The 1970s were book-ended by two famous Carlton Grand Final victories over Collingwood, with a third equally famous over Richmond fitting snuggly in between.
The 1970 Grand Final is quite probably the greatest of them all and there’s no doubting it was big – big crowd, big comeback, big mark, “Big Nick”.
The Sun’s Kevin Hogan, who’d covered the calamitous events of Round 19 when Bob Rose’s men inflicted a 77-point butchery of Barassi’s Blues, somewhat prophetically wrote: “it has been demonstrated in the past that what happens at Victoria Park in August isn’t always a sure guide to what might happen on the MCG in September”.
Good call, Kev.
Carlton’s stunning come-from-behind victory in the 1970 Grand Final – when Alex Jesaulenko launched himself into football immortality and a mop-topped Ted Hopkins set the bar for every interchange player since – crowned Ron Barassi’s seven seasons as coach of the mighty Blues.
There would of course be further coaching triumphs along the way for Ronald Dale, but for him the 1970 Grand Final stands alone.
Where did it rate for him? “Under pressure, I always go ’70,” came the reply. “It was spectacular, it was played before the biggest crowd ever seen for a game of football in Australia and one of the biggest crowds in the world, and it was just full of heroics by the players . . . and it was Collingwood too, so I’ll stick to that.”
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