Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

No Need for a Rivalry Round with So Much Now at Stake

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

No Need for a Rivalry Round with So Much Now at Stake

Article excerpt

THE AFL has declared this weekend's fixture "Rivalry Round".

Did they need to bother?

The recent quality of clashes and the tightening of final-eight berths makes spin-doctoring unnecessary.

By the time this column is read, traditional rivals Collingwood and Carlton, will have played their hearts out in front of a crowd of 80,000-plus at the MCG - both teams vying for that vital fourth spot on the ladder. Keep in mind that Collingwood and Carlton have not played each other in a finals series since 1988!

And then almost before the MCG has emptied, we have last year's grand finalists, Cats and Hawks, with a similar sized crowd, at each other's throats.... claws versus talons.

If these two games don't inform us of the shape of the final four, tune into the battle of league leaders, the Saints against third-placed Bulldogs tonight at Etihad Stadium, where crowds of more than 50,000 have become the norm in recent weeks.

Not forgetting the fierce local derbies first in the city of churches with the showdown between Crows and Port Power and then over in the West, where the up and coming Freo will mix it with the smug but underperforming Eagles.

* * *

DID anyone notice how shattered and disappointed the players, coaches and supporters were after the heart-stopping draw last Sunday between the fast-finishing Kangaroos and "we-have-forgotten-how-to-win" Tigers?

Is this a peculiarity of Aussie Rules?

It seems to have always been thus - whether it is local under-12 competition or the 1977 grand final between Kangaroos and Magpies, or even the 1984 grand final between Demons and Bombers.

Yet in other codes, particularly soccer (sorry, football!), a draw can often be celebrated as a victory.

Just think back to the universal euphoria in World Cup games - Socceroos drawing with Croatia (2-2) in 2006 or more recently qualifying for 2010 World cup in a nil-all draw with Qatar. …

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