The Wrap: Hawks bow out while Crows confirm finals spot

Where Life Imitates Sport

What a round it’s been in Footy Eddie.  The Hawks bow out once and for all and Adelaide book their place on the starting grid for September 2009.  THE TIGERS cost another coach his career as The Mighty Magpies leap into thirds spot on The Table for a crack at Geelong in the 1st Week of September.  The Coasters raise the Flag once more over Fortress Sooby as The Shinboners advertise their shortcomings to a prospective coach.  The Bullies pull themselves out of the Doghouse up under the palm trees and The Cats use up yet another life as they scramble a win against, without doubt, TBSOOTF*.

Come Sunday and The Dees have something to celebrate for Jummy as they pull off their 4th win for Season 2009 and have only Carlton 7 St Kilda to get over in order to secure Back-to-Back Wooden Spoons & PDPs.  But the biggest news came late on Saturday.  With their one loss in a season at risk – a record in the modern era – The Mosquito Bombers blitzed The Unconquered Saint Kilda and hung on for a Famous Victory.  A Victory that has launched them into September for the first time a lot of the Whingy Hill Faithful can remember.

But what’s all this brouhaha about draft picks?  True, some of the best players in The Competition have come from single figure draft picks.  But just as many have disappeared from The Game without as much as a where are they now?  Dare it be said many of them through the car park at PUNT ROAD?  It’s what you do with your draft picks that matters.  Look no further than Whingy Hill.  Coach Knighter has built the Self Belief of a bunch of kids and they’re not letting him down.  At some stage there will be an announcement that Ross Lyon is the Coach of The Year.  But my money would be with Knighter.

Which begs the question, how come he isn’t he wearing a YELLOW&BLACK bomber jacket?  Another indictment of the muddled thinking and lack of Football nous around at TIGERLAND.

What were the odds before the Essendon match that The Feeling Faints would clean sweep the season?  With North & Melbourne to go, a battle weary 4th place getter as a qualifying opponent in the 1st week and only one team looking capable of taking it up to them in the 2nd half of September, they would have been carrying heaps.  No one likes a big house wins, but now we can get on with The Game.

And how many SOTG noticed The Bombers recorded this Famous Victory without Lucas & Lloyd?  Unfettered Windsock swings free as the winds of change sweep o’er Sweet Whingy Hill.

The eerie jangling continues as the ceaseless rotations of the ghostly carousel cast shadows across the two remaining ticket holders in this never ending saga.  SOTG are suggesting the rides may be worth far less than the face value of the tickets, and only the totally fearless will climb aboard the two remaining rides.

But enough of my gabbin’. Let’s see who got plenty in Round Number Twenty.

THE CROWS    13.16    (94)
THE HAWKS      9.13    (67)
The Leafblowers v The Pride of South Australia.  Hawker Hearts were aflutter across the Leafy East and far away Bangkok as TRP leapt to a five goal break with a minute to go in the Opening Stanza.  Then someone turned out the lights and by the Long Interval they still only had five majors on the board.  They never recovered and SOTG would be suggesting there may be more to this hangover than can be cured with Barocca.  They would be squirming out at Waverly at any comparison with The Baby Bombers of ’93, but it is becoming hard to avoid it.  As hard as it is becoming to avoid comparing The Cats of 2007 with another Sheedy led mob of underachievers.  But that’s a story for another day.  And that Andy McLeod, like a good terra rosa red, he just keeps improving with age.  And don’t those Chardonnays get some effervescence when he swings into action?  He played a pivotal role, yet again, in The Crows amazing turn around.  With 4th Rung well and truly in their sites, they finish with West Coast at Crow Park and Cartoon under cover, probably with the Double Chance as the trophy.  Trent Hentschell is back, and at his sparkling best.  The Chardonnays look every bit a Contender.  The Hawks finish off with a couple of games at The G against RICHMOND & The Bombers to put to bed a Title Defence that never got off the ground.

THE MIGHT MAGPIES        22.20    (152)
THE TOOTHLESS TIGERS      8.11      (59)
STRUGGLETOWN v Carringbush.  Move along.  Nothing to see here.  We’ll there was actually.  For the price of the entry fee you could see The Magpie Machine perform legerdemain like you’ve never seen before.  And may never see again.  They went through THE TIGERS like a dose of salts to maintain their one game buffer on The Doggies and some percentage in case they drop the last game of the H&A rounds against The Aforesaid.  Next weekend they have The Lakers on The G against Steak & Kidney.  A team with which they seem to have little trouble.  THE TIGERS?  What TIGERS?  Come the ¾ Time Huddle and Coach Jade thought shooting a couple would help.  It might have, but we’ll never know.  In true TIGERLAND fashion the gun misfired.  Their biggest problem seems to be that when they get the ball they stop and think.  They manage the first bit OK; it’s the second bit they’re not very good at.  Next weekend they have a match at THOF against 2009’s other big disappointment, Hawthorn.  A trip to Fortress Sooby to close off a miserable season will minimize the pain of TLSPRF.

WEST COAST          17.8    (110)
NTH MELBOURNE    10.12      (72)
The Coasters v The Shinboners.  Make no mistake, the transfer of Josh Kennedy in exchange for The Juddanaught will come back to haunt The Silvertails.  Every kid wants to be a midfielder, and some are even good enough at the Élite Level, but class CHFs are thin on the ground.  And you don’t win Flags without one.  The Weages face a test against The Pride of South Australia at Crow Park next Saturday Arvo and read the last rites over The Toothless Ones to close off what will go down in the annuls as a watershed year.  The Shinboners?  Not a lot of encouragement there for the new coach, nor Caretaker Crocker’s prospects.  They have St Kilda OTR next round and finish off (with) The Chokers over there.

THE DOGS        15.12    (102)
THE LIONS        12.12      (84)
The Lions v The Dogs.  The Doggies took home the prosciutto, but looked far from convincing in doing it.  They were all over Brisbane like a bad suit until The Maroons got some good air.  They were coming home with a wet sail until Old Motormouth torpedoed them close to the line.  The Sons of The West hardly looked convincing, but in reality they had done enough earlier in the day.  However, yet again they had their foot across the throat of an opponent and let them get up.  You see, the other reality was that they needed percentage points every bit as much as the RBA, and they just didn’t bank them on Saturday when they had the chance.  They meet The Handbags next Friday night under cover.  Should they get past them they have The Maggies in a play-off for 3rd spot to finish the H&A Rounds.  The Lions will be rueing drawing with The Bombers and letting this home game slip.  They stay where they are for The Tealers next Saturday night then slip down to Sin City for a State of Origin meet.

GEELONG        13.14    (92)
SYDNEY          13.9    (87)
The Tinseltowners v The Sleepy Hollow Millionaires.  You’d have to start wondering how many Get Out of Jail cards The Moggies have got up their sleeve wouldn’t you?  They’ve used up four lives already this season; five if you count the GF rematch win over Hawthorn.  However, regular readers of this column will be well aware that we unequivocally hold that GTWTCO. And someone must have had a dickie in Gary Junior’s shell pink.  With yet another 40+ possession game he would have to have caught the umpires’ eye.  However, SOTG are suggesting he keep the Kleenex handy and book a caring psychiatrist for the Wednesday after the Brownlow count.  And that He may be better value to Geelong with a Norm Smith Medal than The Elusive Charlie.  They (SOTG) would have also noted that The Pussies were still hopeless in front of goal.  They have The Doggies next Friday followed by Freo at Corio Oval to finish off.  The Bloods, in a year when 10 wins could get you a Final’s Birth, have Collingwood on The Paddock That Grew followed by Brissy at home.  They also have a healthy percentage, for a team in their position, and wouldn’t it be a fairy tale finish for them?  One Football’s Quiet Achiever richly deserves.

MELBOURNE    20.7    (127)
FREMANTLE    9.10      (64)
The Redlegs v The Barry Crockers.  Hearts Beat True for The Red & The Blue, probably for the 1st time in 2009.   With Freo their other bunny (The Tigers are the other – Ed) in The Competition, they stormed home for a percentage boosting win.  With two rounds to go they could still mathematically lose the Coveted Timber Trophy.  They have a Danger Game against The Bluebaggers next Saturday arvo under cover followed a must lose against The Junction Oval Seagulls.  The Anchormen are at home to The Victorious Bombers then travel to Kardinia Park for the last rites on Season 2009.

CARLTON            18.13    (121)
THE CHOKERS          9.13     (67)
The Power Failures v The Bluebaggers.  We don’t have the split on the crowd at Chokers’ Central on Sunday, but by the noise they made, you’d think ½ the 27,221 would be wearing the Persil White Beanies & Scarves All Carlton Knows.  Not that The Tealer Faithful had anything to cheer about.  For a side with 2009 pretentions their effort was a disgrace.  Where they go from here is anybodies guess.  They’re stuck, after a fashion, with Chokko for another whatever years, they’re as welcome as a dose of swine flu in their own town and they have financial problems.  As for the Blues, after all the huffing and puffing they’re finally coming.  Fev slotted another lazy six and looks set to earn his 2nd Coleman Medal.  They’re percentage challenged but are not without a chance of slipping into a top Four Berth.  They start that campaign against Melbourne at Ethelred Stadium next Saturday Arvo.  The 2nd, but not insurmountable leg, is Adelaide at the same venue.

ESSENDON        16.14    (110)
St Kilda        16.12    (108)
The Dive Bombers v The Majestic Feeling Faints at Ethelred Stadium.  This was The Boilover The Bagmen had to have.  The Wrap household for one will be living on roots and leaves till next pension day.  The upside is that The Saints no longer have to worry about going through the season undefeated and can now concentrate on September.  It could be argued that it was fitting that it was the underdog Essendon who would be the ones to roll them, and it speaks volumes of the mettle Coach Knighter has brought to Whingy Hill.  The Bombers totally blitzed the Ladder Leaders in the 2nd Stanza and seemed to have the Saint’s measure.  With Mrs Watson’s Little Boy showing that Xavier College is every bit a training ground as the rock hard winter ovals of Dimboola, he led The Mosquito Bombers with a BoG to be proud of.  With only walking wounded in the medical tent, The Dons had to withstand the inevitable late surge from The Sainters.  It will go down in folk lore that the St Kilda Captain’s wobbly boot let his team down in a crisis and will play on his mind should he ever have to save a match again.  However, the bottom line is that they sit astride The Table and finish off the season against Melbourne and North   The Bombers are in deservedly in The Eight and have Fremantle away and Hawthorn at home to see if they’re good enough to stay there.

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

108

* The Best Side Out of The Finals

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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