AFL Grand Final AFL 2021 GRAND FINAL - Demons v Dogs Sat September 25th 7:15pm EST / 5:15pm WST (Optus) Congratulations Demons! 🍾🏆 Match Highlights in OP

Who will win and by how much?

  • Demons by a goal or less

    Votes: 16 4.4%
  • Dogs by a goal or less

    Votes: 16 4.4%
  • Demons by 7 - 20

    Votes: 132 36.4%
  • Dogs by 7 - 20

    Votes: 108 29.8%
  • Demons by a lot

    Votes: 50 13.8%
  • Dogs by a lot

    Votes: 33 9.1%
  • Draw

    Votes: 9 2.5%

  • Total voters
    363
  • Poll closed .

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adogsfan5

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 12, 2020
8,085
10,757
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
I think it’s more of a balance thing in the midfield.

Macrae, Liberatore and Bontempelli look either slow, or maybe not slow once they are running but lack explosive pace off the mark. They need a little time and space to be effective.

I think they are also attack first players who back themselves to win the ball, and can get exposed the other way.

When Melbourne had Viney, Oliver, Brayshaw and Petracca all trying to be the hero in the midfield it didn’t work.

Once Viney accepted he is a limited player and stuck to what he’s good at, Oliver added using his foot speed and became damaging by foot too, Petracca got his fitness up, and Beayshaw moved out to the unglamorous wing, the balance changed.

A combination of expanding repertoire for Oliver and Petracca, contracting for Viney, and getting organised to exploit strengths made a huge difference.

What are the differences the Dogs’ players can make to how they play, and who plays where?

Should they better utilise their midfield depth by playing some of their stars in less glamorous positions where their stats will suffer, but it will make the team better?
Libba is a goal kicker. I’d like to see him play more fwd minutes. Bont maybe some more deep forward minutes too. Let Bailey smith, Treloar and dunks take more centre bounce work. Macrae such a gun too but just can’t play forward sadly.
 

H2F

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 14, 2006
23,876
17,294
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Not once did we try and change the centre bounce structure when getting beaten. Was arrogant I felt, I feel we just assumed we’d win it back. Local footy mids would have set up better.
I know but you’ve had all year probably the best or second best midfield. When Petracca went to Bont in the centre square at the start of the third quarter it wasn’t about tagging or set plays. He seemed to say, ‘let’s see who wants it more’. Oliver and him just went insane and Bont did too, but the rest of your guys didn’t fight. I’ll shut up about it as I remember 2012 and don’t mean to make it worse but it was hard to watch Bont fighting so hard and have no mates. Treloar included for all those raving about his first half.
 

adogsfan5

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 12, 2020
8,085
10,757
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
I know but you’ve had all year probably the best or second best midfield. When Petracca went to Bont in the centre square at the start of the third quarter it wasn’t about tagging or set plays. He seemed to say, ‘let’s see who wants it more’. Oliver and him just went insane and Bont did too, but the rest of your guys didn’t fight. I’ll shut up about it as I remember 2012 and don’t mean to make it worse but it was hard to watch Bont fighting so hard and have no mates. Treloar included for all those raving about his first half.
Doesn’t bother me mate, it’s a good topic and I’m fine having good match dissection conversations. I appreciate a non troll! It’s the posters who want to troll and prod that I am trying to stay clear of. Libba and Macrae just didn’t fight in the last 10 mins of that third quarter. It should have been all defence mode. Do not leave their hip goal side until we’ve won it back.
 

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H2F

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 14, 2006
23,876
17,294
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Doesn’t bother me mate, it’s a good topic and I’m fine having good match dissection conversations. I appreciate a non troll! It’s the posters who want to troll and prod that I am trying to stay clear of. Libba and Macrae just didn’t fight in the last 10 mins of that third quarter. It should have been all defence mode. Do not leave their hip goal side until we’ve won it back.
You’re the kind of poster that makes me come back to Bigfooty at times after ten plus years. I’m the same mate I love dissecting games and just being real. I liken the folding of your mids to leaving a soldier wounded or outnumbered in battle … it’s sanctimonious I suppose but I just couldn’t believe it. Lost a ton of respect for a few of them. It wasn’t fatigue or and off day, it was being exposed for having elite consistency but no capacity to go into beast mode. Love Bont so much. He is my favourite player ever just about even though Petracca showed that he’s possibly better. Don’t know if that makes sense but Bont is a hero regardless
 

adogsfan5

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 12, 2020
8,085
10,757
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Gold - Dees singing ‘free from desire’ after the granny. Bulldogs got ahead of themselves.
I think they are too classy of a playing group to be taking the piss out of another team, let alone the runners up. No way Max Gawn lets that occur on camera. They also sang sweet Caroline and Gimme Gimme Gimme.
 

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mattwa

Club Legend
Jun 10, 2007
1,786
3,150
wa
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Really don't think we are too far off it. Clearly were in the top 2 teams all year and got towelled up by 3 centre clearances in that 3 goal burst then it was just a massive gut punch. Teams get runs on in grandies and granted Melbourne's was exceptional you'd be lying after bonts 3rd to put us 19 up you thought the game was nearly done if we kicked another 1 or 2
 

10571z

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 23, 2006
12,098
12,973
Christmas Hills
AFL Club
Collingwood
Really don't think we are too far off it. Clearly were in the top 2 teams all year and got towelled up by 3 centre clearances in that 3 goal burst then it was just a massive gut punch. Teams get runs on in grandies and granted Melbourne's was exceptional you'd be lying after bonts 3rd to put us 19 up you thought the game was nearly done if we kicked another 1 or 2
Course you aren’t far off it. 50 seconds left in the third you were 1 goal down. If you held that margin instead of 3 goals it could be a different story.
 

mattwa

Club Legend
Jun 10, 2007
1,786
3,150
wa
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Course you aren’t far off it. 50 seconds left in the third you were 1 goal down. If you held that margin instead of 3 goals it could be a different story.
Yep. Will always be a bit of what if. Few mental lapses and melb walk into 3/4 time up and about and we walk in deflated. It is what it is now and we will be better for the experience
 

markm106

Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 29, 2006
9,514
8,819
Melbourne
AFL Club
Melbourne
3 goals in a minute to put the game away will go down in grand final folklore. We can talk about centre bounce setups etc but no one was stopping that rampaging Melbourne midfield in that minute. It was meant to be. Petracca just stood up when he needed to. I just knew he wouldn’t retire without a flag. Same goes for Oliver and Viney.
 

DrPowellPepper

Team Captain
Jul 9, 2017
551
527
AFL Club
Melbourne
Other Teams
Tottenham Spurs
As a freo fan enjoying watching Ed Langdon flop so hard after talking so much trash about freo, Perth, Ross lyon the last 3 weeks...... Absolute shocking performance today
Needed to come back to this one … not sure why Freo supporters been so down on this bloke all year.
One of the most improved in the comp played the role of a winger to absolute perfection all season long.
 

H2F

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 14, 2006
23,876
17,294
AFL Club
Hawthorn
3 goals in a minute to put the game away will go down in grand final folklore. We can talk about centre bounce setups etc but no one was stopping that rampaging Melbourne midfield in that minute. It was meant to be. Petracca just stood up when he needed to. I just knew he wouldn’t retire without a flag. Same goes for Oliver and Viney.
Petracca and Oliver are like nothing I’ve seen. It’s like having Buckley and Voss together or Danger and Dusty. Amazing.
 

SportsCentre

Premiership Player
Apr 5, 2015
4,046
10,518
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Charlotte Hornets
3 goals in a minute to put the game away will go down in grand final folklore. We can talk about centre bounce setups etc but no one was stopping that rampaging Melbourne midfield in that minute. It was meant to be. Petracca just stood up when he needed to. I just knew he wouldn’t retire without a flag. Same goes for Oliver and Viney.
Highly likely he won't retire with just one either...
 

Black Saab

Premiership Player
Apr 14, 2014
4,287
8,748
AFL Club
Richmond
If this happened to my team in a GF I'd be pissed big time.
To be 3 goals up midway through the 3rd quarter with all the momentum and utterly fold like a pack of deck chairs to the tune of a 12 goals defeat smacks of a team that basically threw in the towel when it all got a little bit hard.
What happened cannot simply put down to mental and physical fatigue.
And all you get from the coach is "we couldn't stop the momentum"... well no sh*t.
Let me put this a different way...had the last 40 minutes been the first 40 minutes Melbourne would have led by 15 goals midway through the 2nd quarter.
Nah, I think this is being too simplistic. Melbourne put on an incredible show to the force almost no team (other than Richmond 😜) could have stopped. The Bulldogs weren't giving up, they just couldn't stop what was happening no matter what they tried. Surely the second qtr was evidence of the Dogs fighting spirit. But what happened late in the third and on into the last was a rare quirk and the Bulldogs were on the wrong side of it. Melbourne were unstoppable.
 

DavidSSS

Rookie
Feb 26, 2020
37
76
AFL Club
Richmond
I think you can go back further than that. We paid a premium for Lever and May, it‘s a ballsy move to trade multiple first round picks for defenders but it’s paid off massively.
I remember before the 2018 finals, looking at the ladder and noticing how many points Melbourne had conceded. That was when I thought they were not going to contend in the finals as defence is critical. It proved correct. I was surprised when Melbourne missed finals in the in-between years, thought they would make it and rated them higher.

But here's the thing. The powers that be at Melbourne would have noticed the same thing way way before I would have. They saw they had the makings of a contender, but there were a few pieces missing. Better defence was a big one and you might say that was a big call, I would call it a smart call.

Add to this a few smart recruiting moves - yeah Brown is a bit limited, then again, he kicks a lot of goals. Maybe not many tricks but as a key forward do you need more tricks than kicking goals? Also they clearly did something about the culture at the start of this year, and I reckon that is important and also much harder than people think. Melbourne play a more selfless and team oriented game now. Add in a couple of guns coming into their prime and all the pieces fitted together. A little luck, yeah, what premiership team doesn't have a little luck? None.

There you have it, recognising that they had the potential and were close to being contenders, fixing the missing parts and they managed to pull it off and now look like they can be up near the top for a few years to come too. That final step is damned hard, it means looking at deficiencies even when you are close to the top. Melbourne did a good job, now they have the reward.

DS
 

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