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Every Bulldog rated from the Grand Final: The million-dollar man arrives

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 01: Tom Boyd of the Bulldogs celebrates a goal  during the 2016 Toyota AFL Grand Final match between the Sydney Swans and the Western Bulldogs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on October 01, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/AFL Media)
Tom Boyd has a Grand Final to remember with three goals

Shane Biggs – 5
Never shirked a contest against his old club and his smother on the mark in the final quarter, ability to charge-down a handball and follow up inside 50 lead to Liam Picken's second goal of the game. 

Marcus Bontempelli – 7
The Norm Smith Medal favourite struggled to find an inch of space but his disposal when he got out of traffic was typically sublime. Found a gap working in a phone booth to thump the ball forward for Tom Boyd's first goal. Still finished with 22 quality touches despite the attention. 

Matthew Boyd – 8
At the sprightly age of 34, was the fourth-oldest Grand Final debutant in history and used every ounce of his 282-game experience in the clinches. Averted disaster after Gary Rohan smothered a kick-in in the second term, his only real shaky moment, and his hands in tight under pressure were incredible.

Dogs break drought

Tom Boyd – 9
The million-dollar man has arrived. Evoking memories of Tom Hawkins in 2011, Boyd's coming of age finals series continued on the biggest stage of all. Booted three goals – including a miraculous snap from the boundary on his left boot – took eight towering marks and got his hands dirty bullocking in the middle. His 55m bomb to win it after Buddy was mown down couldn't have been more fitting.

GAME BREAKER: Big man Boyd's breakout game

 

Zaine Cordy – 5
Cursed by Lachie Hunter after burning his teammate at the top of the square with a blazing checkside snap out on the full early, Cordy made amends with bonecrunching tackles on Dan Hannebery and Callum Mills. Got the Dogs on the board with a bullet from the boundary after catching Mills in possession. 

Luke Dahlhaus – 8
Typically tenacious stuff from the pint-sized midfielder, who was under every pack and racked up 23 of the toughest touches you could ask for in a Grand Final, also laying eight tackles. 

Caleb Daniel – 5
Had donuts to quarter-time after starting on the pine and just three touches to the main break, but like last week he worked his way into it and had some crucial efforts late to lock the ball in attack. Can be proud of his finals campaign.

As it happened: Dogs win famous flag

Tory Dickson – 7
Gets paid to kick goals and he delivered big time. Boosted his confidence with a steady shot from 50m early and then got front and centre for two opportunistic snaps in the second and third quarters from very little. Also laid five tackles.

Josh Dunkley – 5
The son of Swans champion backman Andrew would've made his old man proud by never shirking a contest and laying seven tackles, however he was kept under tighter wraps than previous weeks and couldn’t hit the scoreboard. 

Joel Hamling – 8
Wore Buddy like a second skin, bumping, wrestling, scrapping and standing in the superstar's path at every turn. Grew in confidence, marking a tumbling ball in the second quarter, and standing under a swirling bomb just before the long break. Was a man on a mission and barely lost a contest despite the most daunting task in footy.

10 things we learned from the Grand Final

Lachie Hunter – 6
His tunnelball effort to set up Tom Liberatore for a snap at goal would've made Jack Fitzpatrick blush, but an over-the-head handball to find Liam Picken was sublime. Three score assists and 19 touches in a solid performance. 

Jason Johannisen – 9
A worthy Norm Smith medallist. In a game of cut and thrust, his dash off half-back was vital and his ability to break the lines was unrivalled. Only blemishes were a couple of turnovers by foot but his 33 touches, nine inside 50s and seven rebound 50s speaks volumes, while a 50m running goal late would've been a fitting match-winner if not overturned. 

Tom Liberatore – 7
The son of club favourite Tony channeled his father with a frightful attack on the man and the ball, laying seven tackles and winning eight clearances. The heart and soul of Whitten Oval, he embodies everything the Dogs stand for.

Johannisen springs a medal surprise

Jack Macrae – 8
Went to work in the premiership quarter, racking up 11 touches as the Dogs made their push and started to overwhelm the Swans. Hooked a set shot from 15 out that could've come back to haunt with the Dogs only four points up, however it matters not now. 

Toby McLean – 5
Huge effort from the 20-year-old who had the last ping at goal slide to the near side as the Dogs broke the drought. Involved in one of the best passages of the game just before half-time, winning a high free kick at half-back, following the ball into attack and snapping a goal with 11 seconds to the siren. 

Dale Morris – 8
The veteran campaigner was massive in defence, shutting down Gary Rohan at times and then handling Isaac Heeney or Lance Franklin when he roamed up the ground. Dove on the ball at half-back in the third term in an inspirational passage, but he topped it by mowing down Franklin for Tom Boyd to kick the match-winner. 

Liam Picken – 9
Was sent to Dane Rampe after half-time to limit the star Swans defender and ended up booting three goals, including the match-sealer from the square in the dying minutes. An old-fashioned footballer who took a hang late and has had a September to remember. 

 

Fletcher Roberts – 5
Only touched the ball five times but after holding onto his spot ahead of Matt Suckling he justified the selection with a fault-free performance in defence.  

Jordan Roughead – 7
Cast aside any doubts about his eye with a super start when the match was at its hottest and took some towering grabs around the ground. Nullified Kurt Tippett and Sam Naismith. 

Clay Smith – 5
Was always going to find it hard to back up a four-goal game after an emotional week when he attended the funeral of a close friend. Found himself in the back-half for the Dogs early, which was unusual, and clamped on for 10 tackles – the second-most on the ground. Dead-eye goal in the pocket after a soft free was telling. 

Jake Stringer – 3
Was on track for an absolute shocker until he threw the ball onto his boot and turned a half-chance into a team-lifting major which put the Dogs up by seven points in the final term. Otherwise found it nearly impossible to shake the irrepressible Dane Rampe. 

Easton Wood – 8
Typified what a captain should be on Grand Final day. Simply refused to be beaten in any contest, whether it was hanging onto a Lance Franklin freight train for dear life or crashing packs. Won two do-or-die contests on the wing in the first quarter to set up the Dogs' second goal. Inspirational.

THE COACH 

Luke Beveridge – 10
Will go down as an immortal after masterminding the Dogs' unforgettable drought-breaking flag. Wherever he goes, success follows and Beveridge's ability to change things midway through games is almost unmatched, like throwing Liam Picken onto Dane Rampe after half-time with great effect. Has somehow brought a premiership to a club that looked in disarray just two years ago.