Cap­tain coura­geous proves to be grand and in­de­struc­tible force

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - SPORT - SAM LANDSBERGE­R THE MATCH

DOES any­body have Arnold Sch­warzeneg­ger’s num­ber?

If Greater West­ern Syd­ney re­peats yes­ter­day’s mon­strous up­set in next Satur­day’s grand fi­nal and a movie is com­mis­sioned, the Hol­ly­wood star is the only man fit to play Phil Davis.

The in­spi­ra­tional cap­tain played the role of “Ter­mi­na­tor” at the MCG and his GWS team­mates fed off that as if they were break­ing a hunger strike at a buf­fet.

Davis, 29, dis­lo­cated his fin­ger at the start of the match and coolly asked Adam Tom­lin­son to pop it back in.

The full-back then hobbled into the rooms in the first quar­ter with a calf strain, but ca­su­ally slot­ted a heel raise into his boots and started the sec­ond quar­ter at full-for­ward.

Davis then ap­peared to pop a shoul­der, but sol­diered on with a layer of strap­ping. In pre­vi­ous pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal losses the Giants have lost Cal­lan Ward (2016) and Dy­lan Shiel (2017) early to con­cus­sion.

Davis re­fused to join that list yes­ter­day and, while he might not be fit for the big­gest game of his life, he en­sured his mates would get there.

“Sore lower leg. Can’t quite sprint, but can jog around,” Davis said at half-time.

But he spot­ted Jeremy Cameron at the start of the last quar­ter and shortly af­ter Cameron’s pow­er­ful strike GWS led by 33 points. The Giants didn’t score again. It turned out they didn’t need to. Colling­wood had 73 per cent of ter­ri­tory for the last term but were waste­ful.

The Mag­pies had 11 more in­side-50s but kicked 4.5 (29) and one of those goals shouldn’t have even counted.

Josh Thomas’s kick ap­peared to be touched by two sets of hands, but the um­pire bounced the ball in the mid­dle be­fore the glam­orous new AFL Re­view Cen­tre had sent the mes­sage. MUMMY ON EDGE Shane Mum­ford’s ca­reer is out of oxy­gen and he has also done his best to leave the um­pires short of breath this year. Mum­ford gave away six free-kicks yes­ter­day, tak­ing his sea­son tally to an AFL-record 78. That’s 22 more kicks than Mummy has had in 2019.

At 33, Mum­ford has now been smashed in two con­sec­u­tive fi­nals. Is the banged-up beast a cert to play Richmond? MISS­ING MAG­PIES A clutch of Mag­pies will feel like putting their fists through brick walls when they look back on their pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal stats.

The an­gri­est will be Brody Mi­ho­cek, whose only two dis­pos­als came in the last quar­ter. This will sting.

The Giants’ Tim Taranto cel­e­brates goal dur­ing the AFL Pre­lim­i­nary Fi­nal win against Colling­wood at the MCG yes­ter­day and (insets) the ten­sion and joy for Toby Greene, Stephen Coniglio and Giants CEO Dave Matthews in the fi­nal minute of the match. Pic­tures: Phil Hill­yard

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