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Connolly's finals blog: Week one excitement

Oh yeah: Stephen Hill (left) celebrates with teammates the goal that delivered the Dockers victory at Simonds Stadium.

Oh yeah: Stephen Hill (left) celebrates with teammates the goal that delivered the Dockers victory at Simonds Stadium. Photo: Pat Scala

We'll have to leave it there for today, folks, thanks for all your questions and comments, sorry to those didn't get time to respond to. Was a sensational weekend of finals action. Let's hope what's still in store can be half as good. See you back here at 12pm next Monday to talk about the semi-finals.

In 20 years of the final eight, we've had only one first weekend of four finals that surpassed the one just gone for excitement. And certainly none producing more upsets.

Four favourites, three beaten. In this extraordinary year of football, a Carlton side that finished ninth, a game shy of the top eight, now plays off for a preliminary final spot. And suddenly, what many thought loomed as a predictable September has been turned on its head.

In 1994, the first year of the eight, one game was drawn, North Melbourne prevailing over Hawthorn in extra time, Geelong beat Footscray after the siren, West Coast hung on against Collingwood by two points, and Melbourne pulled off an unexpected win over Carlton.

But even that wasn't on the scale of these upsets. It's hard to think of two bigger shocks in recent finals history than Fremantle's win over Geelong at its Simonds Stadium fortress and Port Adelaide's eclipse of Collingwood.


To discuss all the excitement stemming from the week one finals matches and other hot topics in the AFL, join a live blog with Age footy expert Rohan Connolly from midday Monday. And you can SEND in your questions right now.

59 comments

  • Rohan,the upsets this week-end were unbelievable and they were all great games of footy.It takes the heat of the AFL for retaining the top 8.It was great to see players like Aaaron Sandilands and some of the exciting young Dockers players like Stephen Hill and Nat Fyfe star on Saturday.Hill's "Phil Mannessa" like goal will long be remembered.Micky Malthouse proved that as a match-day finals coach he is peerless in the Afl.Who else could extract from Eddie Betts and co in the second half what Micky did today.Wsa that ever an exciting match!But the winner of thw weak has to be Port Adelaide.Chad Winguard and his young 18 yr old teammate proved themselves to be tomorrows future stars with what was a truly fantastic last quarter in front of a hostile crowd.The two port clubs reinvigorated the finals on the week-end.While I am a rusted on West Coast supporter,I wish them and Micky,s Blues all the best for the rest of the finals.This week-end of armchair footy was fantastic!

    Commenter
    Jimmy of Shelley
    Date and time
    September 08, 2013, 10:28PM
    • Hi Jimmy, Was fantastic weekend for the footy purist. Can't remember one with three upsets out of four, and Friday night aside, all gripping contests. Freo's win turns them from likely prelim. final losers to second flag favourites on back of home PF, and Port were magnificent, they have a midfield group which could star for the next decade. Don't think anyone will take any results for granted the rest of September now!

      Commenter
      Rohan Connolly
      Date and time
      September 09, 2013, 12:14PM
  • Great to see the inspiring games over the weekend. Who would have thought the Cats would lose a home game, or that Port Adelaide would knock the Magpies out of the finals? I suppose it's the unpredictability of the sport that is it's big attraction. I was hoping Richmond would triumph over Carlton, but it was not to be. It will be very interesting to see how far Malthouse's team can go, especially now that Buckley's team have been knocked out of the competition.

    Commenter
    Monty
    Location
    Vic
    Date and time
    September 08, 2013, 10:36PM
    • Hi Monty, Footy has a remarkable capacity to surprise you when you least expect it. Think most would have looked at the draw and thought things would unfold fairly predictably, but shows again how little there is between the best sides. As for the Blues, I'm a big believer in history, and with 24 of 25 QF losers having won their semis, that's against Carlton, but having said that, they've been irrepresible the past fortnight, and the Swans are looking tired and have lost four of their past five now.

      Commenter
      Rohan Connolly
      Date and time
      September 09, 2013, 12:17PM
  • In the post-weekend post-mortem, surely two of the big issues are about (a) Eddie Maguire's incredible (even by his standards) presumptions about Collingwood and what impact it had on Port's motivation - and if Eddie will take any responsibility for any of it, and (b) Heath Shaw's future at Collingwood. To act like he did in a big final suggests, at the least, he needs a change of scene.

    Commenter
    janeygotagun
    Date and time
    September 09, 2013, 9:02AM
    • Hi Janey, Reckon Eddie wouldn't mind those comments back now, though must admit, I didn't give Port much hope against the Pies either. Certainly fired the Port blokes up, as their comments indicate. As for Shaw, wrote as much today . He's contracted, but reckon if he stays he'd want to have a particularly big pre-season. Has tested the patience of his coach and teammates far too often lately.

      Commenter
      Rohan Connolly
      Date and time
      September 09, 2013, 12:21PM
  • Hi just wondering what you think of this weeks losers and which side was your biggest disapointment. To me all losers were terrible no excuses for any of them Sydney for its pathetic second half capitulation against Hawthorn when scores were level at HT, Geelong for getting given the final at Simmonds thanks to Demetriou and this terrible scheduling should've been at Ethihad but the dross it served up against Freo at home was pathetic especially when they were strong Favourites at home only to get cocky and underestimate those ruthless Dockers, Collingwood ditto expected to shoe in against Port Adelaide at home and were terrible aswell season over Port so underrated, and of course Richmond all the hype being five goals up in third quarter big letdown as usual with Tigers let themselves down and get smashed by Carlton in second half. So just wondering how you saw it all thanks.

    Commenter
    The Fat Controller
    Date and time
    September 09, 2013, 9:24AM
    • Hi Fat, Think probably Sydney and Collingwood the most disappointing. Swans just disappeared after half-time, and Pies simply weren't as hungry as their opponent when it mattered. Richmond would be pretty upset about not putting their chances away for the dominance they had early, and Geelong similarly, though don't think the Cats are done with just yet.

       

      Commenter
      Rohan Connolly
      Date and time
      September 09, 2013, 12:24PM
    • Hi Fat, Think probably Sydney and Collingwood the most disappointing. Swans just disappeared after half-time, and Pies simply weren't as hungry as their opponent when it mattered. Richmond would be pretty upset about not putting their chances away for the dominance they had early, and Geelong similarly, though don't think the Cats are done with just yet.

       

      Commenter
      Rohan Connolly
      Date and time
      September 09, 2013, 12:24PM
    • Hi Fat, Think probably Sydney and Collingwood the most disappointing. Swans just disappeared after half-time, and Pies simply weren't as hungry as their opponent when it mattered. Richmond would be pretty upset about not putting their chances away for the dominance they had early, and Geelong similarly, though don't think the Cats are done with just yet.

       

      Commenter
      Rohan Connolly
      Date and time
      September 09, 2013, 12:24PM

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