Gadget by The Blog Doctor.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Grand Final Weekend

The weekend of Saturday 29th September and Sunday 30th September was Grand Final Weekend in the AFL and NRL.

In the AFL Victoria's Geelong played South Australia's Port Adelaide. Naturally as a Victorian I wanted Geelong to win. As the game unfolded another reason for preferring Geelong developed. Geelong went away to an early lead which continued throughout the first half. You might expect that at half time I was hoping for a Port revival but instead I was hoping for Geelong to continue their dominance - in particular I was barracking for a win by Geelong by more than 96 points. The reason for this is that I am a Melbourne barracker and since 1988 Melbourne has had the ignominy of having lost a Grand Final by the largest Margin - 96 points. That loss is one of the reasons why I hate Hawthorne. By three quarter time Geelong were in front by 90 points. When the game ended the score was Geelong: 24.19 (163) to Port 6.8 (44) , a 119 point thrashing.

Geelong were superior in all facets of the game. I didn't see them much during the season, but know that they had an effective forward line. What impressed me most in their style of play was the defence. All over the ground, if a Port player had the ball there were Geelong players harassing him and either forcing a poor disposal or a turn over.

On Sunday night, Melbourne Storm played Manly Sea Eagles in the NRL Grand Final. We have seen quite a few Storm games during the season and knew that they deserved their position as minor premiers. We had seen them mainly at their home ground, Olympic Park, where they rarely lose - consequently Storm fans call it the Grave Yard. There were some reasons to be nervous about the result of this game though. Last year Storm has similarly dominated the NRL season but were beaten in the Grand Final by Brisbane Broncos. As well in the preliminary final - at Telstra Dome in Melbourne - they had been forced to play well to beet a fired up Paramatta. Although the end result of the Paramatta game indicated an easy win by Storm the game was much closer than the final scores indicated. See this post for details.

In the Grand Final Manly came out full of aggression. They might have over done the tough stuff as Storm scored their first try in the 11th minute which Cameron Smith converted. They scored again, but this time Smith missed the conversion. It looked like Storm would go into half time with a handy 10 to 0 lead when Manly scored in the last minute of the first half - score 10 to 4.

Early in the second half Michael Crocker smashed the Manly Full Back Brett Stewart with a fierce shoulder charge just after Stewart had caught a high ball kicked from Greg Ingliss. The incident took the wind out of Manly's sails. Soon after, to rub salt into the woulds, Crocker crossed over to score a try. In the end Storm won easily 34 to 8.

Storm and Geelong had similar final seasons and final series. Both were minor premiers and both won their first finals match easily. See this post for details. Consequently they both had the second week off. Geelong struggled to beat Collingwood in their preliminary final and the Storm win was closer than it appeared. Finally both teams thumped their opposition in the Grand Finals.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

crocker didnt shoulder charge. it was elbow to stewarts head, he should of been sent off. typical melburne scum.