Finals Week 2 – Sal’s Preview: Toby or not Toby! (and some racing tips)

Greetings All,


One week down and Toby gets centre stage.  There is no middle ground for Toby Greene, however I reckon most of us would be keen for him to play in our team.  His skills and delivery under pressure are as good as anyone, he is though flawed.  Declaring my position I am in his corner.  By the same token his actions at ¾ time last week were selfish and insolent, the sentence given in my opinion being fair given it is compounded that he will miss whatever finals the Giants are still to play.  He has no-one to blame but himself.


The statements from the captain and coach that they will deal with the issue at the completion of the season makes sense given they remain in the finals.  Surely though there is the question as to why they have not dealt with the issue in the years leading up to this.  They have happily made the ‘playing on the edge’ excuse for Toby and never tried to get him to control that edge – even on Saturday there were teammates all around but none of them tried to restrain him.  Until this week he was clearly the captain elect for 2022, he did a great job in that role in Coniglio’s absence.  They have taken the good with the bad, now they have some big decisions to make.


Now for the footy!  This week use to be simple – the vanquished from the qualifying finals would invariably come back and be too good, has been turned on its head since the 2016 Dogs so much harder now.


Catatonic ($1.40) vs Mummified ($3.40)


At full strength this would be difficult, however the Giants losing all their Greens makes the Cats task significantly simpler.  Getting Zac Tuohy back is handy also.  Geelong’s lack of pace particularly in defense was exposed last week, the Giants do not have the same personnel to exploit that.  Aside from the inexperienced Bobby Hill there is no real leg speed up forward for the Giants.  At the other end Geelong have loaded up for an aerial assault adding Ratugolea and taking out Dalhaus.  The Giants defense has been outstanding in recent weeks but will have their hands full, it will be the first time Jeremy Cameron plays against his old club.  The midfield contest will be a ripper with Dangerfield, Duncan and Selwood up against Ward, Hopper and Taranto.  Whoever can get first use and deliver cleanly will set up victory for their team.  Against the Cats I would usually side with Mummy to deliver that first use.  He was superb last week, however he usually takes two weeks to recover from a match.  This is a six day break how he can see out the game I think will present a problem even though the ruck has been Geelong’s Achilles heel for years.  With that think the Cats will use up another life and face the Demons next week winning by 23 points


It’s Joe Time ($1.64) vs 2016? ($2.52)


Less than a percentage point separated these two at the end of the season so it seems right that they should face off again.  The Elimination Final was a torrid affair until the Dogs broke it open, they were able to coast home with a few of the jets turned off and should be primed for Saturday Night.  The loss of Dan McStay really hurts Brisbane from both a structural and competitive perspective.  Charlie was terrific with his five goals last week, but he can’t be the main man up forward.  For the Lions to succeed this week and beyond Joe Daniher has to put his hand up and be the target, it might not be ideal for him but will give his team its best chance.  That is provided his midfield can win that battle – the Dogs got some of their form back last week and looked ominous.  Need to be a bit careful on that judgement as it was 5th vs 8th.  At the other end Brisbane look to have the personnel to cover Naughton and English with Adams, Gardiner and Andrew.  Where Brisbane do have the advantage is with the Big O who should be able to dominate the rucks.  That along with the home ground advantage will see the Lions scrape home by 8 points.


Track Time


We are off to the Valley for the Feehan Stakes with a very difficult program and the likelihood of arain affected surface.  Suspect we will plenty of scratchings if that is the case.  No group one but a few interesting runners to watch.  Heart of Puissance (R4, #8) gets the right conditions if the rain comes and is a winner here.  The McEwan is a beauty with the returns of Portland Sky (R5, #2) and September Run (R5, #8) probable favour the former with a win around here.  Zouzarella (R6, #7) returns to the scene of her excellent debut, does have some serious opposition with her stablemate Argentia (R6, #8).  Tough one the next, at odds Great Again (R7, #8) gets suitable conditions and Linda Meech aboard.  The feature is the Feehan it looks an open affair but I am happy to follow any horse that is 7 from 7 so it is Elephant (R8, #11).




Leg 1 – 3, 7, 8, 9, 10

Leg 2 – 2, 7, 8, 11, 14, (16 if he gets in)

Leg 3 – 4, 8, 11, 14

Leg 4 – 2, 3, 6


300 Combinations, $30 investment could return 10% of the dividend!


Here’s to the Elephant!


Cheers Sal


The Tigers (Covid) Almanac 2020 will be published in the coming weeks. It will have all the usual features – a game by game account of the Tigers season – and will also include some of the best Almanac writing from the Covid winter.  Pre-order right now HERE



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  1. G’day. that was great. And pretty close to spot on in hindsight. I agree with you on Toby, though it is not up to he players, but the coach. He dipped his shoulder into a bloke when passing, who was waiting in his path. Not much time or space for them to intervene. The bloke is clearly a menace, and, agreed, deserved the three weeks he got, but we need the odd villain almost as much as we need our many heroes. They stir the dust and help define who we are.

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