AFL Round 16 – Its a Crackin’ Cracker!

Check out Ladbrokes prices for this round

Check out Ladbrokes prices for this round


I’ve just done my tips, and while I had a sense of this momentous round with stories about the Showdown, and Hawks v Swans – Gibbo’s crack about Bondi Billionaires, Roughies Cracked lip, ugly Melan'(oma) on his ugly melon, ha(!) Cracked myself up – I hadn’t noticed how great the rest of the round looks!

Now I know this is a great way to curse the games to mediocrity…but do I have that power, am I that superstitious? Nah, I’m looking away as I type, because I can, and maybe it brings me luck. I don’t know, I’m not superstitious! Sure I typed all through the 2014 finals series and I’ll type again in 2015! Something good must come of it, said the monkey. Nah! No one will believe a talking monkey.

Down to business, North Melbourne and Essendon. Always a heartfelt battle, and they played finals last year. Perversely Essendon being down makes it more likely to be a ‘cracker’ as they’re playing the team that just can’t get up when they don’t need to. They are like the hare, and they’ve found a few turtles this year who got to the line while they snoozed. Well they won’t find a bigger turtle than James ‘I-didn-do-nuttin’ Hird. Talk about ‘pull your head in’. He’s pulled it in stuck it up the wrong orifice and pulled it out still shiny and blonde. But its gettin’ a bit stinky and the boys are starting to realise where that smell’s coming from.

Next up Geelong play the Bulldogs. The Cats fortress has become more of an open-for-inspection where people keep coming in and walking out with the furniture. Selwood is out which should be good for him.  He’s looked, for the past month, like a bloke who’s done one tour of duty too many. Can’t even admit he got it so wrong, which is pretty funny coming from a guy who’s really quick to point out when he feels hard done by on the field. So its not a fortress, and its the resurgent Doggies, but it is Geelong and they’re on the rebound…again. Another Cracker, that could go either way!

Then the new boys go at it. The Suns and the Giants. The Suns have Ablett back, and while its scary how much they depend on him, he does deliver so…and yet the Giants may have a couple of Gazza-likes themselves. If it was at Spotless Stadium you’d give it to GWS by 30 points, but its in Qld, QED…FIIK…too close to call. Giants by ladder position.

By Saturday afternoon the true blockbusters kick in. The Pies get the Eagles at Etihad Stadium. Short of taking them to Hobart there’s no better place in Australia to take them on. The location means it’ll be decided by a goal. The pies have been playing pretty well, but there’s something up with some of their better players. Cloke can’t get near it close enough to goal, and J Elliot’s lack of love is the mask falling off. Honey, if you have to ask for it…perhaps its not true…L (there’s a lump in my throat).

The Swans take on the Hawks in Sydney. Hawks have won up there in the past few years, or lost by a minor margin, so both teams have cause to be confident. The Hawks haven’t won well after thrashing the opposition this season, but they’ll get up for the Swans. There again the beaten Grand Finalists always keep something in reserve for their conqueror in the next season’s games, so…. There appears to be some interest in writing about Buddy’s 700th, but it’s a mere media number. He should have 900 by now anyway. Disappointing Buddy ;-). Maybe its the Swans 3 good Ins v the Hawks 1, that will win the day for the Bloods.

Hiding away in Perth at the same time is a game between the Dockers and the Blues. A minor skirmish between two teams who are devilishly hard to pick at the moment. Carlton might be thinking they’re up against it having lost two of their key midfielders in Juddy, now Gibbs; playing miles from home in Perth; and against a team with something to prove. And yet, the Blues have an amazing record against Freo’ in Perth, and it wasn’t just Hawthorn that made Freo’ look ordinary, the Brisbane Lions were about one cool head short of beating them too. Maybe it’ll be worth keeping an eye on both games. Double Cracker!!

Then Sunday dawns, a bit later than usual ‘cos (where’s the apostrophe belong in ‘cos’, really?) you’re mentally exhausted after the ramifications of Saturday’s blockbusters have been considered under a blitz of bevies the night before. Are Geelong still a chance for the 8 or have the Doggies cemented their place? Have the Suns fired like a true team, and in the process further hoisted Gazza onto a platform of his own? Have the Eagles showed they deserve to be flag favourites (just no finals in Tassie, please) or have the pies found honour in a win? Who is No. 2 on the ladder – Swans or Hawks?  You’d imagine whoever it is becomes true flag favourite though still a game behind Fremantle? Or are they? Blues, what did you do?

Now I’m tired too, but Sunday promises enough to get you out of bed. Roosy’s boys have a game in Melbourne against ladder-level rival Brisbane who have heard its a shallow draft and are proving competitive in recent weeks trying to get off the bottom. Both teams welcome some of their better players back, and both have something to prove despite their distance from No. 8 and this late stage in the season.

Then the Showdown that will begin with a Splashdown. There will be tears in the beginning, tears at odd times through the game, and tears at the end, no matter the winner. Will Adelaide do it for Walshy? Or has it all been too much, and so deeply felt, that they’ve already done ‘it’ for Walshy? Is there anything left? Port too, have their strong connections too lingering back over the past decade and including participation in their Grand Final coaching team. The game looms as a must-watch event.

Finally, a valid game in Melbourne between the born-again Saints and the Tigers. Riewoldt’s Roarers have been up for a while and called on something special in their last two games to come from behind and take the points. You’d imagine, they’d imagine, they could do that against the young Saints too. But imagination comes before a fall sometimes. When you’re looking up the ladder before you actually get there, and you don’t see the tin of paint at your feet – hmmm striped paint – you’ll wish you’d taken notice earlier.

Hopefully, each team shows their true colours and brings something special to Round 16. You can’t orchestrate such a round, and that’s part of the beauty of it. If it fizzles, there’s always next round, maybe, and nothing a cleansing ale and letting off a few crackers won’t cure. The crackers are to ward off the spirits…and the monkeys. The monkey is really superstitious!



About Simon Dix-Draper

Hawks since '71. Don't believe in curses. Gave to keep 'em alive in '96 (was it that long ago). Looking forward to a big season - one game at a time.


  1. Rick Kane says

    We’re a happy team at Hawthorn!

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