Current rivalries in great shape

BY – JACKSON CLARK

TWITTER – @jclark182

The average AFL fan loves nothing more than to complain about something.

Whether it is the rules, the umpires or the simple fact that in their eyes, the game has turned soft.

But I think one thing that is in great shape is the rivalries amongst certain teams.

I am not talking about your traditional rivalries like Carlton-Collingwood that will last the test of time.

But more so I am looking at the rivalries that have emerged over the past couple of seasons.

We witnessed a classic last night at Simonds Stadium between Geelong and Fremantle, and not for the first time.

Despite the denial of respective coaches Chris Scott and Ross Lyon, the two sides possess an unyielding hatred of each other.

Some say the rivalry stretches as far back as the 2008 game which involved an off the ball incident that saw Dean Solomon’s elbow fracture the cheekbone of Cameron Ling and result in an eight-week suspension for the Docker.

Ross Lyon’s addition adds extra spice as we all know the former St Kilda coach has unfinished business with the Cats.

And before accepting the role as Cats’ senior coach, Chris Scott serves as an assistant coach with Fremantle.

But the tension between both sides grew last year in part due to Dockers’ remarkable qualifying final win at Simonds Stadium.

The Dockers boast a number of players that supporters love to hate, most notably, Ryan Crowley and Hayden Ballantyne.

Both of those players have a history against the Cats.

Who could forget champion fullback Matthew Scarlett’s uncharacteristic hook to the chin of Ballantyne?

While Crowley’s superb blanketing jobs on Joel Selwood and Steve Johnson over the years have left him open for abuse from Cats players and supporters.

Geelong and Hawthorn, arguably the game’s current and most relevant rivalry, hasn’t closed the book yet.

The infamous Kennett curse has dogged the Hawks for years now but Hawthorn always manage to win the games that matter, such as the 2008 grand final and last year’s preliminary final.

Mutual supporters will be salivating at the prospect of these two sides meeting in September this year.

The emerging rivalry is between Hawthorn and Sydney.

These two teams have had a couple of amazing matches in the past few years with the 2012 grand final one of the most entertaining premiership deciders of the modern era.

Lance Franklin’s controversial move to the Swans in the off-season has fuelled more tension between the two clubs.

But while there is an element of hatred with the aforementioned rivalries, I feel as though the Swans-Hawks one is built on mutual respect.

Not surprisingly, the rivalries mentioned here involve some of the main premiership contenders of 2014 which makes the upcoming finals series tantalising for all supporters.

About Jackson Clark

Born and bred in Darwin, Northern Territory, I am a young, aspiring football writer that lives and breathes the game of Australian Football. I'm also a keen player and coach.

Comments

  1. My hunch is that Geelong-Hawthorn is the only one that will endure. True rivalries stand the test of time.
    West Coast v Sydney was regarded as a great rivalry when we had those few years of very tight contests around the 05 and 06 Grand Finals. Players even had to stay out in the pouring rain after the last flogging we received, for the HMAS Sydney Trophy to be awarded (the then largest ship in the Australian Navy sunk off Geraldton in WW2 when the captain underestimated his German opponent).
    I thought why do we need a trophy when we get flogged. Lets go home.
    The Geelong – Dockers rivalry is unlikely to last beyond Ross and Ryan.

  2. “The Hawks always beat Geelong when it counts”. The Cats mighty win over the Hawks in the 2011 Qualifying Final always seems to be neglected when the “games that matter” are discussed. The Cats went on to win the flag.

  3. Dennis Gedling says

    I was just starting an article this morning about modern AFL rivalries when I saw this. Sydney V West Coast was the big one a few years ago and now one of them has dipped (not Sydney btw) that rivalry is dead in the water after a remarkable run of games.

    Most of these rivalries are between two teams currently on the up and are manufactured like many things in the modern AFL. The Q clash I went to at the Gabba in 2012 had the tension and vitriol of an under 8s match.The Freo V Cats rivalry will finish soon enough. No doubt one between someone like Gold Coast and someone else up at the same time they are will be one of the next ones.

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