2004 AFL Grand Final
Match program cover

Port Adelaide

Brisbane Lions
17.11 (113) 10.13 (73)
1 2 3 4
PA 4.5 (29) 6.6 (42) 12.8 (80) 17.11 (113)
BL 2.2 (14) 6.7 (43) 9.9 (63) 10.13 (73)
Date25 September 2004 (2004-09-25), 2:40pm
StadiumMelbourne Cricket Ground
FavouriteBrisbane Lions
Umpires#5 Mathew James, #10 Brett Allen, #30 Shane McInerney
Coin toss won byMichael Voss (Brisbane Lions)
Kicked towardCity End
Pre-match entertainmentGuy Sebastian, The Ten Tenors, David Hobson & Kath & Kim
National anthemGuy Sebastian
Norm Smith MedallistByron Pickett (Port Adelaide)
Jock McHale MedallistMark Williams (Port Adelaide)
Broadcast in Australia
NetworkNetwork Ten
CommentatorsAnthony Hudson (Commentator)
Tim Lane (Commentator)
Robert Walls (Expert Commentator)
Christi Malthouse (Boundary Rider)
Andrew Maher (Boundary Rider)
Stephen Quartermain (Host)
Stephen Silvagni (Analyst)
Mick Malthouse (Analyst)
← 2003 AFL Grand Final 2005 →

The 2004 AFL Grand Final was an Australian rules football game contested between the Port Adelaide Football Club and the Brisbane Lions, held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne on 25 September 2004. It was the 108th annual grand final of the Australian Football League (formerly the Victorian Football League), staged to determine the premiers for the 2004 AFL season.

The match was won by Port Adelaide, marking that club's maiden AFL premiership victory. It was a closely fought match until midway through the third quarter, when Port Adelaide broke away and went on to win by 40 points. It was attended by 77,671 spectators. It was also the first Grand Final in AFL/VFL history, to not have a Victorian side play, however, this was overshadowed by the fact that the Brisbane Lions were formerly the Brisbane Bears who had merged with the Fitzroy Lions at the end of the 1996 season, which - ironically - opened the opportunity for Port Adelaide to enter the league.


Further information: 2004 AFL season

At the conclusion of the home and away season, Port Adelaide had finished first on the AFL ladder with 17 wins and 5 losses, winning the McClelland Trophy for the third successive year. At the start of the year, Port Adelaide's captain was ruckman Matthew Primus, however he was injured in Round 3 and missed the rest of the season, which meant that forward Warren Tredrea acted as captain. Port Adelaide beat Geelong by 55 points in the qualifying final at AAMI Stadium, which gave them a week off and a place in the preliminary final; Port Adelaide then defeated St Kilda by 6 points in a tight preliminary final to advance to the grand final.

Graphs are unavailable due to technical issues. There is more info on Phabricator and on MediaWiki.org.
Round-by-round ladder positions of the two teams during the season.[1]

Brisbane finished second on the ladder with a record of 16 wins and 6 losses. Brisbane thrashed St Kilda by 80 points in the qualifying final at the Gabba, and then defeated Geelong by 9 points in the preliminary final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground – although Brisbane had earned a home preliminary final under the finals system in place, grounds contracts with the Melbourne Cricket Ground required one preliminary final to be staged at the ground, and as the lower-ranked team, Brisbane's was chosen.

It was Brisbane's fourth consecutive Grand Final; and, having won the previous three, was attempting to become the first club to win four consecutive premierships since Collingwood in 1927–30. Port Adelaide was appearing in its first ever AFL Grand Final, having gained a reputation as finals chokers for its previous three seasons – when two minor premierships and a third place home and away finish both ended in lower positions after finals.

The match was played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the capacity of which was reduced owing to construction work on the new northern grandstand ahead of the 2006 Commonwealth Games, resulting in the attendance being 77,671. This was the lowest at a grand final attendance since 1991, when it was held at Waverley Park, and the lowest at the MCG since the 1948 Grand Final Replay.[2]

For the first time in VFL/AFL history, both competing grand finalists were clubs based outside the state of Victoria; and, as of 2023, it remains the only grand final featuring two expansion teams who joined the league after 1986 as part of national expansion. In an article for the Herald Sun titled "Our misery is interstate joy – Invaders on the M.C.G.”, Kevin Healey stated that “Victorian footy fans’ worst nightmare finally came true last night – two interstate teams will contest the A.F.L. Grand Final.”[3] This became a trend of sorts, as for the following two years, the Sydney Swans (formerly the South Melbourne Football Club) and the West Coast Eagles would play in the 2005 and 2006 AFL Grand Finals, each winning on respectively. So, in fact there has - as of 2024 - not been a truly non-Victorian AFL Grand Final yet.

Media coverage


Station Region Play-by-play commentators Analysts and boundary riders
Triple M National James Brayshaw
Brian Taylor
Sam Newman
Jason Dunstall
3AW Melbourne, Victoria Clinton Grybas
Rex Hunt
Gerard Healy
Terry Wallace
Robert Dipierdomenico
5AA Adelaide, South Australia KG Cunningham
Chris Dittmar
Russell Ebert
ABC National Dan Lonergan
Drew Morphett
Stephen Williams
Mark Maclure
Stan Alves
Caroline Wilson?
Peter Brookby

Match summary

Jonathan Brown did not train with the Brisbane Lions players in their warm-up, but he did take to the field at the start of the game.[4]

First quarter

Leading up to the opening bounce and for large portions of the first quarter there were scuffles between players. After Brisbane missed a couple of early shots at goal, Port Adelaide controlled the majority of the quarter, and Josh Carr kicked the first goal on the run after winning a contest at half-forward in the 8th minute. Two more goals soon followed, to Brendon Lade in the 12th minute and Warren Tredrea in the 16th minute to open a 19-point lead. Brisbane fought back through Jason Akermanis, who kicked goals in the 20th and 23rd minutes from long set shots to narrow the margin back to 8. At this point, a vicious brawl broke out between Brisbane full forward Alistair Lynch and Port Adelaide defender Darryl Wakelin; immediately after, Lynch limped off the ground under the blood rule, but also having torn his quadriceps earlier in the quarter, and he played very little part in the rest of the game. Port Adelaide continued to dominate general play throughout the quarter, and with a late goal from a boundary throw-in to Byron Pickett in the 28th minute, Port Adelaide extended its quarter time advantage to a well-deserved 15 points, Port Adelaide 4.5 (29) lead Brisbane 2.2 (14).

Second quarter

The second quarter continued to be rugged and absorbing. General play started to favour the Lions, but the Lions fell down in the forward line, kicking 0.4 (4) from several chances in the first ten minutes of the quarter; while Port Adelaide capitalised on a reversed free kick against Jason Akermanis in Brisbane's forward line to rebound the length of the ground, finishing with a goal against the run of play to Pickett, extending the Port Adelaide advantage to 19 points.

Brisbane then enjoyed a brief purple patch, kicking four goals in seven minutes to take the lead. The first, to Clark Keating in the 16th minute, came from a solid contested mark in the forward pocket; to Daniel Bradshaw in the 19th minute from a 40m set shot; to Akermanis in the 21st minute, with a snap shot from the boundary line after a boundary throw-in; and finally to Tim Notting in the 22nd minute after he roved a goal square marking contest. Toby Thurstans (Port Adelaide) kicked a steadying goal from a coast-to-coast play in the 26th minute, and Brisbane led the game by one point at half time, Brisbane 6.7 (43) led Port Adelaide 6.6 (42).

Third quarter

In an even start to the third quarter, Thurstans kicked his second goal in the 2nd minute of the third quarter to regain the lead for Port Adelaide, before Notting kicked two goals on the run in two minutes to regain a six-point lead for Brisbane. Pickett kicked his third goal in the 8th minute after winning a high tackle free kick at centre half-forward; and Daniel Bradshaw kicked another for Brisbane in the 10th minute from a 45m set shot to restore Brisbane's six-point lead. The two teams then settled into a tight arm wrestle, each kicking one behind over the following ten minutes.

Then, Port Adelaide enjoyed a strong end to the quarter, kicking four goals in the final ten minutes of the quarter to open up a three goal lead. Josh Mahoney kicked the first in the 22nd minute after marking 30m from goal; Gavin Wanganeen kicked the second in the 25th minute with a mark from the same position; Shaun Burgoyne kicked the third in the 28th minute after roving a ruck contest in the forward pocket; and Wanganeen kicked the fourth in the 30th minute on the run after marking in the forward pocket. Brisbane had one chance in the final minute, Akermanis missing a snap shot from the pocket, and Port Adelaide led by 17 points at three-quarter time, Port Adelaide 12.8 (80) led Brisbane 9.9 (63).

Fourth quarter

Mahoney having a very good quarter. Will it carry over the top – For Wanganeen! To put them three goals in front!

They are the winningest team in Australia. The old Port Adelaide have won 36 [SANFL] premierships. Today at the MCG may just be their finest hour.

Tim Lane calling the last goal of the third quarter on Network Ten.[5]

In the critical opening of the final quarter, Port Adelaide struck quickly, Gavin Wanganeen roving at full forward after Shaun Burgoyne created a turnover to kick his third goal in the second minute; and then Wanganeen again in the sixth minute to kick his fourth goal from 45m in general play. At this stage, Port Adelaide led by 29 points, having kicked six goals – four by Wanganeen – inside fifteen minutes either side of three quarter time. It was a premiership-winning burst against which Brisbane could not recover. Bradshaw kicked a goal in the 9th minute from a turnover to bring the margin back to 22 points, but after Thurstans kicked his third goal in the 13th minute, any Brisbane resistance ended. Port Adelaide kicked two more goals – to Stuart Dew in the 23rd minute and Adam Kingsley in the 25th minute – eventually winning by a comfortable 40 points, Port Adelaide 17.11 (113) d. Brisbane 10.13 (73).[6]


Following the match, Port Adelaide coach Mark Williams was quite animated, his celebrations including a speech on the dais in which he uttered the now-famous words "Allan Scott – you were wrong!", in reference to a comment made by Scott (the major sponsor of the Port Adelaide Football Club at the time), earlier in the 2004 season, that the club could not win a premiership under the coaching of Williams. Williams also made a mock choking gesture by holding his tie above his head like a noose as he stepped onto the arena, a reference to the breaking of Port Adelaide's reputation as "chokers" – which had been acquired after having losing in the previous two finals series, despite dominating the home-and-away seasons in those years.[7]

Norm Smith Medal

Byron Pickett, a premiership-winning defender with North Melbourne in 1999, turned into a match-winning on-baller for the Power, and he capped his day with being awarded the Norm Smith Medal for being judged the best player afield. His match statistics were 19 kicks, 1 handball, 8 marks, 2 tackles, 3 goals and 2 behinds.

Norm Smith Medal Voting Tally
Position Player Club Total Votes Vote Summary
1 (winner) Byron Pickett Port Adelaide 10 1, 3, 3, 3, 0
2 Gavin Wanganeen Port Adelaide 7 3, 0, 0, 1, 3
3 Kane Cornes Port Adelaide 6 0, 2, 2, 0, 2
4 Peter Burgoyne Port Adelaide 5 2, 1, 1, 0, 1
5 Roger James Port Adelaide 2 0, 0, 0, 2, 0
Voter Role 3 Votes 2 Votes 1 Vote
Digby Beacham Sunday Times, Perth Gavin Wanganeen Peter Burgoyne Byron Pickett
Roger Vaughan AAP Byron Pickett Kane Cornes Peter Burgoyne
Clinton Grybas 3AW Byron Pickett Kane Cornes Peter Burgoyne
Michael Turner K-Rock Byron Pickett Roger James Gavin Wanganeen
Bruce Abernethy Triple M Adelaide Gavin Wanganeen Kane Cornes Peter Burgoyne


Alastair Lynch was reported several times for his fight with Darryl Wakelin, and was ultimately suspended for 10 weeks and fined $15,000 – although, as he retired after the game, he did not end up serving the suspension. Lynch later noted that he mentally snapped after having injured his quad early in the game, and that his poor spectacle remains one of his greatest career regrets.[8] Additionally, Jonathan Brown was suspended for five matches and fined $3000 for striking and wrestling with Josh Carr, Simon Black was suspended for a total of three matches on two separate striking charges, Darryl Wakelin was fined $5000 for wrestling with Lynch, and Josh Carr was fined $2400 for wrestling Brown.[9][10]

Following this game, the AFL introduced doubled tribunal penalties for indiscretions in the grand final, in an attempt to protect the spectacle of the grand final to its global audience.[8] As of 2023, the 2004 incidents remain the last major grand final brawls.


Port Adelaide
Brisbane Lions
Port Adelaide
B: 21 Michael Wilson 2 Darryl Wakelin 19 Matthew Bishop
HB: 11 Damien Hardwick 35 Chad Cornes 3 Brett Montgomery
C: 22 Josh Mahoney 9 Josh Carr 18 Kane Cornes
HF: 15 Byron Pickett 16 Warren Tredrea (c) 7 Peter Burgoyne
F: 28 Toby Thurstans 5 Brendon Lade 4 Gavin Wanganeen
Foll: 20 Dean Brogan 38 Roger James 8 Shaun Burgoyne
Int: 29 Adam Kingsley 25 Domenic Cassisi 17 Stuart Dew
6 Jarrad Schofield
Coach: Mark Williams
Brisbane Lions
B: 2 Chris Johnson 15 Mal Michael 33 Darryl White
HB: 22 Chris Scott 23 Justin Leppitsch 5 Brad Scott
C: 12 Jason Akermanis 44 Nigel Lappin 20 Simon Black
HF: 4 Craig McRae 16 Jonathan Brown 13 Martin Pike
F: 36 Daniel Bradshaw 11 Alastair Lynch 30 Robert Copeland
Foll: 27 Clark Keating 3 Michael Voss (c) 6 Luke Power
Int: 25 Dylan McLaren 14 Richard Hadley 8 Tim Notting
1 Blake Caracella
Coach: Leigh Matthews


2004 AFL Grand Final
Saturday, 25 September 2:40pm Port Adelaide def. Brisbane Lions MCG (crowd: 77,671)
4.5 (29)
6.6 (42)
12.8 (80)
 17.11 (113)
2.2 (14)
6.7 (43)
9.9 (63)
 10.13 (73)
Umpires: James, Allen, McInerney
Norm Smith Medal: Byron Pickett (Port Adelaide)
Television broadcast: Network Ten
National anthem: Guy Sebastian
Wanganeen 4
Pickett, Thurstans 3
S. Burgoyne, Carr, Dew, Kingsley, Lade, Mahoney, Tredrea 1
Goals 3 Akermanis, Bradshaw, Notting
1 Keating
Pickett, P. Burgoyne, Wanganeen, Thurstans, K. Cornes Best Akermanis, Notting, Lappin, Bradshaw
Wakelin – Attempting to strike and wrestling Lynch
Carr – 2× wrestling
Reports Lynch – Seven offences against Wakelin
Brown – Striking and wrestling Carr
Black – 2× striking
  • This was Port Adelaide's first premiership in the AFL since it joined the AFL.


A number of participants from this Grand Final have gone on to coach at senior level in the AFL:

1 Scott and Hardwick coached against each other in the 2020 Grand Final, which, due to a COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria that prevented the match from being played at its contracted ground, the Melbourne Cricket Ground, was played at the Gabba. The 2004 Grand Final was the second time Scott and Hardwick opposed each other as players, with the former winning in 2001.[11]

2 Following his stint as Brisbane Lions head coach, Leppitsch was an assistant coach under Hardwick when Richmond won the 2017, 2019 and 2020 premierships, and under McRae when Collingwood won the 2023 premiership.[12][13][14]

3 Prior to his stint as Gold Coast Suns head coach, Dew was an assistant coach under John Longmire when the Sydney Swans won the 2012 premiership.[15]

4 Prior to his stint at Greater Western Sydney Giants head coach, Kingsley was an assistant coach under Hardwick when Richmond won the 2019 and 2020 premierships.[16]

See also


  1. ^ "Ladder - 2004 AFL Premiership Season". Australian Football. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  2. ^ "Port Adelaide win first premiership". Melbourne: The Age. 25 September 2004. Retrieved 25 September 2009.
  3. ^ Kelvin Healey. “Our misery is interstate joy Invaders on the M.C.G.” In Sunday Herald Sun. 19 September 2004, 3.
  4. ^ "AFL grand final underway". www.abc.net.au. 25 September 2004. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  5. ^ Tim Lane, 2004 AFL Grand Final – Port Adelaide vs. Brisbane, Channel 10.
  6. ^ "2004 - Port Adelaide v Brisbane Lions". AFL Tables. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  7. ^ "Frozen in time: Mark Williams chokes himself with his tie after Port Adelaide's 2004 Grand Final win". Fox Sports. 14 September 2013. Retrieved 27 September 2023.
  8. ^ a b Chris de Kretser; Daryl Timms (8 August 2011). "Fight still a sore point for Alastair Lynch". Herald Sun. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  9. ^ "Brown cops five-match ban". ABC. 4 October 2004. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  10. ^ "Retiring Lynch cops 10-match ban". ABC. 30 September 2004. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
  11. ^ Wilson, Caroline (23 October 2020). "A tale of two coaches: A greater legacy awaits either Scott or Hardwick". The Age. Retrieved 1 September 2021.
  12. ^ Edmund, Sam (4 October 2017). "The coach: How Dimma guided Tigers". Herald Sun.
  13. ^ "Leppitsch lives Tiger dream after Lions nightmare". The Morning Bulletin. 28 September 2017.
  14. ^ Hope, Shayne (2 October 2023). "Leppitsch surprised by Pies' rapid climb to AFL summit". Perth Now. Retrieved 2 October 2023.
  15. ^ Freeman, Daniel (6 October 2017). "New dawn for Suns coach Stuart Dew". Upstart. Retrieved 30 September 2023.
  16. ^ "'I've got a job to do': Incoming Giants coach to keep focus on Tigers' finals tilt". Australian Football League. 23 August 2022. Retrieved 2 October 2023.