The Crows go into tonight’s clash with the Hawks as big underdogs.
This is Finals time though- and if one thing’s for sure- finals can produce surprising results.
Beyondthegame.tv relives 5 of the biggest AFL Finals upsets of recent times.
5. Geelong’s Docker Shocker.
Fremantle def Geelong at the MCG. Elimination Final 2012.
Yes Geelong only finished one place above the Dockers in 2012- but most people expected this one to be an easy win for the Cats.
Geelong were the reigning Premiers and Fremantle had never won a Grand Final outside of Perth.
Somebody forgot to send the memo to the Dockers however who ran absolutely riot. They smashed the Cats in the first quarter opening a 6.9 to 0.1 lead.
There was no coming back from there for the Cats who were bundled out of the Finals with a shock 16 point defeat.
4. Jarman Sinks Saints.
Adelaide defStKilda at the MCG. Grand Final 1997.
This was the Saints Grand Final. The team that hadn’t won a flag since 1966 had dominated the 1997 season finishing top of the ladder. They also had the best player in the comp on their team- Brownlow Medalist Robert Harvey.
The Crows had had an okay season- finishing the year in 4th place. Few gave them any chance in the Grand Final- especially without their star Full Forward Tony Modra who was injured in the Preliminary Final.
Everything was going to plan for the Saints who led the Crows by 13 points at half time.
That is until two Crows decided to put on a show. Eight last quarter goals to the Crows would obliterate the Saints. Andrew McLeod had the ball on a string- and unexpected hero Darren Jarman was unstoppable at Full Forward booting six goals.
The Crows shocked the football world- winning their first ever Premiership by 31 points.
For the Saints- their long Premiership drought would continue.
3. Pies shut down the Power.
Collingwood def Port Adelaide at AAMI Stadium. 2002 Qualifying Final.
Port had a belter of a year in 2002. They finished the season Top of the ladder- one game clear of the Brisbane Lions.
When they faced the fourth placed Magpies in the Qualifying final in front of a ferocious Port Adelaide home crowd nobody gave the Pies any chance.
Enter Paul Licuria. The Magpie midfielder got leather poisoning racking up a ridiculous 40 disposals. The home crowd was left in stunned silence as the Pies led from start to finish to upset the Minor Premiers by 13 points.
2. Dew Destroys Cats.
Hawthorn def Geelong at the MCG. 2008 Grand Final.
Geelong the 2007 Premiers absolutely dominated the 2008 Home and Away Season finishing top with 21 wins from a possible 22.
The Hawks were never going to be easy beats- with a brilliant forward line that featured Coleman Medalist and Buddy Franklin and his partner in crime JarrydRoughhead.
But it was an unlikely man who ripped the fancied Cats apart in the Third quarter. In his last game of football Stewie Dew had possibly the best 4 minutes of football you will ever see- with two goals- and two goal assists.Stewie Dew’s magic put the Cats out of business and helped propel the Hawks to a surprise Grand Final win.
1. Bombers Bomb Out.
Carlton defeat Essendon at the MCG. 1999 Preliminary Final.
As great as our previous four finals upsets were- none of them come close to this match.
In 1999 Essendon were unstoppable. The Dons steamrolled their opponents with a ruthless and physical approach. At the end of the Home and Away season- they may as well have engraved the word ‘Essendon’ on the Premiership Cup.
Carlton weren’t so impressive- they finished the season in 6th place and snuck into a Preliminary Final against the Bombers.
Absolutely nobody gave Carlton a chance of winning the game. But the Blues didn’t get the memo and jumped to a surprise early lead. In the third quarter the Bombers game finally clicked into gear as they took a handy 11 point lead in the third quarter.
But a phenomenal last quarter from Anthony ‘Kouta’ Koutoufides and one of the greatest tackles of all time from Fraser Brown would bring the Bombers 1999 season crashing down.