Finals Week 2 – Brisbane v Western Bulldogs: Observations




It’s Father’s Day and how good was it to have the whole family around and partake of a few Abbotts Lagers in an atmosphere of conviviality. Well, the latter is true but the former is not and that’s the way it is when we are displaying an abundance of caution as a consequence of expert medical advice. My wife was convivial, my dogs were convivial and so was the vacuum cleaner and also the basket of ironing which occupied my time. I digress but I have always liked the word convivial perhaps it’s my memory of pub ads in the local Football Record or as it was and is still called in the North Central League The Recorder which is not to be confused with The Budget in South Australia. A typical ad was:


After the Game

Drop into the Terminus Hotel Wycheproof

Cold Beer and Conviviality Assured


Apparently nothing more was required than cold beer and conviviality and I find that hard to argue with.


Now last night we did in my view see a truly great game of footy. Despite having to endure it on TV, rather than being there, I was buoyed just before the start to get a photo of my mate Mark Hall, rusted on Saints supporter at the Gabba, adorned in a Dogs scarf alongside his wife Anne. Hally and myself have a bet on every Saints v Dogs game and we embrace each other’s victories as supporters of underdog teams. Anne barracks for Hawthorn with a passion so she probably has no comprehension of how we feel.


Just a few observations after watching the replay once some degree of lucidity had returned.




Chris Fagan deserves better. He is a wonderful pragmatic no nonsense coach in a world largely populated by the opposite.


Big Oscar must have thought he was back at Primary School last night when he was 6 foot 2 rucking against little kids. He tossed Lewis Young, the honest trier, and Tim English, the reluctant ruckman, around like rag dolls.


Charlie oh Charlie it was a cameo [thank God] but you are a delight to watch


Mitch Robinson would mug his Grandmother if she stood between him and the ball


Lyons is a far better player than the Suns and Crows ever gave him credit for and it’s a comment on them rather than him


Mac Luggage as the commentators call him is up there with the best of the young mid-fielders . If I was his manager I would be negotiating a sponsorship with Samsonite.


Coleman is short a bit of poise but he is a very good player in the making.


Zorko and Neale don’t hurt teams the way the seriously good mid fielders do.


The game was there for the Lions to win and they blew it with errant kicking for goal in the third quarter when they dominated play.





We have done nothing more than achieve what we should have achieved. We were clearly a Top 4 side all year and we are in the last four teams surviving.


Our bottom 4 players are a real worry in big games and last night we had a bottom 5 as Treloar joined the group. I hope Collingwood have withheld his match payment.


Libba well he just plays like a Libba and his Granny might have similar problems to Mitch Robinson’s Gran if she got in the way of the ball.


Jackson McCrae deploys his craft with the demeanour of an undertaker and the precision of a brain surgeon. The Dogs got over the line on Jack’s back last night. He was magnificent and no doubt he is still under-rated by a good percentage of the football community.


Well the little bloke who looks like a kid kitted up to do his paper round or who has been left on the ground by mistake after the Little League continues to prove how good he is.  Caleb slipped to 46 in a the draft after being the standout player in the Under 18 carnival. Sometimes I wonder whether the draft experts prefer athleticism over the fundamentals ie getting the ball and using it to maximum advantage. Two of his kicks into the middle last night to the Bont and Wood both of which resulted in goals were gobsmacking.


Bailey Smith goes ok for a kid albeit apparently he will never be as good as Sam Walsh.


Codey Weightman is not a very good spectator. Still not clear who will be the winner the Dees with Cossie Picket and the Dogs with the Flea out of that draft but they both play with the spirit and unbridled joy of kids in the schoolyard and may they continue to do so.


Cricket Australia finally got their wish with Alex Keath strutting his stuff at the Gabba and next week he does the same at the Adelaide Oval. He is pivotal to the Dogs and last night added Joe Daniher to his list of scalps. I doubt Joe is a scalp you would take straight to the pool room as he looks like someone earning a lot more money than what he is worth to my untrained eye.


Keath is the answer to the trivia question ‘who was the last person to play first class cricket and AFL at the highest level‘ and I doubt that will ever change .


A great game of footy decided by a solitary point and the Dogs live to fight again in Adelaide on Saturday.


I implore you all to kneel beside your beds tonight and say a prayer for the knee of Saint Marcus.


Night all. Apologies to those on the trail who have no idea what I am talking about but then again neither do I.


Woof Woof

Go Dogs



Hayden Kelly



Read more from Hayden Kelly HERE




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  1. Peter Fuller says

    Excellent report, Hayden, and well done your Dogs, a wonderful match and a famous victory..
    I loved your reference to conviviality. It reminded me of an ad in the New Statesman from the British pubs association (not the correct title for the organisation).
    It featured a convivial scene inside a pub viewed from the outside through the window. The caption was:
    “Outside it’s all go, go, go. Inside it’s stay stay stay.”

  2. Hayden Kelly says

    Funny Peter
    My favourite pub ad was on the fence of the Winchelsea pub when it was owned by Larry Donohue
    Come in and have one with the man who kicked a ton .

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