Toast Chris Grant - A Retrospectus

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Game #166 – Qualifying Final, 1997 vs Sydney at MCG (6/9/1997)

One of our best, kicking 3.0 from 15k, 5hb in 35-point win over the Swans.

This was a memorable game in so many ways, including even before the ball was bounced. As the crowd stood for a minute's silence for Princess Diana, witty remarks directed towards Pluga and Libba echoed throughout the G. Then, in a sign of blatant cheating, umpire Darren Goldspink pulled Swan's captain Paul Kelly aside for a pep-talk before the opening bounce.

It mattered little. The Bulldogs kicked 9.2 to 0.5 in a devastating first quarter and the Swans were done.

James Cook kicked 4 and was concussed from being punched in the head by Andrew Dunkley, and yet the umpire awarded a free kick against Cook. Cook spent the remainder of the game believing he was playing at Waverley. Jose Romero dislocated his shoulder in an incident that would come back to haunt the Bulldogs in their next game.

And there in the middle of it all, was Chris Grant. Turtle had a series of Swans players rotated on and off him, but he was impervious to them all. As Bruce called it, "Grant... too good... far too good for Mooney."

Some low-definition highlights of the first half are available here:

 

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Game #166 – Qualifying Final, 1997 vs Sydney at MCG (6/9/1997)

One of our best, kicking 3.0 from 15k, 5hb in 35-point win over the Swans.

This was a memorable game in so many ways, including even before the ball was bounced. As the crowd stood for a minute's silence for Princess Diana, witty remarks directed towards Pluga and Libba echoed throughout the G. Then, in a sign of blatant cheating, umpire Darren Goldspink pulled Swan's captain Paul Kelly aside for a pep-talk before the opening bounce.

It mattered little. The Bulldogs kicked 9.2 to 0.5 in a devastating first quarter and the Swans were done.

James Cook kicked 4 and was concussed from being punched in the head by Andrew Dunkley, and yet the umpire awarded a free kick against Cook. Cook spent the remainder of the game believing he was playing at Waverley. Jose Romero dislocated his shoulder in an incident that would come back to haunt the Bulldogs in their next game.

And there in the middle of it all, was Chris Grant. Turtle had a series of Swans players rotated on and off him, but he was impervious to them all. As Bruce called it, "Grant... too good... far too good for Mooney."

Some low-definition highlights of the first half are available here:

Very good thank you.
And thank you for finally being brave enough to expose the Kelly-Goldspink incident. Whenever I’ve tried to post about it my posts are ‘lost’. Coincidence ?
 

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Game #165 – Round 22, 1997 vs Hawthorn at Waverley (30/8/1997)

One of our best, kicking 1.2 from 18k, 7hb in 18-point win over the Hawks, collecting 2 Brownlow votes.

Grant proved the major difference between the sides, with his skill and class helping the Bulldogs kick away. In a 10-minute burst in the second quarter, the class and mobility advantage he enjoyed over his opponent, Stephen Lawrence, was telling. In the space of a few minutes, he booted a classy angled goal and set up another for James Cook after a clever centering kick from close to the boundary.

This game was notable for the Hawks players all putting $100 into a hat, to be awarded to the player who did the most "courageous" act. Only problem was the Hawks were as soft as shite. Pretty sure a Hawks player ran through the Bulldogs banner, then Paul Salmon deliberately kneed Scott Wynd in the guts at the opening bounce.

This game was also notable for Cook kicking 7 goals on Chris Langford in his last game. "No wonder it was his last game," my Mum said.

Some good highlights, mostly of fighting and Shane Crawford looking like Michelle Timms, can be viewed here:

 

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Game #165 – Round 22, 1997 vs Hawthorn at Waverley (30/8/1997)

One of our best, kicking 1.2 from 18k, 7hb in 18-point win over the Hawks, collecting 2 Brownlow votes.

Grant proved the major difference between the sides, with his skill and class helping the Bulldogs kick away. In a 10-minute burst in the second quarter, the class and mobility advantage he enjoyed over his opponent, Stephen Lawrence, was telling. In the space of a few minutes, he booted a classy angled goal and set up another for James Cook after a clever centering kick from close to the boundary.

This game was notable for the Hawks players all putting $100 into a hat, to be awarded to the player who did the most "courageous" act. Only problem was the Hawks were as soft as shite. Pretty sure a Hawks player ran through the Bulldogs banner, then Paul Salmon deliberately kneed Scott Wynd in the guts at the opening bounce.

This game was also notable for Cook kicking 7 goals on Chris Langford in his last game. "No wonder it was his last game," my Mum said.

Some good highlights, mostly of fighting and Shane Crawford looking like Michelle Timms, can be viewed here:

Michelle Timms.

You are a good writer, and a funny campaigner.
 

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Game #164 – Round 21, 1997 vs West Coast at Whitten Oval (23/8/1997)

BOG, kicking 3.0 from 14k, 4hb in 18-point win over the Eagles, collecting 3 Brownlow votes.

Grant, the heartbeat of the Bulldogs team, was typically superb and had the better of the hulking Glen Jakovich. Although they matched each other for possessions, Grant's influence on the game particularly in the first half was the key to victory.

This game was notable for being the last AFL game played at Whitten Oval for premiership points. In a fiery encounter, the Doggies players made sure the faithful got their money's worth.

Danny Southern led a quartet of Bulldogs backmen to greet young Eagles ruckman Michael Gardiner before the first bounce. West Coast spent much of the following week moaning about the "gutter tactics" of the Bulldogs.

Much more worrisome however was Peter Matera's efforts giving evidence against Steve Kolyniuk at the tribunal. Matera said Kolyniuk struck him forcefully late in the final quarter. "It was hard," Matera said, when asked to describe the blow. "I felt a blow to my chin . . . it was a right hand to my chin."

The tribunal also heard evidence from Matera, corroborated by field umpire Hayden Kennedy and emergency umpire Jamie Love, that he had complained to them about being struck by Kolyniuk soon after they clashed in the forward pocket. "I ran over to the field umpire and said: 'I've been hit, I want you to have a look at it on video . . . I want you to put him on report,' " Matera said.

What a stool pigeon. Kolyniuk was more measured in his comments. "I said to him: 'What are you whingeing about?' I've seen him whinge before."

Highlights, plus the full game in BetaMax glory, can be viewed below:


 

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Game #164 – Round 21, 1997 vs West Coast at Whitten Oval (23/8/1997)

BOG, kicking 3.0 from 14k, 4hb in 18-point win over the Eagles, collecting 3 Brownlow votes.

Grant, the heartbeat of the Bulldogs team, was typically superb and had the better of the hulking Glen Jakovich. Although they matched each other for possessions, Grant's influence on the game particularly in the first half was the key to victory.

This game was notable for being the last AFL game played at Whitten Oval for premiership points. In a fiery encounter, the Doggies players made sure the faithful got their money's worth.

Danny Southern led a quartet of Bulldogs backmen to greet young Eagles ruckman Michael Gardiner before the first bounce. West Coast spent much of the following week moaning about the "gutter tactics" of the Bulldogs.

Much more worrisome however was Peter Matera's efforts giving evidence against Steve Kolyniuk at the tribunal. Matera said Kolyniuk struck him forcefully late in the final quarter. "It was hard," Matera said, when asked to describe the blow. "I felt a blow to my chin . . . it was a right hand to my chin."

The tribunal also heard evidence from Matera, corroborated by field umpire Hayden Kennedy and emergency umpire Jamie Love, that he had complained to them about being struck by Kolyniuk soon after they clashed in the forward pocket. "I ran over to the field umpire and said: 'I've been hit, I want you to have a look at it on video . . . I want you to put him on report,' " Matera said.

What a stool pigeon. Kolyniuk was more measured in his comments. "I said to him: 'What are you whingeing about?' I've seen him whinge before."

Highlights, plus the full game in BetaMax glory, can be viewed below:


LOL Watching the full game and the commentary is what freaks me out the most, I had forgotten how honest and opinionated they used to be. Coaching and giving honest criticism of players. oh man, how much better it is to listen to then today's watered down rubbish.
 

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Game #163 – Round 20, 1997 vs Adelaide at Football Park (17/8/1997)

BOG, kicking 2.0 from 11k, 8hb in 43-point win over the Crows, collecting 3 Brownlow votes.

Finally over the flu and corked thigh that had hampered his previous few games, Grant presented himself with courage and skill at CHF all day.

Highlights of the game, including an inspirational chase from James Cook similar to the time the bloke from Dial-a-Dino's got the wrong address, can be seen here:

 

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Game #163 – Round 20, 1997 vs Adelaide at Football Park (17/8/1997)

BOG, kicking 2.0 from 11k, 8hb in 43-point win over the Crows, collecting 3 Brownlow votes.

Finally over the flu and corked thigh that had hampered his previous few games, Grant presented himself with courage and skill at CHF all day.

Highlights of the game, including an inspirational chase from James Cook similar to the time the bloke from Dial-a-Dino's got the wrong address, can be seen here:

Dial-a-Dinos. Lolol.
 

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Game #162 – Round 19, 1997 vs Melbourne at Princes Park (9/8/1997)

12k, 6hb in 38-point win over the Dees.

Sometimes the fixture does you a favour and the bottom-placed Demons came along at the right time for the Bulldogs, who had lost their past four games.

The Bulldogs steadied when it mattered and among them was Chris Grant, playing under duress for the third straight week, having carried a heavy corky into the game. He still managed seven marks and 18 possessions, including a fine handball that set up his team's important first goal of the last term.

A Dial-a-Dino's voucher for anyone who can name Melbourne's coach for this game?
 

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Game #162 – Round 19, 1997 vs Melbourne at Princes Park (9/8/1997)

12k, 6hb in 38-point win over the Dees.

Sometimes the fixture does you a favour and the bottom-placed Demons came along at the right time for the Bulldogs, who had lost their past four games.

The Bulldogs steadied when it mattered and among them was Chris Grant, playing under duress for the third straight week, having carried a heavy corky into the game. He still managed seven marks and 18 possessions, including a fine handball that set up his team's important first goal of the last term.

A Dial-a-Dino's voucher for anyone who can name Melbourne's coach for this game?
Norm dare?
Jokes. Neil Balme.
 

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Game #161 – Round 18, 1997 vs Richmond at Princes Park (2/8/1997)

Sponsored by:



One of our best, kicking 4.1 from 7k, 7hb in 15-point loss to the Tigers.

Granty had a quiet start to the game before taking one of the marks of the year after 18 minutes and converting from 35 metres. He kicked another, three minutes later, and finished with four for the day. But honors with Darren Gaspar were even, with Gaspar keeping Grant's disposals to a lower total than usual.

This game is notable for being Jeff Gieschen's first game as Tigers coach, after replacing Robert Walls as caretaker. Winning this game was probably the Giesch's greatest coaching achievement since evicting my dad from the Wodonga rooms at half-time on the mistaken belief that he was a "Yarrawonga spy".

The entire game, including the aforementioned mark, seems to have been uploaded by Gieschen himself to YouTube and can be viewed here:

 

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Game #160 – Round 17, 1997 vs Sydney at SCG (26/7/1997)

Kicked 1.2 from 6k, 3hb in 97-point loss to the Swans.

Struggling with the flu, Grant took his place in the side but had only a negligible impact.
 

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Game #158 – Round 15, 1997 vs Brisbane at Princes Park (12/7/1997)

One of our best, kicking 1.1 from 14k, 6hb.

Granty began like a rocket, with a series of classy marks, but was brought back to the pack by the resilient Danny Dickfos and a battering from all-comers. Grant could not keep out of the wars after quarter-time. It is to his credit that he kept battling after taking some heavy knocks to his head and upper body.


The man himself.
 

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Game #157 – Round 14, 1997 vs Carlton at Princes Park (5/7/1997)

BOG, kicking 4.2 from 17k, 10hb in 36-point win over the Blues, collecting 3 Brownlow votes.

Perhaps the best thing that can be said about Grant's game is that Carlton was forced to shift Michael Sexton, probably the AFL's most consistent defender, from his side as early as the first quarter, by which time Grant had already racked up 11 possessions, taken three marks and kicked a goal.

But it was not just the figures; it was the way Grant dragged himself (and his man) up and down the ground in search of the ball. His presence loomed everywhere. Grant wasn't afraid to travel deep into the midfield and beyond early in search of the ball. He was unstoppable, gathering 27 possessions, taking eight marks and booting four goals.


Our mastermind.
 

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Game #156 – Round 13, 1997 vs St Kilda at Waverley Park (28/6/1997)

BOG, kicking 2.3 from 20k, 10hb in 17-point win over the Saints, collecting 3 Brownlow votes.

The masterful Chris Grant, at centre half-forward, oozed class and worked St Kilda's David Sierakowski over completely, finishing with not only 12 marks, but 30 possessions - a handy sum for a key-position player. After the game Grant admitted he was relishing his return to the forward line, freed to do so by the continued good form of Craig Ellis down back.

There may be some highlights from the game in this vid, who knows:

 

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State of Origin 1997 - South Australia vs Victoria at Football Park (21/6/1997)

Kicked 2.2 from 11k, 3hb in 8-point win over the Crow-eaters.

Granty got better as the game went on, lifting from midway through the third quarter to drag his lesser-skilled teammates over the line.

 

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Game #155 – Round 12, 1997 vs Port Adelaide at Princes Park (14/6/1997)

Kicked 1.0 from 9k, 9hb in 12-point loss to the Power.

With Granty relegated to playing in defence on Nigel Fiegert (no idea), the Dogs blew a 40-point lead to give Port their first AFL win away from Football Park.

 

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Game #154 – Round 11, 1997 vs Geelong at Princes Park (7/6/1997)

Kicked 2.0 from 7k, 2hb in 21-point win over the Cats.

This is the Western Bulldogs' "Lost Game" - a top of the table ball-tearer where the Dogs emerged triumphant. I've never seen a replay but it would be something to see.

To set the scene:

As Geelong kicked eight points clear in the final term, the Dogs appeared to have finally fallen back into the pack of 15 "finals contenders."

The Cats were then full of legs. The visitors had gradually clawed back a half-time deficit of 17 points in a low-scoring game and, with Leigh Colbert shutting down Bulldogs' dangerman Chris Grant, they appeared to have a gritty win within their grasp.

But the Bulldogs, as the AFL kept discovering this season, were made of sterner stuff. Grant, dispatched to defence by Wallace in a bid to break free of Colbert, came down the ground to kick a critical goal 10 minutes into the quarter. Then came what most observers felt was the game's pivotal moment.

Peter Riccardi had taken the ball in the Bulldogs' forward line. He was in the clear and about to boot downfield when teammate Tim McGrath applied a crude shepherd to Tony Liberatore, who crashed to the turf. McGrath was reported, and Libba copped a nasty black eye (see below), but the immediate consequences were even worse for the Cats.

The crumped Libba - who would barely have reached the goal square - was not able to take his kick from just outside 50 metres. Instead, it was taken by James Cook, who happened to be among the longest and straightest kicks at Whitten Oval. He dobbed it, to give the Doggies the lead.

The momentum had shifted abruptly. Stephen Kolyniuk added two timely goals - one, a long running effort that revived memories of his famous goal against Collingwood in 1990 - and the Dogs cantered away; they ended with six of the last seven goals.

 

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Game #153 – Round 10, 1997 vs Essendon at MCG (31/5/1997)

Kicked 2.1 from 14k, 3hb in 22-point win over the Bombers.

Granty toweled Ryan O'Connor and the Bombers supporters whinged all day on their way to their seventh loss in a row.

I had a vivid dream after going to this game of floating above the MCG as Matty Croft led out and took a mark at CHF, wheeled around and kicked a point.

1548024963703.png

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Game #166 – Qualifying Final, 1997 vs Sydney at MCG (6/9/1997)

One of our best, kicking 3.0 from 15k, 5hb in 35-point win over the Swans.

This was a memorable game in so many ways, including even before the ball was bounced. As the crowd stood for a minute's silence for Princess Diana, witty remarks directed towards Pluga and Libba echoed throughout the G. Then, in a sign of blatant cheating, umpire Darren Goldspink pulled Swan's captain Paul Kelly aside for a pep-talk before the opening bounce.

It mattered little. The Bulldogs kicked 9.2 to 0.5 in a devastating first quarter and the Swans were done.

James Cook kicked 4 and was concussed from being punched in the head by Andrew Dunkley, and yet the umpire awarded a free kick against Cook. Cook spent the remainder of the game believing he was playing at Waverley. Jose Romero dislocated his shoulder in an incident that would come back to haunt the Bulldogs in their next game.

And there in the middle of it all, was Chris Grant. Turtle had a series of Swans players rotated on and off him, but he was impervious to them all. As Bruce called it, "Grant... too good... far too good for Mooney."

Some low-definition highlights of the first half are available here:

Chris Grant was a terrific player, I watched him a number of times at the Western Oval and this thread brings back many memories.
I remember Chris in his early days ripping up and down the grandstand side of the ground and thinking wow.
A short time later Chris was playing at centre half forward and beat 2 or 3 players at a time, week in and week out.
I don’t remember Chris being called Turtle though. Most of these games I watched from the outer side maybe that’s why.
I remember one game we were playing North and all I heard was king this and king that, I thought that this was a bit odd north supporters backing Chris. Chris was the true king in my book.

To the question at hand Game #166 – Qualifying Final, 1997 vs Sydney at MCG (6/9/1997) and yes I was at that one. ‘Jose Romero dislocated his shoulder’. Well he had some help with that one. I was sitting on the wing southern side with a good view of the centre bounces.
At every bounce Jose was struck by a Sydney player running off the line
And that same player finished him off, centre wing right in front of me.
I could see him set Jose up, more in the back than shoulder to shoulder
Jose went to knees and that was that.


That player Stuart Maxfield
 
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