The Roar
The Roar

AFL
Advertisement

Seven talking points from the 2016 AFL Grand Final

Easton Wood is on the Bulldogs' captaincy shortlist. (AAP Image/Julian Smith)
Expert
1st October, 2016
74
4534 Reads

Well, the Western Bulldogs got it done! The fairytale finish that the AFL world was begging for has arrived, and let me tell you, I’m pretty in love with football right now. Check out my talking points from the match.

All the wash-up from the AFL Grand Final
» Match report: Bulldogs are premiers!
» BUCKLAND: The West wins one for all
» Our top ten tweets from the day
» Another classic Bulldogs banner
» Re-live all the action with our live blog

Bevo, Bob, and a moment for the ages
In years to come you’ll struggle to find a better moment in footy than seeing Luke Beveridge gift injured skipper Bob Murphy his premiership medal on the podium.

We all wanted the fairytale to come through today but the bittersweet part was that we knew Bob wouldn’t be a part of it. His name might not be on the team sheet, but after this, he’ll always know that whether he suited up or not, he was the heart and soul of this premiership side.

And what about Luke Beveridge? Such a class act. The two most likeable blokes in the AFL shared a special moment and we were lucky enough to see it.

Farewell Dennis, it was not nearly long enough
It’s hard to believe that we’ve heard the last of Dennis Commetti’s silky smooth ear chocolate voice – but what better way could there be to go out than with one last epic grand final?

Watching last night’s grand final marathon it really struck me just what an icon of our sport Commetti has been. He was calling grand finals before I was born! He’s been the voice of the game for a generation.

No one can fill that void. And I don’t envy whoever tries!

Advertisement

Buddy, Hannebery injuries killers for the Swans
Lance Franklin copped an injury in the opening moments of the game, putting to an end the predictions by many that he would tear the game apart against an undersized Bulldogs backline. He still put in a good effort, and his goal in the fourth quarter was a massive moment, but that jarred leg may have been the difference between the Bulldogs and the Swan getting the win.

It’s a similar story for Dan Hannebery who almost looked to have done his ACL late in the game, but amazingly strapped himself back up and came on. It was a truly Herculean effort from a bloke who no one would have belittled if he had called it a game.

Had the Swans gotten up from there, it might have gone down in football folklore – two blokes who played in a winning side with two working legs between them.

Tom Boyd needs a pay raise
Alright, just about everyone has said something dumb about Tom Boyd once or twice over the last couple of years. Heck, what I said was probably the dumbest of the lot.

That ends now. Massive multi-million dollar contract? It’s worth every cent. He could retire tomorrow and it wouldn’t matter. The job is done! He put in a massive performance with three goals and so many big, important marks. And he’s a Western Bulldogs premiership player.

You can’t but a dollar value on that!

JPK is a superstar, win or lose
If there was a man on the field who deserved a premiership today without getting one, it was Josh P Kennedy – the Swans’ midfield dynamo booted three great and crucial goals in the second and third quarters, and was dynamic throughout the match.

Advertisement

Unfortunately for him, it wasn’t to be. He’s tasted premiership glory before so at least he’ll always have that – but gee, that would’ve been a highlights reel for the ages if the Swans had pulled it off.

You only need a moment
At three-quarter time, Jake Stringer looked set to join the likes of Hayden Ballantyne and Leon Davis as grand final flops. He’d had no impact on the game, and had even kicked it out on the full three times!

All it took was one wonderful, brilliant snap goal that kick-started a dominant finish from the Bulldogs, and he went from zero to hero in an instant.

He wasn’t best on ground. Heck, he was close to worst on ground. But as they say – it might not be your day, but it can be your moment. He got his chance and he took it with both hands.

Is this the beginning of a Dognasty?
The Western Bulldogs hadn’t won a premiership in 62 years, but I tell you what, I don’t think they’re going to have to wait until 2078 for the next one.

GWS are on the horizon. Hawthorn, Sydney will be thereabouts next year. But this was the youngest side in the finals race and they pulled it off.

Who is to say they can’t do it again? And again? This little old club, one of the least successful in the league, could dominate the game for years to come.

Advertisement

Roarers, it has been an absolute privilege to bring you coverage of one of the greatest seasons our sport has ever known. Thanks for all your support in season 2016!

close