The Almanac Footy Finals Blog








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  1. Colin Ritchie says

    I want to be first- I’m letting you all know I’m feeling confident, the Bombers will beat West Coast Thursday night! Either I will be very happy or have egg on my face but I’m feeling good vibes about the Bombers at the moment. Go Dons!

  2. I don’t really care who takes the Flag this year as long as it’s an exciting series, Seeing one team belt another is not very exciting to me. Thinking about it, I would love to see someone beat Collingwood by a point after the siren on the last kick of the day. That would be the ideal 48th wedding anniversary present for Mrs Fisho and me.

  3. I’m excited! It took me until after the bye to be truly ready for footy this year. The year-round sports-fest we have in Melbourne is quite exhausting. After the WNBL and AFLW in summer, I’ve had women’s soccer, women’s basketball and men’s and women’s cricket to pay attention to this winter alongside footy.

    But now, it’s Tiger time.

  4. I will say one thing for you Col, you’re unwavering in your support! Concur with the vibe of not wanting to see blowouts, but I fear the Eagles have just too many answers for whatever your Dons throw at them. Time will tell of course!

  5. The magpies lost in Perth last year in Week 1. Only just. And still almost snatched the flag.
    (Subsequently beating GWS and Richmond to make the GF).

    That pre-finals bye really opens things up.

  6. Go Hawks! Oh, wrong thread. I thought this was the 2020 AFL blog. Anyway, best of luck to all 8 teams. For now, every damn one of them has a shot. But to achieve your best don’t forget the words of Buddha:

    The instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves. (Psst, replace truth with premiership and roll with it.)


  7. Pretty wide open like a busted screen door.

  8. Before a ball has been kicked in anger at AFL level, Toby Nankervis has already channelled Ben Stokes with a freakish performance to get the VFL Tigers across the line over Essendon (sorry Col) from 40 points down at 3/4 time. Bodes well for this week.

  9. Haven’t been this confident since the 2016 Elimination Final against those hopeless joke Bulldogs. Just taking it one fraught puzzle at a time.

  10. Wow Fisho. Did the Pies or one of their fans break your heart some time?

  11. Actually BJ I think it was when I was a young fellow I was swooped by a pair if pesky magpies – I never forgot that most unpleasant experience. Anyway, a team that’s colours are actually non-colours doesn’t really thrill me. For that matter, a team with outstanding colours eg Gold Coast Suns also rarely excite.

  12. Colin Ritchie says

    I’m still feeling confident!

  13. Colin Ritchie says

    Turnovers costly! Need to settle the Bombers.

  14. Colin Ritchie says

    Think I’ll watch the cricket!

  15. Good decision Colin

  16. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Typical of the AFL to introduce a Final 7 without telling anybody.

  17. Colin Ritchie says

    Hate to say it but Pies looking good, very good indeed!

  18. Colin Ritchie says

    Looking ugly Cats!!!

  19. george smith says

    And hurrah me boys me shears are set
    And I feel both fit and well
    Tomorrow you’ll find me at me pen
    When the gaffer rings the bell
    With Hayden’s patent thumb guards set
    And both me blades drawn back
    Tomorrow I’ll go with me sardine blow
    For the century or the sack!

  20. Credit to Collingwood. They were the actors on the night. They used the footy well. They overcame their setbacks. They were the deserved victors.

    But the Cats were woeful early. A player mutiny at quarter time would not have surprised me.

    So many things wrong about the last fortnight and the lead up to the game and then the game plan. For example, G. Ablett has been creative all year. He is an attacking player. He just needs a little space. So a stop-start defensive approach of in-tight footy was never going to make the most of him. Poor Tommy.

    What would Malcolm Blight say?

    What would Polly say?

    Big ask against the Eagles now.

    Very disappointed,

  21. One wonders about Tom Hawkins selection in the All-Australian team of 2019.

    In a 15 season career Doug Wade was held goal less thrice.

    In three consecutive weeks Tom Hawkins has been goal less.

    Very hard to win a finals match if your key forward can’t kick a goal.


  22. Pies made the running.
    Opened it up.

    Very pleased with the obvious support for one another.
    On field, off field.
    NC Buckey very much included.
    S Pendlebury’s 300th game typically influential: steadying, creative, defensive, offensive.

    Cats at Kardinia Park next week for the Eagles?

  23. Cats lost in in the first quarter by letting the ‘Pies run riot. Matters were made worse when, after wresting a bit of play back, they butchered 3 or 4 very gettable goals. Then, for the Cats, it was catchup footy for the remaining 3 quarters only to fall short.

    Teams’ jumpers were too alike. On long shots the only way I could distinguish the teams were their shorts colours. Geelong’s old butcher – like aprons (jumpers) seemed appropriate when missing (butchering set shots for goal.

    Commentator Richardson many times put the moccas on Tomahawk by saying how good his goal kicking was. Collingwood was the better side on the night and deserved its win.

  24. Nationalism & authoritarianism globally prevalent.
    Economic hardship for the many (not the few).
    Australian batsman on tour of England performs epic feats repeatedly.
    Collingwood one win away from making the Grand Final.
    1930, 2019.

  25. (And my 2 cents here – I reckon the whole clash jumper conversation is a diversion. A beat-up. A marketing exercise looking for a reason to exist. There were no problems for the first 100 years or so.)

    Interesting the prisms through which we build our stories. And the echo chamber effect.
    N Buckley = supportive. Why do I say that?
    C Scott = overly defensive. Why do people say that?

  26. Close up shots were no problems with distinguishing the teams, it was only when the camera panned back (way too often these days) that it became confusing. For me anyhow.

  27. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    The GWS jumpers clashed with the empty seats.

  28. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    The premiers are going around tonight. Thirteen goals wins it. Brisbane – good for footy. Richmond – good at footy.

  29. Swish, great comment about GWS and empty seats clashing.

  30. Tigers/Eagles/Cats. Why do Nadal and Federer always end up on the same side of the draw?

  31. *cough*
    …same side of the draw..?
    Good one PB.

    Federer wouldn’t lose Round 23 at home to Hawthorn.

  32. Peter Fuller says

    I hope you manage to draw some (cold) consolation for Thursday night’s disappointment from Colac’s impressive 2nd semi-final win yesterday at Kardinia Park. Interestingly neither side could master goal kicking accuracy with some abysmal set shots the notable feature in an aggregate of 14 goals 24 behinds.John Mosig would see omens with the jungle drums beating if he lived in the Geelong region. Yesterday I watched Torquay Tigers win their Preliminary Final, then Colac Tigers success and returned home to see Richmond obliterate the Lions at the Gabba. A triumphant day for the striped marvels.

  33. george smith says

    It is interesting that Footscray, former masters of the wind, were brought undone by a howling gale blowing to the end the Giants were kicking to in the first quarter. Also funny to hear the Channel 7 commentators discussing the light breeze to the scoreboard end, followed by a shot of a mini Hurricane Sandy attempting to blow over a mighty eucalypt in the distance…

    Looksury I say, playin’ in indoor stadium! Time to get out and appreciate Moother Nature!

  34. Only watched bits and pieces (sounds like a sixties song) of the Tigers / Lions clash. To me, the main difference between the sides was the goal shooting. Tigers shooting very good (and some out of their bum) whilst Lions’ radar malfunctioned..Then, as often happens, Tigers received most of the good luck (bounce of ball, umpiring that could have gone either way) whilst most of Lions’ luck was of the bad variety.

    Lions will need to pull their fingers out to avoid going out in straight sets. Conversely, Tigers looking ominous.

    To me it now would appear to be a 3 horse race between Richmond, West Coast and Collingwood. Time will tell.

  35. Geelong and Collingwood have been playing each other since the 1890’s.

    If the only thing people could find to talk about after the game was an alleged jumper clash, then I feel justified to ask if those people have ever watched much football?

    Can’t believe we’re still seeing articles discussing this rubbish.

    Fisho, I reckon your comment about long shots tells us as much about how Channel 7 now cover the game (their directorial choices) as it does about the jumpers.

  36. Colin Ritchie says

    Cats looking very impressive!

  37. Umpires looking better. Carn Eagles.

  38. Smith and Labuschagne looking good. What’s the score at the MCG?

  39. Colin Ritchie says

    Gutsy effort Cats, particularly after giving up the lead. Stanley back where he should be, a mobile running ruckman, and Blicavs using his speed in the open spaces rather than trying to be a ruckman which he isn’t. Commonsense prevailed at the selection table this week.

  40. george smith says

    It is really hard, unless your name is Hawthorn, to win back to back. Everything has to go right the second time. This does not mean the Weagles are finished. A team with this much talent will surely be in the mix for years to come. But if a Perth team wants to win it, they need those two home finals, which means finishing first or second.

  41. Toby Greene offered a week.
    A pity.
    Was looking forward to the spine tingling reception he would get from Pie fans.


  42. george smith says

    Careful what you wish for Bob. In 2010 I was sad that it would be all over after three games, and wished for another chance to see the Magpies! And guess what happened!

    As Guru Bob wisely said: KTLOI – keep the lid on it…

  43. Saw bits and pieces of the Lions v GWS game as switching to the cricket and America’s got talent (on Fox 108).
    Lions not physical enough yo take on the Giants. Toby Greene still getting away with murder. GWS appeared like a team of bullies, reminding me of the way Port Adelaide Magpies played in the fifties and sixties under Fos Williams.

    Looking forward to “Pies v Giants next week – hope they knock each other out.

  44. Something is not right in the bio-rhythms. An upset is brewing.

  45. Earl O'Neill says

    I’m biased but reckon the Monaros have a better chance of beating the Magpies than Cats do of beating the Tigers.

  46. Have never bet on anything in my life, but I’m very tempted to put a dollar on Giants beating Collingwood. No idea why, just a very strong gut feeling – and they’re usually spot on!

  47. Jan, that comment should make life hell for Dips over the next 36 hours!
    Dips, you’ll just have to hold onto the fact that the bookies are strongly behind the Pies.

  48. It won’t be long now. Will the COLLYWOBBLES set in again or will GWS be reduced from GIANTS to PYGMIES?
    We’ll soon know. At the moment of writing, I haven’t got the paper or put the TV on so I don’t know if Greene beat the charge – could make a big difference to the result.

  49. GWS will have to bring their NASTY GAME to the match as Greene’s suspension stands. Meanwhile, over here in SA, we, especially Norwood and Sturt people are in mourning as the one and only ROBERT OATEY passed away last Tuesday. Like his late father, Jack, Robert was a true footy legend – way above his time. I was quite friendly with Bob (or Woff) as we called him at Norwood High School in the fifties. Too many fine sportspeople falling off the perch lately.

  50. Colin Ritchie says

    Cracking game, ebbing & flowing, Geelong looking good!

  51. Colin Ritchie says

    Cats should be further ahead, hope missed shots don’t come back to haunt them. Didn’t think I’d ever say that!

  52. Very good contested footy for whole game. However, after half time Tigers took charge and from then on, always looked winners. Cats weren’t disgraced allowing for Dangerfield, Selwood and Ablett being covered especially in last half.

    Tigers will take a lot of stopping in the Grand Final against either ‘Pies or Giants. I’m really looking forward to this and expect a hard tussle going right down to the wire.

  53. Earl O'Neill says

    I love the sound of Collingwood fans booing a free kick to the Monaros.
    After six straight goals, not much else they can do.

  54. Earl O'Neill says

    Jeez, the last five minutes was intense, I couldn’t sit down.
    The Monaros are in the Grand Final!

  55. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    I moved from Southern Stand to the Ponsford at half time. Plenty of room and stayed dry, but this ensured that all of the action was at the end that I left. Footy’s rich tapestry.

  56. What a game. Just what we need for footy finals. GWS outstanding early only to run out of petrol during the final stanza but dug deep to keep the now red hot ‘Pies out. Justice was done as Collingwood got the benefit of a dodgy goal that the review clearly showed was touched off the boot. For all that, Collingwood was magnificent in defeat. I must admit that, at times, I was a little perplexed at some of the umpiring decisions or lack thereof. Both sides copped some unusual ones. Interested on Rulebook’s take on the game and umpiring.

    Next week should be a beauty with bad boy Toby Greene back to bolster the Giants stock.You would think Richmond would start favourite but you never know with footy. Again I will be a neutral supporter.

  57. Count me in if Earl O’Neil is guest speaker at Friday’s Almanac Lunch. Are you a Giants member Earl? Bet all your Tigers “friends” are coming out of the woodwork looking for tix.

  58. Didn’t put a dollar on the Giants, but my strong gut feeling all week was certainly spot on! Couldn’t believe my heart was racing, wanting them to win!

    Now, let’s prevent Victorians from celebrating next weekend.

    Go Bloods!

  59. Jan – it’s too late. All non black and white-aligned Victorians started celebrating @7.15 last night!

  60. Earl O'Neill says

    Jan, are you leaning toward the Dark Side? Weeked tix available.
    Peter, we were Monaros members for a while but not now.

    Remember Big Kev? “I’m excited!” Last time I cared about a Grand Final, I was in Vietnam. An unheralded team from my hometown beat Collingwood in the prelim and upset the favourite next week.

    Column posted, “read all about it!”

  61. Over here, in SA, today was our Grand Final. Power seconds (Port Magpies) clashed with Glenelg Tigers, who had eliminated Crows seconds in the prelim Final, in front of a crowd of 40,000.

    By smashing the Power seconds (28 points), the Bays won their first Flag since 1986. It was also the first time since 1934 that Glenelg had defeated Port Adelaide in a Grand Final.

    After GWS tossing Collingwood yesterday, the Bays made my weekend’s footy viewing most satisfactory. (You bloody beauty)

  62. Not a huge interest in Australian sport in Clonmel. Luckily the internet gave me the race results from Wagga and Jerilderie. Being here in Eire i clearly saved my $ on those meets.

    I looked at the AFL results, and towho’s in the GF. As a famous Irish Australian once said, “i ‘spose it had to come to this”.

    We have a proud team, an established football side, who after being a powerhouse in my youth, fell on hard times before a recent revival. Their opponents, are a, no they’re not a team, they’re a franchise conjured up by the AFL marketers and those in charge of the money making. A purely business decision to establish a franchise of this note in a growth area of one of our largest towns, totally devoid of any organic basis, purely a money making endeavour.

    Seriously how will both the GWS supporters attending feel in a huge crowd of Richmond supporters? Not one football supporter i know has the slightest interest in the fortunes of the side playing Richmond on GF day; and why would they?

    I’m happy to be in Eire. This may turn out to be the one least interesting GFs ever, though as sure as night follows day the AFL merchandising machine will be in overdrive, and one can imgine thousands of free tickets provided to sponsors and supporters of Richmond’ s opponents .

    It really does remind me of Guy Debord’s seminal 1967 work, the Society of the Spectacle’. This years GF will be commodification full on, certainly a spectacle, but substance ?


  63. Colin Ritchie says

    Richmond or GWS? If my team isn’t playing I generally support the underdog, so for the GF it will be GWS. If they fall for the trap by picking players who are not 100% fit they start even further behind the blackball. Cannot afford to play unfit players in big matches. It will be a tough call for the Giants, their match against the Pies was a very physical one and they must have a lot of sore players but sore players are different to unfit players. Richmond will be feeling very confident about their chances, especially when they were seemingly down against Geelong, the memory of last year obviously fired them up to not let another chance slip them by again. I’m looking forward to the game!

  64. Earl O'Neill says

    Grand Final debutant. Big call, but I reckon Dimma knows his job.

  65. george smith says

    ” A glooming peace this morning with it brings. The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head”

    After watching “Shakespeare in Love”, I feel like Will’s protagonists, without the stabbing and the poison. Yet another GF goes by without our boys in black and white. However life goes on, and there are steam trains and tulips at Bowral. In spite of the Giants, nobody gives a stuff up here, and I propose to join them.

  66. Among all the deserved credit to Dusty, Cotchin, Jack and Pickett, may I please make the observation that Bachar Houli is one class act. His footy speaks for itself but his conduct as a person is outstanding – witness his great spirit in soothing a possible last quarter flare-up by gently ushering Toby Greene away from the scene and instigating a constructive, good-humoured exchange. Pure class!

  67. For a moment I thought I was watching a replay of the 2017 Grand Final. Whilst I have nothing against Richmond, I don’t particularly enjoy one sided games, especially finals.Fortunately I was able to switch to channel 511 (Foxtel) to witness a great game of snooker. Williams eventually won 6 frames to 5 where I witnessed some incredible pots and safety play

    Anyway, congrats to the Tigers and commiserations to GWS

  68. It’s a rare pleasure in sport to be able to sit back and watch your team playing at the peak of its powers on the biggest stage of the year, without any concern for the result. But amidst all the hoopla about Richmond’s dominance, the most satisfying part of the season has been our triumph over adversity. More to come on ts subject.
    Ian Hauser you are spot on about Bachar.

  69. Earl O'Neill says

    There’s a match review in my head. But I’m in shock/denial/disgust.

  70. And now for the draft kerfuffle aka the meat market. Can hardly wait. In the meantime, the cricket has begun.

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