Tag Archives: Max Hudghton

When The Cats Go Marching In! (2009 AFL Grand Final)

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PremierCats

Wow – Geelong are good at this cup-lifting thing! Looks like they’ve done it before…

Holy crap – what a day! A massive audience, a classic match and even the pre-match entertainment didn’t totally suck…well, until the Jersey Boys got involved! Yep, a limp-as-a-lettuce-leaf rendition of the national anthem – won’t that inspire to football masses to buy tickets to their crappy stage show!

NormChapman

Chappy deservedly wins Norm…just don’t ask me how he did it!

Anyway, back to the footy and on a wet, cold day at the ‘G, it was Geelong that found their way to the front when it mattered to win a second flag in three seasons. On the verge of two straight grand final catastrophes, the Cats scored three goals to nil in the final term to earn the ultimate reward for their sustained excellence and become a truly great outfit. Look out, Lions!

HayesYells

How would it feel to lead most of the way in a Grand Final and lose? Lenny Hayes pretty much sums it up…

One of these teams was always going to feel unfortunate to miss out on the great prize. Few could have predicted just how devastating defeat would become for the Saints…particularly when things quite easily could have gone their way had they capitalised on their opportunities early.

BustedGoddard

Broken collarbone, busted nose, dream destroyed…hard to imagine anybody feeling worse than Brendon Goddard must have after the siren!

If there is any consolation for the St Kilda faithful, it seems to lie with the hard-line stance of the coach looking to ensure his club strives to improve and bounce back in 2010. The popular Max Hudghton won’t be back but it will be interesting to see if anybody else joins him on the sidelines…like little twerp goal sneaks who wear number 44, for example.

RookeMobile

Max Rooke claims himself some new wheels…might come in handy this week during the celebrations! Wonder if his psychic told him about this as well?

But enough HBF-style hardcore analysis…it’s time to wind down after a long season that again defied all expectations (and defied logic at certain stages) and let our collective hairs down! Then, maybe, we can start worrying about who will be the team to beat in 2010. Until then, may all your Mondays be Mad and your blondes a little better looking than this one!


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

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drunkfev

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?

ST KILDA SAINTS

SaintsPlane

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
B:
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

GEELONG CATS

AblettPolice

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

The Team
B:
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.

MilneSucks

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

Damn Stupid Pressure! (Septocemia – 2009 AFL Finals Series)

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WHAT…ME WORRY?

Pressure. It has cost us some wayward government ministers,  it can drive young divas into a head -shaving, umbrella-waving fit of rage and it forced the temporarily rampaging Adelaide Crows into their shell during the third quarter last Saturday night. And Grant Thomas ate it for breakfast (plus a little bit more, you suspect…) but look where it got him!

That’s right – it’s preliminary final weekend and the buzzword this week has been ‘pressure’. Our two grand finalists will be determined by the end of Saturday night and for all four competing clubs, the pressure is freakin’ ginormous. Though Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse has his own little theory. He reckons that this pressure mainly applies to Geelong rather than his own club!

Apparently, the Cats are suffering under the weight of excruciating pressure that comes with being the outstanding team of the past three seasons but only have one flag to show for it. The Saints and Dogs are also under pressure having not won the comp for well over 40 years. His own club, however, seems devoid of pressure somehow…

MalthouseCake

Under pressure? Feeling stressed? Mick has just the thing for you…a nice piece of cake!

So lemme get this straight – the coach with ten years in charge at the self-proclaimed ‘biggest club in Australia’, responsible for a couple of really good years but no ‘great’ year and, most notably, no premiership to show for it; this guy is not under any pressure at all? And he thinks Geelong is under more pressure than anyone? Um…ok?

Not saying that Malthouse is a bad coach or even an overrated one – the guy is good; see last weekend as a case in point. But he has been at his current club longer than the other three coaches taking part at this preliminary final stage and, unlike the others, he also has a concrete deadline of September 2011 before handing over the keys to Nathan Buckley. No pressure though, Mick! Maybe writing these opinion pieces relaxes him…

His misguided attempt at psychological warfare has made this week a little more interesting but Bomber Thompson would not be the only person to laugh off something he has said this year. But before we see the Pies and Dogs do their best to handle the occasion on Saturday night, we have ourselves another little pressure-soaked prelim tonight!

FRIDAY NIGHT

First Preliminary FinalMCG, 7:45pm (local): St Kilda v Western Bulldogs (SEVEN)

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After being wrapped in ice for two weeks straight, Nick’s knee feels fantastic! A little numb though…

St Kilda have been the best team all year but not so great in recent times trying to leap this particular hurdle. But things are different this time…honest! And Shane Warne has been talking to the players so what could possibly go wrong?

They do look the stronger side and should prevail but if something bad were to happen to an especially important but troublesome knee joint, anything is possible. Except for Max Hudghton running out to play…that ain’t happening tonight.

DogsIce

If being coated with ice works for Nick Riewoldt, it’s good enough for the Dogs! Next…the head!!!

The Doggies are in the mood for an upset…but not the type of upset they felt after losing last year’s prelim! Saints coach Ross Lyon is aware of the danger the Dogs present but then again, what else is he going to say?

One thing he won’t say is ‘We’ve gotta shut down Will Minson’. Now, big Will is important to their structure and is a handy player and all but seriously – if he is so crucial that he holds the key to the Western Bulldogs making a grand final, I’d be more than a little worried…

SAINTS by 28

I Got A Fever! (Septocemia – 2009 AFL Finals Series)

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PaddyPunch

No final for you, Paddy. But if you have a handful of jumper when you hit a bloke, exactly like Luke Hodge did to you, you get away with it. Jumper punch equals no suspension…

LloydSewell

Same for you, Lloydy – a handful of jumper and you get away with it. Jumper Bump equals no suspension…ok, maybe not!

It’s finals time…you little ripper!!! After a home-and-away season filled with thrills, surprises, inspiring stories and some downright weirdness, we have eight teams left and four weeks to sort out the wheat from the crap.

This September, the League have again gone into promotional overdrive and declared the finals series as being In A League Of Its Own…it’s going to be harder, faster and fiercerer than ever before! Well, that’s a relief.

Personally, I think that the propensity for rugby league players to poo on the floor of hotels kinda puts the NRL in a league of their own but that’s just me.

Here at Half Back Flanker, the finals series will always be known as Septocemia in homage to my favourite AFL finals promotion from 2007 when the League attempted to transport us all to the mystical footballing fairyland that was Septopia! And it all kicks off tonight when Adelaide defeats Essendon in the opening game of the finals series…come on – they can’t win, can they?

FRIDAY NIGHT

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How the heck are you supposed to defend against this?

First Elimination FinalAAMI Stadium, 7:45pm (local): Adelaide v Essendon (SEVEN)

Gee, they are getting a little bit excited in Adelaide, aren’t they? Apparently this side is going to make history because they are better than the group that won two flags in the nineties! They are fully primed for finals action, choc full of flair (a term not usually associated with the Crows) and not even remotely fussed about missing a couple of key players. Are they getting too far ahead of themselves? Even if they are, they probably won’t get caught out this week…

BombersCelebrate

Essendon might just celebrate wildly tonight…if they kick more than two goals in a row against the stingy Crows, that is!

…because they are facing a depleted Essendon outfit that have little finals experience and a crap interstate record. They have some nice young kids and that ‘nothing to lose’ attitude but can the Bombers really pull off an upset of massive proportions? Um…no. Just no.

CROWS by 35

SATURDAY AFTERNOON

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Time for more Gary Ablett magic…the Cats certainly need some!

Second Qualifying Final MCG, 2:30pm (local): Geelong v Western Bulldogs (TEN)

Poor Geelong…what do you have to do to earn some respect around here? You dominate the comp for almost three seasons yet the Doggies were stoked to finish third (don’t be fooled!) to play them and avoid St Kilda. The Cats will find it tough to go all the way this year but with a little tackling practice and some good players returning, they might just earn the week off. This bloke sure hopes they do

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Beating the Cats, a prelim final, a week off…surely that would be worth two thumbs up, Rocket?

The Bulldogs have a couple of nice additions as well, meaning the coach has had one of those nasty selection headaches all week! It’s not about revenge from the 2008 finals…well, maybe a little – however the Dogs say they are better and not bitter. They are definitely better but if they can’t shake Geelong here, their path to the flag will become extremely difficult.

CATS by 21

SATURDAY NIGHT

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Are Brisbane a little nervous leading into this elimination final? Looks that way to me…

Second Elimination Final – GABBA, 7:30pm (local): Brisbane v Carlton (TEN)

The once-mighty Brisbane return to finals action but there were concerns early in the week that they might not be able to field a full team! Of course, that all changed come selection time and you just know that Michael Voss has been waiting most of his adult life to play all these crazy coaching mind games!!! Between that and his Rising Star, Vossy would be loving the week…

FevDenial

Given that he stops trying in the odd game throughout the season, Fev should be fresh and ready to fire in the finals!

And Blues fans are loving it too because Carlton are here – back in the finals! They would have loved it a little more had their team not screwed up royally last weekend to lose the home final…but they have a proven finals performer leading the way and the timely addition of a few time-challenged players. But I think that every Blues player can chuck their alarm clocks away after the weekend because they will be on holidays.

LIONS by 9

SUNDAY

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To play Max or not to play Max…what a tricky question

First Qualifying Final – MCG, 2:40pm (local): St Kilda v Collingwood (SEVEN)

A lot can change in a month. St Kilda went from being on the verge of immortality four weeks ago to being questioned about their somewhat flaky play during irrelevant games and upcoming team selection issues. But they have finished off an outstanding regular season and can focus on winning that flag…though facing the Pies at the ‘G is not the greatest reward for finishing a clear first.

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Not meaning to bash Collingwood…but is THIS what we want to see on Grand Final day???

Collingwood didn’t fire in last week’s big game but it might be the kick in the arse they needed. But Josh Fraser has a bit of ‘the Adelaides’ about him; he reckons his Pies are fully primed for finals action and poised to go all the way. Yet he also thinks that Anthony Rocca can still play a role…really? Rocca might get a chance if/when St Kilda do the business on Sunday but not sure how much help that will be…

SAINTS by 19

Round Thirteen – An Unlucky Number For Some!

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Unlucky number 13? Not for Andrew Lovett…it’s his incredibly f$@#ing lucky number!

It is an unlucky number for some people. In fact, fear of the number 13 is officially recognised as a fair dinkum phobia! It’s called Triskaidekaphobia…and clearly Brendon Fevola suffers from it if Friday night is any indication. Actually, he must have plenty of phobias that have caused him to not give a shit during various games in his career. The poor bloke…

NineNaitanui

Speaking of lucky numbers, Nick Naitanui makes it great to love the West Coast number 9 again!

Obviously, nobody from Geelong or St Kilda is afflicted with Triskaidekaphobia as both clubs have started the season undefeated with thirteen straight wins. They face each other next week…you might be made aware of it this week. Approximately 458 times! So beware…

LatestPunch

Ah, Barry? Are you serious? Are you that bloody stupid? Yep. appears so!

Adelaide’s Ben Rutten was also a little unlucky on Saturday when his number was drawn out at random in the Barry Hall Brain Fade Sweepstakes. First prize was a smack in the head! Hall has done worse during his career; much, much worse; but you can pretty much guarantee that the number of AFL games he has left with the Swans is less than thirteen!

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Sure I just broke my leg but…man, this pain whistle is freakin’ awesome! I’m the luckiest man alive!!!

Once the morphine wears off, young Roo Ben Warren will be feeling more than a touch unlucky. Jade Rawlings will now be feeling a little bit unlucky…that his side doesn’t play the West Coast Eagles in Melbourne every week. But the unluckiest people from last week…Michael Jackson fans who had bought tickets for his comeback tour! And don’t forget the Farrah Fawcett fans too…

The Games:

FevDenial

Hey, none of this is my fault! If you pricks just kicked the ball exactly where I want it every single time, I can just kick goals and be a legend. So wake up to yourselves boys!!!

Look out, Carlton is coming…undone! Essendon destroyed the Blues by 69 points in front of a massive crowd at the ‘G on a night where the Bombers could do no wrong. Even their bad news was relatively good. The loss caused major embarrassment for the favoured Blues and the coach might be getting a little fed up with his flakey, disinterested, sook-arse full forward. Would they dare drop him? Yeah, right!

RoosBazza

Well, you guys try telling Barry that he’s being a dickhead…I’m not gunna do it! Do you think I’m crazy?!

Barry Hall and Sydney hit Adelaide with everything they had but the Crows fought back late to win a vital game that could just about sink the Swans for 2009. With the freakish Brett Burton due back shortly, the Crows appear finals bound…and no team would want to visit the city of Adelaide in September!

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Heath Shaw shows that it’s much better to fly than to lie!

See what happens when the dickhead element at a footy club is reigned in? Pay attention Carlton and Sydney! Swan, Didak and Shaw come up big as the Pies bulldoze Fremantle in the second half and stick it to all those nasty, nasty critics. The Dockers also lost Matthew Pavlich to injury and are fast running out of excuses. Nah, Mark Harvey will come up with a few more yet…

HappyVoss

Unhappy? Vossy looks fairly happy to me…but then he has always been pretty pleased with himself!

Melbourne may have picked first in the 2008 draft but Brisbane may have been the biggest winner by selecting Daniel Rich. The Lions were also easy winners on Saturday night as the Demons continue to stink up the competition. But fear not, loyal Dees fans – Gary Lyon will come back soon and fix everything…as if he would leave his cushy media gigs to coach that lot!

BlondeFinger

Charming! But she was right…LeCras missed the shot so it was only worth one finger.

Hawthorn’s attempt to defend their 2008 premiership was already looking shaky….and it just got a whole lot worse! Nic Naitanui, the Fijian-born rookie who did stuff-all for three quarters, sparked the West Coast Eagles with three final quarter goals for a famous win that leaves the Hawks in all sorts of bother. Once John Worsfold figures out what to make of the kid, he should be a beauty!

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Yes, Mrs Murdoch, I am wearing Bonds! They’re very comfy undies!

Geelong warm up for the St Kilda game with a cruisey win over Port Adelaide and continue to put together an amazing sequence of sustained awesomeness. Mark Thompson has now extended his contract for another couple of seasons…wonder how many milliseconds he took to mull over that one? Mark Williams, on the other hand, must be pissed that his contract situation is blowing up in the midst of his team’s sucky streak. That’s probably why he has gone into Terry Wallace salesman mode in order to save his own arse…

StacksOn

STACKS ON!!!

It was a hard slog, and the coach thought they were a little bit sleepy, but the Westen Bulldogs stayed in the box seat for a top four spot with a win over the Crockeroos. The new North Melbourne coach was pleased with the direction his team was taking and one rookie in particular. Well, he didn’t break his leg so that gives him an edge over their other first year players!

MaxBaby

Sorry Max, it’s too late to take you to the hospital…we have to deliver this baby right here, right now!

If you’d have said that one team would fail to kick a goal in the first quarter of the St Kild-Richmond game, it would have to be Richmond, right? Wrong! The Saints were down two goals to zip at quarter time! Of course, they responded by keeping the Tigers away from goal for about 90 minutes or so and kept their unbeaten reord intact for another week. Now they play Geelong and coach Ross Lyon is getting excited…if he is, it might just be for the first time in his life!

Oh Well! (Round 15 – The Eight Point Game)

“Doesn’t look that worried about the loss, Fev. I don’t like the look of that. Don’t like it at all. You haven’t done much. Haven’t helped the side. You’ve had the loss. That guy there (Chris Judd) has busted his guts. And you are hugging the opposition. Oh well.”

That’s not Half Back Flanker bagging out Carlton full forward Brendan Fevola…we would be far more succinct with a few cuss words thrown in for good measure. Those statements belong to Channel Seven commentator Nathan Buckley, who was clearly unimpressed with the body language emanating from the Fev after St Kilda’s vital win over the Blues last night.

The Saints needed to win this ‘eight point’ game in order to have some control over their finals destiny and they did just that in front of a good crowd at the MCG, not the Docklands as the ABC reported…though they did manage a decent crowd at the Dome as well! Those Catholics sure have a loyal fan base…wonder if they will all get on board with the Sydney Celtics in 2011?

Having won the ‘eight-pointer’, St Kilda sit one win and percentage above Carlton in eighth spot. The Blues still think they are a shot at September but not on last night’s showing…plus they have the Doggies, Hawks and away games in Brisbane and Adelaide to come. Umm…nah!

But quickly back to Fevola – maybe he thinks that slapping your opponent around the head unnecessarily a few times is the type of action that warrants a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract. But nobody at Carlton or Sydney or anywhere else he is supposedly wanted, would agreee with him…unless he has the same agent as Andrew Bogut!

But with Carlton playing Sydney next Sunday – perhaps the winner can have the four points and the loser can overpay Fev for three years of occassional joy and chronic frustration! Sounds fair.

Here is a look ahead at the remaining games for The Eight Point Game round:

SATURDAY

With eight points on the line, expect to see a fast-paced contest between these two teams this afternoon!

MCG, Melbourne – 2:10pm (local): Collingwood v Adelaide (FOX)

Don’t the Cats fans love beating Freo! Might be a bit cold for it though…

Skilled Stadium, Geelong – 2:10pm (local): Geelong v Fremantle (TEN)

Sorry Bomber fans…you won’t see Hirdy in red and black or fluoro yellow any time soon!

Telstra Dome, Melbourne – 7:10pm (local): Essendon v Brisbane (TEN)

Chances of a repeat of last year’s prelim final flogging? Hmm, not great.

AAMI Stadium, Adelaide – 7:10pm (local): Port Adelaide v North Melbourne (FOX)

SUNDAY

Will Spida Everitt take over as Sydney’s biggest nutjob with Barry Hall out?

MCG, Melbourne – 1:10pm (local): Hawthorn v Sydney (FOX)

Things didn’t go so well for Melbourne the last time they faced the Dogs!

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

A few flying high shots would certainly help Richmond’s cause…

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