Grand Final To Be Bird Battle As West Coast Humiliate Demons
Let's start with the final score. 18.13 (121) to 7.13 (55).
The scoreboard is the first way the Eagles humiliated the Demons in their preliminary final in Perth on Saturday afternoon.
Then there was the halftime score. 10. 9 (69) to 0.6 (6). That's right. The Demons did not score in the first half. Indeed, some wondered if they were there at all.
By giving the goal umpires and scoreboard keepers such an easy afternoon, Melbourne became the first team to go into halftime in an AFL/VFL final without having scored a goal since since Richmond in 1927. We did the maths for you -- that's 91 years ago.
Ah yes, Richmond. That's another measure of how badly the Demons were humiliated. Remember, Collingwood were huge underdogs before thumping the Tigers last night. Melbourne were rated as a much better chance to beat the Eagles.
But if the Demons were statistically a flip-of-a-coin chance in this match, the coin ended up with two long-beaked eagle heads on it.
Quite simply, Melbourne were never in the game. Nothing worked. Nothing at all. Their talisman Max Gawn was indeed goooone, missing in action for much of the match. In this respect, he had many friends.
The Eagles, by contrast, had match-winners across the ground. They tackled harder, kicked straighter, and attacked the footy with more purpose. Even the ball appeared to be on their side, seemingly obeying the will of the record crowd of 59,608 at Optus Stadium.
And so, we go to the MCG next Saturday for an avian-themed grand final featuring the Eagles and Magpies. The two teams have never met in the season-decider, and it will be hard to pick a favourite.
After Collingwood were so dominant against Richmond, most pundits believed they would be grand final favourites no matter who they faced.
But the Eagles were so good today, the bookies may have trouble splitting the two teams. If the Eagles had the injured Nic Naitanui and the suspended Andrew Gaff available, you'd favour them to deliver a fourth premiership back West.
One thing we can say without fear is that the grand final between the two teams that finished 8th (Eagles) and 13th (Magpies) respectively last year is a match-up nobody saw coming 12 months ago.
Feature Image: Getty Images
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