Round 11 Preview – A Game Played above the Shoulders

Greetings All,


Round 10 gone and who could have thought the Blues would have balanced the books!  This week’s hot topic has been the issue of players drawing head high free kicks.  All kicked off on Friday Night with enfant terrible Lyndsay Thomas drawing a free kick early for a high tackle.  Up front I am no Lyndsay Thomas fan always looking for the cheap free kick and little wonder his free kick stats are down given that eventually umpires don’t wish to be made a fool of.  He unreservedly plays the game on the edge, it makes him the valuable player he is and we opposition fans all need the pantomime villain.


Yes, he drew that free kick but it was a horrible effort in tackling from Grundy and a just free kick any day of the year.  The second one drew justifiable ire, after not milking the first effort his backing into the tackle to entrap Nick Smith was “not in the spirit” of the game.  Once again though the tackle was still targeted at upper portion of Lindsay’s body.  Tackle technique has something to do with this.  A few have gone before him “not in the spirit”.


Removing Lindsay Thomas from the discussion then were a number of other head high free kicks paid on the weekend where players chose to “take” the high tackle.  George Hewitt and Toby Greene stood out to me where they chose to put themselves in a dangerous position for the team – whether it was deliberate or instinctive is best left to the player.  The free kicks were there.  However, the league does need to take a position here as this will ultimately have someone badly injured and more importantly the tactic will become more a more prevalent in lesser grades and junior footy where consequences could be even worse.


I do suspect they have and that the memo has gone to the clubs and it will be the focus of “Rule of the Week”.  Which coaches have read the memo will be the question.  But there is ducking the big issues of who is going to win this weekend!



Hobart ($1.56) vs Thylacines ($2.74)

The Roos head to their southern home which is turning into a fortress winning their last seven at Bellerive, by the same token the margin in four of those games was less than two goals.  Friday night lights sees the Tigers come out and they have now put three on end by controlling the tempo of the game, will be intriguing if they can put that in action again.  The conditions will be chilly – interesting scheduling – and the wind can blow – the game plan has little room for skill errors.  North have the bail out options with three big forwards who normally give a great contest.  The Tiges can bail out to Griffiths and Vickery but really suspect that is plan B.  The big question though is about Goldy – he was certainly sore last week and is so important to the Kangas.  Based on his selection he is good to go and if so I reckon they win in the middle and get back on the winners list.


Get Well Rough! ($1.23) vs Dee-Centralised ($5.20)

Melbourne completed their Central Australian experiment with another defeat handing the points to Port who are now a direct competitor to them.  They face the apparently patched up Hawks who introduce yet another debutante in Kade Stewart – while they have a few new players in the team there is still plenty of experience and talent.  Melbourne are proving difficult to catch and need to be better prepared for when they are the hunted.  Losing Viney will provide an interesting look at the midfield.  The Dees are not without a chance, but after last week not trustworthy enough and I expect the Hawks to prevail.


All Aboard ($1.34) vs Pump Up the Volume ($3.75)

Rock music and noise at training, Leppa is pulling out all stops to arrest the poor away record the Lions have developed, unfortunately the home record is not really much better at the moment.  Meanwhile the Blue bandwagon is chock ‘o block carrying all and sundry.  The loss of Murphy and gaining of Rockliff will provide more balance to the game and the Lions have won the last three against the Blues.  However, the Blues are a different outfit and should account for Brisbane.


Catastrophic ($1.53) vs Back Down to Size ($2.84)

The two Cat losses may have exposed an unevenness in effort across the team, leaving too much heavy lifting to too few.  All will need to do some lifting against the Giants who were cut down by the Crows also in a fashion where they just did not have enough contributors.  Everyone is looking for atonement!  Stanley and Smith will need to be better against Mumford and Phil Davis back will stiffen up the Giant defence.  A neutral venue would be interesting, but the Giants last played at Kardinia Park in 2012 and despite some local knowledge through StevieJ and Mummy the Cats should get back on track.


Rocketmen ($10.00) vs Flag Favourites ($1.10)

The lights have gone out at the Gold Coast and this week they get to host the rampaging Swans who the satchel-swingers have favoured to win it all!  Suspect that will be franked this weekend with a convincing win.


Free-falling ($1.34) vs Bombing Out ($3.80)

A real test for the sanctity of the competition this week.  All the talk from Ross Lyon cannot hide the fact that there is a very handy carrot for the worst team at season’s end.  However, I do accept that once the players are out there they are playing to win.  With that and at home I think Freo will prevail.


Winged Birds ($2.16) vs Alice Springs ($1.82)

Port come to the G after a successful trip to the Red Centre, they face the Pies who lose another three to long term injuries.  This has forced Travis Cloke back in and giving Collingwood three talls up forward against a pretty short backline.  If Cloke comes back strongly then the Pies straighten up and probably win, but it is a big if.  Both midfields will provide opportunities, but at this stage the Port forwards have the edge in form and talent to kick a winning score.


Loungeroom Lizards ($1.83) vs The Travelling Canaries ($2.14)

What an opportunity for the Eagles to put an end to their poor travel record?  They are pretty much at full strength and a win would put a good space between themselves and the Dogs and get a place in the top four.  However, there aren’t many bigger tests that the Dogs in the Loungeroom, they will be ecstatic to be back after three weeks exposed to the elements.  Suspect the Eagles will present a challenge but happy to stick to the Dogs in their own kennel.


Eddie from Anywhere ($1.20) vs Fitness First ($5.70)

The Saints incredibly have only one injury on their list – a sure recipe for competitiveness.  They face the Crows in Adelaide who are also pretty healthy and have Eddie Betts who is conjuring goals that our wildest dreams would not entertain.  They seem to have sorted out their contested ball challenges and at home should hold St Kilda at bay.


Friar Time

A testing weekend with the senior team succumbing to Ivanhoe and the Under 19s working hard but finding the Fitroy outfit too strong (again!).  This week the Friars travel to the bohemian surrounds of Brunswick to take on NOBSP in a vital game for both clubs.  While the Under 19s host Caulfield Grammarians at Friar Park.


Go Blues, Go Friars,

Cheers, Sal




  1. Sal Ciardulli says

    Apologies to Lindsay for not correcting the spelling!

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