Salutations to All for the last of the split rounds,
Ed fumed with the after siren goal by the Crows and all sorts of suggestions have been forward to “get it right”. Is there truth in the rumour Essendon fans suggested 240 volts through the umpire might work? I reckon the AFL got it right! The end of the quarter has always been determined by when the umpire hears and reacts to the sound of the siren, the only issue being the sheer volume of the crowd. The Hawthorn–Geelong final at the G last year was not much different as the game reached its crescendo. We already have enough intervention with the goal line reviews, let’s just make the sirens loud enough and if the fans are still louder then I suggest the AFL does NOT have a problem. It also means we do not have to go back and review Kerry Good’s winning goal in the 1980 Escort Cup final.
So whilst Adelaide Oval has too many fans the Melbourne venues are suffering at the other end of spectrum. Factors and theories abound and as you can be certain I might have a couple. Central to the problem is value! The Blues take on Adelaide at the G on Sunday in a game rated at the bottom of the scale – Category C. The cheapest adult ticket is $25 for General Admission – but if I look at the seating map for the ground there is no area for General Admission patrons set aside. I then have a one off transaction fee of $2.50 no matter how I choose to receive my ticket – I then have to negotiate through the process to make sure I do not enhance my match day experience at the National Sports Museum finally to pay my $27.50 for a ticket where I have no idea where I will be allowed to sit but possibly 50 metres from the arena. Reserved seats kick off at $30. A quick check of a Category A game – the Dreamtime Game next week. I am confronted with a choice of 7 ticket categories the cheapest of these being $25 but your reserved seat banished to the Punt Road end in the top deck of the Southern Stand. Add the cost of transport, food and beverages and compare it with the comfort of your own Loungeroom and the 55” TV – if only we could do something about Brian Taylor! I am fortunate to be an MCC member and thank my Father-in-law for the nomination every time I enter the ground, I am even more thankful after analysing this mess. For the record the other Loungeroom is equally complex but with even greater transaction fees.
So no matter where you are watching you do need the preview for last of the split rounds.
Mangy ($1.51) vs All’s not Wells ($2.94)
The Cats have looked a bit mangy in the last couple of weeks and take on North who are still mixing their form but are clearly capable of mixing it with the best. At the Cattery they will have their work cut out. In Round 5 2007 the Roos beat Geelong at the venue it was a watershed moment for Cats, they went on to lose only one more game for the season and have remained a juggernaut ever since. Recent encounters have been close but in North’s Loungeroom. Despite the loss of Stevie J, I reckon the Cats will get a more even performance and get back on track. But with their manginess the Roos are a consideration if the generosity stretches to $3.
Return of the Mummy ($3) vs Jack Mykicheck ($1.48)
Concerns around the AFL about the competitiveness of the Giants – a big loss to West Coast in Perth was not a surprise they are renowned FTBBs. The other factor in their last 5 losses is that Shane Mumford was not playing – he’s back which is a positive. They will need to deal with effects of Toby Greene’s misdemeanours on the playing group. But then there is Richmond who have been trying to be a second Hawthorn team according to Jack. They have their own ruck worries but might welcome back the Mullet Man, Maric will certainly make a difference and they have plenty of motivation to get the job done. There are a few sore players from last week and whilst the Tigers should win – I am tempted to select the Giants. Instead I might recommend a few Drachma on them at $3 or better.
Did you hear that? ($1.33) vs FTBB ($3.85)
In Perth they may be Flat Track Bully Boys but away from there the Eagles record is not so good and against Collingwood even worse! In fact they last defeated the Pies in Melbourne over 11 years ago and we go back to 1995 for their last win over them at the MCG. Collingwood will be smarting from their loss to Adelaide and with their strong midfield should be able to get back on track.
Grandfather ($1.49) vs The Better Tiges ($3.00)
Adelaide Oval hosts one of the most appetising games of the season with Port hosting the team the Tigers apsire to be. Both teams will be fresh off the bye but the Hawks have significant injuries. However it is expected their leader in Hodge will be back and the they have an extra incentive to ensure Port do get a 2 game break – it is the classic 8 point game. Not sure why the Tiges were trying to be like Hawthorn – they defeated them a couple times recently with pace out of the contest. There is no quicker team away from the contest than Port who I think can prevail on their home deck.
Costa D’oro ($1.26) vs Cane Occidentale ($1.48)
The Suns head back to the Mansion which is rapidly developing into a fortress, they take on the Dogs who have had a nice rest after their win over the Dees. The Suns appear to be well on the way to their first final and this will be a step on the away.
Bonnie Scotland ($2.28) vs Wanna Betts ($1.74)
Eddie Betts faces the Blues for the first time – but the Carlton defence have plenty of other challenge apart from just their old teammate. Podsiadly, Walker and Jenkins will present plenty of headaches for better defences than the Blues. The Blues are strengthened with the return of Waite and Carrazzo as they give a send-off to Heath Scotland. Scotland has been a fine servant for the Blues, but really should not have been part of this year’s program. They are a team that needs to play fast footy and if they do they can prevail and I am going to tip them, but noting Adelaide will be hard to beat if they bring last week’s form.
The time-honoured Doomben 10,000 (G1, 1350m, SFA) highlights another strong card in Brisbane and a great field of sprinters face the starter in what is a very competitive race. I reckon Spirit of Boom (2) can turn the tables on Famous Seamus (7) from their previous meeting, Buffering (1) and Temple of Boom (3) made up the top four in that race. Rebel Dane (4) is well fancied and this is trip suits, however my top pick at some value is the Sheikh’s Knoydart (8) who has run some big races of late. But another tough race with chances a-plenty.
Selections Brisbane Race 8 – 8-2-1-7
A huge win for the Under 19s was counter-balanced by huge loss for the Seniors. This week the Seniors front up to Bulleen-Templestowe at Friar Park in a critical game whilst the young Friars head to the centre of learning to take on Uni Blues.
Go Blues, Go Friars, Go MGGS,