Friday, September 3, 2010

AFL Review Finals Week 1

Saints d Geelong by 4 points. Well what a game. The Saints looked the goods early dominating on the scoreboard and all over the ground. At half time it looked close to over. Then the rain came and so did the Cats. In an inspiring performance they clawed themselves back and kept pounding the goals but kept kicking points. In the end the Saints held on for 8 or 9 minutes whilst the Cats whittled the lead. A classic moment was with a minute to go Mooney's tackle on Gwilt saw the ball spill and end up in Cats hands and they kicked the goal, only for it to be disallowed because Mooney landed fair and square in Gwilt's back. Mooney sooking "You've just lost us the game. You've just lost us the game." to the ump. Sorry Moons, you were wrong, perhaps if the Cats could kick the straight in the last it wouldn't have been an issue.

So what's it mean for each team? Well obviously the Saints get the week off and that will do them wonders after a tough match, but I do question whether the Saints just played their Grand Final? As for the Cats they face the Freo, and all the sudden the pressure is on them for Freo has nothing to lose. Could the impossible happen and they go out in straight sets?

Freo d Hawks by 30 points. Those that live by the sword die by the sword. Last week the Hawks won because the Pies didn't capitalise on their scoring opportunities, this week it was the Hawks that failed to capitalise. They had significantly more inside 50s, and more contested ball, yet where they failed Freo was magnificent. They used the big ground masterfully and used their runners to spread the Hawks and get themselves a lot of uncontested marks that allowed them to play quick free flowing footy. On top of that, when they went inside 50, because it was quick transition, they scored. Great win!

So what's it mean for each team? Freo faces the Cats! Nasty, but hell they deserve to play in the semi and the inevitable loss will be a great lesson. Interstate teams must finish top 4 to make an impact (to get a home final in the semi or prelim), and Freo didn't so they'll bow out, most likely belted, but they'll learn. As for the Hawks, it was a bridge to far for them. A great effort to even make the finals after being 1-6 after 7 rounds, and they showed when they are up and running they can match anyone. However they need list revisions, in particular speed through the middle. Their ball movement is too slow and that impacts the big boys, Roughy and Franklin.

Pies d Dogs by 62 points. Well it pretty much went to script. Pies dominated everything. Dogs were just not good enough. And of course the Pies missed a bucketload of shots. However, you get inside 50 that often and get that many shots, more often than not you'll win.

So what's it mean for each team? The Pies can take it easy and nurse their sore legs obtained from too much running and kicking. They'll face the Cats (its almost a cert) and they'll need to bring their very best to the prelim. The Dogs, the face Sydney/Carlton and frankly are up for a fight. They could very well be a clean sweep, because their injuries and mental state mean they could be easy picks for a desperate side.

Swans d Blues by 5 points. The Swannies had this game in complete control at the half, leading by 24 and having increased their quarter time lead. However the Blues were spurred to right their poor first half and came out blazing, not only erasing the lead but having one of their own (7 points) at 3 quarter time courtesy of a 5 goal to nil quarter. It was a desperate final term, that saw behinds a plenty early before the Swans kicked 1 13 minutes into the term to level the scores and followed it up with 2 goals later to seal the win, although the Blues kicked one more themselves and Garlett had a shot in the dying seconds but the Swans fairytale continues.

So what's it mean for each team? Well the Swans are off to play the depleted Dogs in a match, even though it is in Melbourne, they would fancy themselves in. In fact if they do win that they have the Saints in the prelim and amazingly they match up and play well against the Saints. Can this truly be a fairytale? As for the Blues, well they showed a lot of fight in this game and whilst beaten by the better side on the day, they have a side that they can work with. Careful drafting and shrewd recruiting will help this side develop.


  1. Lost 33% of your followers?? A Hawks man jumping off when their team loses no doubt.

    Saints suck. Harsh on Moons, yeah he's a knob but no umpire or ref in any sport should be deciding the result. You end up with this situation with people discussing the free kick instead of a great game. Let the players decide the game, Saints fans should be whinging about a no-call of the maybe push in the back that led to the final goal.

    However the Saints deserved the win as even though the Cats are a far better outfit across the ground if you can't kick the goals then you ain't good enough. Same as if if the Pies lose by missing shots.

    Milne and Kochshitme are still crap too. Ho do you dominate a game for a quarter like that then not get one single stat for the rest of the game?? How is that possible? Has anyone ever suggested that Kochsitme might be totally unfit and peters out after the 1st quarter.

    Hawks - what happened to winning the flag from 7th?? Sure you did have the team to do it, I've no doubt of that, but big difference between having the team and actually doing it. There's a reason you ended up 7th anyway. Plenty to like about the Hawks going forward though. Them and Freo are the most worrisome for Pies tilt at 5 consecutive flags. Saints/Cats are heading off a cliff shortly.

    Go the Swannies they can beat the Doggies and they can absolutely take it up to the Saints, might be only the Riewoldt factor that tips it in their favour.

    Can't wait for the Pies vs Cats Prelim. Win, lose or draw we have the best Pies team I have seen in my lifetime and their a pleasure too watch (except in front of goal).

  2. Actually the ump didn't decide that game. Geelong did with woeful kicking on goal. Like the Pies last week v the Hawks and the Hawks this week against the Dockers and even Carlton v the Swans in the last, if you miss too many you lose. All about grabbing your opportunity. The free was there, the ump saw it and called it. People talking about it are just being foolish, because that didn't decide the game. And anyone blaming a free for losing a game is an idiot.

    On umpiring from that game though, great work to have the balls to call an obvious free, and then great work to not pay the 50 against Geelong for kicking it after the whistle and also for not pinging Mooney for 50 for demonstrative behavior.

    Hawks, fail. Simple. The game was a microcosm of their season. Started dreadfully, dug themselves out, almost, but were just not good enough in the end. I've said for a long time they need runners, and even Clarkson has now said as much.