Round 22 AFL Preview
Last Week 7/9 Season Total 126/180
One thing I like about history is being able to go back to a time when things were better. If you’re a Collingwood supporter this is two weeks ago, or a Port supporter it is about a month ago. But what I’m more talking about, since it’s fast approaching, is AFL Finals. I was a big fan of the McIntyre Final 8 system which was used by the AFL from 1994 to 1999. These were the glory days of footy when big scores were often kicked, and you’d hope you were on the right side of the ledger. For those who are too young, or like me have fast-failing memories, the McIntyre Final 8 system had the first week of finals being 1 v 8, 2 v 7, 3 v 6 and 4 v 5 and then things got complicated. Firstly, what I liked about it was that finishing higher on the ladder mattered. In the current system, if you finish 1st or 2nd, you have the same probability of making the grand final. Under the McIntyre Final 8 system, your chances at position one was slightly better than at position 2. The McIntyre Final 8 system also rewarded teams with momentum coming into the finals. Of course, the powers that be nixed the system, mostly because of its shortcomings which were this; it’s an absolute bugger to understand and scheduling finals is near impossible because you don’t know who the home team or away team or the eliminated teams are until all games are played. Nottomention in rare circumstances 3rd and 4th on the ladder could be eliminated in the first week! But by changing the system, the AFL introduced a way to manipulate it. Have we considered that Collingwood would prefer to finish 2nd? That may give them reason to lose some matches as they would be likely to play a lesser-ranked opponent. However, if that lesser-ranked opponent also starts losing then that sure screws that up. No, Collingwood were not tanking, let’s not go there…West Coast have already been accused of that this week. Conspiracies are a slippery slope. First you think teams are tanking, then you think the Moon landings were faked, then the Earth becomes flat and before you know it, Trump was robbed of victory! Worst of all is just by typing that, and now you reading it, your internet feeds algorithm will present a plethora of pseudo-science articles to bait you with and by next Wednesday you’ll be meeting Graham Hancock in a dark alley to discuss pyramid construction techniques.
Listening to some of the AFL Analysts and I’d say they are already there. I sometimes think that every handball and every kick is a conspiracy as far as they are concerned. At the start of the season, I was watching every analysis show for material for this weekly bit, but now I don’t even turn on the telly or watch that many matches as it’s all wrong. I’m pretty sure we’re living in a computer simulation anyway.
With Foil hats on, it’s time to look at this week’s matches.
Collingwood vs Geelong MCG Friday Night
I’d like to point out just how good I am
(anyone that asks, and I’ll tell them).
Last week I said Collingwood is in that space where they don’t
necessarily have to win (they can finish as low as second and be just as well
off) and a team like Hawthorn just need to body line the Pies players who will
be wary of getting injured and not crack in as hard and, while it wasn’t enough
for me to tip them, that’s exactly what Hawthorn did. If you create a chart of stats that matter and
look at Collingwood’s background rate, this game was a good 10% below
that. Those same stats for Hawthorn show
this game was 30% higher than their background rate! It’s true, I saw it on one of those AFL
Analytics shows that I don’t watch. The
thing for Collingwood now is they have to start winning again. They still have maybe one more loss up their
sleeve, but they now risk finishing third and facing a trip to the Gabba for
their first final. And they were given a
very important reminder by Hawthorn that being a bit soft at the contest doesn’t
protect you from injury and they now must proceed without Murphy and Wunderkind
Daicos who may have just emptied the pockets of many Brownlow betters.
Speaking of conspiracies, it has been
suggested that West Coast tanked against Essendon in the dying minutes. I’d prefer to give Essendon the benefit of
the doubt for a well-earned victory which keeps them in the hunt. As for
The Swans have been a little surprise
packet in the last few weeks and are now sitting just outside the 8 with last year’s
other grand finalist. A win here could
see them sneak into the 8 for the first time since round 5…talk about picking
your moments! Gold Coast were travelling
pretty well but a halt was put to that when they came up against
For the last seven weeks,
West Coast vs Fremantle
Hawthorn vs Footscray UTAS Stadium Sunday
The Hawks had an over-performing win
against Collingwood last week. The tough
thing for supporters is that they now know what the team is capable of and so
anything less than that will not be tolerated.
Setting a new normal is a frightful thing for a young club. Footscray took an excellent victory over a
Saint Kilda vs
The Saints were rolled by a red-hot
The Giants were travelling well before
falling to a rising