Oct 08, 2020
A Highly Unhelpful Guide to AFL Finals Week Two
The only guide to the round that admits it’s completely unhelpful. What it lacks in insight, it makes up for with wild theories and detours onto unrelated topics.
It’s your unhelpful guide to AFL Finals Week Two.
Richmond v St Kilda (Metricon) 7:50 pm Seven
It’s time for Battle to resume.
Get it? It works on two levels, Josh Battle is back for the Saints, and the battle for the Premiership starts again.
Oh man, that’s not as clever as I thought it was.
Yet deep in my heart I know it’s the smartest thing I’ll ever come up with. It sad when you realise you’ve hit your peak and your peak wasn’t that high. In fact, it was so low it was less peak and more small, unnoticeable bump.
Well now I’m dealing with that rather sad realisation, let’s move on to the game at hand, the reigning premiers taking on a team who won their first final in ten years last week.
Richmond looked poor against the Lions, and depending on your mindset, it was either the wakeup call the Tigers needed or a reflection that this season, Richmond has lost a step.
Whatever it was, the return of Tom Lynch couldn’t have come soon enough for Richmond, they looked like me after a big night out last week. They lacked structure, made a lot of bad choices and had trouble scoring.
Having him back should make an enormous difference, as will not playing Brisbane.
In fact, Brisbane not being involved in this game might be the Tigers greatest positive in this clash.
St Kilda go into this with some key outs, most of all Paddy Ryder, in one of the cruellest injury blows in recent memory. Ryder is a pioneer; he was leaving Essendon before it was cool.
Whoever thought that when the Bombers announced Kevin Sheedy was returning, it was to play?
The Saints also lose Ben Long due to suspension and Jake Carlisle has chosen not to play, instead deciding the trivial event of the birth of his child is more important.
What has the world come to when footy is no longer prioritised above all other things? You can have more kids, but St Kilda playing in finals doesn’t happen that often.
With all these outs and the return of Lynch, I’m tipping the Tigers in this one.
Geelong v Collingwood (G) 7:40 pm
Great news for all of us, Ray Chamberlain has been appointed to this game.
If there’s one thing all us footy fans love, it’s having a game overtaken by an umpire who thinks he’s the main reason we watch footy.
Chamberlain needs to understand we view him like a facemask, we get it’s necessary but it’s really annoying and we all think life would be a lot better without it.
Another Collingwood game and another jumper clash debate. If only away teams wore different jumpers. Perhaps if Collingwood added teal to their colours it would solve these jumper clashes.
The Pies surprised everyone last week, they were tough and disciplined when it mattered. They aren’t a team you’d really want to meet in the finals.
Which is a problem for Geelong, who handle their recent finals record as politicians deal with uncomfortable facts, they prefer to ignore them and would like the rest of us to at least pretend we didn’t notice.
Last week, the Power shut down the Cats, making their much-vaunted forward line look like Victoria’s contact tracing team, much talked about but ineffective.
While Tom Hawkins didn’t play last week, he still managed to get a fine for striking Tom Rockliff.
He escaped with a fine and I can only assume this was due to his clean record when it comes to these matters. Lucky, he doesn’t have a long history of belting people.
It’s always good to see the AFL’s strong commitment to getting rid of hits to the head in operation.
I’m still not sure about Collingwood’s forward line. Can you always rely on Mason Cox to bob up and kick three goals in five minutes? But then I didn’t expect that to happen last week so what do I know?
Predicting footy is hard at the best of times, it’s what makes it so fun, the constant reminder that we are all idiots.
Like all areas of life, anyone certain of something is just counting down the days until they are made a fool, and with footy, you only have to wait a week.
This is why I’m always comfortable with my tipping, I know I’m an idiot, and my tips, therefore, fit comfortably in my world view.
I worry more when I get them right. That really throws me.
I only mention all this to underscore the fact I have no idea who is going to win this, but given sitting on the fence is uncomfortable, I’m tipping the Pies.
I just think the Cats finals record is not to be ignored. Sorry, Chris.
My new book Cheat: The Not-so-subtle Art of Conning Your Way to Sporting Glory is now available for pre-order.
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