and the Sydney Swans Football Club held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground to determine the premiers of the 2003 AFL season. Held on the 26 September 2001, the match was attended by 75,472 spectators, reduced due to construction for the 2006 Commonwealth Games, and was won by Sydney by 42 points, marking the club's fourth premiership, and first in 70 years.


Port Adelaide was coming into the Grand Final after appearing in the two previous contests, winning only in 2001, before losing in 2002 against Adelaide. In 2003, Port Adelaide finished in 4th position following the conclusion of the home-and-away season. Above them was Carlton in 3rd position, followed by Sydney in 2nd, and finally Brisbane in first, thus giving them their first McCelland Trophy.

The finals progressed in the first week with first Sydney going up against, and defeating Carlton at the SCG by 15 points. A day later, Port Adelaide made a miraculous comeback against Brisbane to down the minor premiers by 2 points. After 2 weeks of waiting, the opponents were switched, with Sydney now defeating a injury stricken Brisbane, followed by Port getting over the line against Carlton by 22 points.

After winning their respective preliminary finals, the build up to the Grand Final itself was intense. It would be the first time in 7 years in which Sydney had a chance to win the final, and 2003 marked the 70th anniversary of the club winning it's last premiership in 1933, the longest drought of any club in the leagues history. Port Adelaide on the other hand were winding back the clock to the 2002 Final, and witnessing what went wrong, and who to change the outcome in 2003.

Match Overview

After winning the coin toss, Port Adelaide kicked the first 2 goals of the game, managing to go up 12 to nothing in the first 5 minutes before the game settled down into a stalemate. Sydney's first goal would come midway through the first quarter, with the Brownlow Medal winner, Adam Goodes, kicking it from point-blank range. After going up by 2 points in the first quarter, Port shot back, kicking 2 goals to Sydney's one, and at the long break, they went up by 7 points, their minds firmly set on the Premiership.

After half-time, Sydney attacked the ball far more than they did in the first half, winning the third quarter with a 5 goal haul, 4 of which coming from Nic Fosdike, before the final change, going up by 18 points. In the final quarter, the game became a blow-out, with Port Adelaide unable to defend against the raging Sydney, scoring only 2 goals to Sydney's 6, ending the game with 42 point difference the way of the Swans.

The Norm Smith medal was awarded to Nic Fosdike for being the best player on the ground, having 6 goals, and 25 possessions, followed by Port Adelaide Captain Warren Tredrea, who had a 4 goal game, but only having 19 disposals.

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