AFL Round 4: The Pre-Wrap


For the Philosophical Marngrook Follower

Von nichts kommt nichts.  What a week it’s been in Footy Eddie.  The pressure cooker at Optus Oval is starting to rattle and shake.  Prez Sticks has given Coach Brewery the Kiss of Death when he said he was the man to Re-build of the Blues.  Not sure how Mick the Maltster would have felt about those dreaded words – We’ll be sticking with our coach.  True, not quite as blood draining as The Board is 110% behind the coach, but nevertheless, an ominous sign.  Furthermore, there’s been trouble at Caaartlon since Black Jack’s departure.  Are we alone in thinking that the corridors of Visy Park are strewn with banana peels?

But let’s give the last say to the paperboys along La Via Lygon:

Knock!  Knock!

Who’s there?


Owen who?

0 and 3

Ouch!  Your shout Benito.

Player Agents Fill Column Inches Department  – or as it’s known in the trade: PAS*.  This one from Alex McDonald, Tom McDonald’s agent is our pick of the week.  Young Tom is out of contract next season and is a restricted free agent  (That doesn’t jar with you does it Wrap – restricted free agent? – Ed)  Tom is talking to Melbourne but we are not in discussions about a new contract yet.  There are no issues between Tom and Melbourne, but he just wants to play and worry about helping Melbourne win games of football without worrying about talking about contracts at this stage.  Oh really?  Ignoring the tortured syntax, how refreshing would be to get something credible from these freeloading dorsals?  Something that would have us thinking, you know what, I reckon he’s got a point there.  Something along the lines of Tom’s not happy with the way things are going at Melbourne.  He’s not sure the coach has the right attitude, and while the AFL accredited administration has appeared to have righted the ship, it doesn’t really reflect the feeling of insecurity and self-doubt pervading the locker room.  Tom has seen respected teammates sacked or leave, and the promising career of one young man in tatters and left with a personal struggle for his mental state.  As Tom’s football career is finite, he’d like to play in a professionally run team with a chance of running out in September.  He’d also like to maximize his earning capacity over this time.  And so would I.  You can’t count on being in this caper forever.  Look at what happened to Ricky Nixon.

Now something like that would have you reading past the sub-header.

But before we write off the right honorable Alex as a one-trick pony, cop this gem.  Our Alex also manages James Frawley.  In denying a report that he had set an asking price of 800 big ones on the former All-Australian, he hit us with Don’t get me wrong, the numbers look very attractive to me, but James and I have not discussed numbers so it would be very difficult for me to be putting numbers to clubs and setting asking prices.  I’ll bet Alex still leaves out a gingerbread biscuit and a bottle of Abbots Larger for Santa before his mummy tucks him in on Christmas Eve.  (Not sure if Alex is naive, or he thinks we’re stupid.  What do you think Wrap? – Ed)

And for those LSPRF who feel they may be losing the plot around at ME Bank Oval – here’s a line from the Lite n’Easy Coaches Box.  It’s the leader for Dimma’s Dissection, his weekly breakdown of what happened out there on the weekend.  Uncharacteristic skill and decision-making errors proved to be costly in Richmond’s Round III loss to the Western Bulldogs.  Not sure which Lite n’Easy plan you’re on Dimma old son, but it might be time for a change.  There was nothing uncharacteristic about The Striped Marvels’ performance on Saturday.

And Hungry reckons that we need to get The Game back to where it was in the 70s.  Do away with the super fit running athletes and get back to having some rum in the OT at Citrus Break and hot pies after training On Tuesday’s.  Thinking of making a comeback KB?

But let’s not dismiss KB out of hand.  Get out the tape of the 1980 GF.  Now that’s a game that would pull them through the turnstiles.

But enough of my gabbin’.  Let’s see whose chances are about to soar in Round IV.

Struggletown v Carringbush, tonight at THOF.  Ward Rooney got it right this time and Bleak City and The Bush have had three days of glorious Autumn Break.  We’ve mopped out over 40mm from the Wrapcave and we’ll need to get out the Victa as soon as it eases off.  The wind’s tipped to pick up by the evening and the match may be played in dry conditions.  But that’s not going to be the decider.  Both these teams have played below themselves so far this season.  The Striped Marvels have played one scintillating game of Footy, which lived up to the pre-season promises that TLSPRF were given.  Unfortunately they played it spread over two matches.  They will need to redress that tonight to have any chance.  The Pies have had a similar wonky start to 2014, and there’s a lot of soul-searching going on at The Yarra Falls End right now.  Look, anything could happen tonight.  Both sides have lists that excite.  Swan, Elliot, Read and Pendlebury for The Woodsmen, Coth, Jack and Dusty for the Tiges – to name just a few.  We can’t split them around here in the Wrapcave.  One of them’s going to get it together tonight to re-launch their season.  The other will be 1and 3.  The Marvels have looked the better side when they’ve got it together over the first three rounds, so we’ll stick with them.  But not with any confidence.

Carlton v Melbourne, at The G for the early one on Saturday.  You could hold this one in a phone box and not have to get there early to get a seat on the fence.  Both sides look confused and mentally weary – and this is only Round IV.  The Bluebaggers gave The Tiges a run for their money, but whether that was because The Striped Marvels have a psychological problem against The Silvertails, or a sign of a pulse around at Visy Park is not clear at this stage.  The Fuchsias have a psychological problem, period.  To watch them passing the ball to each other across the backline would give KB apoplexy.  And to be honest about it, we’re not sure Paul Roos is the answer.  There was certainly no “once more unto the breach dear friends” about his acceptance of the job.  In fact the negotiations were borderline shabby, what with Roos first denying he wanted to coach again, then, in full public view, the MFC wooing him with an offer that would have seemed obscene to a the wider workforce, especially those re-trenched workers left out to dry by the heartlessly comfortable in our community.  His pressers have had the ring of a high-priced consultant annoyed that his charges are making him look bad.  And we’re tipping that they’re going to make him look bad again on Saturday.  The Miseries will be desperate for absolution after their sinful display against The Rampaging Bombers.  They’ll take the torch to The Demons in this decisive battle for The Coveted Sylvan Shield.  Their team list in the Butcher’s Shop Window looks a bit like a chain saw massacre, but it won’t make any difference: Mick’s Bluebaggers easily.

The Power From Port v The Brisbane Lions, on the Adelaide Oval at the traditional time.  Too easy.  Port OTR will have too much of everything for The Lions.  Ward Rooney has tipped the rain will have cleared by then, and The Tealers will be keen to re-assert themselves.  The Maroons have been competitive so far this season – to a point.  The Little Master & his band of Merry Men gave them a right touch-up last round and this one is going to be a match too far.  And how long is it since you’ve seen The Power at $1.13?  You’d be tempted, surely.  It’s The Wrap Safe as Houses Investment Opportunity of The Round.

GWS v The Tricolours, on Starstruck Oval in the gathering gloom of an Autumn day in the National captial.  The Bulldogs are doing a bit of roaring out at Whitten Oval. They started with a couple of toughies to get their season underway, and took The Fancied Tigers head on – and managed to claw the match back when it looked gone.  The Giants jumped The Vaucluse Lawn Bowls and Croquet Club in the Season’s Opener, and were valiant against St Seaford.  Then they beat Melbourne.  It’s up there and it’s going to be blowing half a gale for most of the day with a few showers thrown in for good measure.  A big opportunity for The Orangemen, but The Sons of The West play a hard, fast game of Footy, and training out on The Western Oval, they’ll be used to bleak conditions.  Our money’s with The Visitors, but expect this Lyon Cameron coached Giant’s Outfit to give a good account of themselves.  The Doggies will miss Dahlhaus and Roughead and The Giants have some serious firepower up forward.  We’ll stick with The Boys of The Bulldog Breed, but won’t be surprised if The Orangemen get up.  Either way, it would be Good For Football.

The Gold Coasters v The Hawkers, up on the Metricon on Saturday night.  You know what, it’s on free to air.  Hawthorn won’t let up.  They’ll be taking this one as it comes, and doing all the pre-match planning as if it was TLSIS.  Sorry Gazza – the Mayblooms comfortably.  And at $1.25 you’d like to think the Bagmen haven’t been into the Mullumbimby Madness and they’ll still have that on the board when they open this morning.  That’s right Wrappers, The Mustard Pots are The Wrap Mortgage Buster of The Round.

The Handbagers v The Coasters, at The Cattery on Saturday night.  And do you know what, it’s on pay TV.  (And the appalling Football League wonders why the punters are loosing interest – Ed)  Thank Heaven for Radio, eh Rd?  This will be a test of the 2014 credentials of both teams.  The Screaming Eagles have been weakened by injuries and suspensions.  The Pussies are getting up towards full strength.  They haven’t really blown any one away yet, but they’ve been impressive enough in what they’ve done so far.  They look like those Geelong sides of not so long ago that could change up a gear whenever they needed to.  The Weagles on the other hand were looking scarily good – until The Feeling Faints closed them down last week.  It’s going to be a beauty, but we’ll stick with The Moggies.

Steak & Kidney v The Shinboners, at Moore Park Road for the early one on Sunday.  The Kangas would have got a bit of a lift from their solid, hard-fought win over a never-say-die Port Adelaide.  But then again, The Swans would have been heartened by Buddy’s form within the Blood’s Team Structure.  It’s going to be a good match in typical Sydney weather – 18oC with scattered showers and winds up to 40 kph.  Sorry Shinboners – in a word: Sydney.

The Feeling Faints v The Free Settlers, under cover for the middle match on Sunday.  This one’s on free to air as well.  The Appalling Football League and the sponsors must think we’ve got nothing better to do.  The Seagulls have been coming along just fine.  In fact you wonder where they’d be with Brendan Goddard & Nick Dal Santo still in the old Imperial Colours.  The Crows are zip-three, but to be honest, they’ve been playing well out of their weight division – The Cats, Port & The Bloods.  This week they have a sniff.  Whether The Buoyed-up Sainters will give them one is another matter.  We don’t believe so.  And at $2.25, The Junction Oval Seagulls are The Wrap Roughie of The Round.

The Barry Crockers v Bomber’s Bombers, over there at 4.40.  Guess what Wrappers, you have to pay to watch it.  (You really are having trouble working out how the world works, aren’t you Wrap – Ed)  The Dons go into this match unchanged, but they’re taking Jetta & Colyer across just in case they need them.  The Stevedores have lost Ibbotson, Mayne & Walters from the side mauled by Hawthorn last Friday night.  Amongst the replacement options we notice the name of The Icon Zac Dawson, returning from his GF suspension.  Last year’s Runners-up were looking pretty good until they ran into The Leafblowers last week.  So were The Bombers until their disappointing hiccup, also against TRP.  The Bagmen & the Pundits have it pretty even, but we’re liking what we see in this Thompson coached Essendon Outfit.  (Sure it’s not you that’s been into the Mullumbimby Madness Wrap? – Ed)  and for those who like a bit of adventure in their investment portfolio, you could do a lot worse than the $1.95 the Bagmen are throwing around.  Bomber’s Bombers for ours.

Good tipping and even better punting.  And remember, if you read it in the Wrap, you’ll know it’s not crap.

* – PAS – Player Agent Speak.

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. Wrapster – very funny line: “Both teams (Collingwood and the Tigers) have lists that excite.”

    Ha ha. Great stuff.

  2. Its 35 degrees over here in the Golden West, and nearly as warm on the golf course tomorrow. I may even raise a sweat. Meanwhile Victoria is doing a PR preview of the Great Flood for “Noah” (RLyon replacing RCrowe?), while Cape York is being relocated westward by cyclone into the Indian Ocean to assist in the MH370 search.
    Good news for ABolt, TAbbott and all the other climate change deniers. Makes me want to slather ’em in baby oil and stake ’em out in the middle of Subiaco Oval (children look away now).
    Saints are good things against the Chardonnays (enjoy Yvette).
    The Avenging Eagle and I have a choice between the Outdoor Cinema and the Weagles on TV Saturday evening. Czech cinema has a sudden appeal.
    Just one cautionary comment – I don’t reckon Melbourne FC’s internal troubles would be on the Top 10 list of causes for Mitch Clark’s difficulties. These things tend to have much longer, deeper and darker origins than the immediate and obvious.
    Your Striped Marvels are a chance tonight – I am looking forward to a performance from both teams to rival the Keystone Cups display against the Bluebaggers a fortnight ago.
    Good for football. Regards.

  3. Earl O'Neill says

    “You can’t count on being in this caper forever. Look at what happened to Ricky Nixon.”

    Great line, scored a genuine LOL from this Wrapper.

  4. daniel flesch says

    Bloody hell , Mr. The Wrap ; relieved i didn’t take your tips to the TAB. Striped Marvels done and dusted , the Silvertails got Demonised , and as i write the British Canines are 20 points adrift at the big break. (You did get the Original Magpies tip right , but said yourself that was a gimme.) Now i’m getting concerned at my beloved Mayblooms’ chances up there in the sub-tropics later tonight and need something to calm the nerves. Though it’s only 200 kilometres from here to Mullumbimby , it’s now just too late and too far for an emergency expedition.

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