Craig O'Donoghue is part of The West Australian's sports writing team. He joined The West Australian in 2000 and spent 2013-14 working in the Melbourne bureau. He now focuses on AFL and basketball.
It takes extreme talent to turn a game in the blink of an eye, yet Melbourne did just that on the game’s biggest stage.
Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge is adamant his players will recover from the devastation of being blown away in a grand final and challenge again despite the thumping 74-point margin.
Marcus Bontempelli put the Bulldogs on his back - and then the Melbourne tsunami hit. Here’s the five most important men on the ground in the Demons’ drought-breaking grand final win.
Premiership cup presenter and Melbourne icon Garry Lyon has lavished praise on the way WA has embraced the grand final, comparing the build up to being more like a US Super Bowl.
Sporting success is usually achieved through a model of stability, yet the Western Bulldogs have chosen a different path - and it’s proven to be a winning formula
Greater Western Sydney captain Stephen Coniglio knows he’s battled for form and fitness as captain and now he’s focusing on doing everything possible to turn things around.
Melbourne’s lack of footy has been a talking point ahead of this year’s grand final and Fremantle great Matthew Pavlich says the Western Bulldogs need to use it to get a jump on the flag favourites.
Fremantle have lacked running midfielders in recent seasons and Matthew Pavlich is convinced Jordan Clark can give them exactly what they need.
West Coast captain Luke Shuey believes the expected addition of Carlton’s Sam Petrevski-Seton during the trade period will add the dynamic skill that the team has been robbed of in recent seasons.
Sacrifice and selflessness go a long way in football and Melbourne stars Christian Petracca and Angus Brayshaw credit a total change in mindset for their ascension into Saturday’s grand final.
Fremantle players have jumped at the chance to attend finals in Perth and will be at the grand final hoping to use it as a springboard for their own success.
The Perth Wildcats’ run of bad luck has continued with Todd Blanchfield requiring knee surgery; ruled out for the start of the season.
© West Australian Newspapers Limited 2020