So as we reach Week Two of the finals, the yobbos of Australia find ourselves with the age old problem of Geelong being forced to wear their white shorts as the ‘Home’ team because of Collingwood wearing a predominantly black guernsey, as it was in Round 7, in an effort to avoid these scenes from the 2019 Qualifying Final, where the lack of contrast caused by the short choices just didn’t help anyone.
Obviously this colour contrast problem, totally caused by the shorts, stayed dormant for at least 12 years, thanks to some magical handshake that Eddie McGuire had with the Tooth Fairy, who was posing as Frank Costa – This game in 2017 for example:
Not a problem there at all.
Further to this, the Cats have also regularly worn the white shorts when they’ve played Fremantle and Carlton at Kardinia Park, because, just like Collingwood, the Dockers and Blues play in a guernsey that is a predominantly dark colour.
Still, Geelong could just do a North Melbourne and start wearing inverse-coloured guernseys, due to totally cracking the shits about having to wear white shorts in home games.
Richmond vs St Kilda at Metricon Stadium, Friday 6:50pm AEST (7:50 AEDT)
Winner to play Port Adelaide.
This will be the first final to be played at Carrara in it’s often wild 33-year history of hosting VFL/AFL games.
Given the Gold Coast is the Bermuda Triangle of Australian sport, of course it doesn’t involve the Gold Coast Suns.
Anyway, for the first time since the 1973 Semi Final, Richmond and St Kilda will play each other in a final, and that day, the Tigers, featuring 3 Legends of the game in Ian Stewart (Against his old club), Kevin Bartlett and Royce Hart, romped home to a 40-point win, on the way to their 3rd premiership of the Tom Hafey era.
Prior to that, the Saints had won both finals they had played against the Tigers – The 1971 Preliminary Final, and the 1939 Semi Final, which would prove to be the Sainters only finals win between 1930 and 1964.
Still, if you think 47 years is a long time, I’d point out Richmond haven’t played Melbourne in a final since the 1940 Grand Final.
By virtue of having their 11-year winning streak against the Lions brought to an end, this will be the first time since 2001 that Richmond have appeared in a Semi Final, when they defeated Carlton by 11 points, and useless bit of trivia, that was also the first AFL game played after September 11.
For St Kilda, obviously they ended their decade-long drought without a finals win against the Doggies, and thanks to that win, Paddy Ryder, having played in game 257, will now sit in 2nd all-time behind the late Robbie Flower on 270, for the most games played before playing in a winning final.
Sadly for Paddy, and 99% of the universe, he pinged his hamstring 90 seconds from the final siren and won’t play again in 2020.
In what feels like a lifetime ago, the Saints ran all over the Tigers back in the Round 4 Jack-off at Docklands, kicking an impressive 15.3 in a 26-point win, mostly thanks to taking most of their shots within 20m of goal, which was death by a thousand cuts for the Tigers defence.
On the milestone front, Damien Hardwick brings up his 250th game as coach of the Tigers, the 31st coach to reach the milestone, and Saints coach Brett Ratten will be involved in his 400th game as a player & coach – He played in 255 games for Carlton, followed by 120 games as coach of the Blues, and will coach the Saints for the 25th time on Friday.
Geelong vs Collingwood at the Gabba, Saturday 6:40pm AEST
Winner To Play The Brisbane Lions.
Here’s something yours truly and a few people outside of the old ‘Catosphere’ missed last Thursday night, probably because of how it ended for Geelong…
Chris Scott has now coached the most finals (19) of any coach in Geelong’s history, breaking a tie with Reg Hickey on 18.
There you go, a nice positive one for Scotty, given 12 out of the last 16 finals have been rather negative for the Catters.
Last week, Collingwood and West Coast extended the record for the most finals matchups in the AFL era to 9, and this week, Collingwood and Geelong will extend the all-time VFL/AFL record for the most finals matchups to 25, and thanks to the Magpies’ win in last season’s Qualifying Final, the ledger is evenly poised at 12 wins apiece.
The two teams met in Perth back in Round 7, and it was a night dominated by Jordan De Goey, who had been charged for a fairly major historical “Hiccup”, before matching Geelong in kicking 5 goals, as the Pies won by 22 points in a low-scoring game.
Of course, the Dirty Pies made it back to Queensland thanks to ending up on the right side of the 15th final to be decided by 1 point in league history.
There’s something you didn’t know, Collingwood lost a final to St Kilda by a point the year BEFORE Barry Breen’s wobbly kick at goal happened.
Further to it, Collingwood have played in more drawn finals (5, excluding extra time games) than they have 1-point finals.
As for Geelong, assuming he plays, skipper Joel Selwood will play in his 32nd final, breaking a tie with Collingwood legend Gordon Coventry for the 3rd most finals appearances by a player, behind Shaun Burgoyne on 35, and Michael Tuck on 39.
Harry Taylor is also set to play his 29th final, moving him into a tie for 5th all-time with Bruce ‘The Flying Doormat’ Doull, Leigh Matthews, and Wayne Schimmelbusch.
Also, after going goalless in a Qualifying Final for the second year running, Coleman Medalist Tom Hawkins joined Fraser Gehrig for St Kilda in 2005, and Jack Riewoldt for Richmond in 2018, as the only leading goalkickers to be held goalless playing in Week One of the Finals, since the introduction of the Top 8 in 1994.
Oddly enough, while Hawkins and Geelong lost, the Saints and Tigers both won.
And, will this be Gary Ablett Jnr’s last game?
It could be, if a certain Lanky Yankee has his way.