AFL Finals Week 2: Bula!

1st Semi final: Geelong v Port Adelaide – MCG Friday night
Geelong came to play in the 2nd half on Friday night. Prior to that, the Cats could be accused of doing what the Magpies did a week earlier by not paying Port any respect. Port’s young guns set up a solid lead at half time and had displayed many of the assets that had taken the AFL by surprise in 2013. For a very young team,  Port plays with good composure, class, discipline and on field leadership. They will only get better. However the Cats embodied the experienced finals campaigner that we all know they are after half time. Paul Chapman led from the front and inspired his teammates to collectively rise up, reduce the lead, take control of the game and then shut the game down. Names such as Bartel, Selwood, Corey ably assisted. Now the Cats get to take on the Hawks and extend the Kennett Curse for a spot in the Grand Final. For Port 6 years in the AFL wasteland has ended. The Power have regained respect from the competition and coach Ken Hinkley has established a bright future at Alberton. Names like Wingard, Boak, Lobbe, Moore, Hartlett and Monfries will serve to frighten opposition fans into the future.

2nd Semi final: Sydney v Carlton – Lake Homebush Saturday night. The surface at ANZ Lake  Homebush was totally unacceptable for an AFL semi final. Seriously, just because AFL Grand Poobah Mike Fitzpatrick has shares in the ground doesn’t make it worthy of hosting a final, especially after a rugby game there the night before. The poor old Western Australians copped an earful for organising a rugby match, albeit an international at Subiaco during September. Does anyone at AFLHQ know the meaning of double standard? It’s a common term in the English language. Anyway enough! Above the actual surface, the Navy Blues were exposed fairly and squarely as not being worthy of a spot in the deep end of September as yet.  The Swans lost 2 men early out of their rotations and Carlton still couldn’t take advantage. It did help Sydney that Jarrad McVeigh put on a clinic in the 2nd quarter. 20 possessions in a quarter – did he bring his own ball? With players unwittingly falling over and slip-sliding left right and centre, it was almost like the Paul Simon song “slip sliding away”. Only in the last quarter were the Blues looking capable of mounting any challenge, after the club’s scoreless third quarter saw the Swans increase their 1/2 time lead of 22to 54 at the last change . Arguably the Swans’ lack of players came home to roost in the last quarter, but Carlton kicking 4.6 didn’t help the cause. If they’d kicked 10.0 – hey…a win by a goal….as the Swans went scoreless in the last. An injury-riddled Sydney now gets the dreaded trip to Fremantle to play the Dockers. For Mick Malthouse, a solid 1st season ends, arguably a finals berth and a finals win justifies the start of his philosophy/tenure. Into the trading period he can carry the knowledge that the Blues are very honest. They are not the best and they are not the worst. How he works with that and with his recruiters will be interesting to observe.

Cheers and Bula from fiji
PT

Comments

  1. mickey randall says:

    Paul- Nice report from a good spot. We went there the day after the 2009 GF. The GF was bitterly cold in Adelaide so it was good to be escaping. The locals in Fiji were really friendly and we had a relaxing week. Hope it is the same for you!

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