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1996 AFL Grand Final

The 1996 AFL Grand Final was an Australian rules football game contested between the North Melbourne Football Club and the Sydney Swans, held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne on 28 September 1996. It was the 100th annual Grand Final of the Victorian Football League/Australian Football League, staged to determine the premiers for the 1996 AFL season. The match, attended by 93,102 people, was won by North Melbourne by a margin of 43 points, marking that club's third premiership victory.


Main article: 1996 AFL season

Sydney were playing in a Grand Final for the first time since relocating from South Melbourne. It was the Swans' first appearance in a premiership decider since losing the 1945 VFL Grand Final, while it was North Melbourne's first since losing the 1978 VFL Grand Final.

At the conclusion of the home and away season, Sydney had finished first on the AFL ladder with 16 wins and 5 losses and one draw, winning the McClelland Trophy. North Melbourne had finished second with 16 wins and 6 losses.

Match summary

Team 1 2 3 Final
North Melbourne 3.2 (20) 8.7 (55) 12.14 (86) 19.17 (131)
Sydney 6.2 (38) 8.5 (53) 9.7 (61) 13.10 (88)

The AFL's centenary year was crowned by North Melbourne which made amends for the disappointment of three successive failed finals campaigns. The Kangaroos won their third flag (and the only Gold Premiership Cup in history) despite a slow start. Led by bullocking defender Glenn Archer and superstars Corey McKernan and Wayne Carey, the Kangaroos were hellbent in their premiership quest.

The Swans, although overwhelmed at the finish, started well and kicked the last three goals of the first quarter to lead by 18 points at quarter time. When Jason Mooney goalled early in the second quarter the Swans' lead extend to 24 points. However, Glenn Freeborn's move to the forward line sparked the Kangaroos, with Freeborn kicking three goals for the quarter and Darren Crocker and Brett Allison each kicking one, and by half time the Kangaroos led by 2 points.

North Melbourne dominated the third quarter, with two goals to Craig Sholl and one each to Peter Bell and Crocker, which saw them leading by 26 points at three quarter time.

The Kangaroos kicked the first two goals of the final quarter through Anthony Stevens and Mark Roberts to effectively kill the contest. The two teams traded goals until the end of the game, with North ultimately triumphing by 43 points.

Tony Lockett tried hard for the Swans in his first and only Grand Final, booting six goals. Paul Roos was playing in his 314th game of VFL/AFL football. He continues to hold the record for the most games played before participating in his first Grand Final.

The Norm Smith Medal was awarded to Archer for being judged the best player afield.


North Melbourne
B: 8 Robert Scott 4 Mick Martyn 11 Glenn Archer
HB: 2 Wayne Schwass 6 Ian Fairley 12 John Blakey
C: 34 David King 37 Adam Simpson 7 Dean Laidley
HF: 17 Glenn Freeborn 18 Wayne Carey (c) 33 Brett Allison
F: 24 Craig Sholl 31 Corey McKernan 27 Darren Crocker
Foll: 16 Matthew Capuano 3 Anthony Rock 10 Anthony Stevens
Int: 5 Stuart Anderson 22 Mark Roberts 26 Peter Bell
Coach: Denis Pagan

B: 7 Brad Seymour 6 Andrew Dunkley 30 Mark Bayes
HB: 39 Adam Heuskes 1 Paul Roos 19 Michael O'Loughlin
C: 27 Wade Chapman 8 Daryn Cresswell 9 Shannon Grant
HF: 34 Troy Luff 17 Jason Mooney 3 Dale Lewis
F: 5 Craig O'Brien 4 Tony Lockett 11 Stuart Maxfield
Foll: 15 Greg Stafford 12 Kevin Dyson 14 Paul Kelly (c)
Int: 24 Derek Kickett 32 Daniel McPherson 29 Simon Garlick
Coach: Rodney Eade

Goal kickers

North Melbourne

  • Crocker 3
  • Freeborn 3
  • Allison 2
  • Roberts 2
  • Sholl 2
  • Stevens 2
  • Bell 1
  • Carey 1
  • Fairley 1
  • Rock 1
  • Simpson 1


  • Lockett 6
  • Luff 2
  • O'Loughlin 2
  • Cresswell 1
  • Kickett 1
  • Mooney 1

External links

  • Match details at Rleague

See also

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