Fearless 2018 – Finals Week 3: Two from four in a canter

 

RICHMOND v COLLINGWOOD – PRELIM FINAL, FRIDAY 21/9/18 MCG.

 

If the person responsible for recruiting Mason Cox foresaw the highlights reel, then good on you. Those unaware of the lanky yank could have been forgiven for thinking the WWE was in town at the G and Hacksaw Jim Duggan had made a comeback, such were the chants of USA USA USA!

 

The normally assured Richmond players were made to look nervous and fumbly as the Pies fired to a 23pt lead at qtr time and a 44pt lead at the main break. For what it’s worth, they outscored the Pies in the 3rd qtr but it counted for little. Cox was marking everything in sight and the Pies midfielders were feeding the forward line regularly. De Goey and Mihocek also benefitted from the supply. Sidebottom, Adams and Crisp were leading the charge and Mayne, Phillips and Sier were applying pressure all over the ground.

 

I guess we’ll never know if Dusty was fully fit, same goes for key Tiger defender Astbury…and maybe it was a coaching error to put Rance on De Goey but equally everyone’s wise after the fact. 39pts was the final margin and to be honest, the Pies thoroughly deserved the berth in the 2018 Grand Final. Bucks’ contract extension never looked so good and Eddie worries about a 6 day break seemed a distant memory. The Pies now have the chance to equal the Blues and the Bombers. As for the Tigers, back to back flags now requires a lot more work.

 

 

WEST COAST EAGLES v MELBOURNE – PRELIM FINAL SATURDAY AFTERNOON 22/9/18 – OPTUS STADIUM, PERTH.

 

Déjà vu again…this time over in the west. It was a grand old flogging as the Dees just unfortunately fell apart from the first bounce. When you kick 0.6 in a half of footy on a 27 degree day in Perth, the catch up effect is rather large. Especially when the opposition has a 63pt lead.

 

Whatever motivated people to fly or travel across the continent, the cost soon tallied up. Emotionally and physically exhausted, the Demons supporters entered the furnace of Optus Stadium and then the game started. Some days you’re the rooster and some days you’re the feather duster…the Dees intensity just wilted under the WA heat. Kennedy and Darling rotated with Le Cras and Cripps as the goal-fest continued with cameos from Liam Ryan and Willie Rioli. 5.3 to 5.1 and the Demons found a spark in the 3rd qtr. Oliver and Melksham led the charge but it was too little too late. 61pts at 3/ 4 time became a 66pt win and a berth in the 2018 Grand Final.

 

The Eagles seem to be gelling well across the ground and can travel east knowing that they have already beaten the Pies at the MCG this year…a source of much belief. For the Dees, as the pain subsides from the loss, the realisation hopefully remains that the season was an overall success. Getting Lever and Hogan back into the 22 is a start, but the finals were made and some finals were won. Time to look forward with a large degree of confidence. The performance in September should instill much belief in 2019.

 

Fearless is a long time Almanac contributor. For more of his work, CLICK HERE:

 

For all our coverage of preliminary final week, CLICK HERE:

Do you love the Almanac concept?
And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help keep things ticking over please consider making your own contribution.

One off financial contribution – CLICK HERE
Regular financial contribution (monthly EFT) – CLICK HERE
Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE

Leave a Comment

*