Grand Final – West Coast v Collingwood: Media beat up

We have just witnessed a fantastic game of footy, one for the ages re pressure. As in all games which go down to the wire, there are so many what ifs.



Inexplicably and amazingly, the media have highlighted the Sheed-Maynard-Rioli mark. For mine, as an experienced maggot, it’s just a blatant mark. 2 players jostling for marking position, and another player floats across and takes the mark. This happens numerous times in a game. Watching at the time I didn’t even consider it remotely a free kick.



Watching it numerous times since I still don’t. A case can be made for a free kick to

Rioli for 2 high contact. Put it this way, the one certainty is it is NOT a glaring umpire error in being a blocking free kick to Maynard. (Ironically far more realistic is that Sheed should have been called to play on having clearly moved off his line).



I will also add I was barracking for Collingwood, with James Aish and the whole Norwood connection, and that I thought it was overall the best umpired grand final in years. It was fantastic not to see any Kath and Kim look at me look at me umpiring.



For mine it just highlights the footy media saturation that to stay noticed and remotely relevant so many have to create headlines to try and get ratings, etc. I truly doubt whether some of the media who have come out with the blocking free kick angle even really mean it. Just ridiculous and hysterical media crap for mine. As for that petition, wow, just wow



Your thoughts ?


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  1. Where is the SANFL grand final wrap?

  2. Carole Fabian says

    Totally agree. Thanks for your sane and wise perspective. As for Leigh Matthews . . . . some people should definitely refrain from OTT outrage!

  3. The dogs are barking. But the caravan moves on.
    Well said Rulebook. Good to hear it from a neutralaish fan.

  4. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Totally agree with you Book. Media does it to stir up disgruntled Pies’ fans into organising ridiculous petitions. Click bait 101.
    Eagles won an epic match because they were better for longer. Hope Aish gets another crack next year and improves on his performance.

  5. Jeff Milton says

    Way too many people working in the media trying to create stories to justify their existance.
    Every game of footy ever played has contentious decisions. When a game is so close and every goal or non-goal counts they are highlighted much more.

    You cannot change the result of a game due to supporters of the losing team being able to identify a decision they don’t agree with. Must be a black and white thing given the way some Collywobble supporters are carrying on and the way some Port people carried on about the Jenkins goal in the last showdown.

  6. Agree, nothing to see (except for brilliant footy), let’s move on.

    One suggestion. Can we not use the term media? As many in the media scoffed at the argument immediately it became a thing. These views come from specific journos or commentators or TV or radio shows or newspaper columns or twitter feeds.

    Finally RB can I have your opinion on a rule or technicality? A free was given against Varcoe when he stood under a player who was going for the mark. I think it was said he impeded the player’s chance to mark the ball. However minutes earlier another player had blocked an opposition player at the goal line from attempting to touch the ball as it went through for a goal. Why can you impede in some instances and not others? Yours in 19, from Hawthorn

  7. VFL media not happy with home ground advantage, a five goal head-start and not winning, almost a Williams-esque pttoohee.
    None of that can detract from a great game of football that was a credit to all involved, including the umpires.

  8. Year of the Rooster says

    Hey RB, never mind the Laws of Australian Football, particularly 15.4.5 (d) and (e)…
    The rules are SACROSANCT!
    p.s. Where IS that SANFL GF wrap?

  9. Pity football is not umpired like the Grand Final EVERY week.

  10. Matt Quartermaine says

    With you 100% Rulebook. It was a non event at the ground ony brought up by the seven commentary team on TV. It was umpiring like the old VFL days that made us interstaters stay glued to the winners every week.

  11. Brett 'BD' Dutschke says

    Hear, hear Rulebook. Umpiring did not get in the way of a great game. The players had a fair bit to do with that, very few doing the Richmond scrag.

  12. The decision was in context with the rest of the game, so the fact it was not paid was neither here nor there on the day.
    The lack of the decision has wider implications in that it highlights the rampant and unpenalised blocking that has reachec plague proportions in the AFL.

  13. Marc D and Year of the Rooster after consulting several people it was decided it was better that I did not write a SANFl gf article leave it at that.Carole thank you yes v v disappointing by Lethal to say the least
    Peter B congrats and clever use of words.Phillip yep definitely click bate and I have to be careful re Aishy all I will say is the pies are happy with,Aishy.Milts spot on.Rick fair point re the media but unfortunately there were a few trying to get publicity and headlines.I felt the 3 decisions were all adjudicated correctly,
    Varcoe the ball wasnt the object he wasn’t watching the footy impeded the opposition obvious free kick.
    Maynard iniated the contact geez I wish he had watched the footy he could have spoiled it,the shepherd in the goalsquare you could make a case ball was further than 5 metres away but he didn’t really impact the contest for mine all 3 common sense decisions.Chris J again agree one million per cent
    Year of the rooster don’t forger, 17.2(b).Rabid Dog how much better would the game be!
    Matt yep bizarre and ridiculous yep 6 o Clock on a Sunday night absolute institution.BD yep just a fantastic contest which should be the sole focus.Tony Tea with respect I could not disagree more vehemently thanks folks

  14. Thank you for posting this article, Rulebook! I felt relieved to read your comments about the Sheed mark. My view was that Rioli pushed Maynard from the side and that there wasn’t any illegal shepherding. I was disappointed to see Matthews and Lloyd (among others) vehemently assert that Maynard should have received a free kick. As many have noted, it was a great Grand Final – the best one since 2012.

    There is one additional gripe I have from this game and it’s directed at Channel 7. I was disappointed in their decision to hone in on Eddie McGuire’s facial expressions with 14 seconds to go, as well as honing in on Buckley just after the final siren. Yes, there is agony in defeat but to air those images in real-time – as opposed to showing the joys of West Coast players and fans celebrating – wasn’t a good look, in my opinion.

  15. Gary Bennett says

    Agree with you 100% about that so called contentious mark. The goal still had to be kicked and it was – brilliant. As far as seeing Eddie McGuire’s expression, I would have loved to see Joffa’s face – no gold coat in sight or game over sign. What a game, Eagles were magnificent but I still felt sorry for the ‘Pies. I can’t believe I wrote that. Love your work Malcolm.

  16. Hi OBP.
    Good call.
    From what I’ve heard, some sensationalists and look-at-me reporters are trying to stir up controversy.
    Ratings, I guess. And ultimately advertising.
    Anyone claiming victim status probably hasn’t adequately considered the many, many turns of luck that had to occur for Collingwood to even be in the position that they were with minutes remaining in a Grand Final. So many sliding doors, bouncing oval balls…
    No howlers.
    So the umpire is always right – an exercise in acceptance.
    (More and more people seem to have trouble with this idea).
    (Well played J Aish, too).
    thanks OBP

  17. Good call RB – It’s interesting to get a maggot’s perspective on the performance of the maggots. You’ve confirmed my opinion that they had a pretty good game. Like you, I was certainly surprised when this incident was highlighted as “controversial” as I didn’t see anything in it at the time. If anything I thought WC got the rough end of a number of non-decisions through the game and AFL 360 showed a string of these to counter the gripes about the Rioli-Maynard decision. Perhaps they’re not all “look at me” in the media?

  18. Thanks for this contribution, RB. And I must say I totally concur.
    I lost a little bit of respect for Lethal after seeing his comments.

  19. I remember thinking afterwards how little I had noticed the umpires, which is surely a sign of good work on their part. If that free kick was paid, there would have to be a squillion similar others paid and the game would nearly grind to a halt. As it was, one of the great games, made better by the result. A great achievement by West Coast in light of their having to do a 6,000km round trip every second weekend throughout the season, while the favoured ones have young players who may not even know how to find Melbourne Airport, much less have a Frequent Flyer account.

  20. Knacker Bag says

    Did Aish play ?

  21. Paul totally agree the fixation of cameras on Eddie and Bishop was a disgrace as well.Gary thank you.
    OBP spot on.Stainless my cynicism has me thinking the media were trying to create a good cop bad cop situation bizarre behaviour for mine.Smokie likewise.Bucko incredible achievement the travelling issue is massive.Knacker bag,Aishy v v good defensively in a different roll v important part of the side yes tad more offensive is desirable thank you

  22. Monty Varokogasi says

    Great articel Malcolm
    Spot on the money
    The umpiring was brilliant, just like the umpiring was brilliant 2013-2017, except everybody thinks the umpiring then for some reason was rigged towards Victorian Sides.
    West Coast winning proves something to the Swans, Cats, Bombers, Power and Crows supporters. If you are good enough you can win anywhere and there is no such bias.
    The best team always wins the Grand Final.

  23. Phil Rakich says

    Ease up Monty
    The Umpiring in 2015-2017 was blatent Victorian bias and cheating to some the better side winning.
    The AFL wanted Hawthorn to win 3 in a row and did all in their power to stop the Mighty Eagles win.
    The Bulldogs was a charity Garnd Final, the Bulldogs should never have beaten West Coast except they were given a 2 week break and charity umpring decisions against the mighty Eagles. Then it was just gift wrapped for them against the Swans. What they have done since has proven to be how good they are.
    11 out of Richmond goals against and 4 missed Adelaide goals cost Adelaide the Grand Final, just another charity bias towards a Melbourne side. Richmond with all their concessions and free kicks advantage they have still were not good enough to make the Grand Final.

    Class prevailed this year despite an umpring bias against us against Collingwood

  24. Gary Bennett AKA Fisho says

    Now that this season’s AFL is behind us we can look forward to the horse trading period and the draft. Who was the RHODES SCHOLAR that came up with the idea of a mid season Rookie Draft – ridiculous. Anyway RB I am looking forward to your take on these items. Hope the Crows can pick up some quality local lads this time around.

  25. Gary Bennett AKA Fisho says

    Now that the AFL season is over we can look forward to the horse trading period between clubs and the draft. Who was the RHODES SCHOLAR that suggested a mid season Rookie Draft – ridiculous. RB I am looking forward to your take on them and hope the Crows can pick up some quality local lads for next season. In the meantime it will be interesting to see how the BIte (SA baseball team) goes this summer now they are owned by the Crows.

  26. david butler says

    Agree Rulebook. I thought the umpiring as a whole was first class. PERHAPS Collingwood may have deserved a free kick for blocking but they were really lucky not to have Howe pinged for holding the pill in the goal square a few minutes earlier, so they shouldn’t feel too aggrieved. Let’s just celebrate a terrific game of footy; one for the ages. Congrats to both sides.

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