Finals - Week 2

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Finals - Week 2

Post by Booney on Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:31 am

...and then there were 6.

A mixed bag last week with at least two of the games going as predicted and perhaps two games going against the odds. As it turns out the Dockers and the Kangaroos were rewarded with resting players in the final minor round game with wins in their first final. Adelaide were the only travelling team to win on the road, the Hawks and Swans both losing in the West. The Swans, albeit the loser on the scoreboard deserve mention for their gallant effort while being under manned, things didn’t get any better for them on that front. The Crows deserve mention for the way they finished off the game and their very efficient ball use.


Friday night – Hawthorn v Adelaide

Not many sides have fun heading to Perth and while the Hawks went there a month or so ago with success the return trip wasn’t as friendly with the Eagles taking it to them from the outset and holding strong throughout the night with only a couple of very short lived fight backs from the Hawks. Adelaide got jumped, the Bulldogs had 4 goals before anyone could get their seats but from there Adelaide moved the ball as quickly as anyone can or does and pretty much hit the scoreboard with every I50 in the first half with top shelf efficiency.

Lots of comments about “The Hawks looked slow”, “Is their time up?” after last week’s game. It’s a bold move to write this group off on the back of one loss, but, to be fair, they’ve had a few losses in the latter half of the year and the Tigers, Port and the Eagles have all beaten them and fair to say beaten them soundly in the last 8 weeks. Not often the Hawks find themselves 8-9 goals down as they did last week, it prompted a bit of a fightback but as noted above it was short lived as the 4 goal run either side of ¾ time was held up by two late steadiers to the Eagles and a sound 32 win sent the Hawks home to play a knock out final.

So what did the Eagles do right and what did the Hawks get wrong? First off all the Eagles played their brand of footy, they didn’t let the Hawks have the ball much early and when Hawthorn did get it forward the Eagles swarmed them in defence, caused turnovers then they spread and ran the Hawks off their feet to score on the rebound. Hawthorn wouldn’t like seeing that as their opponent this week plays in a similar fashion. Lake got touched up by Kennedy, Gibson was drawn wide by Darling to give Kennedy and LeCras room to move and both used it well. This hurt the Hawks as Gibson wasn’t able to get third man up and Lake was cooked whenever he had to chase Kennedy up and back. At the other end Frawley looked like a fish out of water in the front half, Gunston only had the two marks and much of this was to do with the pressure on the ball carrier. The Hawks average around 100 marks per game, they keep the ball off you, on Friday night, 66 marks. That’s what the pressure created.

I’ve grown a little sick of pumping up Betts and Walker in recent weeks but not much can be said other than how good these two were last week. Betts took advantage of Douglas and Sloane getting the ball moving quick early and snuck out the back to get 3 before the game had really got going. He’d already had an impact on the outcome before the magnets on the whiteboards got put into place. Walker led his team from the front, some big marks, some big goals and some missiles off his boot when the game was there to be won harking back to the days of Carey, Brown and Tredrea as the centre half forward of old. Fair mention to Knight and Henderson who played as good as they have for some weeks. Lynch and Jenkins were held out of it, Jacobs was subdued by Minson ( Is Sauce cooked, he was down against Geelong and now the Bulldogs. Neither side has much of a ruck battery ) and the back half all had a goal or two kicked on them. That’s what happens when both sides kick over 100 points. But the likes of Betts, Walker, Sloane, Douglas and to a slightly lesser extent Dangerfield carried the side through with excellent ball use and quick movement from one end to the other.

The Bulldogs game plan though does play into Adelaide’s hands though. The Dogs open up and play fast attacking football, if they cough it up though they can get burnt on the return and Adelaide scorched them with ball movement and clinical finishing in front of goals. Adelaide will need to tighten up and tighten up fast. 30+ scoring shots and 60+ I50’s shows the Crows were fortunate to finish as well as they did in front of goals.

I think the Hawks win this, but I won’t be surprised if Adelaide get across the line. Real danger for a top 4 side to go out with a one-two combination of the Eagles and Crows.

Hawthorn, just. 10 points.

Match up to watch – Jacobs v Hale/McEvoy. Jacobs fly’s alone as Adelaide’s lead ruckman. He gets some soft support from Jenkins, but fair to say Adelaide’s coaches don’t want Jenkins in the middle for long. Firstly, he doesn’t do ruck work very well, secondly, it hurts their F50 structure. Jacobs got touched up by Stanley/Blicavs in Geelong and last week Minson could say he shared the honours. This week Jacobs faces the two man team of Hale/McEvoy and if Adelaide lose clearances again this week the class of the Hawks will do more damage than the Puppies from the West. Key match up this one.


Saturday night – Sydney v North Melbourne.

You have to hand it to the Swans, heading West in what can only be described as being in an undermanned state they took it right up to the Dockers and could well believe they let one slip through poor finishing in front of goal. Opportunity lost there. Across the continent in Melbourne the Kangaroos did what sides playing Richmond in finals do. They won. I tipped the Tigers last week. Why did I do that, it was an elimination final and I should know better.

The Swans had some genuinely outstanding performances. Kennedy was simply outstanding, his third quarter haul of 16 disposals was brilliant and baffling. It seemed Lyon was happy to let him do as he pleased or the player he sent to him couldn’t find him. Hannebery was also outstanding, he controlled much of Sydneys forward thrusts in the second half. Adam Goodes showed time does not take it’s toll on everyone, he was as good as any. Consider this. The three mentioned above had 98 touches, 15 marks, 18 tackles, 13 I50’s and 4 R50’s between them. Talk about a few doing a lot. One other bloke stood tall too. Big Tippo had to play in the middle and forward with Franklin missing and Reid pinging a hammy early he had a massive work load and continued his great form by doing plenty of good work all over the ground. He’s in ripping form and has a big job ahead of him again this week.

A bit like the Swans, the Roos had a few really step up and another bloke who Father time has missed was as good as any. Boomer knocked up 31 touches and 2 goals to show the young blokes that he’s still a force to be reakoned with this year and next. He’s not slowing down at all. Ex-Carlton dud come not-too-bad Kangas forward Jarrad Waite had a belter. 4 goals, 8 marks, 7 tackles. He was at it in the air , on the ground and in front of the big sticks. One of the absolute locks for the AA team, Goldstein, gave Maric a bath. 13 touches, 3 marks and another truck load of hitouts, 46 of them. He is without doubt the ruckman of the year. 30 shots on goal in a final is good going and the Roos forward half and scoring power will worry the Swans.

Two differing styles here. Sydney average 40 more touches a game and most of them are handballs, so they flip it around more and most of them are uncontested. North go more by foot and they outmark the Swans and take more contested marks. So one side runs, opens up with handball the other is happy to kick to a contest. Will be an interesting arm wrestle to watch.

While the Roos have the winning form and the Swans look to be down on troops, the Swans effort in Perth can’t be understated and the Roos really on beat Richmond in an elimination final.

I think the Swans should, as above, win this one but a Roos victory wouldn’t be a total shock. Sydney will be in full lock down mode and want a low scoring affair, they won’t let the Kangas look at the big white sticks 30 times. Sydney by 16 points.

Match up to watch – Jarrad Waite v Ted Richards. Waite has proven to be a very good foil for Petrie. Bagging 39 in the minor round and 4 last week sets him up as the man to shut down for the Swans. Richards looks like his match up, Richards stays closer to goal than Grundy and he’ll be keen to keep Waite quiet. Midfield pressure will decide this one, but some clean hands and 3 goals or more from Waite will go a long way to helping the Roos set up a date with the Eagles.
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Re: Finals - Week 2

Post by Gingernuts on Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:41 am

I genuinely can't predict either result.

It's not often that the 2 losing qualifying final sides have looked this vulnerable. Despite the odds (Adelaide are paying $4!) I think both are genuine 50/50's.

Looking forward to another cracking weekend of footy.
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Re: Finals - Week 2

Post by Paul on Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:15 am

Reckon North will beat Sydney.
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