It’s a rematch of 1989…without Gazza senior…and Chris Langford…and everybody else who played in 1989!
Well, now we might finally have ourselves a contest! The two raging hot favourites qualified for the 2008 AFL Grand Final after claiming victory in the preliminary finals and the two best teams over the year will fight it out for the flag. Sure – some footy boffins were shouting “1999” from the treetops last week in an attempt to keep everybody interested but there is a darn good reason why Carlton’s upset win over Essendon was so special…shit like that only happens once in a lifetime! But a select number of media types were not only floating theories that an earth-shattering upset could happen again so soon, but twice on the same weekend. Huh?
So forget talk of ’99…now it’s all about 1989! But, please…it’s a rematch, of sorts, from 1989 but it’s not a damn replay! And it’s not a tryst either…isn’t a tryst a meeting between two lovers? How does that even make sense?
While the result of the Cats and Dogs clash on Friday night had a sense of inevitability, at least it was somewhat entertaining as a contest. Saturday night, on the other, produced a total stink-fest with Hawthorn embarrassing St Kilda and bringing the remarkable career of Robert Harvey to a sad end. But while there has yet to be a classic finals encounter this September, the results properly reflect the performance of the teams over the whole season – Geelong clearly the best, Hawthorn’s rise to legitimate challenger, the Dogs much improved but just a shade below the top two and St Kilda fortunate to finish fourth and exposed as pretenders by the two best sides in the comp.
Expect to see the Channel Nine helicopter flying over Buddy’s house tomorrow morning to check the status of his wrist!
And now we can all look forward to one massive week of full-on Septocemia! Brownlow Medal madness (could be a busy night, Catters!), grand final lunches, throwbacks to 1989, selection headaches, hourly injury updates and death-by-analysis! And we love every minute of it, don’t we!
Well, not always…not when supposedly intelligent football minds ask dopey question after dopey question i.e. Tim Watson pointlessly quizzing Mark Thompson as to which team he would prefer to play next week after Geelong’s win on Friday night. The fact that Bomber Thompson is a three-time premiership teammate probably saved Watson the indignity of being labelled a f@#$&%g idiot live on national TV. And even then, it must’ve taken a whole lotta restraint!
Um…we’d prefer to play Bendigo, actually! Nobody ever answers that stupid question…ever! So why f@#$&n bother asking?
Doggies fans will be filthy about this for a very, very, very long time!
First Preliminary Final – Geelong 12.11.83 def. Western Bulldogs 7.12.54
There was no repeat of the 1999 shocker as logic ruled on Friday night…well, apart from one glaring umpiring decision! This didn’t rob the Doggies, mind you, so comparisons with Wayne Harmes in 1979 lack a bit of perspective! But it did kill off any hope of them pushing the defending premiers to the absolute limit.
What cost them was poor kicking at goal in the second half… and the hospital pass that set up Brad Johnson for the Max Rooke contest wasn’t too crash hot either. But with the Doggies closing in on Geelong in the third term, a series of missed shots at goal from Nathan Eagleton, Will Minson and Mitch Hahn cost them dearly. Particularly when the Cats stung them on the rebound for Cam Mooney to score, prompting this Brady Bunch-inspired graphic display that captured the moment perfectly!
Here’s the story…of a man named Rodney..who was beaten by some very lovely Cats!
How the Bulldogs respond to their stinging loss will be an interesting storyline in 2009 as they try to back up their top-four finish. But for the Cats, who don’t seem to like these grand final qualifiers all that much, they are back in the big dance and look primed for back-to-back flags. Unless…
We knew Luke Hodge was tough but he went old school crazy tough to lead his Hawks into the GF!
Second Preliminary Final – Hawthorn 18.10.118 def. St Kilda 9.10.64
Hawthorn made a mess of St Kilda – the match was effectively over at half time as the Hawks proved to be too tough and too committed for the Saints. While the result would indicate that they are in fantastic shape heading into the grand final, they do have a number of slight injury concerns. And one of them is Buddy, so expect a dramatic week at Hawks training.
St Kilda may wonder why they have attracted so much criticism for a club that finished fourth but last night demonstrated exactly why they cop it. Yes, they did finish fourth…but it has clearly been a three-horse race since May! With an alleged ‘star-studded’ list, they have yet to make a grand final since 1997 and in the latest chance to go one further, they were kicking consolation goals ten minutes into the third quarter!
And thus ends any hopes of a fairytale finish for Robert Harvey. The curtain has been dropping on Harvey’s stellar 21-year career for two months now but it is well and truly done with now. And this might be the trigger for the Saints to look to their youth in order to maximise their talent and go to the next level. So with the departure of the much-loved Harvey, does this mean the end for one particular annoying little twerp?
Goodbye Harvs…you deserved a better send-off!
Goodbye Milne…you don’t! And yes, we are trying to retire you!