Collingwood secured its 16th premiership in a battle for the ages against Brisbane in the scorching Grand Final conditions of 2023. With both teams showcasing top-notch performances throughout the season, this Grand Final turned out to be an instant classic.
In front of a whopping 100,024 spectators at the MCG, Collingwood edged out Brisbane by just four points in a nail-biting encounter. This victory marked the end of a 13-year premiership drought for Collingwood, tying them with Essendon and Carlton for the most premierships in the competition’s history.
The game was a rollercoaster of remarkable highlights, fierce toughness, brilliant goals, individual brilliance, and unwavering team spirit. Craig McRae’s Collingwood squad emerged as the 2023 premiers, securing a 12.18 (90) to 13.8 (86) victory.
The match commenced with Nick Daicos scoring the opening goal for Collingwood. Zac Bailey’s two goals in the first quarter helped Brisbane take the lead briefly. However, Collingwood surged ahead with a 10-point lead at the end of the first quarter, thanks to a long-range goal by Jordan De Goey after the siren.
The second quarter lived up to the hype, with Charlie Cameron leading Brisbane’s resurgence. Brisbane’s small forwards troubled Collingwood, and they built a 13-point lead. Bobby Hill stole the spotlight for Collingwood, kicking three goals in the quarter, including a remarkable mark inside the 50.
The third quarter became an intense struggle, with Collingwood managing only behinds until Bobby Hill found Scott Pendlebury for a crucial goal in the final minutes, putting Collingwood ahead by four points heading into the last quarter.
Brisbane had opportunities at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but Collingwood’s commitment to playing every minute paid off. Craig McRae’s positive and belief-driven philosophy proved its worth, as Collingwood secured an extraordinary premiership cup when it mattered most.
With only minutes remaining, Brisbane’s Charlie Cameron appeared to have sealed the win with a sensational snap that put his team ahead by four points. However, Collingwood’s stars, Nick Daicos and Jordan De Goey, quickly responded. Daicos’s quick handball set up De Goey’s remarkable 50-metre bomb, marking the 10th lead change of the game.
Collingwood extended its lead with a 50-metre penalty awarded to Steele Sidebottom, who slotted a goal from long range. With just over a minute left, Brisbane’s Hugh McCluggage enabled Joe Daniher to snap a goal, narrowing the gap to four points. Collingwood held on in the final moments to secure the premiership.
Bobby Hill played a crucial role in Collingwood’s triumph, kicking four goals and earning the Norm Smith Medal. Nick Daicos was outstanding, accumulating a game-high 29 disposals and adding a crucial goal.
Collingwood’s ability to excel in close contests was on full display in this Grand Final. They had honed this skill over the past two years and executed it flawlessly on the biggest stage.