The Replay Replay

Rematch – noun a second match between teams, challengers, etc.; return match.
or

Replay –  noun a repetition, recurrence, or re-enactment.

Saturday June 4th, the 2010 Grand Final Replay Replay.

No, it’s not an Albert E. Arkwright stutter from Open All Hours, this “Replay Replay” business is serious!  For years the media have pumped up the first clash of the previous years’ Grand Finalists as the “Replay” (note; for my research I googled 2008 and 2009 and both referred to them as “Replay” in the first return match the next year – so I rest my case, Your Honour).

As a pedantic Virgoan with an eye for detail and annoying trait of word-watching, puns and quirks, I’ve often yelled at the TV or rolled my eyes at the newspaper when they refer to this game as the “Grand Final Replay” every year.  So it was with great anticipation over the past few weeks that I awaited the build up and the media hype for the “Replay Replay”,,,,, and whadda they do??  They go with “Rematch”!!!  Apart from Leila from the Marngrook Footy Show on Thursday night and FPS’s own Tim O’Leary on Friday arvo email, no-one else in the media had the good humour to go with “Replay Replay”.

So, now that I’m on the “Replay Replay” bandwagon, I decided to do some research to see whether the literal concept of a Replay (ie. the winner takes the Cup) would help to turn around the Pies’ unjust win/loss ratio from Grand Finals.  We all know, due to blatant cheating by the AFL and associated parties, that our GF win/loss ratio is 15/25.  After careful analysis, I’m pleased to correct the record and officially announce that as a result of formalising the Replay concept our GF ratio has now turned to 18/22. Yes, FPS brothers and sisters, we now have 18 Premierships!!  In this Retrospective Replay Reallocation Review, we may have lost the famous 1958 and 1927 Flags, but justice has finally been done with the 1970 Cup being delivered to the Pies courtesy of a 24.14 to 11.7 victory in the Replay, and we’ve also added the 1980 and 1966 Cups to the cupboard amongst others.

The Pre Match.

But, back to 2011 and the Pies and the Saints Replay Replay. The season output so far has been inconsistent from both sides, but with very different results. The Pies were coming off our most consistent four quarter effort against the up & coming Weagles after the early rounds of up and down “surge footy”.  The Saints have been pretty ordinary compared to their 2009 & 2010 form and languishing in the bottom eight, but won well against a Sandilandless Freo last week which followed an ugly but effective win over a bruise-less Melbourne.

The Saints have apparently got a new game plan, ie. a few of their midfielders finally kicked some goals last week.  They’ve introduced some new players; young Saint Ledger, who they obviously think is a thoroughbred, and who has earned some credits from his VFL performances; Arryn Sippos who looks like a spell-check gone wrong; and Simpkin who sounds like a novelty Halloween mobile phone!  Hayes is a big loss for the Saints and there was much speculation about whether the Concussion Twins, Goddard and Dumpster, would play.

For the Pies, key big man Darren Jolly is still missing but “Collingwood’s Leigh Brown”, Leigh Brown, was named for his long awaited comeback to provide support to C’Wood.  2010 Premiership players missing from the line-up were Johnson, N Brown, Blair, Lamppost Macaffer and based on Thursday night selection, Tyson Goldsack (who continued the tradition of his in/out GF teases by being the emergency “held over” from the VFL side). Ultimately, Goldie was a late change replacing Buckley and named as our Sub.  For the Saints, Ross Lyon’s “accountant like” personality obviously helped his decision of nominating their Sub Ledger.

And as the big game approached, I ventured to the bar for a soothing pre-game ale.  I applauded the CFC’s caterers for their sense of humour by providing Naked Blonde on tap for the clash with the Saints, so how could I refuse.

And so, we get to the game (“finally”, I hear you all say and wondering how much time he had on his hands this weekend – this is what happens when the Better Half goes out on Friday night leaving me with pizza, beer, the internet and footy on TV).

The Game.

Captain Maxy won the toss and keeping with 2010 GFs tradition kicked to the CFC Social Club end.  The Pies started with plenty of inside F50 but were wasting the ball.  After a couple of early scrubber possessions, which had me thinking he was still suffering from his concussion, Goddard scored the first goal of the game with a long bomb after being given too much space.  Big Trav hit back with several strong contested marks and two goals straight.  Both Trav and Dawes looked very dangerous with strong contested marks when given half a chance with delivery.  Leroy also had a good influence with some strong work and one percenters.

Just like the 2010 GFs it was a tight and low scoring affair in the 1st quarter.  Dids tried to break it open on the ¼ time siren with a 60 metre barrel which went close, but couldn’t quite match Daisy’s effort from two weeks earlier.  Plenty of inside 50 for the Pies but poor finishing didn’t get us the advantage we were looking for but the famous forward press was working pretty well with the Saints struggling to get out of our F50.  Cloke was a star, Pendles got plenty of it, Heater had a hot and cold quarter with plenty of great work undone with some poor disposals and the backline of Tooves, Reid and others standing up and rebounding well.

We hit the ground running in the 2nd with great pressure by Trav laying a tackle on Nicky Dal leading to a Dawes goal – now that’s the type of tackle I like to see on Nicky Dal.  A free kick to Swan for another goal and we looked like we may be ready to flick the switch.  The Saints settled and Riewoldt flashed in with a few cheap kicks on the wing and the Saints stole a lucky grubber goal against play after an intercept on a Daisy handball in defence.  The Saints then found a way over the zone and after a few fumbles, Tiprat kicked a goal to bring them back within a few points. When Tazz dropped a mark, which he won’t like watching on the video review, the Saints goaled to hit the front mid quarter.

Leon was having a great quarter repelling attacks from the defensive 50 thwarting the Saints who seemed to have a bit of momentum.  Riewoldt marked strongly 40m out directly in front, but he seems stripped of confidence and missed the shot with a poor attempt.  Most of the quarter was a dour slog, but, late in the quarter the Pies lifted.  Krak took an uncontested mark on the wing and then Gilbert, who is prone to losing things, lost his bearings and gave away a 50m penalty.  But, Krak’s kick was just like Gilbert’s photography, the shot was off!    With a minute to go, Clokey continued his dominance of Zhack with another strong mark and unlike his infamous misses close to ½ time in GF1 he split the middle for his third goal for the game to put us back in front.  A lightning centre clearance by Wellers led to a, now traditional, “fumble, recover, snap, Krackle & pop” goal which put us up by 8 points at half time.

After an impressive effort from the Saints I had the feeling those last two goals could break their spirits.  The Pies had looked more dangerous with Clokey, Neon and Pendles in our best, but weren’t taking our many F50 opportunities.  The AFL’s newly crowned Numero Uno, Daisy Thomas, was busy but not as effective as previous weeks with Clint Jones doing a hard tag.  Their on-field battle was as feisty a Canberra Sitting between Senators Wong and Bushby, with both likely to come under the MRP’s spotlight for a few little cheapies.  For the Saints their best was Nicky Dal who had his hand on it a lot and had a small part in their good first half form.

We started the 3rd quarter like the 2nd, quickly out of the blocks and after an inventive reverse torp from McCarthy, Dawes took another contested mark and kicked truly from just inside 50 on a tight angle. A few minutes later and a great Tooves mark set up Swanny for a long bomb goal from outside 50. Trav and Dawes both marked and missed as we started to dominate.  Daisy started in the guts and strangely the Jones tag was abandoned and Daisy was in everything again.  A near “coast to coast” (more like “foreshore to foreshore”) team effort saw a scintillating passage of lightning passes and slick hands starting with Leon in D50 and ending with Daisy who just overcooked a left foot pass to Dawes near the goalsquare.  Daisy then took a strong mark 30m from goal but missed it and the eventual turnover cost us a goal with another Saints grubber goal.  The Saints must have heard the Tom Toms beating and were losing their way as they substituted out Tom Simpkin for Tom Ledger midway through the third quarter.  Ledger was a liability early dropping an easy mark but recovered with some later possessions and could be an asset for the ailing Saints.

A great Maxy spoiling effort on Peake forced a throw in when the Saints were on the burst and had a free man if they’d gotten past the skipper.  The forward pressure was on and just like the GF2, a Peake mis-kick found its way to the Pies, with Neon Leon swooping and bouncing off three Saints like a pinball and slotting a classic goal of the day to add to his highlights reel – and giving Haiku Bob some great 2011 Neon material to work with.  The crowd went nuts!!  Great teamwork saw goals to Leroy and then quickly from the next clearance, McCarthy with yet another angled grubber goal.  The long slow and loud COLLLLLLINGWOOOOOOD chant filled the stands just like it did last October as we skipped to a 34 point lead.  The quarter ended with the familiar GF2 sight of Schneider missing a kickable goal at a crucial time and the Saints were in more trouble than a Spanish Cucumber Farmer, with the Pies on the march with a 32 point lead at ¾ time.

Just like they did in both GFs, the Saints switched Gilbert up forward hoping that he might take some snaps which could bring the Saints some joy, instead of the snaps of pain in his GF2 and off-season performances.  Two minutes in and the Gilbert plan had worked with a mark and goal.  But, the Pies hit back quickly with a Wellers boundary snap and “Bruce Yardley off break” for a goal (which Daisy was in perfect position for a soccer goal had it been the doosra!).  Goddard, just like he did in GF1 touched the clouds with a speccy on the member’s wing for the mark of the day, but it was to no avail again.

The Pies subbed off Leroy for Goldie leaving the improving C’Wood to finish the job in the ruck for the last 20 minutes – I never thought I’d be saying this back in early 2010, but Leroy’s presence on the forward line really seemed to help Trav and Dawes and he did some great bullocking making space for our forwards.

Shortly after Wellers set up Swanny for a goal for a 38 point lead and that was the signal for party time.  Tazz relived his early 2000s days with a hanger on the outer wing and then Tooves marked on 50 and tried a long bomb to delight the crowd, but sadly for our cult hero it fell short, however Krak judged it perfectly for a strong goalsquare mark and goal.  43 points up and counting. Just like GF2, Wellers showed great forward running and kicked a long (point, no wait, hold conference, goal).  Minutes later, after yet another strong mark from Trav, a GF2-like deft Dawes tap set Swanny up to amble in for his fourth goal of the night and the magical 56 point margin.  A late rushed behind to the Pies gave us the GF2 score of 16.12.108 whilst the Saints were sitting on 7.9.51, one shy of their GF2 score.  I’ve never wished for an opposition score but I was secretly hoping the Saints would get the ball forward and we could rush it through for a point, but it was not to be.  When the siren sounded, just like GF2 the ball was in Didak’s hands in defensive 50, and in the “Grand Final Replay Replay” the Pies had triumphed by 56+1 points.  What a magnificent “Replay Replay”.

To the votes:

I chopped and changed all weekend and after consulting stats, Sunday Footy show highlights and parts of the replay I went back to my original assessment from Saturday night.

3 Votes – Travis Cloke.

Like a toddler overdosed on red cordial with a texta in his hand, he marked everything.  In the first half his goal kicking was “Good Trav” but he must have forgotten his iPod at half time as he reverted to “Bad Trav”.  Was a massive presence all night with marking and tackling.

2 Votes – Neon Leon.

Outstanding on half back, kept his opponents quiet, great sure ball handling, great rebound under pressure and that fantastic goal (looking forward to HBs view).

1 Vote- Pendles.

Great first half with 20 possessions (including 17 handballs!) setting up teammates and plenty of tackles.  Quieter second half but still productive.

Stiff – Daisy, big second half but one of these four had to miss out and his finishing wasn’t as effective as previous weeks.  Others to impress included Reid, Dawes, Tooves, Beams, Wellers, Heater, Harry and Swanny (the sore quad and new sub rule have turned him into a goal kicker!).

On a night when his partner in crime, Jimmy Clement, was honoured before the game, the Shane Wakelin Medal goes to Big Travis Cloke.  But, I reckon the Pendles would have won the Norm Smith Medal again, just to give the perfect finishing touch to the “Replay Replay”.

Go Pies, Floreat Pica.

About Ramon Dobb

A footy and cricket fanatic. A lifelong passionate one eyed Mighty Magpie fanatic. My writing is unashamedly written with one black & white eye open only - so please don't take offence, it's nothing personal, it's just the black & white way! Also a lifelong player and member of Washington Park Cricket Club, the Mighty Sharks. My 15 minutes of fame includes regular contributions to Hot Pies, the 1999-2004 Fanzine, and regular contributor to the Coodabeen Champions weekly competition from their heady 3RRR days. Go Pies and Floreat Pica.

Comments

  1. “Like a toddler overdosed on red cordial with a texta in his hand, he marked everything.”

    Bravo.

    Re redressing the GF ledger: Cats are now even with the Hawkers for flags.

    Ta.

  2. Phantom says:

    Daisy, Daisy, give me a left hook, do
    You’ll go crazy when, I put a tag on you……….

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