Round 10 – Sal’s Preview: An Eagle-Eyed View

Greetings All,


Jake Niall in his recent article reported a view of AFL socialism, in preparation for the Eagles – Demons clash last week.  All being equal football socialism should allow for a premiership every eighteen years, West Coast seem to be able to average every twelve years.  Their current plight certainly has some extraneous circumstances with COVID, however the fall from grace sort of fits the pattern.


They ascended quickly in AFL ranks winning a flag in their fifth season and backed up a couple of years later.  It was 12 years till their next, in that period they reached their nadir in 2001 winning only five games.  Handily it coincided with the “Super Draft” and Chris Judd, along the way they picked up Cousins, Kerr, Cox, Embley…who formed the core of their 2006 premiership.  No need to cover what happened after that premiership and within 2 years they finished 15th of sixteen and took the wooden spoon in 2010.  Through that they did the trade of Judd to Carlton and got Josh Kennedy a cornerstone of the forward line ever since.


The 2008 draft netted them Nic Natanui and Luke Shuey (as a priority pick for a club that was premier two years earlier).   2010 saw Gaff, Darling (another priority), Lycett plus a little gem at Number 44 in the rookie Draft in Jeremy McGovern.  While Nic Nat and Gaff did not play in the 2018 flag they certainly had significant influence as the Eagles plundered the draft to perfection.  Their use of the priority picks might not have been quite fair but that was the system that was in place.


We now see them falling from the 2018 perch, but how do the Eagles fans really see it.  They are still the wealthiest club in the land with a waiting list just to join as a member.  They can look forward to possibly the number one draft pick, probably more to do with COVID than with them being the worst team.  They do need to replace their fading stars.  The fall has only taken four years – will it be 2030 before they soar to the pinnacle again or are they ahead of the curve?



Who’s the Voss? ($2.14) vs Rampe-d Up ($1.86)


Great test for Blues to host Sydney in the prime time slot.  They got off to a flyer last week and closed the game out well, they can expect more consistent opposition from the Swans who celebrate Dane Rampe’s 200th game.  What a ripping competitor he his loaded with Bloods DNA.  Lewis Young returning strengthens the Blues defense but they are still skinny in the ruck and for big forwards.  With Hickey and Ladhams Sydney should be able to dominate the skies, if the Blue mids can nullify that dominance they are a chance however suspect Parker and his cronies might have something to say about it.  Loyalty has me with the Blues – should be a beauty.



I Knevitt ($1.47) vs Balancing the Books ($3.10)


I knew it would be Knevitt that paid the price for the loss to the Saints last week, the Cats will be in a happier place hosting Port at Kardinia Park.  They get the three headed monster also with the return of Gary Rohan.  Their opponents not so comfortable not having won at Geelong since a fateful encounter in 2007.  They are looking to get to 5-5 after starting 0-5, will take some comfort in that the Cats are 1-1 at the venue this year.  Reckon they will be 2-1 on Saturday night.



A Very Naughty Boy ($1.45)  vs A Battle of Witts ($3.15)


The Dogs might not have quite met expectations this year but not for the efforts of Aaron Naughton.  Hampered by injury he refuses to let his team down contesting for everything.  Does it one out with dearth of quality talls at the kennel – what difference will Josh Bruce make when he returns.  This week they host the Suns at Ballarat, they stamped their credentials backing up the Sydney win by taking out Fremantle.  No coincidence that Jarrod Witts ruled the skies, he has that opportunity again this week.  That might just be enough to see an upset and the Suns make it three on the trot.



Blowing the Horne ($28.00) vs Ben Ten ? ($1.03)


The Roos get a few handy ones back including their rising star in Jason Horne-Francis, they need them to take on the Demons.  Could Ben Brown celebrate his 150th with a big ten against his original club.  Not sure there is ten for Ben, but pretty certain of a 10 goal win for the Dees.



Un-Hinged ($3.25) vs Man of Steele ($1.43)


The Crows might have got one off the Lions in Mitch Hinge but not much else last week, they will be keen to atone against St Kilda.  They were fabulous in coming back to beat Geelong last week, in no small way due to the efforts of Jack Steele.  Deserves the same plaudits as Naughton if not greater, to play a role for his team after half time with serious shoulder injury was extraordinary.  They may not have been up to the Demons the week before but there is plenty going for the Saints and should beat the Crows if they are to challenge for the top four.



The Dream’s Alive ($1.28) vs Welcome to my Nightmare ($4.40)


It’s dreamtime at the G with a game between clubs on divergent trajectories.  The Tigers are enforcing their game style again and look irresistible, Tom Lynch being a significant beneficiary.  Essendon though are just trying to hang on and with some of the commentary this week not sure they are even trying.  It’s been mouthguards at ten paces this week for the players so we expect an improved physical effort.  However they have a lot of young, skinny players who right now might just not have the rigour for the game – not to say they won’t in the future.  Expect the Tigers to withstand the early heat and take this one out.



Sunday Driver ($1.13) vs Approaching the Nadir ($8.00)


Mark McVeigh gets his first chance to drive the Maserati handily against the Eagles.  West Coast are decimated with injuries, suspension and illness – the Giants should be good enough.



Worpedoed ($3.55) vs Rayn Man ($1.38)


James Worpel has paid the price for some average form and dropped from the Hawks line up to host Brisbane.  Launceston has been a fortress for the Hawks but the team not quite as good now though they did beat Brisbane here last year.  Cam Rayner displayed his power and prowess last week and looks to be well recovered from his injury.  Just think Brisbane will be too good.



Sunburnt ($1.28) vs Gin the Tonic? ($4.40)


Freo were torched by Gold Coast last week and return home desperate to provide their credentials against Collingwood.  The Pies look to have a couple of handy forwards back in Ginnivan and Elliott, critical against the miserly defense of the Dockers.  Pendlebury will tidy up the ball coming out of the backline also.  Not sure it will be enough as I suspect last week will become a blip on the radar for the Purple Haze.



Friar Time


Another tough week for the Friars last week but we front up again this time against Peninsula at Mount Eliza in a critical game with both clubs only having one win on the board.  The young threes will have their hands full hosting the undefeated Old Camberwell while the women are back in action against Albert Park also at home.


Go Friars, Go Blues


Cheers, Sal



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