Gigs’ Stats: Saints primed to put their number in the frame

Andrew Gigacz’s Finals Week 1 Stat. Declaration


While none of this week’s final scores were prime numbers, if you add them all together you get 761, which IS a prime number and it seems to me the Saints are primed to take their first flag in 43 years. 43 is of course also a prime number. And let’s not forget that St Kilda won five (a prime number) of their games this season by margins that were prime numbers, the most of any side. That, combined with the form they displayed yesterday on Seven (a prime number channel whose regional television partner is Prime) gives us more reasons to get on them for flag number 2 (prime). And if that’s not enough for you, then this should tip the scales: their victory over Collingwood was attended by a crowd of 84,213 – and that is a prime number.


The omens for a Saints flag continue to pile up but for you supporters of the other five teams, there’s one for each of you to hang your hat on in the crop below:

1.    Saints fans, keeping Collingwood to 7.10 (52) was about the best thing you could have done, omen-wise. In the last 60 years we’ve had four occasions where a side has kept their opposition to that score in finals. West Coast kept Melbourne to 52 in their 1994 Preliminary Final before going on to beat Geelong in the Grand Final. In 1974 the Tigers did the same to North in the Second Semi before putting them to the sword again in the Grand Final. In 1949 Essendon held Carlton to 52 in the Grand Final itself, running out huge 73-point winners. And best of all, St Kilda themselves kept Essendon 7.10 (52) in the 1966 Preliminary Final before going on to take THAT flag!
2.    Another one for the Saints. As well as 52 popping up as a losing score on the weekend, 96 was a winning score for the Cats over the Dogs. The only other time we’ve had those two scores show up in the same finals series was – yep, 1966.

3.    One for the Crows and also for those who want a drawn Grand Final – and who wouldn’t? Adelaide’s score of 166 hasn’t been seen in a final since 1948, when Melbourne made mincemeat of the Pies before playing off against Essendon in the Grand Final. In a monumental display of inaccuracy, the Dons kicked 7.27 (69) to draw with Melbourne 10.9 (69) in the Grand Final before the Dees went on to record a comfortable 39-point win in the replay. (Note to Saints: do extra goalkicking practice in Grand Final week if you are playing the Crows.)

4.    Dogs fans, don’t despair just yet. If we take the final scores of last three finals games between the Western Bulldogs and Geelong, graph them in a spreadsheet and then add a linear trend line, it shows us that the next time these two sides meet, the Dogs will win 79 to 53. Let’s just hope they meet in the Grand Final!

5.    Magpies, provided you can make it to the Grand Final (and the Saints do too), your chances of winning it are very good. Under the current finals format, the three times that sides have met in the Grand Final after also contesting a final in the first week, the result has been reversed every time. This is also another good omen for the Dogs, should they and Geelong both get through.

6.    Brisbane – The Lions, Crows and Bombers all made this year’s finals. The only other years that that has occurred were 2001, 2002 and 2003. Based on that Brisbane has the flag in the bag.

7.    Geelong – Take it easy Cats. Your home-and-away record of 18-4 matches that of 2007. On the other hand it also matches that of Port Adelaide in 2002 and 2003 and Essendon in 1999. They didn’t even make the Grand Final in those years. Still, you know that if you make it, the omen for victory is with you.


It was a weekend of horrible déjà vu for Dogs and Pies fans. Saturday saw Geelong beat the Western Bulldogs in a final for the SEVENTH time in a row, while St Kilda made it five in a row against the Pies on Sunday. Doggy fans can at least console themselves with the fact that in each of the years of Geelong’s six other victories they have failed to go on and win the flag.


This battle continues to intrigue. While 85 held steady in first place on 11 and 94 and 67 remained second on 10, the old Nelson, 111, bobbed up for the first time since round 18 to move to 9 and remain in the hunt.

166 + 96 = FOOTBALL PARK

Adelaide’s score of 166 at Football Park was the first time since 2006 we’ve seen that total registered. On that day it was the Dogs racking up the big number against the Power, also at Football Park. Coincidentally, the Crows’ winning margin of 96 points hasn’t been seen since the same year. Four weeks after getting smashed by the Dogs, Port did the same to Hawthorn to the tune of 96 points and that too was at Football Park.


After their loss on Saturday night, the Blues can head off on their end-of-season trip. While Judd and Carrazzo were great for Carlton, their respective possession totals from the match (30, 25) make up the postcode of Altona, which is probably as far as they should be allowed to go on that trip after their last quarter fadeout. However, they did have a vastly improved season overall and gave an exciting finish to the Gabba crowd of 32,702. So if Altona is too mean a destination then maybe they can head off to the zipcode that matches the crowd: 32702 takes them not to Altona but to Altoona in Florida.


Sam Fisher, Leigh Montagna and Nick Dal Santo were the Saints’ three biggest ball winners in their win over the Pies on Sunday. These three tough nuts are doing all within their power to take St Kilda to the premiership. No surprise then that FISHER, DAL SANTO, MONTAGNA is an anagram of HARD MEN ONTO A SAINTS FLAG.

About Andrew Gigacz

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


  1. Statistics are like a brief bathing suit. What they reveal is interesting – what they hide is vital. Go Cats.

  2. Stephen Cooke says

    I still remember my first editor telling me to fill my Mid-Murray Football League finals previews with stats – “as many as you can fit in, the people love ’em”. He was right of course and it seems nothing has changed. Great work on the prime numbers Gigs.

  3. Peter Flynn says

    Sorry to do this mate.
    84,213 (the quoted crowd attendance in the 1st paragraph) isn’t prime.
    The sum of its digits is 18 so it is going to be divisible by 3.
    Its prime factorisation (for what its worth) is 3^3 x 3119.
    84,211 is the nearest prime (I think).

  4. Gigs,

    You’re sacked.

  5. Stephen Cooke says

    Makes me wonder about the accuracy of all the other reports now, especially mine.

  6. Gigs – I knew that about the prime numbers – just didn’t want to say anything.
    Flynnie – well picked up mate.

  7. Back to the books Gigs!

  8. Refer to first comment

  9. What I neglected to mention was that the OFFICIAL crowd was 84213 but I saw 10 others sneaking in without a ticket. The actual number I was referring to was 84223.

    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

  10. And Stephen C, I promise all the other stuff is true – unless I’ve made more stupid mistakes like I did with the crowd prime number.

    (The finals pressure – it was too much for the Doggies and it’s too much for me! [Sob!] I’m so sorry!)

  11. Gigs,
    Your consistent rolled gold (probably my favourite Stones compilation album) far outweighs any minor boo-boo.

  12. Thanks Peter. I’m still self-flagellating, though!

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