The greatest day of the year is almost upon us, AFL Grand Final day!
As a long-serving Fremantle Dockers supporter, I don’t get to enjoy the day in the same way as say, supporters of teams who actually play in finals however; I still enjoy it none the less. The buzz around town, the decorations in shop windows, everyone getting in the Grand Final spirit – I love it! It brings people together regardless of who’s playing, and that’s what I love about footy!
This year, the West Coast Eagles will play the Collingwood Mapies at the MCG in what I think will be a ripper Grand Final. West Coast have had an incredible season, despite being severely underestimated by a lot of Victorian sporting personalities. They finished second on the ladder, even with the loss of their stars Nic Naitanui (knee injury) and Andrew Gaff (suspension). As hard as it may be to admit as a Freo supporter, I will always give credit where credit is due, and the West Coast Eagles thoroughly deserve to be playing on the final weekend in September.
West Coast Eagles
The West Coast Eagles come into the Grand Final on the back of an almighty 66-point thrashing of the Melbourne Demons last weekend. A lot of people jumped on the Dees bandwagon through the finals hoping for a ‘Western Bulldogs style’ fairy tale ending but the Dees did not bring their A-Game to Optus Stadium, remaining goalless for the first half of the game. Josh Kennedy was important for the Eagles, finishing with four goals, while Jack Darling, Mark LeCras and Jamie Cripps managed to pile on three goals each.
The West Coast Eagles have one of, if not, the best forward lines in the competition. When Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling are having a good game, they are hard to stop. Rioli’s are made for finals footy and West Coast have one of their own, Willie Rioli. He is an exciting young player and I’m tipping him to fire things up for West Coast on Saturday.
Collingwood delivered an incredible upset over the reigning Premiers Richmond last week to cement their spot in the Grand Final. Richmond were far from their best however, Collingwood had one of the best first halves of footy that I have seen in a long time. They were flawless.
The big American Pie Mason Cox had one of the best games of his career, finishing with three goals and 11 marks. Steele Sidebottom was also vital for the Pies, managing 41 disposals and a game-high 13 marks. The impact that Sidebottom has for the Pies was evident on Monday night when he finished second in the Brownlow Medal count behind Hawthorn’s Tom Mitchell.
Both teams will come into the game with unchanged line-ups. I think that the West Coast Eagles are going to be too strong for the Pies on the day however, as we know, anything can happen in a Grand Final…
I’m tipping the West Coast Eagles to beat Collingwood by 10 points in the 2018 AFL Grand Final!
Photo cred: @WestCoastEagles