THE PRE WRAP – ROUND XXI
FOR THE PHILOSOPHICAL MARNGROOK FAN
What a week it’s been in Footy Eddie. Brad Green has followed Brad Miller, Cameron Bruce, Brock Mclean & James McDonald out the door at Melbourne. You’ve been a Loyal Servant of The Club Brad, and you’ve given us some great moments. After the monstering you and your teammates received at the hands of Essendon in 2000, you deserved more from The Game. But there are plenty that can say that. You can walk out the door with your head held high.
Our Ammo stringer, back on deck after family duties last week, tells us it’s all done and dusted for The Panthers this season. All that’s left is to collect the mothballs from the property office and oil the boots. They were seriously pantsed to the tune of six majors and The Finger Biscuits withstood everything The Hedge Burners could throw at them. Looking shakier than the singer in This Old House in their efforts to make it through to the cut, they are taking it one week at a time. This week’s challenge is The Finger Biscuits - Old Carey v Old Scotch – or as they say at Bullen Road – Good v Evil – Black v Red. (I thought Black represented Evil & Red was the colour of the cardinals – Ed) Whoever wins this is the more likely to play in September.
Joel Selwood is cited for pushing his brother over. I ask you, what’s the world coming to when you can’t push over your older brother when he’s come off second best in a hip and shoulder he initiated?
And as for the ex-Richmond coach now responsible for the umpiring philosophy coming out of Maggot Central, if you want to speed The Game up Geisha, don’t pay so many free kicks. Sunday’s match at the MCG saw free kicks plucked out of nowhere. The LSPRF didn’t say much about it, other than what was that for umpire? because they were, for a change, the main recipients of the largess, but it didn’t do much for the match as a spectacle. Never mind those territory gaining kicks that find the touchline Geisha, it’s part of The Game. And as for 64 whistle driven stoppages in the Perth match, it’s ludicrous. Go after those other time wasters; instruct them to swallow their bloody whistles.
And the sight of both ruckman running back with arms outstretched appealing for the ball to be given to them after a whistle on a rucking contest should be enough to raise concerns about the understanding of body on body by the umpires. We’ve said this before, and we’re sure we’re not alone in saying it, but the poor standard of the umpiring, especially in the latter part of the season, is cruelling The Game – Our Great Game.
But enough of my gabbin, let’s see who’s going to be in the gun after Round XXI.
The Pivotonians v The Culture Club on the Shifting Sands of the Docklands tonight. The Moggies have regained Hunt, Chappy, Corey, Kelly & West. The Feeling Faints have lost St Riewoldt. You have to believe it gives us pleasure whatsoever to have to say this, but a slater with a target painted on its back would have more chance in a chookhouse than The Sainters under cover tonight. True, The Hoopers are coming off a trans-Nullarbor road trip, but The Handbags will be loaded with housebricks and swung with all the acrimony of a jilted lover. The $1.35 is relatively generous, but let’s not underestimate the opposition. Not one for the Mums & Dads, but serious investors should consider the value represented by The Reigning Premiers v the First Year Coach & the Aging, Creaking Champions.
The Human Hamstrings v The Miseries on The Paddock That Grew early on Saturday Arvo. The Hammies let us down badly last weekend. This week, after showing in his 27th game in six years some of the form that has had the Whingy Hill Faithful dribbling at the mouth about him all that time, Bumbling Gumbleton is to have a week off to recover from soreness. But they’ve been able to bring back Stanton, Ryder, Hooker & Zaharakis. Which makes them look one helluva lot better than the team that folded to North last week. The Rattzbaggers have regained the Juddanaught & recalled Duigan. Form’s not much help here. Both outfits can play hot or cold, depending on where their heads are at. The Dons have dropped five of the eight matches they’ve played since the mid-season break. The Silvertails, have dropped six of their last 10. By the final siren there’ll be no questions left unanswered. Only more questions, like will Rattz hold tenure at Visy Park next season? That’s right, we’re giving The Marshmallows one more chance to dig deep and keep their fingernail-stretching grip on that last rung on the meaningful section of The Ladder. The agile beanpole Bellchambers will nullify The Kreuzer and between them, Hirdie & Bomber will devise a way to smother the Carlton midfield. With plenty of pace, and Jobe leading from the front, The Dons.
The Penrith Pygmies v The Fuchsias in the National Capital at the traditional time. Nothing much to go on here. The Dees beat The Ablett Suns a fortnight ago, and did well against St Seaford last round. The Shenanigans went down ingloriously to The Metermaids last round after their Famous Victory against The Choker the fortnight before. With James McDonald back with a score to settle, Toby Greene on fire and Chad Cornes enjoying a lease of life at Breakfast Point, they’re not without a chance. But we’re banking on Hearts Beating True For The Red & The Blue. The Redlegs, but at $1.20, The Bagmen must think we don’t know how many beans make five.
The Barry Crockers v The Striped Marvels at Patterson’s Curse in the gathering gloom of Saturday. The Stevedores always look more anchored with Fyfe & McPharlin playing. And they’ve settled in under Rossy Lyon. However, The Tiges have answered the call over the last couple of weeks with some inspired & inspiring Football. True, The Anchormen have their season OTL, but The Tigers don’t have the problems over there against The Dockers that some sides seem to have. A lot will depend on the Coleman shootout between Pavlich & Jumping Jack Riewoldt. But more than that, The Tiger midfield has made itself a pledge – that Glorious Ninth will once more become an unassailable Punt Road fortress. And that’s right, at $2.85 they’re the Wrap Roughie of The Round.
Carringbush v The Shinboners at the Little Ground on Batman Hill on Saturday night. This is a real toughie. The Norsemen have swept all before them since the break; their only falter being West Coast down in Hobart Town. And then only by the penultimate NPM**. They’ve regained Thomas, Delaney & Ziebell but lost Wells, Grima & Adams (shoulder) along the way. The Pies are going with the same XXII that maintained the Sydney Hoodoo over The Bloods. Everyone loves it when the Big Men Fly, and this match will have plenty of that at either end. But there’s no point in stringing out this summary; the outcome is clear cut. Collingwood to have that little bit too much for the depleted Shinboners to cover.
The Brisbane Lions v The Pride of South Australia on Saturday night under the palms. As much as The Maroons have improved this season, so have The Chardonnays. With so much at stake, Adelaide, and at $1.20 they offer real value.
The Tealers v The High Flyer at the New Arctic Park for the early one on the Sunday. Last round, the last thing Port Adelaide needed was a trip to the Apple Isle to play the pre-season Premiership Favourite OTR. This week the last thing they needed was a meeting with a West Coast side with a sniff of a Top Four Finish. Sorry Buddha, after a Traditional Port Adelaide Welcome, The Weagles, easily. And at $1.13 it doesn’t get any better over a 24 hour period.
The Sick Man of the AFL v Top of The Ladder South Melbourne at Ethelred Stadium in the Sunday twilight. The Ladradoodles, apart from a short burst mid-match, have given us no reason not to continue to treat their chances with scant respect. Sure, they’ve regained a stock of name players, including the 2008 Brownlow Medallist. For what they’re worth. They’re not playing as a team, and on Sunday they’re playing arguably the best team going around. And they’re OTR. We honestly believe that the $1.05 is worth pursuing in this one. There’s sure to ne a few heart-tightening moments, but there always is until the umpire bounces the ball to get things underway. The Lakers comfortably.
The Mighty Fighting Mayblooms v The Sunbeams fresh from their Famous Victory over The Greater Western Sydney Experiments. This is to wind up proceedings for Round XXI. Hawthorn. And with Ward Rooney predicting light winds & clearing skies, they’ll not only kick the Sweep, but the Brett Guerra-led Mustard Pot defence will hold The Abletts to the lowest score for the Round.
Good tipping and even better punting.
And remember, if you read it in the Wrap you’ll know it’s not crap.
* OTL – on the line
** NPM – narrowest possible margin