Finals Week 1 – Sydney v GWS: The Giants are the new Collingwood


The world does not need Collingwood anymore.

The world now has Greater Western Sydney.

They were going to take until 2018 to become The Villain, but Stevie J couldn’t wait. He taught his teammates a lesson. He turned the Qualifying Final into a country grand final circa 1957. He taught his young Giants that the gold letters of League honour boards don’t record the way a premiership was won, they just record the name of the victorious team.

With a shoulder here and an elbow there, and a forearm fend, Stevie J turned the Qualifying Final at the Olympic Stadium into a fight between Good and Evil. He was happy to be the Baddy. The Joker. The Riddler. Professor Fate.

It was Machiavellian. He crunched J. Kennedy, grandson of the most morally upstanding man to pull on a gabardine overcoat and say The Rosary. He doled it out here and there. He set a tone which saw K. Tippett look like he’d just slammed half a dozen tequilas and eaten the worm at the bottom of the Espolon bottle.

In that Stevie J directed the course of the game.

With Mills off to a hammy, and two key players wobbly, the Swans were able to remain in the game and were set to challenge. But the outrageous thing is that Stevie J had managed to keep the umpires on side. Razor Ray et al had their say. They came up with three howlers in a row. You’ve heard of the two-goal turnaround. Well try the four-goal turnaround.

It was ridiculous.

As if The Villain hasn’t had enough leg-ups.

No, GWS is the new Collingwood.

Which will do City Hall no favours.

Collingwood hasn’t been Collingwood for a while. They’ve lost their villainy. But Collingwood will look like Anne of Green Gables once GWS get going.

And that’s going to happen sooner, rather than later, thanks to one of the most creative players of all time.

About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three kids - Theo13, Anna11, Evie10. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst three. His ambition is to lunch for Australia.


  1. John, whilst there is many a dry eye in my household with the embarrassment of the Cheats I likewise dread the andvance of the AFLs very own Frankenteam, as it slouches toward the MCG to be born.
    The root of all this evil is need to ensure success in the Sydney market, this maintaing the value of the TV rights. Mammon is placated, but supported of the remaining teams continue to be dudded.

  2. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Until the Pies rise again. Normal hateful transmission will resume rapidly. GWS were brilliant today. Yes, a manufactured Frankenteam as Ken beautifully puts it above, but as the game wore I on I was barracking for them because of Stevie J, Heater and Mummy. Sydney was slow and reactive. Time for Tippett to get a haircut and a real job, methinks.
    Stevie J – The Riddler
    Heater- The Penguin
    Mummy – Mr Freeze
    I’m trying to imagine the pace of a GWS V Bulldogs Prelim. Holy Helter-Skelter Batman !!

  3. I have them as the new Dysentery.

  4. beautiful to watch. makes me fear for them on the PF if they get the Hawks however. funnily i think they had more chance winning the Flag is they lost today.

    Swans like Mitchel and Hanners were way off. too cute by half.

  5. Earl O'Neill says

    The 2016 GWS Monaro. Tough, aggressive, fast, sharp. A winner.

  6. Yep we are going to hate them well and truly set to dominate the comp for the next decade

  7. Red the umpires, the deliberate out rule will need to be examined closely post season, it is becoming a bit of a joke really.The umpires don’t seem to get it I feel. Yet if a defender punches the ball out of bounds, that is not deliberate? Why not. You see, you can’t have a rule when you feel like it, it has to be ruled consistently, or the whole integrity of the game will come into question.
    And while I’m at it, Boomer, please retire. It is better to retire with something in the tank rather than people see a guy getting caught and struggling and people whisper, gee that guy is finished. It is better to finish as a one team player and your reputation will endure. Don’t do a Lockett, when he retired, he made a comeback , but people don’t want to talk about that. Boomer, you are a champ, with nothing to prove to anyone. Full stop. Well played Boomer, Go Roos, we will be back bigger than ever in 2017, lookout!

  8. It’ll be interesting to see how GWS go next game with Stevie J watching from the stands!

  9. have rewatched the Johnson-Kennedy thing (Dallas 1963 or is that too close to the bone?) It seems to me Stevie got him goodie that was certainly worth a free and probably a $1000 fine. But then Kennedy actually hits his head pretty hard on the turf, which may have done as much or even more damage.

    How that will impact is attributed will be the key. He could get off, or 2 weeks. Depending on how the tribunal and the advocates address that issue.

    won’t matter much, they would have won by 10 goals without him. he played a shocker, really.

  10. Anticipatory retaliation. Love it.
    Stevie J back for the GF taking on (out?) Selwood and Bartel. Would love to watch Sleepy Hollow wince at his every possession. I reckon they’d lynch Chris Scott. Maybe he could sign Boomer on a one year contract – Cats are not getting much out of their small forwards. Earth to Planet Motlop.

  11. JTH

    I presume satirical intent lies at the heart of this piece.And a large pair of Geelong goggles.

    You particularly have to be kidding re the moral rectitude of Kennedy senior. Have you forgotten all the things he got his sides to do over the years?l.

  12. What I love about GWS is their potential to make other teams in the finals regret past decisions. Want Tippett and Buddy in your forward line? Seeya Mummy. Think Stevie J won’t be part of your next premiership? Well, sit back and watch as he’s part of someone else’s first

  13. what an amazing first week of the finals. Both of last years grand finalists lose, the number one ranked side gets rolled, the Weagles are not invincible on home ground come final time, and there’s still three weeks of finals foot remaining.

    I say bring it on.


  14. Daniel Flesch says

    Can anyone please tell me where the Prelim. Final GWS will host will be played ? Surely not their small capacity home ground , so Homebush again ?

  15. Daniel they are playing at the show grounds, Stuff the eastern suburbs. Orange is the he new Black

  16. Neil Anderson says

    Breaking away from the Danny from Droop Street pessimism for the first time, I am trying to imagine if the Bulldogs can take it up to GWS. I know, I know, the Dogs have to beat Hawthorn first, but just let me dream a bit.
    As Phil said, Holy Helter skelter Batman! One skilful team looking for their first Grand Final after about five years in the comp and one passionate team overcoming injuries trying to get to the big-dance again after 55 years.
    Stevie J may not be there for the prelim but GWS can get along very nicely without him anyway.

  17. Earl O'Neill says

    Good point re Johnson’s possible suspension Neil, Monaros have never had a big win with so little reliance on the big name imports.

  18. Johnson didn’t hit Kennedy high, it was Kennedy falling backwards and hitting his head on the ground that knocked him into grogginess, not Johnson – but with everyone baying for blood he’ll probably get weeks.

    We’ve been hated since the day the AFL announced we would exist. There are still people demanding we be disbanded or moved to Tasmania. There are people saying we are an abject failure for not having as many members after five years as clubs who have been around for 150. The Vic-centric myopic VFL mentality will always mean that we will be hated, not for being good – but just for existing in the first place.

  19. Frankenteam!

    JB, you be the judge.

    It was an entertaining game – a fierce game. The aggression of GWS no doubt surprised a few. (Me included).

  20. The power of their players is incredible. What have they been sprinkling on their Cornflakes?

    Stevie J is a modern day tragi-comedy. He should be at Geelong, but he will direct the Giants to victory. They look head and shoulders above the rest.

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