AFL Round 7 preview: Ziggy played guitar

Greetings All,


A quarter of the way through the season and how much do we know?  Premiership contenders appear to be reduced to 3 or 4 teams, but the competition for finals places is very wide!  But finally this week we got the Switkowski Report.  David Evans described it as uncomfortable – how so?  No action taken and all the “Alpha Males” have had their slap with the feather duster.  It was though a report into process and not the Spanish Inquisition on performance enhancing drugs – but in reality it took all that time to state the bleeding obvious!  At least the President is putting himself on the line, but the sycophantic fan base has been frothing at the mouth about the injustice of it all and the blame is being conveniently placed on now outside parties – his chances are good.  At least they will put in the 12 steps recommended, that would bring them up to best practice.


I assume many of you will be dining out on Hungry Jacks after selecting the 9 favourites last week.  This week presents a much sterner test for prognostication with the leaders contesting along with a Grand Final rematch – a mouth-watering set of matches await.


Belmont ($1.73) vs Oscelot’s Liver ($2.36)

The Cats have done what they need to win every game so far but they are yet to put a full game together, meanwhile the Bombers have been ruthlessly efficient in most games the big exception being last week.  Is it all catching up to them or can they continue to plough on?  This week could answer many questions.  Both forward lines will present interesting challenges to their opponents, Essendon with their big men and Geelong with their skills at ground level, who can get the best supply will be critical.  I reckon the strength of the Cats will prevail in the midfield with Kelly, Bartel, Selwood and co – not to say Essendon cannot match it but we know that in general those Cats do the right things at the right times and it gets them over line.  However speaking of the line the knob-twirlers have this too far apart, this is almost a toss of the coin game and I reckon Essendon are fair value at $2.15 or above.


Return of the Jedi ($1.57) vs Cotchless ($2.70)

Team changes with massive bearing on the chances for this game, for Port they get Ken Hinkley back on the other hand Richmond have lost key players none more so than the captain, Trent Cotchin.  At full strength Richmond would be a huge chance to win, but the associated loss of Ty Vickery presents structural challenges also.  Port do go into the game with a refreshed ruck combination – but their strengths in the runners are all intact.  Port to prevail at home, would have thought $2.70 for Tiges generous but concerned about them this week.


Who’s the Voss? ($5.00) vs Mind the Gaff ($1.24)

Not sure what the odds were for the corresponding game last season – I suspect possibly even further apart, but the Lions were able to get up over the Eagles that day.  They are a significantly better team at home, they will be out to avenge their poor showing last week and the champ Simon Black is back.  Why he played in the seconds last week is staggering!  Can they do it again?  The Eagles beat up the Dogs on their own turf last week and the return of Natanui makes a difference, but the jury is still out.  If they are a contender they have to win this and probably will, however Brisbane are at a VERY generous price especially if you look at both teams form prior to last start!


Puppies ($9.80) vs Boom Boom ($1.11)

Boomer back for the Roos, the Dogs leaving players out for soreness.  We are playing too many of these kids too young!  Good for them to get Murphy and Griffin back but won’t affect the result North to register another win.


Sumo ($2.28) vs Hello Max ($1.77)

The Pies get their skipper and defensive controller back in Maxwell, Freo are still missing four of their best players.  However Freo play such an even style of wrestling it often matters not.  This is the Pies first encounter at Subiaco with a Get Stuffed Lyon Freo outfit, whilst they have a great travel record this will be a different test.  Whilst I give Collingwood a huge chance (am dumfounded at their quote) I reckon Freo will put the clamps on and contain them to a losing score.  It will be a horrible but yet intriguing game to watch and at $2.28 Freo are great value!


Chumps ($1.62) vs Champs ($2.56)

A long way out to have to give a selection for the Grand Final rematch – is it a Grand Final pre-match?  The Hawks appear in great shape flexing their muscles and without scoreboard contribution from Buddy.  How worried would they really be to lose him?  Although he certainly does attract the best defender.  But the biggest difference in the teams from last year is the inclusion of Lake for the Hawks – can he make the difference?  I reckon it has more to do with the midfield and give Sydney the edge with their pace, notwithstanding the undoubted quality of their opponent.  Not having Rioli to pinch hit in the middle hurts also.  Another game where I am astounded by the odds, I reckon Sydney can win again and as such the price on offer is enticing.


Click Your Shoes Dorothy ($13.00) vs Bigger than Tex ($1.07)

Finally the Giants actually get to play at their home ground!  Their early season assignment was not difficult enough!  But this won’t be easy either against the Walker-less Crows who took it up to Hawthorn in spite of their challenges up forward.  Adelaide to win.


Opening Dawes ($1.94) vs Jaeger the Meister ($2.00)

An evenly balanced contest between a couple of the cellar-dwellers.  The Suns could register their 3rd win of the season and have the talent to do it.  The Dees have lost their Captain Jacks – usually that would be an issue for a team.  It appears to be a benefit, they are both outstanding individuals but captaincy has been a burden far too great at this stage of their careers.  I am selecting the Gold Coast to win just because I expect Gazza can get off the chain.


Kosi can’t help it ($4.40) vs Why are we Waite-ing ($1.28)

Two of the more stupid reports, put two key players out of this game.  With that all balanced who will win?  Not exact on the numbers, but the Saints are launching their 34th player for the season on Monday Night and it is only Round 7.  A fair indicator that they are decimated with injuries, their opposition on the other are almost back to full strength discounting a stupid Centre Half-Forward.  I expect St Kilda will take it up to the Blues early however eventually the speed and experience of the Blues will take over as it did for Collingwood last week.


Travelling the Country


Group 1 events in Brisbane and Adelaide, The BTC Cup (G1, 1200m, WFA) kicks off the Brisbane carnival with a quality field of sprinters.  Sea Siren was a star in Brisvegas last winter and I reckon she can kick it off again, Buffering came back well last start and is the main danger.  The Boom brothers are also engaged with Spirit of Boom seemingly in better form and Better Than Ready has a great record at the track.

Brisbane Race 7 – 10-1-4-7


The time-honoured Goodwood (G1, 1200m, SWP) was graced with Black Caviar last year, this year the spread is much wider.  Going out on a limb for this one also with Perturbo, of recent times has usually had to carry the grandstand and gets in here with 54.5kg.  He has a withering finish and if they are running on he is a chance.  He will have to pass Moment of Change – 2nd to Black Caviar and 2nd in the Newmarket is great form for this.  Yosei was a huge finish in her last run and Facile Tigre has knocked me out to often!

Adelaide Race 7 – 13-1-17-7


The Friars saluted last week with a great win at home over Old Mentone, this week they travel to Toorak Park to take on Prahran-Assumption who have been in good form.  The Under 19s went down in last minute of their game against Old Xavs, all a part of the learning process and plenty of points for coach Freeman to use.  They take on Williamstown CYMS at Friar Park.


Go Friars, Go Blues

Cheers, Sal

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