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Which was the best Grand Final since 2000?

St Kilda and Collingwood players react at the final siren of the 2010 Grand Final - ${keywords}
St Kilda and Collingwood players react at the final siren of the 2010 Grand Final

2016: Western Bulldogs 13.11 (89) d. Sydney Swans 10.7 (67)
The Dogs' epic triumph broke a 62-year premiership drought in front of just under 100,000 people, the majority of them in disbelief at what they'd just witnessed. The underdogs absorbed Josh Kennedy's unbelievable first half and stared down the threat of Lance Franklin to capture the flag in stunning fashion. Tom Boyd shrugged off the doubters on the biggest stage of all, former rookie- listed West Australian Jason Johannisen joined the elite with his Norm Smith Medal win, Liam Picken completed his transformation from tagger to gun forward, and stand-in captain Easton Wood led his side with class despite the pain of a dodgy ankle. There were heroes everywhere, and when coaching maestro Luke Beveridge slipped his medal over the head of injured skipper Bob Murphy, and the cup was lifted under a shower of red, white and blue, a historic grand final had the perfect ending. - Adam Curley

2010: Collingwood 9.14 (68) drew with St Kilda 10.8 (68)
I'll admit, seeing the Doggies rise from seventh to take home the title was a magical moment. But Curls, put down those red, white and blue glasses for a second and think back to the memorable 2010 decider. For the neutrals, this was everything you'd ever want – good against evil, plot twists galore and a sequel, which unfortunately like most movie franchises, fails to live up to the original. Down by 24 points at half-time, the Saints hit the front for the first time at the 20-minute mark of the final term when Brendon Goddard flew high over Heritier Lumumba to the delight of the 100,016 fans in attendance. The Magpies responded before Saints champion Lenny Hayes launched a bomb from the half-forward flank, the ball taking two flukey bounces to evade a desperate Stephen Milne and register a behin, tying the scores. The Saints had one last chance, but the Magpies held strong, clearing the ball to centre wing when the siren sounded, both sets of players falling to their feet in exhaustion knowing they would be playing in just the third – and ultimately last – Grand Final replay in VFL/AFL history. - Lee Gaskin

2009: Geelong 12.8 (80) d. St Kilda 9.14 (68)
Didn't anyone tell you draws are anti-climatic, Lee? Yes, the 2010 Grand Final draw was gripping. No one's disputing that. But a year earlier we were treated to a contest that was every bit as good and provided a thrilling finish to the season – not just universal numbness. Minor premier St Kilda and Geelong separated themselves from the rest of the competition in 2009, producing the game of the home and away season in round 14, which the Saints hung on to win by six points. The Grand Final was an even fiercer contest, with the lead changing six times as the two heavyweights went blow for blow. The score was locked at 67 points apiece at the start of time-on in the final term before an inspired toe-poke from Cats full-back Matthew Scarlett to Gary Ablett set up a Paul Chapman goal that put Geelong in front for good. Chapman was the star for the Cats, defying a hamstring injury suffered early in the game to win the Norm Smith Medal on countback from Saints defender Jason Gram. The Cats' triumph tasted even sweeter after their shock Grand Final loss to Hawthorn a year earlier, while the Saints' sense of desolation was heightened knowing they had come so close to breaking a then 43-year flag drought. - Nick Bowen

2006: West Coast 12.13 (85) d Sydney 12.12 (84)
Boys, boys, boys … come on. We're talking the best Grand Final. We want the game that had everything – fierce rivalry, superstars on both sides, stupid courage, unforgettable moments and the ultimate finish, a one-point win. Nothing compares to the Eagles' redemptive triumph. Nobody will forget Leo Barry's famous mark to end the Swans' premiership drought, but that merely raised the stakes the next season. Only 11 points had split these champion teams in their previous four meetings as they crossed paths again at the MCG. The Eagles raced to a 25-point lead by half-time, knowing the rested Swans would run over the top. Sure enough, Paul Roos' men fought back and in the dying minutes West Coast led by a solitary point, with the 97,431-strong crowd whipped into a frenzy. Enter Daniel Chick. In one of the great Grand Final moments, Chick charged down Ryan O'Keefe's attempted clearing kick inside 50, followed up, handballed to Adam Hunter and laid a shepherd for Hunter to kick the match-winning goal. These brave Swans weren't done with yet, but acts of desperation like Norm Smith medallist Andrew Embley's game-saving mark in defence, and Rowan Jones charging through Barry to win a critical 50-50 contest in the centre square halted Sydney's all-or-nothing surge and secured one of the most thrilling flag triumphs in history. - Travis King


The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs