Finals Week 2 – The 2017 Norm Beechey Cup

Greetings Tipsters


By the gods, that was one hell of a footballing weekend.  We all love finals football, it’s faster, harder, the stakes are higher, much higher and the manic intensity of the games reflects that.


Thursday was a classic.  The Eagles were terrible, but to leave it at that would be to deny the Bulldogs’ endeavour, the main reason for the terribleness.  From the first bounce, the Dogs played hard, fast, risky football.


That style of football, the best style to watch, will only work if the team has the right level of confidence.  Footballing skills are important, but that’s a necessity for the confidence.  Footscray had it in spades Thurs-eve.  Most finalists hit the weekend with a near-full list, but ‘Scray had four players done for the season, including Murphy and Wallis.  Bob was there, thrilled to bits congratulating players after the match.


Whereto for the Wiggles?  Murray Wiggle is playing guitar with the Soul Movers with Andy Newman and Pip Hoyle.  He has a legendary record collection and last I heard is still living in the largest house in Enmore.  Which is more than can be said for the footballing Wiggles.  They don’t have the Malthouse/Worsfold grunt that they were once known for.  Mick may be looking at them now and thinking of the team he took over, that managed just one goal in a match and when he did player interviews after that, asking them what they thought of their game, one bloke said he’d had a great game because “I kicked the goal!”


Full credit to Footscray.  No team has pushed on through disaster like they have.  They’re true believers in themselves and I’ll be cheering myself hoarse for them this Fri-eve.


Geelong v Hawthorn.  The Rivalry of 21C.  There was never much in that, Cats got ahead, Hawks pulled it back.  Twas a beautiful eve, we sat outside for some of the game, talking about how we oughta have a teev on the back porch, but it was too good to not hit the couch for that goal-for-goal second half, that seriously wound-up last term when there was little more than a kick in it, that utter cock-up that gave Hawthorn the kick after the siren.


It’s been a long time since we had a rivalry such as this, two top-line teams hitting each other in finals with so much on the line.  Ten years ago Sydney and West Coast played a series of super-close games including two Grand Finals, but that doesn’t compare to the eight years these two have been getting into each others faces.  Should the Hawks lose this weekend, many pundits will be saying that Smith’s miss was a turning point, but we shouldn’t blame him.  If Hawthorn were that good, they wouldn’t have to rely on a kick after the siren in a final.


They’ve long had a weakness against young, fast, running teams.  Luke has been watching film of the Monaros beating Hawthorn in May, thinking about it when he’s out on his surfboard, reading the waves.


Leon doesn’t look like he surfs, but he knows something about getting the Monaros running in waves.  Just needed one more mouthy old bloke.


I took serious notes of this match, kick by kick in the first term.  Fifteen minutes before the first goal, not an inch was given.  Two or three in it until mid third when Heeney wasn’t paid a mark, Monaros swept it upfield for Cameron’s first of three in six minutes.


That fingertip intercept was a beauty.


Monaros had set it up by then with tough, hard, physical play, knocking Swans like skittles, mouthy old blokes showed the kids the way, they played better than ever.


When I saw Johnson’s hit on Kennedy I thought ‘Barry Hall Rule.’  July, he’d have gone for two and Mumford for one.  But GWS are in the finals and shouldn’t be messed with any more than necessary.  Steve will be coaching from the boundary line – if that’s permissible – which is half of what he does anyway.


7.10 to 2.6 after halftime, Sydney shouldn’t have been so bad.  Anyone else think of the 2014 Grand Final?  No coincidence that Aliir, Swans’ most instinctual player and one of the less experienced, was reading the Monaros better than his teammates.


Three great games in three days.  The 1998 GF replay happened like we’d expected.


Crows have a good record at the SCG lately.  Tippett and Mills injured, that’ll throw Sydney’s balance out, but they’ll be smarting and replaying the QF in their minds.  It’s tough times at the SCG, they need the spirit of Ray Kelly and Fred Krahe to do whatever it takes.  Meantime, Crows feeling like they’ve done okay already.


Hogs v Dogs better not be too intense, I’ve gotta cut down trees Sat-morn.  It has all the hallmarks, tho, the old pack leader having to fend off a young alpha male.  Hawthorn can be outrun, so can Sydney.  Maybe Geelong too.  There’s a rising tide, folks.


Cheers, Tipsters


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About Earl O'Neill

Freelance gardener, I've thousands of books, thousands of records, one fast motorcycle and one gorgeous smart funny sexy woman. Life's pretty darn neat.


  1. Making (lateral) sense as always Earl. Loved the Hogs V Dogs line. Hogs suits them so much better than Hawks.
    Norm Beechey Cup eh? I can remember watching Stormin Norman’s Monaro trying to get around the outside of Moffatt and Geoghan’s Mustangs at the old Mallalla racetrack in SA in the early 70’s.
    Is Norm Beechey a Monaro tribute? Is there a Colin Bond Cup in them? Did Brock win in a Monaro or only Toranas and Commodores?

  2. Nailed it Earl well played

  3. Earl O'Neill says

    Peter, Norm’s HT Monaro was the first Australian built car to win the ATCC. A very special machine.

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