A Collingwood AFL player takes a mark during the grand final against the Brisbane Lions.

Magpies pip Lions in AFL grand final classic as Hill claims Norm Smith Medal in stellar display

Collingwood has claimed a record-equalling 16th premiership with a thrilling four-point win over the Brisbane Lions in the AFL grand final.

Bobby Hill kicked a career-best four goals to claim the Norm Smith Medal in the Magpies’ epic 12.18 (90) to 13.8 (86) victory in front of 100,024 spectators at the MCG on Saturday.

The win iced a day of personal significance for Magpies coach Craig McRae, who announced in the post-match ceremony that his wife gave birth to a baby girl earlier in the day.

The Magpies’ win came despite losing key defender Nathan Murphy to concussion after quarter-time.

It was Collingwood’s first premiership since 2010, following heartbreaking grand final defeats in 2011 and 2018.

Scott Pendlebury (23 disposals, six clearances) and Jack Crisp (25 disposals, two goals) shone for the Magpies in the instant classic, while Nick Daicos (29 disposals) and Jordan De Goey (18 disposals, two goals) were also influential.

Joe Daniher and Charlie Cameron kicked three goals each for the Lions and Zac Bailey slotted a pair of stunners in the first quarter.

Zac Bailey made his presence felt up forward for the Lions early in the contest.(Getty Images/AFL Photos: Michael Willson)

Daniher’s final goal gave the Lions a sniff of victory with just over 90 seconds left to play in the last quarter, but Collingwood hung on in a tense finish to the four-quarter arm wrestle.

Neither side led by more than 13 points and there were 10 lead changes throughout the day.

It was an anticlimactic start when eight-time grand final umpire Simon Meredith’s wayward opening bounce had to be called back and thrown up.

But the first half was packed with highlights, from brilliant goals on both sides to Hill’s spectacular high mark on Brandon Starcevich’s shoulders.

A Collingwood AFL player takes a mark during the grand final against the Brisbane Lions.

Collingwood’s Bobby Hill brought the crowd to its feet with a spectacular mark in the second quarter.(AAP: James Ross)

None of the majors were better than Bailey’s second, when he smothered Mason Cox’s kick and received a handpass from Daniher before outmanoeuvring Cox and Murphy on the boundary and snapping truly.

Hill booted all four of his goals in a first half that featured six lead changes as Collingwood took a 9.9 to 9.3 advantage to the main break.

Neither side generated any real momentum during a third term that produced just three goals and another two lead changes.

The Magpies had been inaccurate but turned for home with a four-point lead — 10.15 to 11.5.

Cameron shook off Brayden Maynard and Isaac Quaynor to put the Lions in front but De Goey immediately replied, giving the Magpies the upper hand with less than five minutes to play.

They looked home when Steele Sidebottom goaled from long-range after a 50-metre penalty against Jarrod Berry, but Daniher’s late snap made for a nervous final few moments.

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Collingwood vs Brisbane

From father to son — Darcy Moore lifts the cup

Smiles and tears abound as Peter Moore hands the premiership cup to son Darcy and Craig McRae.

It’s official, the cup begins to Collingwood!

Craig McRae’s wife had a baby this morning!

Talk about your day of days! A baby girl born at 7:45am this morning, amazing news.

Darcy Moore receives his medal

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The captain and coach Craig McRae have taken centre stage.

Here’s Moore.

“Firstly, to the Brisbane Lions Football Club, congratulations on an incredible season. You’ve played some unbelievable football and you’ve held yourselves in great character and we’ve really admired you all season long.

“Today felt like a fitting end to what was an amazing season of football. Congratulations and well done on an incredible season. We look forward to many more battles like that in the seasons to come.

“I want to give a special shout out to all of the past players of the Collingwood Football Club, every person who has put on the black and white stripes over our history. It is not lost on us the 23 that run out here today and every week that we represent you and your years of dedication and hard work and we do everything we can to make you proud.

“And last, but most certainly not least, our 19th man, out there in the stands and watching at home, the Magpie Army.

“Your passion, your dedication and your loyalty has made being a Collingwood player this season, something really special. Thank you so much for all those times you’ve dragged us across the line, all the times you’ve yelled to our TV. We feel it all and are so grateful.”

Scott Pendlebury savours the moment

The Magpies are receiving their medals

Only Scott Pendlebury and Steele Sidebottom have been up there before.

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Bobby Hill has won the Norm Smith Medal

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What a story! Four goals and constant pressure earns Bobby Hill a Norm Smith.

Who wins the Norm Smith Medal?

Bobby Hill? Nick Daicos? Jack Crisp? Keidean Coleman?

We are about to find out.

The Magpies’ celebrations begin

(Getty Images)

The emotion is exploding out of the MCG right now, from both Collingwood and Brisbane players.

Collingwood captain Darcy Moore has spoken to Channel Seven:

“So surreal. I grew up a Collingwood supporter. I was here in 2010, 2003, 2 002, in the stands.

“It feels surreal, it is just bizarre. So much work goes in for so long, so much has to go right to pull it off today. And we did it.

“It was fun to play. I’m sure it was fun to watch. We said at half time what an incredible game it is.

“Bobby Hill, unbelievable. Jordy’s goal. Steele’s goal, incredible and Brisbane were just unbelievable all day. They just kept coming at us. I’m lost for words.”

Steele Sidebottom with the match-winning goal

A champion’s crowning moment. What a kick.


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Incredible. Absolutely incredible.

A grand final we will talk about decades, and a Collingwood premiership their fans will savour for a lifetime.

The Magpies have won the grand final by just four points, breaking Lions hearts but treating us all to football of the absolute highest quality.

Goals to Jordan De Goey and Steele Sidebottom kicked the big goals in the last quarter to set up the win, but that late major from Joe Daniher set up the most breathless of finishes.

But the Pies held on. They always do! This is a special team that simply wins these games. And now they have a premiership to show for it.


1′: Free kick Mitchell!

Free kick Collingwood! They’ll kill some clock with 30 seconds to play.

1′: Lions had a chance

Neale was awarded a free kick but the Lions didn’t realise and took the advantage! Less than a minute to play, stoppage in Brisbane’s forward half.


Hugh McCluggage somehow kept the ball in right on the boudary line, and his hacked squaring kick hit Daniher on the chest. He wasted no time in snapping home the goal.

The Lions have life! 1:33 to play, a four point game!


3′: Crisp marks 55 metres out

And he tells the umpire he’s taking the shot on goal. But of course he then chipped sideways to Howe. The Pies are killing the clock cleverly.

4′: Clock against Brisbane now

A boundary throw in coming deep inside Collingwood’s attacking 50. 3:23 to play, Lions need two goals.


I was so very, very wrong! Steele Sidebottom most certainly does have the journey in him!

He has kicked that a mile and dead straight! The Pies lead it by 10 points with 4:23 to play,

5′: 50m penalty to Sidebottom!

He’s still about 50 metres out, I don’t think he can make that journey.

6′: Jordan De Goey answers right back! Collingwood back in front!

Jordan De Goey takes the handball from Nick Daicos and bombs one straight over the umpire’s hat from 50! What a clutch finish from Jordan De Goey, Collingwood’s man for the big moment!

And the Pies are back in front! They were only down for 21 seconds!

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Author: Russell White