Time on – 2011 Grand Final

WINNERS & LOSERS

Geelong 18.11 (119) def. Collingwood 12.9 (81)

3 LIKES

1. Last ten minutes, second quarter

The Magpies got out to a 16 point lead with under ten minutes to go before half-time but what we saw in the remaining minutes by the Cats was team-lifting stuff. James Podsiadly had just been subbed out with a dislocated shoulder and the Pies looked to have the ascendency to put a serious dint in the Geelong premiership hopes. Steve Johnson, Jimmy Bartel and Joel Selwood were enormous in the Cats kicking a crucial 3 goals before half-time, to only trail the Pies by 3 points at the main break. The Cats came out after half time with all the momentum and as we know, restricted Collingwood to just 3 goals in the second half to win the flag.

2. Jimmy Bartel

Saturday’s Norm Smith Medallist was outstanding. He proved his versatility when swung forward, finishing with 3 goals after his stoppage work alongside Joel Selwood, who were both enormous in the end result. His goals were under the pressure on the big stage – one from the boundary, one from a deep pocket at the MCG which was a pressure kick and one from 50m out in the last quarter to seal the deal. Often goes unnoticed, but this elite midfielder must be given credit to where it’s due.

3. Tom Hawkins

Had to stand up in the second half, after Podsiadly was ruled out and he answered the call. He came out after half-time to kick 3 goals, missed a couple he should’ve kicked and handed one to Steve Johnson. What was most impressive was the way he launched himself at the footy, becoming an imposing figure out of the goalsquare that was very much absent in the first half. Could’ve finished with 5 goals and may have even gone closer in snatching the Norm Smith Medal off Jimmy Bartel. Best game of his career.

3 DISLIKES

1. Playing hurt

Why do clubs play unfit players on the big stage? Essendon did it in the 2001 GF and it cost them dearly. Collingwood replicated it on Saturday. Ben Reid and Darren Jolly were clearly not match fit and it hurt them. Reid was the bigger concern of the two, who played on Hawkins and got exposed badly. Simple philosophy – don’t play unfit players, it will cost you.

2. Poor performers

The Pies had too many, it was as simple as that. Dane Swan couldn’t shake a red-hot Cameron Ling tag while Alan Toovey, Alan Didak, Nick Maxwell, Harry O’Brien, Jarryd Blair, Sharrod Wellingham and Chris Dawes were well down when it mattered most. Too much was left to too few to get over the line and in Grand Finals, you need a fit 22 giving their all.

3. Jolly hit out

Can’t argue with the rule, but not sure Jolly hit the ball deliberately out of bounds, which resulted in a momentum goal to Jimmy Bartel. My understanding is that the rule was introduced to stop ruckmen thumping the ball out of bounds from boundary throw-ins. This happened just metres from the ball up. Don’t like the rule, after all, Jolly had no control over the ball in this instance.

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