The Wrap: Round XXII

What a round it’s been in Footy Eddie.  THE TIGERS exit Season 2009 in pretty much the same way they entered it – with an embarrassing thumping, this time at the hands of next years’ big improver.  The Hoopers got back on the winners’ list with an impressive win in the wet down at The Cattery.  The Bombers downed the Blackhawks in another one for the annals of both clubs.  Adelaide provided the Fred Hesse Annihilation scoreboard for Round XXII as they gave The Royal Parade Silvertails their come uppance.  The Lions spoilt the farewell celebrations for The Bloods, and North sign off on The Chokers’ annus horribilis.

Come Sunday and we saw The Saints do what it was expected of them, no more and no less.  Then it was Collingwood’s turn to stamp the Lexus Centre brand on the 2009 Premiership Season.  SOTG are asking whether The Maggies could have reached into the wrong showbag.

And here we are in September Wrappers.  And what a September it promises to be.  With five sides capable of making it through to TLSIS, we look set for a Jacobean banquet of Football.  The two sentimental favourites are striving for their 2nd Pennant.  The Pivotonians are seeking redemption for their 2008 failure.  The Pride of South Australia is representing the interests of the Free Settlers who made the City of Churches what it is today.  And Collingwood, let’s not forget Collingwood.  Where would we be without The Collywobbles in September?

And what a journey it’s been.  The Coaches Carousel almost stripped its planetary gears with the load it had to carry in 2009.  It’s all settled down for now and we look to 2010 for glimmers of wisdom in the various decisions.

The Artful Football League, whipped into a frenzy of marketing madness by the Blind Mullah, set OUR GREAT GAME on a dangerous course of possible destruction on the jagged reefs of Western Sydney and the shifting sandbars of Nerang.  Ignoring the oldest axiom in Football – don’t flirt with winning form – and in the face of sound advice from anyone who has a feel for THE GAME (K. Sheedy excepted – Ed), he has launched a campaign that is destined to feed a generation into a mincing machine of fabricated football.  A curse on his spawn.  (And his spawn’s spawn – Ed)

We have witnessed the rebirth of The West Coast Eagles after their mid decade decimation.  We’ve been inspired by the futile rearguard action of their Protagonists of those heady days.  We’ve looked askance at the free fall of THE TIGERS as they disappeared into the abyss, there but for the grace of God …….. .  And we’ve been mystified and concerned, in a deep kind of concerned way, about the continuing madness of Prince Alberton.  We’ve stood by gobsmacked as The Family Club tried to throw off an everlasting Premiership Hangover, and stood by helplessly as The Fuchsias tanked their way to Back-to-Back Sylvan Shields and a PDP.  One of the feel good stories of the journey was the move of The Kangaroos into their new enclosure and the appointment of a new keeper.  But as hard as we tried, no one was able to unravel the enigma that is Port Fremantle, least of all their Harbour Master.

The Maxwell Rule is under the spotlight again.  This time it’s the Essendon Sniper Skipper catching the attention of the Invertebrates around at the Star Chamber.  The tape clearly shows Pretty Boy II being pushed into the contest and the Whingy Hill legal team at Downright Lie & Procrastinate will be leading with that defence.  As a red herring Sir Frank Downright has declared he will trot out Campbell Brown’s death threat.  They’re confident the combined argument will carry the day.  However, they’re going to be busy getting some of the others off.  Paddy Ryder’s short righty jab only travelled 6” but slackened Hodge’s jaw.  And Jared Atkinson may be assisting the boot studder next week as well.

How did you all go in your respective tipping competitions?  We’ve been very impressed with Tommy Lane’s little girl Samantha.  She only missed out on North Melbourne in Round XXII and finished with 133.  Anyone able to top that?

The dummy spitting at Hawthorn continues.  Which raises the benefits of reflection.  Has anyone been around long enough to remember the demise of the last RICHMOND ERA?  By coincidence it coincided with the rise of North Melbourne under Barras and The Hawks under John Kennedy &Parko.  THE TIGERS had believed their era would last for a thousand years and couldn’t cope with not being spoken of as the greatest football team ever.  They ranted and raged at the dimming of the light but time still passed them by.  Something they could take on board out at Waverly.

But enough of my gabbin’. Let’s see who went through after Round XXII.

THE COASTERS        17.23    (125)
THE WASPS                6.9      (45)
The Weagles v THE TIGERS.  What can you say?  THE TIGERS were a disgrace.  There’s no other word for it.  A disgrace to their Jumper.  A disgrace to their families.  A disgrace to their school.  But the worst of all, they were a disgrace to THE GAME.  That astute SOTG and PUNT ROAD TRAGIC Mick Malloy, talking on Before The Game, said it all when asked to comment on Coach Hardnose’s appointment.  It only took two words – Good Luck.  I mean, they could hardly get the ball back into play after a behind had been scored by the opposition.  This wasn’t character building, this was death by a thousand cuts for TLSPRF.   Was it any wonder they couldn’t look their Caretaker Coach in the eye as they slunk off Subiaco Oval to end their 2009 Debacle.  An encouraging sign for The TIGERS is that the first name cut from the list was K. Sheedy.  And the word in the Deep Woods and around the tough waterside bars of Morristown is that they’ve swapped the scalpel for a scythe down at TIGERLAND.  The cuts will be savage and far reaching.  The Eagles on the other hand closed off 2009 with a resounding win.  From Round XVII they’ve lost narrowly in the Derby, rolled Essendon, North & RICHMOND at Fortress Sooby and topped the Doggies at The Boutique.  Two loses in the final six rounds is as good as any of the top six teams.  They’ve gone from 15th with a 4-18 win loss ratio and a percentage of 65.76% in 2008 – that’s right Nurelle, 65.76% – to 11th with 8-14 and a percentage of 93.3%.  They’ve got plenty of well built, smooth moving youngsters running around and are we alone in thinking the clearance of J. Kennedy is going to come back to haunt The Silvertails?  Put a red circle around them for your August Ladder tips in two oh one oh.

THE MOGGIES        14.10    (94)
THE ANCHORMEN    8.6    (54)
The Pradas v The Barry Crockers.  Bomber had that Cheshire Cat grin on his boyish face at the Post Match Press Conference, and so would have Pivotonians across the basalt plains and beyond.  In conditions that left no doubt in anyone’s mind that Football is a Winter Game, The Pussies played themselves into some form.  Big Tomahawk, maybe favoured by the conditions, looked unbeatable and the return of Bradley Ottens went well.  They’re getting a few back and they know how to handle September.  Stevie J would be a help, and P. Chapman is a necessity, but let’s see what pans out.  We’re told not to let a Black Cat cross our paths from an early age.  Something for Mickey the Maltster and his Charges to contemplate.  The Barry Crockers finished off the season with six wins – the same as last year – but whereas they were stiff a few times in 2008, in 2009 they dropped from a percentage of 93.73% to 77.34%.  You’d have to say that, like the little boy with the wheelbarrow, Mark Harvey has job before him.

ESSENDON            16.20    (116)
HAWTHORN        14.15      (99)
The Mayblooms v The Gliders.  Every time these two meet The Line in The Sand deepens.  When Pretty Boy II ran from the goal square to Buddy Franklin Brad Sewell it attained the proportions of a moat.  But there’s something not quite right out at Waverly.  They usually start and win the fight and go on to win the match.  They had The Gliders on the ropes at the Long Interval and seemed set to go on with it.  True, they were two short on the bench, and it has been a long season.  They’ll be going straight into Season 2010 AWS.  However, were we the only ones a bit confused by what was happening in the Hawks’ VIP Box?  The Prez and the 1st Lady seem to barracking for different teams.  Jeff was back to his raucous best.  Like the good old days in Spring Street, he was on his feet at the dispatch box challenging the actions of the opposition.  At the same time Flick seemed to be taking a light hearted view of the matter.  Not quite stand by your man stuff, but then there are many who admire an independent streak in a woman.  There are sure to be repercussions from this match and it’s possible that either side would have battled to field a team next week.  While there are some in the Red&Black of Bomberland who will be bending an ear on the factory floor or the staff room with news that The Scum are BIT, SOTG will see it more as a good effort and some September exposure for the youngsters.  In fact if Scragger Fletcher’s hip swells up from a corkie and the Invertebrates at the Star Chamber hold their nerve in the Lloyd case, there won’t be a player running out onto Crow Park for The Dons next Saturday who has played beyond August.  And Maggot of The Year prospect McLaren didn’t do his chances any harm when he overlooked – with the match in the balance – Chance Bateman nearly having his head ripped off in the Hawthorn Goalsquare.  From the footage he certainly appeared to have Jeff’s vote.  Maybe Flick was onto Jellymont House registering it when the camera’s caught the Former 1st Couple at different levels of intensity.

THE PRIDE OF SA        27.14    (176)
LES MISERABLES          16.8    (104)
The Bluebaggers v The Pride of South Australia.  The flags are flying at half mast again along La Via Lygon.  The Blues Brothers can look along Royal Parade all they like, but the only thing they’ see coming is the North Coburg tram.  Fev has clinched the Coleman Medal, and deserves the gong.  He is pure theatre when in full flight and to see him and Eddie in tandem is a coming attraction we’ll look forward to next weekend when they slip up the Coast Road to take on the Brisbane Lions.  They’ve got a few triers but the rest of them rely too much on The Juddanaught to give them drive.  And we never thought we’d be penning this, but their defence misses Vin Waite something shocking.  We’ve had desk blotters that have done more mopping up than Thornton & Wiggins.  The Chardonnays slip home to see if Essendon can muster a team for next week’s Elimination Final.  They’re in awesome shape and know how to win from 5th.  They’re nearly at full strength and have confidence in their Game Plan and Self Belief in each other.  True, they weren’t playing the most committed defence in the Competition, but they still demonstrated an awesome fire power and their defence, even without Bock is sound.  They could regain the services of the All Australian CHB next weekend as well as the half handy midfielder Nathan Van Berlo.  With an easy match going into the 2nd week, they present a real threat to September.

THE MAROONS        15.10    (100)
THE BLOODS        14.8    (92)
The Bloods v The Maroons.  27,933 turned up to watch The Bloods fall just shy – yet again – of beating a September Contender.  And there were plenty of deciding moments, as there always is in The Close One.  But sadly, the Fairy Tale send off for Leaping Leo, Mickey O and Crouchie wasn’t to be.  They have been outstanding members of a truly outstanding Football Team and will be missed, by all of us.  Mickey’s eyes weren’t the only moist ones as the trio walked of the Sydney Cricket Ground in the Blood Stained Jumper for the last time.  They’ve got some youngsters coming up, but who hasn’t.  The Remnants of their Bloods Team of 2006 & 2007 will see out Coach Roos and we’ll see a new Sydney Outfit in 2011.  John Longmire’s Sydney Outfit.  By the way, for those holding tickets on Adam Goodes’ 3rd Brownlow, you’ll be glad to hear that a sympathetic umpire would have been entitled to give him a vote or two.  For the Lions, it’s back to Brissy to prepare for The Blubaggers next weekend.  They played some good Footy on Saturday night and any game against the Bloods is a good hitout.  They’ve lost their two matches against Carlton this year, and their Elimination Match should be a corker.

THE SHINBONERS    10.11    (71)
THE WEAVERS          9.13    (67)
The Basket Weavers v The Shinboners.  Sure the 50m was there technically.  And Nathan Krakouer will be copping heaps, on top of what he’s giving himself.  But a maggotorial finger wag would have sufficed.  Especially for the Rugby League sized crowd of 17,284 who had braved a real Mount Lofty sort of night at the New Arctic Park to farewell The Tealers for Season 2009.  And as a farewell gesture to two who have given their all to the Teal, White & Black.  True Servants of The Club, Ornaments to The Game and Favourite Sons, Peter Burgoyne & Brendan Lade, we salute you.  But it would have to be said the result and how it came about summed up The Dealers year and may be even prophetic of their future.  Chokko scotched contractual rumours by assuring BTG viewers he’d signed on for the next two years.  Not everyone has applauded this move and there should be concerns at Jellymont House that Port Adelaide, as a competitive, stand-alone entity, could fall through a Fitzroy sized crack.  For Good Old North Melbourne the future doesn’t look all that bad.  They finished the last month under Caretaker Crocker 3-1.  And the mood in the dressing room – in stark contrast to the one at TIGERLAND – is of a buoyant and positive Band of Brothers.  Season 2010 may be one of re-building, but they’re building on sound spiritual foundations.

THE SAINTS        14.16    (114)
THE REDLEGS          10.7      (67)
The Fuchsias v The Feeling Faints.  The Dees gave as good as they got, unfortunately, their best fell short of the Competition Benchmark’s best and they bowed out of Season 2009 with their 2nd consecutive Timber Trophy.  They also farewelled Russel Robertson.  Robbo has vowed to play on if anyone will have him but his best bet seems to be as a gag writer for Before The Game.  The Saints put in a workmanlike performance, one in which they kicked over a 100 points and nearly doubled their opponents score.  They have Carringbush next Sunday in what could be a rematch of their epic 1966 Grand Final.  For The Demons it’s straight to the Draft Table, collect the Priority Draft Pick on way and get ready for the Coming of Gary Season 2010.

SONS OF THE WEST    14.16    (100)
CARRINGBUSH        10.16      (76)
Collingwood v Footscray.  Old Man Form is a fickle thing, he’ll leave you just as quickly as Lady Luck.  And it doesn’t take much to send him onto his next gig.  The Pies were full of it going into this contest, but so were the Doggies.  The difference on the day was that Collingwood’s key forwards were outplayed by Footscray’s key backmen.  Under pressure, the usual adroitness of the Magpie Magic Men was not as sharp as it was required to be against an in form opponent.  And what an in form opponent?  Drive out of a tight and cohesive backline, a hard, sharp and skilful midfield and goal scoring options everywhere.  They have The Cats again next week, which should have them salivating around at The Kennel, but let it be said, and remember you heard it first here at The Wrap, they’re going to find a different Cat than the one they measured up in Round XXI.  The Woodsmen were exposed where they are most vulnerable: up forward.  If their short game unravels they don’t have key forwards who can wrest the ball from the air or crunch the packs.  Restricting The Pies to goalsneaking, restricts them to low percentage plays.  They bring the house down when they come off, but howls of derision and moans of anguish when they fail to come off.  Don’t get us wrong, here at The Wrap we feel they are the best team in The Competition by far at making something of nothing; Neon Leon, Brad Dick, Magic Meddy, Diddums Didak & Dale Showpony Thomas are in a class of their own, and Tarkyn Lockyer reads the play and provides a stable counter balance.  But it all depends on touch, and a lot of up-field work to get the ball down to the scoring zone.  With The Maggies’ game plan, that means a lot of handling and with each exchange there resides an inherent risk.   If you’re off song or under pressure it can make you look a bit of a goose.  They have The Feeling Faints on Sunday.  The last time these two met The Seagulls served up an 88 point humiliation.  But that was in Round VI, and under the AFL’s Collingwood Feather Bed Policy they have been shielded from The Saints since then.  However, the real cost of the 24 point loss to The Bullies is more than psychological.  Their fall back position, should they lose to St Kilda, is the least attractive Double Chance option: The Pride of South Australia, very likely at full strength.

Good tipping and even better punting.

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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