Greetings all for another installment,
Back to Melbourne and back to the reality of winter weather. Once again no shortage of news, both worthy and unworthy. But this week focus is on the Match Review Panel and the tribunal. The majority of the discussion early in the week was about the injustice of the penalty handed down to Sharrod Wellingham compared to the time Kade Simpson will spend on the sidelines. Whilst I might have disagreed with the MRP interpretation of reckless compared to deliberate, they laid the rules down as per their interpretation and got it right. He did get a pretty good discount but that’s the rules. There is no “eye for an eye” rule and never has been, Jim O’Dea only spent 8 weeks on the sidelines for ruining the career of John Greening.
The one that raised my ire from a club perspective is the ridiculous situation that has arisen from the suspension incurred by Robert Warnock in the VFL. His one match sanction must be served for a VFL game, however with the Blues having a bye this week it effectively becomes a two match ban. This situation arises because of the insanity of the VFL system with seconds teams having byes almost every two weeks. The sooner the AFL introduces its own seconds competition the better. As for Warnock – don’t get reported!
Then there is Luke Shuey. Mr Toll has long told us of how ordinary an outfit the West Coast Eagles Corporation is – their efforts at the tribunal were appalling! They did not throw the players code out the window, they completely reversed it in their character assassination of Lindsay Thomas. The code was originally thrown out by David Polkinghorne who put The Dominator in many years ago – at least in that case Wayne Johnson was there to defend himself. Thomas’ only recourse for defense is in the media and after the fact – disgraceful. They have the ethical compass of Gina Rinehart. John Worsfold’s “don’t blame me, blame the defense counsel” was equally poor – take the good with the bad Johnny. Then there is the raft of Weagles that are not averse to a bit of “simulation” – Shuey included.
Sheez I’ve let fly there – better review last week’s effort. Regretfully could not get the $6 on the Blues but I did suggest the Saints represented great value. But got the rest in what was a pretty easy round. This week represents more challenges as does the season with logjams at the top and middle of the table.
Back in ‘da House ($2.20) vs Just Kruezing ($1.80)
The Roos are the one team in the competition that has consistently been the Blues Bogie for many years – in fact in the 23 encounters since Carlton’s last flag North have won 17 – then add 9 from 12 in the Loungeroom. With those facts and four week form from both teams, the Roos are over the odds and this should almost be a 50-50 game. The loss of Simpson is balanced by Murphy’s return – but the challenge for the Blues is who to tag. Harvey and Wells both need to be controlled and Petrie is a challenge for anyone. Meanwhile Judd is revelling in some protection from Carazzo and Robinson (not sure he is picking his targets though). A game I have to pick the Blues for and a game they must win enforce their contention for eighth! However for the punters – North at even money are a fair bet.
Out of ‘da House ($2.92) vs Purple Haze ($1.55)
The Demon fans being put to the test this week with a home encounter in the loungeroom – methinks the slopes of Buller might have a couple extra this weekend! They do welcome back Mark Jamar and we look forward to the debut of a son of a gun with Tom Couch in the team. But Get Stuffed Lyon gets back to the venue where he turned the Saints turgid and I reckon he will be able to do the same with Freo. Freo to win – but the Dees OK at $3 despite their poor Loungeroom record.
The Mildy Unpopular Ones ($2.56) vs The New Bulldogs ($1.54)
Played golf with a chap from Adelaide last week – Hawk supporter, soft spot for the Crows, can’t repeat the opinion of Port! The loss of Crameri, Ryder and Hurley has the Bombers looking for a forward line in the same way Footscray have for most of the year. Interestingly they have gone the Carlton option of a ruckman at full-forward – not a great solution, however Hille does have some forward smarts. At full strength I would consider Port a good chance, however without Hartlett they really lack class in distribution. Bombers to win – they need to after last week!
Very, Very, Very North Melbourne ($1.15) vs Swallow This ($7.20)
Can lightning strike twice? The ingredients are there. GC strengthened with the return of David Swallow and a weather forecast of rain and high humidity in Cairns. A surprise could be on – however the Tiges will be VERY determined for it not to happen. I am selecting Richmond – however if the weather gets ugly $7 on the Suns might be worth a shekel.
Iced Vo-Voss ($2.54) vs On the Turps ($1.60)
A sliding doors moment for Jack Steven – if he was not stopped by the constabulary would have the club been any wiser about his exploits the previous night? In the meantime Voss has the Lions playing much more competitive footy and I suspect they will have themselves set for this encounter. Whilst I reckon they have a chance – the Saints seem to be going to well to drop this one. Brisbane OK at $2.70 too short at the moment.
Saint Jimmy? ($2.62) vs Feeling Blue ($1.61)
The Pies and Cats lose key players to suspension, but plenty of quality coming back in to both teams but the edge in my opinion to Collingwood – with yet another 2 debutantes for the Geelong. Conditions not expected to be pretty at the G which usually has favoured the Cats, but it won’t as much without Jimmy Bartel. Interesting selection of rucks by Geelong dropping the mountain in Dawson Simpson and trusting Trent West to go one out against Jolley. The odds indicate Collingwood as clear favourite, however I can’t agree with that gap and rate the Cats at about $2.20 and even less in poor weather. But I do expect the Pies evenness to get them over the line.
Izzy Foreal ($23) vs Probably a Murder ($1.04)
The lads finally get back to their home ground – not gonna help Adelaide will build their confidence again.
Doggone it ($11.50) vs Buddy Stupid ($1.08)
Should someone be investigating the betting records on Buddy for the Coleman Medal? It is the only logical explanation I have for why he would take the field against the Giants last week. But it won’t matter this week, expect a spirited effort from the Dogs but just not good enough.
The Evil Empire ($1.66) vs Horse Play ($2.46)
And we wait till Sunday afternoon for the main course (apologies to Pies and Cats), these two teams lead the competition and have played some mighty battles over the last few years. On their home track the Eagles are logical favourites, however they have lost another couple of key players and they have not conquered Sydney in their five encounters including two at Subiaco. Mummy and Pike are a combination that can take it to Big Cox and Nic Nat and the Sydney midfield as hard-nosed as any outfit. I am comfortable to select Sydney and happy to take them on of offered $2.40.
Sadly tonight I reckon I witnessed the end of Cadel’s defense of the Le Tour. To come back and win would be a monumental effort – but what a great effort he put in to win last year and have the honour that cannot be taken away as the first Australian victor of the great race.
Go Blues, Go Friars