THE WRAP – ROUND XVIII

WHERE LIFE IMITATES FOOTBALL

What a round it’s been in Footy Eddie.  The Feeling Faints slip dramatically in the polls as Tony Abbott becomes the Number 1 ticket holder at John Pascoe Fawkner Reserve.  The Miseries can expect some comings and goings around at Visy Park after The Magpies, with the Whole Football World looking on, smash them on the Big Stage.  The Alberton Crowd Made Port Adelaide Proud In True Port Adelaide Tradition when they overran The Mayblooms in the final Stanza under the Shadows of Mt Lofty.  The Young Demons withstood a limp Brisbane Final Stanza Challenge to bring home the bacon from up under the palms, and Geelong ran through a training drill for the benefit of 30,710 Tinseltowners who came out to Homebush on a Saturday night.

Come Sunday and the Fred Hesse Annihilation Scoreboard continued.  The Gillard led Dogs made Coach Bradley’s chances of playing Finals in his 1st season unlikely as they stormed home with a nine goal Final Stanza.  The Tiges all but closed the book on the Adelaide Crows’ 2010 story as they Fought & Fought & Won, and The Dockers Sent The Weagles Down Below in the XXXIIth Derby.

Is it too early to discuss the 2nd Fortnight in September?  Probably in any real depth.  But from where we’re sitting there’s only three teams that have the form required of TLSIS: Collingwood, Geelong & Footscray.  We’ll probably know more after next weekend, when the 1st named play off for The Minor Premiership.  The Culture Club are sitting a shaky 3rd AWS with a telltale percentage of 115.62.  Freo are a bit hot & cold, which is just a few steps up from flaky.  And The Mayblooms can’t win the close ones, which as every SOTG knows, is the yardstick of a good side.  The rest are the also rans.  Carlton & South Melbourne are making up the numbers for the 1st week of the Finals, with North & Melbourne the outsiders to make it through to the death seats.

But what price the Coveted Sylvan Shield?  Stripped of draft picks, the 2010 Trophy is truly a Wooden Spoon.  The Bagmen should clean up big on this one.  The red-hot pre-season favourites were Struggletown, however, under Coach Hardnose they’ve blown all chance of pulling it off.  Second favourites were The Fuchsias; they have also blown their chances, the drawn game against Carringbush being particularly costly.  Both Port & Essendon challenged for the Cardboard Cup, but after forging in the fire, have found ways to forfeit any pretensions to the Woodwork.  This makes next week’s visit to Camp Sooby by The Bad News Bears so vital.  The Coasters lose and they can clear some space for the Spoon in the Trophy Cabinet; The Brisbane Lions lose and it comes down to percentage over the remaining three rounds.  What a season, eh?  (Would you believe that these two teams have won a third of the GFs played since 2001. – Ed)

No one has been able to name a premiership coach since 1966 who wasn’t Yabby, Barass, Tommy or John Kennedy, or been coached by them, or one of their protégés.  Maybe there isn’t anyone.

Anyone notice the name J. Shultz moving up the Coleman Table?  Replacing the aerial strength lost when Tredders had to hang up his boots, he’s having a fair dinkum dip.  There must be some at Tigerland who feel they may have acted too hastily – again – in clearing a player with promise to Alberton.  Davey Rodan hasn’t looked back since he pulled on the Silver & Teal and Black & White Guernsey of The Power.

Speaking of Alberton, are we alone in noticing they’re The Chokers no more.  Since Coach Primus primed the pump over there they’ve had an honourable loss to Footscray on the Shifting Sands, won Showdown XXVII and came from behind to shake Hawthorn’s Self Belief and Top Four Aspirations.  Now we don’t wish to appear unkind here, but the thought has passed our mind that maybe it was Chokko who put the Choke in Port Adelaide.  Something those subversive elements at Whingy Hill advocating tying down the windsock again could do well to consider.

And speaking of Whingy Hill, their Caretaker Coach declared he was glad everyone had spoken out so that they now knew where everyone stood.  He wasn’t going to name names, but they knew who they were.  So do we Knighta; you’ll find most them are right behind you, and that sound you hear is not someone moon walking; it’s the sound of steel on whetstone.  Tread carefully.

Did anyone catch the new Footscray full forward’s handball style during a junior football clinic and camera opportunity over the weekend?  Honestly, you’d think for one shoot, Rocket or even Barry would have found the time to coach her on the finer points of handball, so she’d not look so un-co, so soft & vulnerable girlie.  (Or was that the idea? – Ed)  PM, you don’t throw the ball in the air and then punch.  That’s volleyball.  Volleyball?  Oh, never mind.  I mean, we all know she’s got as much interest in Footy as is needed to make her look inclusive for the punters, but for goodness sake, getting a handball right surely isn’t beyond even a politician.  It made her look so phoney.

The Bledisloe Cup saw more pain for The Potoroos in both Trans Tasman bragging rights and the Tri Nations.  Looking like at least holding their own in the first 10 minutes, they were creamed by the All Blacks, the contest well and truly over before the break.  The score line of 49 v 28 flatters the Homeside.  AFL scouts also walked away from The Docklands disappointed.

If we were betting people around here at The Wrap our money would be on GAJ to be the 1st Captain of the GCS in their inaugural season.  But they’re so short as to be unbackable.  The real wager is when will he make the announcement?

But enough of my gabbin.  We’re into the XVIIIth Round and the September Song was sung by some.  Let’s see who picked up the sound.

The Gliders v The Feeling Faints.  Old Kiss of Death Wallsie does it again.  Two more goals and St Kilda can give Flag a shake – he extolled in his Friday Column in The Morning Broadsheet.  Which two goals are they Wallsie?  Surely not the two they kicked in the Championship Quarter?  And which Flag?  Do you mean the one on the interchange bench?  The Bombers jumped The Saints in the Opening Stanza and held that break at the Citrus Huddle.  Saint Kilda came home with their expected withering burst, but it was too little too late.  You just knew something was afoot when, in the shadow of Quarter Time, Man Mountain Hille was paid the softest of soft marks directly in front within easy kicking distance.  (Half a mile is easy kicking distance for this bloke Wrap – Ed)  His were the 2nd pair of hands to touch the ball and he failed to bring it down anyway.  It was disgraceful maggoting.  There was no need for the Essendon Caretaker Coach to do the meerkat stare at any of the huddles, and one would have to suspect his D&M with La Geisha a coupla weeks back has paid dividends.  And you’d have to suspect that his lunch order from the Puckle Street Patisserie will be ready when he calls to collect it from now on, and the rolls will be fresh from that day’s bake.   The return of Hille and a few inclusions and returns has made all the difference to the team balance, and with a bit of luck The Dons could finish Glorious 9th, ready to really take off in 2011.  But has anyone out at Whingy Hill given any thought to where they might have been after Round XXII if Tripper Fletcher had been more of a clubman and not got himself rubbed out twice.  (And at his age too – Ed)  His experienced presence in the defence was tangible on Friday night.  As for The Sainters, the picture is not so rosy.  And when an astute SOTG as your 10 year old grandson tells you that St Kilda looks tired you make a note of it.  Their Skipper’s 2-4-0 was less return than TLSJOF would have expected, and Schneider and Montagna were serial turnover offenders.  Can they get their s**t together before September?  Who knows?  They are becoming an enigma.  They have until 1.10pm next Sunday to TAGHLAT.  Then they face The Power From Port.  The Bombers are back on the Big Stage for next Friday Night against Traditional Rivals and Arch Enemies Carlton.

Collingwood v Carlton.  If The Mighty Maggies weren’t an equal favourite for The Flag before this match, they should be after it.  Only compassion – are rare commodity at Victoria Park – prevented Carringbush from inflicting a complete humiliation on The Carlton Football Club on Saturday Arvo.  And for all those who are still insisting Collingwood have no stars, be told; they have one star.  One outstanding star.  And that’s The Collingwood Football Team.  And that’s all you need to win a Flag.  We’ll concede that Carlton are a rabble.  Their Captain has finally succumbed to the crook shoulder you get from carrying your team all season, and their coach seems to be at arms length with his ever-coming charges.  But the Collingwood ball skills with either foot or hand was clinical.  Their decision making precise.  Their running game attacking.  Their structures defensive.  And let’s make this official, we’re on the Carringbush Bandwagon around here in The Wrapcave.  They have TRP next round to decide who is going to be going into September as TTTBFTF.  As for Les Misérables, what can you say that their coach hasn’t already said?  They were an embarrassment.  Never mind the six goal final Stanza; they’d kicked 3-2 up to the Citrus Huddle.  Three goals two behinds on a perfect day for Football, and with the Whole Football World looking on.  And it was all there to see – The Silvertails just didn’t have enough desire for the Pigskin.  Mens sama in coapore sano is good in theory.  How you’re judged is what you do with them.  Most likely without their Skipper, they have The High Flying Bombers, again on the Big Stage, next Friday Night.

The Power v The Hawkers.  The result here would have been a shock for Glenferrie Oval Faithful and Punters alike.  However, in some quarters The Power was rated as a Danger Game, and so it proved.  Once The Tealer midfielders started mixing up their attack – bombing long when they could see a teammate in an advantageous position, or running it into the fifty when the gaps appeared, the Hawthorn defence was shown to be porous.  But to take nothing away from Port, they played inspired Football under their Caretaker Coach.  The real problem at Port is their supporter base.  Only twenty three thousand odd turned up to farewell Chokko, and a good number of those were Collingwood supporters.  Only 22,340 turned up to farewell their Premiership Captain.  They have The Saints for the early one at the Boutique Ground at  the end of Bourke Street next Sunday.  The Squawkers are back on the team bus for next weekend – The Harboursiders at the Other Cricket Ground Saturday.  They may find themselves minus a few players.  Nick Salter & Cyril Riolli were caught on camera having a right old barney.  From what we saw, Nick threw the first punches – or the first words.  The various voiceovers seemed to go out of their way to emphasise that Cyril wouldn’t behave so violently unless provoked.  No reasons given; no background drawn on; no psychiatric report quoted.  Just that a good Scotch boy wouldn’t behave like that unless provoked beyond restraint.  It’ll be interesting to see how the invertebrates at the Star Chamber view the evidence.

The Bloods v The Pivotonian. Everything went according to plan.  Stevie J seems to have recovered from his enforced spell and broken hand okay and booted a lazy six in a polished display and Joel Selwood notched up 32 possessions in another Brownlow performance.  The GCS’s Captain Elect had the stats counters busy too, without looking outstanding.  He must have given a bit of lip because he copped one right on the chin.  Once more the bottom lip looked in need of botox, but credit where credit’s due, he did manage to stiffen the one above it and get on with the match.  The Pussies have a challenge next Saturday night when they meet The Woodsmen to see who carries the tile TTTBFTF into September.  Watching The Handbags play, like watching any Exponent of The Game, is uplifting.  It was difficult to avoid that the team is made up of grown men; men in the prime of their Football careers.  They’re going to take some tossing.  The Swanees, looking extremely fragile, remain at home to welcome The Mustard Pots to Coathanger Bay on Saturday Arvo.

The Bad News Bears v The Grande Olde Flag.  With Man Mountain Jamar leading the way, The Demons set up a handy, and it turned out – an unassailable 30-point lead by the Long Break.  A new name has joined those of Scully, Green, Frawley, Trengrove, Sylvia, Macdonald & Jones amongst the better players – Jack Watts, that’s Who.  This Melbourne Outfit is getting better with each passing game.  Conversely, The Brisbane Lions only keep getting worse.  Reminiscent of Christopher Skase’s Bad News Bears, their much-vaunted Foreign Legion has proven to be nothing more than an injury prone mishmash of rejects, and the team that once called Carrara home looks like playing 2nd fiddle to the team that now calls Carrara home.  It’s a wonder the course vet didn’t do the humane thing and have the canvas blind erected around The Fev.  Watching Brisbane trying to get their money’s worth from him is one of the cruellest things going around in football at the moment.  (Even crueller than the AFL Rules Committee trying to justify its existence Wrap? – Ed)  They take The Competition’s longest road trip next Saturday night to take on fellow Wooden Spoon Contenders in a Season Defining match.  The Redlegs have the Battle of The Original Co-tenants on the Sunday.

Richmond v Adelaide.  The Punt Road Kingmakers have put paid to The Pride of South Australia’s September Aspirations.  In a storm of biblical proportions Richmond came out of the blue to take the Four Points at THOF.  As usual, our copy of The Addy doesn’t mention losing South Australian matches, but I hear Coach Craig was none too happy with the goal kicking skills of his team as, for the 2nd week in a row, they kick away an important game.  But let’s take nothing away from The Tigers.  They turned a 19-point deficit into a 20-point win in half a game of Football against a team that had smashed them in the 2nd Quarter.  With Jumping Jack well held by Rutten, The Tiges found other avenues to goal from their crumbers.  Struggletown heroes were everywhere in the 2nd half, but none stood out more than Michael Tuck’s young lad Shane.  (Why isn’t he playing at Hawthorn? – Ed)  Anyone building a dream team for season 2011 could so a lot worse than have Tuck & Connors in it.  But there’s improvement right throughout this Damien Hardnose coached side.  They meet Co-Tenants Melbourne next Sunday at the traditional time.  The Chardonnays host The Western Gillards to close off the round.

The Boys of The Gillard Breed v The Shinboners.  The Kangaroos hopped around for a bit, but were eventually cut down to size by Bulldog Barry and his teammates.  Slotting a lazy seven he’s drawn level with Jumping Jack on the Coleman Table and The Doggies are in the sort of form they were predicted to produce much earlier in the season.  With their timing spot on, they continue their run at September next Sunday in The City of Churches at Crow Park to wind up the round.  The Norsemen have the Barry Crockers on Saturday at The Dumb for a 2.10 start.

The Dockers v The Coasters.  This was as one sided as it gets.  The Eagles played like a team without purpose.  And didn’t those astute WA callers tell it like it was?  They were scathing of Whoosher’s non-tactics, and with all of Western Australia listening, this must be having an impact on the club psyche, if not the club hierarchy.  And how refreshing was it to hear interstate callers who knew the players on both team?  West Coast stay at home for the most important match of their season – the Spoon Decider against The Brisbane Civets on Saturday.  The Anchormen travel to the Shifting Sands to challenge the NMFC on the same day.

The Wrap has an apology to make.  We had no idea that Vin Waite had gone to the Big Legends’ Stand in The Sky when we made reference to Jarod Waite’s parents.  We apologize unreservedly for any hurt that the remark may have caused the Waite Family and those who remember Vin fondly as a Loyal Servant of Princes Park & Optus Oval.

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:

    Oy vey!

    It’s going to be a long week TW.

    At least you can smile about your Tiges.

  2. John Mosig says:

    Not looking good JB. Not good at all. If I was a Saint I’d be calling in some favours from Head Office about now. It might even take a couple of miracles from what we’re seeing. You’ll have to belt Port to regain any cred. I wish it wasn’t so, but reality has a habit of getting in your face.

  3. Tony Robb says:

    Do you sense that the annual threat of “you’re playing for your career” might have a few players having a little bit more of a dig at Essendon and Port. If that explains the sudden increase in output then those who copped the chat should be delisted anyway for fraudulent representation of a footballer.

    I know pressure can do funny things but the execution of passing and handballing on the weekend was appalling ( other than the top 4 sides). The number of times that players bombed kicks to the opposition as well as handballed to flat footed team mates was incredible. How about recruiters forget about beep tests and vertical leaps and look if the kid can kick it.
    TR

  4. John Mosig says:

    And who can think too TR, let’s not forget the part of football above the shoulders. Do they have a test for that? And as much as I hate to say this – Collingwood were beautiful to watch on Saturday – until they took their foot off Carlton’s throat in the last quarter. Their running game was awesome and their skill levels matched the pace at which they played the game. But most importantly, as the late Great Living Legend, Captain Blood would say – they were where the ball was

    On players’ skills, let’s face it, these are all professional footballers – kicking and handball should be – at > $150/per – 2nd nature to them. But actually, I don’t think it’s the threat of de-listing so much as team spirit. if moral is up, so is the skills level. New coaches, or a club crisis can pull a team together overnight.

    TW

  5. Tony Robb says:

    John
    I constantly groan when I see a player elect to kick “across the body” rather than steady and use a drop punt. A player “check sideing” rather than using their opposite foot. If a professional golfer has to master the game they must be proficient in driving. iron play, short shots and putting. Could you image if a golfer decided never to practice one component of the their game? Yet these hacks running around on the weekend by and large elect not to use their opposite foot, 1/4 of their skill base. i was astounded years ago when a looked at an Auskick CD. There was never one mention of pointing your toe, or taut instep as my father used to say, when kicking but it showed you how the do a bloody bounce handpass. Its a joke. They may be faster and stronger but they are less skilful with their feet and I dont wear “they have less time cop out” They have 7 days a week of timeto get it right because that all they do.
    TR
    TR

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