AFL Round 20 – Preview: The Crunch Time Round



What a week it’s been in Footy Wrappers.  The Footy’s still crowded out as the EFC and Shoeless Jim place themselves above The Game.  Nor are the Ayatollah and his lackeys around at Jellymont House coming out of this with their honour intact.  And by once again allowing ourselves to be in lockstep with a ‘World’ body, we’ve stuck ourselves with a prescriptive set of rules that don’t work anyway.  For instance, we’ve had kids making innocent mistakes with substances that are sold over the counter shamed and banned, while two clubs – one in the NRL & the other in the AFL – deliberately & systematically, not only tried to circumvent the spirit of the rules, but as far as the testing protocols in place are concerned, got away with it.  And, certainly in the case of Essendon, are threatening to punch anyone in the nose with a lawsuit should they attempt to sanction them over it.  In fact everyone involved in this showdown are reaching for their lawyers, and we can expect the dollars and writs to start flying any minute now.

How revealing would a survey be as to – a show of hands would be fine –how many of us have had an absolute gutful of the behaviour of all the parties involved in this squalid affair?  That many, eh?  Keep your hands up.  I reckon you could balance the Sydney Harbour Bridge on them.

Now while we’ve got you there, put up the other hand if you believe that any one who has used their regulatory and executive power to mask their distraction in the period leading up to and during these should be sanctioned without fear and favour?  Wow!  Keep it up while we stack the Opera House on top of the bridge.

But enough of my gabbin’.  Let’s see who is going to be in the land of plenty after Round XX.

The Culture Club v The Family Club under cover tonight.  Fair dinkum, Bradley Manning would have more confidence in his appeal hearing than The Long Suffering Junction Oval Faithful will take with them to The Big Top tonight.  We know it’s been a tough year for them, and the Whole Football World is with The Sainters in these dark times, but the bottom line is we’re entering the business end of the season and the Mayblooms have been stung out of any complacency they may have been harbouring.  We’re tipping that they’ll be at The Seagulls from the Opening Bounce and it will be all over by the first change.  The Mustard Pots – after their humiliation at the hands of The Striped Marvels last week – embarrassingly.  And The Bagmen, unless they’ve sabotaged the Hawthorn Team Bus, are literally giving it away at $1.02,

The Striped Marvels v The Roy Boys at THOF for the early one on Saturday.  Richmond: in Vickey, out Stephenson.  Brisbane out: Brown, Bewick & Golly, in Martin, Moloney & Lester..  The Tiges, apart from a few long term injuries, are at full strength and playing the style of Footy Coach Hardnose and his Coaching Department have known all season they were capable of.  Only one straight kick behind The Maggies on percentage, they’ll be all out to take advantage of Big Jonathon Brown’s absence.  Ward Rooney reckons this Bleak City weather will abate by match day and if Jumping Jack can find his radar Struggletown could kick the Sweep.  The Roys have been making a bit of noise this season.  They have a couple of big scalps on their belt – The Peptides & The Handbags – and their win against The Roos, in hindsight, deserves mention.  The Tiges won’t want to blink.  We’re saying, now they’ve got a taste for Victory, that they’ll go on with the job.  The Endangered Species for us here in the Wrapcave, and you could do a lot worse than latch onto some off that $1.16 Little Tommy’s throwing around.

The Pussies v The Power on the Little Ground at The Bottom End of The Bay at the traditional time.  The Tealers have been playing Inspired Football this season, none more so than Chad Wingard.  If you haven’t got him for a place in this year’s Brownlow you haven’t been paying attention.  But Chad, Kane, Travis & Jay might have their hands full against The Rebounding Cats.  They’ll have trained with mouthguards in on Tuesday & Thursday nights, and the handbags will be loaded with housebricks.  Playing in front of their Adoring Flattown Faithful, they should be able to pull this one off.  They may have to use up one of their remaining lives, but they’ll do it.  The $1.14 looks safe too.

The Miseries v The Bulldogs on the Shifting Sands of Docklands in the gathering gloom.  (BTW Wrap, have you noticed the days are getting longer? – Ed)  As that old Craven A cork tipped advertisement slogan used to tell us – You’ve got nothing to lose but your smokers ’cough.  Well, The Doggies have got nothing to lose but a meaningless four points against the Club that called them Tragic back in Black Jack’s day.  Memories run deep along the Maribyrnong.  They may be a bit exhausted by last weeks outing against TRP, but the Self Belief gained will compensate for that.  Their opponents are one of this season’s biggest disappointments.  Expected to take on The Competition this season (Maybe in the paper castle they’ve constructed themselves at Visy Park they expected to – Ed) they’ve fallen to Glorious 9th, dependant on Arch Rival Essendon’s predicament for a wild card entry to September.  Freo exposed them, as so many others have this season, for sustainability.  Whether it’s lack of concentration or desire is not clear, but they have had a lot of trouble keeping in matches during crucial passages.  Waite’s been in and out of the side because of injury or rush of blood.  The Hon. Edward C Betts is talked of as trade bait.  The Kreuzer has been maligned as too gentle a giant.  (And he’s not playing anyway, nor is Carrazzo – Ed)  The other Two Amigos don’t seem happy little campers under The Wayward Ox’s standard.  Juddie’s mind seems to have moved on to another plane and their Skipper seems equally distracted.  But that’s the season.  Can they lift to keep alive their Wild card hopes tonight?  The Shinboners are two out and one back waiting to pounce with their superior percentage.  And wouldn’t The Sons of The West like to stick it up ‘em for Ted?  We’re saying they can.  They’re young and fit, and playing with Self Belief.  With the Whole Football World in their corner, it’s The Boys of The Bulldog Breed for us here in Wrapland.  And at $3.20 they’re The Wrap Roughie of The Round.

The Bloods v Carringbush at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.  Bruce & The Velvet Fog have the call but it’s a Foxbuster if you prefer the HD image and the uninterrupted call.  (And the superior analysis? – Ed)  The Maggies obliterated The Flying Syringes last round, but there are some SOTG who are suggesting they may have been playing The Marshmallows instead.  It may be too early to tell, but there are signs that the medication that’s been helping Their Boys Always Strive For Glory And Fame As They Play This Grand Old Game may have lost its uplifting powers.  Which, in turn, may qualify Collingwood’s win.  The Hawks belted The Bombers too, and in turn were on the receiving end the following week.  The Swanees on the other hand have just come off one of the hardest contests they’ve had all year, which they won.  That’s why Nurelle’s Nana will never race ferrets and we’re going for The Bloods.  Take McGlynn to kick 3 goals and Tippett to kick the first if you want some side interest, but most certainly pile it on The Bloods at $1.45.

The Gold Coast Metermaids v The Recalcitrant Redlegs at The Metricon on Saturday night.  This one’s a no brainer.  The Suns need only turn up for the last quarter.  Melbourne are so down in spirit right now they’d just as likely kick it out on the full and have to wait for The Suns to turn up to kick the ball back into play.  The Abletts by the length of the main straight at Flemington.

The Gliders v The Pre Season Redhot Favourites under cover for the early one on Sunday.  Can The Pharmaceuticals reverse their form slump?  And can The Wedgies live up to their pre-season hype?  The East Coast fans are to be denied a look at Nick Nat Nui, which is a disappointment.  Apart from that, his mercurial presence will be missed by his teammates.  There’s an experimental feel about both team sheets, but were going to say The Marshmallows, in the face of overwhelming off-field events, will snap this form slump and live to face their fate.  But you wouldn’t put up that florin you scored from the Christmas pudding as surety.

The Free Settlers v The Shinboners at Crow Park for the middle match on the Sunday.  The Chardonnays may be a bit flat after having their cork popped last Sunday in The Showdown.  The Roos, on the other hand, will be full of bounce after their Famous Victory.  The Porpoise is back for The Crows but The Kangas should have too much of everything, including Shinboner Spirit and a chance to grab Glorious 9th along with the Essendon Wild card vacancy in September.  They’re a bit radical at $1.80, but if you’re an avant-garde sort of an investor, why not?  Ef?

The Purple Haze v The Western Sydney Experiments at Paterson’s Curse to finish off Round XX.  If ever there was a chance for The Boa Constrictors to break out and actually kick a bagful this has to be it.  A bunch of kids, mesmerized by the temptations of Questa Casa and the fine wines & seafood of Mews Road will be a rabbit in the headlights when they run out onto Subiaco Oval on Sunday.  The Barry Crockers, and with The little Aussie battler in free fall (To the delight of Aussie exporters – Ed) you could do a lot worse than leave the mortgage money with your caring odds-setter for the weekend.

Good tipping and even better punting.

And remember, if you read it in the Wrap you’ll know it’s not crap.

With the release of the ASADA Report we’re going to be asked to take more than a few people at their word.  Here’s what Audrey Niffenger, The Time Travellers Wife; J.M.Barrie, Peter Pan; The Oxford Dictionary, Friedrich Nietzsche & Abraham Lincoln had to say about trust.  It’s another mix and match, but it’s a pretty easy one.

I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.

I never understood why Clark Kent was so hell bent on keeping Lois Lane in the dark.

If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem.  It is true that you may fool all of the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all of the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time

All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.

1. to have confidence in somebody; to believe that somebody is good, sincere, honest, etc.  Trust somebody.  She trusts Alan implicitly.  Trust somebody to do something.  You can trust me not to tell anyone.

2 trust something to believe that something is true or correct or that you can rely on it.  He trusted her judgement.  Don’t trust what the newspapers say!

3 trust (that)… (formal) to hope and expect that something is true.  I trust (that) you have no objections to our proposals?

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. Nice wrap Wrap. I’d like to steal a line from Milton Friedman:

    “The government (AFL) solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem”.

    I hate the whole Essendon saga. I’m dreading the “solution”.

  2. wells said. The question I would like to ask EFC is “would you do it again?”. If the answer is no, why do it in the first place. If yes, well enough said.

  3. Neil Belford says

    Its more than a sport – history’s here in the making.

    Everybody who bagged. buried, belittled, derided and discarded the Power from Port around this time last year, many of whom did so most stridently here at the FA, will see the final deconstruction of that argument at KP this weekend. Get the house on Port, Cats are goorn :)

  4. Thymosin; AOD-9064 and now PIXIE DUST. Is there nothing that Shoeless Jim won’t stoop to taking for a performance edge?
    And why aren’t my Weagles the Wrap Roughie of the Round?? The Peptide Pixies are goooorn. Get on the Weagles.

  5. It’ has, the EFC Scandal, stolen the season from us Dips. Just as the Melbournesque performance(s) of Cricket Australia has stolen an Ashes Tour from us – as in us the punters. The worst part about it, as you and Milton Friedman so aptly point out, is that the party applying the so called solution is part of the original problem. If the AFL had applied their thinking caps in the first place, caught a few of those straws floating in the wind and put them under the microscope there’s a good chance this whole sorry mess could have been avoided in the first place.

    And we might even have a sensible drugs policy that was designed with an understanding of the real world, rather than adopting one drawn up by a culture that still thinks it’s life determining to know how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

    RTB, love your take on it. I bet you learnt that test from your Nana & Pop. God bless the wisdom of the ancients. The next question provably should be – what would the answer be from Whingy Hill? What do you think it would be?

  6. Andrew Starkie says

    Interested to observer AD has distanced himself from the whole thing – like he did with the Melbourne saga. Today on radio he said he didn’t know when the AFL’s sanctions/decisions would be brought down. That’s a bit of a worry. I wonder if he will attend the presser or leave it to someone else like he did with the Melbourne tanking scandal.

  7. I’d love to give those Wedgies of yours a plug Mr B, it’s just that they’ve let me down so many times this season. Nevertheless here in the Wrapcave – along with the Whole Football World – we’ll be cheering them on. And if you can roll them, it would have to raise serious questions – certainly amongst the punting & bookmaking fraternities – as to their real value at this end of the season.

    That’s just one of the things that we have been distracted from Neil. The Rise & Rise of The Power From Port has been totally overlooked in the distraction created by a bunch of delusional Born To Rule glory boys out Melrose Drive. How Team Power has turned the Franchise from a dysfunctional schamozzle rent by factionalism and misplaced ego into an efficient operation and The Chokers into one of the most exciting teams in the Competition is a model that could be used by the AFL for their equalisation restructure. But oh no, why bother going over to Adelaide when you can fly to New York at the Long Suffering Footy Fans’ expense, and come back with what? Another complex set of rules & regs that will only add to the cost of running the competition, which smart arse operator will find their way around anyway.

    Then there’s the Resurgence at Tigerland. How good is that for Football? And North’s belated run at September. But what do we get? A peptide of pix & footage of Pretty Boy Hird saying wait till the report comes out, then we’ll be proved innocent. Okay Golden Child; the report’s out; start proving.

  8. You’ve nailed it AS. Bob Hawke made a career of doing just that; turning up to sign the capitulation decree. The only difference is that this bloke’s not a patch on Hawkie.

    Do you think the EFC’s new aggressive stance has him worried? They mightn’t win a legal stoush – the AFL, after all, own The Game – but they could take AD down with them. Interesting indeed.

  9. daniel flesch says

    Thank you , The Wrap ! On your advice , changed my tip and went for the Sons of the Mighty West to win by 8 points and they did it by 28 ! And didn’t Mick Brewery look so angry on the telly ? Schadenfreude in spades , as ungentlemany as that is .

  10. If we didn’t have The Flying Syringes hogging the front and back pages Daniel, the plight of the CFC would be the main debate at this end of the season. Their reasons for appointing Mickey the Maltster, and the reason Mickey took the job on would be dominating the discussions around the CoffeeMate and in the canteen.

    Sorry I couldn’t see The Magpie Resurgence coming for you.

  11. “How sweet it is” as Jackie Gleason used to say.
    If only you’d doubled up on the Wrap Roughie good things. Go you Doggies and you Eagles.

  12. Basso Divor says

    Neil, I can loan you a tent.

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