THE WRAP – FINALS ROUND III

WHERE LIFE IMITATES SPORT

What a round it’s been in Footy Eddie.  The Pies came back from the death to shatter the dreams of Little Hawkers all over the World and book themselves into The Granny for the 2nd successive year.  The Moggies joined them with an equally impressive victory over a gallant but outgunned West Coast Eagles.  And The Boroughs took the VFL Pennant with a 56-point Victory over Arch Rivals Williamstown.

And what a Victory for The Boroughs.  They certainly don’t do it by halves down there at Frosty Miller Reserve.  They topped the individual goal kicking – Patrick Rose slotted 79 majors.  And if that wasn’t enough, Dean Galea kicked 71.  They provided the Liston Trophy Winner for the 2nd season in a row.  Oh, and they went through the season undefeated.  The 1st time since 1918.  They did that with a stand-alone club of part time footballers.  And therein may lie the secret.  They did it against a team that boasted 15 full time professionals, eight of whom had played at the Elite Level, albeit with Footscray.

The Seagulls got away to a flyer, and Gary Ayres would have been looking for those eagles they used at the G on Friday night.  But Port turned a 21 Quarter Time deficit into a 22-12 to 13-10 final scoreline.  During the seesawing Championship Quarter The Seages pulled to within 15 points before The Boroughs put the pedal to the metal and went about their business.  It was an entertaining game, maybe not as high pressure as the National Competition, but the ball skills were still there.  And the body contact as solid, if not as lethal.  One of Billy Burstin’s goals was as good as anything you’d see from Buddy, Diddums or Stevie J.  They take their Footy seriously at Port, and the win broke a 29-year drought.  More than a few had a glazed look in their eye when they sang Keep Your Eye On The Red & The Blue.  One of those was ruck coach Crackers Keenan.

And we’ve been feeling a little concerned that we may have been becoming subjective in our judgement of your Roseburys and your Chamberlains.  Concerned that our natural abhorrence of poor governance may have been clouding our judgement.   That was until we saw the umpiring at this level.  The game was allowed to flow.  There was never any confusion as to whose kick it was when the whistle had to be blown, and it wasn’t blown unless the infringement had a direct influence on the contest for the Pigskin.  It really showed up those at the Highest Level for the pretentious, attention-seeking pygmies that they are.

Speaking of Maggot Central – it just wouldn’t be a Grand Final without the citing of a full forward for rough play, would it now?  How about we examine the Selwood record.  Here’s another one of them that knows how to get his head in the right place for a free.  He didn’t get one this time, but if the record of that family were to be taken into account the charges would be struck out.  Furthermore, the footage has been shown all weekend – as a classic hit and shoulder – without comment.  So where’s this head high nonsense coming from?

Hey, it’s that time of the year already: Blondes Night at Crown.  And well may the counting be carried out in a casino.  We’ve got as much idea as you as to how the maggot mind works.  This year it’s as wide open as ever.  The People’s Choice would have to be the South Melbourne Captain.  The Maggot’s Choice is of course the bloke who touches up the gold lettering on the Raheen gateposts.  And quite a few of the Pundits have it as Carringbush midfielder Scott Pendlebury.  Students of The Game have it that the umpires will correct a miscarriage of justice from last year and are plunging on Dane Swan.  And let’s not forget Little Gazza; a few three votes needed, but he’s earned them and he’s not someone who riles the men from Playstation II.  The Hawks have been too even, and play too unsociably to provide a winner.  There are two reasons The Eagles made it through to the Top Four, and they both should poll well.  We like matching the Brownlow Votes with the Club Award Votes.  And watching the fashions of course Nurelle.

Tidying up around the Wrapcave with the replay of the Collingwood Hawthorn match on the 72” plasma in the background.  The constant roar of the crowd spells out what OUR GREAT GAME is all about.  No time for singing hymns here.  Tell that to your cousin over from Manchester for the christening of your older sisters first kid as you explain how The Game works.

You want some trivia?  You never know when it’s going to come in handy, eh?  Impress the ladies, blow away your distracters, and bore you mates sh****ss.  Google Malcolm Hill donates White Diamond boots and see what you come up with.  But first test your general knowledge.  Malcolm Hill played for Hawthorn, and was a member of their 1st Premiership: true or false?  (That’s two questions, right Wrap – Ed)

Go you Aussie Good Thing.  Put a gap in ‘em.  The Joeys caned the Septic Tanks 67 to five over in Kiwi.  But this Sterling Victory took its toll on these professional sportsmen.  Five players were hurt through the game and they may have to fly over replacements.  Surely they could learn to cruise like Kewell.  Harry lifted himself from the cotton wool to play half a match in his coming-out game for Melbourne Victory over the weekend.  Come on Harry, you’re being played squillions & gouging more squillions from endorsements; surely you owed the 10,000 odd punters who came to see a real soccer player the full 90 minute?  And Mark Webber once more failed to turn a pole position into a chequered flag as he finished 3rd behind Toro Rojo stable mate Sebastian Vittel in Singapore.  Go you Aussie Good Thing.  Put a gap in ‘em.

But enough of my persiflage, let’s see who made it through to this year’s Grand Final and sneak little peek into the Wrap Crystal Ball.

The Mayblooms v The Woodsmen.  Was this a case of GTWTCO, or a case of BKIBF?  The Hawkers were always going to fade at the end.  It didn’t show in their intensity, nor in desire, but Richo picked it up as he was Boundary Riding.  He called the look in Chance Bateman’s eyes as he was sent back into battle from the dugout.  It showed in hand passes that started to lose authority, kicks that dropped short.  It showed most tellingly in Ryan Schoenmakers’ spilt mark in the Collingwood attaching pocket in the frantic dying stages of a match that left no questions unasked, none unanswered.

The consolation prize for The Hawkers is that they’re being talked of around town as Premiership Favourites for next year.  From where we’re sitting they certainly don’t need much tweaking to go those two steps further.  Their most glaring oversight – and we may have witnessed the answer to their prayers last night – their most glaring oversight has been not to appoint a dedicated drama coach.  Two of Collingwood’s recent recruiting coups were to snare Ball & Jolley.  They demonstrated last night how clever acting can deceive such an eagle-eyed whistleblower as Brett ‘Sucked-in’ Rosebury.  And let it be said, without the histrionics, you’re just not going to get the crucial frees in front of goal.  Twice, 1st Riolli and then Hodge, were as near as damn-it decapitated, but because they endeavoured to slip the high tackles it was called play-on.  Poor maggoting, or not enough drama?  (Or a bit of both? – Ed)  And it will be a Buddy miracle if they ever pay Franklin a free kick.  True, Cyril recovered the situation, but it was a moment of confusion as the free was first thought to be paid, then called play-on.

The answer to Hawthorn’s prayers in this regard?  Why Felicity Kennett of course.  Did you catch her rendition of the Optus ‘Yes’ campaign when The Hawks got a goal?  That girl can really pour it on.  Jeff Jeff and sign up Flicker.

And don’t say crowds don’t influence umpiring decisions.  Fast forward to the closing play of the night.  The ball loose on the Hawthorn attaching flank, inside the fifty.  Couldn’t quite pick up who it was – that’s how far off camera it was – but the Hawthorn players was shepherded more like 25m off the ball rather than the legal five.  The Magpie backs scragged and held with impunity all night – Neon Leon leading by example.  They paid one, but you really have to pay them until they stop doing it.

That 50m penalty against Guerra – what in the name of Kennedy’s Commandos was going through your mind Brett?  You’re a senior member of the backline for goodness sake.  Maggot Rosebury is renowned for his hair trigger authoritarianism, and it was early in the match.  It’s white maggoting 1.01 in the Maggot Central Manual – show ‘em who’s boss early on. What was the final margin again Brett?

And that long Bomb of Neon Leon’s – the one that triggered The Carringbush Recovery – if Josh Gibson wasn’t held back from touching it through we’ll go he for tiggy.

Be that as it may, the maggots put the whistle away and allowed the game to flow.  It’s most likely that we were looking at the team we’ll get for next Saturday’s match.

At the end of the night, it was Hawthorn tiring that let The Woodsmen back into the contest.  That and the wasted opportunity to build a commanding lead in the 2nd Stanza when they held the dominance.  Mick got a few tears away in practice for next Saturday.  There’s no way Geelong will run out of puff.  And with question marks over Jolley’s thigh and Ben Reid’s groin (Or the other way around – Ed) they may find themselves short of height.  Big Bad Leroy Brown had an ordinary night, as did more than a few Pies.  What’s left of the coaching staff around at Victoria Park may have their hands full getting their charges up for next week.  One thing’s for sure, allowing a winning coaching team to be broken up wouldn’t have happened in Jock McWestpac’s time.  (Wrap, they didn’t have coaching teams in Jock’s day; they had bootstudders and masseurs, the rooms stunk of eucalyptus oil, cigarette smoke and money, and the players took their jumpers home for Mum or the Missus to wash. – Ed)

But let’s look beyond where it was lost, and look at how it was won.  There will be some who feel Mick willed The Woodsmen to lift in that Dramatic Final Stanza – what loomed as his Final Stanza at Victoria Park.  But for sheer GAD you had to hand it Dane Swan; he had 18 contested possessions on the night and was inspirational.  Cloke took 11 grabs, five of them strong pack marks.  They say the Daisy Cutter was lacking rhythm; he had 16 contested possessions and his rundown of Cyril Riolli will be in the highlight reels for decades to come.  Tazza’s seven spoils on the Big Buddy saw the lynch pin of the Hawthorn Attack held to five shots on goal.  True one of them looked to be the winning goal, but on the night Tazza won the day.  The Maggies will take a lot out of this game, including a few injury worries, some players down on form, a coach on the edge of a nervous breakdown and, for anyone who understands battle field psychology, a depleted coaching panel.

If The Mustard Pots stop to consider that one of their most consistent players has been Shuan Burgoyne, they might find themselves seeking dissatisfied quality players at other clubs, or ex-pat Victorians wishing to finish their careers back in their home state.  Four of The Maggies most consistent players over the last couple of seasons have been Jolley, Ball, Krakouer & Tarrant.  Two players of that quality every year really puts the icing on the Premiership Cake, eh?

The High Flying Eagles v The Greatest Team Of All.  What do you get when you cross The Nullarbor Plains with Last Year’s Wooden Spooner?  The Mother of a Hiding.  Boom! Boom! Now we can all get some sleep.

But let’s not detract from West Coast’s Brave Effort.  They got three finals into their youngsters and won hearts and minds that were still bleeding & reeling from losing Cousins, Judd & Respect all at the same time.  For those who caught the match, they got a trademark cameo goal from Nick Nat Nui and a demonstration of the awesome power of The Greatest Team of All.  Make no mistake; The Eagles aren’t mugs.  They were just made look that way.

There are some Students of The Game of course, who are saying it wasn’t much preparation for a Grand Final.  (Like going 15 rounds with Mike Tyson is good preparation for tackling Cassius Clay the next week? – Ed)  To those folk it should be pointed out that this Pivotonian Playing Group has been preparing to meet Collingwood in September/October all season.  And preparing to meet anyone in September/October since 2007.

Around at the Grace Darling they’re saying that the Brains Trust at Carringbush were playing along with The Cats to lull them into a false sense of security in their Round XXIV encounter.  It might work.  It’s certainly worth a try.

Then there’s the school of thought that has it The Maggies will learn from those two encounters, and will bounce back like the great team that they are.  They’ve certainly showed endurance on Friday night, but they came up against a team that had lost a big Qualifying Final against The Maggies’ opponents of next week, and had to salvage a final against The Never Say Die Bloods last week; one that was slipping away from them.  This week they come up against a side that has swept all before it and has only one injury concern, albeit a big one.  (And a MRP concern too Wrap – Ed)

We’re bound to be talking more about it when the teams come out, so let’s leave it for now.

Hope your team gave you value over the weekend, and hope for the future.

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

This week’s Who Am I was inspired by a comment in the mailbox.  Thanks Dave N.

 “If you’re gonna be two-faced at least make one of them pretty.”

“Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.”

“If you can make a girl laugh, you can make her do anything.”

 “Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”

“When it comes down to it, I let them think what they want.  If they care enough to bother with what I do, then I’m already better than them.”

“Beneath the makeup and behind the smile I am just a girl who wishes for the world.”

“I don’t mind living in a man’s world, as long as I can be a woman in it.”

“All little girls should be told they are pretty, even if they aren’t.”

Getting close?  Here’s some that should help

“It’s not true that I had nothing on.  I had the radio on.”

“Dogs never bite me.  Just humans.”

“I don’t know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot!”

“Hollywood is a place where they’ll pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.  I know, because I turned down the first offer often enough and held out for the fifty cents.”

Not got it yet?  If this one doesn’t do it you need to get out more.

“Diamonds are a girls best friend.” 

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. Well said Mr Wrap, but you can’t fool an old Riverland boy with your Malcolm Hill trivia. Pretty sure he did play in the 61 Hawks premiership, and then moved to SA. Played in 2 or 3 premierships for Sturt (the Double Blues) in the SANFL in their amazing premiership run under Jack Oatey in the late 60’s. 5 in a row I think. They were the last truly beautiful footy side I remember. Paul Bagshaw drop kicks. A gangly tap ruckman in Doc Clarkson. ME Jones and MS (Jeep) Jones in the one side. Bruce Jarret prodigious kick outs – also droppies. And the first 6 foot, surfie rover Peter Endersbee who pioneered the ‘check side’ punt (read banana you Victorians) shot for goal from the right pocket.
    My memory is that Malcolm Hill retired to the Riverland and ran the Berri Hotel. Sturt lost its ruckman late in the season and he came back from country footy to lead the Sturt ruck in a GF win. Not that tall by modern standards, but very strong and a real workhorse ruckman. (I think)

  2. Andrew Fithall says:

    Mr Wrap. Your bias is starting to show. From my opposite bias, for every one of those incidents that Hawthorn supposedly suffered, I could provide you with at least one corresponding example where Collingwood was not paid a deserved free kick. Chris Dawes had to check in the mirror after the game to see if his back was still in situ. The umpires don’t seem to think that he has one.

    I will however, grant you the long distance shepherd example. As a club umpire for junior football some years ago I paid a free kick for a shepherd more than five metres from the ball. It was not a well-received decision. I have not seen it paid all year and there have been many times it should have been. There was another example yesterday when it should have been paid against a Williamstown player but wasn’t. Buit on Saturday afternoon, a free was paid against a West Coast player for shepherding his opponent under the ball in a one-on-one marking contest and the ball was well within 5 metres. A Geelong foward (Hawkins?), however, was allowed to push his opponent in the chest and to the ground when the ball-in-flight was still several seconds (and many metres) away. I do struggle to understand what does through the umpires’ heads.

  3. Andrew Fithall says:

    I spent the day yesterday at the VFL Grand Final with a bunch of punters, of the horse racing variety. The collective opinion was that if you took the form line of the two GF teams, how they have performed recently against the same opponents (Geelong have beaten Hawthorn and WCE easily while Collingwood struggled against both) and against each other (96 point thrashing anyone?), Geelong would be very solid favourites.

    Out of the same group came the observation that Bluey Hampshire’s time as coach of Footscray was totally lacking in highlights. About the only decision he made in his less than two year stint (he replaced Royce Hart part way through the season) was to cut Bruce Reid from the list, when on 86 games. But for that decision, Ben and Sam Reid would both be Bulldogs.

  4. Andrew – Bruce Reid wasn’t cut from the list. He was traded to Carlton for Jim Sewell’s Form 4.

    MCR

  5. John – Of the 15 Dogs listed players appeared in yesterdays game only one, Matt Panos, is yet to play AFL football.

    A victory for the true believers !

    MCR

  6. Marilyn fits my category about women born before WW2. Indeed if you want to realise how long ago it was that Marilyn was the World’s sex symbol wrap your head around the fact that Marilyn was born in the same year as the Queen. Had she had a less tragic life and lived to enjoy old age, Norma Jean Baker would now look like a more attractive version of QE2!!

  7. Andrew Fithall says:

    Thanks Mic. We didn’t have the full detail on Bruce Reid, but did know that he went to Carlton and by the time his VFL career ended he had played more than 100 games which is the current threshhold for father-son.

  8. Andrew – Bruce had a few injuries early in his Dogs career. Had he been fully fit he may have got to 100 games prior to his departure. I thought John, his brother, was the more reliable of the two.

    The Reid boys are the third generation of the family to play VFL/AFL footy.

    MCR

  9. I’ll have do more research Andrew. I was only going on Phil Bleary’s word. I must admit I didn’t recognize a lot of them.

    And while we’re over in Footscray – what a difference those Reid boys would have made to The Doggies. A couple of absolute champions. But the question that should be asked is – why was the game count for the Father/Son rule lifted from 50 matches? It wasn’t hurting anyone the way it was.

    And PeterB, they can burn our house, steal our car, even drink our liquor from an old fruit jar, but they can’t take away our memories, eh?

  10. Wrapster,

    how quickly can I get an online petition up to get Razor in the three for the GF?

    It is an injustice.

  11. Agreed Phanto. After all, he romped in this year’s Beitzel Medal count. How can they leave him out???

    How dare they leave him out!!! Injustice be damned. It’s an outrage!!!

  12. Which team did he dislike the most or was he just indiscriminate?

  13. Razor’s problem is not who he dislikes, it is who he likes. He likes Razor being the star of the show. Good umpires are like Victorian era school children. – Seen and not heard.

  14. Great wrap Mr Wrap, and I only read the Hawks game part of the article. It was a teriffic game and in the end if the Hawks want to be there on the first Saturday in October then they have to win 120 minutes of football. I’m happy (resingned) with third this year, considering that it’s a wafer thin difference bewteen third and the Top 2.

    Imagine the Hawks with Roughy, Gilham and Renouf back in the mix. Two ruck, with assistance from Hale and Roughy, meaning Hodge and Lewis can get on with winning the clearances. That has been the significant difference for me. Having Hodge or Lewis go up as a ‘third’ ruck has left us one short to clear the ball. And still we could take it right up to the Pies and Cats. Man, I’m looking forward to 2012.

    Cheers

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