The 2023 Grand Final will go down in history as one of the best ever played. The standard of footy was of the highest quality as both sides threw everything they had at each other. This year's grand final marked the first time since 2018 that the margin was less than five goals on the last Saturday of September.
After such a great game filled with incredible moments, it's hard to narrow it down to only five. Individual performances, big goals, and an array of talent on display made this year's grand final one of the best ever played.
Although we have picked out five, it would be criminal not to have a few honourable mentions before we get into the biggest moments of the game.
HM: Bailey's brilliance in kicking the Lion's first
Despite the loss, Zac Bailey was one of the best performers on the day. The first few minutes of the game were dominated by the Pies, kicking the first two and sending the crowd into raptures.
To silence the Magpie Army, Bailey grabbed the ball from Oscar McInerney's great tap-work and stormed into the forward 50. Tucked up toward the boundary, Bailey took a few steps before launching from 45 out on his right foot. On the wrong side for a right-footer, Bailey somehow managed to make the ball work left to right to get the Lions fans roaring.
The goal was pure class from the small forward and was clearly one of the goals of the game. Whilst undoubtedly a brilliant goal, it was somehow not his best on the day...
HM: Pendles kicks a goal to send the Pies fans into a frenzy
Scott Pendlebury had a day to remember. His second flag in 13 years, the longest gap between premierships in history, along with teammate Steele Sidebottom. Bobby Hill took a mark in the forward pocket and had everyone convinced he was going to kick around the body for goal number five.
Instead, Hill centred the footy to the former Collingwood skipper, allowing the oldest man in the competition to have a shot at goal. Kicking his side's only goal in the third term after an inaccurate quarter, 'Pendles' extended the lead to five points after a very Lion-dominated term.
The 35-year-old can finally call himself a two-time premiership player after giving absolutely everything to the Magpies. A goal to go with another flag and a Norm Smith in 2010 made his afternoon even more special.
HM: Classy Cameron puts the Lions ahead
A significant goal threat all game, livewire small forward Charlie Cameron had big moments throughout the afternoon. Finishing with a total of three goals, Cameron proved just how good he is on the big stage.
With just under six minutes remaining, Cameron muscled off Brayden Maynard and out-manoeuvred Isaac Quaynor to kick his third. Against the flow of play, the Lions took a two-point lead to send the travelling fans nuts.
Although Cameron only had seven touches, he made the best of all of them and kicked big goals when it mattered most.
HM: Post-siren goals not once, but twice
With under 20 seconds remaining in the first term, Isaac Quaynor burst through the middle of the ground and hit De Goey on the chest perfectly. Rather than rushing to play on and find a target, De Goey took the moment himself and killed the clock. Lining up outside 50, De Goey slotted the goal to give the Pies a 10-point lead heading into quarter time.
Kicking a goal after the siren is rare enough, but for it to happen twice in a grand final is unheard of. Just before the halftime siren, Magpie Jack Crisp marked the ball right on the 50 with the scores being level. Only a couple of minutes after Joe Daniher equalised for Brisbane, Crisp gave the Pies a one-goal lead going into halftime.
The Collingwood chant began to ring around the MCG at the conclusion of such a scintillating first half.
With the honourable mentions out of the way, check out our top five moments from the grand final.
5. De Goey reclaims the lead late
After Charlie Cameron kicked a goal to send the Lions in front late, De Goey wasted no time in reclaiming the lead. At the next centre bounce after the Cameron goal, the Pies won the centre clearance. The ball made its way into the forward 50 before being punched away by Darcy Gardiner.
A quick grab and classy handball from Nick Daicos was all that was needed as the ball landed in De Goey's hands. Off a couple of steps and just inside 50, De Goey launched a bomb to send the Pies fans into raptures.
Although a quiet day on paper for De Goey after being held well by Brisbane's Josh Dunkley, his pair of goals were huge to secure the Pies' success.
— Lace out (@laceoutofficial) October 1, 2023