THE WRAP – THE BIRTH OF THE BLUES ROUND
Where life imitates Football
Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. The tide turned against The Same Old Peps as they coughed up a six goal quarter time lead to go down by a video review short of four goals. Across The Ditch in Aotearoa The Lions pipped The Inaccurate Saints to take the Four Points. And over in the balmy Indian Ocean Shores of The Wide Brown Land the North Melbourne Boys proved they Are Hard To Beat When They Come Out To Play, as The Shinboners added another question mark to The Mauve Miasma’s 2014 credentials.
The bunting is out again along La Via Lygon as The Silvertails find their rhythm and a whole lot of ticker, while another favourite this round finds a way to blow the Four Points in front of goal. The numbers for this week are 6 – 2 – 7 – 6. That’s the number of goals The Abletts kicked in each quarter – oh, and they kicked The Sweep as well, on their way to a percentage-boosting win over The Goliaths.
The Bloods made hard work of it against The Fuchsias, The Whitten Oval Whelps were all over the shop as The Free Settlers take the points, The Leafblowers blew The Toothless Terrors back to The Me Bank Centre with a lot to think about, and The New Competition Leaders & Equal Premiership Favourites seriously dented The Sleepy Hollow Millionaires percentage on The Not As Picturesque As It Used To Be Adelaide Oval.
It’s been brought to our attention by sources close to Gasometer Central that our coverage of North Melbourne has been “lukewarm”. We would like to refute this. As a responsible journal, we feel we have a duty to our readership to present an honest appraisal, based on the facts of any given situation. So let’s look at the facts. Last season we supported The Kangaroos in many of our analyses, and gave them the benefit of the doubt on more than one occasion. And on more than one occasion they betrayed our faith in them. This year they opened the season by getting drubbed by Traditional Rival Essendon, flogging The Bulldog Whelps and carrying off a famous Victory over Competition Hotshots Port Adelaide. After flogging the hot & cold Swans up at Moore Park Road they fell in a screaming heap against The Mighty Magpies before bouncing back against Last year’s Runners-up. Surely that record calls for some degree of caution? However, we have no trouble highlighting one crucial aspect of their 2014 Season, they’re beating teams above them and finishing off the tight ones. They’ve got a pretty ordinary percentage – 104.0 for team that has only dropped two of their six matches.
This week’s pixel puzzle. What’s better than beating Essendon by 10 goals or beating them by a point? See answer below.
But enough of my gabbin’. Let’s see who’s going to be left in the mix after Round VI.
The Anzac Day Blockbuster. You could hear echoes of Whingy Hill around the packed stadium at the 1st change as The Melrose Drive Faithful burst into renditions of The Same Old Essendon We Used To Be*. But that was the end of it. After a 5-4 Opening Stanza, in which they held their opponents goalless, they only managed a paltry 3-8 for the remainder of the match. In the same period The Maggies piled on 12-8. Coach Figjam was full of praise for his team and optimism for the season. We were a Top Four Side defensively and offensively through the middle last year in transition, in contested ball and clearances, but at either end we had some work to do. We made some modifications, we are adjusting that. You’d have to think Jessie White is part of that adjustment. (He can also drive down the street without sideswiping half a dozen parked cars – Ed) And Ben Reid is to return after the bye. In the dazed Essendon Camp the message from The Substitute Coach was a little confusing. As a club we looked at our draw and clearly the worst part of our draw was the first six rounds, so we have got that done now. We can actually start training the players now, we have not trained the players now for four weeks. Not really trained, any substance, match play maybe once, not even for a long period of time. We are going to start training again and we will start playing better Footy because of training and the draw. Hands up those who thought they were watching a play written by Alan Hopgood or John Williamson when Bomber drawled out those lines? I hope we’re not alone in holding deep concerns for the cerebral condition of the current incumbent of the Coach’s Box out at Melrose Drive. True, they were undermanned. But who knows what’s happening with their list management. It was painfully clear that Hardingham wasn’t ready and Dempsey wasn’t up to the pace of the Game at The Elite Level. (Maybe they was undertrained Wrap – Ed) Carlisle & Daniher contributed very little and Watson was blanketed by Macaffer – as was Cotchin a fortnight ago. The Sashites have The Bulldog Pups under cover next Saturday night. The Mighties get Round VII underway against The Only Team All Carlton Knows. (BTW Wrap, The Pies kicked more than half their score from Essendon turnovers. Do you think it strange that the Bomber Coach didn’t mention it amongst all that other stuff? – Ed)
BTW, we decided to cash in on some of our 8¢/day and watched a bit of The Dons v The Magpies VFL stoush. By the look of the Essendon Magoos, they haven’t done too much training either. And The Magpies new recruit Marley Williams may look like he’s straight from Breaking Bad casting, but he knows how to find the pill and what to do with it when he gets it.
The Feeling Faints v The Roy Boys. Just when you thought it was safe to climb aboard The St Seaford Bandwagon they do this to you. They drew 13,409 to the Anzac Day clash at Wellington but they couldn’t draw ahead of The Bad News Bears. They’ll be stunned by the loss at Eel Race Road, as they sure as hell would have inked in the Four Points. With a sub-par percentage of 83.3 they need ever win they can get. They’ve got The Squawkers next Saturday for the early one on The People’s Ground. The Four Points a pipedream; the percentage dive a certainty. The Lions were elated at their Breakout Win for Season 2014. And so they should be. They’ll need every bit of Self Belief they can muster when they host the Swans at The Gabbatoir on the Saturday night.
The Barry Crockers v The Shinboner Spirit. What the ……! Surely we’re not back to Flaky Freo again, are we?. They looked to be walking away with this one. They had four majors on the board before The Kangas had broken out into a sweat and The Knowledgeable Fremantle Crowd was on full throat. North willed themselves back into the contest in time on in the first, and it became an arm wrestle from then on. Halfway through the Championship Quarter the host team seemed to have the match in control after fending off a North Melbourne counter attack. The Shinnies spiked the OT with a healthy dash of The Magic Elixir, and as they did to Port Adelaide – arguably the best finishing side in The Competition – they stormed home, holding The Anchormen goalless in the Final Stanza. Which in itself must be a worry to the coaching panel at Fremantle. Their season sits 3&3 with The Western Derby to come at the end of Round VII. A massive match. A second Famous Victory on the road for The Norsemen and another Eight Points banked. (That should dispel a few of those doubts around at Arden Street of which you spoke Wrap – Ed) They host The Golden Suns for the early one next Sunday on the Shifting sands of Docklands.
Gold Coast v The Orangemen. The Suns have dropped only two matches and come up against The Shinboners next Sunday on the Shifting Sands. This will be a test for them. A test The Orangemen weren’t. The He Ho Fi Fums get the smell the blood of some Port Adelaide Aggression at Startreck Oval at the traditional time. (Although it’s hardy two traditional teams kicking off at a traditional venue, eh? – Ed)
The Miseries v The Eddie Eagles. The Bluebaggers are smoking right now. They’ve mastered one of the important facets of Our Great Game – focusing in on is how hard you have to work to get into a position to win, not about winning. By understanding the massive difference – focusing out on what everyone is screaming for, and remembering the technique. The technique that has got to be consistent and persistence about playing an opposition that is very dogged, a dogged side in one manner but is a highly skilled side in another. With their Self Belief bolstered by this crucial understanding they matched it with The Kings of The Big Game and, led from the front by Skipper Murphy, they stormed home to take the Four Points. Although you’d have to say they had to rely on some atrocious kicking on goal in the dying stages from The Wedgies and their opponent’s inability to put the match away early. The result, not to take anything away from Carlton’s ability to stay with them, says more about The Weagles as it does about The Silvertails. The Weages close off Round VII with The Derby; The Miseries open it against The Mighties. (You’re not back on the Carringbush Bandwagon again are you Wrap? Better up your medication, you know that always finishes in tears – Ed)
The Fuchsias v The Bloodstained Angels at THOF on Saturday night. When The Master of The Flood comes up against his apprentice it’s always going to be Ugly Football. And Saturday night’s match was no exception. The Swans won and moved up to be on Glorious 9th on percentage. They’re off up under the palms for Saturday night. The Long Suffering Redleg Faithful are over in The City of Light to take on The Mighty Adelaide Ravens.
The Labradoodles v The Pride of South Australia. The Pride of South Australia had not trouble calling the Doggies to heel after a spirited Opening Stanza. Neither side looked to be up to the standard required to pull the punters through the turnstiles, which is a worrying trend. 17,404 is not much of a crowd, really. Is too much being asked of too many? Are we spreading the talent across too wide a spectrum, and it’s dimming the quality of the product because of it? (The quality of the product Wrap? Who are you, Mr Ponytail? – Ed) Or is it the coaching? The Chihuahuas take on The Flying Syringes under cover next Saturday night. The Chardonnays host The Princes of Darkness.
Struggletown v The Mayblooms. Fifty two thousand, nine hundred & ninety turned up for this Struggletown home game, and struggle they did. But you’d have to wonder about the power of the press, wouldn’t you? No sooner had Matty Lloyd panned The Squirrel in his Sunday column than Junior turns on a 4-goal cameo for the archives. And it was the four goals that tore the game from any sort of feeble grip The Endangered Species had on it on the scoreboard. Far from coming out spitting fire, the Hawthorn Coaching Panel treated this as nothing more than a warm down match after their fierce encountered of last week. No need for mouthguards on Tuesday night, we reckon they learnt a lot about The Handbaggers last week, and it only cost them Four Premiership Points. Four Premiership Points that Port Adelaide returned to them in the next match. They have The Feeling Faints next Saturday for the early one on The People’s Ground. For The Striped Marvels, it’s looking very much a rebuild year. After playing some Exhilarating Footy last season, they’re back to The Tigers of Old. Which is sad to see, because when The Tiges are up and about it’s GFF. And TLSPRF can sense there’s something wrong. By the time they passed around the OT the Richmond Members area in the second tier of the Ponsford Stand just boasted a few pockets of diehards who never walk out on The Boys. It’s not that they didn’t have a dip; in fact they took it right up to The Mustard Pots and at times outplayed them. No, it was their static playing style. When The Hawks got a break there was a GoldenBrown surge down the ground and a blur across the forward line as options were created in every man-on-man position. When The Moth-eaten Ones had possession the ball carrier just looked around for safe options and his teammates made sure they provided plenty of them. But while they were safe options for The Tiggers, they were also safe for The Hawkers. The talk of pumping up the tyres on the manure lorry out at the chook farm hasn’t started yet, nor should it. (There’s a whole season to endure before they reach that point, eh Wrap – Ed) This has to be their nadir. They’ve got nothing to loose from the season now by running forward and tackling the opposition head-on. And everything to gain. You never know, they may even regain their Self Belief. They have The Moggies OTR down at the Cattery. What better way to turn their season around?
Port Adelaide Aggression v The Handbags. The Coaches want to take the fall for this one, which in itself is a refreshing break from some of the Post Matches we’ve been subjected to. But as we said last year, The Tealers are the real deal. The Pivotonians may have been a bit flat after last week, but they knew what they were walking into over in The Shadows of Mt Lofty. They’ll learn from the experience, and Chris Scott didn’t seem too worried about it. They’re back to the MCG next Sunday for the middle match, their opponents none other than The Striped Marvels. (Also OTR – Ed) Port sit astride The Premiership Table, and rightly so. And hasn’t the move to the Adelaide Oval made a difference? It’s been good for SA Football, and it’s been good for The Power. The breakout from the Them & Us stigma they’ve dined out on over the last hundred years or so behind them, they now have the opportunity to become the AFL team of choice in the City State. Watch this space. They’re off up to Sin City next Saturday to take on The Boys From Breakfast Point.
Remember, if you read it in the Wrap you’ll know it’s not crap.
* – The Same Old Essendon we used to be
The Same Old Essendon we are, you see.
You can take the straightest tip
That we’ll win the Premiership
Because we’re the same Old Essendon.
Essendon’s theme song when they played on Captain Lonsdale’s Cow Paddock, and won four flags on the trot from 1891 to 1894. Ahh, those were the days, weren’t they?
Answer to the Pixel Puzzle – spotting them a six-goal start and beating them by four.