THE PRE WRAP – ROUND XXIII

FOR THE PHILOSOPHICAL MARNGROOK FAN

What a week it’s been in Footy Eddie.  Drugs have been the revolving door this week.  Benny going out & Travis coming in.  The dirge from Coaches’ Carousel swells towards a crescendo as the AFL’s two basket cases try to lure unsuspecting suckers to take them on next season.

And just how desperate are they out at Whingy Hill?  (How gullible are they? – Ed)  The Bagmen weren’t getting any takers on Bomber Thompson dumping The Cats and going back to Bomberland to rebuild the train wreck that is the EFC.  So what do they do?  They bring him in from $150 to $2.50, leak a story to the media that Bomber actually has an escape clause in his contract, and just sit back and watch the money leap into the bag.  It’s rumoured some were actually using chaff bags, such was the cash flow from the brain-addled Whingy Hill Faithful.  Easy money.  Not sure if it’s legal, or even ethical, but hey, but neither is riding black on the trams, but we’ve all done it.

While we’re out there where the Faithful whine more than the jet engines at the airport, Neale Daniher has told the coach selection panel they had their chance three years ago and he wasn’t prepared to put himself through the clubs rigorous screening process.  And fair enough, eh?  If they don’t know who Neale Daniher is by now they can’t be all that bright out there where the asphalt of the city meets basalt of the uplifted peneplain.

Congratulations to Dan Hannebury, the unanimous Rising Star for 2010.  But what a crop of nominations, eh?  You could make a premiership team from them.

Continuing our end of season summary, how did the Mediocre Bunch finish off Season 2010 and what do they look like going into Season 2011?

12th Adelaide – The Pride of South Australia.  And they have a lot to be proud of over there.  They built a whole city without an ounce of convict labour and produce some of the nation’s best wines.  (Make that premium wines – Ed)  After finishing like a German band in 2009 – until they dropped their guard against Collingwood in the Finals – much was expected of them in 2010.  Gary Lyon wasn’t the only one to have them playing off for The Flag this year.  They started their run in Round VII but left it too late.  Their most impressive feat was to topple TRP & The Saints and run The Pies to seven points on the G.  But with September within reach they faltered in The Showdown and fell victim to The Tiger Renaissance the following week to snuff out their slight hope of playing Finals Football.  They also appeared to have gone into the season with a bunch of veterans who had passed their enthusiasm date, and the rolling retirements suggest a team not at its sharpest or happiest.   However, they have several youngsters coming on and a natural leader in Dangerfield.  Neil Craig is not under any pressure and The Crows are expected to fulfil some of their promise in season 2011.  AAMI Stadium is at least expected to again become Crow Park, at it did for a few games after the club admitted that it had erred in keeping their Premiership Heroes on for a farewell season.

11th Melbourne.  The Grande Olde Flag has never flown higher nor Hearts Beaten Truer than right now.  A regular excitement machine on the field, they’ve got themselves out of debt off the field and established themselves out at Casey Fields.  No Nurelle, that was Gracie Fields, she sang over the closing credits of Dr Stangelove.  I’ll explain later, but it was nothing to do with leather & whips.  Liam Jurrah, Wonaemirri, Jack Watts, Frawley, Scully, Trengrove, Jones, Rivers, Sylvia, Moloney, Jamar Bruce, Green – all household names in a team that took back-to-back Coveted Timber Trophies in 2008 & 2009.  They talked of September at one stage through the season, but with only the scalp of Sydney and a draw against Collingwood from the Top Eight on their belt, they will have to lift all whole lot more.  Nevertheless, Jimmy’s Redlegs are one to watch in 2011.  Here at The Wrap we feel they may have erred in letting their Skipper go.

10th Port Adelaide.  They took both Showdowns and toppled Hawthorn & St Kilda in a watershed year for The Outlanders.  With the gentrification of The Port, the Old Port Adelaide Tradition threatens to loose its meaning.  Shunned by the good burghers in the City of Light, the club that once thrived on isolation is finding itself more isolated than ever.  At 5-2 they looked a chance out of the gates, but hit the wall mid season.  After they gave The Tigers their 1st win of the year in Round X, the writing was on the wall at Alberton for everyone to see.  Chokko had to move on.  It became an unedifying process, sacking their Premiership Coach & Club Legend, but Caretaker Coach Matty Primus has taken his charges to five from seven to demonstrate that there was nothing wrong with the list.  They’ve cut a bit of deadwood – Shaun Burgoyne not included – and have a healthy mixture of experience and youth.  Always tough to beat at home, don’t be surprised to see them running around next September.

Glorious 9th North Melbourne.  A worthy 9th if there ever was one.  They beat only two September teams –  Carlton & Fremantle, which isn’t saying a lot.  Finished with a sub standard percentage (87.4%) and have faced off field pressure.  Controversially, in the eyes of some, they booked home games in Hobart for 2011 after ejecting an Appalling Football League subsidized offer to move to the Gold Coast only five years ago.  Unfashionable amongst the jumpers at Saturday morning Auskick, the move to shed their Shinboner image under their new coach may not be such a wise move.  An exciting list and one of whom much will be expected next season.  Ninth can be a death seat, and back-to-back Ninths could haunt The Shinboners North Melbourne all next season.

And yes, we saw that stuff about the Pakistani cricket team and match fixing.  Nothing more to say, other than make sure we keep our own backyard in order.  That’s why it’s disappointing when the Appalling Football League doesn’t crack boo when Freo excused half their team from the trip down to Lonny on the Thursday night to play The Hawks on the Saturday  Arvo.

But enough of my gabbin.  It’s the 1st Weekend of September and we’ve got four matches to review.  Eight teams will reduce to six, so let’s see who’s going to be still in the mix.

The Team To Beat For The Flag v The Junction Oval Seagulls on The Paddock That Grew tonight.  With Ward Rooney tipping showers it’s going to be one of those last man standing affairs.  The Saints aren’t without their supporters in this one, even though The Moggies are certainly the form side .  A lot will depend on how maggots Rosebury, Stevic & Ryan decide to call what is sure to be a pretty rugged affair.  If they impose Mothers of Melbourne standards that threaten to kill the game as a free-flowing, last-man-standing contest into a bitter frustrating nonsense it will be a shame.  Look, The Sainters will have done their homework and Steven Baker can expect some pretty close attention.  The lively Saint Kilda forwards will trouble the Geelong backline and St Riewoldt will be a handful for Scarlett, which begs the question, can The Saints win?    In the wet, they certainly have a chance.  The Big Tomahawk could find himself lumbering and stumbling and Mad Dog Mooney may let conditions frustrate him to distraction, but flanked by Varcoe & Stokes, they still look a dangerous line.  Kossy looks to be outgunned by Harry Taylor, but if the uncoordinated Saint puts in a blinder look out!  It comes down to possession from the rucks.  Rossy Lyons has slipped the tagger Jones onto GAJ and Joel Selwood & Lenny Hayes will go head to head.  Kelly on Del Santo, Montagna on Hunt, all line ball calls.  We’re going for The Sleepy Hollow Millionaires here in The Wrapcave, but not with a lot of confidence.  Whoever gets away before the ground becomes heavy will have a very handy advantage.  And we’re guessing it will be The Handbags.

The Barry Crockers v The Glen Waverly Hawks at Subiaco on Saturday Arvo.  Ward Rooney has this one as a chance of a shower with a top of 18oC.  Sounds like a near perfect day for Footy, eh?  Freo have had a shocking run with casualties, but that’s the nature of The Game at The Elite Level.  The latest loss is the yapper Ballantyne.  They also dropped Hasleby and van Berlo.  With Headland, Bradley & Palmer on the emergency list something just doesn’t look right about The Dockers’ line-up.  For The Hawkers, the only change is the inclusion of their Spiritual Leader.  With Buddy & Roughie showing some real form, and Burgoyne , Riolli, Osborne & Bateman lurking for the crumbs, this looks a pretty formidable attack.  They won’t have it all their own way, but they’ll win enough ball to kick a winning score.  The question is, can The Anchormen outscore them?  Not on our reading of it.  Their Skipper will give his all, but he has looked a bit battle weary over the closing stages of the Home&Away rounds.  It’s The Mustard Pots for us.

The Mighty Magpies v The Sons of The West at The G of course on Saturday night.  The Doggies too have been cruelled by injury.  Not only that, they look a decidedly battle weary over all.  And dare it be said, the club itself looks a bit beleaguered.  Higgins, Murphy & Johnson have been in and out of the team with injury all season.  They’re without their Brownlow Medallist Coonie and key backman Morris.  Harbrow is rumoured to have jumped ship for warmer climes already and may not be willing to risk life & limb for the Red White & Blue.  And Griffen is sure to undergo a thorough medical examination from the good medicos on Magpie list.  So who are they playing?  See above: The Mighty Magpies, that’s who.  Now far be it for us to tempt an attack of the Collywobbles, but we can’t see The Pies losing this one.  True, we got under the showers a bit too soon against Hawthorn in Round XXII, but so what?  They needed a bit of a confidence booster.  Now that we’ve given Golly Gosh Fraser his 200th game and a good send off, we can get back to doing what we do best – and that’s smash anyone who dares challenge our right to be called the Greatest Football Club in the History of The Game.  With Dawesy back in the goalsquare, Beamsy & Sidey in the pockets we’ll kick a swag.  Diddums, Clokey & Ballsy will kick another swag, then there’s Jollsy, Thommo & Penders running out of the centre or lurking in the pockets at the throw-ins.  This is going to be so one sided it will look like the invisible man.  If the AFL didn’t need the money we’d request that we save a lot of time and just move us straight into the Preliminary Final and save the battlers over there at Footscray from wasting a perfectly good Saturday night.  BTW Eddie, I took those Bandwagon Tix to where you told me and the bloke behind the grill said I needed a security check to come in.  Are you sure that’s where the refund desk is?

The Bloods v The Miseries on Sunday arvo at the other Olympic Park.  The Bluebaggers came at the Dockers last weekend, and nearly ran them down.  But they’re not playing The Dockers this weekend.  The Swanees aren’t ones to give up leads and we suspect, buoyed by a withering finish to the Home&Away Season, that they’ll take an early lead and build on it.  Ward Rooney has this one down as a typical Sin City Spring day: squally winds up to 20 knots and 21oC.  A bit on the stressful side for a team coming out of the coldest & wettest winter Bleak City has endured for over two decades.  Apart from that, The Tinseltowners are back to playing Bloods’ Football, the same Bloods’ Football that took them to successive Grand Finals and a Flag.  This is Coach Roos Swan Song season and the Boys will want to do it for Roosey.  The Silvertails aren’t without a chance here, but it’s a very slim one.  They’d have to find the Homebush ground for starters, and the way they’re travelling there’s no guarantee of that.  They’ve one only won four games in the 2nd half of the season, and those wins were against WCE, Brissy, Richmond & Essendon.  That’s the Cellar Dwellers.  Do us a favour Blues Brothers, don’t bend our ear about coming and till you learn how to open the Viagra packet.  But don’t let this turn you off watching it all unfold on the box.  The Velvet Fog’s got the call and there’s some challenges there worth taking in.  How about the two Skippers playing out of the centre.  Bolton & Jack on Gibbs & Murphy.  In fact – contesting September by default this year – those last two match-ups will tell us what chance Carlton has of playing Finals Football again next season.

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. John Butler says:

    You’ve been selling us short all year TW.

    The Mighty Blues will rise up and strike down the northern interlopers.

    Mind you, I’m not laying the house on it.

  2. John Mosig says:

    I can only call them as I see them JB.

  3. Andrew Fithall says:

    Thank-you again Wrap. I couldn’t tell how “tongue in cheek” was your praise of matters Collingwood. Until you mentioned that Clokey would kick a bag. As for Carlton, they sound like they are huby afflicted (refer John Harms election commentary or just ask Peter Flynn if you require interpretation).

  4. Peter Flynn says:

    AF,

    As in useless hubris?

  5. John Butler says:

    TW

    Mostly you’ve been justified in the last few months. But it must be the onset of spring, I’m feeling frisky at the scent of a Swan dive.

    AF

    Am I correct in thinking if we win, and (heaven forbid) the Pies lose, we would play each other? If we were to meet on even terms after our respective seasons, that would seem a very Collingwood September story. :)

  6. John Butler says:

    The rain is coming, and so are the Saints. How is our Geelong contingent feeling? Complete confidence?

  7. John Mosig says:

    Thanks PF. I’ve always wondered what hubris meant but have been to lazy to look it up – excessive ambition, pride. Now I just have to learn how to put it in sentence. BTW, how confident do you feel with a sheep weather alert predicted?

    And JB, Bettina Arndt has written her column just for those poor souls trapped in Visy Park. (P.3 today’s Sage) Watch for the plagiarism of Erectile Dysfunction in Monday’s Wrap.

  8. Peter Flynn says:

    Wrap,

    John Howard=hubris.

    Barassi used to think it was a sheet weather alert i.e. a warning for people to get their washing off the line.

    Byrnes is an emergency. I reckon either Chappy (knee) hasn’t come up or Blake is out. Just speculation.

    There’s been an inch of rain in Adelaide today.

  9. Andrew Fithall says:

    JB (#5) I would be worried about that scenario except for two things: Carlton winning and Collingwood losing!

    Wrap – I gave up on Bettina Arndt many years ago. She used to be interesting, and a little bit exciting; then she started moralising. But judging by your last remark, you are obviously closer to identifying a huby.

  10. Andrew Fithall says:

    And I always thought a sheep wether alert was a tautology. And unneccesary. Why do you need to be alert to a sheep that has been de-bollocked?

  11. John Mosig says:

    PF
    I was wondering why Byrne wasn’t in the starting XXII.

    AF
    It could be to alert the sheep that he’s going to become a wether? But I’m all confused now. Just to be sure I’ve got the sheets off the line and in front of the fire.

  12. John Butler says:

    Cut throat finals, looming weather, selection mysteries.

    Ah, the drama of it all! Gotta love it!

    Go Blues!

  13. JB #6, how am I feeling?

    If I was any more relaxed I would probably forget to chew and choke on this salad role that suddenly appeared out of nowhere.

    Now that would be quite upsetting as win, lose or draw we Cats wouldn’t want to miss this finals series for quids.

    I have a feeling of de ja vu; how about you, baby blue?

    Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all; it has been said.

  14. tHAT’S PRE 2007 dE

  15. Wrong Key. That’s pre 2007 de ja vu.

    That’s double trouble from the Peakes. In 1980 the father cost us dearly. In 2010 the son cost us dearly.

  16. John Butler says:

    Saints 12-11 to 11-13. Well, well, well. We have ourselves a finals series.

    You’re correct Phantom, young Mr Peake was quite handy.

  17. John Mosig says:

    What a night??? Deja vu all over again but with a different outcome. From my reckoning Geelong have to get into the GF via the Carringbush side of the draw. While the Saints will have one of Sydney, Carlton or the Doggies in the 3rd week. Can we dare hope? Beware The Swans!!!

  18. Peter Flynn says:

    JB has been spot on in his assessment of Geelong all year, particularly at the MCG.

    Geelong recent scores at the MCG excluding the Essendon game are listed below.

    09 GF 12.8.80
    10 R2 14.16.100
    10 R5 9.14.68
    10 R9 12.14.86
    10 R13 6.10.46
    10 R15 12.13.85
    10 R19 12.13.85
    10 QF 11.13.79

    The omens point to a Collingwood v St Kilda GF. In 1966, the scores were 74 to 73.

    At time of writing, the ALP/Greens lead the Coalition by 74 to 73.

  19. John Mosig says:

    You’ve chucked the towel in pretty quickly there PF. Although those stats are compelling.

    Bomber didn’t look too happy with the Boys’ 1st half effort. Could he be ready to move on to the next project? The one out at Whingy Hill?

  20. Peter Flynn says:

    Wrap,

    If Hawthorn win today, it’s a tough road ahead for Geelong.

    St Kilda were brilliant in the first-half. They dismantled.

  21. John Mosig says:

    Dismantled. That’s the word, Dismantled. Like last year’s GF, it should have been all over by half time. And wasn’t justice not only done but seen to be done – Zac Dawson touched that toe poke of Mooney’s(?). Poetic that the ball was re-called after Ling’s kick – and painful. It happened to us last week against Port.

    Big test for Cats now PF – four straight against the cream of the Competition. If they can pull it off they can really call themselves One of The Greatest Teams of All Time.

  22. John Butler says:

    PF

    The Cats get a chance to do what Brisbane did in 2003. Although, I think you’re right to suspect the hurdles may be higher this time.

    But I wouldn’t write them off.

  23. If JM is right #17 I think the dogs should simply forfeit tonight and take the soft route to the Prelim. But being Doggies we will probably knock Pies off and have to do it the hard way!!!
    I await the bleating this week from the many cat nackers with bated breath…..

  24. Now wouldn’t that be something Chalkdog – if The Kennel Coughs got up. Not totally out of the question.

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