AFL

The coincidences of the 2021 AFL season


Clayton Oliver after 100 games = 50 wins, 50 losses

Winning a premiership wasn’t the only milestone for Clarry in 2021, because he played his 100th game for the Demons against Fremantle in Round 1, the end result being a comfortable Melbourne win, which gave him a perfectly even 50 wins and 50 defeats to that point in time.

Oliver hasn’t missed a game since Round 19 of 2016, with his current 111 consecutive game streak the 2nd-longest active streak in the game, although Jack Crisp is a clear leader on 163.


Same teams, same score, 106 years apart

April 24, 1915: Melbourne defeat Richmond at the MCG with a score of 12.10-82

April 24, 2021: Melbourne defeat Richmond at the MCG with a score of 12.10-82


Essendon keep winning on ANZAC Day every 4 years

By getting the chocolates against Collingwood on ANZAC Day, which feels like a lifetime ago now, the Bombers’ last 5 wins in the ANZAC Day Clash have occurred in the following years:

2005 (83-69)
2009 (93-88)
2013 (121-75)
2017 (100-82)
2021 (109-85)


The mirrored ladder after Round 7

One team was 7-0, another team was 0-7.

One team was 6-1, another team was 1-6.

Two teams were 5-2, two teams were 2-5.

Five teams were 4-3, five teams were 3-4.


Essendon, Carlton & 123-107 scorelines

After the Blues defeated the Bombers 123 to 107 in Round 7, it continued the coincidence that every scoreline of 123-107 in league history has involved either Carlton or Essendon, although this year was the first time a 123-107 hasn’t occurred at Princes Park.

Round 2 1981 – Carlton defeated Hawthorn 123-107 at Princes Park

Round 10 1979 – Carlton defeated Collingwood 123-107 at Princes Park

Round 16 1976 – Essendon defeated Hawthorn 123-107 at Princes Park


Shaun Smith, Gary Moorcroft and Shai Bolton all wear/wore the number 29, and they all took Mark of the Year in the goalsquare

Shaun Smith in 1995:

Gary Moorcroft in 2001:

Shai Bolton in 2021:


There were at least 3 coincidences from the 2001 and 2021 Brisbane Lions, and one of them did not involve a premiership


Round 10: Carlton defeating Hawthorn at the MCG

In Round 10, the Blues defeated the Hawks at the MCG for the first time since July 2, 2000, which was Round 17 of that season.

Which current Blues star was born that same day in 2000?

Sam Walsh.

Who claimed 3 votes in the Round 10 game?

Sam Walsh.


Similarities between Richmond in 2021 and Carlton in 1983

Starting off, the Blues won the flag in 1979, went back to back in 1981 & ’82, and were sitting 7-8 after 15 games in 1983.

Richmond won the flag in 2017, then went back to back in 2019 and ’20, and were sitting 7-8 after 15 games in 2021.

While the Blues wound up recovering to make the finals and the Tigers didn’t, another similarity is that utlimately, neither team won a final going for the Threepeat.


With Shaun Burgoyne’s 399th game in Round 15 ending in a Hawthorn win, all 5 players to play at least 399 games won their 399th game.

  1. Kevin Bartlett for Richmond in Round 18, 1983 – Richmond defeated Essendon at Windy Hill by 74 points
  2. Michael Tuck for Hawthorn in Round 17, 1990 – Hawthorn defeated the Brisbane Bears at Carrara by 15 points
  3. Dustin Fletcher for Essendon in Round 8 of 2015 – Essendon defeated the Brisbane Lions by 58 points
  4. Brent Harvey for North Melbourne in Round 16 of 2015 – North Melbourne defeated Essendon by 25 points
  5. Shaun Burgoyne for Hawthorn in Round 15 of 2021 – Hawthorn defeated GWS by 18 points

Josh Kennedy played his 273rd game for Sydney in the same game that Josh Kennedy played his 273rd game for West Coast

Round 16 at Kardinia Park, with Josh Kennedy’s Swans delivering an almighty arse kicking on Josh Kennedy’s Eagles:

This follows on from another coincidence in Round 2 of 2014, when Josh Kennedy played his 100th game for the Swans on the same weekend that Josh Kennedy played his 100th game for the Eagles.


From Rounds 16 through 18, the Western Bulldogs conceded 11.13-79 in every game


Geelong winning games with 70-44 scorelines

The Cats’ Round 17 win against Carlton at the MCG was the third game in league history to have a 70-44 scoreline, and somehow, Geelong has been the winning team on all three occasions:

Round 10 of 1952: Geelong 10.10-70 defeated Hawthorn 6.8-44

Round 7 of 1958 – Geelong 9.16-70 defeated St Kilda 6.8-44

Round 17 of 2021: Geelong 10.10-70 defeated Carlton 5.14-44.

The other coincidence in this?

In all 3 years of 70-44 scorelines, an Australian player won the Wimbledon Singles title.

1952 = Frank Sedgman won the Gentlemen’s Singles, 1958 = Ashley Cooper won the Gentlemen’s Singles, 2021 = Ashleigh Barty wins the Ladies’ Singles.


Adelaide & Port Adelaide now share the same highest & lowest score

In Round 17 against Essendon at Marvel Stadium, Adelaide finished on 2.9-21, setting a new record low score in the club’s history, which gives us this rather hilarious piece of symmetry involving the South Australian teams:

Port Adelaide’s highest score is 188, against Hawthorn in Round 13 of 2005 at AAMI Stadium.

Adelaide’s highest score is 188 against Essendon in Round 10 of 2006 at AAMI Stadium.

Port Adelaide’s lowest score is 21, against Collingwood in Round 20 of 2011 at AAMI Stadium.

And, as mentioned above, Adelaide’s lowest score is 21.

Further to it, Adelaide’s highest and lowest scores have both occurred against Essendon.


Fremantle’s 350th game celebrations occurred in the same round, against the same opponent, 5 seasons apart

2016: Matthew Pavlich plays his 350th game for the Dockers in Round 19 against the Sydney Swans, with the Swans winning comfortably:

2021: David Mundy plays his 350th game for the Dockers in Round 19 against the Sydney Swans, with the Swans winning comfortably:


Geelong vs Melbourne at Kardinia Park in 2018 and 2021

Round 18, 2018: Melbourne lead the Cats 2.3-15 to 2.1-13 at Quarter Time, and the game ends with a goal after the siren (To Zach Tuohy) at the City End.

Round 23, 2021: Melbourne lead the Cats 2.3-15 to 2.1-13 at Quarter Time, and the game ends with a goal after the siren (To Max Gawn) at the City End.


In all 3 finals series the Brisbane Lions have played under Chris Fagan, they’ve played the eventual Grand Finalists in both finals

2019: Richmond (QF) and GWS (SF)

2020: Richmond (QF) and Geelong (PF)

2021: Melbourne (QF) and the Western Bulldogs (SF)


The sequence of ending the longest premiership drought

In 2005, the Sydney Swans ended the longest Premiership drought in league history (72 years) by winning their first Grand Final since 1933, handing the mantle of the longest active premiership drought to the Western Bulldogs.

In 2016, the Western Bulldogs ended their 62-year Premiership drought, and they defeated the Sydney Swans to do it.

As a result, Melbourne became the club with the longest current Premiership drought, and in 2021, the Demons ended their 57 year premiership drought…. by defeating the Western Bulldogs.

The only conclusion from this?

St Kilda, who now have the mantle of longest premiership drought for the second time in league history, will somehow end their drought against Melbourne.


Similarities between the 1954 and 2021 Finals

The Grand Final was between Melbourne and the Footscray/Western Bulldogs, with the date for the big dance being September 25.

The Bulldogs qualified for the Grand Final on September 11.

Melbourne qualified for the Grand Final by defeating Geelong in the Preliminary Final….

….

And that’s the end of them, because Saturday’s result was a total 180 on 1954.


Similarities between the Bulldogs’ losing 1961 and 2021 Grand Finals

1961 – The Bulldogs lead Hawthorn by 8 points at half time (35-27), but get swamped in the second half as the Hawks win a drought-breaking premiership.

2021 – The Bulldogs lead Melbourne by 8 points at half time (47-39), but get swamped in the second half as the Demons win a drought-breaking premiership.

In both years, the Bulldogs had kicked 5 behinds to Half Time…. Their opposition had kicked 9.


Melbourne and the number 57

Melbourne’s premiership drought, aka the Curse of Norm Smith, finally ended after 57 years.

The supercoach Norm Smith was 57 when he died in 1973.

How many points did Melbourne score in the final quarter of the Grand Final?

57.


The last 2 Grand Finals to not feature a 200 game player = 1971 and 2021

In ’71, the Grand Final between Hawthorn and St Kilda occurred on September 25, and the most experienced player on the ground was Saints captain Ross Smith, who was playing his 199th game.

The Saints lost.

In ’21, the Grand Final between Melbourne and St Kilda occurred on September 25, and the most experienced player on the ground was Bulldogs ruckman Stefan Martin, who played his 199th game.

The Bulldogs lost.


And finally, the Tokyo Olympics = Melbourne Premierships

1964: Tokyo hosts the Summer Olympics, and Melbourne win the premiership after winning the minor premiership.

2021: Thanks to being delayed by a year due to the Pandemic, after 57 years, Tokyo hosts the Summer Olympics, and Melbourne win the premiership after winning the minor premiership.

If you know your Olympic history, Tokyo was also due to host the 1940 Summer Olympics, which never went ahead due to the Second World War… Melbourne won the flag that year as well!

In fact, Melbourne’s last 5 Grand Final appearances have all occurred in Olympic years; Rome 1960 (Won), Tokyo 1964 (Won), Seoul 1988 (Lost), Sydney 2000 (Lost), and Tokyo 2021* (Won)

The Dees also won flags in 1956, 1948 and 1900, and to come to think of it, we shouldn’t be surprised that the Red & Blue perform so well in Olympic years…. they are two of the colours that make up the Olympic rings.

* = Sure it was 2020, but they did take place in 2021.

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