Essendon win by 60 points
Jeff White (also with Fremantle)
After destroying North Melbourne to qualify for their first grand final in 12 years the Demons had to beat a team with just one loss all year. Neale Daniher acknowledged the magnitude of the task ahead of his side but said "We will be competitive and we will be confident. We are happy and we are in good form". President Joseph Gutnick was unable to attend due to his religious beliefs, watch TV, or listen to the game on the radio, he said "I don't know if it's a calamity but it's certainly a disappointment".
Despite overnight rain the match was played in perfect conditions. Having pushed the Bombers early in the season, some tipped the Dees to pull off one of the great upsets, and they had the first shot on goal with David Neitz missing. Melbourne led for the first four minutes, and hit the front again when Powell goalled midway through the first term, but a 12 scoring shot to six deficit at quarter time told the story of what was to come. They struggled to clear the ball from kick-ins, often allowing the Bombers to immediately launch repeat attacks.
Melbourne was overawed by the opposition and occasion, regularly making easy skill errors. Their poor delivery into the forward line left Jeff Farmer unable to have the same impact as his eight goal haul in the Preliminary Final. During the match it was revealed that Farmer was playing with a broken rib when his shirt was pulled off during a skirmish to reveal a chest protector.
Troy Simmonds was knocked out by a vicious Michael Long hit on the Southern Stand wing side during the second quarter and failed to register a stat. Brad Green also suffered a serious injury, a blow to the neck during the first quarter causing him to miss the rest of the match. At quarter time he had to seek medical help as the swelling in his throat restricted his breathing, ending with him on oxygen in the rooms and later in hospital. Both were later cleared of serious damage. Shane Woewodin also struggled throughout the match after straining a hamstring in the early minutes.
Neale Daniher said, "Today we were losers, no doubt about that, but over the season I see our young team as winners."
James Hird beat Nicholson, Febey, Grgic, McDonald and Woewodin on the way to 29 possessions and a Norm Smith Medal.
B: Daniel Ward, Anthony Ingerson, Alistair Nicholson
HB: Peter Walsh, Matthew Collins, Steven Febey
C: Adem Yze, Shane Woewodin, Anthony McDonald
HF: Brad Green, David Schwarz, Stephen Powell
F: Russell Robertson, David Neitz (c), Jeff Farmer
R: Jeff White, Guy Rigoni, Andrew Leoncelli
INT: Brent Grgic, Travis Johnstone, Ben Beams, Troy Simmonds
Sydney Morning Herald - 28/08/2000
South China Morning Post - 29/08/2000
Sun-Herald - 03/09/2000
Age - 04/09/2000
Sydney Morning Herald - 04/09/2000
Age - 25/02/2001