Isaac Smith makes history in never-before-seen AFL grand final moment

Pictured here, Geelong's Norm Smith Medal winner Isaac Smith celebrates his side's grand final win.
Isaac Smith at 33 years of age has become the oldest ever winner of the Norm Smith Medal as best on ground in the AFL grand final. Pic: Getty/AFL

Geelong star Isaac Smith has become the oldest winner of the Norm Smith Medal after an AFL grand final masterclass that helped guide the Cats to a massive 81-point win over the Sydney Swans in Saturday's decider.

The Cats claimed their first AFL premiership since 2011 after a comprehensive 20.13 (133) to 8.4 (52) win over the Swans in front of a full house at the MCG.

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Pop star Robbie Williams put on an incredible pre-game show, but when the match got underway it was Geelong that proved the great entertainers.

At the heart of the Cats' brilliance were Smith and Tyson Stengle, who tormented the Swans all afternoon.

Smith went into the main break with a game-high 15 disposals to go along with two first half goals to help blow the Swans off the park.

The Cats star also booted a sensational major in a third term where Geelong refused to let the Swans kick a solitary goal.

Stengle was also brilliant on the day, kicking a team-high four goals for the Cats and providing more than a few moments of absolute class.

The fourth major of the day for Stengle came after a sharp mark and a beautifully executed snap shot from close to the boundary line.

Veteran Cats midfielder Patrick Dangerfield also put his hat in the ring to be named best on ground after a typically industrious display that included 26 disposals and nine clearances.

Tom Hawkins also kicked three goals and Cats skipper Joel Selwood booted a memorable major in the fourth term in a Geelong performance that had heroes all over the park.

However, it was Smith's match-defining first half that ultimately saw him take home the AFL grand final's coveted individual honour.

In doing so, Smith - at 33 years of age - becomes the oldest Norm Smith Medal winner in AFL/VFL history.

Geelong the oldest premiership team in AFL history

The Cats fielded the oldest team in the league's 126-year history on Saturday but were full of running in front of 100,024 fans at the MCG.

It was the first decider at the home of football in three years after two seasons affected by the global pandemic.

The Cats' 10th flag was their second under Chris Scott and first since 2011, following a heartbreaking run of five preliminary final defeats and a grand final loss two years ago.

"They're so hard to win," Geelong captain Joel Selwood told the Seven Network.

"Every side says it, but I think we deserved one. (We've) just been bashing away.

"We don't apologise for being up there, having a crack at it each year ... this has been built over five or six years."

Selwood (26 disposals, one goal) was influential in his record-breaking 40th finals appearance.

Dangerfield became the second player in history to win his first premiership after playing more than 300 games.

From left to right, Patrick Dangerfield and Geelong captain Joel Selwood celebrate after beating the Sydney Swans in the 2022 AFL grand final.
Patrick Dangerfield and Geelong captain Joel Selwood celebrate after beating the Sydney Swans in the 2022 AFL grand final. Pic: Getty (Quinn Rooney via Getty Images)

"This is Everest. This is the pinnacle. This is what it means to be content, I think," Dangerfield told the Seven Network.

"It was worth the wait and better than I ever could have ever imagined. It's bloody special.

"We've sort of been able to enjoy it because we just played such a complete game.

"It always felt like we'd been building throughout the year and I think it culminated in today."

Most of Sydney's guns failed to fire and the selection gamble on Sam Reid backfired spectacularly when he was substituted out because of the adductor injury he carried into the game.

Chad Warner (29 disposals, 10 clearances, two goals) and Luke Parker (23 disposals, 14 tackles) were the Swans' best, while superstar forward Lance Franklin was kept goalless by Jack Henry.

with AAP

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