Bumper crowds and thrilling matches headline Week 1 Finals at the MCG

Sunday, September 10, 2023

A total of 253,127 fans passed through the MCG gates over three matches in the opening week of the 2023 AFL Finals Series, as Collingwood, Carlton and GWS GIANTS all claimed wins.

The Finals Series opened with a thriller on Thursday night, as minor premiers Collingwood took on 2021 premiers in the First Qualifying Final.

The Magpies started strong, with a 26-6 opening quarter, restricting the Demons to just one goal.

Extending their lead through the second and third quarter, Collingwood withheld a strong challenge from Melbourne in the final quarter, in which the Magpies were kept goalless whilst Melbourne dominated the inside 50 count.

Holding out Melbourne’s late challenges, Collingwood came home seven-point victors 9.6 (60) to 7.11 (53) in front of a crowd of 92,636 - the largest crowd between the two teams since 1964.

Collingwood now progress through to the Preliminary Final – one win away from a Grand Final appearance, whilst Melbourne prepare for a Semi-Final match on Friday night against the in-form Carlton.

Friday night saw a match of similar standards – with Carlton holding on in a thrilling finish against the Sydney Swans in the First Elimination Final in front of a crowd of 92,026.

Leading the entire match, the Blues started strong in the first half, with a 20-11 opening quarter and a margin of 29 points at half-time.

The Swans mounted a strong comeback in the third quarter – adding five goals to their total compared to Carlton’s three, and creating nervous moments for the Blues fans in the last quarter of the elimination clash.

Much like the night before, Carlton were able to hold-off the fast-finishing Swans to win by six points, 11.8 (74) to 9.14 (68) and book a spot in the Semi-Final against Melbourne.

On Saturday, St Kilda took on the GWS GIANTS in the second Elimination Final in front of 68,465 fans.

Despite St Kilda recording an early lead, the GIANTS took the lead late in the first quarter and continued to lead the remainder of the match, defeating the Saints 15.11 (101) to 11.11 (77).

The match also saw a milestone for the MCG, with the stadium welcoming its 3 millionth AFL fan through the gates in 2023. The lucky St Kilda supporter entered through Gate 3 and were presented a voucher for the MCG Shop and a 10kg block chocolate thanks to Cadbury.

In other games, Brisbane Lions defeated Port Adelaide 19.9 (123) to 11.9 (75), with the Lions progressing through to the Preliminary Finals, whilst Port Adelaide will play the GIANTS in the Second Semi-Final.

MCG match results

Collingwood 9.6 (60) defeated Melbourne 7.11 (53) in front of 92,636.

Carlton 11.8 (74) defeated Sydney Swans 9.14 (68) in front of 92,026.

St Kilda 11.11 (77) defeated by GWS GIANTS 15.11 (101) in front of 68,465.


Semi Final, Melbourne v Carlton
Friday September 15, 7.50pm