AFL Round 8 preview: Dont forget the children

Greetings All,

Another week of the bump dying!  How long before it dies again?  What a hullaballoo over the obvious, Eddie Betts decision was clear cut and to me the James Kelly decision was pretty much the poisame but without the damage.  From the moment I saw the replay and the contact with Goddard’s jaw the decision and penalty was pretty clear.  OK there is still the Lindsay Thomas anomaly, but perhaps that is just what that was.

But this week’s focus is on the degradation of the footy traditions, in a week where yet another coach referred to marks as catches – Yuk.  What is of more concern is Channel Seven’s shift from traditional team selections where they show the teams as three columns of Backs, Midfielders and Forwards.  I understand the change and that teams very rarely line up with 6 of each, but they vary that on a regular basis.  Their presentation though is very difficult to read and provides little idea of team structure anyway, the one I recall had 3 backs, 2 forwards and the rest in the midfield.  Those mids will share the attack and defensive roles required.  Whilst the traditional 5 lines and the followers might not often be followed it is what we are used to reading and importantly provides a great learning tool for junior coaches to teach youngsters the areas of the ground – and maybe even a return to positional play.  Noting though from my experience at Auskick and Under 10 levels, that is where the flood really started!  What TV coverage should deliver is be better analysis and information regarding actual team structures and how they are altered as the game progresses.

But now time to assess the team selections in position and see how we fare at picking winners this week.  Last week was not that great missing on Hawthorn (wish I knew about Mumford), Richmond, St Kilda and technically Melbourne.  (I did switch late and went with Gazza!)  This week presents plenty of interesting games once again.


Nic Nat ($1.40) vs Majak ($3.40)

A scrumptious match up with Nic Nat coming up against Majak – let alone the Eagles and the Roos.  West Coast got themselves over Brisbane last week whilst North eventually tore the Dogs apart.  But last time these two met was at this venue in a final where the spirit got lost and Eagles won by 96 points.  The form of both teams this year has been questionable but this is a great test for North.  As great as Majak was last week, this week’s foe will be much stronger.  If they are going as well as they say then they should take this right up to the Eagles who have struggled at home this year.  But I suspect West Coast will find their form and give North their 5th loss in succession in the West.


Easy Ryder ($1.06) vs Mt Gravatt ($16.50)

Better structural decision by the Bombers with Gumby being rested rather than dropped, but importantly Ryder back in gives them greater flexibility.  Brisbane were OK last week against good opposition but still went down at home, there is no denying the Bombers are going well and the Lions away indicates a pretty easy Essendon win.


Haughty is Back ($1.01) vs Oh-Oh ($70.00)

How are the GWS at $70?  A gimme for the Hawks.


Dee-stroyers ($1.69) vs Goodes to be Back ($2.34)

The other Goodes returns for the Dogs, while Gold Coast will be going for their 4th win of the season.  Who would have thought they might be 4-4 after 8 games?  Well they are not there yet, however being back home I reckon they will be.  By the same token I do give the Dogs a great chance and I am sure they will be primed for this match, $2.30 is fair value.


Pastry Crumbs ($3.60) vs The Invincibles ($1.37)

The Pies are doing as much as they can with the left over crumbs, but unfortunately it has had a drastic effect on their quality and critically their defence.  Meanwhile at Sleepy Hollow the Cats are yet to be beaten and still haven’t played a “home” game.  Great to see Luke Ball back, but it is still a patchwork backline.  At their manic best Collingwood could win, but they haven’t played in that manner all year and I doubt they have the required personnel.  Cats to romp on.


Return of the Mummy ($1.41) vs Judo ($3.45)

Can the champs recover from the mauling from the Hawks last week?  The return of Mumford will help and will be even stronger given the dearth of ruckmen available at Fremantle.  No doubt they will try and lock it up, but that will suit the Swans who should be too good at home.  Nevertheless any Freo game will be tight so $3.45 is luxurious.


One Amigo ($1.42) vs Kochy’s Angels ($3.25)

Kochy might have his morning TV angels, can his boys be the afternoon variety?  Whereas the Blues are down to Jeff Garlett as the lone amigo – how can Mick restructure the forward line to kick goals,  given it is not one of his strengths.  Waite returning should help, by the same token the likely ins for Port will strengthen them.  The Blue’s injuries on Monday night are a furphy – their opposition had the step on them all night irrespective of rotations – they cannot afford to allow Port the same.  I suspect they will take the jump and get back on the winners list, however the odds on Port are very appealing for a non-partisan follower.


The Cut Mullett ($1.04) vs Neeldy Done ($24.00)

Maric gets a week off – the skipper is back, up against the Demons I doubt they will encounter too much opposition.


Giant Killers ($1.30) vs Blue Monday ($3.90)

The Saints were meritorious in dishing out a Blue Monday, whereas the form of the Crows cannot really be measured with their demolition of GWS.  Just not sure how many avenues to goal the Saints will have apart from Reiwoldt – who is in outstanding form, Adelaide are missing forwards but do seem to be finding their way.  The ruck duel between Jacobs and McEvoy will be something to look forward to for many years.  But overall Adelaide will be too good at home where the Saints have a poor record – would be an intriguing game at a neutral venue.


The Winter Hits

So we are off to Brisbane for the Group ones and this week we have the Doomben Cup (G1, 2000m, WFA).  Hard to go past PGM’s Lights of Heaven who seems to strike form at this time of the year, but then again Chris Waller has a strong hand with Foreteller who has been very consistent of late and the import Beaten Up whose form has been on the improve.  The other runner of interest at odds is Pimms Time from across the ditch, a last start winner over Quintessential who won impressively last week.

Selections Race 7 – 9-8-4-13


Friar Time

The Seniors played a fantastic game last week at Toorak Park over Prahran-Assumption, the wind made it a messy game but the team played to a plan and were able to pile on four goals early in last quarter against the wind and seal the deal.  This week they head to Ormond where another tough away encounter awaits.  The Under 19s clinched the points over Williamstown CYMS last week and front up against the Northern Blues again this Saturday.


Go Blues, Go Friars

Cheers, Sal


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