Gigs’ Stats: Rats, Cats, why did you have to spoil a good sequence?

Andrew Gigacz’s Grand Final Stat. Declaration


Well done to Geelong on winning the flag. Apart from transforming the house I was at from being one of the noisiest in Melbourne to one of deathly silence in a matter of minutes, here are some other statistical fur balls the Cats’ coughed up in victory:

  • Perhaps Max Rooke was still worried about Geelong’s percentage when the final siren sounded in the Grand Final. Or maybe he wanted to set a record by kicking the first and last goals of a Grand Final (even though Tom Lonergan actually did it last year). But by kicking that last goal, he prevented 6 points from joining several other margins as the “most recorded Grand Final margin”. The leaders, each having been recorded four times, are 1, 4, 5, 9, 33 and 35. Interestingly, despite 33 and 35 being equal leaders, 34 points has never been a Grand Final margin. Max’s kick left both 6 and 12 on the second line, each having been recorded three times.
  • While Geelong might have made Cats fans happy, they annoyed stats fans by winning, at least this fan anyway. For the second time, the Cats have prevented the 1963-68 record of six premiers in six years being broken. This time they did it by winning. Back in the ’90s, they did it by NOT winning either the 1992 or 1994 Grand Final against West Coast. Had they won either of those games, we would have had eight premiers in eight years from 1990-97. Has they lost yesterday, we’d have a new, unbroken, record of seven in seven.
  • Geelong fans would have enjoyed the second ever occurrence of the score 80 in a Grand Final far more than the first. The first was registered also by Geelong, in 1995. Unfortunately for Cats fans on that day, the Blues scored 61 points more.
  • And Cats fans, enjoy your victory but remember that there is still a job to be done. You need to win one more flag before the year 2061 to avoid being thrown out of the AFL under their little publicised 8/52 rule. The rule states that “after winning an eighth premiership, a club must win a ninth, within the ensuing 52 seasons, or they can be, at the League’s discretion, removed from the League or forced to merge with another AFL club.” And if you don’t believe the AFL would enforce that rule, check out what happened to Fitzroy at the end of 1996.


While Saints fans will be in pain for some time to come and not too interested in thinking ahead for awhile, when they do, it will be worth noting that the last time a losing Grand Final side scored 68 in their loss, they went on to win the premiership the following year. Carlton felt the pain in 1986, kicking 9.14 (68) in losing to the Hawks, but they turned tables the following year, beating Hawthorn by 33 points.



A view of the Grand Final through the Steve Healy’s numerical prism:

  • Geelong won the toss and kicked to the city end (right of screen if you don’t know) on Saturday, for the third consecutive year. Despite losing their grand final in 2008, the stats from past grand finals (since 1980) show that the city end is the end to kick to (just) in the first quarter of grand finals. Teams kicking to the city end have won 16 of those grand finals, while those going to the Punt Road end have won just 14.
  • Tom Hawkins, the only Geelong player who was playing in his first Grand Final on the weekend, kicked two goals, had four kicks, four handballs and two marks for the second week in a row. Tom Hawkins won his first premiership, so no wonder an anagram of his name shows his achievement (in poor grammar): “HIM WON TASK”.
  • St Kilda broke the all time tackle record with 118, breaking their own record of 115, which they set back in Round 19. It’s interesting to note that St Kilda also hold the least amount of tackles recorded, with six back in 1999.
  • Jimmy Bartel also set a tackling record with 16, equalling the benchmark set by Jared Brennan, also in Round 19.

Thanks to Steve for making this year’s stats even more ridiculous than I could.


A late effort by the Saints was not enough for 68 to claim victory in this event. 85 is the 2009 Score Wars victor, having been registered 11 times. It was the third year in a row that the winning score has finished on 11. Last year’s winner was 94, with 87 taking the trophy in 2007.

Runners-up this year were 94 and 67 on 10, with 111 and 68 on the third line, registering nine times each.

Now if Geelong had scored two goals fewer, 68 would have been one off the pace with a Grand Final replay to come!


Max Rooke’s post-siren goal gave the 12-point margin just its second run for the season. But the clear winner of the 2009 Marginal Medal is 5, having been racked up nine times, two ahead of second-placed 15. Craig Willis presented 5 with its medal after Geelong received the Premiership Cup but this was unfortunately after the Channel 10 cameras had turned away from the dais.


We all thought the result of the Grand Final was up in the air until the last minute. But really, the Saints gave us the clue to the ultimate victor at quarter-time, when their score was 3.2 (20). 3220 is the postcode of… GEELONG!


And the Saints quarter-by-quarter goal sequence (3, 4, 2, 0) pointed towards the pain and bitterness the Saints would feel at the game’s end. 3420 is the postcode of Telopea Downs, which translates anagrammatically to OW! NOT PLEASED…


Congratulations to Paul Chapman on his wonderful Grand Final performance, one that earned him the Norm Smith medal.

Chapman was strutting his stuff between 2.30pm and 5pm, Melbourne time, which happens to be 8 hours ahead of the time in Rome. So, in all likelihood, Chappy was doing his thing at around about the time the Pope would have been downing his corn flakes. Which is most appropriate because PAUL CHAPMAN is an anagram of A PAPAL MUNCH…

About Andrew Gigacz

Well, here we are. The Bulldogs have won a flag. What do I do now?


  1. A brilliant year in Stats.
    Well done you two.

  2. Chic a boom, chic a boom
    don’t yer just love it?
    chic a boom, chic a boom
    don’t you just love it?
    chic a boom
    chic a boom
    don’t yer love it?
    don’t yer love it?
    chic a boom, chic a boom boom boom.

    Can’t stop singing. Meeeeeeeoooww.

  3. Thanks Peter,

    and it was great to share my stats with everyone.

  4. 6 tackles in a whole match in 1999?!

  5. Yes Simon,

    Round 1 1999. Brisbane V St.Kilda at the Gabba, Brisbane won by 89 points.

    The Lions only had 12 tackles as well- an 18 tackle game compared to an 214 tackle grand final this year- It’s amazing how two games can be so different

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