Happy EOFY to all,
After getting over watching Nic Nat take apart the Blues the previous week it has given me time and a couple of interviews to really appreciate what he brings to the game. Not being Victorian based we probably do not see as much of him as we should – but his on ground exploits are extraordinary. The exploits of Kouta in mid-2000 were the most dominant sustained performances from an individual I have seen. Kouta was great athlete, Nic Nat as an athlete is Kouta plus more and will be the best player in the competition very soon. But added to all the on field brilliance – he off field persona is equally brilliant. He is confident without being arrogant, loves the life he has and can accept all the baggage that comes with it. His demeanour is always positive and to me a great ambassador for the game.
With that though there are two great shames – why is he not playing in Melbourne – be pretty happy if he wanted to get the band back together with Yarran, Jeffy and Ellard? The other is that surely there is something for him coming up in London – Play for the Boomers, 400m, High Jump, Hurdles. Which begs the question – how many other of our footballers could grace the Olympic stage and in what events? I also reckon Buddy might go OK at the 400m. As the Sage suggested picture Buddy and Alberto Juantorena striding around the track, both sporting the magnificent knee-lenth hosiery.
Brisbane proved to be great value last week and Simon showed he might not be so likeable! Then the Kangas displayed what they are capable of and have us all scratching our collective heads – there is a common theme for all these out of character performances from them – The Loungeroom! Got the rest right and this column even set the umpiring agenda with all the focus on throws – but it is folly to think that this is tied to West Coast alone. It is endemic and blight on the umpires or more specifically their leadership.
Last week’s menu of juicy encounters makes way for a round what looks like some pretty ordinary matches – having said that the season has thrown up plenty of unexpected results.
Tweetle-dumber ($4.00) vs Haughty Again ($1.32)
The Blues not taking a trick losing players even when they have a week off, then Brock McLean goes outside the social media boundary. Pretty happy the club stood up to City Hall, yes the message was stupid and neanderthal but surely not worth missing a game. Perhaps some expediency too with a depleted midfield. The Hawks in the meantime have continued to roll along, the only caveat being that they have been beating up on the who’s not who of the competition since their loss to the Tigers. By the same token Carlton probably fit fairly and squarely in that group also. Valiant efforts by the Blues in their last two encounters hopefully followed by another one, however Hawthorn have had the Blues measure for a while now and I can’t see a change this week. I’d be looking for $4.20 before being tempted.
Beams me up Scotty ($1.14) vs The Purple Haze ($7.60)
No Pendles – No problems, Beams steps and does the job. Pies debut yet another whereas Freo are challenged with losing key players but get Eddie Munster back. Freo have won a couple away this year which is a plus – but not this one.
Charddy Sippers ($1.45) vs All Aboard ($3.15)
A week off for the Tigers to load the wagon again – whereas Adelaide are probably still wondering what happened on Sunday. The Crows need to bounce back from that or risk their opportunity to finish in the top 4, on their own patch they should be able to overcome the Tiggers. But remember Richmond have caused the odd upset and are reasonable value at $3.15
Chuckers and Duckers ($1.02) vs Golden Dreamers ($34.00)
Pretty simple these days blame West Coast! Also pretty simple to tip – West Coast by a packet.
What Hoodoo? ($1.25) vs The Lost Dogs ($4.80)
The Bombers broke their poor June record with a meritorious victory in the West, whereas the Doggies give in to the Lions with barely a yelp and of as much concern in front of a poor crowd. On that form the Bombers must be the selection, however over the years Footscray have matched up well in this contest. However Essendon are healthy and the Dogs still lack reliable goal kickers, Bombres to salute.
Vo Rogues ($1.03) vs There’s a New Kid in Town ($29)
The last two matches have seen the Bloods jump out to a substantial lead and manage to hang on, could GWS prove to be the Dandy Andy and catch them and take the points? I doubt it and the odds aren’t fair given that Dandy Andy was 125-1 when he caught Vo Rogue in the Australian Cup and I’d want at least that on the Giants!
Not Quite Dandy Andy ($1.08) vs Back in the Shack ($12.00)
The Cats couldn’t catch the Swans, however I doubt they will have any issues dealing with Port week who are now missing arguably their two best players in Hartlett and Schulz. Cats to win on their own dung hill.
KOTJ ($1.29) vs D€€$ ($4.30)
No doubting the Dees had their revenge on the Giants last week – the question still remains which club will be the major benefactor of Scully’s move. To me Melbourne’s compensation picks should put them in front in 5 years’ time. After handing the Demons their Round 1 beating the Lions should again be too good for them at the Gabbatoir. Things may have been different had Mitch Clark been available as Melbourne’s main attacking avenue, but alas he won’t be there and they won’t kick enough goals.
Gwilty as Charged ($1.43) vs Sybil ($3.25)
Last week the Kangas showed us yet another personality, this week they would like the same one to turn up. It will probably have to in order to topple the Saints who come off the bye but announced that James Gwilt has recommitted to the club. St Kilda have been playing very consistently of late and I suspect their best is better than the Roos and are my selection. However if there is one team that cannot be trusted it is North Melbourne and any price over $3.20 is worth consideration.
Group 1 Racing
We have had the last of the G1 for the season and the mighty Black Caviar fell in at Ascot. Yep she was injured, yep Luke Nolan nearly stuffed it but she won. However there will be plenty of work to do on her return to the track to get the public in the same frenzy after she was expected to win by plenty, I just hope we do get to see her again on the track this spring.
Go Blues, Go Friars