The Pre-Wrap: Top Pies in first flush of love, but will ardour fade?

THE PRE WRAP – ROUND 18

What a week it’s been in Footy Eddie.  The long awaited Ménage à Trois is finally stitched up at McHale Stadium.  We’re just glad that Archbishop Mannix and John Wren weren’t around to squirm with us through the courtship and wince at the ceremony.  We wish them all the very best of course, as does the Whole Football World, but wonder at the wisdom of this marriage of convenience.  And the media spotlight every visit by the family doctor with the Collywobbles vaccine in the coming seasons will attract.

And the Solarium Kid has come out on the tanking issue.  He said he didn’t coach the team to the best of his ability in the last quarter of Round XXII in 2007.  Really Terry?  And what about the other 109 matches?  And Caretaker Coach Rawlings said he didn’t buy into the tanking issue.  He dismissed any notion that THE TIGES were tanking this season.  “We’ve been in positions the last five weeks where we could have won and should have won”.  We know what you mean Jade.  But I’ll bet you didn’t mean it to come out like that.  Sharp legal minds like Sir Frank Downright’s and the knowledgeable lunch crew at The Italian would have jumped on it that unguarded remark with relish.

But what’s the problem with finessing draft picks.  Would someone please show me in the rules where it says you’re not allowed to cheat?  Naturally the word from Jellymont House is that there’s no such thing.  Doubtful Thomas, on the Caroline Wilson Show, wants it called something else because he thinks tanking is a bad word.  Spare m’ days.

Even with the main attraction gone, the whimsical melody of the Coaches Carousel floats over Arden Street as Adam Simpson buys a ticket and climbs straight onto the ceramic Kangaroo.  And Pure Jade is seen riding high on the Leaping Tiger.  A visiting family from the City of Light – you can tell they’re from Adelaide because they’re eating their fairy floss with a knife and fork – climb aboard.  The father nursing his unsure son as they sit astride the Thunderbolt ride.  A distraught committee of mothers watches in apprehension.

Over in the Land of The Great Unwashed, The Saggy Greens get off to a flyer as they play through the English Rain.  With more of the elixir of life promised a result will depend on the efforts of the re-jigged Australian attack to slice through the KP-less England batting order.  Go you Aussie Good Things.  Put a gap in them.

But enough of my gabbin’. Let’s see who’s going to be in the pound after the XVIIIth Round.

The Shinboners v The Silvertails under cover tonight.  There’s a bit of supposedly smart money out on North for this match.  One could be excused for feeling the sentiment reflected a wishful bias rather than a thorough analysis of the situation.  One team has draft picks at stake, the other September Glory.  There’s also the small matter of talent.  As much as the prospect of the underdog rolling the higher placed animal would lift the spirits of the Whole Football World, it is difficult to see the Following Division of McIntosh, Rawlings and Mr Potato Head providing more drive than Hampson, Murphy & the Juddanaught.  You’d also believe the Fev would have backed himself in for a Lazy Eight or 10 against the North Melbourne Defence, especially in the rarefied atmosphere of Ethelred Stadium.  Seriously, it has to be The Bluebaggers.

The Tricolours v The Quadcolours also under cover at the Traditional Time.  With four wins it would be pretty safe to say The Anchormen have dropped the pick for Season 2009.   The Scrays.  You can put them down for The Sweep but the $1.02 on offer from Norm Smart and the boys is hardly worth the stamp duty.  The Doggies.

The Moggies v The Pride of South Australia at Cat Central tomorrow.  Make no mistake, this outing will test The Homeside.  Their backline has been re-jigged and with long Tom Lonergan at CHB, appears to have a hole in it bigger enough to drive a Peninsula bus through it.  And where it really matters.  Having said that, The Handbags are playing in front of the Pivotonian Faithful and, coming towards the business end of the season, will be keen to start their run at TLSIS.  It will be a good hit out for both outfits and The Visitors fancy themselves in most contests, but we have it unanimously in favour of The Host here in The Wraproom.  The Pussies to be just to good at the end if the day.

South Melbourne play St Kilda for The Lakeside Trophy up at the Other Cricket Ground on Saturday night.  These two clubs have come a long way since the days when  they walked to matches between each other with tier gear in a Gladstone bag.  St Kilda have moved to Moorabbin, South Melbourne to Sydney.  Ross Lyon has taken no chances on this one.  He was one of the Gallant 7,000 who braved the icy chills of the national capital last weekend to catch The Swans playing The Dees.  Either that or he’s building up FF points for the end of season trip.  With Kossy back and the rest of them still hungry for leather there’s no doubt about this one.  And at $1.13 we feel The Bagmen have erred dreadfully here.  Pool the rent and the beer money and borrow against next month’s child endowment.  This is the sure fire thing you can’t afford to miss.  The Feeling Faints.

The Magpies v The Gorillas on The Big Stage on Saturday night.  Fourth v 6th.  Boss Voss and  the Daniel Rich Show move to Melbourne for a crack at a Top Four Finish.  Both teams are playing some half handy Footy and this one will certainly be worth taping Iron Chef and RockWhiz for.  Now that the divorce settlement is in place you’d have to favour The Homeside here.  But let there be no mistake, it won’t be easy.  Both sides boast lethal attacks and can run, chase and tackle with the best of them.  Someone has to be in front when they ring the Final Bell.  (Are you that old Wrap that you can remember the bell? – Ed)  We’re saying it’s going to be The Maggies, but you’d be safer taking the risk on Brumby’s de-sal adventure than taking a share in this one.  At least you know you’re going to get screwed down at Wonthaggi.  Serious Punters may like to available themselves of the $3.00 on offer on The Maroons.  They aren’t without a chance and the $3.00 seems to be an undervaluation of the situation.  But for the office tipping competition stick with The Maggies.

The Dees v THE TIGERS.  The Co-tenants slug it out on the Sacred Turf on Sunday as both teams prepare for 2010.  Pure Jade has obviously told THE TIGERS they’ve been playing like a mob of sheilas.  Tiger Tambling, Jack Riewoldt and the Much Maligned Brett Deledio can now be found in the thick of things and they’ve unearthed a couple of beauties in Tyrone and Jayden.  The Playing List is coming of age and the LSPRF have a sniff of the future in their nostrils.  The Bombers are a never say die outfit yet THE TIGES took them on at every challenge, and won.  The Jungle Drums in the Deep Woods are beating the familiar refrain and the Late Great Living Legend Captain Blood would be joining them from somewhere high above the spire of St Ignatius.  BIT – BIT – BIT.  The Dees will also have some exciting new talent on display and with short queues around the concessions and the early start to get home before the evening chill sets in, it will be an entertaining afternoon.  But it will be THE TIGERS.  And at $1.30 forget the banks, RICHMOND are the Wrap Investment Opportunity of The Round.

The Tealers v The Mustard Pots in the shadows of Mt Lofty latish on Sunday arvo.  It would be a criminal shame if The Hawks didn’t get to defend their title now they have got over their sluggish start to the season.  They thought they’d blown it when they fell asleep and allowed The Cats to run over the top of them in the frantic Final Stanza last round.  However, the PUNT ROAD King Makers rolled The Dons to leave the door ajar.  The Power have had a shocker of a year and now that the coaching situation has been sorted at Alberton we can expect a renewed interest in life from the Playing Group.  Whether that’s enough to stop the Star Studded Commitment from The Reigning Premiers is another matter.  You never know which game either of these two teams is going to unpack, but with our heart in our mouth, we’re saying, with their mojo well and truly back,  it’s going to be The Mighty Fighting Hawks.

The Coaster v The Bombers at Camp Sooby on Sunday for the late one.  There’s nothing in this one for West Coast and everything for Knighter and The Boys.  Having said that, ex-Captaincy aspirant McVeigh is out injured, the disgruntled Pretty Boy Lloyd too.  Wunderkind Winderlich and Alwyn Davey will be looking on as well.  This one will be a bit of a test for The Dons.  THE TIGERS caught them off guard last week and they won’t want to take The Eagles lightly.  Scotty Lucas has been named amongst the seven emergencies but it’s difficult seeing him getting a Guernsey.  Especially after the Whingy Hill Faithful gave him the Ironic Cheer for a 3rd Quarter touch last week.  It’s not time for sentiment around at Bomberland yet.  And with do or die matches between now and their Looming Round XXII clash with TRP, the Faithful may have missed their chance to farewell a much loved Servant of The Club and a Favourite Son.  Look, we’re going to give The Dons the Kiss of Death here.  Having said that, it’s going to be tough.  The Weagles have beaten both Hawthorn and Footscray over there.

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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