Round 5 Preview: Bob is in his Castle!
Everybody loves Bob Murphy who celebrates 300 games, a huge achievement for a skinny kid from Warragul. Has gone through two knee reconstructions and missed last year’s Grand Final but can’t say he missed the premiership as he remained an integral part of the Bulldogs team that reigned in September. On the field his skill and smarts were first on show to me in an early game against the Blues. His Dogs were in control until B. Fevola threatened to bring the game back Carlton’s way. Bob was sent to Fev and despite the size and weight mismatch Murphy completely controlled every contest with smart positioning and frankly just a better footy brain.
Whilst his footy did some talking we got to see the Inner Bob with some of his musings over the years in The Age – he has let us into his world to see not just that bit of rascal in him but also the care and consideration he has for his fellow man. My particular favourite was running out petrol with Ben Hudson http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/the-peoples-beard-helped-to-make-the-bulldogs-a-better-place-20110824-1jabk.html. Would not begrudge the Doggies another flag if Bob got to play in it – well played!
Onto some crowd shenanigans! I am in complete agreement that if I go to the footy I have the right to boo players and make myself appear a complete dill – I just can’t believe so many Carlton fans took up that right and jeered Gary Ablett. A complete ball player, dual premiership player, dual Brownlow Medalist; open, humble and friendly. Completely undeserved and did nothing for the reputation of the club’s supporters.
The other milestone notched was the 20 year anniversary of The Castle and this weeks edition will pay homage to some of the great lines and moments the film continues to bring to us.
Powerlines are a reminder of man’s ability to generate electricity ($1.14) vs I pushed *&%^in’ F3 ($7.60)
However Power should not need to generate too much electricity to get over the Blues who have pushed the reset button a couple of times and now look like they will wait with some patience to see if it works. The Blues are trying but it was evident once the Suns established their run Carlton just could not catch up; they really need an injection of pace. Port have competed well against the two form teams of the competition and will enjoy the release of pressure and be too good for the Blues.
Straight to the Pool Room ($1.10) vs “funny how one day you’re not famous, and the next day you are. Famous. And then you’re not again” ($10.00)
Last year’s spoils have gone to the Pool Room, however I reckon some of the Dogs just take a peek in there and forget about the task for this year. Meanwhile the Lions are just waiting for the day to be famous again. On Bob’s big day the Bulldogs will celebrate the people’s champ in fine style.
Jousting Sticks ($4.30) vs Ideas Man ($1.27)
A tale of two forwards for Gold Goast their skipper Tom Lynch is deadly on the set shot and does not mind a bit of jousting along the way – his nemesis this week is Eddie Betts who just keeps on coming up with new ideas on how kick goals. A shame that Eddie is not enjoying his footy cause there are plenty of fans that enjoy watching him. Would have rated the Suns a fair chance at the Mansion however without May and Thompson unable to fill the defensive posts I suspect the Crows will have too much fire power.
Adds a bit of charm ($2.78) vs Tell him he’s Dreamin’ ($1.54)
Sydney at the SCG where that lattice work adds a bit of charm to the grand old lady that will host the Giants who must be dreaming of September as they plough on their merry way. 0-5 is not a place to launch an attack on the flag from so this game is critical for Sydney, while the Giants need to keep their winning ways going. The tight SCG gives the Swans the chance to play on their own terms but just not sure that is good enough against the Giants whose dream will go on!
Tell ‘em to Get Stuffed ($1.58) vs I mean now THAT is a head of hair ($2.54)
Freo and Ross are doing exactly that with a more aggressive style and the big stars finding the footy, while for North we are seeing the continuing emergence of Ben Brown as a key forward in the competition. He and his hair will need to be right on their game along with the rest of the team against the resurgent Fremantle outfit, who back on the home deck should be too strong.
The Serenity ($2.52) vs 10% brains, 95% muscle, the Rest is Just Good Luck ($1.54)
Serenity for the Saints as they watch the Hawks flounder and see their draft position get better and better. They take on the Cats who have played with 10% brains, 95% muscle and a dose of good luck with the draw and it only gets better with eight games to go in their own castle! This is such a critical game for both clubs Geelong don’t really care if they are described as the worst 5-0 side ever, but beating the Saints will give them more credence, whereas St Kilda need to stay ahead of the ledger and stamp their credentials. Their performances thus far can be best described as a “2 stroke running at full throttle”, they need a better engine. The Cats made some tough calls on their stars at the end of last year, there is one still going around in Harry Taylor who appears to be struggling with the tempo from my point of view. There is not much in this one and with Geelong coming off the short break I reckon the Saints get over the top.
Suffer in ya jocks ($3.20) vs The trick is to make them look real, but not too real, just real enough to know they’re fake. ($1.42)
No prize picking this is the Hawks with the rest of the footy world experiencing schadenfreude with their current plight. They face the Eagles who again were too good in their own castle, the MCG though is the furnace of truth where shortcomings are exposed. West Coast are building a pretty poor record here. They won’t get many better opportunities to improve on that record against the spluttering Hawks. Hawthorn’s speed challenges have been exposed, but skill levels are down and their most dynamic players, in particular Cyril, are just not where the ball is. West Coast to make it real unless their cake gets left in the rain which could play back in the Hawk’s favour.
The Vibe ($1.73) vs Rissoles ($2.38)
It’s Mabo, it’s Justice, it’s the vibe, it’s the Tigers as they again become the feel good story so far. Up against Melbourne who have been described as one of the tastiest of dishes but so far can best be described as rissoles maybe with a bit of seasonin’. Like the Cats – the Tigers’ 5-0 start has a couple of asterisks against it, but you can only beat the foe in front of you and they have done that. Can the more aggressive and attacking style hold up through the season, this week should be a good test with the Demons needing to show they are more than a good list on paper. Smokin’ Hogan returns but they are still without Lewis whose leadership would have come in handy last week. On form the Tigers win, however Melbourne have to atone for last week and will be a willing combatant who I think might just get over the line.
Bonnie Doon ($2.22) vs Dug a Hole ($1.77)
Travellers to the Mansfield region will be aware that Essendon and Bonnie Doon at least have their colours in common, just that the Essendon variety don’t play in front of a fire pit to keep the patrons on Can Hill warm! They take on the Pies where Nathan appears to have dug a sizable hole on the Collingwood forward line; their expectations of Darcy Moore are very high and he has very limited support around him. Both clubs are desperate for not just for a win but a bit of clean air. The Pies have been baked after the loss last week with the performance against Sydney being treated as an aberration, while Woosha keeps using the past to excuse his side’s recent form. So in the “Blockbuster for Also-rans” the Bombers have the most potent forwards with Joe Daniher and Orazio Fantasia, however I reckon the Collingwood midfield are smarting after last week and will give enough supply for their forwards to climb out of the hole and just score enough to hold on.
The Cup Runneth Again
After the tragic circumstance of the Sydney Cup (3200m, HCP) it is being rerun at Royal Randwick, with most of the same cast plus a couple of extras to spice it up. The addition of Lasqueti Spirit (12) will ensure a truly run event. No reason to jump off Big Duke (6) who takes great form into the race, the Appleby pair ran the first edition right out with Polarisation (14) finishing ahead of the rest, but I reckon the run will have done Penglai Pavillion (10) well and suspect he will turn that around and putting Tally (3) ahead of the rest, but plenty more can be prominent.
Selections Race 8 – 6-10-14-3
It’s Ribeye and Risotto day with a triple header at Friar Park with teams teams taking on Therry Penola and looking for an improved performance all round.
Looks like everybody’s kicked a goal!
Go Blues, Go Friars, go the Big Duke!