Grand Final first quarters – and more specifically first 15 minutes – are captivating and enthralling. Don’t look away today. Get your drinks, food, finalise toilet stops because the entire match is going to be out of control amazing.
Now and then we witness a mismatch, a bullying, a massacre, however even in these cases the opening is electrictrifying. Today’s grand final will be entrancing from start to finish.
The Western Bulldogs led by the best coach in the competition, Luke Beveridge, will win in the end. The margin will be 7 points.
I am expecting a cliffhanger, a game where at some stage both sides will be able to lay claim to victory. John Longmire is an experienced finals and premiership coach, working in the most highly regarded system in the AFL – the famous Bloods culture. They have the flattest leadership model in the competition and it will serve them well today – but not well enough.
General consensus is the Swans win and win somewhat comfortably. I beg to differ.
I actually think at a point in time after 1/2 time they’ll freeze up a tad, tighten, choose the safety option and try to secure a win without cost.
The Doggies have one secret up their sleeve.
They are prepared to lose to win. They look defeat in the eye and make a decision. They are not intimidated by losing. They are driven by deeds not outcomes. Actions not thoughts. Causes not effects.
Their model is simple. Don’t die wondering. Leave everything out there. Losing is ok if you exhaust all options. They subscribe to the driving force of; you have to be prepared to lose to win.
They have speed, unconditional support and options around contest and are incredibly well drilled.
They rely on no individual. Their star player is the team. Every star stud is exactly the same. No exaggerated light, no bigger points, no extra glitz or glamour for a few. Just the same boring 22 star studs – no differentiation. No individuals to focus on especially or tag – do that at your peril.
Sure Bontempelli has extraordinary skills but he is up against Parker, Hannebery, Kennedy, Jack & co so why would you bother. You can run Mitchell on him but he’ll just take him to the forward line & out mark him.
Johannisen is a launching pad out of D50 & you could look to align him with a McGlynn to keep him accountable but happy days as Swans require McGlynn to be a goal kicking factor & it’s difficult doing both.
The Swans have the “best” players but they also have the “worst” players in my opinion and Grand Finals are won by your “worst” 6 players not your best 6!
The Doggies are all grouped together. After all they personify what a team is. Reliable, dependable, unconditional, selfless and consistent.
This is no discredit to the Swans who are a mighty unit.
At a particular point in the game the Swans will tighten, go for safety first, whilst the Doggies will take even more risks, gutrun more, pull the trigger and defy all odds to deliver their 2nd premiership and first for 62 years.