Round 8: Sal’s thoughts and selections for this round of footy

Greetings All,


I got a little self-indulgent last week focusing on the plight of the Blues, just going to get a bit more self-indulgent this week.  My corresponding preview last year was written from a hospital bed after suffering a stroke.  I was fortunate – there were people around me whose lives and lives of their families had been turned completely upside down.  I was also fortunate that there were great people around me at the time and incredible support from my family since that day.  A message I wrote on the following week remains the same – learn the F.A.S.T recognition and action – details can be found at


The other key one that can also be found at the site are the risk factors, some of these are out of our control.  All the lifestyle factors are in our control, honestly assessing myself the only one that I has tick for was for not smoking.  A year on daily drugs help keep the blood pressure and cholesterol under control, that has been assisted by improved eating and drinking habits and regular exercise.  Now just about back to a playing weight, not that it is on the agenda.  As I said at the beginning I was so fortunate and hope this message resonates enough for everyone to think of what they can do to reduce their risk of stroke.


Enough about me and it should be all about the footy.  The Competition Committee met this week on the state of the game.  I don’t disagree with the need for such a body it is typically so insular in its make.  All members inside the AFL bubble, surely there is room for other key stakeholders – what about a couple of fans to get some balanced input.


A predictable ho hum round last week – with just the one upset as suggested, not this week with number unpredictable games and predicted weather conditions that have not been seen this year.  With the exception of the Gold Coast – North cyclonic adventure.


The End of the Boot ($1.75) vs Away Boys ($2.32)


Plenty of discussion about the quality of Sicily as he prepares to play game number 50, opposition sides must rate him as they regularly target his capacity to go off like Mt Etna.  If he can control the eruptions he will be an asset for the Hawks, don’t reckon he gets the ball enough, though only a 49 game veteran.  His team hosts the Swans at the G who will be pleased to escape the misery of the SCG.  Perhaps their poor SCG return is due to trying to play a more MCG type game after their failure at the venue in September?  Buddy and Reid out doesn’t help, Naismith’s absence is the bigger problem.  Sinkers was terrific against Geelong up against a non ruckman in Rhys Stanley, he was toweled up last week against Goldstein.  It spells trouble this week fronting up against Ben McEvoy.  What could swing it Sydney’s way is that the weather could suit their contested style, while it could play havoc with the precise Hawks game.  Going with Sydney in what could be a gruelling encounter.


Buckley’s Chance ($1.59) vs Nic Nat Paddy Whacked ($2.64)


There are a couple of former Blues that could be embarrassing SOS on other lists, very much doubt that Dylan Buckley is one of those.  Playing in the Giants side last week was indicative of their hopes against the Cats.  They get Lobb and Cameron back this week to face the Natanui less Eagles in the capital.  A good test for the Eagles to measure their dependence on him.  The penalty certainly seemed harsh, not sure Simpson continued bleating about it helps him win this week.  The Giants look more balanced with their selections and suspect will make up for last week’s loss.


Levi’s Rib ($3.30) vs Joe’s Groin ($1.43)


The Blues and Bombers both lose key forwards, both somewhat offset with the returns of Charlie Curnow and Orazio Fantasia.  The Bombers have been through the wringer this week and could not have asked for a better opponent than the Blues.  Another coach with the wrong “external” focus – bagging Paul Roos for uncontested possessions doesn’t help Goddard win one!  BJ does tend to feast on Carlton and suspect he might be prominent in Essendon releasing the focus for a week.


Tuna Fishing ($3.60) vs Traralgon ($1.36)


Gold Coast have got the Big Tuna – can they keep Lynch in their water or will he be lured by the bait to be thrown his way?  Won’t affect this week as he remains out, they do get their other skipper back in Steven May.  A more valuable commodity for mine!  Their opponents line up like a large country town with McDonalds at each end.  The return of Tom has provided greater flexibility.  The form guide reads two wins, not sure about the opposition.  Not sure about the opposition here either, the Suns look better balanced with the return of May.  Melbourne should be able to win this one, however the satchel swingers offer of more than $3 for the Suns is enticing.


A Wingarded Moment ($2.46) vs Sloane Down ($1.67)


While the Crows lament that Rory Sloane is still a couple of weeks away, Chad Wingard suffers only a 12 day hamstring injury to return for the Power.  Adelaide would like a couple of those hamstrings!  Rory is a bigger worry – the Lisfranc injury is usually long term and in extreme cases has ended careers.  Onto the showdown, despite a long injury list the Crows look in good form although beating up on the Suns and Blues was exactly as expected.  Port have been as unpredictable as power in Adelaide, perhaps the Powell-Pepper battery might spark them into consistency.  No doubt they could win this, the Crows are the safer selection.


Free Falling ($1.32) vs Paddy Whacked ($4.10)


Getting please explains from the sponsors has Fremantle’s focus diverged from the footy, then Brad Hill’s reported indiscretions take further attention away from the game at hand.  That game is to host St Kilda who again have lost Paddy McCartin after another head knock.  Nat Fyfe was amazing in taking on the Tigers almost alone last week, was a privilege to watch him gracing the G.  He only needs a couple of mates to turn up and they should deal with the Saints.


Fool’s Gold ($1.45) vs Home Boys ($3.15)


With less than 7,000 turning up at Ballarat maybe there is not as much gold for the Dogs as they hoped.  Or perhaps playing on a Saturday afternoon against all the local competitions tests the local’s allegiances.  Something the league should be considering, leaving the traditional timeslot free for the benefit of local competitions.  This week they host what has been described as the best 0-7 team ever – the Lions have been competitive – mostly though at the Gabba.  This is in the Loungeroom and Dogs will bite.


Wood Brown Waite? ($4.20) vs More to Conca ($1.30)


The three pronged talls up forward will be an interesting test for the Tigers in the pristine conditions of the Loungeroom.  Rance gets the headlines of the defense, Astbury, Grimes and Vlastuin provide the complete steel of that backline.  Their organisation and positioning will be a challenge for any team to get through.  North have come up with plenty of surprises this year, this could be another and the bagmen are being quite generous.  The Tigers did what they had to last week and romped in, suspect this will be another conquest for them.


Getting a bit Goey ($2.36) vs Return of the Trinity ($1.72)


Jordan de Goey boots five against a winless team and all of sudden he is to be the savior for his many suitors.  He is a natural footballer and at 22 has plenty of potential, the carry on this week has just been a bit over the top for mine.  A good test this week as I am sure the Cats will have some focus on him.  For footy’s sake hope that the Pies can continue with the style of footy they have been playing, last week’s game against Brisbane was a ripper.  The Cats also have some attacking flair particularly with the inclusion of Ablett.  We could have a Mother’s Day Special if the weather gods don’t intervene too much.  They are pretty evenly matched except in the ruck where Grundy will be expected to control Smith and/or Stanley.  On that basis picking the Pies.


Friar Time


Four from four last week for the Friars.  The Senior team romped away early against the Bushrangers to set up the win, but were certainly challenged later in the game.  The reserves had a big win, while the Under 19s won well over Ivanhoe.  The girls had a close encounter with Old Ivanhoe and came away with the chocolates.  This week the Senior team face 3rd placed Uni High/Vic Uni next to the zoo, should be a great contest to sort out a couple at the top of the table.  The Girls travel to Bulleen-Templestowe and the Under 19s host 2nd placed Old McKinnon/Glen Eira.


Go Blues, Go Friars,


Cheers, Sal


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