Ten Things Week Two of the Finals Taught Me

1 – Essendon might have been a bit quick to let Jake Melksham go. This guy is seriously good, and it seems opposition teams don’t put any time into him. He seems to enjoy the big stage as well. He’s been a real find this year. I’m guessing the Bombers would love Hibberd back as well?

2 – The sliding rule is getting a bit silly now. This rule is fast becoming a joke. It was brought in to stop players sliding in and taking out their opponent’s legs as was the case when Lindsay Thomas cleaned up Gary Rohan. Now it seems you can be on all fours with the ball and a player can basically run into your body with his legs and fall over you and be awarded a free kick despite the high contact. Jordan Lewis and Angus Brayshaw would be scratching their heads today, if it didn’t hurt them so much to do so…

3 – I think Jarryd Roughead gets to play out another year. If you saw his game on Friday night, you can see he’s not finished. And he still does have one more year on his contract. I’d hate to see the Hawks get trigger happy after losing in straight sets and wield the axe. I can certainly think of one or two others who deserve to go before Roughy.

4 – Melbourne are a dead-set chance to make the Grand Final. Well, they’ve definitely found something and have just beaten their 4th top eight team in a row. A trip to the West is their next assignment, and where the game will be won or lost will be with Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling. Although, I daresay that Tom McDonald is looming larger than those two boys right now.

5 – Jack Gunston’s poster might have turned the game. I know Jason Dunstall has been a vocal detractor of the dribble-kick, but I’m starting to think we need to start addressing players who like to shoot for goal on a 45 degree angle with a kick across the body. Surely the drop punt is more accurate than that? That miss from 15 metres on the run that hit the post would’ve brought Hawthorn to within a single-digit margin and a simple drop punt would’ve sealed the deal. A snap on the run is always harder. Straight into the woodwork and a goal at the other end one minute later. An 11 point turnaround and a momentum changer. #bringbackthedroppunt

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6 – I don’t think Jeremy Cameron is as good as he thinks he is. I’m a Jeremy Cameron fan. His best is unreal. But how often do we get to see it? I think 2018 will go down as a disappointing year for him. I’m sure if he puts in another mediocre season in 2019 there’s every chance Stephen Silvagni will try and lure him down to Carlton.

7 – The Pies have finally won a 2nd game against a Top 8 team. They silenced the doubters… me included. And well done to them! This was the big knock on the Pies this year. And I was one who thought they had an easy-ish draw that enabled them to make Top 4. I guess I was a little ignorant of the fact that they’ve always been competitive against all the teams in the 8 without beating most of them. Anyway, lesson learnt. They did it when it counts and now have 6 days to recover before facing the team to beat. You’d have to think them outsiders.

8 – If Steele Sidebottom doesn’t make Mark Robinson’s Top 10, Robbo’s an idiot. I’m fast developing a man-crush on this guy. In terms of match-winning ability and importance to the team, I’ve got him ahead of Franklin, Dangerfield, Mitchell and others. He’s the complete package and never puts in a shocker. His disposal on both sides of the body is breathtaking and his decision making is impeccable. I’ll be watching next week just to see him and Dusty on the same ground together.

9 – I’m looking forward to hearing the constant whinging about the six-day break for the next six days! There’s no doubt the AFL got this one wrong. And normally, I’d be joining the chorus of criticism being leveled at them for their sheer incompetence that resulted in Collingwood being forced to play just six days after this game. The only reason why I’m not is because it’s Collingwood. I’m sorry, but it’s just too much fun listening to them lose their collective minds over things like this so I’m going to sit back and listen to the sooking with a little grin on my face. It’s almost as much fun as trolling lefties on the internet.

10 – Last week, Toby Greene was on the Australia’s Most Wanted List. This week he’s become a Missing Person. I thought this man might’ve been the difference, but Brayden Maynard had other ideas. He’s kept him goalless and only allowed him nine possessions while gathering 16 himself. If Dusty plays forward next week, this guy might get that job, although I can’t see him (or anyone) beating the reigning Brownlow medallist. I’m disappointed that my vision of Toby taking a mark while decapitating a Collingwood defender with his outstretched leg and STILL not giving away a free kick never eventuated. Ah well Tobes, you now have six months to get that shit out of your game as there’ll be a rule change because of your actions, no doubt.

Well done to Melbourne and Collingwood. Tough assignments lay ahead. My tips for next week, Richmond easily and West coast maybe…

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