AFL Round 15: The Wrap

By John Mosig

What a week it’s been in Footy Eddie.  Who needs Michael Jackson when you have The Maggies and The Doggies to treat you to a Thriller?  Both these sides are up there with the Big 1½, however, on this occasion it was The Woodsmen who took home the bacon.  THE TIGERS made it easy for Carlton to do what it had to do, and The Mosquito Fleet left The Sydney Swans belly up in the water.  Up under the palm trees Brissy increased its percentage at the expense of The Lack Lustre Cats.  Over in the Shadows of Mt Lofty it was The Pride of South Australia who threw down the gauntlet to the rest of The Competition, announcing loud and clear that they will be leaving no wounded and taking no prisoners in 2009.

Come Sunday and the thrills continued.  The Mustard Pots pull the Four Points out of the fire down in Lonny against Traditional Rivals North.  The Dees held off The Tealers to forfeit pole position for the Coveted Sylvan Shield.  And The Junction Oval Seagulls won all but one quarter, and the match, against The Improving Weagles over there.

Our Eight Point Ladder is taking shape, however it’s a bit early to see any trends.  It’s interesting to note that Collingwood’s thriller against Footscray earned them 7 points while The Saints’ equally seminal game last week only earned them 5 points.

For those who came in late, we’re compiling a table, just as a matter of interest, to see who finishes where if 4 points are awarded for a win plus a point for winning a quarter.  No one’s volunteered to go back over the season and bring it up to date yet, so we’re just taking it one week at a time here at The Wrap.

How about someone goes over their team’s results for the year and emailing them in.  That can’t be too hard.  It would be interesting to see how it lines up against the McIntyre System currently in use.

Q1    Q2    Q3    Q4    Win    Total
Collingwood        1    1    1    0    4    7
Bulldogs        0    0    0    1    0    1

Carlton        0    1    1    0    4    6
Richmond        1    0    0    1    0    2

Essendon        1    1    1    1    4    8
Sydney        0    0    0    0    0    0

Brisbane        1    1    1    1    4    8
Geelong        0    0    0    0    0    0

Adelaide        1    1    1    1    4    8
Fremantle        0    0    0    0    0    0

St Kilda        1    1    0    1    4    7
West Coast        0    0    1    0    0    1

Melbourne        1    1    1    0    4    7
Port Power        0    0    0    1    0    1

Hawthorn        1    0    0    1    4    6
Nth Melbourne    0    1    1    0    0    2

OUR EIGHT POINT LADDER
After two rounds – XIV & XV

Adelaide            15
Melbourne            14
Collingwood        13
St Kilda            12
Carlton            12
Essendon            10
Brisbane            10
Bulldogs               8
—————————————-
Sydney              7
Port Power              7
Hawthorn              7
Nth Melbourne          3
Geelong              3
Richmond              3
Fremantle              2
West Coast              2

And hasn’t the Bowden Rule made for exciting goal square defence?  It’s fair to both and some of the most desperate football is coming out of that close up and personal encounters.  Especially since the umpires have swallowed the whistle during them.

And surely Doubtful Thomas isn’t the only one to notice a marked improvement in the maggotting as the season progresses?  This week, judging from Friday Night’s game, they are targeting those creative handballs.  Those Sheiks of Slickness at Carringbush being the major culprits.

There’s good news for the windsock at PUNT ROAD, the ex-Essendon Coach has withdrawn his name from the selection process.  Was it a joke by the two Kevins?  If it was it was a lame one.  And not worthy of two club icons.  Could have they been serious?  Age may not weary them.  That doesn’t mean we have to indulge them.

Even without the Jacket Waver, the spine chilling sound of the Coaches Carousel can be heard above the building crescendo of the September Song.  What is going on around at the Lexus Centre?  Coach Brewery has The Pies ready to come out of the oven and Eddie still hasn’t set the table.  Could he be waiting for the guest of honour to arrive?  It’s enough to give you the Colleywobbles isn’t it?

And the story going around Alberton is that, after saying he’d do the job for half the money, Chokko isn’t in a hurry to sign the contract that took nine hours to compile.

And we may have sneaked a preview of Round XV’s Tool of The Week.  Did anyone catch Andy Maher’s ½ Time interview with Carlton’s injured Robbie Warnock?  Andy would ask a leading question and Robbie would answer it almost word for word.  AM: Do you think your long term injury has given you the time to make the adjustment living in Melbourne and playing in a prestigious club like Carlton?  RW: The time off from competitive football has given me the time to adjust to Melbourne and to get to know the playing group at Carlton.  Riveting stuff.  But we’re not sure who the real tool is.  You be the judge.

It took a special kind of courage to own up to being an Englishman in Wales at the end of Day IV.  As The Baggy Greens ground The All England Test side into the Sophia Gardens dust, the churches were packed for vespers as the Knights of St George pray for rain.

Heard from the TV coverage commentary box from Mike Atherton – Nasser Hussain’s gone a bit pale – as they and another ex-England Skipper, Michael Vaughan, enjoy a slim joke watching The Punter dispatch Freddie right over the top of Monty Panesar’s turban down at deep backward square.

And didn’t the Three Stooges back in the Channel Wog studios get stuck into the To & Froms.  McGorilla, Marto and Mo could hardly contain themselves when they replayed an interview with the All England quick James Anderson.  “We tried everything to get the ball to reverse swing but it just wouldn’t”.  They must have run out of Brylcreem.

And Mrs Wrap couldn’t get over how Greg Matthews had aged.  Turned into an old man I think was the phrase.  It would take a braver man than me to tell her that since the time Mo earned matches figures of 10/249 back in the 1986 Madras Tied test, the years had left their mark on us all.  Personally I though the Advanced Hair Studio had done a marvellous job keeping him so well preserved on top.

By the end of Day V Paul Collingwood had finally earned his MBE, as he held off The Baggy Green attack for 5¾ hours in facing 245 balls and top scoring the England innings with 74 runs.  And what a finish!!  What a start to the Series!!  More sleepless nights starting next Thursday.

Of course The To & Froms slipped in a few of their sneaky Ruling Class tricks to delay the progress of play and to put The Baggy Greens off their stride.

They even hired a couple of streakers.  Or pitch invaders as they are called in refined society.  It was difficult to tell if they were naked or even male or female because in polite society they drop the scoreboard down over the screen during the event and talk about the weather.

But as Punter put it, they can play whatever way they want to play.  We came to play by the rules and the spirit of the game. It’s up to them to do what they want to do.

But didn’t you just love the quaintness of the Sophia Park Septagon?  Sort of a Glenferrie Oval without the train line.  For sightscreens they painted the back fence white and laid a huge white sheet over the seats behind the bowlers arm at the Members’ End.

The followers of the round ball game had the level of their local competition put into perspective.  At The Dumb on Saturday night, Mediocre Fulham showed ‘em just where the A League fits in the World Pantheon.  The local hotshots Melbourne Victory were belted 3 zip by the London Premier League club in a friendly.  To give some idea of where Fulham sits, they scored 52 points last season against ManU’s 90 at the top of the table.  Thirty five points was the relegation cut off.  And what’s this friendly business?  I thought a friendly was when you all met down at the boozer for a knees up.  Whatever happened to White Line Fever?

Never mind whether or not they’re bringing their toys to Albert Park next year.  The big news from the Petrol Heads is our very own Mark It’s All About Me Webber.  While a long way from becoming the next Jack Brabham, he has graduated after an eight year apprenticeship.  The Raging Bull has beaten home the Ferraris to take the Deutschland GP and move up to 3rd behind Jenson Button (Is that Jenson or Jetson? – Ed) and SebastionVettel.

However, Our Cadell isn’t faring so well.  He had a fair dinkum crack at the Pyrenees Stage but it failed to come off.  He still sits at 18th, 3’ 07” behind Noncentinini, Cantador and Armstrong.  Go you Aussie good thing, pull ‘em back.

But enough of my gabbin’. Let’s see who’s still around town after the XVth Round.

COLLINGWOOD        7.2    11.5    16.7    17.9        (111)
WESTERN BULLDOGS    3.4    6.6    10.9    16.14        (110)
The Magpies v The Bulldogs.  The 51,382 who braved the Bleak City Winter certainly got their money’s worth.  And didn’t those Pies look red hot?  Straight out of the microwave.  There would have been some anxious moments down along the Kurrajong Track in the Close Knit Community of Briagolong, but the Drouin Showpony, sporting a freshly groomed peroxide overdose for the big occasion, kicked the game breaker with three minutes to go.  Not to be denied, The Bullies fought back and were down by TNPM with 20 nerve wracking seconds on the clock.  SOTG may argue that they didn’t deserve to win.  After all, BKIBF.  Four of The Doggies kicks along the paint went over on the full, and while Mrs. Higgins little boy Sean may be berating himself for hitting the post from 30m out running into an open goal, he will be joined by a whole bunch of self flagellators wearing The Tricolours of The West.  For instance, Johnno’s hands were the only ones to touch Minson’s long bomb as it sailed through the Big Sticks.  And the Skipper won’t be the only one in the procession.  Not by a longshot.  By the way, Digger wouldn’t have anything to complain about after Friday night.  The Maggies certainly got the rub of the whistle.  They were paid 50m penalties for anything from jumper tags (Akka) to an alleged ball knock down (Minson).  Swan dropped that ball himself Son.  You did nothing wrong.  So thought the Football Gods as they guided the shot on goal into the post.  Johnno copped a wack in the chops out on wing half forward and received nothing.  Another time he was gratuitously slung to the ground after the mark had been completed and was denied justice.  But this match was won, not lost.  Collingwood players stood up in the tackle and kept the ball moving.  Sure, some of the handball were dubious, and they got pinged a few times for creative handball.  I was reaching for a cleansing ale with 11 minutes to go when Cloke turned what Dennis C predicted to be a steadying goal, into a handy point.  And so it turned out.  Look, The Pies would have been stiff to lose this one.  True, they were out on their feet come the Final Stanza, but they’d taken their chances earlier, something The Scraggers hadn’t done, and they deserved to win.  After all, as the SMS messages the next morning said, GTWTCO.  And the Velvet Fog again, just after the Picturesque Swan ran into an open goal to counter a flow of Footscray goals, “Collingwood have all the answers”.  From where we sat, The Maggies backed themselves and their teammates at every opportunity.  And attacked on the strength of it.  The Bulldogs seemed to lack confidence.  When Akka, who can land the pigskin on the proverbial three penny bit from 70m, took a half hearted 25m sideways option when running out of the centre square towards the sticks you knew they were unsure of themselves.  The Pies take the Four Points to put them equal with the Dogs.  They’re back to the Big Stage next Saturday night against The Reigning Premiers.  The Doggies open proceedings once more against The Victorious Bombers on a roll

ESSENDON        4.6    8.8    12.12    15.17        (107)
SYDNEY        4.2    5.8    7.11    10.12          (72)
The Mosquito Fleet v The Bloods.  The Swans farewelled BBBBarry and signalled that they had bowed to what they had been postponing for a couple of seasons now – rebuilding their side.  The Swans, with several stars shining, were in this contest on the scoreboard.  But The Dons had their stars blazing and that, at the end of the night, was the difference between the two heavens.  Mrs Watson’s Little Boy Jobe has become an integral part of the Essendon set up and Coach Knighter has them improving their game each week.  Next Saturday The Lakers travel down the Hume to Ethelred Stadium to take on The Blues.  For The Mosquito Bombers it’s Footscray OTR on Friday Night at the same venue.

CARLTON        3.3    9.8    13.9    16.13        (109)
RICHMOND    3.4    6.6    7.14    12.17          (89)
The Silvertails v STRUGGLETOWN.  It was the Dreadlock and Juddanaught show at The G on Saturday Arvo.  With Traditional Rivals slugging it out in Traditional Wintery Conditions the Footy was more gutsy than classy.  The conditions also made the class acts stand out even more.  Each side can claim a champion or three, and this is where the Fev came into it.  At least three of Brendan’s majors would have helped Melbourne Victory keep up with Fulham at the Boutique Ground.  Could the prospect of a Fev Fever Outbreak have pulled The 50,784 SOTG and Faithful away from their cozy loungeroom fires?  The possibility should make the marketing whizkids at Jellymont House sit up and take notice.  But it wasn’t the walkover The Silvertails expected and THE TIGERS challenged on the scoreboard several times.  However, as Mrs Wrap asked rhetorically, isn’t there anyone in the RICHMOND side who will take responsibility for kicking the ball, let alone a goal; they should call it pass the buck, not Football.  And one wonders how they go at practice kicking it to each other.  There must be a lot of ball fetching going on at PUNT ROAD on Tuesday & Thursday nights.  It wasn’t all that bad for The Visitors, and The Cuz continued his run at the Jack Dyer Medal with a 35 touch game.  There was also enough from some of the young guns – Post, Vickery, Cotchin and Graham to keep TLSPRF turning up each week until the end of August.  But they’ll have to do something about Jack Reiwoldt’s kicking on goal before it breaks the kid’s spirit.  The Homeside wasn’t all that impressive, and only their 4-1 to RICHMOND’S 1-8 Championship Quarter saved them from possible humiliation.  (And Fev’s 9 majors – Ed)  Nevertheless they have consolidated their positioning for September.  They return to their real home next Saturday Arvo to host The Tinseltowners.  For THE TIGES it’s a home game against North on Sunday arvo.

BRISBANE        3.4    10.7    12.10    16.12        (108)
THE HANDBAGS    3.2    6.5    7.9    9.11           (65)
Brissy v Geelong.  The Lions made mincemeat of The Cats up at The Gabbattoir, prompting the question – are The Handbags gone?  They will be if they don’t get their stars back.  They didn’t win a quarter all night and looked anything but TTTBFTF.  Those Pivotonians who weren’t too exhausted by last weeks Grand Final match against St Kilda looked like they didn’t want to be there.  The Lions roared their challenge under Boss Voss and, with Daniel Rich supporting Simon Black & Luke Powell, they undertake The Competition’s longest road trip to play what’s left of The Barry Crockers on Saturday night.  The Pussies limp home to take on Melbourne down at Kardinia Park before dark, also on Saturday.

ADELAIDE             5.4    10.9    12.4    19.16        (130)
FREMANTLE        0.1    0.1    1.5    1.7          (13)
The Pride of South Australia v The Barry Crockers.  Never mind the records being set over at Sophia Park this week, the church bells were peeling in Australia’s most sanctimonious city for Sunday matins as statisticians were still tallying the records set at Crow Park on Saturday night.  The Chardonnays well and truly popped the cork and left The Anchormen flat and sour at the end of the Hundred Minutes of Football.  The only stats The Dockers won were the Frees For and they had one two less misses on goal than The Crows.  But putting that in perspective, they missed 11% of their shots against the opposition’s 8%.  And may we have had a glimpse of the future scorelines against fabricated chopping blocks GC17 and WS18?  Jellymont House take note.  The Mighty Adelaide Crows, striving for a Top Four Finish are at the bottom end of the three feasible contenders by dint of their inferior percentage.  But it’s not that inferior.  Next Sunday they have The Feeling Faints under cover for the twilight game.  Freo host The Lions on the Saturday night.

HAWTHORN        1.3    2.6    5.9    10.13        (73)
NTH MELBOURNE    1.2    4.3    8.5    9.10        (64)
The Hawks v The Shinboners.  The Leafblowers kept their Slender September Aspirations alive as Buddy played a blinder all day all over the oval and booted four of The Maybloom’s five Final Stanza majors.  And reminiscent of Yabby’s move, back in 1989,  of Conan the Barbarian from the back pocket to the centre – it wasn’t called the midfield in those days.  Played at Princess Park, The Hawks were spotting The Cats nine goals at the Long Break.  The move was the turning point of the match and the season.  The Hawks knew they had The Cats’ measure, as they showed later that same season when the two combatants slugged out one of the GF’s for The Ages.  This time it was the equally influential Hodge who created the spark that finally ignited The Family Club’s Bunsen burner.  It was The Shinboners who handled the trying conditions better, and earned a 14 point scoreboard advantage by the Citrus Huddle.  However, deeper in experience, the awakening giant stole the day from them.  They get to fight someone in their own division when they confront RICHMOND on The Paddock That Grew next Sunday arvo.  For the Squawkers it’s Carringbush on The G on Saturday night.

MELBOURNE    4.2    9.6    13.9    15.11        (101)
PORT POWER    3.3    7.6    10.8    13.12          (90)
The Redlegs  v The Power.  The Dees led at every change and at the Final Siren.  And they may have found another Irishman to eventually wear the sacred No.11 Redleg Guernsey.  Liam Jurrah took the mark of the round, kicked four goals and was influencial in The Fuchsias 1st back-to-back win in living memory.  They have a chance to make it three on the Stewie against The Struggling Millionaires down at Skilled Stadium next round.  Who knows what’s going on over at Alberton Oval, but it doesn’t appear to be football.  They have a chance to redeem themselves and keep in touch with September against The West Coast Wiggles on the Sunday.

ST KILDA        3.4    5.7    8.9    13.12        (90)
WEST COAST    2.1    4.3    9.3      11.4        (70)
The Coasters v The Feeling Faints.  The Coasters on the coast are a different proposition to The Coasters away from the coast.  They made The Feeling Faints work had all day and led them into the Final Stanza.  But the cream rises to the top.  And as they have so many times this season, The Saints got, out  the whip, and like Bonecrusher and Kiwi, ran over the top of them in the home straight.  And in the battle of The Big Men, you’d have to give the nod to ex-Eagle Gardiner over All Australian Cox.  But didn’t Leigh Montagna bob up everywhere?  Forty three touches, 14 in the vital last Quarter.  It doesn’t get any easier for The Seagulls.  The Pride of South Australia under cover late on Sunday.  The Wiggles have a trip across to the City of Light as guests of The Tealers.

Good tipping and even better punting.

And remember, if you read it in The Wrap you’ll know it’s not crap.

84

About John Mosig

I’m an Aussie Rules tragic who can remember, as a four year old, shaking the hand of Captain Blood in the rooms just before he ran out onto the ground after half time, as my Old Man slipped him a packet of under-the-counter Craven A cork tipped. Now it’s my turn to take my grandson Ben through the ritual of character building that is the journey through PUNT ROAD to the outside world.

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