September? Let the narrative be complicated.

August 29 and there is a hint of green on the birch and the possums have eaten every pink blossom off the peach tree. This has the potential to be a superb September, a writer’s treat. Sport always gives us stories, many of them wonderful, but this September promises a stack of possible complications.

I say this because, with the two clubs who have been anointed by conventional wisdom as being a Liam Jurrah mark above the pack, it’s hard to know exactly what is going on. Collingwood and Geelong, having won so many matches, have had the luxury of mucking around with week-to-week selection, giving younger players time on the paddock, and in the case of Geelong that makes it hard to know who’s in the best 22.

With out-of-contentionclubs also picking teams with next year in mind, a crazy situation arises where in some fixtures an experimental outfit has played an experimental outfit. This also means it’s hard sometimes to work out what a victory or a loss means. And so you start to speculate? What did Geelong’s loss to the Swans mean? Were they flat out? Did they have a bad day?

I like to play the dope in this. Apart from finding this easy to do, I like to take this on face value. The Swans played well. The Cats looked sloppy. The Swans thrived on their good early form, the Cats belief suffered at the hands of it. This was a tremendous Sydney win.

I only saw the second half of the match from Kardinia Park. I was at the VWFL Grand Final with young Theo – and what a fine day the VWFL put on at Coburg. Sunshine. A grand crowd. And the girls ready and willing to put on a show. St Albans looked sharp in the first quarter, playing clean, open footy and pressuring the reigning premiers out of it. When we headed off before half time they looked the winners (and won, see Leesa Catto’s yarn).

Arriving home in time for the third quarter things didn’t look good. Apart from Cameron Ling, the Cats lacked energy, and accountability. Chappy looked anything but reliable. Mumford was dominating for the Swans on his old stomping ground, and seemed to play with a grin on his face. Otto got on the wrong side of the umps again. Where was Harry Taylor? Having a rest somewhere quiet having copped a knock in the first half. (The premiership betting market adjusted instantly).

Almanacker, that ratbag, Jim Fidge, had predicted it. When he rang on Saturday morning he told me the Geelong Addie had thrown out an even greater challenge to the footy gods by way of a undefeated-at-home (forever?) supplement with its litany of grandiose claims. “We’ll lose this,” The Ratbag said to me. The former mayor certainly knows his people.

My favourite part of the game – and apologies to C. Ling here – was when James Kelly shirt-fronted him like a man who was squaring up. Either Kelly was upset that the skipper had beaten him too often on the common room table tennis table, or it was that sort of day. It was that sort of day. (Will Kelly be cited by the review?)

And I suppose that is my point about narrative complications. That sort of day, is not uncommon. It has been uncommon in the favourite-underdog record this season which has twisted our understandings and drawn us in to  view that sees us predicting the world confidently. (Big mistake) This is footy, and not only can you have that sort of day, but you can be made to have that sort of day by an opposition which has thought things out tactically and has the intent (like the Swans on Saturday) to keep at it. That is what can happen this September.

Writers should be salivating in the garret.

Here’s why this is a ripper September.

For starters, the three top sides are the three premiers of the last four years.

Collingwood is despised or adored depending on how many teeth you have, and when they are in it there is a beautiful frisson in the air.

Dane Swan is a champion or a good home and away player who brings Diamond Valley football to the MCG? Harry O and Nick Maxwell are champion defenders or struggle when the ball is being won out of the centre? Is their ruckman fit?

The Cats have been cruising for the second half of the season and can flick the switch? Or the Cats have been flirting with their form, and Podsiadly/Hawkins is not quite the same as Brereton/Dunstall?

Buddy and Cyril are good enough to win matches? Or will the Hawthorn backline will be found out?

One of the other sides is coming through the dark night of the soul. The Saints. After months of therapy they are just starting to sleep without thinking of Heath Shaw’s smother and photos of their naked team-mates. They have lost the last two premierships. They have won most of their recent matches.

Yet, they will come up against a club which has little to lose. The Swans, who should get a home final.

Then you throw in the wildcard – the West Coast. They have a profile which is maverick to say the least: so many Gullivers at a time when Lilliputians have been the norm. They have nothing to lose against the Pies.

And Carlton? Well they could find a way to lose in the first week to their arch-rivals. Or B. Ratten could come up with a genius-plan of containing and breaking free, which gets them to a preliminary final.

If you are confused (as I am) what on earth will happen this Friday might? And what clue will be found in that? How will the teams be selected?

I reckon the Cats should get on the front foot and see what happens. Go flat out to win it. (Just for me)

But I’m sure there are plans in place for all clubs. Meetings and committees and strategies and approaches. And we’re privy to none of them. Just what we see with our own eyes, and the magnificent pub-wisdom which is established by beer-in-hand analysis.

It is set up to be a ripper.

 

 

About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and footyalmanac.com.au. He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three kids - Theo13, Anna11, Evie10. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst three. His ambition is to lunch for Australia.

Comments

  1. John Butler says

    JTH, absolutely agree.

    As lacklustre as some of the build up has been, it will be glorious September.

    I’ll reserve my thoughts on October (1) until the Pies’ fortunes are known.

  2. I am glad the possums are at your place and have thus far left my poor blossoms alone, but I may have spoken too soon. I love that the Saints are that SHADOW lurking, even its supporters and team probably don’t know what will be produced in any given week, and perhaps that’s what keeps us so engaged. Who knows what the dice (die?) will bring with each passing week. It is theatre and it is drama and it is comedy and human tragedy all rolled up in a odd shaped ball and desperated young men having a go. You gotta love this country of ours.

    Yvette

  3. Todd Allison says

    All season there has been hype about all the sides in the eight… with one exception. The Hawks have been almost universally ignored. In some quarters they were completely written off – Mark Maclure for one said that, given their injuries, the Hawks cannot win. For a side with a record that would make them comfortable minor premiers most seasons it is highly baffling – especially given the injury toll they’ve had to deal with.

    All year we’ve heard how the top two are leagues ahead of the rest. Well, if the Pies beat the Cats on Friday and the Hawks beat the Suns by 60 or more, the Hawks will finish second. Does that change the thinking?

    Also, think of the Cats record against the top 8. They beat the Pies in a dour game by a couple of points. Beat the Hawks by 5 on the back of some very dodgy umpiring. Hung on to beat the Blues by three. Lost to West Coast, Essendon and the Swans and required a massive last quarter to get over the Saints in round 1. They could easily lost all of those, so the view that they are well ahead of the chasing pack is a fallacy.

    In fact, I am going out on a limb here and suggesting the Cats might not even make the Prelims. After the Hawks get the better of them in the first week of the finals (and on current form you’d think they’d do it pretty easy), they are only a 50/50 chance against the Swans or Saints.

  4. You left out the biggest September question. Can the Tigers finish 9th???
    I think they need to beat North and have the Dogs beat Freo for them to assume their favourite ladder position.

  5. Matt Zurbo says

    I love this time of year most in AFL footy. When mini-finals break out like spot fires everywhere. And each week the landscape shifts. I think you’re right, John. Should be a ripper. Is already a ripper.

  6. John,
    Better to have the possums in your blossoms that in your pool filter Little bastards have chewed through the wires no many times to remember.
    I think the finals may be the antithesis of the H&A. The Cats looked like a side with 9 blokes over 30 and have had a pretty easy year in hindsight, The Pies won easy in the end but the sense of turmoil in the ranks is becoming more of a stench. The Coaster have been good but the big bodies are tiring I feel butr should get a home final against the Blues. The Hawks are going well but the champs could be their chumps if their radar is off. The Blues may have their best back by week 1 and the Dons offer no threat However their best is probably not enough just yet particurlay against the Hawks and Pies. Still dont rate the Saints although they have lot to play for this Saturday to try and get a home final . Swans despite Saturdays heroics are not good enough to beat them again nor the other above them. The match of the next weekend is the contest for 9th. Can the Tiges reclaim their place in pergutory. Lets hope the finals. throws up some smokies as the season needs it. In the words of the great southern philosopher Adam Blair, Let’s get it on
    cheers
    TR

  7. Matt Webber says

    I’m liking the Hawks more and more. The Pies look flattish (relatively) and they have this maybe/maybe not coaching kerfuffle on the boil which even if some weird orchestrated brouhaha is still a distraction. The Swans win made the Cats look less likely in a kind of way. And then there’s the hard-nosed Swans who play finals every week. If the Saints beat Carlton, their’ll be another ‘maybe’ in the mix. And West Coast have a game plan that’s hard to beat if it holds up. There’s a heap to like this year.

  8. JTH – very interesting September coming up. As Todd (above) says, the Cats could go out in straight sets………………………..or not. Because what Todd has neglected to mention is that the Cats have beaten the Hawks twice this year (not just once by 5 points) and are the ONLY team to beat Collingwood. Pretty good form line I reckon.

    The game against the Swans left me wondering about where the Cats are at just now. Whilst we can blow it off as a bad day, there is also the nagging thought that when the end comes for old teams, it comes quickly.

    The Swans version of ‘Lingy’ (bloke called Rohan) can really go. Ex Geelong Falcon apparently.

  9. Peter Flynn says

    Dips,

    How good was that Gary Rohan goal?

    Cheers,

    PJF in Galle

  10. Geelong looked old and slow on Saturday. I was shocked to see Chappy had 100 Dreamteam points as he looked a million miles off it. Lonergan also looked sore. One of the few players who appeared to be having a crack was Hawkins.
    Very interesting question re: the James Kelly bump on Ling. He had to be helped off the ground with blood coming out of his nose/mouth. If he was wearing a different coloured jumper Kelly would be looking at Negligent HIgh contact to the Head which is a level Three offence.

  11. Maybe, in the interest of my own team, I should pull that Kelly reference down.

  12. Word is that this friday at THOF (apologies to THE WRAP) , it will be another ‘strategic’ game with no real interest in the result to lessen injuries between the back and white verticals and the blue and white hoops.

    Wouldn’t it be upsetting not, they were unable to turn it on the following week like a tap against the other fethered ones.

  13. I usually get a bit of an adrenalin surge around this time of year, but I’m afraid it’s just not happening yet. Maybe I’m getting old and cynical but this looks like one of the less interesting finals series of recent years.

    Much as I’d love to see Collingwood come a cropper a la Geelong 2008, I frankly can’t see it. They are simply too good. The Geelong-Hawthorn final will be the fascinating contest of the series but unfortunately it’ll be for the dubious honour of being Runners-up. The Eagles probably won’t win over here and Carlton (ha ha) won’t win over there. Forget the rest.

    OK – I’m putting the negative vibe out there in the hope that I’m proved totally wrong. Unfortunately, my long experience of finals series is that generally harsh reality kicks in.

    As for “beautiful frisson in the air”, check it out in 2012 when the Tigers make the finals!

  14. Richard Naco says

    I’ve never thought that it would be a predictable September (/October), and I always expect Hawthorn to rise to the occasion. No true child of the Corio ever forgets 2008!

    This finals’ series will be a beauty, and from my perspective it is not beyond the realms of possibilities for both Geelong’s and Collingwood’s year to be done & dusted before October. Geelong’s last two underwhelming days’ out have certainly made the four straight loss season ending scenario a distinct possibility.

    Who the roughie will be to emerge from the carnage of the early rounds in the lower half of the draw to spread fear and consternation is anybody’s guess, but I for one am really looking forward to the feast of footy that is about to be served up to us.

  15. with you Stainless

  16. I’d love to know what makes the Pies so good. In my book they are miles under the odds at $1.80 for the flag. They are good, I’m told, but they’re not unbeatable.

    The Hawthorn mid-field win more than their share of the footy and the pressure goes on in the Pies backline as Buddy struts about and Cyril pounces?

  17. Joseph Walker says

    Spot on Yvette.

    I’m interested in the St Kilda v Sydney Elimination Final (and I’m not just saying that because I’m a Saints supporter.)
    Whoever wins this one could beat whoever loses Hawks v Cats, and if you don’t believe me you should’ve been at Kardinia Park on Saturday.

  18. Mr Harms

    I must take umbrage with your question, “Or will the Hawthorn backline be found out?”, and not merely because I want to use such an antiquated term as umbrage twice.

    The Hawks backline has conceded 1537 points as of the end of Round 23, or in the old language, 21 games. Only the Pies have conceded less. Even the Cats backline, which I have praised on numerous occasions, believing to be the epitome of what Aussie Rules defence should stand for, has conceded more.

    You are right to observe what potential this year’s Finals series holds in store. I am fidgety with anticipation. The Cats vs Hawks game on 9 September is a fitting opening to the Finals and I look forward to the Hawks backline doing the brown and gold proud and proving you wrong in your speculation.

    Yours sincerely

    Mr Kane

  19. Mr Kane

    I’ve always found the points against column over-rated when it comes to measuring defences.

    Yours logically…

  20. Dave Nadel says

    Anything is possible and I have seen Collingwood pull defeat from the jaws of victory too many times in the last half century not to admit that that is always a possibility. If Jolly was injured Collingwood really doesn’t have another quality ruckman. Travis Cloke is always hard to replace. However I would warn supporters of the other finals contenders against expecting that this is their year.

    I have been impressed by how many games the Pies have won with several key players missing. It is as if the structure is so sound that individuals can be replaced by less experienced counterparts who then play exactly the role of the player they are replacing. I would also counsel against expecting that the question mark over Mick’s future (or even Daisy’s future) will affect the Pies’ Finals performance. It won’t. Mick is too professional for that and the players are too focused. There may well be a horrendous donnybrook sometime between October and December over Mick’s future role but it won’t happen until the business end of this year’s season is over.

    I have expected a Collingwood Geelong Grand Final for months and despite the Cats’ current little wobble I still think that is what will happen. Hawthorn are very good and building up momentum and with a full list they may even be better than Geelong, but they do not have a full list and assuming Tarrant comes back this week and Taylor comes back for the finals, both Collingwood and Geelong have enough tall backmen to restrict Buddy.

    The Eagles and the Bombers are teams of the future, St Kilda is a team of the past. The Blues and the Swans are a few players short of what they need to compete with the top four. So its Carringbush vs Sleepy Hollow for the flag with the Mayblooms to step up if either of the top two falter.

  21. Dave – very sound logic. As I recall the Pies have not lost this year (they technically lost to Geelong but because it was due entirely to an errant umpire they won that game on a count back). Therefore, the Pies are certainties. Can’t possibly lose. Unless of course they do.

  22. Damo Balassone says

    I think you are a tad hard on Cameron Wood. Jolly was a class act in 2010 no doubt, but this year he has struggled, missing games through injury and has not been anywhere near his best since returning – yet Collingwood have still won 20 out of 21. Remembering that ruckmen take a lot longer to develop, I think Wood has grown in stature and could be a competent replacement if Jolly broke down. People talk about how good Sandilands was on Friday night, but his side still lost by 80 points and his direct opponent in the 2nd half slouched forward to kick 3 goals.

  23. Mark Doyle says

    All football supporters look forward to the finals in September and especially the grand final. A question for John Harms – Why should Geelong win for you? Where do you rate in the ‘pecking order’ of team mates, coaches, family, close friends, supporters etc.?

    Geelong and Collingwood have been the best teams in this season proper, but finals are different and require a higher standard of footy; and succesful teams have better players who are fitter and in form plus better coaching tactics. In recent years, Adelaide in 1998, Brisbane in 2001. 2002 and 2003 and Hawthorn in 2008 were not the best teams in the season proper, but won the grand final.

    For Geelong to be premiers this year, the most valuable players are Joel Corey, Cameron Mooney, Matthew Scarlett, Jimmy Bartel and Harry Taylor.

  24. Mark

    I am third to top of the pecking order – just behind Dips and Flynny. The Cats are playing for us (we’re a community club).

    The Hawks are playing for Rick Kane. The Saints are playing for Stephanie Holt. The Pies are playing for Andy Fithall. The Royboys play (in C section) alternate weeks for Matt Zurbo and Adam Muyt. The Bombers are playing for Pamela Sherpa. The Eagles are playing for Peter B.

    And Josh Barnstable is North Melbourne.

  25. Dave Nadel says

    Damo, I would love to believe that you are right. I hate the idea that Collingwood only has one top ruckman. I know that rucks take a long time to develop but Cam Wood is 24, he played his first game (for Brisbane Lions) in 2005. That is really quite a long time to develop. Natanui, Leuenberger and Kreuzer all started after Wood and are all much better ruckmen. Zac Smith is playing his first season and he is already a better ruckman than Wood. I agree that Wood did alright on Friday and probably has played better this year than any of his previous seasons but I remain utterly unconvinced that he is an AFL ruckman. Most of the games that the Pies won in Jolly’s absence they won because Ball, Swan, Pendlebury, Thomas, Beams etc. won the subsequent clearances, either by sharking the ball from the opposition ruckman or tackling the midfielder who had roved to the opposition ruck.

  26. Carlton must win a final. They simply must. Carlton, it HAS to happen. Everything else is white noise.

  27. And Carlton are playing for Litza Little.

  28. John Butler says

    And for the forces of good against evil.

  29. I don’t want to come across as the king of corrections or the agent of addendums but I do need to pull Mr Doyle up on a recent post in which he stated that Geelong and Collingwood have been the best teams this year. Collingwood, maybe. Geelong, not so much. By sometime over the weekend, Geelong and Hawthorn could be sitting on the same win/loss ratio for the year with a wafer thin wafer of a percentage seperating them. That would suggest to all but the hardhearted that Geelong and Hawthorn, in 2011, are second in line to the throne. The betting markets tell a similar story. All this is mere chalk and talk come the second weekend of September and beyond. Then, the real teams’ character will emerge.

  30. I take it from a post further up the chain, Harmsy, that you’re not too bullish about the Cats’ chances of knocking off the Hawks in week one of the finals.
    And Dips, watch it! Don’t fink uz Poi fans don’t no wotchooziz upta wiv yer reverse sacology!
    Thorny from Thornbury

  31. Richard Naco says

    Well, since I’ve been obviously eliminated totally from the Geelong To-Please list, I’ll just sell my soul to another club.

    University are going to spring from nowhere and win it all for me!

    (Who needs reality?)

  32. MOC, the Hawthorn-Pies comparison was insofar as a preliminary final was concerned. Not a Grand Final.

  33. Dear September,

    I’ve been a fan of yours for some time. For as long as I can remember really. But this year, like last, something is missing and I’m a little lost.

    Angela

  34. With regards my previous comments, the prelims IMHO, one will be hosted in the west by the feathered ones from 91 and in the east the other feathered ones from 91 and the granny will be a 20 year replay of 91. And SOTG (apologies again to the WRAP) can go through the results and see if history could repeat itself.

  35. Pamela Sherpa says

    Here’s to all you top teams running yourselves ragged this weekend, while us Bombers have a good rest! We need the week off to get ourselves sorted out. Here’s hoping September is full of surprises.

  36. Saintly’s reference to the 1991 finals series got me thinking. There are some similarities between this year and 91.

    The standout team over the regular season coached by one M. Malthouse goes into the finals a hot favourite. Geelong and Hawthorn, evenly matched as the most likely contenders for the other GF spot, one spectacularly, spasmodically briliant, the other dubbed “too old, too slow” (but those epithets are reversed in 2011). Like 91, I suspect their meeting will be pivotal in determining which one makes the Granny. On that occasion it was Hawthorn by 2 points.

    Question is, can any side knock the top team off its perch like Hawthorn did (twice) to the Eagles in 1991. If so, who will be this year’s equivalent of Paul Dear and Stephen Lawrence, who both had a brilliant finals series and afterwards never quite matched those remarkable feats?

    For the record, St Kilda and Essendon also played in that 1991 finals series and both were eliminated in week 1.

  37. Dear Angela Pippos

    Coinicidentally, I feel rather the same way. How about I meet you on the corner of September and October? Between us we’ll surely find something interesting to do…

    Gigs

  38. Dear John Harms

    I think you underestimate the importance of the aforementioned umbrage-thief’s comment.

    Historically, in general, the premier comes from the top three or four in the “points conceded” column.

    Yours statistically

    Gigs

  39. Dear Andrew Demetriou and Adrian Anderson

    In the past we’ve had Rivalry Round, Women’s Round and Heritage Round, all wonderful innovations.

    Given that the eight games on the coming weekend will determine little more than the venue of the St Kilda v Sydney match, might I suggest that Round 24 be renamed Irrelevant Round?

    Yours insanely

    Gigs

  40. John, you noted “the three top sides are the three premiers of the last four years.”

    Don’t forget about the club that won the previous premiership…

  41. And maybe the one before that too, Brad.

  42. Let me re-phrase that Brad: the top four sides….

  43. JohnnyHawk says

    Stainless and Saintly,
    Another mirror to 1991 is Round 1, Crows v Hawks. It wasn’t pretty 20 years on either. Also if you watch the original game, how did Adelaide miss the finals in 91?
    Hawthorn have covered the losses of Gilham, Stratton and Roughie superbly, and just need to flick Cam Bruce to be right on track. I predict David Hale to be the next Paul Dear.
    I live in Brisbane these days so will be down at Carrara for Saturday’s practice match. Hope they rest Bailey, Cyril, Gibson, Sewell and even Hodge. Please play Buddy for a half though, I want to get my 20 bucks worth.
    JohnnyHawk

  44. Fascinating stuff all of you. Hard to argue with all of your logic & theories.

    But, like the Cup, there can be but one winner so there will be lots of inaccurate predictions.

    Me? May the best team win & may that team be the Pies! :))

    Enjoy.

  45. Go to bed Bakes.

  46. Jared Newton says

    Carlton 5th worries me a lot. If they get done by the Dons first up you might see a very active administration target Malthouse, Roos or even a Ross Lyon. In saying that they are also just as likely to run through to a Prelim Final.

  47. Wow, what a lively thread!

    If we consider that:
    -Adelaide, North, Richmond and Melbourne have not come on as expected,
    – the Suns have been included,
    – the Bulldogs and Saints (until recently) have fallen away so dramatically,
    – the Dockers, Bombers and Hawthorn have suffered from an unfair run of injuries
    – the Swans are rebuilding

    it may be that Geelong and Collingwood have not had to improve at all to be top 2. This may catch them out as the teams immediately below them have shown strong incremental improvement as the season has progressed.

    What surprises me is that since 2008, the Cats have a 6-0 record against the Hawks. The Magpies have a 2-2 record against them. As a Cats supporter, I’d be very happy if the Hawks were to play the Magpies in a Prelim assuming we were in the other prelim.

  48. Meant to say, what surprises me is that the Hawks are considered Geelong’s bogey team. Why are they not the Pies bogey side?

  49. re Saintly, Stainless, Johnny Hawk and others: one thing that is markedly different is that I was living in Perth back in ’91 and am now happily ensconced in the much more progressive environs of Melbourne.

    One similarity I can draw (but I would have to twist it until it barely resembled its previous shape) is the Geelong Advertiser’s decision to run with a banner proclaim 30 straight wins at Kardinia Park for the Cats. That reminded me of 1991 when Perth renamed itself Eagles City (before the GF had been decided). In fact, the main thoroughfares into the city had huge banners proclaiming the name change for a few days leading up to the last Saturday in September. You could barely breath for the heavy smug that hung over the fair city.

    Oh, and another similarity. In 1991 the GF half time entertainment was a 70s bad boy that could barely be called contemporary. Twenty years later, the AFL have out-done that decision hiring another 70s rocker (who is now closer to 70 than 30), an off-Broadway performer that got lucky with one album that (had it not been for the crack band backing up the barely disguised misogynist lyrics) could easily have ended up in the where are they now column of an edition of Rolling Stone.

    Phew, it wasn’t meant to end as a rant but Meatloaf? Give me a break.

  50. Rick – with you on Meatloaf. What a dud.

    Here’s a thought from left field. Pre game entertainment for the Grand Final is the VFL Grand Final. Half time entertainment is the Dandy Dollar Dash (or whatever they call it these days) and a bit of bloody peace and quiet.

  51. Agree Dips. I would settle for highlights of the first half on the big screen, or even highlights of the year that was, or a bit of bloody peace and quiet.

    Cheers

  52. Dave Nadel says

    Rick and Dips – Now there is a campaign that could get support from Pies, Cats and Hawks fans. Forcing the loudmouth on the MCG and Docklands scoreboards to STFU. One of the things I really enjoyed at Subiaco last Friday night was that I could talk with the people near me before the game instead of being screamed at by a third rate imitation 70 DJ as happens at both Melbourne stadiums.

  53. Pete – re the Hawks 2-2 record that you refer to. I wouldn’t dwell too much on this stat. Remember the Hawks beat the Pies in Rd 22 last year by a couple of points when we had already put the cue back in the rack in readiness for the QF v the Cats the following week and we all remember what happened that night – the Pies fair dinkum exploded!. Either side of this loss above, the Pies have smashed the Hawks. But count it if you must….

    I know the Hawks are a very good side and more than capable of winning the whole thing on their day. Treat them lightly at your peril!

  54. Dear Gigs,

    It’s a date.

    There’s so much else to talk about other than footy… there’s err.. I’ll get back to you on that.

    Good luck to the Crows in their last outing for season 2012.

    Sob.

  55. I mean 2011.

    See already thinking about next year!

  56. It’ll be a while before I get excited during AFL September. Maybe 4-5 seasons – at least the Lions had a dip in most games this year, which is more than can be said about last year’s train wreck. I’m fortunate to be seriously bi-codal: at least Manly, my NRL team, is in with a good chance this year.

    Best of luck to all your teams this year…except Collingwood, of course. Oh yes, and West Coast.

  57. watt price tully says

    Being a Collingwood supporter I’m getting toey especially using the work computer to post. Nevertheless, be that as it may I’m looking forward to the finals.

    Did you have to send the possums to my place John Harms? Living in a suburb indeed a street where almost every dwelling is dual or triple occupancy (except ours & one or two others) the Possums have regular party time eating the roses, the vege patch, the peach & nectarine trees. Noisy love calling that makes finger-nails down the blackboard seem like a Welsh boy choir. But I digress.

    I think Wood as a ruckman is slowly coming of age for Collingwood. However I wouldn’t write off any of the top 4 teams for the flag this year.

    Are too many Collingwood players underdone matchwise?
    Is the loss Geelong had against ‘Sydeny’ the loss they needed before the finals?
    Are Ling, Mooney & Chapman et al too slow?
    Will Geelong do it for the retirees at years end?
    Will the High Court decision regarding refugees effect Harry O’Brien?
    Did Geelong get the right twin?
    Are the Scott brothers related to the Cray twins?
    Will Rioli be the curse of all other finals teams aspirants this year?
    Will West Coast come from last position on the ladder in 2010 to win the premiership & make history in 2012?
    Will Jeff Kennnet show a skerrick of humility?

    Good luck to Collingwood.

  58. Angela – I think you should have your sights set on about 2018 not 2012.

  59. Andrew Fithall says

    AFL confirms Week 1 finals schedule at MCG: Geel-Haw (Fri Sep 9 at 7.45pm) Coll-WCE (Sat Sep 10 at 2.20pm) Carl-Ess (Sun Sep 11 at 2.40pm).

    Hmmm. Tempting. I might try to get to all three games.

  60. Cats v Hawks on Friday, wow I will be a nervous wreck. Do I listen to the trusty live radio or take the day off work? (and if I do work, can I get away with a jersey for casual Friday?)

    It’s shaping up to be an interesting finals series and the Swans-Saints game promises to be a cracker too. Saints are spoilers for mine, they’re a danger team in the draw.

    Hawks v Pies final for mine but that’s just the bias talking. I struggle to split the Cats and Hawks but I am expecting Luke Breust to win a final for us. Of course come that last day in September anything can happen as Cats fans know too well.

Leave a Comment

*