Today marks nine years since Geelong and St Kilda played one of the greatest home and away games of all time.
54,444 people crammed in to Etihad Stadium on a Sunday — still the highest AFL attendance at the ground — to watch the two heavyweights trade blows under the roof.
Both sides were 13-0 and flying, and with St Kilda a brutally efficient juggernaut under Ross Lyon and Geelong playing the freewheeling attacking style that made them so dominant over the last decade, it was the epitome of the proverbial irresistible force meeting the unmovable object.
The first bounce was pushed back from 2.10pm to 3.10pm so Channel 7 could broadcast it live, and the Saints got an early jump on the Cats, booting the first five majors of the game.
The Cats clawed their way back — mostly through the efforts of Jimmy Bartel and Paul Chapman — to level scores with five minutes to go.
The game was decided by an enormous pack grab by the best player on the park — Michael Gardiner, who’d been able to dominate a Brad Ottens-less Geelong — in the goal square with 1:20 to go.
He put the set shot through after a lengthy delay to stretcher off a KOed Harry Taylor.
To celebrate the anniversary of the brilliant game, we went and found the Triple M call of the game, with Hamish McLachlan, Stephen Quartermaine, Shane Crawford, Jason Dunstall and of course Ash Chua calling the hell out of it.
LISTEN TO IT HERE:
Watch the last five minutes of the game here:
The exhausted Cats went on to lose to Brisbane at the Gabba the next week, while the Saints rolled on to round 20 before experiencing their first loss against Essendon.
While the Saints won the (extremely entertaining battle), the Cats won the war, with Max Rooke goals bookending a classy performance from Paul Chapman as they took out the grand final by 12 points in a war of attrition.
It was brutally unfair on the Saints; the grand final was their biggest loss for the year, and there was to be no redemption in 2010 when a cruel bounce of the ball denied them against Collingwood.