Finals Week 2 – Preview: Not now Mr President

Greetings All,


Port Adelaide missed out on advancing due to a “controversial” decision and a kick after extra time, but that did not stop our man Kochie from ripping in.  First of all if it were any other West Coast player apart from Luke Shuey there would have been no discussion on the free kick, it was really a matter of poor technique and you just have to go lower.  On to Kochie, his commentary may have been valid regarding selection, endeavour and commitment.  That commentary surely should have been behind closed doors though and not let that stuff out in public.
The commentary also should have come much earlier, its easy to pot the team after they are done but Port were pretenders all year.  Very happy and pleased with themselves to dish out beltings to the lower ranked sides, but abject failures against the better teams.  They won only two games against this years finalists from nine games and one of those was against the Swans when they were poor at the start of the season.  They have some terrific talent, but they don’t quite do the hard work when they need to.  How scathing would we all be if they managed to win last week?
But it is on to week two and let’s hope we see a bit more attacking footy this week.
Finals Fatigue ($3.50) vs Old Man River ($1.39)
The Cats are wondering whether their fans are sick of finals, well they would be after last week’s showing!  The usual concerns for Geelong came home to roost – too much left to too few and Kardinia Park footy is rubbish footy.  Maybe all the Geelong fans that turned up last week would have fitted into the boutique stadium, eventually you have to perform at the big ground.  Winning all those games at home did get them into the top four giving them the chance for redemption against the rampaging Swans.  They were awesome over the Bombers last week, but really that game was just true to form.  This week Sydney celebrate Jarrad McVeigh’s 300th game.  It looked over for the Old Man earlier in the season, he has turned it around, is playing superb footy and looking for another year.  The last two encounters between these protagonists has seen Sydney blitz Geelong with seven goal opening terms to pretty much seal the deal.  Chris Scott must come up with a plan to curtail that opening, just not sure he has the personnel.  Super Paddy got plenty of the footy last week, was always under pressure and butchered it all evening.  He will get plenty again but needs to be cleaner with his disposal for the Cats to have any chance.  His mates in the middle also need to constrain the likes of Parker, Kennedy and Hannebery; Scott Selwood can only play on one of them.  The Lonergan – Franklin match up will be interesting – in last years final Buddy only kicked two but roamed far and wide picking up plenty of footy, the corked thigh might limit his range.  At the other end Reg would seem a good match up for Hawkins, I suspect Harry might try and be the defensive forward on Rampe.  The Swans though have plenty of other rebound defenders.  The return of Menzel has been lauded, he is a worthy player.  His absence last week did not make a skerrrick of a difference to the result.  Not writing the Cats off – history says the qualifying final losers win a lot more often than the elimination final winners.  The last couple of years though has challenged that and Sydney have reached this game with much greater momentum than the Cats.  Predicting Sydney will take on Adelaide next week after a 37 point win over Geelong.
Motherless Children ($1.46) vs Nice Shuey ($3.10)
It is unfair on Adelaide to consider the lamentable performance of the Giants last week, the Crows were superb.  The Giants were horrible – they spluttered into the top four and seem to have lost their ability to kick goals.  Their record without Mumford is particularly poor, however they were better once Patton and Lobb went on ruck duty last week.  They were simply too big and cumbersome, this week’s selection looks better provided Stevie can lay a tackle!   It won’t mean a thing though unless they improve their appetite for the contest, Adelaide dished out a lesson.  The Eagles got over the line, but not quite sure how good that performance was, especially being goalless for two quarters.  The Giants need to ensure that McGovern is not allowed to simply float across and mop up every foray – super coach Cameron might need to forsake his plus one and rely on his defenders just winning the contest.  The challenge being that Davis and Shaw both look shaky.  What he will really need to do though is put his contested ball players where the ball is, Toby Greene might finish pretty well but he loves the scrap and needs to be in more contests especially coming up against Mitchell and Priddis.  At their best GWS win this while the Eagles probably need to be at their best to have chance, with very little confidence I have the Giants home by 14 points.
Headquarters Awaits
Flemington hosts this weeks Group One with the Maybe Diva Stakes plus a host of other races worth watching with the rest of spring in mind, Royal Randwick has a fine card also with the Group One feature being the Toothpaste Stakes!  The George Main Stakes was time honoured first run back in 1945 – the renaming of the race for a sponsor loses its grandeur but I am sure the winner will enjoy a nice set of pearly whites!
Maybe Diva Stakes (G1, 1600m, WFA) – this race has a sponsor too but they left the moniker, although it should be noted this was formerly the Craiglee Stakes.  Hartnell (1) bounced back in the Lawrence Stakes confirming his status as the second best horse in the land and likely to go around in the tomato sauce.  Black Heart Bart (2) chased home Vega Magic (who might just be challenging that second best status) and looks the main danger.  Le Romain (3) has won of the journey in a Group One and Humidor (6) will be fitter.  The race though has much intrigue with a number of the contestants planning attacks on the classics in a few weeks time, Ventura Storm (7), Jon Snow (8) and Inference (10) all requiring observation.  This a quality race and while Hartnell (1) is the horse to beat odds-on is a bit rich, I like the chances of Le Romain (3) and it might represent better value.
Race 7 Selections – 3-1-2-6
Typical big Flemington fields make the quaddie a tough challenge, the rewards can be better though.  Plenty of chances in the first leg but you can’t have them all, the long shot I am throwing in is Happy Hannah (13) resuming under the Hayes polish.  If you like Hartnell then taking him one out in the 2nd leg helps, I am choosing to go a little wider.  Team Williams have six going around in the next leg including the cup winner – taking five of those and hope I don’t leave out the wrong one.  Last leg is just as tough but will skinny it down and hope that Amelie’s Star (3) is one!
Leg 1 – 1, 3, 10, 11, 13
Leg 2 – 1, 2, 3
Leg 3 – 1, 2, 4, 6, 13
Leg 4 – 3, 11
150 Combinations a win with a $30 investment will return 20% of the dividend.
Royal Randwick
George Main Stakes (G1, 1600m, WFA) – Not quite the depth with Chris Waller providing half the entrants.  All because one of his entrants is the mighty Winx (7), things have not perfectly in her two runs back but she still got it done.  The pantomime villain from her last race Red Excitement (3) fronts up again – will he deploy the same tactics?  Suspect Hugh Bowman will be better prepared.  Happy Clapper (1) would be a misnomer if he got up, a good win last start and Foxplay (9) played pantomime villain two start ago for Winx (7).  She will record her 20th win in succession.
Race 7 Selections – 7-1-9-3
Go Winx!


Cheers, Sal


  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    There’s an omen tip in there for me Sal. There’s way too many Happy Clappers butting in to our “postal survey”.

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