THE PRE WRAP – ROUND XV

FOR THE PHILOSOPHICAL MARNGROOK FAN

What a week it’s been in Footy Eddie.  The revelations emanating from Ben Cousins’ muddled pharmaceutical intake is sure to have the Mothers of Melbourne on the soapbox.  Caffeine pills to get started.  Stilnox to unwind.  With a few celebratory post match beers in between, that doesn’t sound like a healthy cocktail for the growing human body & mind.  Certainly not for 18 year olds, nor 30 year olds for that matter.  But hey, it’s for a worthy cause – the honour of the colours.  Two thousand years ago those gladiators and chariot races would have had much more on the line.

We were going to let this one pass, but seeing it came up again on Footy Classified when Dermie stood in for Gary Lyon, we thought it was worth a mention.  Not because of the on-going blue between Clarko & Dermie; that’s a given since Dermie stepped down from the committee in dissention over Clarko’s appointment.  No, it was the syntax of the replayed radio stoush between the two, and Dermie’s comments on FC.  I think I got the gist of it.  It’s claimed that Dermie’s been snooping around Glenferrie Oval trying to get some dirt for his media connections, and has been told things in confidence (or not – Ed) that have later appeared in the press.  If you tortured a stray cane toad the way those two torture the English language you’d have Hugh Wirth down on you like a ton of bricks, eh?

Another that flashed across the screen during the replay of Didak’s three goals in as many minutes – “he’s threaded the eye of the needle in the haystack”.  We were waiting for the rich man to find the needle and ride the camel through its eye into the kingdom of heaven, but it must have been the précised version of that age-old saying.  As I said, we only picked up the highlights and we didn’t quite recognize the voice.  It sounded like a Collingwood accent.  Eddie doesn’t still call does he?

And I think Wallsie’s given us the last word on the roundball theatre over in Seth Freaking Afrika.  Voicing over the footage of the sicking Barlow incident– after warning that some viewers may wish to look away  – he pointed out that after breaking his leg in several places Barlow’s first thought was to get up and continue playing for his team.  “They should package that and send it over to South Africa”.  And he had that same look in his eye that he had back in 1972 when he was playing up-field from Big Nick on TLSIS.

Le Tour is underway and Our Cadel is up there in the lead bunch again.  Go you Aussie Good Thing.  Put a Gap in ’em.  And no one’s going to accuse these bikies of taking a dive.  This is one tough sport, eh?

This may or may not be a true story – but it’s come in from Flinders Island out in Bass Strait were anything from away has a ring of authenticity about it.  Apparently they’ve had an offer from the Nigerian goalkeeper.  After Nigeria was eliminated from the world cup, he has personally offered to refund all the expenses of fans who travelled to Seth Freaking?Afrika.  He said he just needs their bank details and pin numbers to complete the transaction.

Holland v Spain?  If the Americas hadn’t got in the way, we could be speaking Spanish now.  And if Hartog had a geologists aboard and Van Diemen had a better eye for country we’d all be wearing clogs.  But it did and they didn’t, so we have A Game Of Our Own and picking between these two is a toss of a coin.  Ours came down The Clockwork Orange in a gut wrenching penalty shootout.  And after watching some of those German dives in the semi, it has to be said, with apologies to Ghana & Mexico, the two most worthy opponents are facing off.

Apologies too, to those Carringbush Tragics who cancelled their Adelaide bus tickets and bookings at the Alberton camping ground.  Their team’s clash with Port really is at Footy Park, not Darwin as reported in The Wrap last Monday.  The error was the work of a criminal betting group intent on cleaning up when Mick & The Boys arrived in Darwin and were forced to forfeit the Four Points to Chokko’s Chokers.

But enough of my gabbin.  Let’s see who’s going to be making a pound in the 13th Round.

The Power From Port v The Carringbush Magpies.  The Battle of The Magpies.  Collingwood couldn’t possibly lose this one could they?  They brought in Steele Sidebottom and Neon Leon has copped it in the neck.  Well that’s what it said in the team sheet: Out – Davis (neck).  The Bagmen are still showing a streak of generosity and at $1.16 the Pies look good value, even with the Bourse heading North.  Chokko to get the chop at the end of the season is shorter.  (And surer – Ed)

The Pivotonians v The Mayblooms on The Big Stage at the traditional time. The Hawks have regained the Toughnut Brown but have lost their Captain Mitchell.  And to show there’s no sentiment at The Family Club, Beau Muston – a Cadbury’s old gold hero a fortnight ago is down in the Magoos with the rest of the boiled lollies.  The Moggies have had to move three aside to include Taylor, Ling and the Richmond reject Ottens.  Look, as much as we’ve admired the efforts of The Mustard Pots to throw off their 2008 Premiership Hangover, we are having difficulty seeing the match-ups working for them.  The GoldenBrowns look solid down back, and they’ll need to be.  The jPod, Stokes, Varcoe, Chappy and The Ever Quivering Bottom Lip present a formidable attack, not to mention Ottens standing the goalsquare.  The midfield you’d have to mark slightly Geelong’s way but it’s Hawthorn’s inability to blow the opposition away that is the worry here.  As sensational as Cyril, Osborn & Buddy can be, the look more dangerous than dominant.  We’ve been waiting for Roughie to put his hand up for several weeks now, and to be perfectly frank, we’ve given up on his breakout game for Season 2010.  It’s a given that GTWTCO, but this may not be all that close.  We’d love to be wrong, but it’s The Sleepy Hollow Millionaires to have set themselves for this one.  The Cats for the office tipping, but if you’re buoyed by the lift in consumer confidence you could do a lot worse than taking a small piece of the $3.25 The Bagmen have left lying about.

The Weagles v The Chardonnays at Sooby around mid arvo tomorrow.  That The Eagles play better at home than away is a given.  In fact The Crows haven’t won away from home this season.  However, they’re on a roll and The Eagles look as though they are about to roll over.  The Homeside has made five changes, three through injury.  The Free Settlers go in unchanged.  Romantics will seek a boilover.  We’re going for The Bagmen’s Choice – The Pride of South Australia.

The Bad News Bears v The Junction Oval Seagulls at the Lions’ Den tomorrow night.  The Feeling Faints have their twin towers back on the park.  The Lions have only one of their forward pillars in place, and he’s pretty lopsided at that.  There’ll be interest in the return of the respective full forwards for totally different reasons.  We’re tipping The Saints will grind out a win and The Gorillas will be wishing they were back on some mountain top in the Congo by the final siren.  The Seagulls.

The Barry Crockers v Richmond on the Shifting Sands of Docklands on Saturday night.  The Tiger defence is playing tough football and with an improving attack to support Jumping Jack Riewoldt, aren’t without a chance in this one.  They’ll miss Cousins’ ability to move the ball out of the packs but have regained the promising Webberley.  Their opponents have lost Brownlow Favourite Barlow, Fyfe and Grover, all to injury.  The Tiges have won four of their last five and run The Hawks to three points over the last seven rounds.  Their come from behind win last week, albeit against a Bloods’ Outfit that may be badly in need of a transfusion, was something on which The Tiger Cubs can hang their Self Belief.  But we have to look at Bomber Harvey’s Dangerous Dockers.  They aren’t sitting 10&4 for no reason.  They’ve won landmark matches on the road this season and will have come across with a steely resolve to prove that they can take battlefield casualties, including a key commander, and fill the gap.  However, Tarrant’s absence leaves a huge hole in the Fremantle defence and Pavlich seems a bit jaded of late.  Deledio is having a ripper season, and flanked by Connors & Tuck, he is forming a formidable barrier across half back, and Newman, Thursfield & Astbury are solid across the full back line.   Sandilands will test the up & coming Angus Graham but The Tiges have some smart on-ballers to match their Docker counterparts.  The more you look at this, the better Struggletown look.  They too have made some landmarks, not the least of which was last weekend’s famous Victory against Sydney.  We reckon they have the mettle & the form to win this.  Richmond to stop the rot and make it four on the trot.  The Bagmen have been a bit stingy all things considered, but we’re so far in front on The Tiges we can afford to give a bit back.  At $2.60 Richmond are TWROTR.

The Bloods v The Shinboners at The Other Cricket Ground for the early one on Sunday.  It could be said that Sydney kicked themselves out of last week’s match against The Tigers.  This could be true, but they had every opportunity to do what they’ve been doing for nearly a decade – close down the opposition and hold their lead.  There have been plenty of signs that the team’s lack of focus reflects their coach’s seeming metamorphosis.  A proud club and a proud coach will be wanting to dispel that appearance.  They are up against The Most Successful AFL Club Ever.  It’s a Season Defining Moment for both teams and to be perfectly honest it’s difficult to separate the two.  We’re going on the relative percentages of the two sides and tipping The Tinseltowners to finish up in front at Siren Time, but don’t bet on it.

Melbourne v Essendon at THOF on Sunday arvo at the Traditional Time.  The Gliders have been looking for an up-draft since they snuck home against The Chihuahuas back in Round X.  The Fuchsias haven’t won since they pipped The Chokers by TNPM back in Round IX.  Both teams have had their purple patches this season but the potassium permanganate has long leeched from insignia.  Jack Who & Bate v Hurley & Hooker; Gumbleton & Neagle v Frawley & Rivers.  Now there’s some key match ups you’d give up a Sunday afternoon painting Nana’s front fence for.  We’re going for The Marshmallows here, for no other reason than they play the better football when they do turn up to play.  The Bagmen have got them both in the red, but have a look around, you may do better than the $1.90.  In fact we’d say you need to do better to take either of these two on with real money.

The Miseries v The Kennel Coughs under cover for the late one on Sunday. Whoever loses this can forget about a Top Four Finish.  Both teams have been disappointing this season – or overrated if you like.  Eddie Betts has carried the Silvertail attack all season and he’s up against a master in Hargrave.  Murphy on Garlett and Gilbee on Houlihan and you’d have to wonder where the Carlton score is going to come from.  The Doggies look a little short, but they can play around that.  Bulldog Barry on Thornton will be worth the ride in on the Frankston train, as will Judd on Cooney.  In fact the outcome of the two Brownlow Medallists playing on – or even off – each other will have a significant bearing on the result.  Cooney has been hot and cold all season and Judd has shown signs that carrying The Bluebaggers comes at a price to the body.  Should be a good match as both sides can turn it on in bursts, but we’re going for The Sons of The West to be in front on the scoreboard when the bell rings to signal the end of the match.

Good tipping and even better punting.

And remember, if you read it in the Wrap you’ll know it’s not crap.

About John Mosig

I’m an Aussie Rules tragic who can remember, as a four year old, shaking the hand of Captain Blood in the rooms just before he ran out onto the ground after half time, as my Old Man slipped him a packet of under-the-counter Craven A cork tipped. Now it’s my turn to take my grandson Ben through the ritual of character building that is the journey through PUNT ROAD to the outside world.

Comments

  1. Andrew Fithall says:

    Your odds on Chokko getting the chop at the end of the season were out. He is not coaching tonight.

  2. Andrew Fithall says:

    Update: Correction.

    Is coaching tonight – a farewell game against the club he captained. Do you change your tip?

  3. John Butler says:

    That could upset the odds. But which way? Therein may lay a tale.

    Odds on Laidley to coach next year?

    Be lovely to see them upset the Pies. At least it would give Mick something legitimate to whinge about.

  4. John Mosig says:

    Collingwood with a sniff – at home – against the mob claiming to be the legitimate Magpies? Not even the Colleywobbles could stop them tonight.

  5. Alovesupreme says:

    John,
    Love your work, but think you’re being a bit harsh on my Blueboys to say they’ve been disappointing over the season. Inconsistent certainly – very poor performances against Essendon, North and Hawthorn, but 8-6 is a reasonable return given our much tougher draw than last year. The wins against Geelong and St. Kilda were outstanding.
    Pre-season, there were plenty of oracles suggesting that Carlton would miss the finals which now seems unlikely. Sunday is an interesting test, and should indicate whether there’s a serious prospect of the Blues giving a yelp in September; we’ve had a fairly good recent record against the Dogs.

  6. Phantom says:

    Blues are now the hand baggers!

  7. John Butler says:

    On last night’s effort, it’s hard to mount a defence Phantom. :(

  8. The Wrap says:

    A bit hard on the Bluebaggers? Not as long as they continue to put out the bag me if you do dare challenges. Last year they were coming. This year it was the Top 4 finish as of right. True, fter a couple of good wins, but way ahead of where their coach has them now. And that’s just the last two years. I’m old enough to remember they dubbed themselves The Professionals. Richmond knocked that out of them in 1973. No, I don’t think I’m too hard on them. They want to lead with their jaw, what can the rest of do about it but do the manly thing?

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