The Wrap Report: Finals’ Edition 2

THE WRAP REPORT – FINALS’  EDITION 2

For the Philosophical Marngrook Follower

THEN THERE WERE TWO

Adelaide – Talk about making a silk purse from a sow’s ear; The Minor Premiers made catmeat of the Sleepy Hollow Handbags. Two goals in two minutes was all it took to reach the climax of this sorry saga. Look, we get quite a few Grey Nomads up here at Pooncarie, wending their wandering way up the Silver City Highway, escaping The Brutal Adelaide Winter. They’ve been talking up The Pride Of South Australia with every can of Southwark they’ve popped. And you have to give it to Don Pyke and his team, they’ve got them humming like battery of Singers in a Little Saigon sweat shop. They’ve been the Wraproom tip for The Flag all season. And based on what they unwrapped on Friday Night the feeling is that there’s no need to change that prediction.  True, they’ll find themselves with an equally dedicated and hungry Playing Group when they run out onto the Hallowed Turf on Saturday.  They certainly won’t have it all their own way as they have in their previous two Finals.  But let’s see how the MRP sees four crucial incidents – two from each match over the weekend – before the team at Wrap Central call it, however, on one thing we’re prepared to go early: it will be One For The Ages.

 

Geelong – The Handbags were loaded with dead cats this time around. Two minutes in and it was put down the glasses. When Dangerman sprayed his first shoot on goal to the cheers of The Rabid Adelaide Mob you sensed it was going to be a long ride home in The Overland the next morning, even if they had booked the Pullman coach.  And it was also evident that they had to think long and hard about the future. All night, Chris Scott looked like he was on death row, waiting for the hangman to finish his breakfast. His troops were in complete disarray.  Time and time again they spoilt each other going for the mark.  At one stage three Geelong forwards flew for the same high ball.   The Adelaide backmen just waited down and collected and waxed the crumbs as they waltzed their way from defence to attack. The Duckwood Bros inflamed the crowd with their signature raised elbow trick.  Sometimes it fooled the umpires, sometimes it didn’t. Either way, The West Lake Students of The Game showed their appreciation of the theatre that it was. Big Tomahawk ran off a half a dozen kilos, but was ineffective. Motlop ran himself ragged, to no avail. Indicative of Geelong’s state of mind were the responsibility-dodging chip-kicks and the turnovers.  More ominous still is the Legend of The Falcon: when the last Falcon rolls off the assembly line at Drumconda, The Cattery will be enshrouded in seven times seventy years of darkness.

The joke going around is:

Q. What do you tell a team that goes out in straight sets?

A. You can’t tell them anything, they’ve already been told twice.

Coach Christopher seems well aware of this, and his demeanour could suggest a bit of I told you so. Chasing Gary Ablett Junior to offer him a testimonial year is the height of madness. Having walked out on his fans & teammates once for money, and with a season left on his front-loaded contract up at Wally World, that he has the audacity to court a return to Kardinia Park is gobsmacking. That the administration there is even considering this romantic nonsense could be behind the Coach’s words, which we’ve lifted from The Sage for those who may have missed them.

I hope no one associated with Geelong falls into the trap of thinking that we were close again and we just have to improve a little bit to go the next step.  The cold hard reality is that we have to go back to the start.  There are some really good Football teams with a lot of talent that never made the Eight this year, whom I suspect will get a lot better.

Couldn’t be clearer, Christopher. Be careful though; that sort of talk could see you taking your morning dip at Mermaid Beach instead of Eastern Beach. And on a seven figure plus contract courtesy of the appalling football league expansion team slush fund. Although I think you’ve been around long enough to recognise Greeks bearing poison chalices.  But that’s a good point Narelle; the water is a lot warmer at Mermaid Beach come midwinter.

 

Richmond – At last; TLSPRF have The Tigers Of Old for which they’ve been longing all these 37 heartbreaking years. From the Endangered Species Years of the 1990s when Neville Crow could only muster 4,000 signed up members to help him save the club.  (Those are Hungry’s figures Wrap, it couldn’t have been that few – Ed)  It was a moment to cherish for those 1,094,258 Tiger Fans at The G on Saturday. If they hadn’t stopped playing the Song and closed the bars, they would have still been there on Grand Final Day.

This match too started with a couple of quick goals in the first couple of minutes, and it looked like it could have been a mirror image of the Friday Final, but The Gwizz aren’t The Moggies, and they clawed those two back and started to add a few of their own. This was a contest. An arm wrestle till the Long Break; The Striped Marvels held a short half nostril lead as the players walked off. However, The Giants were ahead in most of the stats and it was difficult to read which way it was going to go at the resumption.

Astute Students of The Game were calling it 15 minutes into the Championship Quarter – after Stevie J dished off and Wilson fumbled the kick-in. The second time Stevie J didn’t back himself was the turning point in the match. His signature look-away stab pass landed with a couple of Tiger defenders who had to pinch themselves that this was happening.  They were alone and there was nothing between them and the Punt Road Goal but the green green grass of home. You don’t give this Richmond Outfit those sorts of gifts and expect them not to thank you for it. They ran the ball through the centre, and that was the ball game. The rest of the match was spent on choir practice for next weekend’s big Occasion.

 

The Greater Western Sydney Giants – Once more The Orangemen fell at the last hurdle. Loaded with talent, they once more confirmed that talent can only take you so far.  It will always beat an outfit that literally fell into September, had fought a 4½ quarter thriller the week before, and travelled across TheWideBrownLand two weeks in a row. It would even make that talent look classy. And there’s something very classy about The Goliaths, right down to their Breakfast Point training ground & clubrooms.  They play a classy game of slick ball movement, and display some very silky skills. Now we’re not saying they lack ticker in any way – they don’t shirk the contest – but they play a more of GPS style of footy than a Diamond Valley League brand of game. The Tigers exposed that with hard-hitting tackles at every opportunity. (Which may yet prove costly, Wrap – Ed)  Not that they were intimidated by it, they were just worn down by it. Here in the Wrapcave we called it when The Striped Marvels forged a couple of goals ahead in the Premiership Quarter and the Giants persisted with a high possession short game around the outside.  Buffalo girls go around the outside.  The Tiges were kicking it long down the guts to a mythical Royce.  Despite Bruce & The Boys trying to maintain an interest in the contest, the writing was clearly on the wall.  Should the Football Department at Spotless Stadium, and the marketing department at Jellymont House (Using the term facetiously I presume, Wrap – Ed) miss the message they’ll just be a September Stepping Stone till the rising tide of mediocracy drowns them into insignificance.  (see The Wrap Finals Report I – The Gold Coast is an AFL graveyard)

 

The Cotchin Ruling.  Where would we be on Grand Final Week without a will-they won’t-they; should-they shouldn’t-they controversy?  This one’s a beauty.  If we went by the justice creed of beyond reasonable doubt he gets off.  Delayed concussion?  Subjective.  Sheil ran back out onto the field, he could have been concussed in any subsequent play.

If he was concussed from the original play, how irresponsible was the GWS Bench in pushing him back on the field?  He came off clutching his shoulder remember.  There’s a few questions in this one.

Then there’s the GF precedent — see Barry Hall http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/afl/teams/sydney/barry-hall-admits-he-shouldnt-have-played-in-sydneys-2005-grand-final-win/news-story/d587eeb15c2c619cb877c272eb1ba411. It’s the Captain GF ruling. Even though Big Bad Bustling Barry was only a co-captain, it was deemed necessary by the appalling football league that he play to ensure a politically, and by the standards of the Gnomes Deep in The Bowels of Jellymont House, financially popular Sydney Swans Flag. Look at the gates and public interest a Tiger Flag would create.

And think of the value the Traditional Rivalry between Snowtown and Struggletown a Cotchin led Richmond Premiership would create. The board and the marketing department would be over the moon.

But then, by the Dangerman’s sling tackle, the one that took Moggs Creek’s Favourite Son out of this year’s Brownlow count, he should be suspended.

There’s plenty to talk about here. Intension, outcome, fairness, what the fans want.

You be the judge.

 

Tonight’s count? Why bother. Just do the red carpet and give Dusty the medal. He’s got a big week coming up.

Farewell Stevie J – and thanks for the memories. All of them. You’ve been an Ornament to The Game, a Favourite Son at two clubs, and a Favourite Whipping Boy for fans of all denominations. They broke the mould when they made you Old Son. You’ve been a sublime goalsneak, one of the best that we’ve ever had the privilege of watching. And you’ve given the football media column inches by the mile. We’re all going to miss you like crazy.

 

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. Stephen Alomes says:

    Apostrophe Umpiring Report – player found guilty of deliberate out of bounds [Final’s Report – sic]
    Malcolm Roberts’ defence ( not what I meant to do, must have been a mistake) leads to an extra week’s suspension.

  2. Phillip Dimitriadis says:

    It’s great to see you back and full of fighting fury Wrapster !! Hope your Tigers lift the chalice and may the pennant once again fly proudly over Punt Road.

  3. Beautifully wrapped, Wrap.
    “Buffalo girls go around the outside.” Classic.

    And I, too, take my hat off to young Steve Johnson.

  4. John Butler says:

    Pooncarie’s (temporary) loss is the Almanac’s gain, Wrap.

    This will be a hard one to predict. No players have experienced the day before. So much will depend on handling the moment.

    Bring it on!

  5. Joe De Petro says:

    Poor old Stevie. When a player stays a year too long, the farewell tour is not for his fans, it is for the fans of the other team. He is not the first and won’t be the last.

  6. Perspicacious pontifications by Pooncarie’s Professor of Pigskin provenance. Glad to just hear on Lisbon FM that Cotch and Rory got off. A cheer went up around the Alfama bars from Benfica baristas keen to see a tough contest come Sabado.
    Only Pridda, Mitch, Drew, Lecca and the rest of the West Coast pensioner and superannuants league had the decency to give Stevie J the proper send off. Shame Tigers shame. I’d have given Rance a week for that attack on a hobbling old man.
    What’s with this tipping the other mob nonsense Wrap? Not like you to hedge. Time to double down man. Obbrigado.

  7. I love the mythical Royce

  8. The Wrap entertaining as always and yep the appalling football league was truly exposed yesterday

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