The Wrap: Come Sunday and the boilovers continued

The Penultimate Home & Away Round

What a round it’s been in Footy Eddie.  The Doggies chewed up The Pradas which is sure to lift spirits around at The Kennel and have The Handbags thinking about changing their brand name (Maybe to the wet paper bags – Ed).  Carlton win comfortably without looking convincing.  The Carbonated Chardonnays pop their cork for the West Lakes Faithful to send The Eagles home without a feather.  (The word you’re looking for is plucked – Ed)  The Mustard Pots prove too hot for THE TIGERS, and The Power From Port put in a performance suggestive of a royal commission as they waiver an Opening Stanza 48-point lead to secure Brisbane’s return to the Top Echelon of The Competition.

Come Sunday and The Boilovers continued.  The Shinboners rolled out another barrel of the exhilarating elixir as The Culture Club sheds some of its invincibility.  Carringbush shake off The Lakers and add some percentage before their clash with the 4th placed Doggies next Sunday.  And The Barry Crockers produce the Fred Hesse Annihilation Scoreboard of the round as they put The Gliders in the hotseat for Round XXII.

The game of musical merry-go-rounds continues down at PUNT ROAD.  One ride left and two ticket holders.  Damien Hardnose and Geelong assistant Ken Hinkley.  Geelong have told RICHMOND & Ken that he (Ken) will be needed for The Cats’ Finals’ Campaign.  That isn’t looking like a long wait should he be the Anointed One at TIGERLAND..

And have they no shame at Alberton Oval?  They have told DH that if he misses out at TIGERLAND there’s always a position for him at Alberton.  A position right behind the current coach?  The bloke with the bullseye painted on his Teal & Black bomber jacket?  They sure know how to do things wrong over there, eh?

It’s not often that we’re in tune with the Mothers of Melbourne here at The Wrap.  But are we the only ones thinking the season is too long?  With more travel coming up when The Meter Maids and The Western Sydney Inventions join The Competitions, 22 H&A matches looks just too many.  Okay, okay, when the going gets tough the tough get going.  And pacing yourself is part of every race.  But if the Fans want to see pure unadulterated full-on Footy every weekend, there is a case for a shorter season.  The Saints & The Handbags have snapped mentally under the duration of the strain.  The Young Bombers have been running on empty for weeks now, and the agony at Parry Street, Alberton Oval & PUNT ROAD has continued beyond amusement.

Of course there’s always the counter argument that the distance is known at the start of the season, and that from adversity cometh strength and victory.  But there’s a lot of meaningless football played throughout the year, and how many of us feel we could get to the best eight teams slugging out the finals a lot sooner?  After all, how many of the finals are meaningless?

First we’ll take Olympic Park and then we’ll take Berlin.  Steve Hooker has jumped to glory in the World Athletic Championships.  In a jump-off against a couple of vaulting Frogs he launched his torn and tattered body over the bar at 5.9m to take the gold.  Go you Aussie good thing.  Put a gap in ‘em.

Over in the Old Dart Congratulations are due.  And what a series!!!  Two young teams feeling their way, and theirs was the better over five encounters.  You’d have to say Monty’s Last Stand at Cardiff won it as much as Broad’s explosive efforts at The Oval, or Freddie’s at Lords.  Of course you’d be tempted to suggest that some chin music would have dislodged Monty’s turban.  But we’ll let Punter live with that.

And we’ll never know whether Punter & Mr. Cricket could have batted The Saggy Greens to victory had Freddie’s shy missed the stumps.  It didn’t, and what a Boys Own effort it was, eh?  But with another day to go, what was Punter’s hurry?  (Let’s not say anything about it when he gets back, he’s been through enough already – Ed)  Or Nemo hadn’t been given out by Kiwi Bill.  What we do know is that another enthralling series has been fought out in England’s Green & Pleasant Dust Bowl.  After death & taxes, one more certainty awaits The Three Lions – the defense of The Ashes in The Wide Brown Land where the fields are green and the pitches grassed.  Very well grassed.

We just hope they remember to present The Oval groundsman with his MBE.  It would be churlish to leave him out of it.  And have him up the front of the bus as it drives into Trafalgar Square.  Who was Trafalgar anyway?  It doesn’t sound like a very English sort of name.

But enough of my gabbin’.  Let’s see who’s the gun after Round XXI.

FOOTSCRAY     16.14    (110)
GEELONG        14.12      (96)
The Dogs v The Cats.  The Bullies were out of the box faster than the hare and looked to have this one put away by the Long Break.  Their opponent’s bad kicking on goal the only thing keeping The Moggies in the contest.  But when Mad Dog Mooney, the insecure Stokes and Big Tommy Hawkins start kicking straight you know you’re in trouble.  By the end of the Championship Quarter The Cats where in front by a whisker.  An ordinary side would have given up at this stage.  Not The Sons of The West.  It was goal for goal till there was only 10 minutes to go.  Then The Scrays put their foot down.  On top of that, when Mooney, Stokes and Hawkins started missing you know you’re home & hosed.  Football’s most famous bottom lip was all aquiver as Matthew Scarlett took them aside and was seen speaking earnestly to the Playing Group.  We may never know what he was saying, but they came away muttering to themselves.  For The Dogs it was a Famous Victory, and atoned for the one kick defeat earlier in the season.  Never mind the margin, they hit the post five times in the 1st Half.  Prez Smorgy came down and hugged Rocket after he (Rocket) had huddled the Playing Group for a D&M after the Final Siren.  We’re we the only ones who had a flashback to Prez Dicker hugging Coach Schwab after a rare Hawthorn win in dark & bygone Glenferrie days?  SOTG will recall it as a less than heart warming moment.  The Tricolours play The Collingwoods next round to learn whether they play The Pivotonians again or face the Mighty Feeling Faints the following week.  The Pussies have the Barry Crockers at The Cattery.

THE SILVERTAILS    24.9    (153)
THE REDLAGS        15.6      (96)
The Blues v The Redlegs.  With The Fev picking up a lazy seven that all but ensures his 2nd Coleman Medal, and his team kicking The Sweep, The Bluebaggers prepare themselves for their 1st September outing since the Black Jack Elliot days.  SOTG may be inclined to ask how they let Melbourne kick 15.6 against them at a time when percentage could decide whether they have a home final.  Regardless, the flags are at full mast along La Via Lygon and talk among Benito and the paperboys, global warming and the GFC quickly forgotten, is of a new dawn along Royal Parade.  For The Dees there were promising signs.  Add a couple of top class draft picks and 2010 beckons.  They finish off the season against The All Conquering Saints at The G on Sunday.  The Miseries have a 5th Rung challenge against The Pride of South Australia on Saturday Arvo on the Little Ground at the other end of Bourke Street.

TPOSA    18.14    (112)
WCE        7.6      (48)
The Pride of South Australia v The West Coast Eagles.  Forget who owns the pub over there, SOTG & Punters alike should be taking this Adelaide mob seriously.  It wasn’t the 18.14 so much as the miserly 7.6 they let through that is the true measure of their threat in September.  We’re not saying they’ll go all the way, but they have a team ethos and game plan (And the skills to carry it out Wrap.  Don’t forget the skills – Ed) to take them into the 2nd fortnight.  The Free Settlers start applying the pressure next week when they have The Blues on The G.  The Weagles slip aboard the Indian Pacific in full knowledge of their own very special challenge in Round XXII.  RICHMOND at Subiaco.

BRISBANE        16.11    (107)
THE CHOKERS      14.8      (92)
The Lions v The Chokers.  If you had 10 goals straight booted against you in the Opening Term, which team would you want to have kicked them to give yourself a chance of overhauling them?  No Nurelle, not the Nar Nar Goon 3rds.  The Nar Nar Goon 3rds would start in the red against this mob.  That’s right Little Johnny – The Power From Port.  In The True Port Adelaide Tradition they jumped the Brisbane Bears and looked to cash in on the $5.50 Norm Not So Smart & The Boys had been waving around like free fairy floss.  Then they shut up shop.  With CentreBet advertising quarter by quarter offerings on the big screen, how long did anyone think it would be before a cash strapped club saw some re-charge money going begging?  You say there’s no tanking ????????  You might be looking at the wrong end of The Ladder mate.  Brissy limp into September, but anything positive that happens up in Bananaland is Good For Football.  Isn’t that right ????????  The Lions have The Bloods down on Coat Hangar Bay next Saturday night.  The True Believers have North at Footy Park on Saturday night.  But don’t bet on them turning up.  From what’s coming out of the City of Light, it’s that bad.

THE MAYBLOOMS    18.14    (122)
THE TOOTHLESS          14.9      (93)
RICHMOND v The Hawks.  THE TIGES put up a better show than the previous two weeks and always looked to be in this one.  Except on the scoreboard.  Hawthorn’s inaccuracy kept them in THE TIGES contest and it is something the Hawks’ forwards – ready Buddy – will need to look at.  And the way things sit, it’s something that may not wait till next season.  Look, this was an entertaining match and The Family Club was at its unsociable best.  Buddy, like pepper & salt, was in everything.  He gave Benny Cousins a hip and shoulders you’d ride your bike down from Wangaratta to see.  There’s talk of video scrutiny, but if they take that out of THE GAME you’d stop going.  And in an encouraging sign for their new coach, THE TIGERS finally had someone on Dr. Brukner’s injury list.  The Hawkers’ season is still alive when they meet The Dive Bombers in a winner takes September Glory encounter next Saturday at the traditional time on the Big Stage.  Cousins’ concussion may prevent him catching up with his adoring Subiaco fans on Friday night.

NORTH MELBOURNE    10.4    (64)
THE FEELING FAINTS    8.11    (59)
The Feeling Faints OTR v The Shinboners.  For the 2nd successive week St Riewoldt’s kicking yipes have cost the Saints.  But then, it was his efforts and just a few of his teammates that kept The Seagulls in this one.  Naturally, the question on everyone’s lips is are they gone?  They were decidedly off colour, but gone?  Hardly.  Melbourne will find out next week how much they’re gone when they invite them to play on The Paddock That Grew.  The Roos did it for Shannon Watt’s last game and Brady Rawlings’ 200th.  And for their new coach, sitting alongside Prez Brayshaw.  The Norsemen recharge the barrel and load it aboard The Overlander for next Saturday night’s knees up with The Troubled Port Power.

COLLINGWOOD        13.19    (97)
SOUTH MELBOURNE       8.8    (56)
Carringbush v Steak & Kidney.  While not The Bloods of mid decade, The Sydney Swans are nothing if not a professional outfit.  That they were able to stay with The Pies till the Long Break verifies that.  Then The Maggies unveiled the Magic Show.  Make no mistake: these Pies are straight out of the microwave.  They’ve got some great young talent.  Dayne Beams and Brad Dick amongst them.  Dick’s built like a Federal match but is as wily as foxy in a grain store.  Take you eye off him for a second and he’s snagged a brace and the runner’s on your case.  For The Swans it looked like their last hoorah.  They’d taken The Moggies & The Saints to a close run thing, and SOTG may be suggested that these three contests – this one and the other two – are a measuring stick of the Top Three for September.  The Tinseltowners have invited their Northern Neighbour down to put some closure to the end of The Bloods Era.  The Woodsmen, in a rare sojourn away from THOF, visit The Tricolours on the other side of the CBD to decide once and for all who gets 1st crack at Geelong next month.

DANGEROUS FREO    21.15    (141)
THE GLIDERS          13.9      (87)
The Barry Crockers v The Mosquito Fleet.  Would the real Barry Crockers please stand up?  And would the real Bomber’s please stand up and be counted.  With everything to gain, The Gliders lost the wind beneath their wings.  Now they have to face their old Nemesis Hawthorn on The G next Saturday to see who earns the dubious honour of bowing out in Week One of September.  In what is looming as a season too far for the Whingy Hill Mob, they were outsized and out run by the more match-ready Dockers.  With Watson held and the injury list growing as the match progressed, it was all too much for the Young Bombers.  SOTG & the Investment Community  could find themselves analysing the ever growing injury list that has blossomed since the Wind Sock has been unleashed.  Mark Harvey would have taken mixed pleasure from the win.  Their last outing for 2009 is a trip down to the Bottom End of The Bay as a sparring partner for The Pivotonians on Saturday Arvo.

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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