#Throwback Thursday: When the Lions tamed the Roos

Grand Finals… in the middle of the season? On a week night?

You must be referring to the Fitzroy Lions’ victory over the North Melbourne Roos in the 1978 Night Grand Final AFC Night Series competition.

The AFC Night series had been re-introduced in 1977 to combat the NFL’s televised Night Series, which had been rising in popularity.

The competition was played Tuesday nights at Waverly Park, and had been initially created as a pre-season competition for the eight teams who hadn’t been successful in making the VFL finals.

The game was an absolute thrashing for the Roos, who had been picked as the favourites. However, after the Lions were through with them the final scoreboard read 13.18(96) to 2.8(20).

The Roos had initially looked strong kicking their first two goals in the first three and a half minutes of the game, however these were to be the Roos only two goals.

Bernie Quinlin was eager to prove himself to his new Fitzroy team, booting a goal from 75 meters out in the third quarter.

The win was a huge confidence booster for the Lions, shocking the North Melbourne Roos, who had been a powerhouse of the decade, making appearances in five grand finals from 1974- 1978.

The 76-point margin was the greatest ever-winning margin in the history of the AFC Night Series, making the Lions one of the greatest victors in the competition.


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