Grand Final – Richmond v GWS: Shock and awe

Greetings Tipsters


It was a grand week. GWS Monaros in the Grand Final, Detroit Lions undefeated. I was optimistic, aren’t we all when approaching a Big One? Occupied myself with reading everything available and thinking of all that could go right for the Monaros and wrong for the Tigers.


The local was decorated inside and out with streamers and balloons. I had avoided online news that morning but just before we left I checked it. Phil is doing a fitness test. That doesn’t augur well. It’s not cracked ribs, it’s a calf muscle and if he wasn’t fit Friday, Keefe should have been in.


Dimi had set up the tables around the big screen and moved one of the high tables, which we grabbed and set up with biros, notepad, etc. The Nat Ant played. I studied the players for signs of nerves.
Jeremy C looked keen.


First term, teams testing each other. A few behinds. A lot of the game in Tigers’ forward half for little effect. I overheard one of the elder ladies at a nearby table saying “I just don’t understand the game.”


I wrote ‘a wasted kick’, may have been Zac’s shot that he chipped 30 yards to a pack. Tigers a lot cleaner with the hands. Toby marked, missed. A game of inches. Jeremy C marked, YES! Then, Tigers goal.


Rioli goaled within three seconds of the siren, there was joy among his teammates. The kind of joy that makes one think “oh, shit.” My optimism sagged. I went to the Smokers Lounge and chatted with Didier. Being French, he’s more of a Rugby fan but understands the nature of football, regardless of the code.


Second term, it was the Tigers fourth goal that sealed it. From fullback, two handballs, two kicks, Dustin goaled. Geez, what a machine! The bloke with the ball didn’t have to look, they just knew they’d find a teammate running into space. Reminded me of Bombers 2000.


Soon, we were four goals down, oh maybe but unlikely. I was thinking that if we could pinch one against the run of the play and keep Tigers from scoring until the long break, we might… But I wasn’t at all optimistic and, just to confirm that, Tigers kicked two more.


Another schooners of Tooheys Old, nearly done by the start of the third when Perky Girl asked, “Do you want to stay?”


“Let’s see how they go.” Two minutes later, another Tiger goal. I grabbed some takeaways and we went home, cranked up the stereo and sat in the backyard with a beer and a smoke. An hour or so later I checked the score. Flicked through a book, 1960, Collingwood kicked 2.2 in the Big One. The first of nine Grand Finals without a win.


17.12 v 3.7. Dia-bloody-bolical.


Tigers were better with the ball from early in the match. By the second term, the physical effects of the Monaros finals were apparent, those black jumpers were running away from the white like it was eighteen versions of me on the park. Moreso, it was an outstanding example of stage fright.


“Do SOMETHING” Too many Monaros did nothing. Second term, Tigers were swarming, Monaros were hitting panicked hospital handballs, any scrambled kick that got into the forward line was picked off far too easily. Bumping, crashing, it disappeared.


How do they handle it? The record for teams thrashed in ‘AFL’ Grand Finals is not uplifting. What was it like for the Shaw family? “Thrashed by Tigers in a Grand Final, son?” “Yeah, but I got a few kicks, Dad.”


Tigers rode the wave on a perfect storm. Twelve straight wins. I’ve avoided match reviews, other than Mongrel Punt, I am surprisingly shocked. I am also disgusted. Yesterday Dimi said “You made the Grand Final.”


Yes. And we fucked it up!


I chose this team and I am sticking with it. I hope they learn from it, dig in and blast the crap out of every other team in 2020.


Cheers Tipsters


Image sourced from ‘whichcar’


RICHMOND                                2.3     7.5     12.9     17.12     (114)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY     1.2     1.6     2.7     3.7     (25)


Riewoldt 5, Martin 4, Lynch 2, Rioli, Soldo, Pickett, Lambert, Bolton, Cotchin
Greater Western Sydney:
Cameron, Hopper, Himmelberg 


Richmond: Martin, Riewoldt, Prestia, Pickett, Edwards, Vlastuin, Houli
Greater Western Sydney:
Taranto, Shaw, Haynes, Hopper, Williams


15 –
Dustin Martin, Richmond – 33333
6 – Bachar Houli, Richmond – 222
4 – Marlion Pickett, Richmond – 211
3 – Jack Riewoldt, Richmond – 111
2 – Dion Prestia, Richmond – 2


Judges voting (3, 2, 1)
Alastair Lynch (Chair) – D. Martin, B. Houli, J. Riewoldt
Chris Johnson – D. Martin, D. Prestia, J. Riewoldt
Matthew Lloyd – D. Martin, B. Houli, M. Pickett
Bruce McAvaney – D. Martin, B. Houli, M. Pickett
Angela Pippos – D. Martin, M. Pickett, J. Riewoldt


Greater Western Sydney:


Reports: Nil

Umpires: Stevic, Ryan, Chamberlain

Official crowd: 100,014 at the MCG


P&C A Stop Privatisation Of Footy Production, a division of Trans-Dementia Inc


Brought to you with the assistance of a compilation of songs I played with a band. I won’t stand in line for this. How does it feel?


Do you really enjoy the Almanac concept?
And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help keep things ticking over please consider making your own contribution.

Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE
One off financial contribution – CLICK HERE
Regular financial contribution (monthly EFT) – CLICK HERE



About Earl O'Neill

Freelance gardener, I've thousands of books, thousands of records, one fast motorcycle and one gorgeous smart funny sexy woman. Life's pretty darn neat.


  1. Earl O'Neill says

    And fate rubs the salt in, Chiefs 34, Lions 30.

  2. GWS were always going to be up against it. The Tiges had Rance and Higgins missing, but a complete midfield. GWS had Patton, Ward, Deledio and Coniglio out, with Whitfield in after his appendix out (couldn’t kick with his right foot) and Davis carrying a calf. Without a fit midfield GWS were smashed around the packs. The tiges deserved to win but the planets had aligned somewhat for them.

  3. Earl – three comments of consolation.

    1. Being a Richmond fan, the parallel that I kept drawing in the lead-up to the GF was 1980. The Pies were an ordinary side that year but had a gallant finals campaign to make the GF from 5th. They peaked with their thrashing of Carlton in the semi-final but were already struggling the next week, just holding off Geelong in the Prelim, much as the Giants did to Collingwood. Richmond won the GF by 81 points, then an all-time record winning margin. There was no shame in Collingwood’s loss. They just ran out of gas against a fresher, better team. Same with GWS.
    2. One in every three Grand Finals since 1980 has resulted in a blowout with the winning team leading by at least 10 goals at some stage in the game.
    3. A huge step in the development of GWS as a real club was adding another glorious chapter to the Collingwood History of Finals Failure. From footy fans around the nation – well done!!

  4. Good piece Earl and I feel for you. The Tiges had it all didn’t they? They were to quote the kids, awesome. I thought the Giants would be able to unpick some of their play but nuh.

    An observation by a speaker (can’t remember who) at the Footy Almanac GF lunch said it all. They said the Tiges have Lynch, Riewoldt and Dusty as forward line spearheads. Hardwick just has to keep rotating them through the game and that alone will be too much for GWS (or any other team for that matter) to cover. Tiges won for a lot of reasons. That was the key.


  5. Colin Ritchie says

    I really did think GWS would win but it became quickly evident it was not to be. They looked slow, they played unfit players, perhaps an indication of their lack of depth at that stage mostly through injury, and they were completely overwhelmed by a side who wanted to win, and knew how to win. I’d love Dustin Martin in my side at Essendon! But as they say, whoever they are, there’s always next year! Cheers Earl.

  6. John Butler says

    Big step for the Monaros this year, Earl. But as you point out, a step into what? Nothing is ordained.

    But I’d be surprised if they folded their tent. Too much talent in that lot. Do a good deal for Patton and reload.

    Bring on summer.


Leave a Comment