Glancing through the headlines there is plenty on in footy at the moment but frankly from here in Vietnam it doesn’t seem to mean as much. The one thing to mention is whether or not Ian Prendergast has too much to say or is just doing a job interview? Escaping the Melbourne winter is one thing, but it is to incredible heat and humidity. Mind you there are clearly plenty of other like-minded Aussies here.
Our travels started in the organised chaos of Hanoi some fantastic scenes, sights and smells none more so than the chaotic traffic. Even though trucks, cars, over 1,000,000 motorbikes, treadlies and pedestrians share any side of the road it all just works, even for the bloke exercising his dog while on a motorbike on a highway. Plenty of Uncle Ho too, we then took off to Halong Bay for 2 days on boat sailing among the limestone karsts. Wow what a place! All the images I had seen were of chrystal blue waters and cloudless skies – got about 10 minutes of that. But it still lived up to its reputation.
The former capital of Hue was our next stop, home of the Nguyen dynasty from the early 1800s to 1945. They were going OK till about the mid 1800’s when the French influence took over and they became their puppets. Some great history around the Citadel they built but much of it destroyed during the war where fighting was fierce. Then off to Hoi An a historic port with influence from many parts of the world and it remains so as it has become a tourist haven with visitors from around the globe. Our hotel full of Australian families escaping the cold for the school holidays. Tailors a plenty here to sell you cheap clothes – will find out soon if you get what you pay for.
A couple more updates and photos on Facebook for those in contact with me. But enough of my travails there is a round of footy to get to.
North Korea ($4.30) vs Hamstrung ($1.30)
The Kangas are as unpredictable and dangerous as the northern threat and after the Tom Rockliff incident is the leader going down the same path? Which makes the game against the Hawks all the more interesting, the Roos can play good footy and their best is good enough if the Hawks are off. But despite the Rioli hamstring they have two big ins with Mitchell and Clarkson. The Hawks should win this and continue the roll, but the opposition is dangerous and must be a chance if $4.50 is available.
Model of Consistency ($1.15) vs Roo Cullers ($6.80)
Great effort by the Lions and befitting send off to a champ. They face a beatable foe – a wry grin crossed the heir’s face as he read Damian Hardwick’s issue with the MRP inconsistency, there are greater consistency issues much closer to Damian’s home! Being at the G the Tigers are my selection but certainly not discounting Brisbane’s chance and could be well worth a dong or a couple of hundred thousand at $5 or better.
It’s not Easy Being Greene ($3.85) vs Trucked Off ($1.34)
The Giants get Toby Greene back from his enforced layoff, interesting that he does come straight back in after some of the negative media commentary on his football ability. They front up against the Crows who bring back Rutten as he prepares for his swansong from the game – never an eye catcher but certainly a master at his craft. Again the underdogs are a chance especially on their home deck, but if the Crows are to grab a spot in the eight they must win this.
Nha Trang ($2.00) vs Witt’s End ($1.97)
The Pies invade the Gold Coast with a full stadium expected, they have succumbed to the Suns once before here. Gazza will present Macaffer with his toughest test, but there is so much depth in both midfields it might finish up being a shootout. The loss of Elliott removes some real X-factor from the Pies forward line. As the satchel swingers suggest this is a real flip of the coin game, and mine has come up Gold Coast just on their home ground advantage.
PS – if they have schoolies in Vietnam the kids would go to Nha Trang.
Northern Exposure ($8.60) vs See You on Mundy ($1.16)
The end is in sight for the Dees dalliance with Darwin but they must take on Freo who now have locked away another of their top midfielders in David Mundy. Roos aspires the Dees to play like Freo – they are not there yet and for the game’s sake I hope he fails. And as they are not there yet Freo will win.
Galway Pipe ($1.26) vs Fletched off ($4.60)
Port have lost a key structural player in Trengrove which may have repercussions down the track, while Bombers have dropped Bambi. Dustin Fletcher has been a thorn in the side for many sides over a very long journey. Whilst his form may be off it is one less issue for their very good opposition, who will be too good at the Portress.
Blind Mick ($1.22) vs Seaford ($5.40)
Most of the footy world could have told Mick the Blues list lacked talent 18 months ago and he only comes out with it this week! But he is completely incorrect about them playing with endeavour – they play with endeavour on their own terms and usually only against the teams they can’t beat. Which makes this game against the Saints a real challenge – they were expected to beat Brisbane and GWS and didn’t turn up. What will show up on Sunday? The Saints smell blood with four old hands returning to the team, they rate themselves better than a $5.40 shot and so do I, even though I reckon the Blues will turn up and win.
The Corporation ($3.70) vs Horsing Around ($1.35)
The Eagles have really battled against the best sides and Sydney is one of them, their home ground will give them some hope but I predict the Sydney Circus will roll on.
Wild about Harry ($1.13) vs Griff In ($8.40)
Harry Taylor gets to celebrate his 150th at Kardinia Park where the Cats should account for the Dogs who will put up another brave fight. Despite the return of their skipper Geelong will have too many weapons.
The seniors descend into dangerous territory where they will really have to dig deep to avoid relegation, they take on Prahran at Donvale Reserve this week. Will need to get some results against teams above them on the ladder to stay safe. The Under 19s take on Collegians after a great win on Mazenod with a number of first line players being unavailable.
Go Blues, Go Friars and get to ‘Nam!