AFL Round 19 – Preview: Firing the Weapon

Greetings All,

If ever there was a week where Eddie’s introduction was appropriate it has been this week showing the human toll from the Essendon saga with the resignation of David Evans and the hatchet job on St James by Dean Robinson who is suffering his own demons.  There is much emotion attached to this entire situation and pretty much split down the lines of Essendon fans and non-Essendon fans.  Can’t see myself how the players or the club escape this.  But it is also clear they will put on a pretty big defense, this ain’t over for a while yet.

Then we have Ahmed Saad, who is already out suspended until his case is heard.  He inadvertently takes a banned substance and pays the price immediately, compared to the Essendon scenario of a systematic, club-wide intravenous supplement program.  With a player admitting to being administered a substance known to be banned.  I am not saying Ahmed should not get a full penalty, but the Bombers seem to have got away with a lot for a while.  Yes, yes, I know we have to wait for the truth!

But with all that we actually have nine matches this weekend, but less and less of them having a bearing on the season.  Got the upset correct last week with the Bulldogs and getting the burger for the week!

Hard to Swallow ($3.80) vs Misdemeanours ($1.35)

The Kangas cleaned up as they always do against poor opposition, but in the process lost Andrew Swallow to a 12 month injury.  They front up against the Cats who dealt with the Saints in similar fashion, but lost yet another player to an undisciplined act and Dawson Simpson for the season.  The Roos don’t win out of turn and are unlikely to here, the Cats will be keen to ensure they get a home final rather than potentially having to travel in week one.  Geelong do get their St Jimmy back, his monicker slightly tarnished after a misdemeanor.  Cats to get the cream this week, but the Roos not without a chance but not with my readies.


To Buddy or Not to Buddy ($1.64) vs Is it a Roos? ($2.18)

What a show Jeremy Cameron put on last week, raising the question about whether the Giants should be chasing lance Franklin.  Personnel wise maybe not, with Patton and possibly Boyd to be added to the forward line.  However for all the publicity and attention he may be critical.  Meanwhile the Demons continue the chase for new coach and still yearn for Paul Roos, could it be a Blight @ St Kilda mistake.  On face value it appears so, however the one difference to me is that Roos is craving the attention and the spotlight.  When the Saints snared Blighty he had already taken himself out of the limelight.  Undoubtedly still a risk.  But onto this game which is symbolically important to both teams.  The Dees are weakened (if possible) at both ends with the loss of Frawley and Dawes and the Giants will be buoyant after their showing against the Pies.  But it is their showing against the Pies that has me tipping against them.  Their last quarter fade outs hurt, Melbourne booted 12 against them in their last encounter.  They will be pretty happy with themselves and Melbourne have to respond after last week’s capitulation.  I can understand the market with the Giants as favourite, but I reckon Melbourne represent better value and are my selection.


The Benchmark ($1.24) vs The Next Test ($4.8)

The Tigers made an early run in their first test against the Swans last week, but ultimately were dissected.  This week they face the current benchmark of the competition, who gave the Bombers a reality check last week and will be keen to set the record straight against Richmond who got away from them last year.  The loss of Vickery is important as he is able to stretch the opposition defense and be another target, not sure his replacements have the forward capability.  Meanwhile the Hawks just get stronger with the inclusion of Burgoyne and Cyril gets another game in.  Hawthorn are not playing as well as they want to, that is just frightening for September but will be too much for the Tigers this week.


Cue in the Rack ($1.47) vs Easy to Swallow ($2.94)

West Coast sent the message out last week that the season was cooked, they do bring back a couple of important players in Glass and Embley, whilst they might have the cue in the rack they won’t want to go down to a new franchise at home.  However they have only won twice at Subiaco this year.  Unfortunately for the Gold Coast they have lost Tom Nicholls in the ruck, but do welcome back David Swallow.  A very tough game to tip, West Coast should win but attitude will be critical for both.  I am selecting West Coast, but would be keen on the Suns if I could get $3.


Sun Blockers ($1.90) vs Wrestlemania ($2.08)

Not sure what is going on with this market, Freo have a great record in the Loungeroom, are in good form and 4 places above the Blues but are the underdogs.  The Blues after defeating the Suns and Gazzza are looking for rare air with a 4th win in the trot – something they have not done since 2011.  There will be a very crowded midfield here and no shortage of taggers, a massive test for Blues and one that I am selecting them to pass in what is really a 50-50 game.


Kings of the Jungle ($1.24) vs A bit Saad ($4.70)

A game with little relevance to the remainder of the season, but bragging rights will make this a hard fought contest.  Fortunately for the Saints the Skipper and the Inspiration have come through, although there will still be some doubt about them both making in on the field.  Neither Reiwoldt or Hayes though cover the Saints biggest problem with their lack of size in defense.  The Lions who tried valiantly last week should come away with the consolation prize this week.


Dahlhaus Rules ($8.80) vs KPMG ($1.10)

Just rewards for the Dogs last week, they are playing a solid brand of footy and their young players are making significant contributions.  Time will tell, but they are building a great base to build from.  This week it is their turn for the audit from Sydney.  Whilst the Doggies are solid, every crack is likely to be exposed this week.  Sydney to win.


Charddy Sippers ($2.14) vs Power ($1.78)

The Final Showdown at Football Park is bound to be a hard fought encounter.  So often these games have gone against form and position, which gives Adelaide a great chance.  However the losses of Jenkins and Sloane do not help.  It is balanced provided Dangerfield is fit and ready to go, however Port are playing with confidence and seem to have the answers no matter what is thrown at them.  Port are my selection, but certainly give Adelaide a great chance.


Up to no Good ($1.80) vs Hurled Out ($2.20)

The Pies might have been up to something but most of their needles seem to be filled with ink!  Meanwhile the Bombers lose their key swingman in Hurley.  Both teams come off less than satisfactory games last week and will want to improve, Essendon have then had to deal with the rantings of The Weapon.  The Bombers have been able to use the drugs fiasco to motivate themselves throughout the year, many are wondering whether last week was a breaking point.  Maybe it was, however I suspect that Hawthorn were just too good!  The Pies on the other hand have spluttered most of the year with a couple of exceptions, if the Bombers are “on” there will be no room for spluttering.  The Pies do have is a deeper midfield although Jobe’s return will provide some balance.  Another flip of the coin game, I am selecting Essendon as I think they will be “on” after a tough week.  By the same token I can see it all falling apart for them and having Collingwood blow them off the park.


Friar Time

After a few good weeks, both the Seniors and Under 19s suffered defeats last week.  The seniors have their chance to atone against the Panthers of Old Mentone in a critical game to stay in the four and clear of Prahran.  The Under 19s take on PEGS at Friar Park to get the season back on track and resume the chase for second.  On another note the Senior team for the school won their Herald Shield Semi Final and now take on St Pat’s Ballarat on July 10 at the G prior to the Richmond – Brisbane game.


Go Friars, Go Blues

Cheers, Sal

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