THE WRAP – ROUND XXII

WHERE LIFE IMITATES SPORT

What a round it’s been in Footy Eddie.  The Hawks led at every change and at the final siren to send the Flags along La Via Lygon to halfmast and consign The Miseries to the Bottom Half of The Eight.  The Mighty Adelaide Scarecrows, unable to muster a 100 point demolition of The Sunbeams, settled for the obligatory doubling of their score.  The Gliders hung up there in the stratosphere until the last change, but found the force of gravity too much in the end.  The Shinboners failed by TNPM to have Angry Adrian and the Ayatollah in deep denial about how the number of 100 point boilovers were cruelling the match as a spectacle.  And to show that a trip up to The Gabbatoir is no longer a walk in the park, The Lions’ salvaged some Pride with a spirited Final Stanza against, dare we say it, The Westpac Centre Millionaires.

Come Sunday Bloody Sunday and it was The Overrated Saints who fell to earth up in Harbour City.  In the City of Churches it was The Dishlickers who prevailed under their caretaker trainer.  And in Bleak City the Tigers prevailed in an absolute thriller.

Maggot Watch – There’s been a lot said about the state of maggoting this season.  And a lot said about the Rules’ Committee’s seemingly driven need to introduce a new rule or two each season in order to justify their existence.  Let’s leave to most contentious of these – the advantage rule – out of it until we learn what our betters have in store for us next season.  Let’s stick instead with the standard of maggoting we’re paying our hard earned to endure week in week out.  Over the weekend we saw the opening match, billed as a Qualifying Final, suffer under some of the most imbalanced and confusing umpiring you’d ever want to endure.  True, it couldn’t get the Rattzbaggers over the line, but you could hardly blame the three blind mice for that.  When it came to the Beitzel votes the panel in the Wrapcave couldn’t separate them and gave Donion, Rosebury & Schmidt three each.  Fast forward to the G on a Sunny Melbourne late winter evening and the 36,321 Faithful were treated to a standard of umpiring fit for a GF.  It may not have gone down too well with The Geisha and the folk at Maggot Central, but the fans loved it.  And the spectacle of two evenly matched teams working their way to respectability was enhanced by their performance.  Naturally Beitzel voting was suspended, thus was the standard, but if Stephen McBurney, Heath Ryan and Sam Hay don’t make it through to the first weekend in October there should be a Royal Commission.

Maggot Watch II.  We’ve avoided bringing this up because it seems nitpicking, and because it evens itself out over the match/season.  But greater minds than ours have been chewing on this bone.  None less cerebral than North Melbourne President and Footy Show host James Brayshaw. We’re not even going to say that it’s going to cost someone a Grand Final one day, because it already has.  And that’s the calling of the boundary umpires.  We saw one or three over the weekend where the ball was clearly out yet ignored; how about you?  Let’s face it, there’s two on each side now.

But enough of my persiflage, let’s see who’s who after Round XXII.

The Rattzbaggers v Clarko’s Commandos.  This was a tight game, and a frustrating one as the evenly distributed 36 behinds testifies.  No swirling winds at Ethelred, or is there some other factor at play?  Nerves? Pressure?   Swirling pockets of crowd vibrations trapped under the roof?  And we’re not going to bang on about the maggoting.  It was a big match.  We all saw it.  Lesser injustices triggered the Arab Spring.  But let’s leave that behind us.  There was no need to man the barricades, roll out the tumbrels or defence Eureka.  The right team won.  They set up the win in the first half, in fact Carlton’s too little too late came in only 1½ Quarters of Football.  If anything summed up the merits of Hawthorn’s win it was their 1st & 2nd goals.  The first, close to goal of the century, came from some terrifyingly pinpoint ball movement that had the Silvertail defense as mesmerized as a bower bird watching the twitching tail of a death adder.  When they penetrated the milling defensive zone they were as good by hand as they were by foot.  In a string of handballs under extreme pressure starting with Junior penned in on the boundary line and culminating in Buddy firing the ball to Isaac Smith in the goal square was as good as it gets.  And it summed up Carlton’s night.  Never mind the final margin.  The Blues were always playing catch-up Footy after Hawthorn’s 2nd major – equally as breathtakingly exciting and coldly efficient as the first.  And is it too early to start saying No Judd, No Carlton?  The fightback was spirited, and The Hawks looked a bit weary, but in the context of the match, the win was decisive.  Both sides looked 2nd half of September material, and as stiff as Carlton may consider themselves to be, they will have to accept TBSOOTF* for season 2011.  The Hawks finish of the Home & Away Round with The Dogs on the Hallowed Turf and The Metermaids up at The Metricon.  For The Miseries it’s The Bye & The Feeling Faints on The G.

The Sunbeams & The Pride of South Australia.   The 16,168 Japanese tourists who took a game of Ozzy Rules Football in their package tour may not have understood the finer points of the inclusion of Nathan Ablett and Joel Tippett, but their tour guide sure as Hell would have told them to barracked like mad the nine times Carmichael Hunt had the ball.  And they would have gone home heartened by the thought that The Samurais weren’t all that far behind The Competition at the Elite Level after all.  Next Sunday The Metermaids leave Wally World behind for a visit to THOF against The Fuchsias at the traditional time.  The Charddies have Richmond for the early one on the Sunday over in the City Colonel Light built.

The West Coast Eagles v The Tullamarine Tankers.  The Tankers made a good fist of this one, not getting blown away until half through the Championship Quarter.  That should keep Angry Adrian off their back.  Once again the Dons found themselves depleted early when Andrew Welsh went down.  When their Skipper had to leave the field with a similar ailment – soreness, dizziness & nausea – the floodgates opened and threatened to wash away their sins.  And aren’t those Coasters pumped.  With a 2nd Finals Round home final assured they’ve booked their ticket for a Preliminary Finals berth.  With a win in the Qualifying Final they could be playing at home till October.  And then look out.  The Eagles finish off with Brissy up there & Adelaide at home.  The Dons have Port under cover and then a weekend in the sauna & spa.

The Shinboners v The Barry Crockers.   Firstly we’d like to thank Fremantle Football Club for coming to Season 2011 and issue them with a warm invitation to re-join the Competition in 2012, when we hope they’ll be feeling a little better.  And for the Boners, commiserations that they couldn’t quite manage the century margin.  But it was a good effort, even if a bit late to make much difference as Winter turns to Spring.  They have the last two matches on The Shifting Sands – St Kilda next week and Richmond after that, in Round (yawn) 24.  The Stevedores host Carringbush and visit The Kennel.

The Woodsmen v The Boys From Old Fitzroy.  Breaking News – Have we seen the early on-set of the Collywobbles?  They conceded seven goals straight to an opponent that until a fortnight ago was contending for the Coveted Timber Trophy.  They conceded seven straight and recovered only 2-2 of those.  At Victoria Park too, in front of 47,788 bloody thirsty Cheer Squad ghouls who would have been expecting Fred Hesse Scoreboard result.  But it’s really not going to worry them too much.  They’ve got their home finals although the queue outside the Medical Suite might be of some concern.  Heath Shaw’s imminent return from the Arizona sweat lodge can’t come soon enough for the Coaching Panel at the Westpac Centre.  The Ever Threatening Lions have invited the WCE up to The Gabba for a Saturday night event in Round XXIII.  The Pies are on the Indian Pacific for a Friday night encounter with what’s left of the Fremantle Football Club before playing the GF preview on the People’s Ground in Round XXIV.

Steak & Kidney v The Feeling Faints.  Just when you thought it was safe to climb back up on the Junction Oval Bandwagon they go and do this to you.  (And to TLSJOF Wrap; don’t forget them – Ed)  Sydney’s poor shooting on goal had them playing rope-a-dope with The Saints until they strung three majors together leaving The Seagulls sprawled out on the canvas.  And Pundits & Punters alike should be entitled to ask of the condition of the Saint Kilda Captain’s body.  He’s carried the weight of The Culture Club for a decade now, and even as Atlas shrugged, what can we foresee of St Riewoldt?  Because unless he does something pretty soon, St Kilda are doomed to mediocrity and – horror of horrors – beyond.  The Enigmatic Bloods continue to threaten, especially out at Homebush.  They have a trip down to Cat Central next weekend for a traditional match of Suburban Footy, before closing off the season with a state of origin match against The Maroons on the Other Cricket Ground.  The Feeling Faints have The Roos next weekend then The Rattzbaggers to finish off the season.  Either side wins one and they’re set for September.

The Power From Port v The Sons of The West.  The Power improved threefold from the previous week – 5-2 to 15-7.  Unfortunately their opposition kicked 10-3 in the Opening Stanza.  This will generate little joy around at Whitten Oval.  Not even a mathematical contention, The Doggies face The Hawkers at The G and The Barry Crockers on the Shifting Sands to close off a miserable chapter in the Footscray Saga.  For The Chokers it’s The Bombers at Ethelred and Melbourne at Home to close off what some are predicting to be the closing chapter of their sorry tale.  The Free Settlers want the whole Blue Collar blot on their illustrious history wiped out forever, and replaced with a perennial whipping boy for them dubbed The Adelaide Power.  In a town sitting squarely between Great Expectations and Desperate Housewives, a town on which Vance Packard could have based his seminal work, you have to marvel at the audacity of the Good Burghers of the City of Churches.  Who in their right mind, with aspirations of upward social mobility, would ever barrack for them?  As Port Power or Adelaide Power?  It would be encouraging if the error of bringing them into The Competition could be admitted and corrected, as it was with University in the early VFL.  But we won’t be holding our breath waiting for any statesmanship from Jellymont House this time around.

The Fuchsias v The Tigers.   The Tigers swarmed forward throughout the 1st two quarters but TLSPRF had seen enough to know The Redlegs had it in them to storm back.  That they did came as no surprize.  That they weren’t able to answer the challenge in the space of the Championship Quarter was a real worry.  With the maggots all but invisible, this was a fast flowing game that had the 36,321 Faithful at full voice for most of the match and all the Final Stanza.  Those who have been pushing the line that these two clubs have parallel futures and a Co-tenancy Rivalry ahead of them would have been pleased with what they saw.  Young Guns prepared to have a fair dinkum dip with signs of emerging strength.  And let it be said, Jack Watts has the potential to be a Charismatic Super Star, one who will lead the Dees out of the Wilderness.  They have two very winnable matches coming up against The Sunbeams at the G and Port Power at Footy Park but Sydney’s win over The Saints has made their journey beyond August all but impossible.  The Tiges will be lamenting the losses in Darwin & Cairns, but those matches were there to be won, and they weren’t.  They have Adelaide over there next Sunday and finish off with North at Ethelred Stadium in the late one to literally wind up the Home & Away Series for 2011.

This week it’s The Silvertails who are taking some well earned R&R.

Hope your team gave you value over the weekend, and hope for the future.

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

* BSOOTF – The Best Side Out Of The Four

 

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. Melbourne-Richmond is why I love footy. Two lower-half (but emerging) sides out of contention stage one of the most compelling, fun games of the season. A wonderful antidote to watching the Saints stumble a couple of hours earlier. And, yes, in answer to an earlier post, Richmond is fast becoming my “second side,” too. When they’re in sync, they’re great fun to watch with a lot of distinctive personalities.

  2. John Mosig says:

    I wish I had Richmond as a second side sometimes Glenn. As a first side they can be enormously frustrating. I keep telling the grandkids it’s all about the character building. I hope The Tiges start stringing a few together before they’re old enough to wake up to the fact that there’s more to life than character building.

    But it could be worse. They could be stuck with St Kilda for their character building.

  3. Considering how dreadful Richmond was just a season-and-a-half ago, I’m seeing tremendous improvement. And I think Hardwick is a sharp guy and a perfect fit. But obviously it’s been a long time since they’ve been relevant, and false hope has been raised before. Next season will tell a lot, but I’d think most Tigers fans are looking forward to it. Which is half the battle.

  4. Wrapster,

    the ‘Sons of the West’ are now being coached by a son of the west (north west actually).

    Paul Williams was origionally a Wynyard boy.

  5. John Mosig says:

    What’s your home town Phanto?

  6. madhammer says:

    Listened to a great call of the Tigers and Dees as I don’t have pay TV, and it was brilliant. Heart in mouth stuff for us with black and yellow in the veins and I am looking forward to 2012 for more improvement. Damien Hardwick is a great coach and could be there for 10 years. let’s hope so, because he will bring us a flag.

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