Tag Archives: Richmond Tigers

Round Twenty Two – Well, Wasn’t That Fun!

FinalsSchedule

The League announced the finals schedule during an ad break on Channel Seven’s Dancing With The Stars

WatsonDancer

…and it looks like Tim Watson grabbed one of the latin dancers from the show to help him!

And just like that, the AFL home-and-away season is done and dusted. It only seems like yesterday that Richmond was being destroyed by Carlton in the season opener, doesn’t it? Actually, no it doesn’t! Season 2009 has been so eventful and action packed that it has felt like this long-standing, never-ending provider of highlights, lowlights and bizarre occurrences. Hard to believe that it is now over…

But never fear, we have a finals campaign that will undoubtedly provide even more of the wonderful, the weird and the wackiness that we’ve come to expect from footy these days. And if round twenty two is anything to go by, this year’s finals series is going to be plenty wacky! It started with (yet) another deplorable showing from Richmond against a West Coast team that the Herald Sun flat-out accused of tanking in order to qualify for a priority draft pick yet ended up winning eight games and would have finished above Hawthorn had they snuck a ninth win! What chance they receive a well-deserved apology from the hacks? Hmmm, not great…

The round then finished with the Western Bulldogs winning by just enough points to leapfrog Collingwood into third spot on the ladder; meaning that they now face the (seemingly) more vulnerable Geelong and the Pies are relegated to fourth and a date with the (almost) all-conquering Saints. But it was the events on the Saturday afternoon of the final round that will be remembered for a very long time to come…

LloydSewell

Clearly Matthew Lloyd didn’t read any of those articles about the bump being dead last week. He should probably avoid reading the papers this week as well!

The playoff for eighth spot always promised to be memorable for one reason or another. And if you thought Essendon and Hawthorn hated each other before Saturday’s game…how about now! Bombers captain Matthew Lloyd’s attempt to exert some influence on the second half ended up with Brad Sewell ironed out on the ground, sparking a wild response from the Hawks that continued on after the match. This included coach Alastair Clarkson going off his nut as he left the ground and hardnut Campbell Brown talking all sorts of smack from the rooms.

CaMMMpbellBrown

Pot-Kettle? Takes one to know one? Stones-Glass Houses? Own backyard? Call it what you like, they all seem to work in this case!

Essendon took charge in the second half to qualify for September, something Matthew Knights feels they deserve but it’s a view not shared by their opposition. For the Hawks, who lost control of their composure and the match following The Incident, it was a frustrating end to an equally frustrating season that saw them behind the eight-ball all year as they tried to defend their fine win in 2008. They will be back in 2010, and regardless of whether Mr Lloyd is still available, that first Hawks-Bombers match will be…emotional!

KennettBananas

Embarrassing yourself by going bezerk at the umpires while your wife/girlfriend/significant-other looks away and laughs at you! Don’t worry Jeff, it’s happened to all of us!!!

Essendon’s win left us with the potential of a blockbuster elimination final at the ‘G against Carlton. All the Blues needed to do was claim fifth place on Saturday evening…but no! Now both teams head interstate this weekend and will probably head home with their season over, free to drink as much alcohol as they can manage on the flight back! The Blues might feel they will be better off for banning three players for a spot of tardiness but what they really need is a mature response this week in an elimination final is Brisbane. Yep, a team with Brendan Fevola needs to show maturity…gulp!

MickyOver

Cheer up, Micky O! What’s that? It’s your last game? Oh. In that case, cry away!

The final round of the season also gave us the opportunity to bid farewell to those who are giving the game away. This resulted in some emotional matches; particularly in Sydney for some premiership heroes, at Melbourne for some club stalwarts, and at Richmond…where most of them should probably give it away! Then again, maybe next year the Tigers can start to bounce back and gain respectability in the footy world again. There is always next year…

The Games:

RelievedRawlings

Jade Rawlings contemplates all those weeks of his life that he can never have back!

Good luck Dimma…you’re gunna need it! West Coast embarrass Richmond in the final game of the season to reinforce the massive task Damien Hardwick has in front of him. The cull has started already but there could be plenty more on the way out if Richmond are to become relevant again any time soon!

HardwickMessage

Hardwick’s first move at Richmond? Installing a very large door…preferably extra wide!

OttensBack

Brad Ottens is back for Geelong! That makes things interesting…

Geelong eased into another finals campaign in a dawdle against Fremantle at Kardinia Park, the most notable event was Brad Ottens not crumpling in a heap in his comeback from a long-tern knee injury. The Dockers can now prepare for 2010 where they will aim to improve their performances on the road and figure out whether it is worth holding onto Paul Hasleby.

And congratulations to Geelong’s Gazy Ablett on winning the Brownlow Medal! That’s what the Herald Sun online reckons…hang on a sec! Who is Gazy? Bit of a mix-up between the formal Gary and the nickname Gazza I suppose. But if you are going to spell a player’s name wrong, it probably shouldn’t be arguably the best player in the game…and one that actually works for your organisation!

GazyAblett

Let’s hope they get Gary’s name right on the medal…if he wins it, of course!

MichaelHurley

As an Essendon supporter, can I just say – I love Michael Hurley!

First Buddy, then Bailey (poor kid!) and finally Brad Sewell…but the worst B-word for Hawthorn on Saturday was Bombers!  They all conspired against the Hawks as they went from premiers to outsiders in the space of eleven months. Essendon now have a finals campaign to prepare for and feel that they are not cannon fodder for the Crows. Mmm, not so sure about that…

Oh yeah…the game got a bit fiery too!

CyrilRioli

As a football fan, can I just say – I love Cyril Rioli!

BurtonMOTY

This guy is over thirty and coming off a knee reco? That’s un-freakin-believable!!!

Carlton’s timing has been off all week. It started with three players missing a recovery session and being dropped from Saturday’s match and ended with the team missing a great opportunity to play their first final in ages in front of their home crowd. Adelaide crushed the Blues and looked scary good in the process…no wonder Neil Craig and co. are thinking big things!

ClarkScreamer

This would be mark of the year most seasons. But thanks to the Birdman, it wasn’t even the best grab we saw that day!

Space was the final frontier in Star Trek but Michael Voss is probably not into all that sci-fi bulldust! For him, Sydney was the final frontier…which his team has now conquered! The Lions crashed the Swans farewell party and set up a big gathering of their own at the Gabba next weekend against Carlton. Retiring Swan Michael O’Loughlin thinks that his club will never bottom out…they can’t afford to!

HappyChoco

Is it just me or is Mark Williams a little bit too excited that these two veterans are calling it quits?

Port Adelaide are no St Kilda but the Kangaroos managed a second tight upset win in succession…though it is hard to classify any win over Port as an upset these days. In front of very few fans, the Power tried to lift for their retiring stars but still couldn’t stop the determined Roos in the final minutes. They can feel dudded by a late fifty-metre penalty awarded against them if that makes them feel better…but the call was right so it’s a waste of time!

RiewoldtOK

The St Kilda doctor stood next to Nick Riewoldt all day just in case he got hurt. Thumbs up…he’s OK!

All St Kilda wanted to do was run around on the MCG and not get hurt. Mission accomplished…we think. Melbourne wanted to celebrate their retiring champs…just not with a win. They didn’t and they now have access to the best two kids in the country. Forget Robbo, Wheatley and Whelan…the players should have chaired off Tom Scully after the match!

DoggiesThird

They had the game in the bag but Jonno’s late goal gave the Doggies third spot!

It was a footy statistician’s wet dream! Two good teams fighting for ladder position and it went down to the final minute…it was the Western Bulldogs who claimed the prize and head into September choc full of confidence. Will slipping to fourth on the back of this effort cost Collingwood dearly? Mick Malthouse hopes the loss will be a wake-up call for his side. Personally, I hope they don’t get the wake-up call until it’s too late – Betts-Garlett-Cloke style!

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Round Twenty One – A Few Loose Ends

PolakReturns

Didn’t think we’d see this again…welcome back, Graham Polak!

A slow, painful journey came to an end on the weekend when Richmond’s Graham Polak made his return to football after his shocking tram accident last year. It was great to see him play again and was one of the true highlights of round 21 in the AFL. And while he can laugh about it now, there is one thing that he still must deal with…that he plays for Richmond. Now that is no laughing matter!

While Polak’s return to footy is now complete, there are still a few loose ends in the finals race that need to be tidied up following last weekend’s action. The top four teams are sorted at least..but the finishing order won’t be determined until third plays fourth this Sunday afternoon. Amazingly, neither the dominant Saints or Cats are premiership favourites right now – that honour belongs to (gulp!) Collingwood. Lucky Mick Malthouse doesn’t listen to hype…meaning he must have ignored everything Eddie McGuire has ever said during the past decade!

Chuck in two games that will determine who will host an elimination final, including two teams playing off for the right to host, and a massive weekend of footy looms. After that, an equally massive week of end-of-season piss ups kick off…at least we won’t be treated to Fev and his dildo. Not yet anyway…

BenBuddy

Lance Franklin and Ben Cousins clash at full pelt…and the ladies of Australia hold their collective breath!

Hawk fans will be holding their collective breath as well now that, much to the surprise of Hawthorn, spearhead Lance Franklin has been suspended by the match review panel after his bump on Ben Cousins during their big win on Saturday night. That result, combined with Essendon’s capitulation against the Dockers on Sunday night, sees the Bombers and Hawks play off for eighth spot on Saturday afternoon…and unless they can launch a successful appeal, Hawthorn’s glamour forward won’t be out there. Great news for my Bombers…shit news for my Dream Team!!!

SleepyBen

Breathe easy ladies…Ben is ok and he still looks hot!

The Games:

BulldogConference

“Great win boys – we’re in the four with a big shot at a flag! Now we’re all in this together so just stay focused on the team and forget about the individual stuff! Can you all do that?”

AkerAgain

Well, the answer to that question appears to be…a big fat NO!

Mark Thompson may not have seen this coming but plenty of mug punters sure did!  The Western Bulldogs knock off Geelong to secure their spot in the top four and enhance their premiership credentials. But did this performance stop the hacks asking inane questions about picking up a washed-up forward next season? Of course it didn’t! But more comments from Mr Inane Comment himself will only keep those questions, and many others, coming. Just what you need heading into a finals campaign…

RattenRevup

Come on you blokes, what are you doing? If you were fair dinkum today, we’d be ahead by 300 points already!!!

The finals-bound Blues were hoping for a decent hitout, the Demons needed to keep hold of their priority draft pick, the almost-homeless Russell Robertson wanted to show his wares and Brendan Fevola needed a few goals to wrap up the Coleman Medal…everybody got what they wanted! Well, except for Richard Hadley

AdelaideWave

Twenty-three years after coming into vogue at the World Cup in Mexico, South Australia discovers the Mexican Wave! Can’t wait for the next new fad to hit town…the Rubik’s Cube!

Is this serious? “ADELAIDE coach Neil Craig says West Coast is still as big a threat to his side as ever before.” Um, excuse me? The only threat in this match was Adelaide breaking all manner of records during an easy win! As expected, the dreaded West Coast Eagles hoodoo has been broken and now the Crows can look forward to some real pressure matches!

BuddyTeeth

Oh no, not again! At least Buddy has all his teeth intact this time…

Hawthorn may not feel worthy of playing finals but they might not have a choice in the end! They stay alive for another week with a regulation win over Richmond. We should learn soon which poor bugger becomes the next Tigers coach…and won’t they be thrilled to learn that they have a shitload of money tied into players they probably don’t want and can’t get rid of! Enjoy that…

WilliamsUnimpressed

No finals for Port, no pearls of coaching wisdom from Mark Williams. It just won’t be the same.

When you are playing for a finals spot and you lead by 47 points in the first quarter, how the heck do you screw it up? Brisbane complete the massive comeback and while the result displayed Brisbane’s strength of character, what does it tell us about Port Adelaide…apart from being a bunch of whackjobs? According to the coach, all they need are some new players who are not mentally fragile and are not called Peter Burgoyne!

PetrieWinner

Drew Petrie hasn’t chalked up as many wins as Nick Riewoldt this year but he sure can kick straight when it matters

Petrie and the Kangaroos shock St Kilda as his clutch late goal gives them a rare win…and a second loss of the season for the high flying Saints. No panic stations though – not for a club with a long history of failures, no no no!  As an Essendon man, I have always found James Hird to be an inspirational figure…and, it seems, so do the Roos!

PiesMcLaren

Dale Thomas and Nick Maxwell try to talk some sense into umpire Scott McLaren. Forget it guys…many have tried and all have failed. It’s Mission Impossible!

Collingwood keep rolling on with an easy afternoon’s work against an embarrassed Sydney outfit. Paul Roos might be pissed off about the overly officious interchange rules that saw his team punished during the game…but it’s his team’s bloody fault that we have it in the first place!

FreoHuddle

The Dockers flip a coin in the pre-game huddle to decide whether they give a shit this week. Must have come up heads!

Fremantle…shit one day, not-so-shit the next! The Dockers go some way towards making up for that craptacular performance against the Demons by spanking the (possibly) finals-bound Essendon at Subiaco. Aaron Sandilands pretty much did as he pleased in the ruck against Essendon’s fourth and fifth best ruckmen…though if the big fella could truly do as he pleased in life and football, he sure wouldn’t be doing it at Freo!

Round Twenty – The Round Where Chris Judd Earns His Money

BowdenRecycled

I know it was your final game and all but come on Joel Bowden! This was Green Round…you couldn’t have tried carpooling?

SewellBin

Or maybe you could have hitched a ride in the nearest wheelie bin…like Hawthorn’s Brad Sewell?

We bash each other’s heads in on Rivalry Round, put aside just one weekend to acknowledge what amounts to almost fifty percent of the game’s supporters during Women’s Round and wear jumpers that look nothing like the current day edition during Heritage Round. Now we have Green Round – a great opportunity for us all to feel warm and fuzzy as we do our bit for the environment. Andrew Bolt will be ecstatic…

Green Round gives the league a platform to demonstrate their commitment to climate change by making Australian rules football more environmentally friendly. Of course, this strategy is sure to include the scheduling of less prime time night matches in order to decrease the number of kilowatt-hours each of the six MCG light towers burn up. No doubt the League truly values reducing our carbon footprint over profit…

GreenHawks

Hawthorn’s water harvesting program also doubles as a blueprint to how their 2009 season just went down the drain!

JuddsterRuddster

The Juddster appears impressed with the Ruddster’s technique. He should be…whether it is responsibility, blame or a green footy; the ability to handball is an essential element for any politician.

Green Round is also Carlton captain Chris Judd’s busiest week of the year. And with Judd being paid more than handsomely to be an environmental ambassador/eco-warrior for the Visy corporation, he has been doing a whole lot more than his usual ‘couple of talks about recycling’ or ‘nothing at all’ this week. So there you go, Mark Robinson – you can stop wondering whether the League is concerned about the Visy-Judd arrangement!

And whether it was karma or the football Gods are just a bunch of greenies, Judd’s good deeds paid dividends on the field as Carlton’s win over Port Adelaide keeps them with a slight chance of a top four finish. Conversely, that environmentally-friendly imaginary football force might have punished the Power for all the unnecessary production that goes into creating their over-abundance of crappily-designed jumpers!

GWSLogo

Is the 18th AFL franchise being based out at Uluru? That’s a little further west from Sydney than I expected…

And how did the League celebrate Green Round? By using a Sydney Swans home game to launch the second Sydney franchise, of course! Andy D schmoozed 500 Sydney businessmen in the hope they would buy into the new venture, now known as GWS or Greater Western Sydney. At least the League can recycle that bland looking logo in the future should they expand the competition to include a team from the Northern Territory! Don’t laugh…they will probably get a team before Tassie!

BombersCelebrate

Essendon celebrate wildly after not only jumping into eighth spot but helping to save the rain forests!

While all sixteen clubs used Green Round to display how environmentally friendly they are, one team in particular stood out in demonstrating their commitment to the cause. Essendon scored a shock upset win that ended St Kilda quest for The Perfect Season and the opportunity to rewrite the record books. As a result, there is no need to use up a shitload of paper on new record books. Well done Bombers…you all just saved a tree!

SaintApatow

Judd Apatow used his appearance on Rove to jump on the Eric Bana-St Kilda bandwagon. His timing could have been better. Um…did nobody explain to him that they just lost?

KingJumper

Every single week, Jake King has his jumper ripped in a wrestle. All those wasted jumpers are not good for your carbon footprint

When Jake King annoying the shit out of Alan Didak is your lone highlight of the afternoon, that can only mean you have a pretty crappy football team. And that is exactly what Richmond has at the moment! The distance between the Tigers and ‘good’ is massive and the Magpies didn’t think too highly of their approach to Saturday’s game. Forget climate change, this mob needs a culture change! And whoever is crazy/brave enough to take on the Richmond job has a shiteload of work to do in order to make this happen. Good luck…

JohnsonThirsty

Now why would this classy young lady throw all of her beer over Brad Johnson? What a waste of a precious natural resource!

Mark Robinson

That’s probably why this journo was so disgusted by the act. He would have happily recycled all that alcohol…

The Games:

HawksCrows

Look at the score! Look at the time! The ball is in Hawthorn’s forward line! Chalk up an easy win to…the Crows? What the hell happened?

Well, that’s just about it for Hawthorn. Adelaide made sure that they will take part in September action at the expense of the reigning premiers. The Hawks may not feel finals worthy but they could yet face a winner-takes-all clash against Essendon in round 22. The Crows may well be proud of their unbeaten run at the MCG this season but that little winning streak St Kilda is on was on probably tops it…

ClokeBite

Is that Travis Cloke having a little nibble on Luke McGuane’s finger? Well, at least it’s not a processed food!

So, ya think that spray about Richmond’s culture from caretaker coach Jade Rawlings had the desired effect? That outburst may not have harmed his chances at winning the full-time gig next year…but that slop the Tigers served up on Saturday certainly will! And to think Mick Malthouse went to the trouble of warning his players about treating Richmond lightly…like it would have mattered. At least there was some biffo to provide some entertainment!

EaglesSnap

Kicking freaks goals off the ground like this is a clear indication of the ‘T-wording’ that is happening in Perth…it’s called TRYING!

Those knobs at the Herald Sun should be feeling pretty stupid about their West Coast ‘T-Wording’ campaign now that the Eagles have just won their third straight game and, before Sunday’s upset result, actually had a mathematical chance of finishing eighth. Well, they should…but given the attitude usually displayed at the home of Victoria’s entertainment-focused tabloid, they will probably take full credit themselves for inspiring West Coast to try and play well!

RoosLongmire

Marty Mattner, Rhys Shaw, Ted Richards…now the Swans know how to recycle! And take a look at their Replacement Coach Planting Program in action!

After sitting through two shithouse free-to-air games to start Chris Judd Round, all I can say about the Sydney-Geelong clash is…thank you!!! Mark Thompson was very pleased with the form of his key players while Paul Roos has liked what he has seen recently too. So everybody is happy, right? Well, not exactly

AkermanisPumped

If Brad Johnson copped a beer in the face after beating Brisbane, imagine what the Lions fans would have thrown at Aker if given the chance? A half-finished keg, I suspect…

They lost to the West Coast last round and then lost Ryan Griffin (injured…not misplaced) but the Western Bulldogs found whatever it was they lacked a week ago to win up in Brisbane. Rodney Eade doesn’t strike me as a guy who is easily impressed so when he says ‘best win of the season’, I’d believe it. Michael Voss still thinks his Lions can finish fourth…I don’t believe that!

RobboPumped

One last overexuberant goal celebration for the road from Russell Robertson? The Demons sure hope so…

A ten-goal win involving Melbourne…where they were not on the receiving end? Yes, I shit you not…the Dees made an absolute mess of Fremantle for what was their best win in three years. You know what would be their worst win in three years…if it happens in the next two weeks and they lose that priority pick! And what’s this about Mark Harvey being puzzled by his side’s performance? Dude, you have coached Fremantle for almost three years – how can this tripe be of any surprise?

StevensHouse

Carlton’s message to the world for Green Round? Please, please, please help Nick Stevens sell his house!

There are a number of F-word that can be associated with the Carlton Football Club. There’s that one, there’s Fevola (these two are often used together!) and the recently-added ‘finals’. Now, after the Blues smashed Port Adelaide, you can include the word ‘four’…just don’t mention it to Brett Ratten! Mark Williams questioned his side’s work rate but they were probably just conserving energy for the finals. It’s not like Essendon could possibly beat the mighty St Kilda and leapfrog them into the eight…

RiewoldtThinks

Victory and The Perfect Season is in your hands, Nick. No pressure though…

RiewoldtMisses

Time to be a hero…or not!

Think again! Essendon hang on to win a classic after Nick Riewoldt sprayed an after-the-siren set shot wide, the Saints losing their first game of the season and Riewoldt losing the battle over his goal-kicking reputation. And it so easily could have been Brent Prismall playing the role of ‘goat’! The Bombers are now in the box seat for eighth spot…all they need now is to find a fit team!

Round Fifteen – The Great Unravelling!

SheedyKiddie

Look on the bright side Sheeds…at least these kids won’t be blaming you for Richmond’s ongoing woes in the future!

Oh, the drama! Something seems to happen every single weekend in AFL footy that makes you sit up and take notice…well, footy stories are always reported with dramatic overtones – whether they are worthy of the hype is up to our discretion. The largest football juggernaut to unravel this weekend was not a player, a team or a club…it was Kevin Sheedy’s coaching aspirations at Richmond!

While the campaign to place Sheeds in charge at Punt Road has been artificially bubbling ever since he left Essendon (thanks to one of his employers, the Herald Sun), it was only officially launched a week or so ago. His former teammate and notorious Punt Road malcontent Kevin Bartlett was leading the charge and the maniacal support from people who are fast approaching retirement age were selling Sheedy as if he were the only logical option for the Tigers. What could possibly go wrong?

But, unfortunately for the oldies, people who were born after the 1950’s make the decisions at Richmond and seeing the writing on the wall, Sheeds magnanimously decided to withdraw his application. He feels that his application will not receive true consideration and didn’t want another Channel Nine soap opera…which the network will now turn this into a soap opera anyway. And we all know what happens when Channel Nine has a show that viewers don’t really want to watch…they make a second series!

But all that hard work from Bartlett and friends down the gurgler…they are far from impressed! Will they suddenly lose interest in dictating who should coach Richmond next year or find another experienced campaigner with a once-impeccable record to endorse? Wonder what Ron Barassi is up to these days? Poor Sheeds. But he should know how melodramatic things get on the coaching roundabout…and not just at Richmond!

Now apart from Kev,what else went wrong during The Great Unraveling?

The all-conquering Geelong Cats?

ThompsonUnhappy

Joel Corey is shocked as Mark Thompson raises his voice for the first time since the year 2006!

The Fremantle Dockers…again!

FreoGoal

Yep, this was Freo’s only goal for the night. Savour the moment…

The Sydney Swans without Barry Hall!

HallGoodbye

Bye bye…Barry! Bye bye…Sydney Swans for 2009! Bye bye…any mention of AFL footy in the Sydney papers for the rest of the year!

Port Adelaide’s credibility!

RodanLoss

Could be worse, David Rodan…you could still be at Richmond!

The Games:

ThomasCelebrates

A big goal, even bigger celebration…yep, that’s what we’ve come to expect from Magpie Dale Thomas!

Sheesh…that was close! Collingwood appeared to have this match all under control before the Doggies fired up in the last term. But the Pies held on to win by one point and showed that they could well be a threat to the Saints and/or Cats in two months time. The Dogs showed that they are at least capable of coming back from 39 points down…shame they were down by 41 in this game though!

DidakWatson

Nice to see Alan Didak playing great footy and talking to the media without having to use the words “I’d like to apologise for my actions”!

HallSendoff

Yep, Bazza was sitting in the back of a ute for his lap of honour. Could not have been more perfect!

The Sydney faithful bid farewell to their favourite brain-snapping bruiser during Saturday’s home game against Essendon…and that was easily the highlight of their afternoon. It was a taste of what life will be like without him – struggling team, no finals and not even a hint of mindless violence to keep people entertained. The Bombers remain in the finals hunt with a rare interstate winno wonder they are a wee bit excited.

FevSpecial

Fev loves pulling freakish goals out of his arse…this was one of his absolute best!

Brendan Fevola has his care factor set to ‘high’ and attitude set to ‘smartarse’ on the way to registering a career-high nine goals in Carlton’s win over Richmond. Which is great against a crap team in early July…but Carlton need Fev to show this amount of energy and committment in the crucual games coming up. Will we get ‘interested Fev’ then or ‘sooky Fev’? We shall see…

DeledioHand

B..R..E..T..um, do I spell my name with one T or two? Or is it three?I always forget…

VossWinner

“Injuries, schminjuries! We beat Geelong and we deserve some respect, ya pricks! Yeah, you heard me…pricks the lotta ya!!!”

Gee…when it rains in Geelong, it pours doesn’t it! Barely lost a game for two and a half years, few injury troubles…now they have lost two games and half their team in one week! Brisbane took full advantage and super coach Michael Voss has his Lions all set for a return to finals action….and loving it too, one suspects!

GoodwinChair

Simon Goodwin puts on a brave face after his 250th game…but secretly shattered that his mates let him down by allowing their opponents to kick a goal!

Have the Adelaide Crows ever had an easier night’s work than this? Fremantle have had plenty of shitty results in their checkered history…but one goal in an entire game? One freakin’ goal? Surely it can’t get any shittier than this for the Dockers…can it? Well, don’t put it past them – they still have away games against the Dogs and Cats yet!

BuddyWins

Not sure where you have been, Buddy…but welcome back!

Maybe Hawthorn aren’t stuffed after all…though they looked certain to suffer defeat at the hands of the Kangas in Tassie on Sunday. The Hawks were holding out for a hero and up stepped Lance Franklin!  Buddy appeared from under the rock where he had seemingly been hiding with a stellar final term to pinch a vital win away from North Melbourne and stay in contention for the finals. The Roos may lack the stars but at least they have the cars – Mazda’s renewal of their major sponsorship a major boost…almost better than the four competition points. Almost…

JurrahHanger

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you…Mr Liam Jurrah!

Not sure how you explain the world going all arse-backwards like this but Geelong have lost two in a row and Melbourne have won two in a row! Jimmy Stynes would have loved the events that unfolded at the ‘G…not surprisingly, Mark Williams hated it! And now his players will be hating him after a 6am wake-up call! Choco can’t afford any more performances like that if he wants to play finals…or finalise that new contract!

The West Coast Eagles kept this one close for three quarters, placing St Kilda’s pursuit of The Perfect Season in some jeopardy until they got serious. The Saints eventually made it fifteen from fifteen and the coach felt that being able to win games interstate was important…which it is; though it is probably more important not to lose against a bottom-four side ever, no matter the venue! And now that the Eagles’ biggest and best player might be done for the year, so could any chance of them landing a big scalp before seasons end.

Round Fourteen – Saints Defeat Cats, Now Face Connor MacLeod!

ConnorMacleod

Only decapitation from the blade of the Highlander stands between St Kilda and immortality! Or they might lose to the Doggies…

There can be only one…undefeated team left!

GardinerMark

And that team is…St Kilda! The Saints survived in an epic contest at Whatshishead Stadium. Thirteen wins each, two months of anticipation and no shortage of hype but the game delivered everything we all expected…perhaps more! An amazing start, great fightback from the Cats and a grandstand finish. How crazy will the build-up be to this year’s grand final if both these teams make it…please let it happen!!!

There can be only one…reigning premier – but not for long!

MitchellShattered`

The Hawks are stuffed.

There can be only one…Tom Cruise!

CruiseFooty

And he was at the footy on Friday night to take in some of the action between the Pies and Bombers. Katie Holmes was there too…she spent the night trying to find a back exit or open window from which she could escape! Run Katie – run for your life!!!

There can be only one…Jim Stynes!

StynesJumper

The former Demons star and club president faces a tough battle having been diagnosed with cancer. His team put in a performance on the weekend that befitted the emotional week for all involved at Melbourne…unfortunately, this type of performance is a rarity for the Dees.

There can be only one…Kevin Sheedy!

SuperSheedy

The highly predictable campaign to make Sheeds the next coach of Richmond was officially launched last week after the crushing loss to St Kilda. Of course, all his supporters appear to be aged 50 or above…and his campaign manager is a guy who was so out of touch with the coaching caper twenty years ago, he got the flick from Tigerland and refused to go near the place until recently. As great a coach as Sheedy is and/or was, do any of these old dudes realise it is almost the year 2010 now?

There can be only one…most glamorous WAG?

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According to the Herald Sun’s annual footy survey, these are the types of questions us footy fans really want to know the answers to. Now I know that this particular media outlet is designed to entertain us rather than inform us so there is no point taking it seriously. But honestly…shit like this is just a waste of f@&$#ng time, isn’t it?

There can be only one…Channel Seven!

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A flashback to a classic Geelong-St Kilda match…the perfect lead-in to yesterday’s blockbuster. But what did CH7 show before this?

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Yep, nothing helps builds the anticipation for a massive game of footy like…Revenge Of The Nerds 4!!!

There can be only one…Terry Wallace!

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How the hell does Terry Wallace get flooded with offers from all forms of media after his disastrous tenure at the Tigers? And is there anybody less qualified to comment on what Richmond should be doing right now than the guy who just actually effed it up over five years?

The Games:

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Magpie fans celebrate as ruckman Josh Fraser plays well and doesn’t even dog it once! Suck on that, Grant Thomas…

Well, Anzac Day seems like a lifetime away now, doesn’t it!  And nice to see our beloved media hacks working Tom Cruise references into their work as best they could! That’s right – Collingwood Cruised to victory against Essendon to open round 14 action, leaving Matthew Knights to pick up the pieces and keep Essendon in the finals hunt. At least Mark McVeigh will be fresh for the next match…unless Dean Solomon is back in town this week!

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Alright, which of you blokes have stolen the footys? We only have two and can’t afford to buy any more. Just give ’em back, will ya’s?

Yes – Melbourne finally had a win! Yes – they did it for Jim Stynes! And yes – they showed the passion and commitment to make their supporters proud on such an emotional day! But, come on – they were playing an equally crap team who have barely won outside of Perth since Chris Judd left town. If they couldn’t win this match, then there was no hope for this club whatsoever…

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It will cost him a few weeks but for what he did to Josh Carr, on behalf of the AFL world, I say…thank you Jared Brennan!

Gee, the Power must really love Mark Williams! In the first game since they learnt that Choco would be given the opportunity to coach on at Port Adelaide, his team blitzed high-flying Brisbane in the final quarter and dragged themselves back into finals calculations. So how did they do it? They prepared…now that’s a handy tip!

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Wow, a rare smile and a big thumbs up from Doggies coach Rocket Eade! But who is he copying…Barry Hall or Arthur Fonzarelli?

Bulldogs – awesome! Hawthorn – shit! Probably no need to elaborate much more on this one…

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Surely you don’t need to employ Kevin Sheedy as your coach to teach players where your footy boots are meant to go. Um, Nathan Foley…try your feet!

Up at Carrara Stadium, Adelaide scored a relatively comfy win over Richmond. Local boy Kurt Tippett showed a liking to playing footy in Queensland with five  goals for the winners. Wonder if he has heard about this new team that will be starting up on the Gold Coast soon?

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Micky O’Loughlin whoops it up after kicking the sealer. He only has a couple of months left so let him lap it up while he can!

Whether this was Sydney’s first taste of life without Barry Hall has yet to be determined. If so, it appears that it will be a struggle. But the Swannies did win a close one against North Melbourne that keeps them within reach of the finals. But let’s face it…without the prospect of witnessing a Bazza brainsnap, who really wants to see Sydney feature in September action anyway?

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Steve Johnson out? Guess it is too late to change my tip…

What a freakin’ game!!! What a freakin’ game!!! What a freakin’ game!!!

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The famous old dark…yellows? No, seriously…THAT is the Carlton team. They actually played in that!

Fremantle and Carlton played last night? Really? With all the excitement of the St Kilda-Geelong game, I totally forgot! Apparently, the yellow team won

Round Eleven – The Excitement Builds In Western Sydney

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The suburbs of western Sydney look exactly like this year’s NAB ad…well, it would if you removed every single Sherrin!

Half Back Flanker went on a bit of a field trip for round eleven of the AFL season and ventured out into the Aussie rules footballing hotbed that could well be soon on the receiving end of the 18th AFL franchise. I thought it might be nice to gauge the levels of excitement and anticipation from the millions of  residents in the west of Sydney as they count down to the arrival of their very own AFL club.

Well, having left Sydney and returned to Swine Flu Central…I can’t say that Sydney’s west is exactly swept up in AFL fever. It was like round eleven never actually happened! Not exactly sure why Andy D is so gung-ho about expanding into western Sydney..no, actually I am – there are a shitload of people out there! And they are watching plenty of footy. But let me tell you something…they ain’t watching our game!

If you wanted to talk to the locals about how the Tigers died in the arse during the second half on Friday Night football, they would have agreed. But they are talking the Wests Tigers in the NRL…not Richmond! And while the coach of the West Tigers might be in trouble, at least he still has a job…and he actually won something during his time there. Terry Wallace has neither of those things

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Richmond fans in western Sydney had to stay up past 2am on Saturday morning to watch Terry Wallace coach the Tigers to the last loss of his career.

And just say that you were keen to check out the Tigers-Doggies game and lived in western Sydney – you had to wait until after 11pm for the start of the match on Channel Seven. The Friday night marquee event AFL game and a massive audience in the largest growth area in Australia that has been targeted to adopt your code…and they are the last group of people in the entire country to see it?

And things didn’t improve on Saturday either. The ladder-leading Saints had another win? Nuh, they didn’t play until Monday night and they (being St George Illawarra) lost to the Gold Coast. And if you settled down in the family home to watch the action on a Saturday night, no AFL either. It was rugby union between the Wallabies and Barbarians…where the Lions were British, not Brisbane, and the Blues were from Auckland, not Carlton. If you went to the pub for some pay TV footy action, it was all about Johnathan Thurston and his Cowboys – not Toby Thurstans and the victorious Port Adelaide!

At least we saw some AFL action on Sunday with the Sydney Swans playing Hawthorn…it was live and everything. Sure, every pub with a TV had the rugby league on but those with a second screen were showing the Swannies. Sure enough, the Swans lost; in part to a classic Barry Hall brain-snap; and big bad Bazza has pretty much been the only AFL coverage in the Sydney media for the next three days.

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Another Barry brain-snap…but it’s probably the only way to keep AFL and the Swans in the Sydney papers!

Say what you like about the hot-headed Swans spearhead but if it wasn’t for Barry Hall doing stupid things on a regular basis, the term ‘AFL’ would barely be uttered up there. Gary Ablett and the Cats keep tearing up the competition…read the scores in the paper the following day. The Crows and Bombers put on a great show with some spectacular goals…didn’t watch or listen to a second of it! Probably just as well for me…

And how about the latest teenage whizkid to hit the big time! Huh, who the hell is Jack Watts? They are talking about rising Wallabies star James O’Connor and his selection in the best rugby team in the country. They wouldn’t have the first idea about Watts making his highly (try ‘overly’) publicised debut for the worst team in the league – which just happened to coincide with Melbourne’s home game blockbuster against the biggest crowd drawing team. What a funny coincidence…

So, despite the miserable skies and hail storms greeting me at the airport, it was great to arrive back at the home of AFL football and catch up on what happened in round eleven. The guy behind the success at the Swans has doubts about the new Sydney club…and after my experience last weekend, I would have to agree.

Round Ten – A Series Of Perfect Tens

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Ben Cousins filming the latest promo for One HD, Ten’s new 24 hour sports channel.

Ten was the magic number last weekend. St Kilda won its tenth straight game to start the season while Geelong matched them to also remain unbeaten after ten rounds of footy. They appear to be set on a collision course for round 14 in the biggest blockbuster game of the season…to be played in the smallest stadium in town. But fear not, footy fans – we will surely get to see the game live on TV…won’t we?

Channel Ten was the other big winner out of the weekend’s action when former Eagles champ Ben Cousins chose to vent his frustration with a single-fingered salute right down the barrel of a camera as he returned to play in Western Australia for the first time as a Tiger. Sure, Benny thought it was just a bit of fun but the League will want an explanation as they seem to have a different opinion on what exactly is fun….as we all know from years of questionable grand final entertainment!

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Terry’s time up at Richmond? Wow, that came out of left field…never saw that coming.

Then there is our old friend Terry Wallace. Despite his struggling side recording a rare win on the weekend, he and the Tigers announced today that they are parting ways after Friday night’s clash with the Bulldogs. The conference can be read in full here but the general gist of it all was that the Tigers are somehow better off now (with an extra five years of failure) than when he began, that his coaching career is pretty much over and that he’s kinda sorry for what happened at the Bulldogs in 2002. I’m sure the Doggies fans can’t wait to express their gratitude to him on Friday night…

The Games:

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Fev clearly doesn’t know how to perform a Pressed Ham against the Glass…maybe he’s asking the umpire how it’s done!

Did the hysteria about the poor play at Carlton get a little out of hand last week? Sure, the Blues did have their arses handed to them by Adelaide last week but you’d have thought they were level with Richmond on the ladder by the amount of whining. But a little siege mentality, including the fortnightly Robert Walls Carlton focus article, helped inspire them to ease past the Eagles at home on Friday night. West Coast are no longer making finals their priority…we think that is wise!

Brisbane score a solid away win against North Melbourne on the back of some exciting young players and their exciting young finals-talking coach. The Roos wasted no time delving into a comprehensive post-mortem…perhaps they can send an update to fans who spent most of the first quarter sampling the many seating options at Whatshishead Stadium. Sounds like a fun place to watch footy…

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One behind in a quarter? Think Roosy might kick 22 behinds this week at training!

The Western Bulldogs looked right at home in the nation’s capital of fireworks and pornography with a comfortable win over the Swans that places them at the head of the class for next-best underneath Geelong and St. Kilda. The Swans managed to keep Aker quiet (no mean feat…whatever the context of ‘keeping quiet’!) but it was not a great day for them. Maybe the ‘other’ Sydney team will have more luck up there.

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Terry wants to celebrate a rare win so he finds a guy who knows how to party…

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…though perhaps he needs to learn from ‘Aussie’ Guus Hiddink…now that’s one guy who knows how to party!

It was always going to be a big game for Ben Cousins returning to the west…and didn’t he love being back in WA! Well, he and the rest of the Tigers were loving it when they scraped over the line against Freo in a thrilling finale. Mark Harvey’s side almost pulled off the win despite a multitude of injuries…yep, cue the debate for substitute players.

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Samuel L Jackson just wants to get these mother-flippin’ Saints of this mother-freakin’ plane!

No disrespect to Melbourne (of course…) but St Kilda’s biggest issue this weekend was not the game but travelling amongst the dirty, swine-infected members of the general public. They all made it safely and took care of the Demons without a great deal of difficulty…though they did get a little cutesy. The Saints now look forward to winning the next three before the Geelong game while Dean Bailey will focus his team on losing to Collingwood next week.

Adelaide blew away the reigning champs in the first half to record another win at home…and may have just unearthed a new goal kicking hero in the process. Neil Craig was suitable impressed…Al Clarkson? Hmm, not so much! And does he think they will bounce back right away? No, not really.

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Shoulda turned back, boys…shoulda turned back!

May as well just recycle the reports from round two in 2008…Essendon received a comprehensive football lesson from Geelong with coach Matthew Knights planning to use this loss as a leaning aid for his players. The only point that is unique to 2009 is that while the Cats keep racking up wins and proving a point against all opponents, they are referring to St Kilda as the benchmark. Yeah, nice try…

A light tower loses power at the MCG on Sunday as Port Adelaide stink it up on the field, prompting all manner of kooky headlines… oh, delicious irony! The Pies blitz the Power in the second half and, after copping plenty of criticism a fortnight ago, now they are headed for the top four. In fact, Mike Sheahan has already chalked them up for another four wins during the next month…and he never gets it wrong, does he!