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  1. #1
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    Relive the night Western Bulldogs ended Essendon’s 20-game winning streak with ‘super flood’

    Relive the night Western Bulldogs ended Essendon’s 20-game winning streak with ‘super flood’



    It was the night mission impossible became possible.

    Western Bulldogs coach Terry Wallace embraced his inner-Tom Cruise as his side prepared for footy’s tallest task — taking on the mighty Essendon side of 2000.

    The Bombers were within two wins of immortality and closing in on becoming the second team in AFL history, and first since 1929, to navigate a home-and-away season undefeated.

    Wallace went as far as arriving at training dressed as Cruise’s Mission Impossible character Ethan Hunt and devised a strategy which was a forerunner to the zone defence now deployed by most AFL clubs.

    Drawing on a plan instigated by coaches from NFL team Denver Broncos, Wallace strangled Essendon’s lethal forward line with what was dubbed the “super flood”.

    “We started to select the side at match committee early in the week and it just wasn’t matching up anywhere near the way we needed it to,” Wallace said.

    “At one stage we had Mitch Hahn, who was in about his third game, matched up on James Hird.

    “We just said, ‘if we go in one-on-one against them we just don’t think we’ve got the personnel … to be able to get the job done’.”

    THE MIND GAMES
    Wallace played the ultimate game of deception with media before the Round 21 blockbuster, telling reporters: ‘‘You’ve got to kick goals because you know they’re going to kick a score and it’s not going to be a 12-goal game similar to the Carlton one (The Bulldogs defeated Carlton by three points in Round 19, 11.9 (75) to 11.6 (72)).’’

    The cunning Bulldogs fooled media — and the Bombers — by honing their novel strategy at Werribee’s Chirnside Park rather than Whitten Oval.

    “We painted the ground at Werribee into grids where the players had to fall back in formation,” Wallace said.

    “We did it without prying eyes, without anyone watching, because they thought we had already finished training and gone home.”

    Wallace said his side needed to land the ultimate “sucker punch” if they were going to overcome one of the greatest sides of the modern era and seal a finals berth.

    Star forward Nathan Brown agreed: “It was in an era where we played against the very best Geelong sides, the very best Essendon side and obviously Brisbane Lions in that threepeat,” he recalled.

    “They were untouchable that year. You were still able to get to Geelong sometimes. You were still able to get to Brisbane Lions even though they won three premierships.

    “But that Essendon side of 2000, when they were playing footy, they were untouchable.”

    Defender Steven Kretiuk relished the mind games Wallace played with Kevin Sheedy’s undefeated Bombers.

    “We knew basically what we were going to do against Essendon, but Plough was out there saying, ‘we need to have a shootout. We need to kick 25-plus goals. We can’t flood against Essendon with their tall forwards’,” Kretiuk said.

    “It was actually quite funny going through that week, knowing that we were going to flood even more.”

    ‘HOW LONG DO YOU PERSIST WITH THIS?’
    The ingenious plan worked until early in the second quarter, when the Bombers hit the front for the first time.

    When Essendon’s lead stretched to 13 points, Jason Dunstall noted in commentary: “The big question now, does Terry Wallace rethink what he’s doing? How long do you go persisting with this?”

    Persist Wallace and his tenacious Bulldogs did.

    In a game Wallace had christened the “night of frustration”, emotions boiled over at halftime after Brad Johnson was felled by ruckman John Barnes.

    Wallace rushed from his coaches box to the Docklands turf with a huge grin on his face.

    “They all looked at me strangely and I said, ‘what have we dubbed the night?’ The night of frustration,” he said.

    “You couldn’t have them any more frustrated.”

    Essendon underlined its class to pull clear in the second half and seemed destined to celebrate its 21st consecutive win when it led by 22 points with 16 minutes to play.

    It was then Wallace pulled the trigger and unleashed a Bulldog onslaught.

    “They spent the whole night winning the ball, attacking, attacking, attacking,” Wallace said. “We spent the whole night sitting back in a zone defence. We hadn’t done the amount of work over the course of a game they had done.”

    WALLACE, BULLDOGS ‘PULL THE TRIGGER’
    With Damien Hardwick (ankle), Dean Rioli (shoulder) and Jason Johnson (knee) hurt and James Hird (back) a late withdrawal, the Bulldogs pounced on the wounded Bombers.

    Chris Grant cut the deficit to 16 points to spark the revival before successive Steven Kolyniuk majors had the Dogs daring to dream.

    Spare a thought for Bulldogs supporters who endured the last five minutes of one of their club’s most-famous wins.

    With four and a half minutes to play, Brad Johnson’s set shot hammered into the post.

    Paul Hudson missed twice, then Nathan Eagleton pulled a set shot badly left.

    GRANT PUTS DOGS IN FRONT FROM BOUNDARY
    The last chance before the final siren fell to Grant, who wheeled onto his left boot and buried a snap which ended Essendon’s meteoric streak at 20 wins.

    “That goal at the end, it might sound strange, but I just always knew he was going to kick it. Even though he was on his left foot,” Brown said.

    Grant’s matchwinning major capped a dominant night where the Bulldogs champion amassed 29 disposals, 12 marks and kicked two goals.

    “Chris had always been criticised about not kicking the big goal at the big time,” Wallace said.

    “That riled Chris a little bit. In my opinion it was unfair and in Chris’ opinion it was unfair.

    “The one person they were comparing him to was Wayne Carey, who’s in the discussion for the best player to have ever played.

    “I think it just put a few people back in their box.”

    Tony Liberatore (21 disposals, nine tackles), Scott West (30 disposals) and Brown (32 disposals) were instrumental in a victory Wallace rates as the best home-and-away win of his 148-game tenure at Whitten Oval.

    THE FALLOUT
    The Bulldogs were unable to replicate their almighty effort in the next two weeks, crashing out in an elimination final loss to Brisbane Lions.

    Essendon, meanwhile, stamped itself as one of the premier teams of the modern era by crushing North Melbourne (125 points), Carlton (45 points) and Melbourne (60 points) in finals to secure its 16th premiership.

    “It’s their history. They were going for the perfect season. It’s nice to be a part of that,” Wallace said.

    THE MATCH
    Round 21, 2000

    Western Bulldogs 14.8 (92) def Essendon 12.9 (81)

    Best (as recorded in Herald Sun)

    Western Bulldogs: Grant, Romero, Brown, Wynd, B.Johnson, Cox.

    Essendon: Fletcher, J. Johnson, Misiti, Long, M. Johnson, Blumfield.

    Goals

    Western Bulldogs: Kolyniuk 3, Grant 2, Garlick 2, B. Johnson 2, Smith, Eagleton, Brown, Bartlett, Liberatore.

    Essendon: Fletcher 3, Lloyd 2, Blumfield 2, M. Johnson, Mercuri, Berwick, Ramanauskas, Alessio.

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  3. #2
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    Re: Relive the night Western Bulldogs ended Essendon’s 20-game winning streak with ‘super flood’

    Great memories of my favourite win until 2016 happened.

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    Re: Relive the night Western Bulldogs ended Essendon’s 20-game winning streak with ‘super flood’

    I went on my own to this one and was surrounded by Essendon supporters. Such a satisfying win.
    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

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    Re: Relive the night Western Bulldogs ended Essendon’s 20-game winning streak with ‘super flood’

    Wallace went as far as arriving at training dressed as Cruise’s Mission Impossible character Ethan Hunt and devised a strategy which was a forerunner to the zone defence now deployed by most AFL clubs.

    Plough could be a bit of a strange unit sometimes-the time he and Nathan Brown had a bet and swum a race over the Brisbane river comes to mind. But not many people have been as influential on the club over our history.

    I remember when he came out over the summer of 1996/19997 and said that we would be a different club with a completely different mindset. That we would be winners and we weren't happy just to have a seat at the table. I remember thinking "yep I've heard it all before" but Terry followed through on his ambitions. And when it came to an end I wasn't that upset, to be brutally honest it was the right time to go. While the method was wrong Terry moving on was the right thing to do.
    WASH YOUR HANDS!!!

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    Re: Relive the night Western Bulldogs ended Essendon’s 20-game winning streak with ‘super flood’

    Quote Originally Posted by bornadog View Post
    I went on my own to this one and was surrounded by Essendon supporters. Such a satisfying win.
    Me and my mates blocked some Essendon supporters in their row while the little old lady they had been taunting all night turned around and payed out on the *!*!*!*!s bigtime. And didn't she go for it! That was after we'd dragged one of my mates out of trying to take 15 of them on at once. He's coming back with a pie and a drink and I think they both ended up being flung at the *!*!*!*!s. He was all for taking them on-"just wait mate. Half an hour and we will own these pricks but I'm not getting thrown out now!"
    WASH YOUR HANDS!!!

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  9. #6
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    Re: Relive the night Western Bulldogs ended Essendon’s 20-game winning streak with ‘super flood’

    What a great night. One of our best wins. I remember I believe it was Bruce who said when Chris Grant was going for goal at the end “he puts this through he will be a hero forever” and he did. It is great that we can say we were the only team that beat them in that year where no one else could.
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    Re: Relive the night Western Bulldogs ended Essendon’s 20-game winning streak with ‘super flood’

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastdog View Post
    What a great night. One of our best wins. I remember I believe it was Bruce who said when Chris Grant was going for goal at the end “he puts this through he will be a hero forever” and he did.
    The dickhead mentioned Carey didn't he? "oh you probably shouldn't mention his name" No you shouldn't because he is Chris Grant and Chris Grant is a champion bloke and player unlike Wayne Carey. If my daughter bought Wayne Carey home he'd be on the next train out of there. If she bought Chris Grant home the I'd be happy knowing that I'd done my dad duties properly and my daughter doesn't have daddy issues.
    WASH YOUR HANDS!!!

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    Re: Relive the night Western Bulldogs ended Essendon’s 20-game winning streak with ‘super flood’

    I wish I could have appreciated this era more but great to appreciate the current era with the premiership - best day of our Bulldog supporting lives. It is a privilege to watch a player like the Bont out there. That round 1 game for Marcus I think was an aberration.
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    Re: Relive the night Western Bulldogs ended Essendon’s 20-game winning streak with ‘super flood’

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastdog View Post
    What a great night. One of our best wins. I remember I believe it was Bruce who said when Chris Grant was going for goal at the end “he puts this through he will be a hero forever” and he did. It is great that we can say we were the only team that beat them in that year where no one else could.
    Was that the "Carey would kick it" comment?
    Start each day with a task completed. Find someone to help you through life. Respect everyone.
    Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often. But if take you take some risks, step up when the times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden and never, ever give up — if you do these things, then the next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today.
    And what started here will indeed have changed the world — for the better.

  14. #10
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    Re: Relive the night Western Bulldogs ended Essendon’s 20-game winning streak with ‘super flood’

    Quote Originally Posted by GVGjr View Post
    Was that the "Carey would kick it" comment?
    Yeah might have been will need to watch the video again. Not sure of the exact word for word what he said.
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    Re: Relive the night Western Bulldogs ended Essendon’s 20-game winning streak with ‘super flood’

    Quote Originally Posted by Twodogs View Post
    The dickhead mentioned Carey didn't he? "oh you probably shouldn't mention his name" No you shouldn't because he is Chris Grant and Chris Grant is a champion bloke and player unlike Wayne Carey. If my daughter bought Wayne Carey home he'd be on the next train out of there. If she bought Chris Grant home the I'd be happy knowing that I'd done my dad duties properly and my daughter doesn't have daddy issues.
    I remember the bit of commentary you're talking about.

    Bruce said something along the lines of "a few years ago he missed one I said Carey would have kicked, this is one you feel he needs to get. He delivered".

    I remember I was home sick from work that night, which was a shame because the family that ran the pizza shop I worked for were mostly Essendon supporters, save the family patriarch, who was a Magpie.

    We had the whole family at home, when the siren went, my dad (who NEVER was active watching the footy at home, different story at the ground), jumped up and victoriously fist-pumped, my mother was squealing with excitement, and my younger brother and I were jump-hugging around the loungeroom.

    That half time fight was a beauty. Scott Wynd and Jose Romero went straight for John Barnes, Gary Moorcroft charged from the bench purely to have a swing at Libba (from the massive gash on Libba's eye, we can assume he succeeeded), Kretiuk manage to find a fight of his own, Mitch Hahn was left with the job of holding back a semi-conscious Brad Johnson and Terry Wallace took the time to briefly address his troops on the ground before they met a widely varying ovation as the headed down the race.

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  17. #12
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    Re: Relive the night Western Bulldogs ended Essendon’s 20-game winning streak with ‘super flood’

    Quote Originally Posted by westdog54 View Post
    I remember the bit of commentary you're talking about.

    Bruce said something along the lines of "a few years ago he missed one I said Carey would have kicked, this is one you feel he needs to get. He delivered".

    I remember I was home sick from work that night, which was a shame because the family that ran the pizza shop I worked for were mostly Essendon supporters, save the family patriarch, who was a Magpie.

    We had the whole family at home, when the siren went, my dad (who NEVER was active watching the footy at home, different story at the ground), jumped up and victoriously fist-pumped, my mother was squealing with excitement, and my younger brother and I were jump-hugging around the loungeroom.

    That half time fight was a beauty. Scott Wynd and Jose Romero went straight for John Barnes, Gary Moorcroft charged from the bench purely to have a swing at Libba (from the massive gash on Libba's eye, we can assume he succeeeded), Kretiuk manage to find a fight of his own, Mitch Hahn was left with the job of holding back a semi-conscious Brad Johnson and Terry Wallace took the time to briefly address his troops on the ground before they met a widely varying ovation as the headed down the race.
    Yes that fight at half time really rattled them.
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    Re: Relive the night Western Bulldogs ended Essendon’s 20-game winning streak with ‘super flood’

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastdog View Post
    Yes that fight at half time really rattled them.
    Barnes' hit on Johnson was one of the cheapest cheap shots I'd seen for a long time as well.

    When Dermot Brereton is declaring "He'll get weeks" after watching a replay (he ended up getting 1) you knew it wasn't good.

    When they started resorting to that it was a clear sign that we were under their skins.

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  20. #14
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    Re: Relive the night Western Bulldogs ended Essendon’s 20-game winning streak with ‘super flood’

    I was listening to Plough just a couple of weeks ago talking about this game

    He mentioned that Essendon did a lot of work for not a lot of result and when he sent the runners out with about 15 minutes to go in the last quarter and told the players to attack Essendon didn't have the legs to with us and we pulled away

    I'm going to miss Plough next year as he is calling it quits
    Start each day with a task completed. Find someone to help you through life. Respect everyone.
    Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often. But if take you take some risks, step up when the times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden and never, ever give up — if you do these things, then the next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today.
    And what started here will indeed have changed the world — for the better.

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    Re: Relive the night Western Bulldogs ended Essendon’s 20-game winning streak with ‘super flood’

    Memorable win
    Think we paid a price the next week against hawthorn as the players were cooked
    Just nice to shut the conceited humorless moaners up

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