Finals week 3 – The Wrap: “A Heapin’ helpin’ of that [West Australian] hospitality…”


Where Life imitates Football

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


The Hawkers have won their way into their fourth successive Grand Final.  Not many have achieved this feat.  We had a bit of spare time so we decided to look them up.

The Great Pre-war Carringbush Sides of the John Wren/Jock McHale Era.  Between 1925 and 1930 they played in six Grand Finals.  They won the last four.

Richmond played in four from 1931 to 1934 – winning two of them.  In fact they played in seven of the eight in that period.  Struggletown’s three losses to Carringbush (1927-29) sealed a life long enmity between the neighbouring clubs.

South Melbourne between 1934 & 1937.  These were the first Blood Stained Angles.  (And the Foreign Legion Team too Wrap.  South went of a recruiting drive with a chaff bag full of brown paper envelopes – Ed)  Nothing much has changed then Ed, except the view from the boardroom window eh?  They took The Pennant in 1934 and lost to Richmond in 1935 and Collingwood the following two years.

Between 1935 & 1939 Collingwood were again a force.  Still under Jock McHale, they were there five times for two Flags.

Between 1946 & 1951 The Bombers played in all seven Grannies, winning in 1946 & 1949-50.  They lost in 1948 to Melbourne in the first GF replay in the history of The Game. This was the Dick Reynolds, Billy Hutchinson, John Coleman Era.  The Dons’ B&F Medal is named after the first named.  The AFL goal kicking medallion is named after the last named.  Between them they won five Brownlows and four Colemans.  (King Richard was at the end of his career by 1946 Wrap.  He retired in 1947.  And they didn’t have Coleman Medals back then.  But you’ve never let the facts get in the way of a good story have you? – Ed)   Just because it didn’t happen doesn’t mean it’s not true Oh Worthy Worker of Words*.

Norm Smith’s Invincible Demons of the 1950s.  Between 1954 and 1960 The Dees – yes Nurelle, those Dees – played in seven Grand Finals and won five of them.  Collingwood famously defeated them in 1958 to prevent them beating Collingwood’s feat of four on the trot.  If they’d won in 1958 they would have amassed six successive flags.  Think about it for a while; they were just as hard to win back then too.  The best afield on Grand Final Day receives The Norm Smith Medal in memory of one of the greatest men to ever wear the grey felt hat and a gabardine raincoat.  Jock McHale was the other.  The winning coach receives the Jock McHale Medal.

North did it from 1974 to 1978.  If you count the drawn GF against the Pies it would be six successive appearances on TLSIS.

1983 & 1989 it was the Too Old Too Slow Hawks who made seven successive appearances winning four of them.

Lethal’s Bad News Bears & New Breed Lions featured in four Grannies between 2001 & 2004.  They lost to Port Adelaide in 2004.

Now it’s Hawthorn again.  They surprisingly lost to Sydney in 2012 and won the next two.  Can they make it a 3-peat this season?

We’ve been told the telecast this year will be in HD if you tune to 7 Mate.  Now there’s a break from tradition.  If only they can leave The Delicious One out of the broadcasting team.

Mark Robinson reported that a security guard told him there were 100 evictions for drinking offences and violence.  (The official count was 11 – Ed) One of them, captured on camera, has gone viral and led the Violence Against Women Campaign on the national news.  Cody Yarran is helping police with their enquiries.  (Yarran, now there’s a good Western Australian name – Ed).  But it was more than just those evicted.  Luke Breust was slung into the fence, as he squatted on the ground trying to recover kidney function, Fremantle fans leaned over the fence and howled abuse at him.  Similarly, Isaac Smith copped a mouthful and a threatening gesture when the play took him near the edge of the cage.  Ugly?  You bet.  But that’s life in the Wild West.  Hologram Man, worried no doubt about the impact on gate receipts, was on top of the situation in a flash and Cody Yarran will not be seen at an AFL fixture again.

Our WA Stringer has reported on both the WA matches against Hawthorn and he claims the streets are rocking well before the matches.  Well before the sun passed the yardarm in fact.  (Someone should tell them the mining boom is over and it’s recession times – Ed)  He said they were pleasant enough when their team won, but he removed his Leafy East colours when he overheard – post match – one amethyst clad thug rouse his mates with the war cry to send some Hawthorn Supporters Down Below.

We’re going to have to take the Football Factory title away from Preshil and hand it over to That Good Old Grammar School at Brighton, we’re told.  Ben Jacobs’ name can be added to the illustrious list of alumni that have played at The Elite Level after honing their skills on Crowther Oval.  Think about it Wrappers; Ben Jacobs, Chris Dawes, Jack Watts & Warwick Capper.  You could build a pie night around that quartet.

For some insightful comments on Adam Goodes you could do a lot worse than get your hands on a copy of The Saturday Paper.  No not that one Nurelle; the one that only comes out on Saturday.  Put out by Black Inc. Publishing.  (I hope I don’t discover down the track that you’re getting paid for that little bit of editorial Wrap – Ed)

But enough of my gabbin’.  Let’s see who’s going to be walking free after Week III of The Finals.

The Barry Crockers v The Mayblooms.  Well, well, well.  Here we are again.  The last match of the year and Hawthorn’s in it again.  And didn’t they do it in style Wrappers?  Although, the two thousand odd Paid-up Proud & Passionate who made it across the vast expanse that separates the Eastern Green Belt from the Western Desert Lands must have had their hearts in their mouths when The Purple Haze blasted the opening two majors.  It developed into an arm wrestle with The Dangerous Dockers seeming to be making the better of the going.   But then The Mauve Miasma got a bit ahead of itself again and confused gratuitous violence with being hard at the ball.  Nasty Ballantyne stepped in and gifted The Hawks six points.  In case we all missed it, another off the ball indiscretion gifted a second major to The Leafblowers.  The Longshoremen coughed up the lead.  They never regained it.  When The Leafblowers slammed on four unanswered goals the momentum had swung inexorably to The Visitors.

Rossy Lyon was ropable at the First Huddle.  He walked away a couple of times at an utter loss for words.  The upbraiding served its purpose.  Freo responded with a Second Quarter Blitz that dragged back a couple of goals and had them well within striking distance for the Championship Quarter.  But Hawthorn’s two goals straight to The Purple Wastrels’ 2-3 was telling.  Telling in the tightness of the contest and telling in that Brain Fades had cost The Mood Indigos a couple as well.  The Hawks kicked gthe first of the quarter and the last when Roughie guided one home from out where the boundary line meets the 50 meter arc.  And with the Knowledgeable Fremantle Supporter Base offering every conceivable piece of advice they could think of.  In between those two goals the Mustard Pots withstood a withering Fremantle bombardment.  And bombardment may have been the operative word.  There was nothing penetrating about the attack, in fact The Anchormen fumbled about even though they seemed to have the momentum.

The Mayblooms were carving them up.  Slammin’ Sammy has more battery life than a whole warren of Duracell Bunnies.  And haven’t they uncovered another star backpocket in Taylor Duryea?  The line goes back through a long line of Hawthorn Backpockets.  Think Geurra, Simmo, The Barbarian, Andy Collins** & Davey Parkin.  (He’ll be in the midfield before too long Wrap; this kid’s got real class – Ed)

The Championship Quarter opened with The Reigning Champions slamming on three quick goals and they seemed to have to game sown up.  But The Dockers didn’t finish on top of The Ladder for nothing.  They worked their way back into the contest by sheer will power.  Fyfe was on one leg.  The Pav couldn’t get into the game.  They were all trying their guts out, but The Hawthorn Press had them continually under pressure.  Not that they didn’t apply some pressure of their own.  They wouldn’t be a Ross Lyon trained outfit if they didn’t keep at the opposition.  It was just that in this case the opposition absorbed the pressure better.

Pulled back a goal and then had a series of misses.  But The Football Gods just weren’t with them on Friday night.  Take Griffin’s post siren shot for instance.  The Purple Banners were waving and the Mood Indigos were hugging & high fiving each other, The Pigskin mysteriously took a sharp drift the right and bounced off the post.  Explain that without using the word supernatural.

When Cyril nailed his second successive major after some Docker fumbling the Fremantle Coach got up and walked out of the box.  We don’t know about you Wrappers, but in the Wrap Loungeroom he looked very much like a coach who was watching his career pass before his eyes.  There’s the feeling that a re-build in not far away for The Minor Premiers.  McPharlin, Pavlich, Sandilands; they’re all getting on in years.  Crowley & Ballantyne may have passed their used-by dates.  The injury Fyfe was carrying looked ominous.  We know the miracle of modern medicine can cure all ills, but there’s just so much the body can take before the head starts to worry about what the future holds.  And there’s a limit to how much a diet of fish oil and glucosamine can ease the agony of aching joints.

The Wedgies v The Soupboners.  The Macropods got off to a flier but when they could only manage 3-4 to 0-2 – only the fourth or fifth time The Weagles have been held goalless in a quarter in all the time they’ve been playing at Fortress Subiaco – it didn’t look nearly enough for all the effort that went into it.  And it wasn’t.  By the Long Interval The Aquila Audaxii had inched their way to the lead with a 3-6 effort to The Kangas’ 1-3.  And in the context of the match, that was a game changing quarter.

It became a procession after Half Time.  The Homeside booted what could easily have been a match losing 7-12.  In fact, in perfect football conditions, it should have been.  But playing two matches in a row and travelling up to Sydney had taken it out of The Poor Little Potoroos and they could only pile on 3-6.  (You’re doing it again Wrap.  The CEO of you know where was on the phone after the Pre Wrap went out and has said if you can’t play nicely he won’t let you play at all – Ed)  Oh, I’m so sorry.  In the Second Half, The Valiant Shinboners – invigorated by a healthy intake of The Well Publicised Elixir – doubled their Quarter Time score and added another two behinds for good measure.  Turn it up Ed, they kicked three goals in half a game of Footy and two of those came when West Coast were already back in the shed and under the showers.

(That does it Wrap; I’ll write North’s summary.)  The Shinboners have again made it to the Penultimate Round.  Their coach feels they’ve improved.  They’ve added Del Santo, Waite & Higgins to their list recently, however along with Boomer and Big Drew, they are starting to look a bit top heavy in the veteran class.  They’ve got a few good youngsters coming along and Ziebell, Cunnington & Swallow are all A graders.  Toddy Goldstein is as good at ground level as he is in the aerial & ruck contests.  {Come on Ed; he proved he’s the best ruckman in the competition on Saturday night – Ed}  Constancy seems to be their main problem, but their tenacity keeps them in contention.  Their coach had an horrific year, as anyone who has suffered from chronic back pain will testify.  But just like Kansas City – unless they can add an X-factor to their list, especially up forward – they’ve gone about as far they can go.)

North may have had a case that they were crucified by the umpires. At one stage the free kick count was 19 to nine in favour of The Eagles.  (The final count was 24 to 18 – Ed)  And it’s not how many you get, but where you get them.  We counted three majors that were gifted to The Homeside.  And with the votes being counted tonight, we’ll be so bold as to say that The Beitzel Medallist will come from the panel that adjudicated in this match.  Our money’s on The Little Boy From The National Capital, but either Simon Meredith or Dean Margetts could easily jump ahead based on their efforts in this match.  (Margetts, now there’s another good old Western Australian name  – Ed)  Candles are burning all over the Leafy East that the Appalling Football League, in their wisdom, has enough sense to leave those three names out of the hat when they draw the GF panel.

Speaking of umpiring, the AFL lads could do a lot worse than learn how to swallow the whistle as they did in the VFL Grand Final.  Sure, a lot of sgragging went on, but both sides did it and anything blatant was penalized.

The Weagles would like to think they’d just put in their bad one – like Hawthorn did over there a fortnight ago.  They didn’t cop any major injuries, which will help, but they’ve got The Unsociable Hawks waiting for them as well as The Family Club Faithful, arguably the most rabid mob in Football.  They’ll have had the reports from those Family Members who made the pilgrimage across The Treeless Plain and will be keen to reciprocate with some of that well documented East Coast Hospitality to The Weagle Fateful Faithful who make it across.

Look, to be perfectly honest, neither of these two sides looked good enough to take it up to TRP, who BTW, were snug in their beds back in Bleak City.  And while they’re TIOWAAT out at Dingley Dell, it was suggested towards the end of Saturday’s match that a composite side made up from the pair of them wouldn’t trouble The Titleholders.

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

* The nun Wu Jincang asked the Sixth Patriarch Huineng, I have studied the Mahaparinirvana sutra for many years, yet there are many areas I do not quite understand. Please enlighten me.

The Patriarch responded, I am illiterate.  Please read out the characters to me and perhaps I will be able to explain the meaning.

Said the nun, You cannot even recognize the characters.  How are you able then to understand the meaning?”

Replied the Patriarch; Truth has nothing to do with words. Truth can be likened to the bright moon in the sky.  Words, in this case, can be likened to a finger. The finger can point to the moon’s location. However, the finger is not the moon. To look at the moon, it is necessary to gaze beyond the finger, right?

** Andy Collins coached Williamstown to this year’s VFL Flag beating the Highly Fancied Box Hill Hawks boasting 16 AFL listed players.  And he did it with a team of amateurs.  The Seagulls play in the same colours as The Mayblooms’ protagonists next Saturday.  (Since their 2013 VFL Pennant, that’s two years in a row the team of professionals at Box Hill have been the bridesmaids now. Do you think there’s a message there? – Ed)


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.


  1. Jonno Griffin’s kick? Supernatural? Its called a shank. I have 2 or 3 most Saturdays. When you hit it with where the long bit (leg/shaft) connects the short bit (very technical this – foot/clubhead) the ball goes dead straight for 20 metres then turns right and heads for the nearest water source.
    Its called physics and incompetence. I should know being a graduate emeritus in one of them.
    What a load of ruminated rectum refuse the rest of your report was also. The Hawks struggled for 3 quarters of the game against a ‘park the bus’ defence that would make Jose Mourinho proud. Looked more like keepings off than footy. They won’t get that time and space next weekend.
    As for the Mighty Arao’s – sure we got the starting time wrong – but after the first break it was a cakewalk. We needed the practice so we just kept kicking points so we could get the ball back again for another shot. Why is there no comment on this site about how the Kangas froze in the spotlight again. JWaite justified the Bluebaggers decision. DPetrie is a serial offender. Boomer gets a game in Perth because he gets the pension concession on the flights. The much vaunted Ziebell couldn’t run out of sight on a dark night and got towelled up after QT.
    They had the easy draw coming into this game and they blew it. Plain. Simple. Obvious.
    The mighty Araos will tear the midget birds to pieces next Saturday. Who else on this site tipped the winners and the margins last weekend?
    Regards from the Unsociable Eagle and the Zestok Arao.

  2. Interesting also that those who rested the most in Round 23 have been eliminated. Mercifully in one case…

  3. Peter B,
    I don’t think I’ve ever read you so angry…
    I tend to agree about your summary of the North – Eagles final.
    As you know, I’m a North fan.
    The result could’ve been a blowout.
    And we’re now mutton, not lamb.

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