2017 Finals

Finals weeks 1-4, 2017 
All times are Eastern

Round 23 review: Super Tipping: 5 out of 9 (not too good) for a total of 131 (including a bonus of 2) and ranking dropped from 3,033 to 3,428 out of 42,149; that ends the Supertipping year now!

Certs: 3 out of 4 (with the Bombers, Port, Swans winning but the Lions biting the dust); streak wiped at 2 , back to zero and now up to 3 and ranked 2,846 (dropped from 2,527) (top 10%)

50/50: 0/2 (with the Lions losing and the Bombers not winning by enough)

Alas we are back to having a Thursday night match; so most teams  won’t be fully known at the time of this analysis




Finals 1 Venue Day Date Time TV Tip Margin Variance
ADEL V GWS Adel Thurs Sep 07 7.50pm CH 7  ADEL  12  EXTREME
GEEL v RICH MCG Fri Sep 08 7.50pm CH 7  GEEL  4  HIGH
SYD v ESS SCG Sat Sep 09 4.20pm CH 7  SYD  38  EXTREME
PORT v WCE Adel Sat Sep 09 7.50pm CH 7  PORT  27  HIGH


ADEL V GWS Adel Thurs Sep 07 7.50pm CH 7

Rain is forecast

Sloane had his appendix out 9 days prior to the game day and started light jogging 2 days prior to game time; the Crows made the right call there & Greenwood is his natural replacement; Stevie is omitted, but has battled knee issues of late; the Crows lost the season last year when they went down to the Eagles in R23 – slipping from 2nd to 5th in the process – then bombing out in w2 of the finals; this time they were supposed to have learned their lesson – well, they lost the same week to the same team, but retained top spot; this follows a loss in a fair dinkum game to the Swans in Adelaide; they will host the Giants after having their last win on 12 August against Essendon; it’s not what you expect from a flag favourite and it a cause for concern;  the Giants have only lost 1 in a row – at Geelong R23 after beating the Eagles in Sydney the week earlier; just when it seems GWS have turned the corner plus or minus, they do something to prove the opposite; a win at Geelong would’ve given the Giants a home final against Richmond – surely a better alternative than going to Adelaide; and these are the top two flag hopefuls!!! One of them will be into a prelim the easy way (well, maybe easy this year – not so good for GWS in 2016); if it is wet, do the Giants want 3 tall forwards?  Stevie J is an emergency and it is assumed that they have travelled with all 3 (+ Taranto and Perryman); the Giants have beaten the Crows just once – in 2015; and they got smashed by Adlelaide in R1 at the same venue; the game is one where a possible upset looms; but it is also possible that the Crows could romp home; Crows by 12 points and avoid this game if you can avoid 1!
Post March Review: Crows were tipped by 12 points and they won by 36 points; analysis was so-so; the Crows were virtually home at HT (up 38 points) and then the Giants won 2H by 2 points; in retrospect, the Crows “poor form” leading in was less of a concern than the Giants poor form; the Giants lost a home final with their R23 loss; the Crows lost nothing; the injuries on the night went against GWS; they lost Cameron early and Mummy struggled with an ankle injury; the Crows lost Smith early to sort of offset Cameron’s loss; the variance call was borderline – with the Crows being 38 points up at HT; there were 2 teams that played in qualifying finals this year that also played the 2016 qualifying final – GWS and Geelong; last year, GWS and Geeleong won the QF, had the week’s rest (ANOTHER week’s rest) and then both lost the prelim; of note was that they were the only teams that played in QF both 2016 and 2017 and BOTH lost the QF this year and significantly under-performed; coach Cameron said post-match that he definitely wanted to win and do it the easy way

GEEL v RICH MCG Fri Sep 08 7.50pm CH 7

These teams played recently – R21 at Geelong; the Tigers were rare favourites because the Cats were missing J Selwood, Hawkins and Duncan, but the Cats got over the line by 14 points; Caddy got injured early in that game (he plays for Richmond now) and is expected to be back for this match; the Cats have beaten the Tigers 13 times in a row now dating back to 2006; the Tigers lost last time – maybe because of the losing run, but also the weight of expectation as favourites at the cattery (who would’ve thunk!!); J Selwood is a chance to come back, but he may not be at 100% if so; these teams are behind 6th placed Sydney Swans in the premiership betting; but the winner of this game goes into a a prelim while the loser probably plays the Swans (will do so if the Swans win this week); the last time the Tigers had a double chance was 2001; then before that 1995; the story was the same in both years: bad loss week 1; fighting win week 2; blown away week 3; in those years, the team they faced first had a 25% + gp on them; in this case, it is about even; based on the long winning sequence and the Cats experience, they will be tipped; but the Tigers are a genuine chance; Cats by 4
Post March Review: Cats were tipped by 4 points but the Tigers won by 51 points; analysis was poor in every way; the variance was wrong, the wrong team was topped and the margin was miles off; Richmond was dominant early – without getting a winning break; but eventually powered away in 4Q; while the Tigers deserved their win any way you look at it, the margin probably blew out due to Geelong injuries; Guthrie went out 3Q; Kolodashnij struggled with injury and J Selwood was clearly underdone; Taylor played fwd for Geelong like last time vs Richmond on Rance; this time, Rance won the duel easily; the Richmond pressure was intense and the Cats butchered the ball as a result; it was great for Tiger fans to see them make their first prelim since 2001 (and win their first final since 2001)

SYD v ESS SCG Sat Sep 09 4.20pm CH 7

Fine and sunny weather

the Swans loom as the one obvious cert for the weekend; they are on a huge winning run – bar for 2 injury-plagued hiccups against Hawthorn; one such win was a “get out of jail free” card given to them by the Bombers at this venue in R14; the Bombers led by 19 points with under 4 minutes to go and managed to cough it up; who does this advantage?  Many say the Dons; but it is probably neutral in the context of a final;  the Bombers recent form needs to be scrutinized; given the fact that they won the last round and others around them lost, they “got away with” some poor form.  Back in R17, they thrashed the Saints and that was their last victory that speaks of being a genuine finals contender; since then:
R18: beat the Roos by 27 points – okay, but it was North’s 7th loss in a row
R19: lost to the Dogs by 30 points
R20: Beat the Blues by 8 points
R21: toweled up by the Crows at Docklands by 43 points
R22: beat the Suns by 33 points away; the Suns sacked the coach after R20 and, either side of the Bombers loss, they lost to the Lions by 58 points and then Port by 115
R23: beat the Dockers by 15 points
this is the form of a team that is struggling to be competitive – more like a 14th placed team than one in 7th. Sure, they look like getting back Fantasia, Hurley and Hooker
Hannebery, Tippett and Sinclair were all genuinely not able to play R23, according to the coach – backed by by them training Tuesday and needing to pull up well to be selected; one of Tippett, Sinclair and Naismith might miss anyway;  Swans by 38 and certs of the week; the EXTREME has been put in because the Bombers may, perhaps, fall away terribly late in the game
Post March Review: Swans were tipped by 38 points and they won by 65 points; analysis was excellent, except that the Bombers were blown away fairly early, not late as suggested; between this preview and Penny’s preview below, that pretty much nailed it; the game was done at HT

PORT v WCE Adel Sat Sep 09 7.50pm CH 7

Showers to be gone by game time, hopefully

The Eagles have won their past three against Port in Adelaide ; but the last match needs to be put into perspective; Port won the game everywhere bar the scoreboard; and this was the game BEFORE Port went to China!  Much distraction abounded!  Port will be tipped to win this one.  but have they beaten a team in the eight?  Well, they almost beat the Cats in Geelong (Port fans reckon they would have had a Robbie Gray free been paid in the last minute); and the other question is – are the Eagles a genuine top 8 team?  As it is, they just fell in – and maybe wouldn’t have made it had the Crows needed to win in order to get a double chance – or needed percentage.  Port finished 2 wins and 24% ahead of the Eagles; Port by 27 points
Post March Review: Port was tipped by 27 points but the Eagles won by 2 points; analysis was very poor; Port fans are still wondering how they lost this one; they had it won twice – late in 4Q and late in extra time; McGovern (142 SC) was playing in defence on the inexperienced Marshall and racked up heaps of intercept marks; Port kicked badly (10:16 to 12:6) and this was mentioned by the coach; Dixon kicked 3:6 and starred, but probably lost the game off his own boot

 Certs: Swans only

50/50 (where the experts have it wrong): Swans by over 34 points; Port by over 18 points

For those who still have tipping to do – all the best; it might not be as easy as it looks

Finals week 1 thoughts – by Penny Dredfell
Reviewing my thoughts on round 23 : awful!!! I fell for the trick of getting too gung-ho on a lowly team – and paid the price.

This week, it’s the Bombers; Longggey stole my thunder a bit (see above) about the form of Essendon; that is part 1 of the story; the next thing is their aim for the year – it was to make finals; having done that, they will do their best to win a final, but the  goal has already been achieved; their battle has been long and hard – stretching back years; the worst thing that could happen to Essendon is the week’s bye; it drags things out even more; the Bombers are shot; I expect the Swans to win by over 7 goals and I am due to hit form soon!


Finals weeks 2, 2017 
All times are Eastern

Finals week 1 review: Tipping: 2 out of 4 (not that great) missing on the Tigers and Eagles

Certs: 1 out of 1 (with the Swans winning but forgot to put in tip – frown); streak shows as zero and ranked 2,852 (dropped from 2,846) (top 10%)

50/50: 1/2 (with the winner being a big Swans win and the loser being Port)

Those horrid Thursday night matches are now over (smile)

Early thoughts for week 2: tipsters seem just as confident on the Swans as the Giants; but the Giants are total certs, while the Swans should win – based on form – but the Cats do have some semblance of a chance.


Finals 2 Venue Day Date Time TV Tip Margin Variance
GEEL V SYD MCG  Fri Sep 15 7.50pm CH 7  SYD  8  HIGH
GWS v WCE Spotless – Syd  Sat Sep 16 7.25pm CH 7  GWS  30  EXTREME

Things to consider this week: all four teams playing this week had a bye after R23; this suited some teams and not others; how they come up second week after the bye will be a factor; also the Eagles now face a second week travelling east (then a third and fourth if they keep winning); then there is the issue of the extra time and a kick after extra time to win; we also have two pretty hot favourites – of of which is the lower team on the ladder


GEEL V SYD MCG  Fri Sep 15 7.50pm CH 7

This match might be played in the wet – with 2-8mm forecast and a breezy evening

The Swans are considered to be almost over the line by many experts; the Swans finished 6th compared to Geelong 2nd and are the travelling team; so why are they so hotly fancied (by about 3 goals)?  The main reason is that the Swans have been fantastic after a 0-6 start to the season – having only lost 2 games (to Hawthorn each time and injury-affected each time); they have few injuries – pretty much their best 22 available; they beat the Crows away in R22, then monstered the Blues R23 and Bombers F1; on the other side, the Cats have several injuries; the main ones are C Guthrie (injured last week, so the Cats will need at least 1 IN) and Cockatoo (who is a tiny chance to come back in; another plus for the Swans is that their 2s played the NEAFL GF last week, while Geelong’s VFL  team is out of the finals – with their possible INS not having played since 27 Aug.

Despite all this doom and gloom, the Cats do have some chance here; coach Scott has already confirmed that Menzel will be an in; the Cats were outplayed early against Richmond, then looked a fluky chance to win in 3Q before getting blown away late; the loss looked awful, but they were probably out-coached and had several players less than 100% at the end (Guthrie, Kolodjashnij and Parsons – with J Selwood looking underdone); the key to a Geelong win would be to get more out of J Selwood – and for Parsons and Kolodjashnij to be right to go; if so, they can improve on the F1 loss; many clubs throughout history have won F2 after an awful F1; the Swans were blown away by the Giants F1 last year and then easily accounted for Adelaide the next week; similarly, the Hawks lost F1 in 2015 in Perth, then thrashed Adelaide a week later.

But the Swans deserve their favourite status this week; they look like a top 4 team who happens to be 6th; the Cats are playing like a 5-8 team that somehow finished 2nd; the Swans will be tipped, but not as certs; in fact, this is the danger game of the round; the Swans have got off to a flier in the past 2 games against Geelong – 7 goals to zip in the 2016 prelim and then 7 goals to 2 this year R20 at Geelong; the start will be of interest – and a big focus for the Cats; it is expected that 1Q will be closer than in recent times; and then 2Q becomes critical! If the Swans lose, it may be that they have been “up for a long time”; Swans by 8 points

Post March Review: Swans were tipped by 8 points but the Cats won by 59 points; analysis was miles off – with 1 small positive; the wrong team was tipped and the variance should have been tipped as EXTREME; that’s the bad news; the plus is that many already had the Swans in the GF and saw them as total certs against Geelong; the warning that this was a “danger game” was the plus; Danger was a problem for the Swans – going forward are wreaking havoc; the Swans looked to be out of petrol tickets – a result of being up for a long time plus the Cats really being up; once a break was established, the game was a bit like 2010 GF mark 2 – when the Saints got behind and had nothing left to give; Buddy was declared fit after a F1 corkie and he struggled; speaking of which, Lonergan was going to play on Franklin, but he was out with food poisoning – replaced by Stanley (75 SC), but Taylor played on Franklin (99 SC points vs Franklin 43 SC and 0:3); the Cats took a risk playing Danger forward – had the Swans won the centre clearances easily as a result, it may have been another 7 goal to 0 1Q; Duncan stepped up with 36 poss, 2 goals and 144 SC for Geelong; not 1 player for the Swans scored triple figures in SC (amazing); J Selwood only scored 45 SC


GWS v WCE Spotless – Syd  Sat Sep 16 7.25pm CH 7

forecast – fine and a bit breezy

Kelly has indicated that he is staying at the Giants – with final details to be determined at some time AFTER the match; this is a plus for the team – remember what a boost the Lions got when Schache agreed to stay; but they shouldn’t need any more incentive than a finals win to aim at; here is your cert for the week; the Giants have everything going for them (almost) this week; the Eagles are on the road for a second week; they also had to play OT and then win with a kick after the siren.

On the minus side, the Giants lost Mumford (73 SC) and Cameron (42 SC) from the F1 loss – and possible inclusion Griffen has now been rules out for the year; Johnson and Smith will replace them, according to the AFL website – if they pull up well from Wednesday’s training; there has been some talk about Simpson replacing Mumford, but the likely option is Lobb in the ruck, with help from Patton.

Nicnat has been given a tiny chance to play (written about 1pm Thursday and will update late Thurs), but expect him NOT to play; the same 22  that played F1 might roll out again this week; the Eagles won their first 5 head to head against the GWS and then the Giants won the last 2 – by 12 points in the west R10 and then by 21 points in R22 on the east coast; the Eagles had previously had a huge Friday night game against the Dogs R21 and came through with flying colours; it then appeared that they were a bit flat the following week; expect them to win this one by more; Giants by 30 points and certs; the variance will be listed as EXTREME – because the Eagles might fail to come up after the emotion of F1 and risk being blown away.
Post March Review: Giants were tipped by 30 points and they won by 67 points; analysis was reasonably good; most had this as a 3 goal type win to GWS, so that was a plus; but the most pleasing thing was to see the EXTREME variance call being correct – and for the right reason (IE that the Eagles might be finished for the year after F1); while Johnson’s 6 goals (all after the game looked safe) was a talking point, the form of Coniglio (126 SC and second best for the Giants behind Ward 135) was a huge plus; in the end, however, it was mostly about the Eagles being out of petrol tickets – but also about GWS being much better this week.


Finals week 2 thoughts – by Penny Dredfell
Reviewing my thoughts on round F1 : God bless the Sydney Swans; they pulled me out of my terrible form slump; in fact, I was feeling safe at half time when the Swans led by 61 points; indeed the week’s rest was bad for Essendon

This week, the Giants / Eagles game is in the spotlight; the Eagles won in extra time last week; after the 1990 finals debacle (when the Pies and Eagles played a draw and had to have a re-match the following week) the AFL eventually invoked the extra time rule – 5 minutes each way; in 1994, the Roos and Hawks were tied at the end of the match and then the Roos kicked 3:5 to nil in extra time to romp away; the following week; this earned them a week off and they lost the prelim by a goal after coming from 3 goals down at the last break to lead and eventually lose by 6 points; they were probably slight favourites in the match; then in 2007, the Pies played an extra time final in the West against the Eagles; the Pies kick 3:3 to 0:2 to romp away; the following week the Pies played the all-conquering Geelong 2007 team and went within a whisker of pulling off a major upset – losing by 5 points.

It would appear, from out small sample size, that extra time is not such a bad thing (if you win); but there are added ingredients to the pie this time; firstly, the game in extra time went down to the wire; so, unlike the other 2 instances, the game was up for grabs in the last minute or two; next, the game was won by a kick AFTER the siren; teams that win in this was often do very poorly the following week; added to the is the fact that almost all experts have totally written off the Giants for the flag; it all adds up to a GWS easy win; most tip them by about 3 goals; I reckon they will win by 6 goals plus!!


Finals weeks 3, 2017 
All times are Eastern

Finals week 2 review: Tipping: 1 out of 2 (LIKE MOST!) missing on the Cats

Certs: 1 out of 1 (with the Giants doing it easily!); streak shows now as 1 and ranked 2,896 (dropped from 2,852) (top 10%)

50/50: none suggested but would’ve won either way

Early thoughts for week 3: this week puts the AFL’s finals system to the test; last year, both QF winners lost their prelims; the AFL would be dreading that possibility; the tipping rests a lot on how well the Tigers and Crows come out of their break; it’s a hard week for tipsters


Finals 3 Venue Day Date Time TV Tip Margin Variance
ADEL V GEEL  ADEL  Fri Sep 22 7.50pm CH 7  ADEL  11  EXTREME
RICH V GWS  MCG  Sat Sep 23 4.45pm CH 7  RICH  2  EXTREME

GWS and Geelong both won the QF in F1 last year; so they had a bye after R23, then won, then another bye and then the prelim; the Giants were 3 goals favourites and lost by a goal to eventual premiers the Bulldogs; the Cats were 1 goal favourites and the game was gone at QT when they were 39 points behind; ironically, both these teams came to the prelim the hard way this year; the question is – can the Crows and Tigers manage the 2 byes in 3 weeks better than the Giants and Cats did last year?  The Crows went to sunny QLD for a few days off; the Tigers stayed home, decide that it was pointless to hide from the fan hype, and now prepare for the prelim.  The ability of teams to handle the double bye is the thing which makes tipping so difficult this weekend


ADEL V GEEL  ADEL  Fri Sep 22 7.50pm CH 7

Weather: light winds and no rain
The discussion all week has been where Danger will play against his old club; he put some space between the Cats and Swans playing forward last week; expect him to start mid and very soon move forward this week; the Cats are rolling the dice with Cockatoo – who hasn’t played much of late due to hamstring injuries; this, and the double bye effect for the Crows – helps to make this an EXTREME variance game; the Crows deserve to be favourites for this game because of ladder position and home ground advantage; but they have to overcome the bye before and after F1; they went to the Gold Coast for some sun in the break; it might work, but we really need to see a team win in this double bye situation before we get excite about tipping them with confidence (both the Giants and Cats lost in this scenario last year); also, can Geelong replicate their good form from last week?  The injuries to Crows McGovern and Smith is a plus for Geelong; the other query is J Selwood for the Cats; he still looks a fair way off his best (45 SC last week); last week S Selwood, Menegola and Duncan stepped up big time to compensate; this week, Joel will need to be better than last week; the Cats might tag Sloane; he had an appendix op late August so should be fully recovered now; there was a rumour about Walker being doubtful; watch for team changes; Crows by 11 points, but the tip is made with little confidence
Post March Review: Crows were tipped by 11 points and they won by 61 points; analysis was mixed; the right team was tipped (but by only 11 points; most were going about 3 goals); but the good news was that the variance was correctly tipped as EXTREME; the Crows seemed to nail their preparation – up 9 goals to 1 early; so no “double-bye” problems this year (same for Richmond); the Cats failed to replicate their form of the previous week – with some lesser lights much worse than against the Swans (Menegola 141 SC vs Swans down to 59; S Selwood 98 down to 42 and Henderson 111 down to 80 were 3 players who dropped 30 SC points or more); so maybe the Cats win against the Swans was the last shot they could fire; Dangerfield started mid and copped a big knock 2Q; Cameron played about his best game for the year for the Crows –  with Seedsman ditto after missing a lot of games with injury


RICH V GWS  MCG  Sat Sep 23 4.45pm CH 7

Weather: warm & windy; possibility of showers; maybe dry at game start; rain later
The hype is Melbourne town about the Tigers is HUGE; conversely, Giants fans are hard to find at present (Wednesday); but they will begin to filter in from north of the border bit by bit; the Tigers have play 2 prelims since their 1982 grand final; in both cases they were huge underdogs (1995 and 2001) and lost both by over 10 goals; but they start as narrow favourites this time after winning their first final since F2 in 2001 when the beat Carlton; a tiger win would be the perfect lead-in to the following Monday night when Dusty is expected to win the Brownlow; the challenge for the Tigers is twofold – managing the bye and, secondly, managing the hype; the hype could be a negative now but a plus late in the game – with the crowd likely to be over 90% pro-Tigers.

This is the more EXTREME of the EXTREME variance games; it is easy to see the Tigers imploding under the weight of expectation – or the Giants getting blown away in front of a very pro-Richmond crowd; there were no changes, but Stevie J might be in some doubt for the Giants; if he is ok physically, he will be in – as a big game player; the biggest crowd the Giants have played before is 60K; this one will be 90K at a guess; the Giants played loud music as they trained this week to simulate the noise; interesting!; it is probable that the team which gets an early break could storm away; but the pressure will be on Richmond (more so) if they lead narrowly late in the contest.

Much has been made of the importance of the weather for this contest; the focus on it appears to be overrated; firstly, it is Melbourne; so the forecasters often get it wrong; the last time the Tigers played the Giants at the MCG the Giants jumped out to a 3 goal early lead but the Tigers outplayed them after the rain came; everyone expects a similar thing to happen (ie – if it rains, the Tigers will be much better suited); the weather is expected to be less of a factor than the hype, the expectations and pressure on each team

Richmond by 2 points, but this is a game to avoid as a tipster;
Post March Review: Tigers were tipped by 2 points and they won by 36 points; analysis was mixed; the right team was tipped; the variance turned out to be HIGH (not EXTREME) but it was a close thing; the Tigers (like Adelaide) also adjusted well to the 2 byes in 3 weeks; the Giants lost Shiel very early (12 SC points);  Johnson struggled a bit, while Coniglio 59 SC and Deledio 44 SC were a bit quiet; the Tigers took their chances and Dusty wasn’t BOG but was huge at critical moments.


Certs: sitting this one out; if you are absolutely forced to make a tip, go reluctantly for the Crows (if you had to, you did the right thing)

50/50 (where the experts have it wrong): it’s a risk, but the Giants to win or to lose by less than a goal (to quote John Kennedy senior: NO NO NO NO)

For those who still have tipping to do – be brave; enjoy; most of all, enjoy the contest; all the best to Tiger fans especially – your team was given no hope by most experts but here you are in the last 4!


Finals week 3 thoughts – by Penny Dredfell
Reviewing my thoughts on round F2 : just perfect; the Giants won by heaps – as expected

This week, I want to do nothing; it’s a really tough week; but, forced to do something, I am looking at the Tigers / Giants game; my tip will be useless to most tipsters; I just see huge downside for the team that has things go wrong for them; but I am not sure who that will be; it’s easy to see the Giants playing in a hostile environment falling away badly late in the game; conversely, the Tigers might have played this game over and over in their heads 100 times and could be flat come game time;  so I will go for the winner to win by 5 goals or more.


GRAND FINAL (finals weeks 4, 2017 )
All times are Eastern

Finals week 3 review: Tipping: 2 out of 2 (okay, but not too hard) 

Certs: 0 out of 0 (with the Crows winning for those forced to tip a cert); streak shows now as 1 and ranked 2,896 (dropped from 2,852) (top 10%)

50/50: 0/1 (with risky tip Giants nowhere near it)

Early thoughts for week 4: the Crows are likely to be tipped, but not as certs 


Finals 3 Venue Day Date Time TV Tip Margin Variance
ADEL V RICH  MCG  Sat Sep 30 2.30pm CH 7  ADEL  11  EXTREME

Weather: 9-16 and any morning showers should clear by game time; a bit breezy, but generally no end is greatly favoured
These teams are on sizable premierships droughts (37 years for Richmond – last in a GF 1982; and 19 years for the Crows)

The top 4 looked very close at year’s end – with half a win separating Adelaide (1) and GWS (4); but the Crows had a percentage of  136 to Richmond’s 118; this means that the Crows are clearly the best team of the year (Port and Sydney being the next best with 130 and 127); a big plus for the Tigers is virtually having no injuries; coach Hardwick said after the game that they had some sore boys and they get slightly less time to recover; but the Crows have to travel.

The hype is huge in both camps – with the long premiership drought – unlike the recent Hawthorn GF appearances, for example.

It is unlikely that there will be too many changes, but Greenwood struggled with an injury in the prelim; McGovern has been ruled out for the Crows; the Tigers are likely to go in unchanged, despite some VFL players doing well in the VFL GF

Thursday night notes: no change, but Greenwood may be tested by the Crows; none of these players have ever played in an AFL GF according to the press; first time since first ever GF; looking at newbies playing in Grand Finals (no GF for 6 years, as a guide & both teams must fit the bill.
Last one was Geelong vs Port in 2007 – resulted in a huge win for the Cats and game over very early; Port was lucky to make it after the Eagles suffered injuries
Before that, a dour struggle between Swans and Eagles in 2005, although Sydney was up 20 points at HT
Then back to 2000, Essendon hot favourites and easily beat the Dees; the Bombers put it away with a big 2Q
1997 – Saints led by 13 points at HT, but the Crows blitzed with 14 goals to 6 in 2H
1996 – Roos favoured over Swans, but down 3 goals at QT; hit the lead just before HT and drew away to win by 43 points
1990 – Collingwood narrow favourites and gradually pulled away from Essendon after a shaky start to win by 48 points.

The odd one out is the 2005 GF; all others involving inexperienced GF teams were won by big margins and some also had big momentum swings; it appears that the newness of the big stage increases the risk of things going terribly wrong for a team; the Crows are marginal favourites here, but there are numerous factors (including the above) which make this an EXTREME variance game.

There is the form of Adelaide at the MCG – 2 .5 from 3 this year but none totally convincing; they beat the Hawks by 24 points in R2 (but the Hawks lost to Essendon by 25 points in R1 and then Gold Coast in R3 by 86 points!!); then the Crows beat the Blues unimpressively by 12 points in R15; then came from 38 points down at HT to draw vs Collingwood in R19

The Crows beat the Tigers by heaps in R7 in Adelaide (76 points).  Both teams were extremely impressive in beating opponents Geelong and GWS in the recent finals games.  So the key factor is how the teams come up on the day – and will dusty be okay after the Brownlow distraction.

The tip is Crows by 11 points, but no certs and expect the possibility of wild swings in momentum and  / or a huge blow-out one way or the other

Post March Review: Crows were tipped by 11 points but the Tigers won by 48 points; analysis was mixed; the wrong team was tipped and the margin was way out (frown) but the plus was the EXTREME variance call; the though that 44 players with no grand final experience would produce a potential result outside the normal bounds of expectations was spot on; the Tigers were much better after the Crows got a brief early lead; Richmond’s pressure around the ball was fantastic; the Crow forward line failed to fire – with several stars well below their best; the Crows were also slightly the worse off for injuries – without that being a reason for the loss; almost every Tiger player stood up; the SC scores agree that Martin was the Norm Smith Medallist – 150 SC and the next best was Matt Crouch on 125.  This was a special win for a club whose supporters six months ago would have been thinking that a flag was still years away


Finals week 4 thoughts – by Penny Dredfell
Reviewing my thoughts on round F3 : it looked like going down to the wire for much of the game, but the Tigers finally broke away and proved me correct

This week, I want to do nothing; and that is exactly what I will do; no obvious trends stand out, so I will end the year on a winning note; enjoy the game