Kicking Balls: Hawks gone, Eagles dusted

18 09 2007

Kicking Balls

AFL Finals Week 2- Review

Well, what a sensational weekend of football, and to back it up one of the worst kept secrets in the sport has come to fruition with Chris Judd announcing his decision to return to Victoria.

West Coast vs Collingwood
The Magpies fight on, and Eagles fans will wonder how, for the 3rd week in a row, they let a handy lead be eroded so meekly. Collingwood win again…The Pies at times looked overwhelmed by West Coasts second string on-ballers, with Priddis and Cox dominant… but every time the Eagles looked to have the game in control Collingwood fought their way back into the contest. Josh Fraser didn’t take the field for Collingwood, whilst Eagles fans may wish Ash Hansen never did – as his premature comeback ended the only way it could: with him playing 10 minutes before re-injuring his hamstring. Only for the second time in the history of the AFL, a match was decided in extra time.
Both teams had chances to win in normal time, but desperate defence sent the match into extra time. Within moments of the restart it became apparant that Mick Malthouse’s superior use of his bench would be the telling factor, as the tired Eagles players were swamped by the youthful Magpie army. While last week’s heroes seemed well held, Didak, Richards, Thomas, Pendlebury, Medhurst all lifted their game to fill the breach and push their team on to a preliminary final berth. To further compound West Coasts misery, as if bowing out in straight sets and losing their captain weren’t bad enough, the rumours of Ben Cousins’ impending retirement are gathering momentum. Let’s hope they are just that: rumours.

Hawthorn vs Kangaroos
Aaron Edwards lines up the goals… Within 3 minutes of the game starting I knew my tip was wrong. The Hawks looked flat, while the Kangaroos looked renewed. Lance Franklin couldn’t catch a cold in the first quarter, the Hawks on-ballers looked slow, and their forwards seemed to get in each others way, meanwhile the Kangas tackled ferociously and used the ball well. Again, as the game progressed it seemed that Dean Laidley’s better use of his bench was proving to be a decisive factor, as the Kangaroos players kept running while the Hawks players seemed to be standing still. Rawlings did a sensational job on Hodge, holding him well and gathering touches himself seemingly at will. Edwards continued his rise with 4 important goals and Smith, Harris and Simpson were all sensational. For the Hawks, Lewis, Sewell, Crawford and Guerra were the best in a lack-lustre performance. I honestly believed the days of teams ‘playing their grand finals last week’ were behind us in this new era of professionalism, but Hawks fans can be happy with the fact that this time 2 years ago they had won 5 games. They’ll start next year without Lewis and Crawford, and possibly Hodge, after all 3 were suspended for cheap shots, meaning had they escaped with undeserved victory, they probably would have been without a midfield.

So the Kangaroos and Magpies march on to meet Port Adelaide and Geelong respectively, 3 of the 4 preliminary finalists are Victorian teams for the first time in a loooong time.
Geelong are still unbackable favourites, but if this season has taught us anything, it is that there is no such thing as a dead certainty..

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4 responses

20 09 2007
Aaron Becker

I’ve been wondering, can you get Oz sports on Japanese TV?

20 09 2007
withmalice

Well… we get Super14 on cable, but that’s it. However… via the internet there’s an enterprising company that shows some games live. Watched the Hawks/Roos game live last week. Will watch the Pies play tomorrow night. So much for idiots on Y7 telling me it’s not so.

23 09 2007
Aaron Becker

Sounds like I can get more football down here with Foxtel than you can get with your cable and Oz sports. I don’t think I could live down here if I couldn’t get it ;~)

23 09 2007
withmalice

Ummm… I have access to the AFL subscription, plus the internet package. I can watch weekly games! 😉

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