Finals Week 2 – Sal’s Preview: When footy comes second

Greetings All

 

In a week with plenty of footy news there is only one item that really matters!

 

I only crossed paths with Danny Frawley once.  The Friar Girls had just won the premiership and his team Old Haileybury were playing the next game coming out of the same dressing rooms at Sandy.  Danny was clapping and supporting our girls on their way into the rooms before his main task for the day.  He played and coached at the highest level but was comfortable coaching in the VAFA Women’s competition, we have heard and read tributes for Danny since the tragic events of Monday all with a common theme of a man with a great heart and great care for his fellow man.  No matter what level he got to he was quintessentially a grass roots footy person who could connect with everyone who loved the game and even converted a few.  His tragic death is reminder to us all to value what we have.

 

Of all the other stories the handling of Toby Greene’s report and punishment was another case of the AFL’s policy on the run.  From a process and transparency perspective this has been a complete mess with the MRO sending the case to the tribunal because they could not fine Toby how much they wanted to is messy enough.  There is a need to clarify exactly what should be a financial sanction and what should be a suspension, right now they are taking the financial option  – it is more an inconvenience than a deterrent.  As for Toby, plenty of people have used unsocial media to cast their dispersions on him, most of them would love him playing on their team.

 

It is the incorrectly monikered Semi-Final weekend and will we all be seduced by the winning sides from last week and/or disappointed with the losers.  For so long the losers almost always stepped up, however that has balanced out over the last couple of years.

 

Domesticats ($1.87) vs No Willie ($2.14)

 

How horrible was Geelong at the MCG?  Can they turn it around against a non-MCG resident?  How good was West Coast last week and what effect will the loss of their Willie have on them.  Geelong have made the change that could help them be more competitive with Stanley back in the team to face off against Natanui and Hickey.  Not sure how much a difference that will make, however getting Blicavs back in the defense will stabilise that part of the ground.  The Eagles looked great last week, in reality it was just a glorified home and away game so not really prepared to pick them on the strength of that game.  The Cats have seen the recipe to beat them making it a scrap helps however they will need to use the ball more effectively than last week.  In their favour West Coast struggle to turn a game around if it not being played on their own terms.  The big West Coast advantage is in the ruck with Nic Nat having a game under his belt, if he dominates they are well set.  As of 4:00pm Thursday it had me picking them, the disruption and emotion of losing Willie along with his skills has me swinging to the Cats by the 9 points they lost by last week.

 

Second Chance to Dance ($1.71) vs The Lids is Off ($2.38)

 

Brisbane got the second chance and now get to cash it in.  The Tigers were just too efficient for them last week and exposed the couple of shortcomings of the Lions.  The lack of a big-bodied forward being the most telling factor, the pressure of finals often just requires the bail out kick and a big body to make that contest up the line – what would they give for a Jonathon Brown type to complement Hipwood and Cameron?  The Giants on the other hand have lost Deledio but Tomlinson a handy replacement.  They do have the defenders to pick off high balls so Brisbane will need to be smart with their forward entries.  The three big forward of GWS will stretch the Brisbane defence and with enough supply they could just roll on.  So the game like so many will be decided in the midfield, if the likes of Hopper, Taranto, Kelly and Greene can put sufficient pressure on the Lions midfielders to cause “dirty” ball and deliver enough to their own they win this game.  Brisbane though will be better for the run in a final last week and will have learnt a lot, playing on their own dung hill helps.  Just think the Giants have the better structure to win.  I expect this game to blow out whichever way it goes with a 41 point margin.

 

Fabulous Flemington

 

Group one racing returns to headquarters with a cracking renewal of the Makybe Diva Stakes (G1, 1600m, WFA).  The Cox Plate favourite Mystic Journey (13) is a gun over the journey winning the Australian Guineas and the All Star Mile in the Autumn.  Can she hold out a field of proven performers?  A number of them have the distance classics on their agenda.  If Yucatan (9) produces what we saw first up at Caulfield last year he could produce the boilover, will be watching from Melbourne Cup perspective.  Scales of Justice (4) is back in fine form and clearly a treat and Humidor (3) good second up, good at Flemington.  Great field and sure to be a good form reference for the next couple of months.

 

Race 7 – Selections – 13-9-4-3

 

Quaddie Time

 

Leg 1 – 3, 6, 7, 9

Leg 2 – 4,9,13 (or 13 one out)

Leg 3 – 1, 2, 11, 14, 15

Leg 4 – 6, 13, 14

 

Typical Flemington tough quaddie this one has 180 combinations so for $30 will return 16.66% of the dividend, taking Mystic Journey one out will be 60 combos, $30 and 50%.

 

Friar Time

 

The dance is on!  The Reserves won their encounter to book a spot against MHSOB while Brunswick responded to the 2nd Semi loss with a good win over MHSOB to face the Friars again.  All roads head to Box Hill City Oval on Sunday!

 

Go Friars,

 

Cheers, Sal

 

 

Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.

 

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