Grand Final 2016 – Sydney v Western Bulldogs: Bullydogs reign supreme



Western Bulldogs 13-11-89 def Sydney 10-7-67


WB Goals: L Picken, T Dickson, T Boyd 3, C Smith, J Stringer, Z Cordy, T McLean

Sydney:  J Kennedy 3, T Mitchell 2, G Hewett, G Rohan, L Parker, N Smith, L Franklin


I wish to raise a few points and invite your response from the GF;

1 Is the Western Bulldogs flag the greatest of all time re the number of injuries they suffered and where they have come from in general of nearly being forced to amalgamate and even less than two years ago having Griffen quit and coach depart?  An extension of that is this re Luke Beveridge the greatest coaching achievement of all time ?


2 IMO there was more 1 per centers and just desperate acts continue for the whole game, it was frenetic and never opened up. Yes there have been other grand finals like the Collingwood v St Kilda draw, the Sydney v West Coast classic battles but for mine this was unique re the tackling and kamikaze acts which continued from start to finish your thoughts?


3 The stories of so many dogs such as Joel Hamling delisted by the Cats picked up as a unrestricted free agent and arguably the player of the finals series re his defensive efforts on Josh Kennedy ( West Coast), Jack Gunston, he destroyed Jeremy Cameron in the prelim and then yes while Buddy was restricted by his ankle injury, Hamling still did a fantastic job. Liam Picken how the pies must rue not picking him up as a father-son, Caleb Daniel, clubs scared off by his lack of size again showed how vital footy smarts are. Jason Johannisen as a rookie, Shane Biggs from the Swans, Fletcher Roberts from the Cats, Josh Dunkley where the Swans opted not to choose him as a father-son. Yes, while the Dogs have nailed there top draft choices, the Bont especially. Does this show that drafting, trading and development coaching is the most important thing in the game today ? (Richmond should never have picked up Troy Chaplin)


4 The sliding in rule was brought in as a panic move by the AFL following the injury to Gary Rohan. The rule is a NIGHTMARE to umpire, there has been criticism  re the non free kick to Dan Hannebery against Easton Wood in the last quarter, personally as an umpire, I thought Wood got there 1st and got the ball with desperation and head 1st and Hannebery was just unlucky that his leg got caught underneath. I thought play on was the correct call overall the rule in its current format is just too hard to adjudicate, football collisions do happen. This was one of them, it is the classic of the rules committee getting involved and a lack of footy nous re the rule being bought in the 1st place IMO.


5 While I have been bitterly disappointed in the standard of umpiring overall in 2016, I thought  the umpiring was good, there were no idiotic holding the ball free kicks paid against the poor bloke who has no chance to get rid of it at the bottom of the pack. No just plain wrong deliberate out of bounds, Kath and Kim look at me free kicks paid. The 1 shocking decision was the soft too high paid to Clay Smith which he kicked a vital goal from that free kick, went against the grain of the umpiring of the game on the day.


6 I enjoyed Kurt Tippett aka Peter Pettigrew from Harry Potter ( well played Tyrone Maynard ) have another stinker of a grand final, seriously he is a ruckman who can pinch hit up forward not the other way round. He lacks footy smarts and doesn’t work hard enough when he is not in the contest, like blocking for Franklin. There were several times in the game he could have prevented the 3rd man up but just no instinct dumb, dumb, dumb.


7 While we all laud Luke Beveridge for his selfless act in presenting Bob Murphy with his medal ( Talia gate is his only stuff up in 2 years ) if the AFL had common sense all players on the list get a premiership medal, after all it is way more than the 22 players who play on the day to achieve the holy grail.


8 Beveridge having the courage of his convictions to drop name players like Jake Stringer and Jack Macrae. No favorites at the kennel you conform to team rules and work ethic or down you go. While I strongly disagree with an umpire award re the Brownlow being the most prestigious award in the game, trust me there are games coming off the ground you have NFI, the Norm Smith showed it doesn’t matter who votes on an award, you can never please every one, no disrespect re Jason Johannisen he wasn’t in my top 3. My votes would have been T Boyd ( WB) 3, J Kennedy ( Syd) 2, L Picken ( WB) 1


9 While I am on my soap box the losers up should be rewarded also, it is Peter Moores fault that this doesn’t happen, he threw his runners up medal in to the crowd in ’79, he admits doing that is 1 of the biggest regrets of his career in the footy world. We act like losing a grand final is worse than murder, garbage, making a GF, especially in a 18 team competition is a fantastic achievement.


10 The biggest disgrace re the GF is below by the Sydney Swans GRAND FINAL RECEPTION – MCG


Congratulations to the players on a great 2016 season.


The MCG event will NOT go ahead on Sunday.


Thank you to all our members and fans for your support in season 2016




Congratulations to the players on a great 2016 season.


The SCG Welcome Home Event will NOT go ahead on Sunday.


Thank you to all our members and fans for your support in season 2016.


What a DISGRACE I have enormous respect for Tom Harley and Sydney but how in the hell could you get this so WRONG win or lose we do it together in aust sport in fact being around and celebrating is easy when you win it is more important to commiserate together how the club has treated its supporters with such contempt and arrogance is unforgivable we wait and see what repercussions happen from this action


11 So the fairy tales of sport in particular Leicester City,Western Bulldogs and Cronulla Sharks are complete we wonder where Essendon would be if only they had displayed the common sense and not arrogance which Cronulla did So another season passes the feats of the Western Bulldogs may well be the greatest ever in footy history your thoughts below thank you !



  1. Neil Anderson says

    I marvel at you and Glen and a few others who can analyse matches involving teams you don’t support. Admire but don’t support, throwing in backgrounds of various players etc.
    I only ever look at the performances of my own team and at the moment I am in daze after the 62 year drought broke. So I am relying on others to provide the analysis of the Bulldog’s performance.
    Just re the umpiring, I agree that Easton Wood dived on the ball first just before Hannebery who unfortunately got his leg tangled up. It’s hard to advise players not to throw themselves into a contest like Easton did. Imagine trying to tell Libba that before he throws himself onto the ball, make sure there are no opposition legs in the way.
    The other puzzling decision was to allow the opposition player to shepherd the man on the mark. Libba got his opponent high when he was standing the mark and gave away a free-kick. That rule against shepherding was enforced a couple of weeks ago.
    Apart from that and Clay Smith’s easy free, the umpiring seemed OK.

  2. Dave Brown says

    Of course, if Bevo was Malcolm Blight at Adelaide they just would have completed a back to back (ducks and runs for cover).

    As for the ‘sliding rule’ it is fatally flawed. The rule simply says it is prohibited to make contact with a player below the knees in a manner likely to cause injury. Easton Wood did that. But as you say he got there first – not sure the letter of the law cares, however. For me it is the most unintuitive rule in the book.

  3. 1. Yes
    2. Agree
    3. :-) Ah. Chaplin!


  4. As reasoned as always Rulebook. A great desperation game that seemed on the verge of cracking open either way.

    Can’t entirely agree with you about the umpiring given the lopsided free kick count and what seemed to be momentum killing calls just as the Swans got on a roll. But there you go, the better team won, they had much more to play for.

    Maybe they need to present medals to all those players who took part in the finals?

    The Sunday cancellations are not a great look and it would have been better to put on a brave face and front up. But to play Devil’s advocatge here the Swans said from the outset the events would only go ahead if they won. Apparently they were poorly attended in 2014. Getting to the SCG in particular is a trek for a large number of fans; many of whom may well have had other committments (NRL etc.).

  5. 1. Build a bridge over Chaplin.
    2. Build a bridge over Tippet. It was Trigg that signed off that deal and as a reward he got a new ceo job at carlton. He is the one responsible for crows being 4 players down through draft restricions.
    3. Umpires should umpire GF like they do rest of the year. And the they didnt.
    4. Great effort by bulldogs to bring attacking handball back in. As amatuer players we were always told to give first give. Bulldogs smashed that idea and said give the most attacking option instead

  6. Good one RB, a fair summation I reckon. Why do you think the umpiring is different in the GF to the rest of the season usually? Is it because the 3 best are that much better than the rest of their cohort, or is it to do with the event itself? Mind you, I mostly only listened to it on the radio, being stuck in flood traffic, and also recognise the Bulldogs had the better of the free kick count… I can tell you I was Chaplin at the bit to get to a pub where I could watch it live!

  7. good write up as usual rule book. as far as point 5 umpiring The whole final series was umpired completely different to the home &away
    the finals was umpired to how i think it should be for the whole year, apart from deliberate out of bounds which is still far to strict. I hope the A F L dont take up the S A N F L rule of last touch free kick . The crowds will tear the seats out the stadium in the first few weeks of the season if ghat happens.
    The finals umpiring seem to let the game alot more & didnt pay to many picky free kicks
    i thought it was the best for quite some time

  8. Martin Rumsby says

    Great win by the Bullies. They fought hard to prevent Sydney getting off to the flier they had in games against the Crows and Cats and when the game was on the line in the last quarter they had more run and desire than the Swans.

    I agree that in an 18 team competition, making the GF is an achievement, and a runners-up medal is not a bad idea. However, we don’t have a runner-up medal for the Brownlow or the leading goal-kicker. Perhaps the recognition that the grand finalists get in the week leading up to the game is recognition enough of their achievement.

  9. I agree with much of what you’ve written Rulebook: I thought that the game itself was the best Grand Final since 2012.

    I also agree that the runners-up should be awarded on Grand Final day too. I was also dismayed with Sydney’s decision to cancel all post-Grand Final celebrations.

    But, I can’t help but wonder whether we’ve seen the start of a new football dynasty- or is it simply a remarkable rags to riches story?

  10. Great read once again Rulebook. As an (unfortunately) unbiased observer, I thought the game was a great example of how good our game can be when both teams go full bore for the whole game.

    It’s hard to remember too many games, even grand finals, where there was such wanton disregard for ones own wellbeing displayed by players from both sides.

    This was a contest that was never really over until the last 3 minutes, and even then you probably wondered if Sydney were going to mount a miracle comeback and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

    There were a few points that I took from the game that I’d like to share.

    1. The age old adage of not playing injured players in a final was proven true. Both McVeigh and Mills were both below par and didn’t have the impact that their team would’ve liked.

    2. The team that does the little things better, for longer, usually wins the game. It seemed that the Bulldogs had more players who were cleaner with their disposals when it mattered.

    3. Making the most of your chances really counts in the big games. Sydney missed a few gettable shots that halted their momentum.

    4. Being better, for longer, at the contest, and then moving the ball quickly from the contest to the forward line will win you plenty of games. Sydney have long been acknowledged as having a very good midfield, but the Bulldogs were able to match them at the contest, then sliced open the Swans with quick handball and fast legs.

    5. Having 2 competitive rucks is better than one good ruck and one Tippett. Jordan Roughead and Tom Boyd are not great tap ruckmen, but around the ground they worked a lot harder and had more impact, especially Boyd. (Looking well worth the big bucks he’s getting, Peter Pettigrew not so much.)

    It’ll be interesting to see how the competition adapts in the coming season to the Bulldogs’ win and the changes in game style that will occur.

    I know from an Adelaide perspective, we’re looking for another inside mid and also more speed through the midfield.

    Another mature ruckman to support Sauce wouldn’t hurt, he always seems to be cooked towards the end of each season due to the amount of ruck work he does.

    Congratulations to the Bulldogs, and just remember Round One starts in 171 days.

    Cheers, Steve.

  11. An unbelievable grand final. The dogs had never lost to Sydney at the MCG and not under their current coach with 2 thrilling wins at the SCG. Maybe Adelaide and Geelong losing to Sydney was a blessing for the dogs as both Crows and Cats have better records over the them (Crows 3-0 in finals over them and Cats yet to taste defeat to the dogs since 2009) despite defying odds in the finals with first interstate finals win, first finals win over Hawthorn and first win at Spotless. Don’t think Adelaide or Geelong would have liked being in the GF with most going for the opposition. The Dogs 2016 finals campaign is the best I have seen from anyone. Absolutely brilliant. They defied the odds and showed that they wanted this. They worked as a team and didn’t look back. They didn’t get ahead of themselves and really wanted to make their fans proud. Congrats to the Western Bulldogs.

    Also a sad time with Dennis Cometti retiring. A champion of commentators.

    With all the underdogs, can’t forget Adelaide United were last and winless after round 8 of the A-League then they were undefeated in 14 games, lost one more time then won a championship and were also premiers. Finally success for an Adelaide based team.

  12. Caz Phillips says

    Unbelievable grand final ,the best I’ve seen in awhile .Cant believe how the Bulldogs recovered from horrific injuries and to key players it just goes to show one door closes another one opens .Credit must go to Bevo and all the coaching staff and everyone that has worked tiredlessly through the season off field relates to the way you perform on field .
    All the players had so much belief and hunger they hunted in packs applied pressure and won the ball ,there handballing and getting the ball in tight is the best I’ve seen in such a young group .
    Not commenting on the umps ,they’re human and can and will make errors .I think it’s hilarious that you pay big money for Buddy and Tippet and still lose two grand finals what does that tell you .
    Bring on 2017 hope we trade well ,can’t wait for next season ,it will be the year of the Crows

  13. Rick Biz Sarre says

    Kennedy should have got the Norm Smith….remember it was anyone’s game until the last 8 minutes.

  14. Couldn’t agree more with Steve’s comments above – the beauty of this game was that it was full of contradictions: ferocious but fair, hard fought but not dour, desperate but free flowing at times, heartbreaking but uplifting. It was everything that is good about the AFL – and the cream on the cake was Beveridge giving his well earned medal to Bob, surely the most selfless, classiest and perfect act ever seen in a GF.

    It is hard to think of a better GF than that … memories can fade, but thanks to the Toyota ad with “Leo Barry you star” (thanks Dennis – you always knew how to praise without being as gushing as some) I remember being similarly inspired with that mark that brought the Swans their first premiership in decades too. I think what gives this last one the edge for me, apart from the Bob Murphy aspect, is that it was no once-off performance, and it was almost footy’s version of poetic justice.

    It actually started with that win in Perth and built momentum over 4 weeks leading up to the GF. Each win was met by the media (and most of us) in the same way – have we just seen the Dogs played their GF? We all tend to become naturally cynical and expect the team with the highest profile/paid players to have the edge, and find reasons NOT to back the underdog … and yet your heart is invariably with the underdog on the big day. As they have all finals, they played as if each contest was the most important, and dazzled us not just with the tenacity and never say die we all expect of the bulldogs, but also with elite skills and a true team system. The blind handball over his head by Liberatore last week to a running Picken (I think it was) is the image I will always have … they played with a 6th sense.

    Hats off to the Bulldogs – this was no consolation win by any means … they were the true champions of the entirety of what was a magnificent finals series, and worthy winners. Sure I would have loved the Crows to be there instead, but when you see the way this all unfolded the result makes you believe that the values we all want instilled in our kids and grandkids will bring them the ultimate reward.

  15. Keen observations ‘Book, I particularly liked your Point 3 about player development. At the Almanac Lunch on Friday, Tony Morwood talked about how the Swans Academy had identified and fast-tracked Allir Allir and Isaac Heaney, Made me think that the clear best 3 teams of the year – Sydney, Bulldogs and GWS – all had the best player development systems.
    At my Eagles, Adam Simpson announced a few months ago that his right hand man Brady Rawlings was moving from an Assistant Coach to Head of Player Development. He knew we were falling behind even before the Elimination Final loss.
    Putting old heads on fast, strong, young bodies is the new frontier in the AFL.

  16. I was watching over seas with poor sound, excluding jk who had a terrific first half my top three were jj, picken then Boyd. Yes JJ missed a lot of targets but the whole game was a pressure cooker and everyone did, at least his kicks had plenty of penetration and he had a ton of it early when no one else could get a clean kick off.
    I also thought the umpiring was very good, was quite surprised to see the the free kick count at 3/4 time. The only glaring one to me was a nothing free paid to smith for high contact late on.
    Enjoyed the write up, especially how you managed to shoehorn your hatred of Chaplin in there even tho port and Richmond weren’t in cooee of the finals ?
    All in all one of the best grannies I have watched in a long time

  17. Love it Book – especially the mandatory Troy Chaplin sledge. Am in Europe and missed the GF – devastated. My best mate is a Bulldogs supporter and when we were 12 we went over and met Jim Edmonds, Simon Beasley, Brian Royal. Then Crows came in – I converted and he stayed a Bulldog. He would be happier than the day he got divorced.

  18. Jill Tathra says

    I really can`t comment as I only saw the last quarter and then not all of that. Another great write up mate and shows what I missed. I think being only the 2nd ever GF win and the first to come from 7th is a great achievement but then I also think GF`s bring out the best in players too as they know that its the last game and they have some time to recover.

  19. Lots to like about this Grand Final. It was like watching the forces of nature defeat the man made machine.

    2016 has been a weird year in so many ways.

  20. The People's Elbow says

    Great stuff, Rulebook, and I agree that Joel Hambling is one of the (many) great stories from the Grand Final… and Season 2016.

  21. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Neil I find it easier to watch objectively with out my team involved and I have watched it several times it was a footy collision play on and yes re Libba the whistle should have been blown and the player removed so the contact doesn’t happen.Dave spot on and my immediate thought was play on it is a idiotic and stupid rule.,thanks,AG.Tom as I have said I thought the umpiring was good but the Clay Smith stinker was vital and yes I will give the point that Sydney did say that the functions would be cancelled if they lost but numbers are irrelevant it goes against the whole bloods culture treating supporters with contempt is not on.Pole rule 13 b of any Rulebook article is I must sledge,Chaplin and yep the crows stuffed up and Tippett lied both not good I have said I thought the umpiring was good and the Bulldogs ball movement was sensational.TK as a umpire you are observed in all other games and dropped re missing a free kick re the gf umpires have been appointed and umpire the game how they would always like to let it go,love your last part.Phillip I HATE the SANFL stupidity re the last touch crao it has changed the fabric of the game agree re overall finals umpiring was good far better than the minor round.Thanks Steve yep,Mills especially he had missed to much footy agree with you in general especially re the bulldogs doing the little things better and longer,Tippett lazy and just like our,JJ lacks footy smarts.agree re Sauce.thanks,Cameron yep dogs finals campaign best ever,Dennis will be sadly missed and I should have included,Ad United re fairy tales.thanks,Caz yep amazing game and swans to much salary cap in 2 players hurts at the bottom end which was costly.Biz yes I can’t argue with that as I admit if I had been umpiring and it was a normal game he would have got my 3 votes I am a fan of the Norm Smith coming from the winning side tho the player appreciates it more so I am a bit each way.Model yep I think we all thought along those lines hats off to the dogs whole finals campaign it was perfection.
    Martin it is a bug bear of mine in that in the footy world you are seemingly better for losing the prelim the losing grand finalist is treated like putting out the garbage it is wrong I have always felt that way.
    PB player development is the area which separates the best from the also rans eg surely the tigers couldn’t have got so many draft choices so so wrong it is vital thanks LJ appreciated.TC as always gold.thanks,Jill it was a cracker.Dips superbly put and yes it was a weird weird year thanks folks

  22. Jeff Milton says

    Book. Well done on a great season of articles. That is how all GFs should be played. Hope to see the Crows in it next year.

  23. Sean O'Dwyer says

    Yes I think it’s the greatest premiership win of all time, was so great to see western Bulldogs win, I thought it was also one of the best grand final games I have ever seen! Just the way that Bulldogs won with Tom Boyd’s goal that basically sealed the game because of Dale Morris’s desperation tackle.

  24. Thanks Malcolm. It was certainly in my top three most enjoyable GFs ever. The game had everything. The doggies seem to have progressed the handball side of the game to a new level. Will be interesting to see how others adapt to match the doggies next year. A great season all round. Most enjoyable Crows improvement, what Eddie Betts brings, and Collingwood average performances.

  25. As far as medals go maybe something like this:

    Winning side: any player who played in the finals series plus any player who played a minimum number of games during the season, say 10 games.

    Losing side: I would give medals. Just not sure to how many. Either same rule as winning side or just those who played on day.

  26. Great Grand Final – nearly as good as the ’67 ’69 ’73 ’74 and ’80 ones, but not quite…..was definitely a year for the under dogs (AFL, VFL, NRL, SANFL) . Thought Picken and Boyd were slightly more influential than JJ when it was up for grabs, but he got alot of footy and was a worthy winner. As far as medals go I would give a medal to anyone who played an AFL game in the season, but that could be done separately by the winning club. On the day i think it right that it be the 22 that won the game.

  27. Well done Book – very comprehensive covering lots of angles & drawing a mixed bag of responses.

    Troy C will be glad the season is over – but what will YOU do when he fronts you in the
    Queens Head one day? I hear he has no sense of humour and a powerful left hook.

    Its been a great finals series across all codes and one for the underdogs – Im hoping theAussies will go into the next Ashes series as raging outsiders !!

    Enjoy the sunmmer break – if it ever arrives!

  28. You should not hold an umpires ticket if you think Hannebery’s cynical take out by Wood was nothing but a cynical take out of a key outside opposition player at a critical time (Wood got away with another one in the first quarter). It doesn’t matter how you read the rule or look at the incident it was a free never mind Hannebery being taken out of the game.
    By three quarter time the free count was 15-4 in dogs favour and it took 2 frees to dogs towards the end of second quarter to stop Swans momentum and get dogs out of trouble. But 15-4, come on. Then came Wood on Hannebery. The Dogs don’t need that sort of help it just taints their magnificent season. I love the assessment of the “young” dogs side being the beginning of an extended run at the flag over coming years.The Dogs average age 24.5 years, the Swans average age 22.5 years. Both clubs did very well in the seconds competitions. I guess the Swans would expect to come up against the Dogs in future finals as most AFL clubs expect to meet the Swans in the finals as they have in what is it? 18 occasions in the last 20 years in spite of the restrictive trade practices applied against them by the AFL.
    Don’t get me wrong I love the dogs, how good to break the drought, Luke Beverage an elite level coach, you run out of superlatives for Bob Murphy, a weight for age performer in the human race, I went to dogs games when the opportunity presented and thoroughly enjoyed their game but when the euphoria fades a tad get with reality, the 15-4 free count to three quarter time was a minimum 4 goal start to that time, never mind the taking out of Hannebery in the fourth quarter with game in the balance. Total umpiring incompetence, hopefully and not bias.
    I know there is a thing called “destiny” and good luck to the dogs.

  29. A great spectacle to watch with hard contested footy the name of the game for the full 120 minutes. For me, seeing as Sydney had not managed to achieve their usual slathering of an opponent in the 1st quarter as they had up to this point in the final series, it was always going to play into the Bulldogs hands and leave them as firm favourites after the first 30 minutes.
    I also felt that the Bulldogs were gifted some seriously generous decisions by the umpires including quite a few non decisions that were also in their favour, mainly around holding the ball.
    As for the Norm Smith, it seemed pretty clear to me that Tom Boyd was the outstanding player on the field with maybe not a huge quantity of possesions but pretty much every one was quality with his kick for goal in the last quarter from the centre square sealing the game.
    Great summary Rulebook, I’m going to miss not being able to read these again until the 2017 season commences!

  30. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Milts appreciated,Sean yes a vital desperate tackle by Morris and then it comes out re his back injury after the game he is the ultimate competitor,Peter the dogs handball weapon will make sure every team makes quick hands there priority in 2017 personally blanket every player on the list as they are all part of the end goal re training,meetings etc.Jags well played re picking your favorite years re the medals
    it would take up a extra,10 minutes tops let each player have the experience in front of a packed g.
    thanks,DL yes it’s not on my bucket list to meet,Troy but I would get in some decent sledging before he belted me.GC you are entitled to your opinion a big of honesty and objectivity would not go astray the fact there is so much debate amongst the umpiring ranks whether it was a free kick or not shows well and truly it was not a howler and Jim below also there were several non holding the ball or incorrect disposals not paid re each side give me a game when you don’t notice the umpires any day as we all no several of the umpiring panel seem to think they are the most important thing in the game that was not the case on Saturday with the exception f the vital,Clay Smith shocking decision overall a good display personally probably a 8 out of 10 and I am a harsh judge thanks Jim ,Elbow Hamling a huge success story
    thanks folks

  31. Malcolm
    I think Bont’s game was incredibly under rated. He didn’t rack up a million touches but his third quarter, along with Boyd was massive in the context of the game. His work at ground level and in packs was outstanding. Johannisen’s first half efficiency was awful constantly turning it over by kicking it willy nilly into the fwd line. No doubt he great at setting up attack.
    It was terrific to see Tippet fail miserably.
    I thought the umpiring was pretty good as you didn’t notice them which is the gauge. Had no issue with the slide as he got to the ball first.
    The Bullies out-swanned the Swans with their work ethic, ferocious tackling and willing themselves to victory.
    Thanks for you contributions this year Malcolm. Most enjoyable

  32. Well played yet again OBP.
    Interesting points as always.
    Re #7 – I’m happy with only the 22-on-the-day receiving the medal.
    The boundary around who should receive one could be debated until the cows come home – and someone will miss out WHEREVER you draw the line.
    The 2016 list? The coaches? The assistant coaches? The boot studder?
    It’s like a wedding invitation list.
    You’ll never please everyone.
    Happy to stick with the recipients being only players on the day.
    That’s a solid year’s work by you.

  33. Chad McLaren says

    The sliming in rule Iis another AFL created problem. The better teams train to keep their feet because of the new rule, then when a player slides in to compete for the ball ( which the AFL have said they don’t want) they don’t penalise him! Rugby Union the rules state that once you are off your feet in the ruck you are out of the contest. Either they go there or scrap it and just go back to the injuries being ‘accidental football injuries’

  34. Good work Rulebook. Looking forward to your review of the hapless Australian Cricket team!

  35. Oscar Leonard says

    Great read as per usual, having to miss watching the game for work was devastating but the fact the game will go down as one of the great football matches and stories it will make it a match forever to replayed.

    Great write up as per usual ‘Book and agreeing that Boyd was BOG.

  36. Lewis Pounentis says

    Solution to the medal issue:

    39 players on the list

    22 receive premiership medals for playing in the GF
    17 receive medals for being in the premiership winning team
    Coach gets his medal as usual
    Assistant coaches get a medal similar to the 17 that didn’t play in the GF

    Surely that’s not too hard

  37. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Tony spot on the Bont was vital his poise and maturity was remarkable we forget he is only,20 he is going to be truly elite and I loved,Tiprats bomb.OBP I firmly believe the whole senior list of 2016 should receive a metal and all the assistant coaches they contribute to the dogs getting the holy grail.Chad 100 per cent correct it was a panic move by the afk the rule have some gumption and admit they got it wrong and throw it out thanks,Timmy.thanks,Oscar appreciated and Lucas I wouldn’t mind that totally agree it is not hard at all thank you every one

  38. Malcolm, if you do have the opportunity to sledge Chaplin in person, loudly hum some Benny Hill music to him. He probably won’t grasp it, just like a football, but you’ll know. Ha ha ha.

  39. Malcolm Ashwood says
  40. Troy Hancox says

    Good one Malcolm
    Great to see your love of Chaplin hasn’t lessened, even in retirement

  41. A close game is a good game rang true. Brilliant GF. The doggies fully deserved their win. Luke Beveridge giving his medal to Robert Murphy was such an awesome gesture and my opinion of him improved. Only slightly though as I haven’t forgiven him for the Talia BS! IMO though that as much as Murphy appreciated the gesture he wouldn’t feel that it was his or that he earned it only playing a few games this season. So unlucky to captain a team that hasn’t won a flag in 62 years and not participate, You’ve got to feel for the poor bloke. Tipshit pretty much didn’t show up which never saddens me and lastly the Swans cancelling their GF celebrations was nothing more than pitiful, shameful and disgusting. If I was a supporter I wouldn’t be now. Total disrepect and disregard for their loyal supporters.

  42. Rulebook- expert analysis as usual. Well played on your season too. Whilst I don’t know what’s behind Sydney’s cancellation of their post-grand final events it’s not a good look.

    I agree that the umpiring looked reasonable to me. The most sensible thing I’ve heard BT say is that it’s unreasonable to expect an even free kick count in a game of footy.

  43. I haven’t read all the comments here so apologies if I am going over covered territory. Re the slide in rule I think it is a good rule.

    While I understand that sometimes it appears that the person sliding in with perceived desperation has got to the ball first I think 9 times of ten they haven’t. If they had the courage to maintain their feet they would normally meet a 50/50 contest which they have altered and I believe normally they put knees ankle etc of other players in jeopardy.

    I was always taught ‘the ground was the worst place to be’ and i still believe that is a good rule. You become ineffective in all ways once you are there.

    Therfore i think as a rule it protects players well, encourages good footy from juniors and prevents these ‘divers’ from looking courageous as they are not!

    I think it’s really easy to adjudicate too.

    Paddy G

  44. Barb Jamieson says

    Some really good points Malcolm , couldn’t agree more on your opinion of Tippets lack of footy smarts , I always felt that he never lived up to the expectationsof the Adelaide Football Club , and despite belonging to a top club now, he is too often short of the mark , even when he plays his best game .
    I thought it was an amazing game , even though I had no emotional involvement in it All I wanted was a game that lived up to the status that a grand final should . Undoubtedly , the win by the Bulldods will go down as one of the best , and both the players and Luke Beveridge
    deserve all the accolades they have been given .
    I really liked that the game was not over umpired , and no doubt the benefit of that showed , by preventing the ugly game to rear its head yet again . I would love to think that we will see this standard and style of umpiring become the norm , and subsequently , turn back the clock just a little to what I see as real football .
    As for the slide , it was never a well thought out reaction , football is a contact game , if you don’t want to be injured, take up table tennis . While I can see the potential for injury , have we really had less injuries with it missing from the game ???.
    I did think that Liam Picken was probably the best on ground , but in a game like that , there were a few options for the medal , so that would have been a close vote .
    Sydney’s cancellation of the after game events was a slap in the face to its supporters . Don’t we all support our club through thick and thin, sovsurely the supporters deserved to be akniwledged by the club for their support . If I was a Sydney supporter, I would have felt really disrespected and let down by my club .

  45. Steve wood says

    Mal, best GF was 1982, and you were there. :)
    Seriously though, this years GF was the best for many years.
    Both teams went at it 100% from the word go.
    No sniping off the ball, just hard at it.
    The bullies did get some favorable decisions their way throughout.

    Tippet had always been over rated and way over priced, even here in Adelaide..

    Locket, Tippet, Franklin…….

    Who would you have?

  46. RB

    It’s a simple rule sorry! In the Hannebry incident I think the umpires got it t right. It was a fair 50/50 contest. Their was no reckless sliding at all. Hannebry was the one who didn’t get low enough and put his body and legs on the line in a desperate gf. The bulldogs guy and him could have met shoulder to shoulder.

  47. Charmaine Brillianti says

    Hiya Malcolm,
    Nice article on the GF. I don’t know about it being the greatest GF. Sure the Doggies did so well to get there from finishing 7th and go on to win. But they played Sydney. The most one dimensional team I’ve ever seen! A team that plays like the Bulldogs will always win over Sydney’s game plan. It was a great GF but not the greatest in my humble opinion.
    I agree with you re the umpiring, I thought it was pretty good with only a couple of poor decisions. The game was allowed to flow and it made for a better game all around. I went to all but 2 Hawks games in Melbourne this year and I reckon this was the worst year for umpiring I’ve ever seen. Appalling.
    Back to Sydney, yeah they’re a team I cannot stand due to the way they operate outside the rest of the competition, as though they are a different entity altogether. The way they cancelled their supporter events after the GF was low, even for them. Disgrace. I understand they are gutted with the loss but it shows their lack of respect for their supporters who are also gutted! I remember going to Glenferrie with Nerida the day after we lost to Sydney in 2012. Not a smile to be seen on the boys’ faces, they were devastated, but it gave us the opportunity to let them know that we admired them and were proud of them regardless of the loss. On our way out of the ground we saw Roughy who was very sad. I said to him “Roughy, we love you. You all did so well and we’re proud of you.” He cracked a little smile and said thanks.
    Sydney fans unfortunately have not had the opportunity to say something similar to their boys. Shame.

  48. “Book”, I will preface my remarks by saying it is late at night and I am a tad cranky:

    1. YES! The greatest performance in the history of the game. All season I waited for the ‘Dogs bubble to burst but “the nose of the bulldog has been slanted back so he can breath without letting go.”
    To go to Perth and maul West Coast, smash Hawthorn, and then go to Sydney and beat a red-hot GWS was enough to suggest they had played all their cards. But they never looked flustered and looked comfortable from the first bounce. History from 7th place.
    2. The smothering was outstanding but it is hard to compare against other GF’s.
    3. Every premiership team has a myriad of “feel-good” stories. Recruiting Manager Simon Dalrymple deserves enormous credit here. Was fortunate to work with Simon at Caulfield Grammar – both as cricket coaches, and he always struck me as an absolute professional.
    4. Umpires got it horribly wrong. Free kick to Hannebery every day of the week, umps got caught up in all the hysteria and performances were ordinary. The Dogs got the ‘rub of the green’, wouldn’t have changed the result but the margin should have been a lot tighter.
    5. Tired. I have just scribbled ORDINARY. Hope that makes sense.
    6. Tippett struggled again but I thought Longmire coached poorly. Dogs got the game on their terms early and were double teaming the Swans talls. Franklin has now played in 5 Grand Final’s for 5 ordinary performances. Clearly, the big stage is not for him.
    7. NO! NO! NO! Just the 22 get the medals. What society are we breeding here? Soon we’ll be handing out medals to players who successfully parallel park before the game. Get BETTER not bitter.
    8. Both coaches gave Johannison 3 votes which is good enough for me. Personally, I liked Picken’s game.
    On that theory….
    Why reward Fred Phillis with a medal for kicking 6 points from point-blank range?? He should have been spat on inpublic and hand written an apology to every Glenelg supporter at the game. The game does not reward chokers!
    10. Agree. Show must go on.

  49. Probably one of the best AFL grand finals I’ve witnessed. Great to see Beveridge give his medal up to Bob but I definitely agree about the whole list deserving medals too.

  50. Ben Larsen-Smith says

    What a terrific game by the Doggies, was a pleasure witnessing the ending of their drought. Like you said, desperation at the contest, 1 percenters and working for each other was inspiring to see. Thanks again for an interesting read

  51. Blonderwandan says

    Great match report agree mostly. Sydney had their chances but bulldogs were consistently the better side and like their other finals just looked “on”. Thought kennedy was superb the fact he had “only” 12 stats from half time thats 24 for game if doubled a decent level let alone what actually did in first half. So much contested ball plus three goals.

  52. Hi Malcolm, re: your YouTube link, bahahahahahahahahahahaha.
    I’ve seen the vision and it encapsulates his career perfectly.

    So now that Chumplin has retired, are you going to switch to Peter Pettigrew for your target, or will Chumplin make an appearance too?

    I’ve enjoyed your articles this year Malcolm, and look forward to your reactions to the trade period.

    Best wishes to your mum, hope she’s doing well and good luck for the rest of the year.

    Cheers, Steve.

  53. Malcolm once again a great article to read.I umpire and find this taking of the legs the hardest to adjudicate on, albeit it doesn’t happen often at community level where I umpire. At the time I thought, and to the letter of the law, Hannebury’s was a free due to the force but fully understood in the heat of battle umpires call play on. Wood got down and dirty, Hannebury didn’t care. I know for Hannbury,but as you rightly point out that was the theme of the day,doggies just more desperate.Finally any chance of replacing Rucci at the Advertiser.

  54. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Troy and with Chaplin been appointed as a assistant coach at Melbourne today as the saying goes average players are meant to make the best coaches the dees are morals for the flag in 2017.Sally totally agree re Talia gate I will always be v angry with Beveridge for that garbage I thought it was sensational trying to make,Bob Murphy a part of it as I have said I firmly believe all players should get a medal.
    Tiprat yep his failure was enjoyable. and just bewildering by Sydney.thanks,Mickey spot on.Patrick the fact that there is so much debate even in the umpiring world and it is virtually split,50-50 whether people thought it was a free kick or not shows how much of a prick of a rule it is.thanks Steve agreed and Lockett personally.Charmaine re playing style I reckon your being a bit tough n Sydney ( although they can be to
    Buddy conscious ) totally agree re calling off grand final events not on far more important to attend after a loss than a win as a supporter shows it is a franchise not a footy club by cancelling.Barb I loved your comment you nailed it.Lachlan agree re the dogs brilliant performance I have made my thoughts well known re a good umpiring performance,I thought,Tiprat should have been used more in the ruck
    Olympics the whole team get gold medals ( relay races etc ) and it is only that it is not a tradition
    ( and it should be IMO ) re runners up medals yes I loved,Fred Phillis 0-6 let’s not forget the huge part he played in getting the bay’s to the gf,as I have sad play on correct call thanks Campbell and Ben,Blonderwandan agreed and as I have said above Kennedy would have been a most worthy winner.
    thanks,Steve greatly appreciated and mum is going like a well oiled machine ( being honest better than we could have even hoped ) thanks RH appreciated yep I detest the rule and I giggled re your last part.
    thanks folks

  55. Troy Hancox says

    Chaplin signed at Melbourne football club as an offensive coach today ??!!

    I reckon “offensive” is the exact word for him!!!

  56. Dogs beat Eagles Hawks Giants and Swans. Still people underestimated them and some blamed the umpires.

    This is one of the greatest sporting victories against the odds in history

  57. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Troy v good mate well played,Raj couldn’t agree more you nailed it in my book

  58. Geez Melbourne have hired Chumplin as their offensive coordinator? I thought they wanted to improve their scoring?
    I could understand in a way if they wanted to use him for their defensive group as a perfect example of what NOT to do.
    What’s he going to tell the forwards? “Well when I was playing, I didn’t like it when the ball was kicked near me.” Or, “I really didn’t like it when I had to kick the ball.”
    “And I REALLY didn’t like it when I played on and the man on the mark caught me and scored a goal and I could faintly hear Benny Hill music.”
    But as you say Book, average footballers turn out to be good coaches so are we looking at the birth of the greatest coaching career in the history of the game?

  59. 1. If it is not the greatest win of all time, it must be close. Rohan Connolly in the Age caed it the greatest coaching performance of all time.
    2. It was a brilliant game of football. No quarter asked or given.
    3. Player development is hugely important – and some clubs do it so much better than others. High draft picks alone are not a panacea. Just look at (ironically) Sydney; they seem to develop players so much better than most – Alliir Alliir being a prime example.
    4. True, the sliding rule was the greatest knee-jerk reaction (no pun intended) ever. Terribly difficult for umpires to adjudicate. However, on this occasion, I thought that Hanneberry should have received the free kick.
    5. As a neutral, I thought the gf umpiring was ok. When I watched the replay, I was a bit more critical – the Bulldogs had the rub of the green, but not too obviously.
    6. Sydney will regret the Tippett contract just as Adelaide will regret the Jenkins contract.
    7. What if a player plays every game, kicks 100+ goals, wins a Brownlow, then gets injured a prelim and his team then wins the gf? How is he not worthy of a premiership medal when he has done more than anyone on the list to win it? I agree. Like in the USA with their SuperBowl & NBA rings – everyone gets one. Andrew Gaze got an NBA ring!
    8. I had T Boyd winning the Norm Smith.
    9. Disagree, Rulebook. Most runners-up players probably would not want a “losers” medal??
    10. Yes, poorly handled by the Swans, which is rare for them. They should have given something back to their loyal supporters.

  60. Great article! Caro and Robbo should take a leaf out of your writing instead of the trash they spew out!

    On Picken. He was given a chance at Collingwood and then given 3 chances at the Dogs

  61. Debbie blades says

    Yes I agree with your opinions on the finals that were. I can’t get passed the stupidity of not presenting all listed players with a medal. I have played sport all my life and making finals is not just those who play the final game. How is it justifiable that a player who has played all season gets injured through no fault of his own just before the finals and is sidelined. Gut wrenching for him having to miss the one thing they all desire, a grand final medal around their necks. A heartbreaking end to a great season that could be easily fixed by the afl allowing all listed players the right to a medal. I mean seriously would it put them out of ocket that much? I mean we supporters pay enough to see them surely theirs enough in the kitty for it. Oh and happy to see three layer who turned their backs on us for a supposed grand final achievement never got their wish, guns ton, tippet and dangerfield.

  62. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Steve couldn’t agree more especially the last part I have a feeling my Chaplin sledging has not come to a close after all.Smokie I agree with most of your points as I have said I thought it was play on,I totally agree re Jenkins I was one who was not desperate to keep him at any cost if Peter Moore hadn’t thrown his medal in to the crowd in 79 this would be a well regarded footy tradition by now thanks,Fletch and
    Debbie I couldn’t agree more and of course it should be every player on the list they all contribute at training etc in this respect it should be a players game and on reflection assistant coaches etc nd left up to every individual club thank you

  63. Thanks Malcolm always enjoy reading your thoughts never fail to learn something hope to read more in the future

  64. Absolutely fantastic for the Dogs and their fans etc, and wonderful for the competition. However if the umpiring was fair and consistent the Dogs would not have won the Prelim vs Giants (23 frees to 13) nor the GF vs Swans (20 to 8). As usual it’s not just about the number of frees, but those frees not paid, or paid inconsistently, which directly resulted in several goals for the Dogs in both Prelim and GF, or robbed shots on goal for their opponents. Even the AFL agreed the GF umpiring was “below standard” all in favour of Dogs, and that’s a big call from the AFL publicly on the GF, so even what they have said would be understated –

  65. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Smithers greatly appreciated and Wes I am going to have to watch the game again as I have said I thought the umpiring was ok with the Clay Smith free kick a stinker the sliding rule is stupid,idiotic and ridiculous a huge panic move which did not need to happen get rid of it no umpire can get blamed for a so called error from it ( a couple of incorrect disposals from each side not paid ) thank you

  66. Peter Coleman says

    Great article Book. Regarding the runners up medals, I agree that making the grand final is a tremendous achievement especially in an 18 team completion. Unfortunately I think we have crossed the Rubicon and can’t give them out on the day. However they should be presented at that club’s B&F night by the AFL. Sufficient time would have passed from the loss being acute pain to a slow burning ache.

  67. Malcolm Ashwood says

    PC I love the idea well and truly worthy of thought for mind it ticks off the boxes perfectly acknowledging the runners up in a official capacity and by then some of the raw pain of losing has dicipated

  68. Luke Reynolds says

    Well done Malcolm on a great season of footy reporting, ending with this very well done GF piece.
    The achievement by the Bulldogs is unprecedented, Beveridge deserves every accolade for his coaching in the finals.
    I’m totally with Smokie re all players getting a medal from the Premiership team, as long as they have played a senior game during that season.
    Also not a fan of runners up medals. Maybe they can receive some other honour from the AFL, but think only the winners should get medals.
    Look forward to your 2017 Melbourne Demons game reviews, with special interest in how you rate their Assistant Coaches performances!

  69. Brilliant Rulebook. Great observations, solid questions and unreal engagement from us readers. That’s what footy writing is about.
    1. Roughhead, 2. M, Boyd 3. Kennedy. 4. Picken (brilliant in last, but I rate ’em over four quarters) 5 T. Boyd
    No medal for runners-up. Cheesy. The game is far too self-congratulary right now anyway.
    Umpires definitely influenced the game, big time. 80,000 of 100,000 screaming for the Doggies, of course that would influence them. Weight of want. Blatant too high and in the backs not paid to the Swans. Swans done for holding the ball and Doggies not, etc… but as a neutral, best not dwell on it. The better team is the one that wins. The Dogs were so good, and deserved their fairytale.
    Who is this Tippet bloke you speak of?
    A corker, corker grand final! Such a thrill to watch! No, not the best ever, but def up there. The game at AFL level is in a bloody healthy way right now.

    Well done again, mate.


  70. Nice work this year Mal,

    Kennedy was best on ground even the troops on footy classifieds gave him the nod, I had a redback on him @ $10.50.

    What a great game to watch I had the lads at my place wifey wasn’t keen on all the bullshit associated with a BBQ so she and the other wags offered to make homemade pizzas. It was great we didn’t get off our asses all day except for the obligatory trip to the dunny.
    We snaffled the Quaddie at Randwick and the treble at Belmont. That kind a made up for the injustice of the Norm Smith.
    One of the best results ever, we were all hoping the bulldogs would win but thought it was just great for them to have been there. Young team this could be the start of something great provided they can keep a lid on it.
    Great article Mal not much to complain about with the umpiring on the day however a bit to work on for next year i think.

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