Tag Archives: Matthew Stokes

When The Game Takes Over Our Drunken Idiot Coverage! (2009 AFL Grand Final Preview)



We will now briefly focus on a football game before returning you to your regularly scheduled programming…which, apparently, is this guy!

Relax, people! Once Saturday’s game is over, we can go back to the main reason we all follow the game…what stupid Brendan Fevola up to now and what EVERYBODY ELSE thinks about it! Or maybe you’ve had enough of Fev and would prefer to talk about trades – where Shaun Burgoyne thinks he is going or where Brock McLean says he is going.

Perhaps you are stunned that Marty Clarke is choosing to go home or that Matthew Lloyd is choosing to stay home. But for now, the 2009 AFL Grand Final needs to take centre stage so you’ll just have to make do with that…

Not a bad consolation though…the two best teams in the comp are virtually at full strength (sorry Max fans!) and primed to present us with a fitting finale to the footy season. It’s going to be entertaining day and a great spectacle but, please, remember to behave appropriately. You don’t want to end up like Stupid Fevola (that is, a big blokey legend!), do you?



The secret to St Kilda’s success? Not catching swine flu from the filthy, germ-infested masses!

The dominant team of 2009 but not a clear favourite… a lack of respect or is this just history talking?

The Team
Jason Blake, Zac Dawson, Steven Baker
HB: Brendon Goddard, Sam Fisher, Sam Gilbert
C: Farren Ray, Lenny Hayes, Nick Dal Santo
HF: Andrew McQualter, Justin Koschitzke, Clint Jones
F: Stephen Milne, Nick Riewoldt, Jason Gram
Foll: Steven King, Leigh Montagna, Adam Schneider
I/C: Luke Ball, Raphael Clarke, Sean Dempster, Michael Gardiner
Emg: David Armitage, Jarryn Geary, James Gwilt

In: Dempster
Out: Robert Eddy



The secret to Geelong’s success? Police arresting anybody that goes within one metre of Gary Ablett!

The Team
Darren Milburn, Matthew Scarlett, Corey Enright
HB: Tom Harley, Harry Taylor, Andrew Mackie
C: Joel Corey, Cameron Ling, James Kelly
HF: Jimmy Bartel, Cameron Mooney, Steve Johnson
F: Travis Varcoe, Tom Hawkins, Paul Chapman
Foll: Mark Blake, Joel Selwood, Gary Ablett
I/C: Brad Ottens, Shannon Byrnes, Max Rooke, David Wojcinski
Emg: Shane Mumford, Simon Hogan, Mathew Stokes

No change

So…who wins this bloody thing? St Kilda made the one team change but it will not result in a fairytale send-off for stalwart Max Hudghton. Geelong are unchanged but have sterner opposition compared to last week. Hard to predict a winner with any great confidence; hence the call of a draw’ being quite popular.

For me, the deciding factor is simple…and probably a touch immature, but oh well. I just don’t want to see Stephen Milne win a grand final. The thought of that little twerp receiving a premiership medallion and whooping it up would ruin my entire year.


For the love of God, do not let this twerp win a premiership!

If St Kilda did win and for whatever reason; concussion,  injury, diarrhoea; Milne was not involved at the end, I could live with that. If they could vote him off the podium and replace him with Robert Harvey, even better. But please Geelong..do not let this twerp win!!!

CATS by 22


The Grand Final (Geekin’ Out – Fantasy Footy)

WIll Steve Johnson fill the void left by Matthew Pavlich and lead us to glory? We friggin’ hope so!

Well, the fantasy football season comes down to this…one final week to determine who takes out league premiership glory! And Half Back Flanker will be taking part on that last weekend in August…though it will only be for our AFL Dream Team squad. Having been virtually top four in this comp all year and finishing as the minor premier, it is a nice reward to have a shot at the grand geeky prize!

Last week, we prophecised about how it only takes a bad game here, a late withdrawal there and months of good results can go down the gurglar. And sure enough, our Premium Dream Team suffered that very fate. Matthew Stokes drops out of the Geelong team, Jordan McMahon (27 points? At home to Fremantle?) may as well not have played either…and we lose the prelim by 156 points! So third will play fifth in the grand final and we are left to smash our head against a wall, cursing the name Alan Didak!

But forget all that. We have a big game to focus on this week and the good fortune of having two trades left to plug any gaps…like the one Matthew Pavlich is leaving in our forward line! Having waited until the final hour before making our all-important trades, we now sit back and wait for each game to unfold…hoping that we can pull off a big win in the grand final. And with one of our opponent’s elite midfielders (Dane Swan) being outpointed by our mid-range defender (Garrick Ibbotson) in the Friday night match, things are going our way early!

The Grand Final

Dream Team: 39,009 points, 8,334th place overall – also finishing strongly in the overall category.

Last Week: defeated Moolias 1,860 to 1,612 – comfortable win but the decision to keep two bench forwards that were not selected to play almost backfired when Pavlich withdrew late. At least he won’t do that to me again…

Good: A nice spread of solid scores, with only Nick Stevens producing a spectacular 134! Nick Riewoldt was our only other 100-plus player (that was on the field, at least…) but there were twelve others in the 80-90 range.

Bad: We left Paul Chapman on the bench because we had some doubt over whether he would score well or even play at all. Sure enough, he produces a 121! Don’t worry…he’s straight back in this week!

Ugly: After weeks of leaving Kurt Tippett and Ben Ross as our benched forwards and running the risk of no emergencies, it finally caught up with us when Pav dropped out on Saturday. We were left praying that it wouldn’t cost us a spot in the grand final and there were some anxious moments…

Grand Final: 5th placed Carina Lions (2,070) – great effort to make it this far after finishing outside the top four and a midfield that contains the big guns (Bartel, Swan, Power, Mitchell) will make them tough to beat!

Final changes/trades: Time to cash in those final two trades. Firstly, it’s bye bye Matthew Pavlich…and we have traded him for Geelong’s Steve Johnson. We did look at Matthew Lloyd but not only is Johnson cheaper but playing a home game against the depleted Eagles…we feel that Lloyd won’t quite get the same amount of scoring opportunities.

That left one more trade and plenty of cash to finally upgrade our defence…and with Mark Nicoski facing the Cats, we felt he would be the best trade option. So it’s Nicoski out and Melbourne’s Paul Wheatley in! He was a great addition to our Premium Dream Team when we nabbed him from free agency after an injury layoff and we can sense a 100-plus outing against Richmond coming up for him!

The Team:

Defenders – Chris Newman, Andrew Mackie, Daniel Bradshaw, Michael Osborne, Paul Wheatley, Andrew McLeod, Garrick Ibbotson. (Emergency: Sean Dempster)

Midfielders – Kane Cornes, Nick Stevens, Bryce Gibbs, Rhys Palmer, Paul Chapman, Bradd Dalziell. (Emergency: Ryan Griffin)

Rucks – Dean Cox, Troy Simmonds.

Forwards – Lance Franklin, Brett Deledio, Nick Riewoldt (c), Matthew Richardson (vc), Steve Johnson, Brad Johnson, Cyril Rioli. (Emergency: Kurt Tippett)

Round Six – Medals For Everyone!

James Hird’s medal collection

Round six kicks off today with two matches, including the now traditional Anzac Day meeting between Collingwood and Essendon. Debate rages every year over whether the same two teams should play on Anzac Day but the Pies and Bombers have built up a fine tradition and are always mindful to pay solemn respect to those people who fought and died for us on this day.

One of the highlights of this match is that the best-on-ground is awarded the Anzac Day medal…most of which are hanging on the wall at James Hird’s place. But is it fair that the medal, which has grown in stature as this tradition builds, can only be won by a Collingwood or Essendon player?

So why doesn’t the League just award medals for each of the games this weekend? It’s probably not appropriate to hand out Anzac Day medals for games played after April 25th but there have been plenty of other themed rounds, trophies and medals introduced lately…

So, we here at Half Back Flanker are awarding a medal for each match this weekend! And because the Anzac Day medal became known as the ‘James Hird medal’ after a series of dazzling performances on the big stage, each medal will be named after a player who did kinda good in recent clashes between the two sides.



PIES by 16: James Hird can get involved all he likes but he can’t bail out the Bombers this Anzac Day!

CATS by 31: Wouldn’t it be a typically Fremantle thing to do for them to pull out a big game and beat the premiers at home but then go on to suck the rest of the year!

CROWS by 18: The Blues are on the improve but three straight wins? It couldn’t happen, could it?

DOGS by 27: Dogs should stay undefeated but wouldn’t another draw be amazing! Robert Murphy would get even freakier if that happened

POWER by 35: Now that they have actually won a game, the Power might get on a roll. They need to if they want to finish top-two again.

LIONS by 45: This would make it three crushing losses in seven days for Russell Robertson – what a crappy week!

SWANS by 11: Hard to see this match being anything but ugly…which means Sydney are specials to win.

HAWKS by 26: Forget the karma – something else will catch up with Terry Wallace this weekend…Buddy Love!!

Today’s action:


MCG, Melbourne – 2:40pm (local): Collingwood v Essendon (TEN)

  • Let’s hope we get to see that guy in action again real soon!


If you win the medal, can I drape it around your neck? Please!

Subiaco, Perth- 6:40pm (local): Fremantle v Geelong (SEVEN)

Love Is In The Air! (Round Five – Life After Barry)

“I love you, man” “No, man – I love you!” “You’re the best” “No, you’re the best!”

It is a special time for Geelong. The premiership drought has been broken and the club have won the first five games of 2008, including yesterday’s win over a thugless Sydney. Talk is building already that this team could go through the season undefeated and most other sides probably think they are untouchable! But within the Geelong team itself, it seems that there are few limits when it comes to touching…

Check out Cam Mooney and Matthew Stokes yesterday! In the final minutes, and with the result well decided, these two produced a couple of the most unashamed displays of man-love we’ve seen on an AFL field in ages. The first hug was quite affectionate and lingered for a looooong time while the second one…ever heard of the expression ‘get a room?’ And you thought they were a happy team at Hawthorn!

If there is any player at Geelong who deserves a little love and affection, it’s Gary Ablett Jr. He killed them in the final quarter and with that receding hairline and new beard, he is looking more and more like Fraser Gehrig every day. What’s not to love about that?

But let’s face it – the Cats are so hot right now that Cameron Ling could walk down the streets of Geelong and have the pick of any girl he wanted! Geelong – putting the ‘F’ in the AFL!!!

One at a time, ladies – one at a time!

But Geelong is not the only football club where there is plenty of love going on – check out yesterday’s other matches:

Today’s action in Life After Barry round:
MCG, Melbourne – 1:10pm (local): Melbourne v Carlton (FOX)


Telstra Dome, Melbourne – 2:10pm (local): Western Bulldogs v Richmond (SEVEN)


You’re a bad man, Barry – a bad, bad man!

Subiaco, Perth – 2:40pm (local): West Coast v Port Adelaide (FOX)