Sunday October 4, 2009 by Costas Kastanis
Geelong’s victory over St Kilda in the 2009 AFL Grand Final confirmed the Cats as one of the greatest teams of all – a deserved mantle considering the dominance the side had displayed since 2007.
But the Cats very nearly ran out of lives on the way to 2009’s Holy Grail: a poor finish to the home-and-away season – by their own lofty standards – and question marks hanging over the fitness of a host of key players entering the finals had Geelong thrust into the unaccustomed role of underdog.
The Cats only lost four games all season; but 2009 would prove to be by far Geelong’s toughest test since the horror 2006 season when all that could go wrong, did go wrong. However, as history will forever show, the Cats rose above all to claim the Cup – a success that in part should be attributed to Bomber’s grand plan: a plan that began in Round 15 with a trip north to Brisbane. Read more
Friday September 25, 2009 by Costas Kastanis
The 2009 AFL Grand Final – the inevitable showdown between the season’s two most dominant sides – shapes as one of the most unpredictable deciders in years.
But where will it be won and lost? Costas Kastanis breaks down the big one between the Cats of Geelong and the Saints of St Kilda with an in-depth preview of Saturday’s battle.
Will Geelong be the greatest team of all, or the greatest under-achievers of all? Will St Kilda capitalise on a dominant regular season and bring a second-ever cup back to success-starved Moorabbin?
Form in the finals: If 2008 is to be used as an indicator, Geelong looks the goods to take the Cup back to Kardinia Park. The Cats, much like St Kilda this year, had been the dominant side during the regular season. But the signs were there Mark Thompson’s side had peaked on their run. Read more
Saturday September 19, 2009 by Costas Kastanis
Geelong 17.18 (120) def. Collingwood 6.11 (47)
Mighty Geelong is just one win away from sealing its status as one of the greatest teams of all following a clinical demolition of an out-of-its-depth Collingwood tonight.
The Cats must now prepare for St Kilda next Saturday in the Grand Final we were always going to have.
More than 87,000 fans witnessed a 73-point thrashing that was a fair indication of the gulf in class between the two sides on a slippery MCG.
Most pleasing for Geelong was the return of gun forward Steve Johnson, who looked something like the superstar player he was before a debilitating hip-injury hindered his season. Read more
Friday September 18, 2009 by Costas Kastanis
The race to win the 2009 AFL Premiership has entered the final straight, with Collingwood’s stunning victory over Adelaide seeing it join St Kilda, Geelong and the Western Bulldogs in the final four.
One of these Victorian clubs will emerge as the champion; for two of them, a second-ever flag beckons; one must win to be considered among the greatest teams of all; while the other carries the hopes of a massive black and white army. Read more
Friday September 11, 2009 by Costas Kastanis
And then there were six; St Kilda and Geelong advanced through to the Preliminary Finals, leaving four teams to battle it out this weekend. Costas Kastanis previews the two semi finals. Read more
Sunday September 6, 2009 by Costas Kastanis
St Kilda 12.8 (80) def. Collingwood 7.10 (52)
Nick Riewoldt has played one of the great September games to help propel St Kilda one step closer to Grand Final glory, with a 28-point win over Collingwood at the MCG today.
With 84,213 fans in attendance, the Saints ran over the top of the Pies to book a preliminary final appearance against the winner of next Friday night’s Bulldogs/Brisbane contest.
The big forward hauled in 10 marks and kicked five goals in a brilliant display of his extraordinary aerobic capacity.
The St Kilda midfield was in top shape, too, with Nick Dal Santo (34 possessions), Lenny Hayes (31) and Leigh Montagna (32) running rampant all afternoon. Read more
Saturday September 5, 2009 by Costas Kastanis
Geelong 14.12 (96) def. Western Bulldogs 12.10 (82)
Geelong has answered its doubters with a stirring 14-point win over a flat Western Bulldogs in the Qualifying Final at the MCG today.
Like a champion prize fighter who had been knocked to the floor with their pride dented in recent weeks, Geelong rose from the canvas to reassert itself as a contender instead of a pretender in the 2009 AFL Premiership race.
The Cats’ much vaunted defence returned to its overpowering best as Matthew Scarlett and Corey Enright were clearly the best players on the ground.
The pair combined with Harry Taylor, Andrew Mackie, Darren Milburn and James Kelly to constantly drive Geelong forward with bursting runs out of the defensive 50. Read more
Adelaide 26.10 (166) def. Essendon 10.10 (70)
The Adelaide Crows have sounded an ominous September warning to the remaining six combatants with a 96-point demolition of Essendon in an elimination final at AAMI Stadium.
If the final margin was not intimidating enough, the manner in which the Crows tore the Bombers apart was simply frightening.
More than 50,000 screaming fans were treated to a football master-class as Adelaide piled on 21 goals to six after an even first quarter.
Bernie Vince was targeted as a danger-man from the outset– the young gun was on the end of some very physical contests – but it didn’t stop him from dominating the midfield for 28 possessions and a goal. Read more
The finals are here with eight quality teams set to partake in what promises to be an exciting four-week series. Costas Kastanis is back with a look at the first weekend. Read more
Sunday August 30, 2009 by Costas Kastanis
Western Bulldogs 14.16 (100) def. Collingwood 10.16 (76)
The Western Bulldogs have snatched third place from Collingwood following a 24-point victory over the Pies at Etihad Stadium this evening.
The Dogs came into the match knowing they had to win by more than 22 to displace the Pies from third and get a crack at a struggling Geelong side next week.
The Magpies, who lost Scott Pendlebury to late withdrawal, now face top side St Kilda in week one of the finals.
It was Brad Johnson’s fourth goal from a difficult set-shot with minutes remaining that catapulted the Dogs over the required margin. Read more