|2017 AFL Grand Final|
|Date||30 September 2017, 2.30 pm|
|Stadium||Melbourne Cricket Ground|
|Umpires||Matt Stevic, Simon Meredith, Shaun Ryan|
|Coin toss won by||Adelaide|
|Kicked toward||City End|
|Pre-match entertainment||The Killers, Mike Brady|
|National anthem||Dami Im|
|Post-match entertainment||The Killers|
|Norm Smith Medallist||Dustin Martin|
|Jock McHale Medallist||Damien Hardwick|
|Broadcast in Australia|
|Commentators||Bruce McAvaney (host and commentator)|
Hamish McLachlan (host)
Brian Taylor (commentator)
Wayne Carey (expert commentator)
Cameron Ling (expert commentator)
Tim Watson (boundary rider)
Matthew Richardson (boundary rider)
Leigh Matthews (analyst)
Nick Riewoldt (analyst)
Daisy Pearce (analyst)
The 2017 AFL Grand Final was an Australian rules football game contested between the Adelaide Football Club and the Richmond Football Club at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on 30 September 2017. It was the 121st annual grand final of the Australian Football League (formerly the Victorian Football League) staged to determine the premiers for the 2017 AFL season. The match, attended by 100,021 spectators, was won by Richmond by a margin of 48 points, marking the club's eleventh VFL/AFL premiership and first since 1980. Richmond's Dustin Martin was awarded the Norm Smith Medal as the best player on the ground.
See also: 2017 AFL finals series
Adelaide claimed the minor premiership for the second time in their history, finishing on top of the 2017 AFL ladder with 15 wins, 6 losses and 1 draw, edging out Geelong via a better percentage. The Crows recorded two dominant wins in the finals series, defeating Greater Western Sydney by 36 points in the qualifying final and then overwhelming Geelong to win the preliminary final by 61 points.
The Tigers improved immensely from their 13th-place finish in 2016, ending the home-and-away season with 15 wins and 7 losses, placing them third on the AFL ladder, their percentage giving them the edge over fourth-place Greater Western Sydney. Like Adelaide, Richmond faced tough opposition in the finals series but emerged with convincing victories. After a close first half, they ran away in the last quarter to defeat the higher ranked Geelong by 51 points in a tough away qualifying final, which earned them a week's break and a home preliminary final against Greater Western Sydney, which they won by 36 points. Both were played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground before crowds in excess of 90,000.
This was Richmond's first grand final appearance in 35 years since 1982, the club having last won a premiership in 1980; and it was Adelaide's third appearance in the grand final, the club having won its previous two grand finals in 1997 and 1998. The clubs' normal guernseys were deemed to be clashing; so, as the lower-ranked team, Richmond was required to wear its away guernsey, yellow with a black sash.
The two teams met only once in the home-and-away season in 2017, in Round 6, with Adelaide recording a 76-point win at the Adelaide Oval. Bookmakers installed Adelaide as the favourites to win the grand final, with the Crows regarded by Sportsbet as $1.72 favourites compared to Richmond valued at $2.15 for the win.
The match was televised by the Seven Network. The match commentary line-up included Bruce McAvaney and Brian Taylor as play-by-play commentators, Wayne Carey and Cameron Ling were the analysts, while Tim Watson and Matthew Richardson were on the sideline as boundary riders. Hamish McLachlan and Basil Zempilas rotated hosting duties and Leigh Matthews, Nick Riewoldt and Daisy Pearce provided punditry as part of the pre-game panel.
This was the first grand final commentated by Brian Taylor on commercial television, replacing veteran broadcaster Dennis Cometti who retired from television duties at the end of the 2016 season. McAvaney called his seventeenth grand final. It was also the first grand final in which Daisy Pearce was a member of the broadcast team.
Fox Footy also had pregame and postgame coverage by a panel including host Eddie McGuire, Dermott Brereton, Jonathan Brown, David King and Gerard Healy.
The grand final was the most watched television program in Australia for the 2017 calendar year, for the fourth year running, with 2.72 million viewers in the five largest Australian metropolitan cities.
|Station||Region||Play-by-play commentators||Analysts and boundary riders (If known)|
|ABC Grandstand||National||Gerard Whateley, Clint Wheeldon||Unknown|
|Triple M||National||James Brayshaw, Luke Darcy||Chris Judd, Mark Ricciuto, Neroli Meadows, Nathan Brown|
|1116 SEN||Victoria||Anthony Hudson, Matt Granland||Garry Lyon, Mick Malthouse, Danny Frawley|
|3AW||Victoria||Tim Lane, Tony Leonard||Jimmy Bartel|
|5AA||South Australia||David Wildy, Stephen Rowe||Mark Bickley|
|6PR||Western Australia||Adam Papalia, Mark Readings||Brad Hardie|
|KROCK||Geelong, Victoria||Tom King, Darren Berry||Unknown|
|AFL Nation||National (regional only)||Stephen Quartermain, Peter Donegan||Unknown|
|NIRS||National (regional only)||Bary Denner, Peter Cardamone||Unknown|
|Asia Pacific||Australia Plus|
|Ireland||BT Sport, ESPN|
|Middle East||Orbit Showtime Network|
|New Zealand||Sky Sports, TVNZ|
|United Kingdom||BT Sport, ESPN|
|United States||Fox Soccer Plus|
As has become custom in recent grand finals, the 2017 AFL Grand Final featured both pre-match and post-match entertainment on the ground. Several weeks before the match, the AFL announced that American rock band the Killers would headline the entertainment line-up and would be joined by Australian football singer Mike Brady. A former Australian representative at the Eurovision Song Contest, Dami Im, sang the national anthem. The Killers' pre-match and post-match performance was praised highly by several news and entertainment outlets, some of whom described their sets as "the best ever" performed at a grand final. Among others, the band played signatures songs Mr. Brightside, Somebody Told Me and When You Were Young, as well as newer song The Man and a cover of Midnight Oil's Forgotten Years. The band also returned to the ground for a free concert following the game where Richmond's Jack Riewoldt performed with the band.
The respective club ambassadors who carried the premiership cup onto the field before the game were Mark Bickley for Adelaide and Matthew Richardson for Richmond. Both worked the game as media members – Bickley as a colour commentator for FiveAA and Richardson as a boundary rider for the Seven Network telecast. Richardson also presented the trophy to Trent Cotchin and Damien Hardwick during the on-field award ceremony.
Richmond's Connor Menadue won the sprint event at half-time, with Jarrod Pickett of Carlton taking second and Josh Williams of North Melbourne taking third. Broadcast host Basil Zempilas was the sprint host, while Collingwood's Scott Pendlebury was honorary starter.
In the longest kick event on the Yarra, sponsored by Foxtel, Melton South captain-coach and retired Carlton star Brendan Fevola won with a 66.1-metre kick, with retired Essendon champion Dustin Fletcher taking second and the Western Bulldogs' Matt Suckling taking third. Other competitors included AFLW stars Katie Brennan (Western Bulldogs) and Sarah Perkins (Adelaide) as well as wildcard entry James Pennycuick. Bounce hosts Jason Dunstall, Danny Frawley and Brian Lake presented the event, broadcast on Fox Footy.
The Grand Final was played in cool, mostly cloudy conditions with light winds coming in from the southwest. Rain briefly fell at points during the second quarter but not enough to seriously influence the game.
Adelaide started the game strongly, with Matt Crouch finding Rory Sloane who kicked the Crows' opener. Shortly afterwards, Nick Vlastuin slipped over near the Adelaide goal mouth and Eddie Betts kicked the Crows' second. Richmond full forward Jack Riewoldt missed a string of chances for goal, and it took until the 16-minute mark for the Tigers to score their first goal when Josh Caddy marked in the left forward pocket, ran round and converted. This was followed shortly after with a goal to Bachar Houli, which briefly gave Richmond the lead, before Sloane and Hugh Greenwood answered with crumbing majors for Adelaide to give the Crows a lead of 11 points at quarter-time.
The Crows had the first two scoring shots of the second term – behinds to Betts and Tom Lynch – but Richmond dominated the rest of the quarter. Tigers' defender Alex Rance provided a pivotal moment three minutes into the term. With the Crows 13 points up and charging into attack, he effected a desperate diving spoil to deny Adelaide captain Taylor Walker on the lead at centre half-forward. Moments later, Riewoldt finally got on the board but he needed some sloppy defending from Adelaide, letting his kick bounce through with no one on the line and Jake Kelly's late lunge ruled ineffective by a score review. Jacob Townsend, who had not played a game in the senior team before round 22, was then awarded a free kick in a marking contest just inside the 50 metre arc, and he converted the set shot to put Richmond within two points. Jack Graham, the youngest player on the field at 19 years old and a former South Australian under-18 captain playing only his 5th AFL game, kicked Richmond's fifth deep in time on to put Richmond in front, and they never trailed from there. A minute later, Martin pushed deep forward and orchestrated a mismatch against Luke Brown, marked and kicked the Tigers' fourth straight to put Richmond nine points up at half time.
Richmond started the second half in the same manner as they left off in the second. Three minutes into the term, a free for a high tackle from Sloane saw Jack Graham kick his side's seventh. At the eight-minute mark, Shane Edwards managed to find an unguarded Shaun Grigg who converted a mark from 40 metres out. Ninety seconds later, Grigg in turn passed to an open Kane Lambert at full forward, who snapped the Tigers' ninth and the lead was out to 28 points. At the 14-minute mark, Richmond's string of unbroken goals was finally halted at seven as Walker marked inside 50 and converted, the Crows' first major for a quarter and a half. But Graham soon answered with his third goal of the game and eventually finished as this Grand Final's leading goalscorer. In time on, Martin took possession 25 metres out and fed the ball out to Jason Castagna, who snapped over his shoulder to effectively put the game beyond the reach of Adelaide, who trailed by 34 points at three quarter time.
Adelaide needed a record-breaking comeback to win, but Richmond opened the quarter with even more pressure. Riewoldt opened the quarter with his second goal from a well-contested mark inside the forward 50 and then found Lambert in open space with a handball to make a long run and then pass to Dion Prestia to finish. The Crows tried to make a game of it, kicking two goals in 90 seconds through Walker and Brad Crouch. But any last hope for Adelaide was snuffed out as Townsend intercepted a kick-in and converted the mark for his second goal, and then Dan Butler added another for the Tigers before Martin kicked his second during time on. Charlie Cameron scored a late consolation goal for Adelaide.
Richmond dominated the game after quarter time with a streak that included 11 of 12 goals. The Tigers dominated the Crows in contested possessions (170-140) and also won the clearances (45-39). Richmond kept Adelaide to their lowest score of the year and completely nullified a team that looked to have as potent an attack as seen in recent years, with the Crows kicking only four goals in the last three quarters and eight in the game.
|Position||Player||Club||Total Votes||Voting Summary|
|1st (winner)||Dustin Martin||Richmond||13||3,3,3,3,1|
|3rd - tied||Shane Edwards||Richmond||2||2|
|3rd - tied||Dion Prestia||Richmond||2||1,1|
|3rd - tied||Alex Rance||Richmond||2||2|
With 13 votes out of a maximum possible 15, Dustin Martin was awarded the Norm Smith Medal, becoming the first player in VFL/AFL history to win a premiership, the Brownlow Medal and the Norm Smith Medal in the same season. Bachar Houli was the runner-up with 10 votes, while no other player earned more than two votes. Three quarters of Martin's 29 disposals were contested, and he collected 6 clearances and two goals.
The 2000 winner, James Hird, was the presenter, which was notable as it was the Essendon champion's first public AFL appearance since being hospitalised after a drug overdose in January in the wake of the Bombers' performance-enhancing drug scandal during his tenure as senior coach. The voters and their choices were as follows:
|Voter||Role||3 Votes||2 Votes||1 Vote|
|Terry Wallace||AFL Nation||Bachar Houli||Shane Edwards||Dustin Martin|
|Chris Judd||Triple M||Dustin Martin||Bachar Houli||Jack Graham|
|Daisy Pearce||Channel 7||Dustin Martin||Bachar Houli||Dion Prestia|
|Jake Niall||Fox Footy||Dustin Martin||Bachar Houli||Dion Prestia|
|Mark McClure||ABC||Dustin Martin||Alex Rance||Bachar Houli|
The teams were announced on 28 September 2017. Both sides went into the match unchanged from their preliminary final teams. Injured Adelaide forward Mitch McGovern failed to recover in time for selection, with Crows' coach Don Pyke ruling him out of contention on the Wednesday of grand final week; and Richmond captain Trent Cotchin was scrutinised for an incident involving Greater Western Sydney midfielder Dylan Shiel in the preliminary final, but was cleared of any charge by the AFL Match Review Panel on the Monday of grand final week.
It was the first time since the inaugural grand final in 1898 that neither team fielded any players who had previously played in a grand final.
The umpiring panel, comprising three field umpires, four boundary umpires, two goal umpires and an emergency in each position is given below. All three field umpires, Matt Stevic, Simon Meredith and Shaun Ryan, had umpired in previous AFL grand finals.
|Field:||9 Matt Stevic (5)||21 Simon Meredith (5)||25 Shaun Ryan (6)||Brett Rosebury|
|Boundary:||Mitchell Lefevre (1)||Matthew Konetschka (1)||Rob Haala (4)||Damien Cusack (1)||Brett Dalgleish|
|Goal:||Luke Walker (7)||Adam Wojcik (4)||Matthew Dervan|
Numbers in brackets represent the number of grand finals umpired, including 2017.
|Saturday, 30 September (2:30 pm)||Adelaide||def. by||Richmond||Report|
|Umpires: Matt Stevic, Simon Meredith, Shaun Ryan|
Norm Smith Medal: Dustin Martin
Television broadcast: Seven Network
National anthem: Dami Im
|2: Sloane, Walker
1: Betts, Cameron, B. Crouch, Greenwood
2: Riewoldt, Martin, Townsend
1: Houli, Prestia, Caddy, Butler, Castagna, Grigg, Lambert
|M. Crouch, Jacobs, B. Crouch, Sloane, Laird||Best||Martin, Rance, Houli, Astbury, Prestia, Edwards, Graham, Grimes|