Monday, 27 September 2010

What a grand final! Same again next week?

724205-goddard Collingwood and St Kilda tore each other part in Melbourne on Saturday. That was some Grand Final!  After 2 hours of fast-paced, high-skilled, throat-tightening, bone-crunching, buttock-clenching action—after St Kilda came back in the last six minutes with one of the best Grand Final marks of all time (right, by Brendon Goddard—video here) to put themselves ahead and avoid the unmentionable by just a whisker—at the end of those two hours of non-stop action, scores were still locked at 68 each ... and players and fans realised that rather than this being either the end of their road this season or the culmination of their dreams, that they would all be back at the MCG again the same time next week to do it all over again.

That’s right.  The AFL Grand Final ended in a draw.  No extra time.  No penalty shoot-outs. The game gets replayed next week.

Only fair, I’d say, when it’s clear that after a full game neither tem could beat the other.  Which meant neither team could claim to be the champion.

The game on Saturday was a gruelling mental battle in its purest sense, punctuated by a series of truly heroic moments. In the end neither side would accept defeat and neither side was defeated. Surely there was some beauty in the glorious mess of it all.

Goddard At the end of the game, players were utterly spent and almost unbelieving.

Asked what he was going to tell his players back in the sheds, Collingwood captain Nick Maxwell was for once lost for words. He was rescued by both coaches however, who reached into their bags of clich├ęs to assure everyone, including themselves, they’d be back bigger and better next week.

Just like most of the fans, who get to have another week of football to enjoy, and another belter of a game to look forward to.

That’s  good for footy.

Just as long as the Saints don’t the Pies pull out the premiership at the end of it.

That wouldn’t be.



Oh, and just in case you want to see some other marks to which you can compare this one …


  1. Hi PC
    Not a usual AFL viewer, but did watch most of the game on Saturday.
    I point perhaps you can enlighten me on please.
    Witnessed a mark taken during the game and after lets say 5 seconds of standing around looking for a support person, the ref called out play on (or words to that effect)
    Same thing happened, but this time the mark was around the 50m arc. The player seemed to be given a lot more time as he was taking a punt for goal.
    Is this normal?
    Are players given longer time when they indicate they are shooting for goal?
    Can than not then fake and pass to a team mate?

  2. That's a good question.

    Yes, it's normal. Players getting a "free" are required to take their quickly, and/or they can play on immediately if they wish. And yes, a player can start taking a kick for goal and then offload to a team-mate.

    Why is a kicker at goal given more time, however? That's a very good question.

    Technically, every kick from a mark, wherever it is, is allowed 30 seconds. It's possible however that free kicks out in general play are given a little less than this (it certainly seems that way sometimes, especially when it's your team who's told to "play on"), or it may be that the players you saw had actually elected to play on instead of going back to take their kick, or they'd moved as if to play on, and in either case the umpire would call "play on" so their opponents would know they could now legally dump them.

    Does that help?

    FWIW, here's some FAQs about the game that look as though they might solve some other more common queries. :-)

  3. I have difficulty understanding why anyone would follow such a stupid game. It's bad enough that we have to put up with the poor man's rugby (i.e. "league") on TV let alone something that was adapted from Gaelic football as a means of keeping cricket players fit in the off season. Next thing you'll be cheering that silly American code where they wear pillows on their shoulders and stand about doing nothing most of the time. ;-)


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