AFL Round 7: The 2013 ‘Mopsy’ Fraser Cup

Greetings Tipsters

Ah, good ol’ Round Seven, that time of the season when we can get a handle on form, draw some erroneous conclusions, make some predictions.

The form teams were both exposed as somewhat hollow.  The Pivotonians – of whom there has been much conjecture lately as ‘the best team of all time’ so I’ll call them The Benchmarks this week – stomped all over the Mosquitoes in their usual domineering fashion and showed up their hitherto-undefeated opponents for the early season bolters that they are.

As did the Tiggers to the Blackouts (ftka Pirates, ftka Sharks), along the way demonstrating the superiority of kicking the ball over handling it.

That evening we were treated to the Grand Final rematch and the Sparkies were seriously outplayed and outcoached.  Brian Lake could be the missing piece of the puzzle for the Mayblooms, he knows where to go and how to outmuscle a full-forward.  Not that it was all that hard, the Sparkies figuring that a forward line consisiting of a proppy, out of sorts 20 year old would work for them.  Mumford didn’t play so the ruck was left to Myke Pyke and, occasionally, Jesse White who asked Myke to tie his shoelaces for him.  Myke obliged, tieing them around the uprights of the bench.  Everyone had a good laugh when Jesse fell over, and an even heartier laugh when Jesse couldn’t understand why.

Without Mumford, the rucks couldn’t take a breather forward, not to any good effect.  The Tippett recruitment makes a lot more sense, a mobile key forward who can ruck a bit.  At the other end of the paddock, the Mayblooms had four tall, fast marking players kicking 13 goals.

So, can you have too many six-foot-six forwards?  No, not if they can move and know their role.  Bundy Clarkson proved it and you might expect to see a lot more tall blokes in any forward line.

Which is an obvious evolution, the game has shifted in the last two years.  Long kicks have come back, to clear congestion around the ball, so of course tall, strong forwards who can mark or create an opportunity for crumbers are going to be more important to a team.  There is nothing new, only that which is forgotten.  Or, in football, rendered temporarily unfeasible.

The high mark first became a feature of the game in the 1880s.  A free kick for goal was of great value when three goals would win a game.

Geoffrey Blainey, Australia’s best historian, wrote a history of the origins of Australian Football, when a team would take a train or a Cobb & Co horse-drawn coach to a game, when blood was spilt, bones were broke, and everyone hit the pub afterwards in a jolly celebration.

I’d prefer not to have my blood spilt or my bones broken, I’ve had enough of that and I can’t decide which leg I should limp on, but I would think it neat if footballers got together after the match, the umpires came in, everyone cracks a longneck and there’d be breathtesting as they leave the rooms.

“Sorry Nick, that’s 0.07, you’ll have to go back in there.  You know the rules, no-one leaves until they’ve hit 0.1.”

So why was Nick wearing red and black hoops?  It looked like red and navy blue on the teev.  Carlton and St Kilda’s traditional strips do not clash at all, yet both teams were wearing something strange and, for the Café Set, unpleasant.  I liked the hoops.

Cheers, Tipsters

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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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