FOR THE PHILOSOPHICAL MARNGROOK FAN
What mixed week it’s been in Footy Eddie. We’ve already had The Anzac Day Blockbuster. It’s history now how an overweight Dane Swan steamrolled the opposition and The Mighty Maggies snatched back the lead they’d held since the 1st quarter to win an absolute spellbinder of a match.
Once again on we have to say something about the quality of the umpiring. Whether it’s the quality of the play that is lifting the standard of the umpiring – or vice versa – it doesn’t matter. It makes for Great Footy. Unleash The Geisha. The only poor decision we picked up on Anzac day was Monfries’ attempted smother that was awarded to him for kicking in danger against Maxwell, I think. (About the only kick he got all day wasn’t it? – Ed) Dead in front, he converted. If they want controversy out at Whingy Flat, try that one.
The mail bag has been heavy with letters suggesting an anti-Essendon bias amongst The Wrap commentators. Naturally, we vigorously refute these vile allegations. To those clamouring for a contraction we’ll certainly admit we did write, before the Carlton Match, that not even a governor’s pardon would save Essendon. They would be exposed as a bunch of imposters and Flag Wannabes. And that at the end of the day the Gliders would know that They’d Been Playing The Famous Old Dark Blues. (What’s their problem – you got that right Wrap – Ed) Maybe we should have written The Team That Never Let’s You Down Ed. Anyway, we’ll quite happily publish a contraction, but first it’s only fair to point out what happened to Carlton when we wrote a contraction after equally scandalous allegations of anti-Bluebagger bias; they played Essendon. You still want it? Well, hear it is. We were wrong about Essendon. Their 2nd year under the two-coach system at Whingy Flat is building on their 1st, and The Bombers have shown all the courage, tenacity and purpose of a team worthy of September Action.
The poor old FFA, even their showcase events they can’t get right. The umpire referee gives the last minute dodgy free kick in the shadow of full time with the scores tied up at zip & zip. Then they get player of the match wrong. Then to cap it all off, the Back-to-back Premiership Coach Manager walks out of his charges and moves from Bananaland to Bleak City to pick up with under achieving Melbourne Victory. See Mickey, it’s not too hard, and you were offered a rosy package to do it too. But as Ned Kelly said, – or was it Ben Cousins – such is life.
Did anyone notice, as the Northern Hemisphere Summer gets under way, that Slammin’ Sammy Stosur is building some form again? She’s already help lift The Aussies into the Group 1 of the Fed Cup and has her sights set on Roland Garros & Wimbledon.
But enough of my gabbin, let’s see who’s going to be left alive after Round V.
The Collingwood Magpies v The Whingy Hill Bombers. If you’d been saddled with your brother-in-law’s sister’s whinging, bludging kid backpacker over from Manchester on his gap year, this is the one you should have taken him to. Definitely one for the ages. And no penalty shootouts. We gave up noting down the highlights, incidents and turning points. Doesn’t that Opening Ceremony choke you up? Bring a tear to your eye? Mine too. And have you ever heard Our Land is Girt By Sea belted out with such gusto, clarity and Self Belief? And Self Belief was what this match was all about. Both sides somewhat under full strength. Neither prepared to take a backward step. It was left to the Football Gods to play a role the final outcome. And what better way to do it than with a couple of controversial video reviews? The 2nd one coming with less than a minute to play and Collingwood needing a six-pointer to snatch back the lead. But that was just the icing on the cake. Down a man before the 1st change of ends, The Marshmallows once more dug deep. Try as they did, The Buckleywoods just couldn’t put them away. And just how good is Zacharias? He’s have to be Bomber Hird’s go to man, the way Chappy was James Thomson’s go-to man down at Catland. Make no mistake: this Essendon Outfit a seriously good combination from the coaches box to the equipment steward. They were outplayed on the day. You could see them tiring toward the end of the quarters. And if there was a point of difference to be made between these evenly matched teams it would be that every now and then, an Essendon player would wait for the ball to come to them. Carringbush’s attack on the Pigskin was relentless. You check the replay; one such hesitation cost the Dons a goal. Students of The Game will tell you – Rule # 2 – Don’t wait for the ball to come to you; you go and get it. The Bombers may considerer themselves unlucky, but in their heart of hearts they know the best team on the day won. They take a long and well earned break at 3-2 before going into the Homogenized Zone for the Curtain Raiser for Round IV against The Whitten Oval Westphalian Dachsbrackes. For the Gliders, it’s the same venue the next day against The Boys From Old Fitzroy.
The Barry Crockers v The Miseries tonight over there. Both sides have dropped a game so far this season. The Stevedores to Steak & Kidney up on Coathanger Bay, The Rattzbaggers were famously wiped off the ground by The Undermanned Bombers. Each have claimed a victory against one of last year’s Grand Finalists. The Homeside goes in without Big Laurie Sandilands, but regain Griffin & Fyfe. Carlton have lost Carrazzo, Laidler & Yarran; McLean & Bower have paid the price of last week’s hammering. They’ve called up Thornton, Walker, Russell, Armfield & Joseph. Look, we know the tipping wasn’t good last round, but we did get Freo, and we’ll go with them again. Sure The Blues will be on the rebound. But Big Pav put in a poor one last week, so he must be due. If Griffin can make the going hard for The Kreuze Missile and Mundy & Fyfe can match Judd & Gibbs on the ball, and Duffield, Crowley & Hill can hold their own against Scotland, Murphy & Simpson, that just leaves the Carlton attack to cover; and Ross Lyon is very good at closing down the game then springing a Ballantyne Moment on the opposition. It’s going to be close, but at $2.20 they have to be worth a fiver at least. A reality test for both teams, but at home in front of The Purple Horde, it’s The Purple Haze for us here in The Wrapcave.
GWS v The Kennel Coughs for the early one tomorrow on a foggy Canberra morning. Not sure if the Footscray full forward is back from the G20 love-in yet, but her Beloved Western Bulldogs are going to need her if they’re going to save some face against Agent Orange. They should win, and win well. There’s quite a bit of money from the big end of town sitting on the line for this one. And when you look at the record of both clubs this season you can see why. But the Big End of Town doesn’t necessarily hold the Smart Money. Coach McCartney came up to senior level with glowing reports (They all did Wrap – Ed) and if he’s as good as they say he is, then we should see signs of a Bulldog Breakout in this one. They’re shuffling things around up there at Breakfast Point, as you would expect from the Sly Old Fox, and The Doggies will miss Giansiracusa but we can’t see a win for the BurntOrange&Light Charcoals, even with a six goal start. The Tricolours.
North Melbourne v The Other Coasters, under cover for the twilight match. Are you kidding? The Shinboners OTR? Gold Coast without G. Ablett Jnr? Get Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs from Blockbuster for the kiddies. You don’t want to scar them for life. The Kangas to take full advantage of the 2nd of their four free matches this season. Preshil’s Toddy Goldstein for BoG in the McGoos too.
Melbourne v St Kilda. On The Big Stage tomorrow night. The Fuchsias have got to do something soon, apart from practicing hibernation. Their star recruit for the year shot himself in the foot last week, and is out with concussion. They’ve regained Sylvia & Grimes, which should strengthen their pulse rate a bit. But will it be enough to get that Heart Beating True? The Feeling Faints have been thereabouts this season. They’ve been in the two they lost – and yes, the Port Adelaide loss came as a bit of a surprize – but they can smell when there’s blood in the water, and there’s plenty of haemorrhaging under The High Flying Flag. And at $1.13, that’s a better divvy than Telstra will give you. St Seaford.
Brissy v The Greatest Team of All, under the palms on Saturday night. The Tiges gave The Moggies a real scare last round, and The Shinboners them a good lesson the round before. The question has to be asked: are The Handbags a Bangkok Gucci? We’ll find out up on The Gabbattoir. The Lions have beaten who they should have beaten, and gone down to whom they should have gone down to. The Pivotonians are in the latter category. The Moggies.
The Family Club v The Bloods, down in Lonny for the early one on Sunday. Sydney are undefeated this season, and have won where they weren’t expected to win. After a couple of narrow losses, The Pre-season Premiership Favourites are languishing at 10th. There are those out there that believe The Mayblooms are the Buuuudy & Squirrel Show. Well, let’s see how The Mustard Pots go with a full cast. Waiting in the wings to come on are some class acts: Hodge, Birchall, Puopolo, Breust & McCauley. (Who’s McCauley Wrap? – Ed) The Lakers re-gain Goodes, the Hyphen, Smith & Walsh. The Visitors will make a good account of themselves, as usual, but Clarko’s Commandos are about to storm Kokoda. There’s an old jungle saying – when the Hawthorn President speaks out the jungle folk shudder in fear. And he’s just spoken out – about the lopsided draw. Not that they’re whinging out at Waverly, mind you. You can mark this one down as the day The Hawkers launched their Premiership Campaign. No more Mr Nice Guy, from here on they’ll BTIOWAAT. The Squawkers convincingly. And at $1.40 they are the Wrap Investment opportunity of The Round.
Richmond v West Coast at Ethelred Stadium for the NRL starting time on the Sunday. The Tiges have had their chances this season; and they’ve had a good rev-up on Tuesday & Thursday, and again in The Sage today. They’ve recalled Big Angus Graham to add tall timber to counter The Eagles strength in that department. Remember we told you that we’d give you the drum when The Tiges were about to start their run? Well this is it Wrappers. They are smarting down at Punt Road about the one they let slip at Corio Oval. No Nurelle, I’m not totally convinced, but if they do click, and we miss out on the $3.15 The Bagmen have so generously offered, you’d kick yourself wouldn’t you? And yes, I’ve taken into account that The Weagles sit astride the Competition Ladder, and that Josh Kennedy’s in ripping form, but so is Murray Rance’s Young Bloke. The Tiger backline, once so porous, has become near impervious. They just need Jumping Jack to lift and open up the forward line for the Richmond ground level players, of which they have plenty. Cox & Nick Nat Nui will be a handful, but The Tiges have the midfield to counter that advantage. Get in early, while price lasts. Richmond to start their run. And that’s right, never mind the Cockroaches below the line against The Yap Yaps, The Tiggers, for the 1st time this season, are The Wrap Roughie of The Round.
The Mighty Adelaide Crows v The Port Adelaide Proud Alberton Crowd, in the Shadows of Mt Lofty to close off Round V. This is a real toughie. The Tealers always lift for this one, and they’ve been showing that a bit off heavy lifting is not beyond them this season. They caught The Feeling Faints on the hop in Round I and have been thereabouts against some class fields since then. Adelaide have only dropped one game – a drubbing against The Hawks. And against that, their three wins have been gimmees against the Competition Easybeats. The Chardy’s have regained Johncock & Callinan, The Chokers Davey Rodan. And at $2.60 they look worth the cigarette money at least.
Good tipping and even better punting.
And remember, if you read it in the Wrap you’ll know it’s not crap.
BTW, The Wrap will be taking a short early season break, but we’ll be back for the Finals. See you again in June, in fact.