Moments that mattered in the Grand Final: After-the-siren goals and an advantage howler

It was tight. It was tense. It was simply epic!

Collingwood prevailed over Brisbane by four points in one of the great AFL Grand Finals, one which had both iconic passages of play and controversial late discussion points.

Here, we look at the five key moments, both from on the day and in the lead up to the Big Dance, which led to the Magpies joining long-time rivals, Carlton and Essendon, on 16 premierships.

Collingwood's timely and spirit-crushing after-the-siren goals

Grand Finals are all about seizing the big moments and Jordan De Goey's long bomb from outside 50m, after the quarter-time siren, was as monumental as they come.

The first quarter at the MCG had been dominated by Collingwood, at least in the territory stakes. The Magpies had won the inside 50 count 19-7, however, had been unable to create any real gap on the scoreboard, with each side having kicked three goals when the siren blew to signal the first break in play.

But seconds earlier, De Goey had marked on the 50m arc and was busy lining up an after-the-siren shot at goal. He flushed it, split the uprights and generated a crowd roar only topped for decibels by the one at fulltime. De Goey's goal also opened up a 10-point lead for the Magpies.

All of the momentum with Collingwood, right? Not quite.

Brisbane booted four of the next five goals in a wildly entertaining and high-scoring second term, and at one point led the match by 13 points. But the Magpies rallied, as we've come to expect, and had the game on level terms in the blink of an eye.

They were once again in a position to score post-siren after some Nick Daicos magic on the wing saw the ball exit a stoppage and land in the lap of Jack Crisp, 40m from goal, and seconds before the half-time bell.

Just like De Goey, Crisp nailed his chance, putting the Magpies back in front at the main break. Those two goals in the reddest of time were the difference in winning the premiership for Collingwood.

The lack of advantage in that Lions advantage was mind-boggling

You hate to analyse and critique an umpire's decision, or in this case, non-decision, in the dying stages of a Grand Final, but it's impossible to ignore what unfolded in the final moments of Saturday afternoon's game. There's also no denying it may well have cost the Lions a flag.

Joe Daniher had just snapped truly from 30m out to reduce the margin to four points, giving Brisbane a pulse with 90 seconds remaining.

The resulting centre bounce saw the ball rushed forward towards Brisbane's attacking 50m arc, before being scooped up by Lachie Neale. Just as he fired out a handball to Zac Bailey 55m out from goal, the two-time Brownlow medallist was tripped by Oleg Markov.

Unsurprisingly, the umpire blew his whistle to pay the free kick to Neale, almost in unison with Bailey blindly snapping the ball over his left shoulder for a shallow inside 50 entry. Everyone at the MCG, and those watching on around the country, expected the ball to come back to Neale, but the umpire signaled the advantage had been taken by Bailey. What!?

The ball was easily repelled by Darcy Moore, and the Magpies were able to win back possession moments later when Tom Mitchell was taken high in a tackle attempt on the wing.

From there, Collingwood was able to hold onto the ball until the final siren. Talk about a pivotal call which had a monumental impact on the outcome of the game.

A 2022 campaign of success and heartbreak for the Magpies

The dejected scene of Nick Daicos and Jack Ginnivan arm in arm following the heartbreaking preliminary final loss to Sydney last year was one of the most iconic images of the 2022 season. And it's this moment which might just be one of the catalysts behind Collingwood's epic premiership triumph just 53 weeks later.

The Magpies had already made one of the more impactful changes in its club history: the appointment of Craig McRae as senior coach. In fact, it's difficult to think of a recent head coaching appointment which has led to such a profound impact on a football club in such a short space of time.

Since taking over the reigns at the beginning of last year, McRae hasn't just reset the culture standards of a club in desperate need of stability and image re-shaping, but wasted no time in turning the on-field performance of the Magpies around.

He led the team to a 16-6 home and away record last year, before falling short to Sydney in that SCG preliminary final. At the time it felt like the type of loss which unites a playing group, and hindsight confirms exactly that.

This year, Collingwood's 18-5 home and away record won them the minor premiership. They then beat Melbourne, Greater Western Sydney and Brisbane to scale football's Mt Everest and clinch the premiership cup, all while having to overcome the losses of Daniel McStay and Taylor Adams in the lead-up to the game, and Nathan Murphy on the day.

"This is about 106,000 members. This is about the players and their stories. It's about all our staff ... I'm just the face of it," McRae said, after the game. "On reflection it was one of the best games I've ever been involved with."

All this after finishing 17th just two seasons ago. Remarkable.

The acquisition of Bobby Hill might just go down as the best recruit of the year

What about Bobby Hill?

This time last year Hill was just four weeks removed from wrapping up an 11-game season with Greater Western Sydney, one in which he endured a horror battle with testicular cancer. It was a campaign which, for Hill, yielded just nine goals and three wins. A few weeks later he would complete an unheralded move to the Magpies.

The idea he would play a starring role in a Grand Final for Collingwood and have it end with the Norm Smith Medal draped around his neck was as farfetched as it comes.

The 23-year-old livewire was comfortably the best and most influential player on the ground. He booted four first half goals and clunked a mark which would have had him in the conversation for the best of the year, if finals counted towards the award. While he didn't add another major after the main break, he was a constant threat, setting up a Scott Pendlebury goal and finishing with 18 disposals and five tackles.

"It's a family club and I've never been happier," Hill said after the game. "I only had one meeting with [Collingwood] in Sydney, it just clicked. I knew it was the right spot."

Hill tormented Brandon Starcevich all game, not just with his speed and pressure but also with the skill and evasiveness. And when Chris Judd stepped to the dais to reveal the winner of the Norm Smith Medal, there really was no doubt Hill's name would be read out.

A series of superstar father-son Magpie selections

The father-son rule is one of the great traditions of Australian Rules football. Over the years, some clubs have benefited from it far greater than others, and the Magpies are certainly one of those.

Collingwood captain Darcy Moore -- son of two-time Brownlow medallist, Peter -- has been an instrumental figure in his side's run to the premiership. Not only is he in the argument for the league's best defender, but he, along with McRae, has been pivotal in re-shaping the culture of the club.

And then there's the Daicos brothers, son of league icon, Peter.

Nick's influence since being drafted 24 months ago needs no introduction. He's already universally regarded as one of the best players in the sport, and had he not suffered a knee injury late in the home and away season, would probably already have won a Brownlow Medal. Earlier in the month, both Nick and brother Josh, as well as Moore, were awarded All-Australian blazers for their exceptional 2023 seasons.

The trio all played important roles on Grand Final day. Nick won a game-high 29 disposals, had eight score involvements and kicked the opening goal of the game, while Josh worked tirelessly on the wing to finish with 17 disposals and nearly 500 metres gained. Moore didn't have his usual intercepting influence, after being forced to play a more lock down type role once Murphy was subbed out of the game with concussion, but the sight of his receiving the premiership cup from his father will live on as one of the great moments in football history.