Finals week 2 – The Wrap: Rhyce and Adam; we salute you.


Where Life imitates Football

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.


Really, how many times do you have to tell a wood duck?  All the talk around at Bomberland is that they’re going to recycle Woosher.  And he wasn’t even an Essendon player, let alone a Favourite Son.

Recycled marquee coaches, let’s say it, Premiership Coaches from times gone by, don’t necessarily translate favourably in a new environment.  You want some recent examples?  Dennis Pagan was lost at Princes Park without his Paddock.  Mickey the Maltster took 12 years to bring in one Flag at Victoria Park and that was in Year 11 of his tenure.  His brief encounter with The Carlton Culture only led to tears.  And while Rocket may have been handed a poison chalice up at The Metricon, he’s had the Devil’s own job getting The Suns to shine.  (Let alone anything tht looks & plays like a cohesive and coherent force – Ed)

Remember this is the same Woosher who coached West Coast up until 2013 when they finished 13th.  The same West Coast that has been installed as Flag Favourite for 2015.  The same West Coast that he coached while The Such Is Life Culture flourished under his nose.  True, his record is impressive but not that impressive, and was tailing off towards the end.  Would a new club give him a new lease of life?  Every chance, but you’d have to question whether Essendon are in the welfare business.  (They are actually Wrap, but at the receiving end, not the delivery end – Ed)

Look what the Young Turks coming up through the professional ranks have achieved at Port Adelaide, WCE, Richmond and Footscray. Even The Feeling Faints are watchable these days.  Now we hear that Brendan McCartney’s name has been added to the short list of interviewees.  Sure he’s one of the young professionals that have been in the industry for some time, but from all reports, and without wishing him any malice, his tenure at Whitten Oval was singularly unsuccessful at the Senior Level.  Let’s see what they come up with, and we only know what we read in the papers, but we hope they think long and hard about their next coaching appointment.  Because they can ill afford to muck this one up.

Not too sure we can call The Pride of South Australia The Chardonnays any more.  Having a quite pre match sherbet in one of the MCG lounges, our Stringer at the G was asked if he’s mind opening the door as the owner of the voice had his hands full.  He turned to find a gentleman in the Red Golden Blue of The Free Settlers with a wine glass in each hand.  But the liquid in the glass was not of the traditional rich gold with a hint of apricot of the Vale de Barossa; they were full of a fluid of an amber hue, and it had a slice of cucumber hanging out of it.  Yes Wrappers, it looks like Pimms # 1 Cup is now the official drink of The Mighty Adelaide Crows.

And speaking of The Mighty Adelaide Crows  (Speak not ill of the dead Wrap – Ed)  The Rabid Adelaide Mob were there in force on Friday night.  They never for a moment gave up on Their Boys, even under the most grinding humiliation.  (Maybe they should be putting Pimms # 1 Cup in those water bottles, eh Wrap? – Ed)  In fact it was The Leafblowers who were leaving the seats showing as the Final Quarter unfolded.  By the time Luke Breust had raised the twin calicos for the 6th time, at the 26-minute mark, the trickle had become a flood.

Can someone please explain how a team that plays in Indigo can be called a purple anything?   Maybe we should be calling them Mood Indigo.  If you asked Old Blue Eyes or Nina Simone they’d tell you why.

‘Cause there’s nobody who cares about me,

I’m just a soul who’s

Bluer than blue can be 

When I get that Mood Indigo

I could lay me down and die


Maybe The Singing Cowboys could work it over.  (Just playing it as it is is certainly better than the song they’ve got now – Ed)

We farewelled a couple of players who have helped The Thunder Rain Down From The Sky.  Rhyce Shaw has been an Ornament To The Game, and a Favourite Son, and a Premiership Player.  The other was Adam Goodes.  Dual Brownlow Medallist, Dual Premiership Medallist, Australian of the Year, Four times All Australian and Legend of The Game.  In full flight he was one of the most electrifying and Match Turning Players The Game has ever seen.  Rhyce Shaw and Adam Goodes, we salute you.

Hologram Man is concerned about the bounce.  God bless you Hologram Man, you’re always right up there with things that matter.  We’ve had a long look at the matter of the bounce after 129 years.  In keeping with the current obsession with perfection (Don’t forget the level playing field Wrap – Ed) we’ve come up with some suggestions we’d like to pass on to the appalling football league.  We could have a fourth umpire – a designated bouncer (DB).  He could run on to the fanfare from Space Odyssey 2001.  Or David Bowie’s Space oddity

Ground Control to Major Tom

Take your protein pills and put your helmet on


The music could build to a crescendo when it gets to –


Ground Control to Major Tom

Your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong

Can you hear me, Major Tom?


He’d be highly trained and chosen from a field of the nation’s best 100 bouncers.  He could come on after each goal to restart the match.

Or, with the technology now available, we could have an impulse ram beneath the Centre Circle that would propel the Ross Faulkner in a perfect vertical flight.  The ball would be ceremoniously placed on the white dot and the launch could by counted down on the big screen.  (Am I hearing more Ground Control to Major Tom coming on Wrap? – Ed)  That, and lots of sightings of the sponsor’s logo – this bounce is brought to you by Sugar Hit, the breakfast cereal that gets you up for every bounce.

Or we could have a Dutch bounce, with the ball dropped from a drone 100 meters above the centre square and the ruckmen would have to judge their leap for the tap-out on the fall of the ball.

However, the most popular suggestion was bounce the bl**dy thing and get on with it.

But enough of my gabbin’.  Let’s see who’s going through Week II of The Finals.

The Mayblooms v The Free Settlers.  Well, that was short and sweet.  An eight goal to two Opening Quarter will kill off a contest on most occasions, and this occasion was no exception.  Paddy Dangerfield’s snap from the boundary was one for the Highlight Reel, but really, that’s about all Adelaide Fans had to take home with them.  The Hon Edward A Betts just couldn’t get into the contest.  His Highlight Reel for the night would be as he tried to weave some magic in the pocket in the Second Quarter.  He got around a couple but was well and truly nailed by the third Leafblower defender before he could release.  And with that crucifixion went any chance of a Snowtown Revival.  Captain Tex turned in a 1-3 scoreline and was held to 10 possessions.  The Hawks’’ Billy Hartung had eight, and he only shrugged off the Green Flack Jacket at the OT Huddle.

One area The Crows dominated was the hit outs.  Sam Jacobs had 41 and Patrick Dangerfield four.  Ben McEvoy had 17 and David Hale four and Roughie one.  Jordan Lewis won three and Hodgie one.  Whether Hawthorn were prepared to concede this aspect of the game, and/or were trialling a third man up tactic to counter the three remaining Spring Heel Jacks they’re likely to have to face on the way to their 3-Peat is only conjecture at this stage.  (The three best in The Competition BTW – Ed)  When the ball came to ground it was all Hawthorn.  (Not if you were looking at the stats it wasn’t – Ed)  That’s true Ed.  But who ever said there’s outright lies, damn lies and then there’s statistics spoke volumes of truth.  The Chardonnays had 26 frees to 14 and won 44 clearances to 32.  But as our new Glorious Leader, Malcolm T will tell you; the only stat that matters is the one on the scoreboard.  The Pimms # 1 Cups could only manage two goals a quarter to go with their 13 behinds.

Two things that we should all take home is that Adelaide weren’t playing The Bulldogs this week.  And Hawthorn won’t be playing Adelaide next week.  Make no mistake; this was a Fred Hesse Annihilation Scoreboard monstering.  Not since Grand Final Day in 2014 have we seen such a one sided final.  Crikey, that was just last year and it was Hawthorn doing the monstering then too.  Can they carry this form through to TFSIO?  They’re only taking it one week at a time out at Dingley Dell, and their next encounter is a trip to as far west as you can go in this country without getting eaten by a shark.  Their opponents?  The Purple People Eaters.

The Pride of South Australia can drive back across the border; maybe stop for a reflective Ballarat Bertie or three along the way. It’s been a sad year for them, but they’ve paid their respects to Phil Walsh and honoured his legacy.  They can go into The Long Dark Summer proudly, and with the knowledge they have some work to do.  But at least they know what it is they have to do.

The Bloods v The Shinboners.  If you were one of the 31,162 that made it out to Homebush on Saturday night you can tell your grandkids that you were part of history.  Not since they played finals at Windy Hill & The Lakeside Oval during WWII when the MCG was used to bivouac US troops have we seen fewer Fans attending a Final’s Match*.  If the pathetic crowd hasn’t shaken the appalling football league from its arrogance, nothing will.  This Semi Final had all the atmosphere of a Home & Away clash between a local team playing on a makeshift venue against an unfashionable interstate club.  On the screen at home though it was a winner takes all knockout final between two clubs in Traditional Colours.

And what a clash it was.  Sydney had been brave this Finals’ Series.  They took it right up to The Mood Indigo last week in front of the Knowledgeable Fremantle Supporter Base.  And they held off The Shinboners till midway through the Second Quarter.  They came at them again in the opening passages of The Championship Quarter, but were eventually over run by a team that was fresher and also outgunned them.

Not that Sydney didn’t try.  They were just too many soldiers down by the end of the season.  And next season they start without a few more.  The appalling football league has slightly eased the pressure on the club’s jugular but SOTG must be asking, are we witnessing the long mooted decline of The Bloods?  Kurt Tippett has come into his own in the less crowded forward line.  The full midfield is still as formidable as ever.  They’re missing a dominant ruckman for today’s possession-based game.  And they’re looking a bit porous down back.  (Very porous without R. Shaw – Ed)  And lacking in rebound.  They’ll be back, but trading their way out may not be an option with much of their salary cap committed long term and a unforgiving football administration still smarting from The Swans most recent recruitment coupe.  One could be excused for predicting a testing few years coming up for Horse & The Bloods.  (One has been predicting that for several seasons now Wrap – Ed)

The Roos’ three Mature Age Recruits have served them well all year and particularly through the Finals’ Series.  Jarrod Waite has given them a second serious tall target in attack, which has taken a lot of pressure off Drew Petrie, and to a lesser extent, Ben Brown.  Shaun Higgins has given spark to the forward line and has managed to keep on the paddock. (Except when he’s not too tired to play – Ed)  And Nick dal Santo has provided drive off halfback.

Add to that a more than half handy midfield and a premium-class ruckman supported by an experienced backline and it’s no surprise that they’ve made it through to the third week of the Finals.  Unkind Students of The Game have suggested their path was smoothed by having been gifted The Fantasising Tigers and a Battle & Travel Weary Swans as stepping stones along the way, but the adage that you can only beat who they put up against you is as old as time itself.

North now gird themselves for the trip across The Nullarbor.  They’ve made it to the Penultimate Weekend of the season once more and this in itself should be heralded.  They finished 8th and they’re about to challenge the team that finished 2nd.  A team that averages 106 points a game and concedes 71.  David v Goliath spring to mind from biblical examples.  Arnie Schwarzenegger v Anyone from more contemporary instruction.  And for those still at the early reader stage – the chicken in the henhouse v a wayward slater.

And remember, if you read it in The Wrap you’ll know it’s not crap.

* The infamous 1945 Bloodbath GF between Carlton & South Melbourne that was played at Princes Park drew a capacity crowd of 38,213.

About John Mosig

I'm an Aussie Rules tragic who can remember, as a four year old, shaking the hand of Captain Blood in the rooms just before he ran out onto the ground after half time, as my Old Man slipped him a packet of under-the-counter Craven A cork tipped. Now it's my turn to take my grandson Ben through the ritual of character building that is the journey through PUNT ROAD to the outside world.

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