Saturday, 26 September 2009

Cats or Saints?

Today is the one day in September. Geelong take on St Kilda in the 2009 AFL Grand Final at the MCG. The eyes of the nation will be on Melbourne, as on the same day the Storm host the Broncos to decide who will meet late finishers Parramatta in next week's rugby league grand final.

I've wanted Geelong to lose in many Grand Finals before, and they've done a good job of it. I spent a large amount of year 9 maths classes discuss cricket and football with the only other Aussie Rules fan in the year, a die-hard Geelong supporter. I was quite happy to see Geelong lose their fourth GF in seven years. Last year, it was good to see Hawthorn stop them from winning two premierships in a row.

Then there is St Kilda. They have only ever won one premiership, by the narrowest of margins right at the end of the game in 1966. A tv commentator just observed that they have a British-like passion for supporting their team while expecting them to lose. Another win would be another fairytale. But they are also big rivals as far as I am concerned. They are one of the few teams I'd be happy to see the Cats beat. In any case, if St Kilda won, England would have to win a soccer World Cup!

That's the heart. As far as the head goes, both teams started the season amazingly well, and then slumped. I think the Cats are further down their recovery from the slump and have had the better form in recent weeks. The Saints also are coming off a fairly tense and exhausting road through the finals, which might have taken something out of them. Both teams have real quality this year, and there is potential for a game as intense as the first quarter of last week's Geelong-Collingwood clash, but my tip is that the flag will be flying high, from dawn to dark, down at Kardinia Park.

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