THE WRAP – ROUND IV – THE ROUND
WHERE LIFE IMITATES FOOTBALL
What a round it’s been in Footy Eddie. Last week it was Black Caviar, this week it’s The Black Cats; they too took on the cream of Sydney Town and showed them that they can do it running amok. Down in Lonny, The Hawks continued on their winning way, setting The Anchormen’s September schedule back a notch. The Endangered Species took a reality check as Carringbush consolidated its Top Four Credentials. The Bombers blitzed The Feeling Faints & The Power From Port did a similar number on The Sunbeams.
Come Sunday and The Fuchasias find the inner Devil as they storm home to put a dint in their Coveted Sylvan Shield Aspirations. The Crows made sure the Scrays had a dog day afternoon. And The Shinboners won comfortably over The Maroons.
Watching the match down in the Apple Isle, Mrs Wrap was aghast at the number of empty seats. She said that if Tassy are so keen for a team down there they’re going to have to show that they can turn up for a game. Here we’ve lent them the best team going around and they can’t fill the ground on a dry day. For the record, 12,619 turned up at Hork Park. 11,332 turned up at The Metricon to watch local team take on Port Adelaide. Even The Friendless Demons pulled 20,018 to THOF.
Not sure who still gets The Sage since they’ve downsized, but we caught a disturbing headline on Saturday’s front page. No Nurelle, not that one. And yes, I used to cry when he sang Two Little Boys too. No, it was the one about the whistle blower that linked organized crime to performance and recreational drugs and their distribution through the fitness & sports science industries. The whistle blower, Shane carter, is a journeyman of the industry who served some time at Whingy Hill. He heard Shoeless Jim tell Dank Stephen that he must protect the health of his players, adhere to the drug regulations and liaise with the club doctor Bruce Read. (Pity he didn’t put it in an email – Ed) He’s quoted as saying in the piece, “If I want to be part of the solution then I should co-operate with (The ASADA)”. We’ll be keeping our subscription going for a bit longer yet. And could it be that Kero is better informed on this matter than the Great Helmsman?
Maggot Watch I. The umpiring in Friday night’s classic encounter was made all the better by some of the best umpiring we’ve seen for ages. Sure the players made it easy by playing fierce but fair football, but the three officiators still had to keep pace with the contest and make the right call. Now – and I think you might be ahead of us here Wrappers – if they can do it once, why in the name of Ross Oakley can’t they do it every week? Doesn’t The Geisha sit them down on Tuesday night at Maggot Central, roll the tape and say, here you go Lads, this is what we’re looking for out there on Game Day? If he doesn’t, you’d have to say he’s not the right man for the job.
Maggot Watch II. Just to show the Beitzel Medal means something to them around at Maggot Central, they were back to their inconsistent and biased best for The Big One at The G on Saturday Arvo. And you guessed it Football Lovers; it was The Poor Old Tigers who wore the brunt of the inconsistency.
But enough of my gabbin, let’s see who’s going to be knocking down the door after Round IV.
The Bloods v The Pivotonians. If you had your sister’s in-laws over from Manchester and wanted to show them how easy it is to score goals, you could have done a lot worse than take them to Friday night’s game at Moore Park Road. Wasn’t it just a classic shootout? The Handbags were loaded up with house bricks, and this, in the end, was the difference. But make no mistake, if you want to win This Year’s Flag you’re going to have to get past both of these two, one way or the other. They put on the best display of hand-to-hand fighting since The Diggers & The Samurais slugged it out at Milne Bay and Kokoda. (The Diggers won that series BTW, two & zip – Ed) In the end it was the Swans who blinked. At one stage they looked to be cruising towards a handy 3-goal Half Time lead when, quicker than a Cat can blink its eye, they were happy to go in for a breather less than a straight kick to the good. Then in the Championship Quarter, one that The Cats are rapidly making their own, they took control of the contest. Last week it was Steak & Kidney who turned on the master class with an 11-goal quarter. This time they were on the receiving end. The Visitors broke away with a 7-4 blitz that smashed The Bloods. Just how explosive The Hoopers can be was demonstrated by The Big Tomahawk. He’d been running around like a great big girl all night; teddy Richards wearing him like a glove. Suddenly he clunks one and sends it through post high. He finished with three for the half and gave the Swans’ defence something to think about. As if they didn’t have enough to think about with Motlop running riot. (Imaging him and The Hon Edward C Betts playing down the same line – Ed) The Bloods managed 5-1 in the Final Term, but that only brought them up to where The Moggies were at the Citrus Huddle. The Cats are going to The Dogs next Saturday night under cover. The Bloods have St Seaford across The Ditch at Windy Wellington for an Anzac Day match. (A pity they couldn’t have taken Friday night’s match across to Kiwi – Ed)
The Mayblooms v The Longshoremen. This was no more than a walk in the park for the Boys From Glenferrie. They kicked five goals in three of the four quarters, strangely releasing the pressure in the Championship Quarter when they scrambled 3-2. On the down side, they may have lost Schoenmakers to a knee injury. He was having a breakout season and The Hawks felt that at last they’d found a replacement for the Icon Zac Dawson. The Shoe joins Suckling on the long-term injury list and makes the recruitment of Brian Lake look inspirational. They have Arch Enemy & Traditional Rivals North Melbourne at The G to close off Round V. The Barry Crockers have now lost two on the trot and, without Big Laurie and The Pav, look seriously undermanned. They get their chance to rebound against The Striped Marvels on Saturday night over on the Western Extreme of The Fatal Shore.
The Wasps v The Magpies. It was at The Home of Football. It was a Saturday Arvo. The away team wore the white shorts, the home team the black. Richmond v Collingwood. A sunny day with a coolish southerly stiffening the flags. Over 80,000 at the ground. The Tiger Army faced off against The Black&White Army. The stage was set. An arm wrestle till the Long Interval, with The Yellow&Black banner of Struggletown holding the high ground. Then the floodgates opened. The Tiges couldn’t find the handle on the pigskin let alone find enough fingers to plug the dyke, and as the on-field & scoreboard pressure built, they lost their composure. In fact they unravelled. On the few occasions they got hold of the ball they played jittery football, made basic errors and took easy options rather than boldly making the play. (You have to have Self Belief – and the ball – to be bold Wrap – Ed). They were taught a valuable lesson, albeit a humiliating one, on Saturday. Hopefully, for TLSPRF, the humiliation will make the lesson stick. Cloke had a blinder, and if he keeps it up he’s going to help launch Carringbush into Top Four Contention. Swan had a 200th game to remember and The Moth Eaten Ones a game to forget to go with their lesson to remember. One thing The Tiggers may wish to take out of this match is that they won a quarter – the 1st, lost another – the 2nd, and drew the last. It was in the Championship Quarter where they let themselves down. But you can only play as well as your opponent will let you. (The pattern was the same in the corresponding match last year if you remember; one bad quarter saw them have their worse loss for the season – Ed) They pick up the Overland to the City of Light to connect with the Indian Pacific for an encounter with The Anchormen next Saturday. The Maggies have a short break till Anzac Day.
The Feeling Faints v The Chemical Catalogues. The Sainters were never in this one, and although they were up against an ever-improving Whingy Hill Combination, it looked very much like the tide is ebbing down at Eel Race Road. That BG’s former teammates and TLSJOF felt he walked out on them for money was made emphatically clear. It visibly shook the former Saint Hero, but you do have to wonder what he expected. The first thing the Nomadic Saints load when they fold their tents is The Animal Cage. And although slight in number, every Son & Daughter of St Kilda wears their fanaticism on their sleeve. Brendan, if you weren’t urinated on you got off lightly. The Seagulls weren’t in the picture from the first bounce and it wouldn’t have been the sort of preparation they would have wanted for their Anzac Day Clash over in the Windy City with TRP OTR. The Same Olds go on to their own Anzac Day Blockbuster next Thursday.
The Screaming Heaps v The Stalled Oxen. Would someone over in the State of Excitement like to explain to the not-so-wise men & women of The East what the Hell is going on over at Subiaco? We send you over a sacrificial lamb and you can’t even get it up on the gambrel. Here we were already lining up our favourite list of Silvertail Supporters for a Monday Roast and you let them get up. Going down to Hawthorn at Fortress Subiaco is one thing, letting Carlton beat you is inexcusable. You were supposed to load them on the redeye zip & 4, with either Melbourne or GWS sitting above them on The Ladder. And while we’ve got you there, did you know that no team has won a Premiership from outside the Top Four since the new McIntyre system was instituted at the end of the last century. (Making the September Cut may be hard enough the way they’re going – Ed) You have a trip to the City of Churches next Saturday Night to take on the surprise packets of 2013, Port Adelaide. The Only Team All Carlton Knows host The Other Croweater Team at The People’s Ground in the gathering gloom next Saturday. But let’s not get too carried away with The Bluebaggers win. They were playing a team that is badly out of form, a team that managed the princely score of 7-23 on the night. True, eight of those behinds were rushed, but still. The Stalled Oxen kicked 12-17 (4 rushed), and relished being given so much unfenced pasture in which roam. Other coaches may not be so generous as to leave the stable door unlocked.
The Sunbeams v The Power. Everything went to script at The Metricon on Saturday night. The Little Master got his usual 35 possessions and a visiting team that is on its game nearly doubled their score after The Young Suns led at the 1st Huddle. As the strain of performing at the Elite Level takes a toll on immature bodies, it’s not getting any easier for Bluey McKenna to field a preferred starting XXII. And as big as Little Gazza’s engine is, wear and tear has to take its toll. (Are you suggesting that there are signs of that showing up already Wrap?- Ed) Port host The West Coasters next Saturday night. The Metermaids are down to the National Capital for a contest against Go West Sydney! A contest that could well decide who holds aloft The Coveted Sylvan Shield on The Last Sunday in August.
The Recalcitrant Redlegs v The Sons of The Other West. It was looking decidedly as though Melbourne had forgotten how not to tank on Sunday. Sitting just shy of three goals down at the Citrus Huddle, they’d had a 4-goal Opening Stanza followed by two quarters when they managed to muddle three a term. The Long Suffering Fuchsia Faithful were entitled to wonder where their players were going to find the three goals to bridge the gap plus enough to outscore The Kids from The West Side Of The Town? With Coach Neeld’s coaching career flashing before his eyes, he watched as if by a miracle, his charges slammed on a club record 12-2 for the term. (Better check the long-term stats too, not many clubs would have kicked 12 goals in a quarter since the days when Hawthorn & University were chopping blocks – Ed) The Orangemen had plenty to fight for, but it had been a long day, and the explosion of intensity from their opponents caught them and their oh so screwed Coach completely by surprize. The Dees are off to warmer climes next Sunday to tackle The Lions. The Goliaths have invited The Little Rays of Sunshine down to Manuka Oval for the early one on Saturday.
The Free Radicals v The Bitzers. After a promising start to the season, The Kennel Coughs have gone to the dogs. While it wasn’t the best day for high scoring Football, it has to be said that 4-4 over four quarters of Little League would be considered sub-standard. They failed to score in what was effectively more than half a game of Football. The Crows managed 12-8 in the same conditions and moved up into The Eight on the strength of the percentage-boosting win. And it has to be said, they looked much more comfortable against The Toothless Bulldogs than they did when faced with That Old Port Adelaide Aggression. They play on The Big Stage in the gathering gloom of next Saturday when they take on The Victorious Bluebaggers. It’s hard to say an encouraging word about the Doggies’ performance. Hopefully they can put it behind them when they line up for a Dog & Cat scrap on Saturday night. At least the roof will be closed for this one.
The Gasometer Pushovers v The Boys From Old Fitzroy. This time it was The Shinboners delivering the Premiership Quarter master class. Holding nearly a 6-goal advantage at the Long Interval with a wasteful 8-13, The Norsemen blasted their opposition away with a 7-3 when the match was there to be won. There would have been a sigh of relief across Arden Street big enough to reinflate the Gasometer. And didn’t Majid bring some colour and flare to The Kangas’ line-up? He left the oval when he copped a welcome-to-the-Elite-Level steadying knock that hopefully won’t sideline him for too long. They have The Hawks on The Paddock That Grew to close off Round V. The Bad News Bears just didn’t fire. Once Jonathon Brown was held it gave Lindsay Thomas the chance to launch attack after attack. Where they go from here, after looking so promising in taking the GAS Cup, is anybody’s guess. Where they’ll be next Sunday is easy; they’ll be back in the Lions’ Den waiting for The Juicy Redlegs to turn up.
And remember, if you read it in the Wrap you’ll know it’s not crap.
Let me leave you with the wisdom of Benjamin Franklin and Tim Lane this week.
Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may happen. Keep in the sunlight.
The time for overt support for Hird is after his name has been cleared.
Don’t want to sound morbid or anything like that, but death is a reality of our time and must be squarely faced. We hope this little parable helps.
Three men were discussing what they’d like people to say at their funeral.
Ben said, “I would like them to say he was a wonderful husband and a great family man”.
Matt said, “I would like them to say he was a wonderful teacher and philanthropist who made a huge difference to peoples’ lives”.
Sam thought about it for a while and said, “I’d like them to say look, he’s moving!”.
The Wrap office will be taking a short break this coming week. We’ll be back on deck for Round VII.