THE WRAP – THE penultimate round of the home & away series of the 2014 Toyota premiership season
Where life imitates Football
Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. The Bluebaggers packed their suitcases and departed early from Season 2014. The Shinboners had to dig deep to avoid an embarrassing defeat against The Pride of South Australia down in Hobart Town. The Suns signalled that they’ve matured as they made The Peptides fight every inch of the way. The Once Mighty Pies just fell over the line against The Valiant Giants. And at The G The Mighty Fighting Hawks once and for all exorcized The Kennett Curse with a crushing come from behind win over The Naked Cats.
Come Sunday and two of the three matches ran true to form. Freo & The Swans monstered The Bad News Bears & The Labradoodles respectively. The Endangered Species, although taking the Four Points, once more disappointed TLSPRF with a patchy win against patchy opposition.
Just one goat department. Melbourne crumble and the rumours fly. The T-word is thrown about and fingers are pointed. Carlton turn in an equally wretched performance close to the end of the season and all the emphasis is on the list. (Carlton haven’t put up their hand for a priority draft pick Wrap – Ed)
Well Wrappers, the new 8-point system may be gaining some traction. We are grateful to Wrap Subscriber Skip of Skipton for the midnight oil he must have burnt pouring over the stasticals, statsicals, stisacles, the facts and figures, to give us the All New All Singing All Dancing 2014 Wrap Premiership Ladder after Round XXI:
The way Toyota has it The way the 8-point system sees it
- Sydney Sydney
- Geelong Hawthorn
- Hawthorn Geelong
- Fremantle Fremantle
- Port Adelaide Port Adelaide
- North Melbourne North Melbourne
- Essendon Adelaide
- Adelaide Richmond
- Richmond Essendon
- Collingwood WCE
- GCS Collingwood
- WCE GCS
- Carlton Carlton
- Western Bulldogs Western Bulldogs
- Brisbane Brisbane
- GWS Melbourne
- Melbourne GWS
- St Kilda St Kilda
Not a lot of change, so the 8-P System can’t be accused of radicalizing the way we reward effort. Just a subtle twist that rewards teams for the full 100 minutes. Waddaya reckon Wrappers? Way to go?
The two waterside teams, Fremantle v Port Adelaide, play over in Perth on Saturday arvo for 4th rung for the Double Chance and a Home Final.
The Swans play The Tigers at Homebush in the gathering gloom.
The Hawks play the Depleted Collingwood at THOF on Friday night.
The Cats play The Lions at Kardinia Park after dark on Saturday.
The Dockers play The Power at Subiaco on Saturday arvo.
The next two teams – 6th & 7th – are pretty much set where they lie now.
North play Melbourne under cover. A win takes them to 14-8 for the season
Essendon play Carlton on The G in the early Saturday match for a commendable – considering the pressure cookers the club has operated in – 13-9 season.
That leaves one rung to fill, with five possibilities. The Striped Marvels are the current incumbents with 11 wins and a healthy percentage edge over The Pies, also on 11. Next comes a gaggle on 10 wins. In order of percentage they are –
West Coast – 114.7% – they play The Other Coasters up at the Metricon under the midday sun
Adelaide – 110.2% – they have The Sainters in the City of Churches for the penultimate match of the Home & Away Series of the 2014 Toyota Premiership Season.
Gold Coast – 96.0% – They’ve got the Weagles.
The other match involves a couple of battlers. The Doggies can displace The Miseries should the latter go down to The Dons and the former beat GWS on the Shifting Sands in the twilight match.
There’s been more revelations on the EFC Drugs in Sport Scandal. Well, not really revelations; we’ve all known what’s been going on from the start. Let’s call it more conformation. Hands up anyone who is totally gobsmacked by the knowledge that ASADA’s behaviour was dysfunctional? WADA have proven to be a bunch of nincompoops still trying to work out how many angles can dance on the head of a pin? The AFL have been in bullying, damage-control mode since day one? And Essendon were always trying to do whatever it took, using whatever it took, administered by whom ever it took, under whatever circumstances it took – and that were prepared to keep doing it as long as nobody took the trouble to look too closely at whatever toll it was taking on the culture, morale & reputation of the club and the players? Gee, that’s not many. Now for the bonus points. How many of us think the real Blackest Day in Australian Sport was when the Appalling Football League drove the puntilla into Fitzroy’s spinal cord, after first systematically tormenting and starving it to the point of incapability? Wow, some of you weren’t even born when The Maroons were still around.
The video review is under fire again. The AFL claim to have footage they haven’t revealed to the public that refutes the vision shown on Channel Kerry. Good to see it’s business as usual around at Spin Central.
But enough of my yackin’. Let’s see who’s feeling down and blue after Round XXII.
Port Adelaide v The Miseries. Would the last person out of Visy Park please switch off the lights? Fair dinkum Blues Brothers, it can’t possibly get any worse than this. Mickey said the players were very tired after being up for so long. And it was desperately tough to get up every week. Turn it up Mick, you play the same number of matches as everyone else, and you’ve won seven of them. Hardly being up for so long, nor under any tougher circumstances than any of the other 17 teams. Still, it wasn’t a bad presser, as far as job applications go. Make no mistake; the axe will swing down Princes Park on the last Monday in August, and swing hard & wide. The Philosopher Coach is just taking every precaution to ensure the sharp shiny bit doesn’t swing anywhere near him. But enough of the losers. What does it tell us about the winners? Not much really, other than the gap between the top teams and the bottom teams is as wide as ever. Once Carlton dropped their head it became a procession, albeit a percentage building one for Port. They have The Purple Haze over there next Saturday arvo. With 4th spot and a home final at the stake, that will be a real hitout. For The Miseries, they get to farewell their Long Suffering Bluebagger Faithful – yes Wrappers, their certification has come through. It was verified by the Appalling Football League by email on Saturday morning, they can now sow TLSBF on their duffle coats. They have Arch Enemy & Traditional Rival Essendon on the People’s Ground in the early one.
North v Adelaide. This one could have gone either way. The score worm dipped and dived like a mining spec price graph. First North had the ascendency and The Tiger Faithful were cheering for a percentage damaging loss to The Chardonnays. Then fortunes swung as the game opened up. The match was in the balance. The Crows held a two-goal advantage at the Last Huddle and looked to be poised. But much to the relief of Richmond, Eagle and Collinwood Fans, The Shinnies had laced the OT with that the magic elixir. They first hauled in and then overtook The Croweaters. They had to weather a withering 10 minute Adelaide counter attack, but in the end they deserved their win. They host The Tankers next Saturday night under cover. Which is probably the best way to host them. The Crows have The Feeling Faints over in the City of Churches.
The Flying Syringes v The Sunbeams. The Syringes had too much of everything for The Suns to make them do more than work hard for the Four Points. The Metermaids were brave, but bravery will only get you so far when you’re up against a well-drilled side of better than average players with a smattering of out & out stars. Bomber has The Same Olds believing in themselves after the Tigers gave them a wake-up call, and it’s hard to see how they’re going to fit Hird back into this Melrose Drive Outfit next year. But hey, who are we to worry about how they go about their business out there where the Maribyrnong meets the mountains. That’s ASADA’s job. The Tides have The Miseries OTR. Mitch Robinson & Jarrad Waite playing their last games for the Old Dark Navy Blues against a Traditional Rival would be worth riding your Malvern Star down from Upotipotpon. The Sunnies finish off their season back home against The Other Coasters.
GWS v Carringbush. Not sure what diet their on around at the Westpac Centre, but it’s certainly no doing them a lot of good. Down to one man on the bench and chasing jumpers all through the western Sydney twilight in some typical Sydney conditions, they pulled their season out of the fire with characteristic Carringbush GAD. All credit to The Leviathans, and they’re sure to learn from the experience. They had The Mighties on the canvas, and the 10,851 who made it out to Spotless Reserve would have been mightily disappointed that they let this one slip from their grasp. The Woodsmen now have to beat The Mighty Fighting Hawks in Friday night’s Blockbuster to have any chance of playing in September. The Orangemen finish their gallant season against The Sons of The West on the Shifting Sands.
The Mayblooms v The Handbaggers. Embedded deep amongst the Paid-up Proud & Passionate is an experience every Footy Fan should have on their bucket list. To be there when they ride a nine-goal turn around on Arch Rivals Geelong is to be carried across the reef and onto the sand by a 10- meter bombie. Carrying a six-day break and a trip across the Nullarbor in their saddlebags, The Mayblooms looked sluggish from the bounce. They allowed The Moggies to dictate terms and couldn’t make a tackle stick for the life of them. The Pivotonians were running through them like a hot knife through butter. Thirty-three points to the good at the long break, The Pussies were purring. Then came the realization in the Hawthorn dressing room that they were making The Catters look good, and as their likely opponents on the first weekend of September, this was not a psychological advantage they ought be gifted. After a tongue lashing described by Waverley Insiders as a fireball from Hell, The Family Club played some of the most devastating One For All & All For One Football you’re likely to see. After missing four very gettable shots in the first seven minutes, and The Moggies clawed that back with one straight shot it was looking like a curse too far. But then they started hitting the target. The Hoopers didn’t raise a calico for the remainder of the Championship Quarter. In the Final Stanza, apart from one flurry for a minor gain to open the scoring early in the piece, they didn’t bother the scorers again until The Mustard Pots, with a well-deserved hot shower in mind, had put the queue in the rack. A great hitout For The Leafblowers. An exposé that may have come a little late for The Handbaggers.
West Coast v Melbourne. A timely percentage game for The Wedgies. Another day at the office for The Armoured Corp.
The Bad News Bears v The Barry Crockers. When Ashley McGrath was chaired off the oval at the end of play up in Brisbane, it severed their last link on-field link with their Golden Era under Lethal & Vossie. They’ve managed seven wins in Lepper’s first year, which would have to be a pass. The Anchormen showed no mercy, nor signs of tiredness after their gruelling win over The Hawks last round and the long haul up to Bananaland. In fact The Mauve Miasma looked cherry ripe for September.
The Sons of The West v South Melbourne on the Shifting Sands of Docklands. The Doggies were admirably again. Their shorts were well starched, their jumpers crisply ironed and their boots fairly gleamed with a parade ground spit & polish. The Swans used them as witches’ hats for a warm-up for next Saturday’s match at home against Richmond.
The Striped Marvels v The Feeling Faints. It may have been Richmond’s 8th win on the trot, but it was a less than convincing performance from a team that needed a percentage boost to make it through to September. They had the first six majors on the board before the Saints had kicked the ball into their attacking fifty. The Long Suffering Faithful were besides themselves. This was it. This rampage would shore up their September Credentials. After all, they were playing a team deep into a rebuilding program, one that had itself been less than convincing over the latter part of the season. But no, this was Richmond. They served up a lack lustre 8-8 for the remainder of the match and let through 10-12. Take that game to Sydney and it’s good night nurse for 2014. The St Seaford Seagulls showed every sign that they’re putting something together for 2015 down at Eel Race Road.
And remember, if you read it in the Wrap, you’ll know it’s not crap.