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2004 Grand Final (What They Can Do Next Week)

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2004 AFL Grand Final
2004AFLGrandFinal
1 2 3 4
WCE 1.3 (9) 2.9 (21) 4.15 (39) 7.19 (61)
BRIS 0.4 (4) 2.5 (17) 6.7 (43) 8.7 (55)
Date 25 September 2004
Stadium Melbourne Cricket Ground
Attendance 73,283
Umpires Matthew JamesBrett Allen, Shane McInerney
Coin toss won by Brisbane
Kicked toward City end
Ceremonies
Pre-match entertainment Guy Sebastian, The Ten Tenors and David Hobson
National anthem Guy Sebastian
Accolades
Norm Smith Medallist Darryl White (Brisbane Lions)
Jock McHale Medallist Guy McKenna
Broadcast in Australia
Network Network Ten
Announcer Anthony HudsonTim Lane
< 2003 AFL Grand Final 2005 >

The 2004 AFL Grand Final was an Australian Rules Football match contested between the Brisbane Lions and the West Coast Eagles at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 25 2004. It was the 108th annual Grand Final held staged to determine the premiers of the 2004 AFL season. Attended by 73,283 spectators, it was won by West Coast by a margin of 6 points, making it the closest Grand Final since the 1989 premiership decider, and the second in which the premiership team scored fewer goals than runners-up.

Background

Appearing in their first Grand Final since winning the 1994 decider, West Coast came into the match favourites among football pundits, winning their last 17 games besides the final round loss to the Western Bulldogs, as well as being the years minor premiers. This was thanks in part to Guy McKenna, who West Coast was coached under since 2002, and guided them to the 2003 finals in 7th place. Under them in the 2004 ladder was Brisbane, who was in the hunt for their first premiership, followed by Geelong then Carlton. 

During the first week, West Coast lost their qualifying final game at Subiaco Oval to the 4th place Carlton despite leading by 14 at the final change, whilst the premiership-hungry Geelong managed to overcome the Brisbane Lions in a bid for their first Grand Final victory in 41 years. The second week followed with West Coast defeating the tired Port Adelaide, and Brisbane overcoming the 6th place Hawthorn. The third week progressed with a stunning 31 point comeback win by Brisbane over a charging Carlton, followed by an equally impressive 74 point win by the West Coast over Geelong, giving the top two teams access to win the premiership. 

Match Overview

The game began with the Brisbane captain, Michael Voss, winning the toss, kicking it towards city end. Following the opening siren, the game appeared to become a defensive game, and despite beginning played in clear weather with almost no wind, both teams in the first quarter found it difficult to kick straight, even if they could break each others defensive lines. Brisbane didn't score a goal until the second quarter in which full forward Darryl White managed to break the pack and kick from almost 55 meters out from the goal line. The first half ended quietly, with no team managing to find a score for almost 10 minutes. 

West Coast 2004 grand final

Ben Cousins being carried off after the West Coast's premiership victory

After the long break, Brisbane managed to put their play into overdrive, kicking 4 goals to West Coast's 2, and by the final change, it looked like Brisbane was about to grab he premiership cup, going up by 4 points with strong momentum behind them. This however changed in the final quarter, in which the West Coast defence stopped the Brisbane running game, and with 5 minutes to go, Brent Staker drew the game to a standstill, kicking a goal which tied up the teams. It would be another 3 nerve racking minuted before Ashley Sampi broke through the crowd, running 40 meters before kicking the goal that would put West Coast in front, and after another 2 minutes of defensive play, the final siren erupted alongside the cheers of the West Coast players and fans.

The Norm Smith medal would go to Darryl White, who, despite being on the losing side, won with his 4 goal 26 disposal game, followed up by West Coast Ben Cousins, who kicked only 2 goals for his side, but carried the ball  for 34 disposals. The Grand Final would go onto become one of only 2 in which the winning side scored less than the runners-up, and the first in over 50 years. 

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