Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Sons of the West

It's Preliminary Finals week in the AFL, or the end of my (televised) season since my cable carrier has puts the Grand Final on the premium tier of channels and it's not worth the $12 per month to me.

Sydney/Geelong was the first match chronologically, but the AFL calls it the second prelim final. Probably has something to do with where the teams are on the playoff bracket.

Anyhow the Swans punched hard and fast in the opening quarter, much like they did against Adelaide in the previous match. It was effective both times, as Sydney routed the Crows by 38 and Geelong by 37. Neither game was that close.

Sydney is through to the Grand Final.

In sharp contrast the other prelim final, Western Bulldogs against GWS Giants was a fantastic and riveting game that swung back and forth. So captivating, in fact, that the TV types were seemingly out of breath for the last seven or eight minutes. GWS scored a goal to tie with less than four minutes remaining, giving the commentators reason to mention a five-minute extra time session in case of a tie at the end of regulation. It made no difference as the Bulldogs got it done at the end and won by six points.

It was about a 50/50 split in terms of crowd support at Spotless Stadium, home of the Giants. The crowd roared as the final siren sounded-- so much so you'd have thought the Dogs were at home. It's the first time they've been to the Grand Final since 1961, and this could be their first premiership since 1954, so this has been a big, big win for the Western Bulldogs organization.

Someone I kind of feel badly for is Bulldogs captain Robert Murphy, whose season was lost to a torn ACL at the very end of a close loss to Hawthorn. He debuted with the club back in 2000 and has played 295 games waiting for a chance to play in a game like this.

So it's Swans/Bulldogs for the 2016 premiership.

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