Kicking Balls: AFL Finals.. And then there were 6…

10 09 2007

Kicking BallsWhat a start to the 2007 finals series. A couple of nail biters, a strong win and an absolute demolition from the weekend’s game mean we’ve said goodbye to 2 teams, and said hello to the hottest favourite in a few years.

Port Adelaide vs West Coast
What a game. Although not the cleanest game in terms of skills, both sides turned the ball over, this was due to the enormous pressure each side subjected the other to. The Eagles looked to be running away with the game early in the 3rd quarter, but Port steadied and came home over the top to win by 3 points. The big talking point was the injury to Ben Cousins’ hamstring, which has almost certainly ruled him out for the rest of the year, and Chris Judd now adding an ankle injury to the groin niggle that has seen him far far below his best for some time. Port have earned the week off and a home preliminary final while West Coast must now play Collingwood next week in sudden death. Ports best was P.Burgoyne, with Lade, Chad and Kane Cornes, and Chaplin providing great support. For the Eagles, Cox, Embley, Stenglein and Hunter were good.

Hawthorn vs Adelaide
Buddy Love… Another close game, with the winning goal kicked with just 8 seconds remaining. Adelaide jumped out to a handy lead a few times in the match, only to watch their lead eaten away by Lance Franklin goals. His winning goal, a 55 metre bomb in the dying seconds, was a heartbreaker. The Hawks have now earned themselves a real chance at making the preliminary final as they will face a Kangaroos team beaten into a pulp on Saturday. Franklins 7 goals were crucial, but B.O.G. (best-on-ground) would probably go to Shane Crawford for his 33 touches – Mitchell and Sewell were very good also, and special mention to Luke Hodge. I was harsh on him after his display against Sydney, but carrying an injury picked up during the game, he played on and never stopped trying and was one of the Hawks’ best. For the Crows, 4 goals each to McGregor and Welsh weren’t enough. Thompson, Edwards, Goodwin and Shirley also played well. Mark Ricciuto, in his final game, was largely ineffectual and spent most a fair portion of the game on the bench.

Collingwood vs Sydney
The tale of this game was simple. One team turned up to play finals, one didn’t. Amazing to think that it was the less experienced of the 2 sides that were the ones switched on. Sydney played about a half of a quarter of the kind of football we know they can, Collingwood just rode roughshod over them the rest of the time and won easily by 38 points. Funnily enough it was when Anthony Rocca looked to have seriously hurt his knee that the Swans sniffed blood and came roaring back into the game. After half-time though there was little doubt over who would win. Rocca was good with 6 goals, well supported by Cloke (3.2) and Rusling (3.2). Buckley and Heath Shaw also played well. For the Swans, Goodes was a standout, with 29 touches, and Mick O’Loughlin played a good game up forward with 4 goals, but there was little support. Kirk and Malceski gathered some possessions, but too often Sydney players made silly mistakes and turned the ball over. Collingwood now travel over to Perth to play a weakened Eagles side for the right to play Geelong..

Geelong vs Kangaroos
Cameron Mooney 106 points. It’s hard to imagine that a side that finished 4th could get beaten by that much. I can’t remember the last time a side impressed me so much. Geelong were awesome. They were clinical in their dissection of the Kangaroos. Geelong had winners everywhere, and the Kangaroos had just one player who could walk of the field saying he had won his battke, Brady Rawlings, the rest were slaughtered. While the Cats had winners everywhere, G.Ablett 32 touches 2 goals, J.Bartell 29 touches 1 goal, C.Mooney 5 goals, P.Chapman 17 touches 5 goals, B.Ottens, 10 touches 2 goals 26 hit outs, M.Stokes and S.Johnson 21 touches and a goal each, C.Enright 18 touches 2 goals, J.Selwood 22 touches, M.Scarlett 22 touches, D.Milburn 28 touches, C.Ling 19 touches and direct opponent 7.. and the list goes on, the Kangas big names were nowhere to be seen. Archer, Harvey, Petrie, Grant, Jones, Brown, Hale, Watt, McIntosh were all well beaten. Every team left in the finals would have seen that game and shuddered. All that is left to find out is if it is a good team having played a great game, or a great team fulfilling their potential. We’ll find out in a couple of weeks.

So, we wave goodbye to Sydney and Adelaide, and next week we have West Coast vs Collingwood on Friday night, and Hawthorn vs Kangaroos on Saturday.

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3 responses

11 09 2007

You might want to change “for the tight to play Geelong” to “for the right to play Geelong”. You just can’t get good copy editors 😉 and no I don’t have a life!

11 09 2007

Nice find Cal… will do. 😉

11 09 2007

yes, thanks cal, never mind the copy editors, it’s hard to find writers with decent english.. necst tyme ey wil yus tha spel cheka…

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