Losing the 2023 Grand Final by just 4 points in many way means that Brisbane were right in this contest. Collingwood were, however, never going to lose this match on the evidence of a couple of screenings of this great game. The game was won and lost on the back of defence, as most finals are. Brisbane’s back 6 just did not measure up to the extreme demands of the contest. Whereas the Magpies defence was enormous for 4 quarters and was the difference in the end. Why Brisbane lost the AFL Grand Final – it was their mediocre defence.
Bobby Hill Sliced & Diced Brisbane In AFL Grand Final
Bobby Hill ran amok throughout the Grand Final and was rewarded with the Norm Smith medal for his efforts. Collingwood was driving double-decker buses through the Lion’s back 6. Brisbane had to substantially outscore Collingwood to win this match and were unable to do so. The modern AFL game has players guarding space in defence rather than playing man on man. This strategy did not work with a player of Bobby Hill’s talents; and he cut them to shreds.
I thought after Hill had kicked 4 goals the Lions would clamp down on him, but they didn’t.
Lion’s Defence Not Up To GF Pressure
In a Grand Final you have to have a rock-solid defence to withstand the pressure of the occasion. Players wearing the black and white were marking the ball so easily in Collingwood’s forward line it was appalling, in my view. Coleman was wonderful for the Lions down back, but many others were just so, so. Andrews was ordinary until the final term. Grand Finals come down to key moments and who wins more of these prevails. Jaryd Berry made two terrible errors that cost goals and making the second of these was unforgivable. You have to be smart and courageous – one without the other is not good enough.
Berry did get a final quarter score involvement to Charlie Cameron for a goal, so he never gave up.
Paul Roo’s Bottom 6 Rule
Paul Roos used to say that it is the performance of each team’s worst 6 players that decides the outcome of a close Grand Final. The Magpies had more players performing at a higher level for longer than the Lions on the day. Perhaps, the Collingwood coach was sharper than the Brisbane coach on the day. Although coaches often say that on GF day it is up to the players in the final outcome. Still, only 4 points decided the outcome in the end; and it was close all game between these two great football teams. There can only be one winner.
Robert Sudha Hamilton is the author of The Stoic Golfer: Finding Inner Peace & Focus On The Fairway.