2002 AFL Grand Final
The Melbourne Cricket Ground, where the 2002 AFL Grand Final took place.


Brisbane Lions
9.12 (66) 10.15 (75)
1 2 3 4
COLL 1.4 (10) 4.4 (28) 8.10 (58) 9.12 (66)
BL 0.4 (4) 4.12 (36) 8.14 (62) 10.15 (75)
Date28 September 2002
StadiumMelbourne Cricket Ground
FavouriteBrisbane Lions
UmpiresBrett Allen, Mathew James, Stephen McBurney
Pre-match entertainmentKilling Heidi, The Whitlams, Kate Ceberano, The Human Tide and Mark Seymour
National anthemKate Ceberano
Norm Smith MedallistNathan Buckley (Collingwood)
Jock McHale MedallistLeigh Matthews (Brisbane Lions)
Broadcast in Australia
NetworkNetwork Ten
CommentatorsStephen Quartermain (Host and commentator)
Anthony Hudson (Commentator)
Robert Walls (Expert Commentator)
Malcolm Blight (Expert Commentator)
Christi Malthouse (Boundary Rider)
Gerard Whateley (Boundary Rider)
← 2001 AFL Grand Final 2003 →

The 2002 AFL Grand Final was an Australian rules football game contested between the Brisbane Lions and the Collingwood Football Club, held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne on 28 September 2002. It was the 106th annual grand final of the Australian Football League (formerly the Victorian Football League),[1] staged to determine the premiers for the 2002 AFL season. The match, attended by 91,817 spectators, was won by the Brisbane Lions by a margin of 9 points, marking the club's second consecutive premiership victory, as well as its second overall since being established in 1997.


The Lions finished second on the AFL ladder with a 17–5 record, one game behind Port Adelaide, and overcoming Adelaide and Port Adelaide in their early finals. It was the club's second consecutive grand final, having defeated Essendon in the 2001 Grand Final.

Collingwood had reached the finals for the first time since 1994, and found its way into its first premiership decider since the 1990 Grand Final. They finished fourth on the ladder with a 13–9 record, and not much was expected of them in the final month of the year. However, the Magpies upset minor premiers Port Adelaide by 13 points in a dramatic Qualifying Final at AAMI Stadium, earning a week's rest before beating Adelaide 13.13 (91) to 9.9 (63) in the preliminary final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Jason Cloke from Collingwood was suspended during the week after being charged for striking Tyson Edwards in the nose during their preliminary final victory against Adelaide. This controversy dominated headlines during the week in the buildup to the grand final. Also in the week leading up to the grand final, Brisbane's Simon Black was awarded the Brownlow Medal.

Match summary

In a tight and overall enthralling exhibition of Australian rules football, Brisbane withstood a brave challenge from Collingwood to win the 2002 AFL Grand Final by nine points, taking out their second successive flag. It was the first time since 1989 that the grand final was decided by less than four goals, with grand finals having often been one-sided affairs throughout the 1990s.

First quarter

The game was played in cold conditions with rain off-and-on throughout. In a tight, low-scoring first quarter, neither team could manage a goal until very late, Collingwood's Anthony Rocca kicking the first goal in the 27th minute. The quarter time score of 1.4 (10) vs 0.4 (4) was the lowest-scoring quarter in a grand final since 1960, and ended Brisbane's VFL/AFL record streak of 253 consecutive quarters in which it scored at least one goal.

Second quarter

Brisbane finally kicked its first goal in the 5th minute of the second quarter, Shaun Hart converting from general play in the forward pocket. Throughout the second quarter, Brisbane gained control of general play, but repeatedly failed to convert this advantage on the scoreboard. Collingwood regained the lead with a goal from a set shot and 50m penalty to Josh Fraser in the 14th minute, then extended it with another to Rocca from a down-field free kick in the 18th minute. Simon Black kicked Brisbane's second goal in the 22nd minute, and Tarkyn Lockyer responded with a set shot goal in the 27th minute. By the 28th minute of the quarter, the score was Collingwood 4.4 (28) leading Brisbane 2.12 (24), the Lions having kicked 2.8 for the quarter from its repeated forward entries, although had not missed many easy shots, with Collingwood's defenders keeping the Lions to hurried or wide-angle shots. But, two late goals – to Craig McRae in the 29th minute from a free kick with advantage at full forward, then Alastair Lynch from a 20m set shot – Brisbane took an eight point lead into half time. Overall in the second quarter, Brisbane had 24 inside-50s for 4.8 (32), and Collingwood had only eight for 3.0 (18).

Third quarter

After Brisbane's ground dominance in the second quarter, the third quarter was much more evenly contested, and early goals to Fraser for Collingwood (2nd minute), Lynch for Brisbane (4th minute) and Rocca (5th minute) brought the margin back within a goal. Collingwood regained the lead in the 12th minute when Nathan Buckley kicked his first goal. No goals were kicked over the next ten minutes, until Lynch regained the lead for Brisbane in the 22nd minute. Rocca then kicked his fourth goal to regain the lead in the 25th minute. As in the second quarter, Brisbane finished with two quick late goals – Jonathan Brown kicking his first goal in the 30th minute, then Michael Voss one minute later. Collingwood was the more wasteful in front of goal in the third quarter, kicking 4.6 (30) to Brisbane's 4.2 (26), and at three-quarter time, Brisbane led 8.14 (62) to 8.10 (58).

Fourth quarter

A tight opening to the final quarter saw no score until the eighth minute, when Rocca famously lined up for his fifth goal from a 50m set shot near the boundary line. Rocca thought he had kicked a goal and began to celebrate, but the goal umpire ruled it a behind; Rocca was known for his long kicking, and the ball crossed the goal line above the height of the posts making it a difficult score to judge, but in its post match review, the AFL confirmed the goal umpire's decision.[2] Three minutes later, Josh Fraser marked with the flight of the ball in the goal square, and kicked his third goal to put Collingwood ahead by three points. Another chance to score for Collingwood off the ensuing centre clearance was rushed through for a behind, in what was Collingwood's last score of the game, as heavy rain began to fall.

In the 14th minute, a kick to a pack at full-forward ended with a free kick to Alastair Lynch, who kicked his fourth goal and put Brisbane back in front by two points. Both teams had opportunities over the next ten minutes, and a behind by Jason Akermanis in the 19th minute extended the lead to three points. Then, in the 24th minute with just under five minutes of game time remaining, Akermanis roved the front of a marking contest at full forward and kicked a goal to put Brisbane nine points ahead. There was no further score, and Brisbane won by the nine point margin.[3]

Norm Smith Medal

Nathan Buckley of the Magpies was awarded the Norm Smith Medal as the best player afield, despite the fact that he finished on the losing side. It was the third time a grand final player had won the Norm Smith Medal without being on the winning premiership team. Out of respect for his teammates, Buckley took the medal off as he returned from the dais. Buckley polled 12 votes for the medal, and teammate Anthony Rocca finished second with 8 votes; Nigel Lappin was the highest-placing Lion with 5 votes, Voss polled 4 and Simon Black 1.[4]

To meet the timeline for compiling the votes, the panellists were asked to lodge their votes during the latter part of the final quarter, with some doing so as early as halfway through the quarter. Three of the five panellists famously claimed in the days after the match that they would have awarded more votes to Michael Voss had they voted after the final siren, as he had been pivotal in the dying minutes of the game – although it was never determined whether or not these extra votes would have been enough to make up the substantial eight vote gap to Buckley. Nevertheless, practices were changed to ensure votes were not cast until after the final siren from 2003 onwards.[4]

Norm Smith Medal Voting Tally
Position Player Club Total Votes Vote Summary
1 (winner) Nathan Buckley Collingwood 12 3, 3, 1, 3, 2
2 Anthony Rocca Collingwood 8 2, 2, 2, 2, 0
3 Nigel Lappin Brisbane Lions 5 1, 0, 0, 1, 3
4 Michael Voss Brisbane Lions 4 0, 1, 3, 0, 0
5 Simon Black Brisbane Lions 1 0, 0, 0, 0, 1
Voter Role 3 Votes 2 Votes 1 Vote
Robert Walls Network 10 Nathan Buckley Anthony Rocca Nigel Lappin
Patrick Smith The Australian Nathan Buckley Anthony Rocca Michael Voss
Geoff Slattery AFL Record Michael Voss Anthony Rocca Nathan Buckley
Mark Duffield The West Australian Nathan Buckley Anthony Rocca Nigel Lappin
Dwayne Russell ABC Radio Nigel Lappin Nathan Buckley Simon Black


Brisbane Lions
B: 26 Ben Johnson 14 Shane Wakelin 8 James Clement
HB: 15 Carl Steinfort 35 Simon Prestigiacomo 37 Ryan Lonie
C: 11 Shane O'Bree 5 Nathan Buckley (c) 9 Glenn Freeborn
HF: 1 Leon Davis 23 Anthony Rocca 19 Nick Davis
F: 10 Rupert Betheras 20 Chris Tarrant 25 Josh Fraser
Foll: 12 Steven McKee 17 Scott Burns 18 Paul Licuria
Int: 24 Tarkyn Lockyer 29 Heath Scotland 7 Jarrod Molloy
4 Alan Didak
Coach: Michael Malthouse
Brisbane Lions
B: 2 Chris Johnson 22 Chris Scott 23 Justin Leppitsch
HB: 6 Luke Power 15 Mal Michael 10 Marcus Ashcroft
C: 32 Shaun Hart 3 Michael Voss (c) 13 Martin Pike
HF: 1 Des Headland 16 Jonathan Brown 44 Nigel Lappin
F: 12 Jason Akermanis 11 Alastair Lynch 33 Darryl White
Foll: 27 Clark Keating 20 Simon Black 5 Brad Scott
Int: 43 Beau McDonald 4 Craig McRae 8 Tim Notting
34 Aaron Shattock
Coach: Leigh Matthews


Saturday, 28 September 2:40pm Collingwood def. by Brisbane Lions MCG (crowd: 91,817)
1.4 (10)
4.4 (28)
8.10 (58)
 9.12 (66)
0.4 (4)
4.12 (36)
8.14 (62)
 10.15 (75)
Umpires: Allen, James, McBurney
Norm Smith Medal: Nathan Buckley (Collingwood)
Television broadcast: Network Ten
National anthem: Kate Ceberano
Rocca 4, Fraser 3, Buckley, Lockyer Goals Lynch 4, Akermanis, Black, Brown, Hart, McRae, Voss
Buckley, Rocca, Burns, Fraser, Wakelin, Lonie, Freeborn, Betheras Best Voss, Keating, Lynch, Lappin
Injuries McDonald (dislocated shoulder), Pike (groin)
Licuria (kneeing Akermanis to the head in the third quarter), Burns (striking Brown in the second quarter) Reports Nil
Team Stats (B.L.) (Coll)
Kicks 198 193
Marks 87 64
Handballs 83 79
Tackles 44 73
Hitouts 48 27
Frees 16 24


Collingwood Magpies 66–75 Brisbane Lions
(9.12) (10.15)
Position Player Pos'ns[5] Goals
Forward Rupert Betheras 14
Forward Chris Tarrant 12
Forward Josh Fraser 13 3
Half-Forward Leon Davis 0
Half-Forward Anthony Rocca 12 4
Half-Forward Nick Davis 8
Centre Shane O'Bree 18
Centre Nathan Buckley 32 1
Centre Glenn Freeborn 17
Half-Back Carl Steinfort 2
Half-Back Simon Prestigiacomo 5
Half-Back Ryan Lonie 21
Back Ben Johnson 14
Back Shane Wakelin 10
Back James Clement 18
Rover Paul Licuria 14
Follower Steve McKee 16
Follower Scott Burns 17
Interchange Tarkyn Lockyer 10 1
Interchange Heath Scotland 8
Interchange Jarrod Molloy 1
Interchange Alan Didak 10
Mick Malthouse
Position Player Pos'ns[5] Goals
Forward Jason Akermanis 15 1
Forward Alastair Lynch 9 4
Forward Darryl White 9
Half-Forward Des Headland 13
Half-Forward Jonathan Brown 14 1
Half-Forward Nigel Lappin 28
Centre Shaun Hart 19 1
Centre Michael Voss 26 1
Centre Martin Pike 12
Half-Back Luke Power 13
Half-Back Mal Michael 9
Half-Back Marcus Ashcroft 14
Back Chris Johnson 13
Back Chris Scott 17
Back Justin Leppitsch 6
Rover Brad Scott 14
Follower Clark Keating 7
Follower Simon Black 22 1
Interchange Beau McDonald 0
Interchange Tim Notting 14
Interchange Craig McRae 7 1
Interchange Aaron Shattock 0
Leigh Matthews

See also


  1. ^ In 1897 and 1924 there were no grand finals and instead the premier was decided by a finals play-off. In 1948 and 1977 there were grand final replays after initial draws.
  2. ^ "Rocca shot not a goal: Gieschen". The Age. Melbourne, VIC. 1 October 2002. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  3. ^ "Brisbane Lions v Collingwood". AFL Tables. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  4. ^ a b "AFL to delay medal vote until siren". The Age. Melbourne, VIC. 1 October 2002. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Brisbane defeats Collingwood". Footywire.com. Retrieved 12 February 2008.