The Pre-Wrap: Round 14: Barry Hall deserves our sympathy

By John Mosig
What a week it’s been in Footy Eddie.  The embarrassing loss to Arch Rivals Essendon has seen the big timber tumbling around at Royal Parade.  First to get the axe was ex-President in Waiting John Elliott.  With Big Jack’s moral compass awry again he found himself catapulted back into yesterday.  And just when he was making such good progress too.

BBBBarry, now there’s someone who deserves our sympathy.  He was only responding, in the only way he knows how, to the elbow in the ribs Rutten slipped him.  What would you have done?  Okay, okay, not with the umpire 10 feet away.  But that’s Our Bazza.  Honest to a fault.  We’ve all heard the Hallisms.  You blokes line up by height.  Starting with the oldest on the right.  I might kick 60 or 70 goals this season, depending which ever comes first.  He deserves our sympathy on that score alone.

So Chokko’s taken a haircut?  At least he’s still got a job.  But why did it take the Brains Trust around at Alberton nine hours to come to the conclusion that if they could only afford ten quid a week & board plus a once loved Holden Barina, they’d be battling to get another starter anyway.  They should consider themselves lucky they got Chokko to take it on for another two seasons.

And that means the rides on the Coaches Carousel have been diminished by one.  Fig Jam was mooted as a replacement over there.  He would have been good too.  The list’s not bad.  Just a little bit lazy.  (Make that very lazy Wrap – Ed)

And just to show how much he misses his old teammates, Dean Solomon stayed back in Melbourne last weekend to spend some quality time with Essendon Captaincy aspirant Mark McVeigh.  When he called in crook the next morning Coach Knighter didn’t quite see the need to be bonding till 3am with an opposition player when The Bombers had a 7th v 4th Contest on their hands at the end of the week.  Good use of leadership Knighter.  By the way, Mum wants to know when you’re coming home to PUNT ROAD.

OS, and LLil Leyton gave us our money’s worth once more.  Don’t we just adore him when the terrier in him comes out?  As for the BaggyGreens, it’s hard to know what to make of them.  Mr. Cricket got amongst the runs the other day but Bing Lee failed to curb Pohmmy openers.  He wasn’t on his pat malone there either.  If the groundsman has placated the pitch, it detracts from Hussy’s 150 somewhat.  But with the Porcelain Kid once again cracking, you’d reckon Brad Hodge would get a call up wouldn’t you?  I ask you, North & McDonald.  This is an Ashes Series Mervin.  You’re a Victorian.  Put a word in.  Just one of reason would do.

But enough of my gabbin’. Let’s see who’s going to be seen after Round XIV.

The Magpies v The Bombers at The Paddock That Grew tonight.  The Dons were magnificent last Friday night and the Whingy Hill Faithful will pack out The G again tonight.  Pears on Anthony will have a bearing on the outcome.  He’ll find Jack a bit more competitive that The Fev and he’ll need every bit of help from his side men, whom it should be mentioned will have their hands full with the likes of Diddums Didak, Brad Dick, Magic Meddy and Neon Leon.  Getting Pendlebury back won’t do The Woodsmen any harm either.  The Dons regain McPhee.  Not that The Dons are slouches down back mind you, but they can be a bit mindful of attack at times when defence is called for.  Good for the Punters, but can make a mess of your percentage.  Then there’s the Four Points, or in this particular case, Eight Points.  The Mosquito Bomber Fleet relies on extreme pace and slickness.  There’ll be a bit of moisture in the ground, even if the showers do ease by nightfall.  The heavy track is going to suit the brave of heart and sure of skill.  If Lloydie & Lucas can hold their marks and kick straight The Dons will go a long way to stealing this game.  Make no mistake, it will be a beauty, so if you couldn’t get tickets for the Sunday match, get along to this one.  Look, it’s hard to split them.  The Bombers have shown they have plenty of fight in them.  The Maggies, through Wayne Swan and in the absence of McVeigh & Watson, will have too much grunt around the stoppages.  We’re sticking with Carringbush, but wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see The Gliders get up.  There’s a lot to like about them and caring brokers will be advising their clients to take out some of those Bomber’s futures we’re starting to hear so much about.

The Demons v The West Coast at THF on Saturday Arvo.  The Redlegs need to pull something out of somewhere.  Jack Who has taken his doctor’s advice and phoned in sick.  Johnson, Miller & Whelan have been omitted.  The Weagles have lost Daniel Kerr.  Look, if the weather clears and you’re out on your bike, pop in to The G and catch this one.  Springheel Nic is worth the admission alone.  And if your Heart Beats True For The Red & The Blue this could be the day for you.  The Coasters are woeful away from home and The Fuchsias owe this one to Jummy.  We feel the Bagmen have blundered dreadfully here with The Homeside out at $2.20.  In fact if they don’t win, the stain of tanking may mark The Grand Old Flag.  Don’t let this one slip through the net, The Demons are The Wrap Investment Opportunity of The Round.

Port Adelaide v The Brisbane Lions under the Shadows of Mt Lofty on Saturday arvo.  A trip to Adelaide holds no terrors for The Lions and they’re playing some half decent football at the moment.  Boss Voss will have them set for this one.  Will The Chokers do it for Chokko?  What’s changed?  It took the good burghers of Alberton nine hours to muster a vote of confidence in the coach, and he rolled over for a pay cut.  If anything the situation’s worse.  Apart from that – 5th v 10th.  Come on.  The Visitors.

RICHMOND  v Adelaide up at Carrara under lights on Saturday.  Any progress THE TIGES have made this season seems to be slipping away  Coach Jade has thrown in Jayden Post for his debut game and left Oakley-Nichols and Rance back at Coburg.  The Crows just look too settled and have too much at stake.  All THE TIGERS have to lose is draft picks.  And at $1.27, The Chardonnays are as good as you’ll ever see for the tobacco money.

The Doggies v The Hawks under cover tomorrow night.  Like their President, and no doubt their Coach, we’ve had enough of The 2009 Hawks.  We loved their work in 2008 but this model isn’t worth garage room.  The Bullies are keen to consolidate their Top Four Status, and with a tough run home – only two matches against sides not in the Eight – they’ll be keen to put an early gap in The Mayblooms.  That doesn’t mean The Visitors can’t win, but on present form, and that’s all you can go on, it The Scraggers.

The Bloods v The Shinboners at the Other Cricket Ground on Saturday night and Channel Rove.  These two are evenly matched.  Both rebuilding.  Both with huge gaps in their line up.  Both sides with aging stars.  Both sides used to being in the news this season for one reason or another.  The Tinseltowners look that little bit better all over the ground and playing at home should clinch it for them.  The Harboursiders.

The Feeling Faints v The Handbags at the Boutique Stadium at the far end of Bourke Street on Sunday.  Boy is this the Big One?  The more you look at the sides in the butcher shop window the more you lean towards The Pussies.  They appear to have too many class players for The Saints to cover.  But they still have to out score their opponents and that’s where it comes unstuck.  Kossy & St Riewoldt are a class above anything The Cats can come up with at their end of the ground.   And make no mistake, those two can tear a defence apart.  Should the ball find the ground there’s Nasty Milne and Schneider to tidy up.  They played poorly against THE TIGERS last week yet still came home on the bit.  The midfields look pretty even, GAJ of course being the breakout player.  If The Saints get Ablett conscious it could leave others in the Navy Blue & White Hoops of Sleepy Hollow free rein to do some extra damage.  If Hawkins can be held by Gilbert & Mooney can be sucked in by Fisher – not an unlikely scenario – it only leaves Goddard to put Johnson off his game and Geelong’s forward firepower is greatly diminished.  We couldn’t get tickets for Docklands for this one but we’ve secured our Bandwagon ride.  We drew the section from Tommy Bent Statue to The Junction.  And did you blink too when you saw the Board?  $2.45!!  We’ll have a piece of that thank you.  That’s right Sainters, can you believe it?  After a faultless 13 rounds and atop the Ladder, you’re The Wrap Roughie of The Round.

Flaky Freo v Round XIII’s Biggest Loser at Port Fremantle on Sunday evening.  They’ve swung the axe all right out along Royal Parade.  Apart from Elliot they’ve dropped Bannister, Scotland, Stevens and Browne.  They’re taking a whole bunch of no names over on the Indian Pacific.  They’ve slipped Eddie Betts into the Centre and Garlett in to the pocket beside The Dreadlock.  All Australian full back in waiting Tarrant has the job of getting under The Fev’s skin.  You’d give The Anchormen a chance in this one except for two things.  They’re playing crap Football and they’re without their Skipper and gun forward Pavlich.  Oh, and the muscle-headed Dean Solomon, dropped we presume for getting the club into the east Coast newspapers.  Carlton aren’t nearly as good as they’d have everyone believe, but they’re not bad enough to go down to The Barry Crockers, even over there.  With The Hawks and The Chokers waiting to pounce onto the Eighth Rung, The Miseries.  But even at $1.62 leave your wallet in the drawer.

Good tipping and even better punting.

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

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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.

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