What a great week for the Blues and Footy with the new that C Judd will grace the field in 2015 – although I did note a bit of a get out clause so not sure he is completely over the line. To me there was another piece of great news – Sam Rowe signing on for another two years. I doubt that opposition clubs will be trembling at the thought, but what a triumph for Sam to fight back from serious illness and be seen as such a valuable member of the club.
We bid another farewell to LRT who has announced he cannot go on, but Swannies will not forget his contributions in two premierships. But the biggest farewell for the week was for Robin Williams – a man with a unique and incisive view on the world who has left a great legacy of work that will continue to entertain and challenge us. What a great shame there will be no more! Terribly Sad.
Footy goes on and most of this week’s monickers make use of some the films the great man was involved in.
The World According to Mick ($2.82) vs Happy Feet ($1.54)
The Blues are a perky lot these days, they have won 3 of the last 6. Contrary to Mick I don’t think they have crossed any Rubicon, they have played better than early in the year but still need to take a big scalp. The defeat of Gold Coast was a par performance in reality. The scalp on offer this week is the Cats who now have a 12 game winning streak over Carlton in the Loungeroom, in fact the overall record at the venue is 12-0! Are the Blues a chance? They must be as he Cats have been poor all year despite their 15-4 record and they will be missing the smarts of JimmyB plus the dancing feet of StevieJ, although Christensen, Stokes and Motlop traipse the floor nicely. Did the final quarter last week say more about Geelong or Freo? My suspicion is the latter and if Geelong turn up with choreography like the first three quarters they will be too good for the Blues despite their effort. On form and team selections the $2.80 on the Blues looks OK, but I suspect the scar tissue from previous encounters should have them out at about the $3.50 mark.
Episode 200 ($1.03) vs The Sam Fisher Kings ($32.00)
Some concern about where Sydney are and how they are performing, they will have the chance to fine tune against the Saints in the 200th game for the Big Show.
Club Paradise ($3.30) vs Port’s Dreams May Come($1.42)
The media bandwagon got rolling on the Suns prior to their encounter last week, fellas stop looking into the shiny light. They don’t have Gazza, they don’t have leaders, the club is in a fool’s paradise! Port looked to have turned the corner with a brave effort over the Swans, in fact I had to check who won that game after the reports! If Port are to be an influence in September they must win this game and should do despite it being at the Mansion.
Deconstructing Hirdy ($1.64) vs Natamanji ($2.46)
With Jimmy’s sideshow over for the week, the Bombers go into a critical encounter with the resurgent Eagles who have won an astounding two in row! What gives those wins merit is that they were against teams competing for the same place in the eight. This is another contest for that spot and the two teams do line up pretty closely. The Eagles have an edge in height and could really throw up some challenges to the Essendon defence, down back Eric McKenzie has become one the better defenders in the competition and Bombers go in without Carlisle. Bomber will need to find ways to score. But the other factor is the Essendon home ground advantage, numerically it does not quite stand up but they do push the best teams at the venue and I suspect will have the visiting Eagles covered. But not by so much to think that $2.50 on the birds would be pretty handy.
Good Forward Hunting ($1.17) vs One Hour Effort ($6.60)
Bucks would love to get Cloke some help but the hunt for the extra forward has drawn a blank with Q not coming up and now losing patience with Jesse White who has been dumped. Meanwhile for all the pluck the Lions have shown their effort did not last the full two hours up against a team with big stakes to play for. The stakes for the Pies are no different and whilst Brisbane will resist Collingwood have the greater prize and should win.
Flubber ($1.52) vs Jack ($2.80)
Unstable and volatile pretty much describes the Adelaide season who have shown to be excellent at times and downright horrible at other times. Which one will appear against Jack and his Tigers on Saturday? Will it morph into a unit that will bring the Richmond rollercoaster to an abrupt end? On firepower and recent form I suspect it will, however the Tigers keep on defying the naysayers so whilst the selection is Adelaide the value is Richmond.
Patch Adams ($1.42) vs Old Dogs ($3.30)
Not quite accurate for Footscray but at least Bob Murphy and Matthew Boyd can claim to be Old Dogs, they face the Roos who will welcome back Daniel Wells to provide a bit more spark in their game. Whilst there is a slim chance they won’t make the finals, they really will be aiming to win this and sure up a home final. However is Patch Adams did not play for them they would have been Flubber – and this is a typical fixture they trip up on. The Dogs are showing their talent, but I suspect North will find the right spirit and cement their finals berth.
Awakenings ($1.52) vs Toys ($2.78)
Paul Roos has awoken Demon fans with promises of greater competitiveness – whilst they maybe awoken on that promise they might find the cure for Insomnia if they don’t develop a way forward to genuinely entertain and play a more exciting brand of footy. They will get every chance this weeks as the young Giants are let out to play on the on MCG. A game where both teams will be keen to display their wares and take bragging rights into 2015. Melbourne should prevail, but have got their lines wrong plenty of times also.
Dead Forward’s Society ($1.67) vs Aladdin ($2.38)
Captain my Captain the Dockers chant as Pav sits forlornly inside 50 as his teammates scrimmage towards him? Can they do it often enough to secure a win over the most attacking team in the competition? Against a full strength Hawthorn I suspect not, but with Roughy and I suspect Gunston Clarko might have to extract a genie from the lamp to unlock the Freo hold. Then the other factor is the Get Stuffed Lyon might release the hounds early and have them play as they did in the final stanza last week. Then again I suspect that was more like a scene from Awakenings. The Hawks can win this, however I suspect their personnel challenges might be telling in the end and Freo can hold them off.
The seniors tried hard but were beaten by a finals hungry Oggers! This week they venture to Oak Park against the benchmark Therry Penola with the 51st, 52nd and 53rd players selected for the seniors. They will give a great account for themselves in the penultimate round. The last game is at Friar park against Yarra Valley next week. The Under 19s played Old Trinity for top spot and emerged in front, they need to continue winning to ensure a home second semi-final. In the early game at Friar Park this week they face a desperate Fitzroy who led the pack early but now are in a battle to stay in the four.
Back to the Track
The Group Ones are not quite here yet, but the quality of some of the fields at Caulfield and Rosehill show that they are not far away. Looking at the key races at Caulfield, starting with Race 6 where a few fine fillies line up in the Quezette Stakes (G3,1100m, 3yo Fillies) Royal Snitzel (3) and London Lolly (1) corner the market, but a maiden who was well spruiked last spring in Top Dolly (8) garners some attention.
A couple of other maidens in Cornrow (4) and Jabali (5) are worth a viewing in the Vain Stakes (Caulfield R7, G3, 1100m, 3yo C&G) for the boys, but will also be attentive to Zululand (1) with a view to riches deeper into spring.
The PB Lawrence Stakes (Race 8, G2, 1400m, WFA) sees a few of the heavyweights make an appearance and in particular the return to the track of Puissance de Lune (2) who won this race last year. But there are plenty of others to watch including Foreteller (1), Lidari (5), Spillway (9) and Let’s Make a Deal (11) – they may perform well on Saturday but they are all destined for greater glory over the next couple of months.
The mares close out the program in the ADF Handicap (1100m) – it does not have group status but has many excellent mares returning to the track of which Gregers (2) and Members Joy (8) stand out, but it is a deeper race than that.
Very much a meeting to watch and learn – but I suspect there might be a little investment. If I was to put on a Quaddie then it might go something like this.
Race 6 – 1,3,8,10
Race 7 – 1,2,4,5,6
Race 8 – 1,2,5,10
Race 9 – 2,5,8
And if I spent $30 on it, that would give 240 combinations and return me 12.5% of the dividend. But only if!
Go Blues, Go Friars