AFL Round 1 (and 2): The Hindsight Wrap


For the Philosophical Marngrook Follower

Von nichts kommt nichts.  Has The Season started yet?  Have we dispensed with those nightly & inconsequential NAB Cup matches?  Oh, that was Round 1 we’ve been playing over the last fortnight.  Some one should tell them around at Victoria Park & Punt Road that they’re playing for keeps.  And the rest of the punters.

Or is this still 2013, and we’ve been Rip Van Winkled?  The Essendon Drug Scandal’s still on the front pages and Little Lord Hirdelroy is still stamping his foot and declaring he didn’t slurp his juice and that the Wicked Witch of AFL Mountain has been casting spells over him.  Even Rapunzel has got herself down from her lofty tower to join in the act.  Someone should send those two on extended leave overseas somewhere.  (Catch up Wrap; that’s been taken care of – Ed)

This week’s quiz. Let us quote the following from last Sunday’s Sage – Bayern Munich reached 50 league games unbeaten last weekend by winning a match with 23 shots to Bayer Leverkusen’s six, almost 80% possession and 824 passes to the opposition’s 209. Can you guess the final score?  Answer at the bottom of the page.

In a perfect world ……..  James & Tania are on their discovery tour to learn just how golden silence can be.  And their first stop-off would be at the FIFA HQ to take a lesson from Sepp Blattermouth.  After the Daily Telegraph – theirs, not ours – put it about that the Qatari company controlled by the former FIFA board member Mohamed bin Hammam paid almost $US2m to former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner’s family after the 2010 vote that took The World Game’s premier event to a desert sheikdom* in the heart of the troubled Persian Gulf, Good Ole Sepp refused to comment. The FIFA president did let fly with one gem the Posh & Becks of the Antipodes could well take on board.  He said he didn’t even have the right to discuss the claims the published.  You hird heard right Wrappers; the president of the organization lambasted with the not so veiled accusation that an organization board member’s company paid a delegate a cool two mill after the vote had gone in favour of the board member’s hometown did not have the right to discuss the claims.  Honestly, do we really want our little Johns & Bettys mixing with these sorts of people.

Some wag wrote into The Sage Letters Page that there was no I in team, but there was in Tania.  Of course, this wouldn’t work if she spelt it Tanya.  Or would it?

But it’s all academic now.  The players have told Little Jimmy to pull his head in & Pres Paul has given him a public dressing down.  Even The Juddanaught has weighed in.  Lining up alongside Coach Clarko, he said he’s like to think he would have withstood the pressure to participate in the voodoo supplements program at Whingy Hill if he’s been there at the time.  Hopefully, for all those Bomber Faithful out there, that this is the last we her of it – at least until ASADA deliver their final verdict.


And isn’t it always the way – after Round 1 your August ladder is stood on its head.  Well, here in Wrapland we have The Hindsight Ladder.  And here it is.


  1. Hawthorn – The Squawkers will be there again; make no mistake.  They only have one Back-to-back Flags on their Honour Board and this playing group is keen to add another.  Their administration is first rate and their coach, while not suffering fools gladly, has a punishing left jab and an insight to the game and into human nature.  Buddy won’t be missed for a moment.  They’ve already adorned his successor with the sacred #23.  And talk about pick-ups, how did they ever get Big McEvoy?  The midfield is aging a bit, but too old too slow is they way they play at Hawthorn.  Their uncanny accuracy got them into TLSIS last year, and over the line.  They select forwards for their kicking skills and you know what, it works.  The defence is solid and can launch an attack.  The Family Club will be there when the whips are cracking.
  2. Fremantle– They’ve been tipped to go one better this season, but will they?  They’ve got plenty of talent, and Rossy Lyon has them playing his sell every inch with your life style of football.  They have a powerful midfield but look a bit soft up forward.  The Pav may have another season in him, but the big question mark has to be over Gumbles.  And Big Aaron for that matter.  They had every chance last season, but they wouldn’t be the first team to get an attack of the jitters in The Big One.  Can they go one more?  You’d like to thinks so.
  3. West Coast – with their home ground advantage and a fresh coaching approach we’re tipping The Weagles to make up for the lost years – especially last year.  Nic Nat Nui could even be a smoky for the Charles Brownlow Medal for Fairest & Best.  Le Cras, Darling & Kennedy make a formidable attack and they’ve got a heap of no name youngsters ready to fire.  They’d have been stung by the usurpers from the Port hogging all the kudos last year.  Watch them correct that situation as they burst from the pack.
  4. Essendon – the Big Story of 2014 is going to be the cutting loose of James & Tania out at Whingy Hill**.  Their continued their Posh & Becks imitations from global fleshpots such as Paris, Singapore & Brussels will finally be too much for the squeaky clean image the they’re selling out at Melrose Drive.  And as Bomber starts to get a taste for the job, the Kirribilli Agreement will be torn up***.  They’ll fly-up to a Top Four Finish with the new Daniher becoming everything Gumbles wasn’t – and that’s roadworthy.  They have a good list and Chappy & Goddard know their way around.
  5. Richmond – Ignore The Tigers this year at your peril.  There’s a self belief developing down at Punt Road that’s built on a midfield depth that is going to take season 2014 by storm.  Add a couple of handy goal kicking pick-ups to take the pressure of Jack and one of the best defences in The Competition and you’ve got an excitement machine.  They’ve plenty of talls & Shaun Hampson only complements team balance.  They’re out of debt down at Tigerland and their VFL side plays at Punt Road this season.  They may still represent Struggletown, but the time of struggle is over.  As The Late Great Living Legend, Captain Blood, would surely tell you – The Tigers are BIT.  And if that’s not enough, checkout the message the jungle drums of the Deep Woods are saying as they beat out the message across from the Skull Cave to the mean waterside bars of Morristown.  If that hasn’t convinced you the Tiges can finish Top Four, check out the fixture the Great Helmsman & the gnomes deep in the bowels of Jellymont House have gifted them.  That’s right, ask Eddie, if you draw the punters you get easy street.
  6. Port Adelaide – Can Port maintain the momentum created by a new coach & a new administration?  We’re saying they can.  And they’ll make it through to September.  There’s a lot to like about The Boys From Alberton.  Starting with their coaching team, their chastened administration, their list and their attitude.
  7. Geelong – we’ve got The Moggies at # 7.  They’re a year older, true, but they’ve got a fesh start with another nine lives. and while they maybe not The Greatest Team Of All right now, they’re still a great team.  And they know the ropes.  We wrote that last year and nothing’s changed – but they are minus Chappy, Josh Hunt & Joel Corey.  Seventh may even be flattering.  They’re re-building down at Cat Central.  The last cohort of their golden years is slipping past their prime, and this year will be a test of the depth at the Geelong Falcon’s Footy Factory.  Another thing we can add to what we know about The Pivotonians – they’re The Mighty Blue & Whites, and when the ball is bounced, the final bell, They’ll stand Up & Fight Like Hell.
  8. Sydney – We’ve been tipping The Swans will fade for several seasons now.  This time we think it’s going to happen.  Not sure Buddy’s gone up there for the right reasons and there’s persistent rumours of off-field problems with at least one of their starting midfield.  They’ve also got a new administration, and if what they shelled out for buddy is any indication, they may take a while to settle in.  they’ve been stripped of their salary cap bonus – and is it any wonder the Appalling Football League finally listened to the bleats from the Oval Office and other board rooms when they could shell out Mayne Nick truck loan to get Lance to move up there.  The deal puts him above the Bloods’ Football culture of the Blue Collar Swans and they could even slide right out of September.
  9. Carlton – Always the opportunists, The Blues have had a year to settle down under the Philosopher Coach and could be ready to take The Swan’s place in the September Action.  The addition of Coach Brewery’s favourite son, after a year off at Victoria Park, will boost the midfield.  (Or does Figjam know something that the Royal Parade medicos failed to spot? – Ed)  Our guess is that they’ll miss The Hon. Edward C. Betts, enough to cost them a place in September.  They didn’t have depth last season, and although they played some inspired Footy, they often left it too late.  Murphy & Judd are carrying injuries and another #1 draft pick in Kreuzer has still to convince he’s over all his niggles.  They will worry a few this season, but most of them will be wearing The Old Dark Blue of Royal Parade.
  10. Collingwood – Rusted on Magpie Faithful have resigned themselves to finishing 9th or 10th.  We’ve got them at 10th.  Not sure what it is; they’ve got a sparkling list, but it just doesn’t seem to be catching the light.  It’s easy to say there’s trouble at the Lexus Centre, but you can only go on what you see on the field and what you read in the papers.  Expect a mid season revival, but their early draw would suggest that they’ve fallen out of favour at Jellymont House.  Maybe it’s time to change the incumbent in the Oval Office.  Any talk of changing the coach would be counter productive.  (Try telling that to The Monochrome Army – Ed)
  11. Adelaide – The Chardonnays had a horrid year in 2013.  They got off to a bad pre-season with the Ayatollah’s Praetorian Guard crawling all over them over the Kurt Tippett signing , then they lost Big Tex.  They’ve put in a solid pre-season and are ready to give their coach an year and the Rabid Adelaide Mob something to be rabid about.  However, the signs are there that Patrick Dangerfield wants to return to Victoria, which won’t help locker Room morale all that much.  Will they make September?  Probably not.  Will they shape the Final Eight?  Most certainly.  Will they be there in September?  Probably not.
  12. The Meter Maids – If the Suns are going to break through the clouds, this is the year.   Every chance of finishing higher should they get a good run.  They can put down two gimmees against Crosstown Rivals for starters.  The Little Master only gets better and his bringing some pretty classy kids along with him.  Another one of those who only need a glimpse of daylight and they’ll be out of the yards and heading for the timber.  Like to Kennel Coughs, one to watch for shrewd investors.
  13. Brisbane – Carried the Curse of The NAB Cup into Season 2013, and gave up on their Favourite Son before it was over.  Still relying on Jonathon Brown too much, who incidentally played alongside their new Coach.  They’re talking it up at The Gabbatoir, and there’s every indication that you’d need the luck of Daniel to leave the Lions’ Den with your skin on in Season 2014.
  14. North Melbourne – Not too sure about The Shinboners.  They were all over the shop last season and let down The Long Suffering Gasometer Oval Faithful, their coach, the North Melbourne administration and The Wider Football Public.  An excitement machine when on song, they suffered costly lapses of concentration.  Now here’s the rub – can they pull themselves up enough to win those matches they should have won?  We gave up on them in the second half of last season, just as they started to steady.  We have a feeling there’s something not quite right around at Arden Street.
  15. Footscray – The Doggies finished last season full of bite.  And their pre-season has shown promise.  They finished 15th last year and if the endeavour they showed in the second half of 2013 is any indication, they’ll make a move up the Competition Table this season.  But it’s a tough old world out there, and everyone else has shown some improvement.  It’s our tip that they’ll trouble a few, but will be trading water this season
  16. St Kilda – We have serious doubts about The Culture Club this season.  They may have stripped the team list bare.  They don’t appear to have recruited well enough to let players of the quality of Goddard, Del Santo & McEvoy walk away from Eel Race Road.  (Maybe they didn’t have a choice – Ed)  Well, if they didn’t have a choice Ed, there has to be a reason for that, and that in itself doesn’t look good.  It doesn’t make us feel good having to write this, but for all those Long Suffering Junction Oval Faithful who have followed The Feeling Faints to the very end of time and back, there’s a chance to nail another Coveted Timber Trophy above the bar at the social club this season.  It’s not a lay down misere, and they’re going to have to work very hard at it.  We’re saying they’ll fall short.
  17. The Greater Western Sydney Giants – They’re under a new coaching regime, and this in itself will make a difference; enough difference to lift them of the Bottom Rung of The Competition for the first time.  They’ve enough balance of old heads and young shoulders to catch a few unawares this season.  They played some devastating quarters last year, now for some sustain over the whole Hundred Minutes.
  18. Melbourne – The Dees are being sent down the race with a totally new attitude this season.  How this can be converted to Premiership Points will become apparent through the season.  Our feeling is that they’ll fall short at crucial moments.  It’s a feeling based on two things – their lack of depth and that, in all honesty, Moses himself couldn’t lead them out of the Wilderness in just one season.

The Flag

Can The Mayblooms go back-to-back?  Will The Barry Crockers revenge the one that got away?  Will The Mighty Eagles fly high this year?  Is it The Year of The Tiger?  We’ll stick with the Leafblowers again.  Someone who’s opinion I take seriously told me Ross Lyon would never coach a premiership team, so going on that I’m saying The Mustard Pots will revenge themselves against The Bloods.

The Coach most likely

Two jump immediately to mind. Guy McKenna is going to have to have The Suns moving up The Ladder to save his job. Bucks is sure to come under the spotlight at some stage as on field success in a lousy draw fixture puts the whole structure of Collingwood under pressure, but he’ll stay.  The one to put the red circle around in the incumbent at the Gasometer Oval.  Jumps around a lot in the box, but so does a buck rabbit until he’s blinded by the spotlight.

The Fevola

The Bombers can’t do any more than they did last year, and the shock of rolling revelations may have lost its vote grabbing appeal.  Besides, the whole issue has become a bit of a bore.  We’re going for, in his testimonial year, the Ayatollah.  We tipped that the Hird Camp would blow their cool at some stage and unveil what actually happened behind the scenes in what became the Essendon Drug Scandal.  That’s happened and Sir James & Family have been issued with what must have to be their last warning.  It’s also been suggested that the team seconded to the EFC from Downright Lie & Procrastinate is working flat out on the legalities of the various contracts flying around.  However, falling gate interest in The Competition this season brought on by the staggered start, the inconvenient timing of matches & public airing of the unseemly squabbling for the vacant CEO’s post will swing the spotlight onto the Throne Room at Jellymont House.  Already labelled a tyrant and a bully by the revelations on the 7.30 Report, and similarly damned by the silence of his colleagues at HQ, the Great Helmsman has yet to ride out the tabling of the Final ASADA Report.  Based on that, we’re guessing he’ll will earn enough points in enough rounds to carry off this year’s Fevola Medal for bringing The Game into Disrepute.

If it’s not that, it will be gambling, or a suspicion of gambling.  And not just of the first goal nature.  If it rears its head it will be full-blown match fixing – or attempted match fixing.

The Brownlow

As usual, this one’s an educated guess.  Last year’s runners-up would have to feature, and Trent Cotchin is at the head of the call.  The Little Master is always going to attract votes.  But we’re going for Patrick Dangerfield with Brandon Ellis the dark horse.

The Coleman

Take your pick – the Eagle’s Josh Kennedy, Roughie again or Jeremy Cameron.  We’re going for Josh Kennedy.  Roughie might find he gets a bit more attention with Buddy out of the forward line.

The Krudd Memorial Shield

For delusional grandeur no one can lay a glove on the Great Helmsman.  Although don’t rule out the Coach in Limbo from The Club That Dare Not Speak Its Name.

The Robbie Flower Medal – for outright goodness & sunshine.  Angry Adrian won it hands down last season – for walking away from the machinations at Jellymont House.  Our tip is that it will be between the Footscray Football Club, their Boy Next Door Robert Murphy McKenna & Cheryl Critchley’s Fans Association


From left field we have Trent Cotchin agreeing to wear the Sacred # 17 as Captain of Richmond, and admitting that he was wrong putting his personal swishes before the deep heritage at Tigerland.

So, let’s join in the chorus where hearts beat true and march-in Season 2013.

  1. Hawthorn
  2. Fremantle
  3. West Coast
  4. Essendon
  5. Richmond
  6. Port Adelaide
  7. 7.      Geelong
  8. Sydney
  9. Carlton
  10. Collingwood
  11. Adelaide
  12. The Meter Maids
  13. Brisbane
  14. North Melbourne
  15. Footscray
  16. St Kilda
  17. The Greater Western Sydney Giants
  18. Melbourne

And so to Round II

Richmond v Carlton.  The Tiges are slavering at the mouth for revenge, and with the Evil Juddanaught out and on the wide open spaces of The People’s Ground we’re going for The Homeside in this one.  Struggletown.

Essendon v Hawthorn.  The Bombers hit the ground running in Round I, but it would be wise to consider their opposition at the time.  Or lack thereof.  The Hawkers took some time to blow off the cobwebs.  It’s under cover and the Melrose Drive Faithful will be out in numbers to support their beleaguered team.  We’re sticking with The Reigning Premiers for this one.

GWS v The Feeling Faints.  In a word: Sydney.

Port Adelaide v The Free Settlers.  The First Showdown of Season 2014 shouldn’t test anyone.  Port are on a mission and have the wood on The Chardonnays.  The Tealers for us here in The Wrapcave.  It’s also an historic occasion for the Good Burghers of the City of Churches as Footy comes back to the Adelaide Oval.

The Swans v The Magpies. The Pies traditionally play well up in Steak & Kidney, but this time The Harboursiders have their backs to the wall.  (And they haven’t at Carringbush Wrap? – Ed)  That’s true Oh Noble Text Tinkerer, but it’s The Magpies who will drop the soap on Saturday night.  The Bloods in this Battle of The Birds

The Dangerous Dockers v The Abletts over there.  The Sunbeams got off to a good start last Round and will be keen to show that it was more than just beating up on their bitch.  They’ll put up a decent show but The Purple Haze will mesmerize them in the end. Freo to send them down below.

The Lions**** v The Cats up there.  This is going to be a real test for Chris Scott’s Pussies.  They’re a professional outfit if nothing else, but these Lions are at home.  And they nearly toppled The Handbags down at The Cattery in Round XXIII last year.  We’re tipping The Moggies, but it’s going to cost them one of their nine lives for Season 2013.

The Fuchsias v The Screaming Eagles on The Home of Football.  Get along to this one Punters.  There’ll be plenty of room and you’ll be able to get up close & personal to one of the movers & shakers of 2014.  It’s The Eddie Eagles in a power display to stamp themselves as Top Four Material in this Year of The Horse.

The Doggies v The Shinboners on The Shifting Sands of Docklands to wind up the round.  The Norsemen were pathetic last week, and The Kennel Coughs were overwhelmed in The West.  Both will want to give their Long Suffering Faithful a glimmer of hope for the rest of the season.  We’ll go with The Kangaroos simply because they’ll be driven by their shameful outing last week and The Sons of The West may be a bit road weary.

Good tipping and even better punting.

Answer to the quiz. Those of you who said who said 42-12 (264) to 3-6 (24) had the wrong game.  They play with a round ball in the Bundesliga and only use their head to punch it into a moving object.  That’s right Nurelle, like a head banger.

Those who may have been tempted to use the Chelsea v Arsenal result from the same weekend as a yardstick may have given an answer of 10-zip.  Wrong again.

No, the score from this totally lopsided encounter was a thrilling 2-1.  That’s right gentle reader – 2-one.  Just a dodgy referee’s decision away from a one all draw.  Or a two all draw.  Or two dodgy decisions away from a nil-one loss.

And they wonder why the punters burn cars and trash shopping centres after a match.

*. This sheikdom boasts a population a whisker over 2,000,000 and an average temperature of 32oC, which tops out at 40oC+ for half the year and is tempered by a refreshing 71mm of annual precipitation – that’s less than 3” of rain a year in the old money.  (Sounds like a Melbourne Summer, eh? – Ed)  And if you thought President Rasputin of the Russian Republic dropped a bomb at the recent Winter Olympics, imagine how many gold plated Cadillacs it’s going to cost Al Sheiko to accommodate the press corps, the punters & the players, let alone what it’s going to cost to provide the pitches & the stands for the said dignitaries.  It would be laughable – all that dosh blown on one pissant nation’s ego – if it wasn’t for the fact that one million of the world’s seven billion & counting weren’t starving and another four billion undernourished.

** Is the absence of the Hird-Archer Medal presentation at the North Essendon match the first indication that James Hird is being written out of the club’s future?

***  In case it slipped your notice – we thought Bomber was a bit hasty coming out with the declaration that he would be handing over the reins at gather end of the season.  The steam hadn’t stopped coming out of Paul Little’s ears before the Caretaker Coach was on the front foot.  Maybe he didn’t really want the job in the first place.  After all he stopped short of stated that it was 100% guaranteed.

On a similar note – Sir James was equally unequivocal, firmly stated that he would be coaching next season.  At the time of going to press the Nar Nar Goon 3rds hadn’t responded to his generous offer.

****  Gamble responsibly.  Don’t even think about it until the field settles down.  But if you want a Roughie of The Round you could do worse than taking The Maroons to upset The Pivotonians.

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.


  1. Top stuff Mr Wrap. Are you in the Cardiac ward at the Alfred? Litza must be in a padded cell.
    Love your lines about Little Lord Hirdleroy and co.
    Gee your Tiges are GFF. I haven’t enjoyed watching as much for ages. And that was just the crowd shots. They were better than the footy.
    I picked your Tiges by 9 points – and AE and I were barracking and laughing in equal measure. Great stuff.
    The Bulldogs are Pete’s Prognostication of the weekend (never put on more the half the overdraft limit). North’s lack of height gives the Bullies a better match up this week. The Bulldogs are hard at it, while the Kangas are flakey. Its an even money game so the Bullies are good value.

  2. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Enjoyable Wrap geez Richmond were a couple more errors away from falling about 10 spots on your predicted ladder . Loved the soccer and T Hird mentions in particular v clever re her name ! Thanks Wrap

  3. John Butler says

    TW, watching our two teams play is starting to feel like some kind of demented Groundhog Day. We know where its going. The only mystery is in the small detail.

  4. kath presdee says

    One of the reasons that the Pies play well in Sydney is that the Swans tend to play them at the much-maligned Olympic Stadium, rather than the hallowed SCG. You also get fewer Swans supporters travelling (two games crossing the Anzac Bridge in three weeks! Shocking!) and more Pies supporters travelling.

    That said, Kieran Jack will return for the Swans and if he can put some calm and force in their midfield they will improve. That and a new ruckman. So glad they got Buddy and we got Mummy!

  5. The Wrap. says

    Not sure if the result said more about Carlton – BKIBF – or Richmond – GTWTCO. But you’re right JB, Our Two Heritage Teams always turn it on form the Punters. So why was the match on a school night?

    So glad you & the Avenging Eagle enjoyed the Fearsome Punt Road End Cheer Squad Mr. B. Was Mrs Wrap says, they share the same set of teeth and the same brain. Bur hey, isn’t that how most families operate?

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