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A Six-Pack Of IPA (Interesting Points, Allegedly): WA golf equipment’ finals top-four curse continues

Bucking the odds

Brisbane provided the latest example of a club climbing out of the lower half of the finals bracket to reach a preliminary final, with the sixth-placed Lions now one win away from the decider. Since the introduction of the top eight and two-prelim system in 1994, there have been 16 occurrences of teams ranked 5-8 making the final four. But tellingly, a WA club has never been among them, with Fremantle and West Coast having now had a combined 16 cracks at it. Over the past 15 years, West Coast and Fremantle are a combined 1-8 in semifinals – with the sole win the Eagles’ three-point nailbiter against Carlton at Subiaco Oval in 2011 after they had finished fourth.

MAKING A PRELIM FROM OUTSIDE THE TOP FOUR

Since top-eight and two-prelim system first used in 1994

  • 4 times: North Melbourne (1995, 1997, 2014, 2015)
  • 2 times: Melbourne (1994, 2018), Bulldogs (2016, 2021)
  • 1 time: Essendon (1996), Adelaide (1998), Carlton (1999), Hawthorn (2001), Collingwood (2007), Port Adelaide (2014), GWS (2019), Brisbane (2022)
  • Never: Fremantle, West Coast, Geelong, Richmond, St Kilda, Sydney

*WA teams with 16 attempts combined in this span

A final four-ce to be reckoned with

While we’re on the subject of preliminary finals across the above timespan: It’s time to marvel at Geelong. The Cats have made a remarkable 15 prelims in the 29 seasons since 1994, five more than the two next-best clubs in Collingwood and North Melbourne. Just let that sink in for a second: In any given season across essentially three decades, it has been more likely than unlikely that Geelong will be in a preliminary final. The Cats will be looking to improve on their conversion rate of just three premierships, which trails the best rates of Hawthorn (four premierships from seven prelims), West Coast and Richmond (both three premierships from six prelims) in that time.

Can Patrick Dangerfield and the Cats win the flag?
Camera IconCan Patrick Dangerfield and the Cats win the flag? Credit: ROB PREZIOSO/AAPIMAGE

Close, but no cigar

David Mundy’s superb career came to an end at the weekend, closing the curtain on one of the most successful stints never to yield a premiership medal. Of all AFL/VFL players, only St Kilda champion Robert Harvey (194 wins) featured in more victories than Mundy’s 192. Patrick Dangerfield (180) is fast climbing up the list, and is set to either top it by next year or remove himself from it entirely if Geelong can salute across the coming fortnight.

MOST AFL/VFL WINS WITHOUT A PREMIERSHIP

  • Robert Harvey 194
  • David Mundy 192
  • Nick Dal Santo 184
  • Brendon Goddard 183
  • Bernie Quinlan 181
  • Patrick Dangerfield 180*
  • Brad Johnson 177

Part of the furniture

How’s this for a neat coincidence? When he debuted in 2005, Mundy became the 115th player to represent the Dockers. From that point until the end of his career, Mundy played at least one match with precisely 115 new Fremantle players. Only seven men pulled on a purple jumper at AFL level in that span who Mundy failed to feature alongside in a game, with most of them one-match wonders: Ben Bucovaz, Peter Faulks, Casey Sibosado, Viv Michie, Alex Forster, Craig Moller and Jacob Ballard.

Brownlow trifecta?

Nat Fyfe and Andrew Brayshaw.
Camera IconNat Fyfe and Andrew Brayshaw. Credit: JAMES ROSS/AAPIMAGE

After a superb season that saw him crowned AFL Players Association MVP, Andrew Brayshaw is considered a strong chance to take home Sunday’s Brownlow Medal. If he salutes, he would become the third player out of Fremantle’s 2018 midfield to go on and snare a Brownlow, alongside 2019 (and 2015) winner Nat Fyfe and 2020 winner Lachie Neale. The last time three current or future Brownlow medallists played in the same team was in 2007, when Chris Judd, Ben Cousins and Matt Priddis led West Coast’s engine room.

From flag to straight sets

Champs one year, finals fodder the next. That’s the fate of Melbourne this season, with the all-conquering Demons of 2021 making way for a version that was bundled out in straight sets this September. Since the current finals system started in 2000, two more reigning premiers have suffered the same fate the following year: West Coast from 2006 to 2007, and Hawthorn from 2015 to 2016.

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