The last game of the year is now over. It’s only a few months until AFLW begins! At least we have the NFL to tide us over through the offseason…
Welcome to Balls of Steel’s AFL Beat!
The Grand Final started off super tight. For most of the first quarter, the scoreline resembled a high-scoring soccer game. However, a few quick goals at the end of the period made the score 15-8 to Richmond at Quarter Time.
On our impromptu live-blog, we noted that it was actually a good thing for the Giants that the game was this close. In truth, Richmond had dominated play for most of the period and could have been ahead by a lot more. The Giants had experienced a period of time where they took control of the game, but only had gotten behinds in return. This did not bode well.
As soon as the second quarter began, the bottom fell out. The Tigers began scoring at will and what started as a tight and competitive game blew open into a 47-12 Half Time lead for Richmond.
The big question was whether the Giants would be able to claw their way back into the game in the third quarter and then possibly make a run in the fourth. Alas, Richmond scored the first points of the third and shut down any hopes the Giants faithful may have had.
In the end, it was a thorough and complete ass-kicking. The Giants scored 25 points in total, their lowest score ever and the lowest total for any team in a Grand Final since 1960.
The final margin was 89 points, which more closely reflected the difference between the two teams on this Grand Final Day.
Here are the highlights:
As I discussed immediately in the aftermath in the open thread, I don’t think this is a case of Richmond being unbeatable or GWS having reached their full potential. I fully believe that GWS made some mistakes and found themselves in a situation they couldn’t get out of. The same thing happened to Geelong in the Preliminary Final.
If Giants coach Leon Cameron had it all to do it again, I’m pretty sure he would have gone with a different lineup and a different gameplan. But hindsight is 20-20. The truth is that Richmond do an amazing job of pressuring opponents into making mistakes and compounding them with bad rushed decisions that snowball into giving the Tigers control of the game.
The big question for the rest of the AFL is to see how they can counter that. The Tigers were not unbeaten this year. Teams were able to cope with the pressure in one way or another. It’s really a question of mental toughness and being able to stem the flow when Richmond begin applying their pressure successfully.
On the other side of the coin, the Richmond Tigers thoroughly deserved their victory and should also be commended for fighting through injuries early in the year and maintaining a high level of performance. It is a credit to the Tigers’ depth that critical players went down and youngsters stepped up and delivered. Heck, we had a Tigers player, Marlion Pickett, make his AFL debut in the Grand Final and he responded with a goal, 22 disposals, and an overall great performance.
Footy Tipping Contest
Here are the final standings:
|Total Tips||Total Margin|
|3||Son Of Spam||1||74||134||794|
|8||Game Time Decision||1||78||117||854|
|9||Joliet Jake Delhomme||0||95||117||933|
|10||Why Eagles Why||0||89||114||871|
Big congratulations to Litre_cola, who has won the AFL Footy Tipping Contest Championship and will receive a big prize of my choosing! Also a hearty congratulations to BC Dick, who pipped me at the end on margin for fourth place. The tight battle for the 7th spot between Joliet Jake Delhomme, Yeah Right, and Game Time Decision was won by Yeah Right with a correct Grand Final pick. Well done, boys and congrats again to Litre! Your Four Loko Fleshlight is on its way!
And now, for the last time until 2020:
DONT FORGET TO PUT THE FOOTY TIPS IN!
That’s all for this season! Thank you very much for following along each week and picking a favourite team to root for. To LemonJello and BFC, my condolences on a horrible Grand Final but hey, at least you made it there! The season could have been a lot worse.
The AFLW season begins in February shortly after the Super Bowl, so the plan is for an AFLW season preview around NFL playoffs time. See you in 2020!