AFL finals: And then there were two
Has there ever been a grand final pairing which has been more predictable? You could have picked this one from about Round 4. The Saints and Cats have been the two best sides in the competition and by some distance. This promises to be one hell of a Premiership decider.
If it is anywhere near as good as the Round 14 clash these two had earlier in the year it will be one of the best.
Fighting against the footy gods
The football gods are a vengeful lot and you don’t want to be messing with football karma.
For all the upset the Swans suffered in Perth with that Tyson Stenglein free-kick in that 2005 final, they had the last laugh when they won the flag. If it had been any side other than the Bulldogs, I wouldn’t have begrudged the Saints with all of the free kick milking they did on Friday night.
Footballers are a tough lot and play through broken bones. We all know about Nick Riewoldt playing through the pain of his sore knee and now the slightest bump from Brian Lake sees him fall to the ground? Nick – this is what you had to resort to?
Ok so he did whatever it took to get his side into a grand final, but even though the umpires department said the free kick was ok, the football karma department hasn’t yet spoken.
Second best yet again
The Bulldogs would have won had they had more self-belief. It was like the Saints were Roger Federer and won a match in five sets that they probably shouldn’t have.
They were unable to convert their ascendency into points and that is what cost them. The Swans were able to run over the top of the Saints in 2005 and once again the Saints were ripe for the picking.
To win a preliminary final you just have to believe. It cost the Crows in 1993 and the Hawks in 2001.
Collingwood were in pretty good form which tells how good Geelong are going following their 12 goal shellacking of the Magpies.
The Cats will be keen to avenge both the disappointment of last year’s grand final and the Round 14 loss earlier this year to the Saints. They will be significantly wiser following last year’s grand final and don’t be surprised to see a much more pragmatic Cats side come Saturday.
St Kilda used up a lot of their goodwill against the Dogs and footy karma will have the last laugh.
Prediction for the grand final: Cats by 45 points.
Tonight is football’s night of nights. If recent years are anything to go by, discount the favourites and put all of your hard-earned on a midfielder.
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