Finals Week 1 – Western Bulldogs v Adelaide: Would Marsh and Lillee Have Backed That?

I am leaving Murray Bridge, so on my way back to Adelaide after SDA work I put on the “At Home With the Ricciutos” CD (the comic send- up by Blakey), then fire up, it’s the Crows again. Having found out the Chardonnay Socialists (Adelaide Uni FC C1 team) have won their second semi and are off to the big dance in two weeks, while the Bastards (C 2) have put up a gallant effort and lost the prelim final, I get ready for the big game reflecting what an incredible effort to make the eight by the Crows – unprecedented in Australian sporting history (thank goodness).

What odds would you have got that the Bulldogs would play the Crows in a final at the start of the year? Not even Rod Marsh and Dennis Lillee would have backed that!

The Western Bulldogs are away to a flier and kick the first three goals of the game through Crameri, Dickson and Dahlhaus, geez I wouldn’t mind sex for each time the Crows have had a slow start to a game this season, I’d be exhausted! Sloane and Douglas get some important touches and set up the little master Eddie Betts for the Crows’ first. The Dogs reply but then the Crows get right on top, Betts is putting on a clinic. He started on Biggs but that didn’t last long (Who robbed the train, Eddie?). He is also proving too nimble and agile for Dale Morris. Eddie unselfishly dishes off to Rory ‘Batman’ Sloane with Tex Walker and Ricky Henderson also goaling, so at quarter time, despite the Crows’ slow start they’re up by nine points.

The second quarter is an arm wrestle with goals being traded back and forth. Minson competes well with Sauce Jacobs and neither team is able to establish a ruck ascendancy. Marcus Bontempelli for the Dogs is playing well, (he is going to be a superstar) although his disposal is letting him down on occasions. Luke Dahlhaus and Liam Picken work hard and are solid contributors for the Dogs. Tory Dickson is dangerous up forward – he always troubles us. I actually think he is the one guy the Crows don’t want having a set shot for goal, which turns out to be a prophetic thought as the night progresses. So at half time the Crows lead by 8 points with the best negating defender in Daniel Talia doing a reasonable job on Jake Stringer. How Talia has missed out on getting a spot in the All Australian squad of 40 is a complete and utter joke. He should have been a certainty in the team of 22 let alone the squad of 40. Talia stops the opposition’s main forward from having a significant impact each and every week. On a side note Brian Taylor’s love and devotion to the package, Stringer, is quite disturbing.

The Crows kick the first goal of the third quarter through livewire Charlie Cameron but then the Dogs get on top and it is only their errant kicking at goal – with Bontempelli missing two and others spraying them as well – that cost them. Tex Walker lands a long bomb, (good commentary Channel 7, Brian Taylor in particular is just having a bad millennium). Then Dickson replies from a soft free kick. Surprise surprise! Riley Knight is having a ripper for the Crows.

I remember respected footy analyst, Mike Weatherald, telling me the Crows have got a future superstar before he had played his first game re Knight. Spot on again Weathers!

Knights’ second goal of the game extends the Crows lead but then Jong, through a lack of a block enables him to jump and take a good mark, his goal brings the Dogs again back within a kick.

The maestro in Eddie Betts goals, with good ruck work by Jacobs and a clever tap-on by Dangerfield opening the goal face up for Betts and he delivers with seconds to spare on the clock. Both coaches will be happy and annoyed that each side’s last goal of the quarter has come from set plays, so at three quarter time the Crows lead by 11 points.

Dickson kicks the first goal of the last quarter and then Thompson replies for Adelaide. With Sloane getting away with incorrect disposal (poor positioning by the umpire – but that is another story in itself), the Dogs kick the next three goals of the game and when Stringer goals, the ‘Scrays are in front and threatening to run away with things. I have long held the belief superstars win you finals and your last five picked lose you finals, enter Taylor Walker and Patrick Dangerfield. They both lift and are amazing. Danger’s clearances and a couple of marks are elite. He seems to decide he wants at least one more game in the tri-colours. Walker kicks a clutch goal and then the final turning point of the game occurs with the Crows leading by a point the Dogs are streaming forward, a poor handball by Hunter enables Rory Laird to lay a ferocious tackle and force a ball up. From the ball up the Crows clear where Walker marks, plays on and does he go long to the square? No, at the last second he squares the ball back with a bullet like pass to Cameron who coolly slots the match winner. It is a win for the ages with the Crows losing just about every measure, being obliterated on inside 50s and even the old saying first team to a 100 wins does not apply. Hey guess what, the Crows won the only one which counts – on the scoreboard!

On a side note Mark Robinson notices the PW initials on the back of our guernsey. Apparently this has been there since the tragedy occurred. It was appropriate to notice it while actually winning a final. For the Crows Henderson has linked up and been a significant contributor. Brenton Sanderson would be happy with that as the Crows knocked back significant offers from Richmond and Collingwood when Bernie Vince was let go. Douglas, Sloane and Laird have all made significant contributions. For the gallant Dogs, Hunter,Murphy and Wallis were all problems for the Crows.

So in a win for the ages the gutsy Crows get to have a crack at the Hawks this Friday night. Yep, we were underdogs but there is an unparalleled spirit in this group.

They will have a crack!


Adelaide 16-13-109 def Western Bulldogs 14-18-102

Goal kickers- Adelaide: Betts 5, Walker 3, Cameron, Knight 2, Sloane, Henderson, Lynch, Thompson
Western Bulldogs: Dickson 5, Redpath, Stringer, Crameri 2, Grant, Dahilaus, Jong
Best Players- Adelaide: Betts, Walker, Henderson, Sloane, Douglas, Dangerfield, Talia
Western Bulldogs: Bontempelli, Dickson, Wallis, Murphy, Dahilaus, Hunter, Picken

Crowd 60,782 at the MCG


  1. Correct spelling of Luke Dahlhaus is as written here, not as written in your article. Dahilaus !!!
    Advice for all budding journalists, get the spelling of footballers names correct.
    Even Troy Chaplin can spell………………

  2. Great article again. A really gutsy win from the Crows, and a really good gesture to have the initials of PW on the back of our guernseys. Bring on Friday night, hopefully we can cause an upset!

  3. Great game. Great write up!!!

  4. Bec Blossomvictory says

    The difference is only the shape of ‘i ‘ Vs ‘l ‘, No difference in pronunciation on That last name at all!! I’ve often got my name spelt / pronounced wrongly by all levels of the society, I wouldn’t give a F*ck!! So long I know who I am, Yay!!! So you don’t need to bark like a Dog, for that kind of harmless little incident!!! — Otherwise, you are just being Picky for a Great Real-life Thriller like this one !!!! LOL … Malcolm, well done Sir, excellent stuffs!!! — Totally agree, Daniel . T is one of his kind, we know he is the BEST!!! That’s Enough!!! lol … GO U CROWS BOYSSSSssss … !!! Go PW — Premiumship Win!!! Enjoy It Boyssss … Smash Them One by One!!! Yayyyy … LOllll

  5. Beautifully done again Malcolm, in true Rulebook style (a complete disregard for grammar, punctuation and spelling, but typically entertaining, honest & clear). Love your work. The Walker run & considered delivery in the last was gold. Campo & the coaching team seem to be doing a great job in understated fashion.

  6. Well written mal. Was a great game of footy, with the old saying, bad kicking is bad football true for the doggies. Tex is growing into the role of captain and key forward really well and stood up when needed throughout the game. They will need to go up a notch or two for a cranky hawthorn, but can probaly do it. The hawks did look a bit slow on Friday night. Cheers

  7. Martin Rumsby says

    Having made the drive to Melbourne to witness this clash in the flesh, it was worth every one of the 17 or so hours spent behind the wheel. As a spectacle the game had everything. The guy sitting next to me was a Richmond supporter – after the first three goals to the ‘Dogs he was muttering about wanting to see a great game, not a one sided blowout! He got his contest and then some. The speed of the game was phenomenal and at quarter time players from both sides looked exhausted. I wondered how they would keep it up for another three quarters, but they did. Perhaps it was the Crows’ steadiness in their forward half that proved the difference? Regardless, we get a crack at the unsociable Hawks on Friday. I wonder how many sly tummy-taps Eddie and Charlie will get and whether Sam Mitchell will be a bit more careful where he places his knees? Go the Crows!

  8. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Matt spelling,grammar will never be my strong point just like,Troy playing well in a final it won’t happen.
    Thanks Campbell,Emily,and Bec greatly appreciated.Daddsy Tex run reminded me just slightly of M Aish run in 84 gf ( thanks for Friday night,Aishy) Steve I keep reminding myself that the loser of the top placed finals generally wins 2nd week but the Hawks lack of pace does give us a chance.Martin it doesn’t seem that long ago we had a beer together in Ballarat but it is ! Would have been great to be there thank you !

  9. Marvellous Rulebook. How magnificent was it to watch a game that was full of run, and courage, and attack, and spirit, and………….wait for it…………………scoring!! Yes, both teams kicked goals and played the game the way it should be played.

    No game gets near Aussie Rules when it is played like that.

  10. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Dips Lyon and Hardwick should be locked in a room and wade to watch this game a million times

  11. G’day OBP.
    Love the passion and the observations.
    Top 6 win you a final, bottom 6 lose it.

    In a team game full of “roles” and set plays, the temperament and thinking of the individual is still worth so much.
    Do I take a chance? Do I centre it or go to the boundary?
    Tex at the end.
    Taking it on.
    Well done Dogs. Well done Crows.

  12. Please Crows don`t do this to me I nearly had a heart attack in the last quarter! Great game and as usual a great read mate.

    Now for the SANFL Grand Final when all 3 grades of the Eagles will be playing, carn the Eagles and carn the Crows

  13. Never fear Book, both losers of the top placed finals last year (Freo, Geelong) went out in straight sets, so it certainly can happen… and both Hawthorn (& Sydney) look quite vulnerable, so hopes should remain high. I’m intrigued to know how you rate Freo’s chances to win the flag… them & Sydney the 2 dour defending teams left in a race with 4 fast attacking teams.

    Also good to see the local Port Magpies bow out in straight sets!

    Not sure why folks are picking on your spelling/grammar. wE no i’ts neva bean yOr strong. soot :-)

  14. Disgusting that amidst all the guns mentioned that someone needs to mention Troy Chaplin.

    Eddie made it a great weekend for my “stable” – Ballantyne, Walters, Betts. Yum yum.

    R Knight, wow wee, this kid could be anything. Looked like a stunned deer in his first couple but has come on in herculean leaps.

    Atkins goes out (injured) this weekend. Does Mackay get the start or Lyons?

  15. I watched all four finals and this was easily the best. The Crows forwards were the better of the two teams and ultimately the difference. The Dogs were slightly better in all other aspects of game and Minson was disappointing in the last quarter when his team needed him most.

    Overall i would like to congratulate Campo and Beveridge for playing attacking football. Lyon and Longmire on the other hand …

  16. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thought Sloane was huge, not huge numbers, but every touch went to our advantage. That “nutmeg” handball while he was lying on the ground in the first quarter was a classic, as were his quick hands at the last stoppage before the Tex-Charlie sealer.

    And Tex, you can advertise the Alma on your twitter feed for as long as you like.

    Onya ‘Book

  17. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks OBP Walkers decision making in that play was brilliant as was Hunters handball diabolical.

    But yes well done to both sides.Thanks Jill re the eagles with there injuries yest will Matty Raymond get a game ?
    ( hope so )

    Jamesey good point re last year hope that neither of the defensive sides win it but still give Freo a big chance as no premier’s style gets copied enough said and thank you re my grammar funny and well put.

    Half Woman superbly put and yes a great week end for the small forward,Knight is going to be a very good player and Grigg is a huge chance to play.

    Swish, Sloane use of the ball 1st class and sides struggle to go with his and Dangers gut running and hardness at the contest for the whole game
    Thanks folks

  18. Fantastic match. All 44 players can be proud of their efforts. I’ve told my sons their names are now Rory and Tex and they’d better get used to it. I thought Danger played out of his skin in the last Q. Surely he’s going to stay, Rulebook????

  19. Charmaine Brillianti says

    Great article Malcolm…you must be very excited! I have to admit, I’m not. I’m scared. I’m scared after seeing that deplorable game on Fri night, I’m scared that the Hawks just are not up to it, and I’m scared that the Crows just might thump us this Fri night.
    I’m not going to the game as I’d purchased tickets months ago for a concert, so whilst listening to the dulcet tones of Darryl Braithwaite & Russell Morris, I will be checking my phone at every opportunity for progress scores.
    Will you and I still be friends after the game no matter the result? I am not one to “rub it in” so I will not do that to you in the (unlikely) event that the Hawks get through.
    Wish you good luck – but not too much. ?

  20. Good work Rulebook. If only the Grand Final could play out like that game. Fast, hard and high scoring. A match to showcase the best of the sport. Sadly the same cannot be said for the commentary.

  21. Nice one Malcolm – the Crows’ strategy of trying to deny the Bulldogs lateral ball movement just worked (whenever the Bulldogs marked they had a man 5 metres lateral to the ball holder essentially standing a second mark). Overall just a brilliant game of footy and the great thing for the Crows is a number of players had so-so nights and can improve. With Swish on Rory’s nutmeg of Bob Murphy and on replay it’s not clear it was a throw in the last quarter – he did get both hands to it. A little sick of hearing umps say ‘I couldn’t see it’ though – that’s why there’s three of them.

  22. Patricia Horne says

    The crows have a real mateship going on and u could c it in that game, thompson struggle but tried with his heart. Tex danger charlie and eddy will give their all this week. So many others too, they will b fired up and they have the fire in the belly. We can do this but as cornsey says we can do anything with the right mindset. Not good on the heart, nice brandy will help!

  23. Fingers crossed for Friday night. An incredible achievement to get this far what a resilient selfless bunch of individuals.

  24. Great article on what was one of the all time great finals. The speed and intensity of both the Crows and the Bulldogs would have seriously challenged the dour defensive games of some of the other sides still in the finals. Massive ask to beat the Hawks but if our midfield can get the ball quickly into our forwards enough times anything is possible.

  25. Nice work Rulebook. The Bullies must dread meeting the Crows in finals

  26. Neat and Tidy says

    Nice one, Book. Dogs were valiant but a great win for the Crows. Stood up under pressure.

  27. Such a great win, let’s hope next week is a repeat !

  28. Daddsy, It’s one of the many things we love about Rulebook. Affectation = 0. Authenticity = 100. His pieces should be like a Wikipedia entry – that anyone can chime in and straighten them up. We do a little editing (but hey we only have 24 hours in the day). But it’s the voice that matters. And Rulebook has voice – and that’s a compliment for any writer.

    Great win to the Crows in what was a super match.

  29. Elaine Brophy says

    very well written you do a far better job than rucci could ever do .

  30. NIck Raschella says

    I remember Weathers telling me if you cant kick, you cant play football. Bulldogs suffered from that Saturday night. Not converting those early and then late opportunities cost them a final victories. Mr Crameri was the worst offender. Compare his goal kicking to Mr Walker’s!!

    Next week will be a completely different final. Unsociable football wont allow for a shoot out.

  31. Great to re-live the win all over again Malcolm!! Fantastic wrap up.

  32. the question is, would you rather have average sex for every time the crows start slowly – or really good sex for whenever they start fast????!!!!! (westcoat, north melbourne, plus others)

    crows are in with a shot against a damaged Hawthorn, HERE WE GO CAMRY CROWS!!!!

  33. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Grunter thanks my understanding is he is gonski its not a footy decision( bloody other half)
    Charmaine if we have learnt anything this year it is it’s only a game and also your a intelligent footy follower. Deery,Raj?Milts give me that footy please not boring defensive rugby scrimmages crap.
    Dave much rather have a throw missed than a ump guess and pay 1 which isn’t.Smack definitely similarities to 97 prelim! Thanks N and Thanks Patricia hope so ! JTH not even harsh and definitely fair I admit my grammar has as much chane of improving as the chances of Chaplin playing well in a final.
    ( thanks for the editing help,Luke ) Thanks Elaine I had a giggle at that and greatly appreciated.Papa, why will clubs practice a stoppage situation for hours and not goal kicking has me completely stuffed.
    Holsty I will take it either way thanks and quite amusing since you’re the coach of the bastards ! Thank you

  34. Danny Goddard says

    I think talia was brilliant yet again ….and riley knight agreed had a ripper game and looks to have a great leg which is a weapon in todays footy as there is a lot around with ordinary foot skills could be the difference from the win and loss his shots on goal were not easy at all from memory …

  35. Weathers always a good judge of footballers. Daddsy and JTH, I agree, let the Book use his own version of English language. Swish, correct, Sloane was very significant.

  36. The future’s so bright we need to wear shades.

  37. RB
    Great read as usual.
    Bring on the Haks!

  38. mickey randall says

    Malcolm- Brilliant. The PW initials are a great touch. Can’t wait ’til Friday night. Here we go!

  39. What a win! What a game! The atmosphere in the outer was amazing! Perhaps the most important win for the club this season gives us a shot at the Hawks which will be a cracker of a contest!

  40. Insightful and entertaining as always. Malcolm has worked well this term.

  41. Alexander Kuchel says

    Mate I’ll be honest that was a great game even though could only base it on the scores Tex Walker he just truly showed what he’s learnt at his skipper and he had a hard choice Jenkins or Cameron but he made the best decision of his career as captain but in my opinion that was the best game of finals but the Victorians might say yesterday’s game but who cares all of them bunch bias pricks but otherwise the Hawthorn game will be The one to watch who knows history might be repeating itself but with Hawthorn, Fremantle in the mix

  42. Strong vote for WB v Crows here in Melbourne and surrounds. High regard for attitude of coaches and players and ability to perform skills at pace under pressure. Also, both sides played well. A superior game. High regard here also for WC v Haw as an example of a superior performance (especially among Geelong fans)

  43. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Danny Talia is the consummate professional I am lucky to do some coaching clinics with him he is fantastic with kids it is a farce he is not in all aust squad.Thanks Diggers as you no I am a lot better with numbers than grammar.Wes haven’t heard that phrase for a while.Thanks AD.Mickey I love the PW touch.
    JK certainly seemed like a fantastic atmosphere from the tv.TC gold as always.Alexander it was a attacking fantastic game of how footy should be played wishLyon,Longmire and Hardwick would learn from it
    Thanks JTH lovely Hawks jab

  44. Great win by the crows, doubt they can put up a fight against Hawthorn, but we will wait and see. Great read as usual

  45. Greg (DGM) Moody says

    Concur with Martin Rumsby – except I spent close to 24 hrs behind the wheel as I decided to go back to Adelaide via the Great Ocean Road. Sitting in Bay M5 with my 4 children (2 Bays to the left of the Crows Cheer squad) it was impressive to see how well our backline AND forwardline players worked as a team. Throw in the mid fielders (especially Sloane) who ran tirelessly all night, it was one of the best victories I have ever witnessed from the Crows (outside of the ’97 and ’98 grand finals). I hope they won’t accept the ‘love taps’ from Hawthorn this time. Time to avenge the 2012 Prelim loss! Great article (as always) Rulebook!

  46. Sam Penniment says

    Nice article rulebook, bring on friday!

  47. Rocky Austin says

    What a game!
    Very enjoyable read Malcolm.
    Close games are so great because as Michael Herr wrote in ‘Dispatches’: “to those who fight for it, life has a flavour the sheltered will never know”.

  48. considering you call it as you see it on tv, you do a great job with the minutiae Book….or is that minutiea Matt Lane? (whats the back story with that guy Book – piss taking friend or disgruntled Foe?
    Heres hoping you have at least three more Crows games to report on Book.
    Go the Blacks Crows

  49. Perhaps people should put their own Dalihaus in order before they think of landing cheap ones on the large, slow-moving, and comically predictable target that is Rulebook’s spelling and grammar.

    Instead of heartless jibes, think positive. You always wanted to learn a second language, and life has passed you by – Rulebook’s articles could be as close as you ever come!

    Tory Chaplin can spell, indeed. Writes a real mean ‘thank you and farewell note’, if I remember correctly.
    Tory Chaplin can count, you betcha. The Tiges just can’t count on him.
    Tory Chaplin loves numbers. Quite often will chase them all day.
    Ordinal numbers make him feel whole, and his fave is ninth by percentage.

    There’s few more impotent things in life than spelling.

  50. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Jack I think the crows will certainly put up a fight thanks,Greg it will be interesting to see how our level of support on a Friday compared to Saturday night re travelling.thanks,Sam v profound,Rocky.
    DL,Tom I have something in common with Troy( Tory) Chaplin I am terrible re grammar as he is at footy
    here is some more,Chaplin magic

  51. Tom, I reckon a big error in life is to focus only on Rulebook’s spelling. Never forget that Rulebook is just as creative, if not more, with punctuation. No-one, and I mean absolutely no-one, can keep the attention of the reader the way Rulebook does. I am in a permanent state of uber-engagement: “Where will the next comma come?” I am constantly asking. And, “By Christ I would never have thought to put a comma there.” It is pure genius. I call it CRP – Creative Random Punctuation – and just last week I made a submission to Merri Creek Primary School imploring them to introduce a program. It was Albert Einstein who said: Imagination is more important than knowledge. Which is the epigraph of my first book. Simply, Rulebook is the Stevie J of comma usage.

  52. Great article Book and even greater game. I could have done without the image of you having sex though. I guess Campo could use it as extra motivation for the Crows to start well on Friday night!

  53. Lorraine O'Dwyer says

    really enjoyed your article Malcolm. It had me replaying the game in my head again! We are on holidays in Bali and I was so excited on Sat night watching from a Sports bar……I was thinking of my son Sean, at the G Sat night, when the Bulldogs hit the front and how nerve wracking that would have been….(very tense in front of the telly!)…… The Crows could do anything from here…….they have nothing to lose. Playing for each other and in Phil’s memory can never be underestimated…….will be cheering from Bali again this Friday night….the distance is better on my hammering heart, I guess ?

  54. Sean O'Dwyer says

    What a game
    Such an amazing atmosphere at ‘G’ I’ll never ever forget the moment when Taylor Walker take 2 bounces down the wing and spears a pass to Charlie Cameron, me and my mates linked arms and when he kicked the goal it was the best feeling that you could imagine, then also hearing that there was only 1:20 left I knew 2 more stoppages and we’d have the game won.
    What a team ay, the resilient Crows keep on winning the close games. After losing a close final in 06 against west coast, 07 against hawthorn and 2012 against hawthorn we’ve finally been able to hold onto the win. Such a great story win or lose this Friday everyone Crows supporter will be so proud of the boys for the year that they’ve had and should be very excited for 2016, but let’s hope there at 3 wins left.

    Good report Malcolm!!!

  55. Precisely my way of thinking, JTH.

    And it’s not just the kiddies that are getting into CRP. In nursing homes across the country, old folks are putting their Sudoku and crosswords gently aside to read Book’s articles on the Almanac and train their brains. Unlike other pursuits to develop the cognitive faculties, Book’s punctuation has the distinct advantage of being totally resilient to any level of adaptation or familiarisation. Thankfully, it seems inevitable that the Book will never cease splicing and spicing his sentences with commas, exclamations et al, even as the most seasoned Book readers among us will never master the ‘pattern’, which is as randomly beautifully mind-bending as tie-dye.

    When Book uses a comma, it’s short for commando, ‘cos it sneaks up on you real quiet to sock you between the eyeballs when you least expect it. Sensibilities bested yet again, you cannot help but admire the zest, the verve, the irresistible brio.

    Rulebook’s surpassed mere royalty in the world of punk-tuation (as the post-modernists have taken to calling it). He’s now reached demi-colon status..

  56. Dear Ed.,

    Ironically, the ‘randomly beautifully mind-bending’ phrase in the copy above appears to be missing a couple of commandos. They are either exceptionally well camouflaged, or on a top-secret mission to infiltrate a Crows match report.


  57. Tom Martin and John Harms, your analysis of the Rulebook’s grammar is as enjoyable as Malcolm’s article!
    Well done fellas……..and Rulebook – when Chaplin tried to samba around Nahas and got caught, I sensed your presence in my lounge room, reminding me of the numerous times you told me that drafting him was a huge mistake.What hurts as much is that the guy that tackled him was a bloke we gave the flick to, because we didn’t need small crumbing forwards…….

  58. Sherree Baker says

    Hey Malcolm , well what a win !!! Amazing ! We are still away ! But get back the weekend of the grand final!! Been following it through fb !! So it’s been good!! I think they can do this and go the whole hog!! There’ve got the heart !! Let’s hope they stay focus !! And bring home the the AFL cup and be the champions they know that they are !!! Thankyou

  59. I think we need to know what people want on this.

    Please vote via comment.

    Rulebook’s Almanac pieces:

    A. should be published with no editorial intervention whatsoever. Raw.
    B. should have editorial intervention but Book CRP should remain sacrosanct
    C. should be subjected to standard Almanac editing
    D. should be sent to the literature room of the British Museum to be displayed between the hand-written poetry of Wilfred Owen and the lyrics of I am the Walrus

  60. A fantastic game and write up to match. Looking forward to Friday

  61. Perhaps we need to set up a demonstration piece, JTH – showing what A, B & C look like on the same piece. Of course, I would vote for D in any case.

  62. Harmsy – B and D.

    Brilliant comments.

  63. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks TM and JTH I have pissed myself laughing with the content and dialogue back and forth between you 2 and any critiscm towards me re my grammar is obviously well deserved I appreciate your good humour.thanks the ODwyers I am gradually meeting the whole family and Des my lips are sealed.Pagey I had a giggle at your comment as well.Jags every thing I had predicted re the tigers was correct in the end
    I wonder whether,Chaplin and Shane Watson are secretly related ? Thanks Sherree love your passion
    thanks Haz and Dave I reckon every body would vote,D thanks folks

  64. Western Bulldogs can’t Kick. Tony Abbott can’t count. That’s my insight for the week

    Well done Crows. Well done Rulebook

  65. Goo goo ga joob. But also, “he (nearly) did for us with his plan of attack” Bloody hell I’ve come over all literate.

    Excellent work Book, excellent comments Tom/John.

  66. Quality write up Book

  67. Damian Newberry says

    Great wrap Rulebook! The spear that Taylor Walker kicked to Charlie Cameron to seal the match was elite and the best passage of play I witnessed on the weekend. That was what PW was on about with his time at the Crows. I am a Port man but am jumping on the Crows bandwagon this finals series. Love the banter about the CRP and Tory Chaplin. Option A for publication with a couple of footnotes- just like reading Charles Duckens.

  68. Rulebook, as you get better and better at these your pieces get longer! Top stuff! Only in the Almanac can you get so many people not caring about spelling and stuff, but being huge fans of a bloke with a keen eye and massive heart. What matters, matters! You almost make me want to barrack for the Crows!



  69. Mark Wallace says

    Luv ya work Rulebook. Don’t worry about the spelling. The game itself is not perfect otherwise there would be no atmosphere. Even in the perfect world of suburban Adelaide Uni footy – how many mis-spellings and other imperfections do you see and hear on a Saturday afternoon on any of Bob Neil’s beautiful venues.

    And as a side note – go the Crows!

    Was feeling sorry for poor old Jack Gunston too – but then no bugger him, he couldn’t seem to make a fist of it in Adelaide so no wonder he choked over in Perth – just too far from home!

  70. Stuart Brogan says

    Malcolm thanks for sending your entertaing summary ( comments are even better) living in Shanghai I ventured down to
    the Camel with a american for his 1st ever look at afl he loved it and will be back friday hope the crows can keep going

  71. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Plug a interesting week to say the least thanks IMS enjoyable emails as well.thanks,Lawry.Damian
    your intellect is a mile in front of mine no thanks re Charles Dickens thanks mate.Thanks Matt I truly appreciate the help JTH,Steve Baker,Luke Reynolds,PB and many others give me re grammar I admit I just don’t get it I value that the almanac appreciates the subject not the little things.Thanks drive in for ls yes plenty of mistakes at the Bob Neil venues not from you,55 metres out on the boundary line to win the game against,Hackney High buggar,Gunston there are a few Crows players angrier with the way he left the crows than,Tippett so stuff him.Thanks Stuart how many people watching the game at the Camel and happy birthday thanks every 1

  72. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    I love it Malcolm. As the Sex Pistols might have said: “Never mind the grammar”. Grammar and punctuation were invented to keep English teachers employed. Your Crows are a big show on Friday.

  73. Mark Mcinerney says

    Crows were very lucky, gutsy but lucky. Will have to improve a lot to beat the Hawks

  74. Well done Rulebook, another great read… despite the mastication of the English language! I’m hoping Jerker Jenkins can have a big one on Friday to make up for hardly being sighted on the Saturday. The Crows will have to massively improve their centre clearances to have any chance against the Hawks as they copped a bath in that respect against the Bulldogs midfield. Let’s hope they’ve learnt what not to do from that experience.

  75. Great wrap Malcolm. I eagerly await the next installment. Bugger the spelling – it’s all about the passion!

  76. Book give me your footy brain and insight to the game over spelling and grammar any day to quote the messiah I couldn’t give a rats toss bag

  77. David Gordon says

    You are so right Book; I enjoyed your Crows V Dogs wrap but have been wiping tears of laughter from my eyes over John Harms’ and Tom Martin’s string of responses arising from it.

    I am sure that when “The Footy Almanac” first went “on-line”, Harmsy would have only hoped to get regular contributions like yours and the groundswell of reaction that you always receive. Glad to see you promptly reply to the feedback from your co-contributors, the regulars and general punters with your conjoined, stream-of-consciousness comments. 76 responses so far and rising. That’s a great effort.

    Got to admit, I strangely enjoy the arrival of that regular email message (with link) relating to your latest story in the Almanac and your simple note, “appreciate your comments on this one, ta Book”.

    It’s much easier to cope with than driving “The Ox” to two Blacks finals in one day. Enough said!

  78. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Phil and Mark the crows are the under dogs just making it this far is amazing.Big Jim it is vital
    Jenkins plays well Friday night.Thanks Rook( all the best 2 mate reflect on the good times hang in there)
    Thanks K Pow greatly appreciated.Gordo to say you perform beyond duty re OX is a massive understatement has your car recovered yet ? Thank you

  79. Rulebook,

    The Known Reading World is smiling this morning at their late-week realisation that the Crows are playing football tomorrow night and that means one thing: a report from M. Ashwood. I suspect your Adel-Haw report is the most anticipated piece of sports writing in history and that people from Ki Ki to Tent Hill are hanging out for the next opportunity to experience the joys of CRP.

    I may take up Dave Brown’s suggestion.

    But, Book, following on from K Pow and others, it’s your outstanding analysis that counts. And that you have been a great sport about it all.

    We are not competitive here at the Almanac, but if we were to institute a trophy for footy writing it would be called The Malcolm, Ashwood Award.


  80. brilliant comma JTH.

  81. Malcolm Ashwood says

    I would like to thank,Matt Lane for bagging me in the 1st place greatly appreciated

  82. David Gordon says

    Please stop these comments. I am still laughing out loud about the possibility of the collected musings (including CRP – Creative Random Punctuation) delivered by the indefatigable Malcolm Ashwood, gracing a purpose-built, and glass case in the Literature Room of the British Museum. As you might have already guessed, I (like Dave Brown) I would vote for option (d). PS: Go you mighty Crows!

  83. Nice work Rulebook. Was at the game and had a ball. Hawks are beatable!

  84. When I, read a Rulebook, article,. I read it in a gruff., voice and;and imagine Rulebook is, on the other end of: the phone! Then the article, makes perfect. Sense. The rest of, you should try: employing this technique. It, works wonderfully?

  85. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Haven’t you got Caller Id, Handbag?

  86. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Gordo pure gold,thanks Tim.Danny I remember the 1st time I gave you a lift you got in the car singing,499 to go I reply what ? You say 499 lifts to go ( I did not drive till I was 28 saw some I killed when I was young and it scared me) again as on that occasion harsh but fair actually just fair.Some of the bagging I have copped here has been the funniest critiscm I have got in my life thank you

  87. Nice one book. Made the journey and it was well worth it and your write up hits the nail on the head.
    On another note, the Chaplin V Nahas comedy act is gold. Wouldn’t expect anything else from the defensive maestro!

  88. bernard whimpress says

    The invitation to comment was a bit of a surprise. Not sure why but guess because there were 87 comments you wanted to get off that number. Since I wrote an article, ‘The 87 Myth’ for Cricketer magazine about 1990 (proving beyond doubt that it was all bullshit) I guess it was appropriate that I be number 88 now if I’m quick. Then there’s the Marsh-Lillee bet. The odds were 500/1 at Headingley in 1981. No such offerings on the footy surely? If there were early odds on Tony’s departure I would have thought they might have been worth taking. As for his leaving I guess one of the nicest touches was that one of his final act as PM showed him with a shovel in hand and a pile of dirt.

  89. Luke Reynolds says

    Great report Malcolm, and as always, enjoyed editing it for you. Almost in tears laughing at the comments…
    Reckon we should publish both A. Raw and C. Standard Almanac editing. Side by side. Let the people choose.
    Look forward to this week’s report. Go Crows.

  90. Goat Northey says

    The crescendo of Crows has reached such a feverpitch this week I fear our bubble must surely burst. Nerves are jangling 24 hrs out from the Hawks game.

  91. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Chris safe travels and re Chaplin yes what a player.thanks,Bernard agree re Tony.Thanks,Luke greatly appreciate your help and yes some gold in the comments.Goat I agree entirely and are the same

  92. Go Crows

  93. Willow Wilson says

    Nice work book, the game was exciting and entertaining, but the banter going back and forth is just as entertaining!
    To be beaten in so many KPIs (contested ball, clearances, inside 50s) and still win was a credit to the Crows, in the big moments they made good decisions and executed well. Sloane, Walker, Talia, even Hartigan after a shaky start. Dangerfield’s last quarter was brilliant.
    I thought towards the end of the season Atkins had gone past Knight with his foot skills and time with the ball, but Knight had a blinder and Atkins seemed to struggle with the pace, carrying an injury?
    Tex had also struggled at times during the year with his kicking, particularly field kicking with lots of grubbers and missed targets, but what a turn around on the big stage. A true captain’s game.
    Great belief within the group, no limits!

  94. bob.speechley says

    I was at this magnificent display of Australian football on Saturday night which completed a wonderful season for the young Western Bulldogs team. How a match is determined by minor occurrences in the run of play is an attractive part of our game. These stick in your mind – Bontempelli shooting for goal in the Third Stanza and Big Tex streaking along the Members wing in the Fourth. Dangerfield was superb at the end and IMHO was the real difference between the two teams. As a Bulldogs supporter I read all the commentary and hope the Crows gain something from all the enthusiasts following them this week – I certainly did!

  95. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Matt.Willow the banter had been entertaing I was like wise re Atkins but had struggled the last couple of weeks and red injury wise he hasn’t missed any training.,Tex was fantastic,yes we are well and truly underdogs but hope so.Thanks Bob it was a fantastic game when,Malthouse said on radio he thought,Sunday’s game was better as the defence was better I just shook my head in disbelief.Danerfield is incredible the amount of times his last quarters have been blinders in tight big games is astounding the crowd will struggle with out him next year.The dogs are on the right track thanks folks

  96. Great stuff Book love ya work
    The Crows game last week was definitely the game to watch. Their ability to use the footy intelligently was a key factor for the win, on paper the stats were against them. They come up against an expectant Hawks team, my mates in Melbourne think this is going to be a cake walk, beware the wounded Hawks they say, Hmm I’m wouldn’t be so confident, history shows momentum to be a major factor in finals the Crows definitely have that, @ $4.40 1-39 Im taking them odds.
    Good luck

  97. Gold pure gold!! Great read Book…love all the comments.
    Your spelling and punctuation is like your cricket umpiring…creative!!

  98. I didn’t catch the Crows Dogs game – in fact, I saw very little footy last weekend – VERY unusual for me. Mal, I reckon you’ve preambled tonight’s game perfectly, “Yep, we’re underdogs but there is an unparalleled spirit in this group. They will have a crack!”

  99. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Lou hope the hawks ars over confident head says hawks heart says go crows.i agree the crows should be a fraction shorter re the odds.Thanks Shaun it is only a couple of weeks ago you made a ton in your 1st senior game of cricket isn’t it ? Thanks Jonno well done last friday night in what was a more important function than a game of footy all the best to the Butler family

  100. Fantastic game of footy at the MCG and even better to be able to experience it live in person. My first ever game at the G had to be a thriller. The Crows looked like they wanted to win this one.

    Real shame the Crows lost to the Hawks but at least they got this far. I expect them to improve next year. They must be mentally stronger against the Hawks as Geelong were for many years and as Port Adelaide has been against them.

  101. Rick Bizz Sarre says

    A key thing to come out of Book’s article is the idea that he has spurned any thought of going to SportsBet and has fashioned his gambling to his chances of a quickie!

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