AFL Round 18 – Review: The 2013 ‘Mopsy’ Fraser Cup

Greetings Tipsters,

The Contenders are getting away.  Take a look at the ladder, they sit in the top three positions.  Check percentage, there’s 12 points between third and fourth.


Hawthorn beat up on that pretender Essendon, exposing the Mosquitoes’ shortcomings and providing another feast for Buddy.  Still, I’m not quite convinced by the boys from Glenferrie.  Bullies in the regular season, sure, but can they win beat Sydney or Geelong in a Grand Final?


Sydney have best percentage, this week they’re the only team to win five straight, they put on a 15 minute third term masterclass to the Pretenders From Punt Rd in how a True Contender plays.


Geelong demolished St Kilda.  Okay, so the boys from Moorrabin aren’t a contender, but they barely touched the ball after halftime, let alone kicked a goal.  The telecast coincided with ‘Batman and Robin’ not much of a movie, but I kept flicking over to catch a glimpse of Uma Thurman, then flicking back to exclaim ‘bloody hell, they’re eight/ten/twelve goals up now!’  More on St Kilda later.


If there’s one thing the Big Three have in common, it’s Big Men.  All too clear at the SCG, where Richmond fielded one fulltime and one part-time ruckman against two fulltime and two part-time ruckmen.  Sure, Sydney didn’t need to use the part-timers (who kicked seven goals) in the ruck but they have a preponderance of big men even while Goodes and Reid sit in the stands.


Similarly, the Mayblooms (“Golden brown, finer temptress…”) have Bud and Rougho kicking bags, young Gunston chiming in (he only looks small in a forward line with the other two) plus Hale and Bailey doing a reasonable job in the ruck.  Geelong too, who lose a big man to suspension regularly and lost another ruckman on the weekend (as the ball was bounced, I had a premonition that Simpson would hurt his leg) but still have plenty in reserve.


Blokes who aint just big, but know how to do the job.  The Big Three have ‘em up forward, down back and in the middle.  On the other hand, there’s Melbourne and St Kilda.


Two forward entries in the first term and four goals four for the match.  Against North.  Two marks in the forward line all match.  290 touches to 439.  Was this Melbourne ‘Demons’ or Casey Scorpions?  Nothing personal against The Scientist, but this mob are hopeless.  So much so that hardly anyone comments on it anymore.  “Hey, Melbourne got flogged again.”  “Yeah, how my shares doing?”


I guess it aint ‘good for football’ but someone’s gotta be the crap team.  Which makes St Kilda’s fall all the more worthy of rumination.  Ross Lyon got out in time, didn’t he?  Woops, someone forgot about recruiting players for the future.  The old firm is all that’s holding the team together these days.  James Gwilt is the key defender.  Maybe Scott Watters aint much of a coach, but for gawsake, he don’t have much to work with.  Funny thing is, St Kilda have, for seventeen years and barring the Tim Watson era that netted them some high draft picks, being a thereabouts team.  Nine years ago, the Saints and the Cats were the teams to look out for, young and hungry and heading for the bright ligts.  You know how that panned out.


So I hope West don’t muck it up by recruiting Buddy.  That’s money that’d be better spent on the ruckman, inside midfielder and centre half-back that they need.  What they don’t need is a high-profile glamourous recruit with a reputation for nightclubbing whose current job is kicking 5 goals every week in front of 50,000 people.  They’ve already got JC, who will be a better player and better posterboy in the long run.  Wayne Carey will back up that opinion.


The kid’s amazing.  The only players that’ve kicked more goals in their first 32 games have some 3700 goals between them.  That’s exalted company.  I’ll go to the game just to watch him play.  But I’ve a sneaking regard for West anyway.  This team is getting better.  They’ve been with Essendon and Collingwood for three quarters, and only fatigue let them down.  The second term against the 4&20s was great, fast football.  Another pre-season under their teenage belts and they’ll be a lot better next year.


Speaking of young ‘uns coming good, the Scray knocked over the Wiggles and I’m rather chuffed to see a bloke with long hair kick four goals.  Whilst our attention was directed elsewhere, the Pups have gone about their business quietly and may be putting something together.  It’ll be good for football, you know it will.


Cheers, Tipsters.

About Earl O'Neill

Freelance gardener, I've thousands of books, thousands of records, one fast motorcycle and one gorgeous smart funny sexy woman. Life's pretty darn neat.

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