Finals Week 3 AFL Preview - Preliminary Finals
2023 AFL FINALS WEEK 3
And then there were four. The statistical Leviathan was 100% correct in the first week of finals and 100% wrong in the second week. I will need to add a tweak to discount for momentum in the future. Melbourne’s season is over and in such a disappointing fashion. You can make a lot of excuses for them (Brayshaw, Van Rooyen) but in the end, as I watched it, I saw a team with zero creativity and a lack of poise in tight moments. It was an error-riddled match from both teams and not from direct pressure either so I would expect Melbourne to do a lot of work in the off-season about creating and utilising the options ahead of them. Their predictability was as costly as their missed shots on goal.
Port Adelaide bow out in straight sets too. Was this a clever ploy by Hinkley to get the contract and then sabotage the season? What clauses in the contract might Kochie be able to execute to give him the chop now? Their young midfield group, so good throughout the regular season, were cast aside by GWS in a fashion that makes one wonder…was the season too long for them or are they talented but unable to handle the pressure of the finals? We’ll see come next season. My understanding is Kochie is edging for the role as AFL Chairman. That is extraordinary lengths to go to just to permit Port to wear the prison bars. If I were him, I’d invoke some kind of Prima Nocta to try and breed out the Daicos bloodline.
Sadly, during the week we also lost Ron Barassi. There is not much more that could be given to the game than Ron did, and his legacy will be honoured accordingly. Firstly, with a state funeral and then some rightfully deserved honour to have his name permanently associated with the game.
Ron Barassi (as player) 254 games, 181 wins, 68 losses, 5 draws.
Collingwood vs Greater Western Sydney MCG Friday Night
GWS certainly seem to be a different side than the last time these two teams met. In that game, it was an 11-goal demolition by the Pies in one of their best performances of the year. I don’t think it will be that easy this time. Looking more into that history and we see that Collingwood have won the last two after GWS had won the previous four matches. This is probably a game where you need to look at a few potential match ups. The biggest may be Brayden Maynard vs Toby Greene. Collingwood will need to accept the fact that Toby will kick two goals. He’s too good a player not to get off the leash at least a couple of times. Luckily Maynard has been cleared to play as in the past when Collingwood have tried to put an attacking defender on Greene, they have been badly exposed. Maynard’s lock-down and aggression may create the match up they are looking for. Moore, Murphy, and Howe will probably take the advantage over the rest of GWS’s attack and with good support from Quaynor.
GWS’s defence has been dynamite and Collingwood’s mish-mash attack will probably be outclassed. This means that the midfield is likely where this game will be won with both teams relying on scoring contributions from their respective midfields. Losing Adams was harmful to Collingwood’s grunt, and we saw the way the experienced midfield of GWS brushed aside the young midfield group of Port Adelaide so Collingwood will need a good balance in there to square clearance and generate run on the outside. But GWS generate their own very impressive run on the outside and Collingwood will need an impressive looking seawall to hold back the Orange Tsunami.
Toby Greene didn’t play the last time these two teams met so he is an important inclusion for the visitors and last time they let Nick Daicos run around at will and get 41 disposals (and 3 votes probably) so expect a different approach to managing him now that he is back.
Collingwood will also have the addition of their much-touted 19th man in a crowd that will be more likely 95,000 Collingwood supporters, 3 GWS supporters and 1,500 ‘neutral’ supports just hoping to see Collingwood lose. The commentators laid down the challenge that Carlton fans are louder than Pies supporters so expect some kind of one-upmanship to be invoked. And for that reason, Collingwood by 12 points.
Brisbane vs Carlton Gabba Saturday Twilight
Rather than an in-depth preview of the match, I thought a script for a proposed play might be a better way to address this one. Enjoy…
In this play, the part of the Fat Controller will be played by Chris Fagan
Narrator (Ringo Starr): "On the Island of Sodor, the engines were accustomed to their daily routines. But one day, a special party train arrived, filled with rowdy passengers who were causing quite a ruckus."
[Thomas and his friends are at Eagle Street Pier Station, bustling with excitement as the party train arrives. The Fat Controller stands on the platform, watching.]
Thomas: (Curious) "Look, everyone! It's the party train!"
James: (Excited) "Oh, this is going to be fun!"
[The party train's passengers are loud and boisterous, throwing confetti and dancing in the aisles. They are having a great time, but their behavior is disruptive.]
Henry: (Concerned) "These passengers are really rowdy."
[The party train continues to be noisy and disruptive as it travels across the island. Passengers are playing loud music, banging drums, and causing a commotion.]
Percy: (Worried) "I can hardly concentrate with all this noise."
[The party train arrives at The Gabba, where the engines are trying to rest.]
Gordon: (Irritated) "This is simply unbearable!"
[The Fat Controller arrives at The Gabba, his face stern.]
Fat Controller: (Authoritative) "Engines, this behavior is unacceptable! We must maintain order on the railway."
Thomas: (Curious) "What should we do, Sir?"
Fat Controller: "I will speak to the passengers on the party train and remind them of our railway rules and etiquette."
[The Fat Controller boards the party train and addresses the rowdy passengers.]
Fat Controller: (Firm) "Ladies and gentlemen, I understand you are here to have a good time, but we must respect our fellow passengers and the engines who work hard to keep the AFL running smoothly. Please keep the noise down and follow our rules."
[The passengers, slightly embarrassed, agree to comply.]
Narrator (Ringo Starr): "With the Fat Controller's intervention, the rowdy passengers on the party train calmed down and began to behave properly. The engines could finally enjoy some peace and quiet, and the AFL Finals returned to its usual order."
[The engines breathe a sigh of relief as they watch the party train depart, now with well-behaved passengers.]
Thomas: (Smiling) "Thank you, Fat Controller, for restoring peace in our Finals."
Brisbane by 22 points.