Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Gloss Comes off Tigers' Win; Drought-Breaking Victory Aside, Finals Footy Fell Flat

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Gloss Comes off Tigers' Win; Drought-Breaking Victory Aside, Finals Footy Fell Flat

Article excerpt

I AM a torn footy fan this week.

My beloved Richmond broke a 37-year premiership drought, and I am not ashamed to say I shed more than a few tears on Saturday.

I missed out on a ticket to the big dance, but knew I needed to be in Melbourne for the occasion even if it meant just watching on a big screen a few hundred metres away at Punt Rd Oval, with 13,000 of my closest mates.

But if I take the gloss off how September ended, it was one of the worst finals' series in recent memory.

Only one game was decided by less than six goals, and that was West Coast's overtime win over Port Adelaide in the elimination final.

But even that was an average game of footy, notable only for the dramatic way in which it ended.

The average winning margin over nine finals matches was 47.2 points. Take out the West Coast/Port Adelaide game and that rises to nearly 53 points per game.

As a fan of the sport as much as one of Richmond, it was a disappointing product borne out of seven months worth of football.

You will never hear me complain about a 48-point grand final win, but for the regular footy fan Saturday's contest died as a spectacle about 10 minutes into the third term.

One-sided affair continues on Sunday.

I am a North Queensland boy through and through, and if not for my grandfather's intervention early in the piece I likely would have been a Cowboys fan instead of a Dragons one.

And so I let myself get caught up in the fairytale run of the Townsville-based side into Sunday's NRL decider.

But that all came crashing down around them against a clinical Melbourne Storm outfit.

Shaun Fensom's broken leg to start the game at first looked like yet another injury hurdle the Cowboys would overcome on their way to perhaps the most unlikely premiership in history.

But the Storm proved a task too-many for Paul Green's depleted side, and - justifiably so - the Storm simply ran roughshod over their opponents for much of the contest.

It was another lacklustre grand final spectacle, but perhaps one more expected than what was offered up in the AFL the day before. …

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