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Just missed your post by preempting it. I believe we are in agreement though I used far more words.


Not 100% in total agreement... sorry, agreeance (to use the football parlance). Just as the Saints will win if the Pies play bad, the Pies will win if the Saints play bad.

For the sake of convenience, I will copy your other comment over here.


So which team is the AGB's selection in today's GF?

I'm going for Collingwood since I have spoken to a few Pies fans and they reckon St Kilda employs a spoiling, stodgy, strangling style of play which I'm always opposed to in all sports.

Pies also seem to be always there abouts come the finals but always choke tragically at the final hurdle, reminsicent of Parra.

Good to see a totally Melbourne GF, just as it will be good to see a totally Sydney GF in the GheyRL (as Rammer wittily calls it - not quite the rhyming resonance of GheyFL but point taken).

If the Dragons make it we will see one of the most boring GF's in that last score or more of NRL history. Is it a coincidence the Saints play the same style of game as their Melbourne namesakes? Difference is Dragons would be favourites for it whereas Pies are favourites because that is exactly what they aren't.

But a 66% strike rate (source Yobbo) might come unstuck against a strangling defence, so it could be another tragic end to the season for the Pies.

I've got a gut feeling that this year will see mediocrity win out in both codes. In which case both Saints to win their respective GFs.

Ya heard it here first!

[Note: this comment is copied across from the previous post. TT]


I thought we were in agreeance on the fudgement? Note I have tipped both the Pies and the Saints. I'm also tipping the Tigers tonight even though the Dragons will win the GF if the Chooks don't show up.


Let's agree to agree.

Collingwood actually play an exaggerated version of the game-plan StKilda used in 2009, when the Saints set up a defensive wall across the centre & half-back. That style was in turn based upon the strangling Sydney style from 2005 and 2006. Not a surprise since Ross Lyon was then an assistant coach at Sydney. Both (Saints and Swans) were nigh-on impossible to score against.

Collingwood under Malthouse - always a defensively oriented coach, because he (like me) believes defence and man-on-man pressure wins big games - has supercharged the StKilda style. Rather than wait for the ball to come out of their forward line and into their own back line, the Pies charge forward to smother the opposition and cause turnovers closer to goal, while leaving a couple of lone sweepers up the ground to cover any "fast breaks".

StKilda have based their game around forcing the opposition to kick the ball back to them; Collingwood have based their game around going and getting the ball close to their own goal.

Aussie rules is now, more than ever, an amalgam of other sports. Soccer for the formations; basketball for the full court press and screens; rugby for the tackling techniques. And now that players are so much fitter they are able to cover more territory on the large AFL grounds and basically herd the ball around the paddock.


As a TIgers fan, I have little interets other than hoping
the Aints get up for the win. Always strugglers when I was a nipper so a win for them would be nice.
Also a good result if the Wobblers suffer again at the last hurdle.
That said, the pies look good to win.

I'm off to the zoo to see the Tigers and the baby Elephant


Tried to get on Sportsbet for a double on the first crowd cry of "baaaaaaaaLLLL!" in the GFL and "offfffside!" in the GRL but they aren't offering odds.

Thanks for the comprehensive history of the developing stangling style of play in the GFL. It makes sense from what I've seen of the game.

GRL is also suffering from this same style of choking play, epitomised by Bellamy who learned it all from Wayne "Emperor Palpadine" Bennett. I guess that makes Bellamy Darth Vader with Furner as the young Luke Skywalker.

Brian Smith would be more a General Grievous as he can't seem to make his mind up as to which way is best to almost achieve victory but totally f*ck it up at the last hurdle.

If it's a St. Choke/Chooks GF we are truly in for a battle of the most devastatingly boring and unimaginative formats ever to be inflicted upon the paying punters. At least Storm had bursts of individual brilliance shining out from all the strangleholds and chicken wings.

Sounds like the GFL and GRL are on the same course to oblivion. Thank God we've still got the Eels/Panthers/Raiders to liven things up even though Parra could do with just a small dose of stodge to get them back up there.


What's the half time "entertainment"? Coco Channel themed flying lawnmowers and hills hoists regaled with Alex Perry/Alanah Hill Spring edition all set to the rocking tunes of Brian Mannix's "Uncanny X-Men"? With the eulogising somnambulence of Bruce "the Ghey Lord" McAveney's mincing minstrelly to tell us all how "wonderful" this exhbition of Kultcha is.

Why can't they just have a good old fashioned egg and spoon race instead? Now that's entertainment!


Look no further than the Soccer World Cup to find a perfect encapsulation of Offence v Defence.

Germany have traditionally been bagged for defensive, cynical football, while Spain have been bagged for attacking, flighty football. No points for spotting that Germany are a traditional WC success, while Spain are a traditional WC flop.

This year, role reversal. Germany played the attacking football (in the process attracting bulk plaudits) while Spain played defensive football. Spain won.


Pre-game and half-time entertainment are the AFL's one constant, stubbornly immune from change: once shit, always shit.


I don't even understand this need for "entertainment". It smacks of cultural cringe in trying to out yank the Yanks. We just aren't a glee clubbing, cheer leading requiring nation.

1) Get to the game and get on the piss
2) Sing the national anthem, follwoed by a minute's silence for something
3) Watch the game
4) Half time - get on the piss
5) Watch 2nd half
6) Get on the piss to celebrate or go home drunk and punch out the dog and abuse the mrs.
7) The End


2(a) If it's a Bledisloe Cup - watch the Haka and hopefully someone scones a Maori with a flying water bottle. That'd be entertaining.


"Pre-game and half-time entertainment are the AFL's one constant"

Think it should get at least 9 weeks if video replay means anythink.

(Pre game and half time infotainment during the Grunt Final is when Channel 31 gets my undivided attentionmenticality.)


Will the Saints go man-on-man?

Collingwood has pace, which enables them to get large numbers of players in space in the forward line when they smother their opponents and turn the ball over. Have a look at recent matches. Every time Collingwood win the ball, they have free players all over the shop; especially in the front half.

The Pies were always going to beat Geelong, who are an attacking side and ripe to be picked off bringing the ball out of defence, just as they were in the 2008 grand final when they were strangled by Hawthorn's zone.

StKilda are the antithesis of Geelong. They will look to smother the Collingwood players, who have recently been allowed space to use the ball.

StKilda's will try to put the frighteners on Collingwood's runners close to goal, and then try to move the ball forward without giving the ball back to Collingwood. Of course, Collingwood will try to do the same and deny the Saints' forwards space.

Can the Saints smother the smother?


Correction: pre-game and half-time "entertainment".


I'm not against defence, in fact I fully well appreciate it as the foundation of success.

Soccer's a little bit different in, as Yobbo pointed out, the rules and format haven't changed.

GFL and GRL have though and it has been determined to make way for fast attack in pursuit of entertainment which has had the reverse effect of killing the game's culture and necessitating forms of defence that strangle the life out of a game.

GFL was revolutionised by running over 10 metres. I'm quite sure Michael Long over ran the distance, but it looked good so the game changed to accomodate that style of playing. What set GFL apart was the mark. Long ruined that and the game became all about running, handballing and not precision kicking to a man on man contested mark. Could be wrong but that's my impression.

GRL brought in rules to dissallow stealing the ball and contesting the play the ball all in an effort to counter Warren Ryan's gang tackling. The effect was Bennett's and Bellamy's stifling defence. Bring back a contested ball I say, and the game can get back to what it was culturally. As it is the game favours offside passing attacks, decoy running (shepherding) and flat line defence with wrestling play the balls.

GFL favours running, running, running, swarm swarm swarm. Maybe the GFL should limit the run to 5 metres to get it back to what it was.


Well, that's it for me. On my way out to catch the match with a mate.

May the both teams lose.


Enjoy the game. I'll tend to your blog while your away. It's in good hands. What's the admin password again?


Reckon a pretty good indication of what the pre match entertainment has now become. INXS with an ersatz Michael Hutchence who looks like an underage boy band wannabe.

Bring back Nikki Webster as lead singer of the Divinyls I say.


Watching the opening now. AFL meets pantomine.


... and that symphony orchestra is SO part of Collingwood supporters' cultural heritage!


and how technically sloppy is Charnel 3+3+1's coverage thus far?

Big build up for the legends of the past Peter McKenna and Cowboy Neale who then appeared for half a nanosecond.


Yeah, that was pretty woeful. Massed Pipe Bands or even a public hanging would be far more entertaining.


Oh farrrrrk! Just turned up the volume to hear Bruce McAvaney's grating voice. No words can describe just how much I hate that man and the way he ruins every sporting event he's involved with.


Every sporting match he's been VICARIOUSLY involved with, that'd be.


Is he actually commentating or has someone mastered his dark arts to perfection, mimicking him to a Tee?


No. No. Don't like that rendition of the anthem at.all.


McAvaney "Something has to give in the next two hours." Now that's just awesome insight.


Farken hell, that McAvaney's brilliant. Looks like something just "gave".


I actually prefer the recorded version of the anthem they play during the finals, builds nicely into a crescendo for the opening bounce.


Great first quarter. Pretty entertaining I gotta admit. How that Saint muffed it just before time deserves a replay but we'd better go to some ads instead.

I'm always perplexed as to why someone doesn't just job the other fella shouldering and harrassing like they were as they went off. Far as I'm aware there's no bin or sendoff just suspension next game so you may as well king hit the fella.


Geez, if the Pies lose this I'd be looking to punch that Cloke's head in. How do you miss two absolute sitters like that? FFS even Israel Folau could've kicked those.


Unimpressive 2nd Qtr being not much better than a rolling ruck. Entertainment star rating ****/10.

Thomas my man of the match so far. Cloke get's the dunce's hat.

One get's the impression that something's gotta give in the next two quarters.


End of 3rd Qtr and it's pretty much non-goal for non-goal, scrag fight for scrag fight with the 2nd Qtr. Cloke misses another and even Thomas has succumbed to talentless attempts at goal.

Nothing of great moment, nothing to take down for posterity. The score has tightened to give the match tension but as a spectacle this rates well below any average Yawnion game. One can easily see how Folau and Hunt will slot easily into this game.

3rd Qtr rating: ****/10


Only people loving the result will be the AFL and the bookies. Disappointing is a major fucking understatement.


What?! That's it? No golden point, no extra time? A replay? That's ridiculous.

They should at least have an extra period of elbowing mania, last man standing wins.

4th Qtr a lot better than the preceding two with several good marks, a few good goals amongst the hair pulling.

Pies oughta drop Cloke and thank their lucky stars they get to do it all again next week. Snatched a draw from the mouth of victory and defeat.

4th Qtr 7.5/10. Match rating 6/10.

I think Tommy Conlon's theory stands vindicated if not victorious.


AFL really needs to eradicate McAvaney from any involvement with the game if they hope to crack western Sydney as a market.

No one can cop him. He's just not one of us, and your game will never be considered the sort of thing a man plays whilst ever that sycophantic and obsequious kakpipe cosmonaut is relaying the play.


Final asessment: just when you thought something was gonna give...nothing did.


Well, it goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway: the fact that I wrote "May the both teams lose" and did not tip a winner means that I tipped the draw.

Footy maths 101.


Thought you might clutch at that straw.


My mate Tim texts:

"Anti-football won... then it drew! Possibly the worst game of football I have seen. Game will be overrated for exciting finish."

What do I think? Well, the Saints did brilliantly to scrounge a draw from a fair way back. Then blew it at the end when they allowed the Pies a couple of minutes of momentum to snatch back the lead. Meanwhile, the Pies will be kicking themselves for failing to convert forward thrusts.

Gerard Whateley in the comm-box: "Will Travis Cloke be kicking himself for those two missed chances before half time?"

Adam White in the rooms: "Travis is taking a drug test."

Mark McLure, who had been bagging Cloke's kicking: "He needs a drug test."


I said I've got a gut feeling that this year will see mediocrity win out in both codes. and I do believe that today, mediocrity reigned supreme.


Footy sophistry 101.


Drew Morphett just said something sensible (but still chucked in a couple of 1970s-isms):

NAB Cup draws sorted by next-score-wins golden score.

Home-and-Away draws split the four points.

Early finals sorted by five minutes each way.

Grand final sorted by a replay.

(Will they play the replay at twilight?)


Maxwell and Toovey were whiney-bitch grizzling about the lack of extra time. Already getting negative. Saints positive.

An omen?



I'm going for Ph.D in Footy Sophistry.


Anyone know if the broken pipe in the Pies rooms is squirting or sucking.


Will the AFL be able to manipulate the Ablett to Gold Coast signing for ANOTHER week?


You've got a good memory Tones (kinda creepy).

No omen though as these things are oft misunderstood. The first coming was negated but the second coming ends in Victory! I'm tipping the Pies by 30+.


The Omen and The Omen II scared the bejesus out of me. The Omen III was kind of funny, in an unfunny way. The Omen VI was just taking the piss.


The collingwood supporters won't be able to afford to go to another grand final. The dole only comes every second week!


Big stat! Three out of four sides in the last two grand finals have scored 68 points.


Two things I wanna see tonight: 1) Soward caught out wide one on one with Lote Tuquiri bearing down, 2) Benji tunred into a dog's breakfast by a rampagong Weyman.

Other than that I don't care, oh, unless the Dragons Choke out again and Bennett gives a fuming in silence interview. C'arn the non Dragons!


Dragons Tigers is not on here in Poohtown until 10:30. Corrupt broadcast deals can root my boot.


Fair to say hung parliament vs. drawn grand final gags have already reached critical mass.

Professor Rosseforp

I couldn't believe there was no provision for extra time or at least a penalty shootout.
Why not just divide the spoils and have co-premiers?


Traditional values, Prof. Extra time and shootouts deprive the AFL of millions on dollars in replay money.


As predicted by me it's a St. Choke vs Rorters GF. The outcome will depend, much like the Pies/Saints game, on who can nullify any form of entertaining/attacking football the best.

Bennett's Clones are by far and away the best at having no sense of flair, style, pizazz etc etc, in fact they can no longer even conceptualise such a thing. Everything revolves around 5 dummy half runs, attempt to cadge a penalty for markers offside and Jamie Coward taking a penalty shot. Or kicking long on the 5th, smother the opponent and do it all again ad nauseum until "something gives" as McAvaney says.

The Rorters haven't had the football life squeezed out of them completely yet and will attempt, spontaneously at some point, via Carney or Sean Kenny Dowell Jnr, to run, pass and kick with the ball. This will prove their undoing as traditional/cultural notions of League are strictly verbotten and the refs will put a halt to such shenanigans.

St. Choke to win unless the Chooks can emulate the Tigers first half last night, but for the full 80 mins, or study Parra's non stop attack from last year that destroyed Bennett's game plan. I don't think the Roosters are up to it, though I'm hoping they can do it.

Smith to notch up another GF loss, and Bennett to go into the history books as the best coach ever. One who thrived on killing the game in order to win it.

Francis Xavier Holden

The real losers are us non footy people.

Another fucking week of bullshit.

Professor Rosseforp

F.X. Holden has spoken truly on this one. I don't follow A/VFL, and there is far too much triviacity passing for news in this (and other) sport. Also, my memory of having watched the game on black and white TV is that a score of 68-68 would have been laughed at. Has the game changed towards a more low-scoring comp?


The draw in 1948 was 69-69, the draw in 1977 was 76-76.

So yes. This was the lowest ever score in a drawn grand final.

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