Cloke & Daggered!

Greetings one and all,

As the season progresses through its final trimester clubs are taking action to position themselves for both this year and the next.  The Blues would appear to have wisely conceded and sent off Lachie Henderson for surgery rather than risk further injury through this campaign.  Meanwhile the Pies have made the big decision to stop negotiating with the Cloke entourage.  I suspect though the genie is out of the bottle and the rumour and innuendo will continue.  What is worse is that unless the Pies win the flag there is no way this can come out positive for Travis.  If they lose – it was his fault; if he leaves the pressure that will be placed on him will be enormous.  And he is clearly struggling with the pressure on him at the moment.

The Grand Poobah Cloke says that he is only looking after his son’s interests whereas agents like Paul Connors with stable of players have to balance everyone’s interests to maximize his benefit.  That maybe so, however that is more likely to benefit the club, noting that Connors has plenty of players at other clubs too.  The question though is what protections are there to ensure that the managers are not looked after by the clubs to keep players at below their market value?  Gotta love a conspiracy theory!

Then there is the angry dwarf!  I wonder if the wall at the G saw it coming, at least he can repair that one?  Then to drop the F-bomb the following day to an overzealous official.  By nature officials in junior and minor leagues are overzealous – who else would do the job; so the first thing you do is “keep it clean”.  And they all love a tribunal hearing!  At least now though Rohan Connolly will have ensured he doesn’t cop it from the Clarkson, 25 years might be a long time but clearly his behavioural patterns have not changed that much!

Now for my anger!  Those Bombers, or those Cats – is carnival not really over?  Last week says no, but they have a hard road to travel from now.  I say it is over for this year.  The stuffed up on the Hawks – who are not false favourites now!  Throw the captain back in and they are even stronger, could Luke Hodge be the new “Lawn Mower”?.  Managed to get the rest except for North who now have scalp of significance away from the loungeroom.

Hird it Before ($5.40) vs Hird’s Hatred ($1.22)

Nothing would please the Bombers more than to knock their nemesis and flag favourites in the Hawks, however there would need to be significant turnaround in both form lines.  Whilst the Essendon formline does have that variability, the Hawks line is not dropping very far even without Buddy!  An upset is not completely inconceivable here, however not a proposition I will be choosing.  Bomber fans might like the $5.50 but not with mine!


Another Life ($1.71) vs I wouldn’t Tippet ($2.36)

What a great test this is for Adelaide – they have won a few we did not think they would, have pulverized meek opponents like the Proteas took to the Poms but still we remain skeptical.  Will a bold showing at the Cattery change our minds?  Not mine necessarily as I still have questions about the Cats – but the return of St Jimmy will help.  Still not prepared to tip against Geelong at home, but the Crows might be worth a shekel at $2.40.

They’re Petriefied ($1.12) vs Welcome to Hell ($8.60)

The Demons suffered the heat of Darwin last week and return to suffer the heat of the Kangas on their beloved turf.  Drew Petrie is proving to be every part the player Travis Cloke should be for the asking price, he has been too good for his opponents in the last two weeks and not sure he will up against any better this week.  This is not the test for North and they may further bolster their percentage, can’t have the Dees at any price.

Tired Boys ($40) vs Angry Men ($1.02)

The Pies need the percentage – parental guidance recommended – this could get ugly!

‘Boult from the Blue ($2.28) vs Dustied Off ($1.77)

The Tigers have lost their last eight against the Blues, but they are justifiable favourites here given the relative strengths of their lists.  The Blues have virtually conceded their chance for finals, behind on either points or percentage from their rivals but the maths can still work – as it can for Richmond but dependent on the phases of Venus.  A loss to either will be fatal.  The Blues will be stronger with the return of key players, but they are not facing the Bullies this week.  Still will go with the Blues and concede favouritism to Richmond, happy to invest on Carlton at the $2.30.

Not in the Hunt ($12.50) vs Ghost of ’05? ($1.08)

The Suns will be competitive for a while, but the Swans are too well drilled and organised.  Unfortunately for the Suns – they are also starting to beat up on the minnows.

It Ain’t Boak ($2.46) vs The Purple Curse ($1.67)

Not much to play for Port to play for apart from their honour – Freo on the other hand are right back in the hunt for finals.  With that factor, Port coming off a Darwin game and the return of Nat Fyffe I am tipping Freo.  However Port are not without a chance on their form so $2.50 is fair value – but not for me.

Just Kosi Can ($1.19) vs Two and a Dog ($6.00)

Saints played a great game against Sydney which has to better form to take in than the disappointing Bulldogs, struggling not only on the ground but also with their crowds.  They just need to persist with their kids and remove the list cloggers like Gilbee and Gia – fair players but wasting space.  I must now also reluctantly concede Milne can play!  Saints to reign.

A Glass Shuey Darling ($1.18) vs Got some Merrett ($6.20)

Great effort from the Lions in their most recent encounter and the Eagles recent form is not great.  Is an upset on the cards?  The Eagles did have quality encounters and whilst Brisbane have improved they are not Sydney or Adelaide.  West Coast to rebound.

Go Blues, Go Friars

Cheers, Sal


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