THE FINALS WRAP – WEEK II

WHERE LIFE IMITATES FOOTBALL

What a round it’s been in Footy Eddie.  45,056 fans spread themselves around the MCG to watch The Pivotonians give The Anchormen the deep six for Season 2010 on the Friday Night.  And on the Saturday Night, Sydney, in a repeat of their 2nd Half fade out again The Miseries, went one better and bowed out to the Gillard inspired Bulldogs.

The allegations against The Fev are starting to look to have, if not whiskers on them, at least a 5 o’clock shadow of some swarthiness.  It seems sure that there’s more to come out of this.  And with The Sunshine Kids ready to run out next season, the Lion Kings’ will need to straighten their crown and buff off the tarnish that is starting to dim its sheen.

Maggot Watch.  Halleluiah!  Whether it was a collective consciousness of The Whole Football World or a burst of individual inspiration from Maggot Central we’ll probably never know, but it looks as though someone has pulled a dog-eared copy of Bruce Andrews’ How to Play Australian Rules Football from the bookshelf.  Rabbitting is no longer rewarded.   Now let’s see if collective consciousness can get them adjudicating in the Spirit of The Game between the level of actual interference and ball contact in those frontal spoils, and whether or not the contact had anything to do with the contest.

Maggot Watch II.  That controversial in the back tackle seems to be sorting itself out as tacklers are learning to lay the arm across the back and dive to the turf along side the tacklee.  The tacklee still gets his nose driven into the dirt, but at least the full weight of the tackler isn’t riding him to the ground.  Evolution at work.

Speaking of which, when are we going to start wearing helmets?  It was good enough for St Kilda Legend Nathan Burke, and we noticed it didn’t slow down The Swans’’ McGlynn on Saturday Night.  Even Hawthorn goal kicking record holder, Jason Dunstall adopted the man in the iron mask look after his near-career ending depressed skull fracture.  It would get a big tick from the mothers of Melbourne too, eh?

If you don’t mind Umpire.  What does Bulldog Barry have to do to get a free kick?  At one stage he was clearly scragged when he had the ball secure in the mark and it was play-on.  No wonder he sometimes let’s his emotions get the better of him.

Commentator Watch.  This weekend it was Quarters.  Given the interview with the newly announced PM, he fed her a stream of puff piece questions that The Gillard fielded in her usual stilted, smile/laugh bantering style; her answers as predictably jokey as any bubble-headed celebrity’s.  Where, we ask, was the tough line Quarters?  Like who was her stunning young peroxide blonde companion on the night?  And where was live-in Hairdresser Tim?   Certainly not home minding the kids.  So why wasn’t he supporting her at this crucial moment in Western Suburb history, instead of the very stylish mystery woman?  (It wasn’t the ghost of Ainsley Gotto or Junie Morossi was it? – Ed)

And while we’re on the PM, this column has been critical of her sporting un-coordination at photo grabs during her recent unseemly grasp for power.   Are we the only ones becoming suspicious of the depth of her commitment to The Team of The Mighty West?  Rewind the tape to the dying stages of that tense Last Quarter with the season of both teams on the line – the 24-minute mark to be precise – with The Doggies one straight kick to the good.  Compare her expression to that of the drawn look of the Footscray Cheer Squad.  Someone should have told her to switch from the half suppressed victory smile left over from earlier in the week to the look she adopted coming out of Rudd’s office after knifing him in the back.  The one full of apprehension and uncertainty – to match the look on the faces of the True Believers: The Long Suffering Whitten Oval Faithful.  Let’s see if her minders can get the expression right for next weekend when Her Beloved Bulldogs meet The Saints.

Anyone surfing the social networking websites to see if New Zealand has its own Stephanie Rice after The All Blacks made it 10 straight against The Wobbalies with a one point ‘suck on that fa***ts’ win?

Speaking of people who don’t even think after they’ve spoken, Akka’s book’s been outed.  Due for release on Friday, it’s been sneak previewed by the meedja.  From all accounts it’s not going to knock The Di Vince Code off the bestseller list.  Nor The Collective Poetry of Wolseley Dobson for that matter.

It doesn’t often happen, but we were wrong.  Last week we said The Old Carey Panthers had won the B Division Flag.  They were elevated to A Grade by qualifying for the B Grade GF.  Now they have to beat Old Haileybury again to claim The Pennant.  The fault lay with the garbled, and understandably excited message from our Bangkok correspondent.  Our apologies to all those Old F Troopers who may have celebrated prematurely on the news.

And for those who kick with the other foot, Old Xavs have broken through again over De La Salle in the A Grade Preliminary Final to face Collegians next weekend for The Premier Section Pennant.

But enough of my gabbin.  It’s elimination time for two.  So let’s see who has something to cheer and who has something to rue.

The Team To Beat For The Flag v The Barry Crockers.  Move along.  There’s nothing to see here.  The Cats’ came out in a furious mood.  McPhee pushed Selwood over, was freed, and that was about the extent of the night.  Freo’s game plan seemed to unravel from that moment on.  The Handbags slammed on 8-1 for the Opening Stanza and it was good night Irene.  They came through unscathed except for a bit of a scare over the jPod’s knee.  Freo were clearly out of their depth (Played their Grand Final last week? – Ed) and Geelong were running a training drill.  This will end next weekend when they meet Carringbush in the Penultimate Final.  In fact some Students of The Game may be entitled to ask whether the Sleepy Hollow Millionaires could be a little underdone for next Friday?

The Sons of The West v The Sydney/South Melbourne Swans.  The Labradors threw off a bout of Kennel Cough in the Shadows of Half Time to keeping in touch with The Sydney Bloods at the Long Break.  Holding The Lakers to five behinds for the Championship Quarter, they had hauled in a 5-goal 2nd Stanza deficit to turn for home all tied up at 8-9 apiece.  Their Final Stanza 3-2 to 2-3 clinched the match and they go on to their 3rd successive Preliminary Final: a club record.  However, SOTG wouldn’t be out of line by suggesting they are only playing next week by dint of South Melbourne’s poor kicking on goal.  As much as it could have been a different outcome, no incident exposed something we wouldn’t expect from The Boys of The Bulldog Breed.  Robert Murphy (Still can’t call him Bob Wrap? – Ed) and Rhyce Shaw were converging, from opposite directions, on the anticipated fall of a high ball coming into the Footscray forward pocket.  Murphy seemed to have the advantage in the race for the ball, yet it was Shaw who got there first.  Read into that what you will.  He found himself promptly benched.  After what one would suspect to be a quiet word in his shell-pink from Coach Rocket, he turned his game around, and his team’s fortunes.  Now it would be difficult to question the courage of the Bulldogs’ #2, but if anyone was looking to finish the answer that Rocket was reluctant to complete last week – as to why the Bulldogs aren’t the force in 2010 they were expected to be – the word commitment may feature in the response.  This was an entertaining thriller and deserved more than the 39,596 who braved the last of Winter.  One way or the other there was going to be disappointment, and it was Captain Kirk who received the Hero’s Farewell.  His emotional – I’m totally gutted – interview with Andy Maher a study in how much so many give to The Guernsey, their supporters and their teammates.  (Also a study in inane questioning of a player in a state beyond the normal range of emotions expected in an end-of-match interview – Ed)   He captained The Bloods for 202 of Coach Roos’ 203 matches – 200 of those in succession.  Never a glamour side – we all remember Appalling Football League Don, Andreas Demetriou, confusing ugly football with Bloods’ Football – Sydney have taken one Pennant and narrowly lost a 2nd in their joint stewardship.  In that time they’ve been one of the most tenacious, consistent and well managed outfits going around and have laid a culture for future Swans’ generations.  (Compare that to Brisbane with their equally chequered history and three successive Flags this Century from four successive GFs – Ed)  The Sons of The West didn’t necessarily win by default.  They missed their chances too.  Their investment in BBBBarry paid dividends.  With 4-4 he was clearly a dangerous focal point for Footscray attacks.  At the other end, Bradshaw repaid Coach Roos’ faith in him with 4-1.  At the risk of being churlish, Adam Goodes’ 2-2-1 was disappointing, and is sure to weigh heavily on the Dual Brownlow Medallist’s mind over the Long Dark Summer.  But they’ve picked up a winner in Josh Kennedy, one sure to be a 10-year player at Tinseltown the Glenferrie Oval Faithful will live to regret letting go.  Someone had to lose here, and it would have been equally sad for it to have been the One Flag Bulldogs.  They have St Kilda next Saturday night

And remember, if you read it in The Wrap you’ll know it’s not crap.

About John Mosig

I’m an Aussie Rules tragic who can remember, as a four year old, shaking the hand of Captain Blood in the rooms just before he ran out onto the ground after half time, as my Old Man slipped him a packet of under-the-counter Craven A cork tipped. Now it’s my turn to take my grandson Ben through the ritual of character building that is the journey through PUNT ROAD to the outside world.

Comments

  1. Andrew Fithall says:

    Great work again Wrap. I was at the Friday night game and like you noted that the maggots are less inclined to pay a freekick for a player headbutting a potential tackler (“rabbitting” in the Wrap lexicon). Now there is one more issue to be fixed. From close quarters I noted that Varcoe had been taking lessons from Selwood in raising the arms when a legitimate tackle is laid. The tackler’s arms slide up and contact is made above the shoulders. The umpires are still rewarding this behaviour with a free kick. I hope there is no such reward forthcoming this week.

  2. I’m old enough to remember KB – or as he’s affectionately know at Tigerland, Hungry – bouncing the ball as soon as he felt the first touch of the tackler. If the tackler dropped off he’d recover the ball and continue his run. If the tackler held he’d throw his arms up for the holding free. It was in a final against St Kilda where, after much conjecture in the press, the umpires paid it against Bartlett. You can imagine the righteous indignation and remonstrations from KB, but the interpretation stuck – and became known as The Bartlett Rule in much the same way that the Bowden Rule – or ruling – refers to waltzing the ball over the goal line if had pressed. AND Richmond went on to loose that final. There’s only one thing for it AF – keep nagging about it. It’s unsportmenly not to mention Un-Australian.

    But how fitting would it be if the umps caught on to what was going on and paid it the other way – AND it cost Geelong a Flag?

  3. The blonde with Gillard on Saturday night at the MCG was Haircut Tim’s other daughter (ie. not the butch looking one), Sherri.

  4. Thanks Mark. Mrs Wrap said it looks as though it was her first Football match. Not all that well rugged up. Maybe the minders will suggest a scarf for next weekend.

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