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Round 12 – Preview: The First Semester Report Cards

Greetings all and a big Happy Birthday to Ma’am!


The time of the year when radio dials tune to the ABC and the Coodabeens at 10:00am Saturday for the traditional roll out of Barry Humphries’ “Snow Complications” and it might just be the weekend for a bit of gluhwein!  A couple of other traditions with most metro footy having a break and Melbourne – Collingwood on Monday.


It also marks the half way mark of the season and time for the mid-year report cards to be handed out.  With an impending house move coming up they will be short and in some cases pretty sharp.


North Melbourne Taken full advantage of an easy first semester, the subject matter gets tougher from here on.  Must strive for top two. A+
Sydney Only just failed in two assignments, remainder of the work has been exemplary.  Should finish top of the class based the body of work submitted to date. A+
Geelong Some great results early but lazy efforts caught them out and failed a couple of easy assignments.  Need to be consistent and can do better to finish close to the dux. B
Footscray Began the semester well but a couple of forced absences look as if they might struggle.  Have made up for those absences well and can look forward to a strong close. A
Hawthorn Drawing on all their experience to be well placed at the turn.  Some concerns about consistency, structure and depth – but hard to pot a consistent performer. B
GWS The youngest member of the class has shown a terrific propensity for the work and have proven themselves in some difficult assignments.  Failed a couple of tough ones in unfamiliar territory – but a promising beginning that could finish with a great result. A
West Coast Eagles Should be better than last year, but unable to fire in foreign territory.  Puts their credentials to finish in the leading group at risk – it should have been a lock. C+
Adelaide Have finished the semester with gusto, but failed the toughest tests.  Need to get results in these assignments to be a contender. B-
Port Adelaide Another to reach this point in form, but rueing some poor efforts early in the semester.  Look to have resolved issues around key absences, but can it hold up for the year? C
Carlton A poor start had the Blues looking at a repeat of last year’s failure.  However, sticking to a plan has seen results improve well above expectations.  Already surpassed the original expectations, but consistency for the remainder of the year will be key. A-
Melbourne Have stepped into a higher echelon, but prone to the odd “shocker”.  Improved consistency for the back half of the year will hold them in good stead for next year. B-
Collingwood No doubt absenteeism has affected some results, however the apparent lack of synergy between players and then also the coaches is of greatest concern.  A couple of commendable results but overall pretty poor. D-
St Kilda Have been impossible to predict with a couple outstanding efforts matched by a couple of horrendous ones.  A young list does provide some explanation, but the gap between the best and worst needs to close. C
Richmond High expectations have been blown apart, with reality setting in that those expectations may have been too lofty.  Need to develop in the back half of the year, but not sure they can. E
Gold Coast The Suns rose to a false dawn successful in their first three assignments, but it had more to do with AFL marketing than real improvement.  Lamentable since. E
Fremantle Get Stuffed Lyon really needs to build – we will get to see if he can over the next couple of years. F
Brisbane Lots of challenges for Brisbane who the AFL need to assist with some solutions.  On the ground a couple of handy efforts have been completely overshadowed by the number of poor performances. E+
Essendon Shame on Melbourne!  Probably have performed as expected. D+


So how will they take their report cards and perform this week?  This pontificator managed to get the lot last week, so care needs to be taken this week.


What Draft ($18) v What, no Ceglar! ($1.05)

Some debate on the Bombers worthiness of top draft pick, no issue for mine they finish bottom they get the spoils.  But no debate that the Hawks will beat them.


Fine Wines ($1.86) v Loungeroom Lizards ($2.14)

Questions still remain on the Dogs playing out in the elements and the odds are that there will be a few elements in Adelaide on Saturday.  Wines and the Port midfield simply smashed the Pies in the rain, so will not fear whatever the new gods or the old gods present.  A tough choice, but favouring the home side in a mouth-watering matchup.


Money for an ex-Leppa ($2.16) v 1-10 ($1.80)

The club legend and the CEO have guaranteed Leppa’s tenure for 2017 and in reality not sure what he can do with the cattle.  The issue for mine is that does not seem to be a plan for how to develop the cattle.  Whether they should get a priority pick is somewhat immaterial if they can’t hold them, the AFL need to provide support to maintain and attract players.  Hosting the now not winless Freo they have a real chance, especially when they leave Pavlich at home.  After the reaction this week I reckon Brisbane will be up for this and make it 1-11 for the visitors.


Chin Music ($1.93) v Daw Shut ($2.04)

Tom Hawkins exposed the flaw in the MRP system with his whack on the seemingly very punchable Phil Davis.  They can’t give a one-week penalty and reduce to zero with a guilty plea.  He should have been sanctioned a punch to the head warrants it, but it was not worth two weeks.  Somehow the MRP needs to fix that. Some doubts persist over Goldy, but surely he is as resilient as Kreuzer!  This one being in the loungeroom really brings the Roos into the game.  But the Cats have so much to play for in staying close to the leader and I reckon that  will get them across the line in a beauty!


The Corporation ($1.47) v  Charddy Sippers ($3.10)

West Coast back at home where they are always strong.  They have summarily dispatched all comers at Subiaco thus far, but the list of victims is hardly noteworthy given they occupy 12th to 17th on the ladder.  Adelaide will not be so meek also coming off the kill of a lowly victim.  They have travelled and won, but not over tough opposition although close encounters away to the Hawks and Dogs indicate they do bring something when on the road.  I expect a tighter game than the bagmen have it and the Crows are fair value at $2.50 or better, but the numbers favour the Eagles and they are my selection.


Hell-thy ($2.52) v  We Don’t Know Jack ($1.63)

Will he or won’t he, Blues fans are on edge with the possible unveiling of the third generation of Silvagni.  The Saints healthy list took a hammering last week losing Dempster, McCartin, Goddard and Reiwoldt.  They face the Blues and their developing defensive general Jacob Weitering.  Weitering aside the Blues were pretty ordinary last week, benefiting more off opponent error than their own play.  But we Blues can’t get too picky about a win!  Form and fitness would suggest the Blues will prevail, but we have seen St Kilda put up some mighty performances against the odds this year.  Just suspect they will lack height and the Blues will chalk up another one, hopefully with Jack getting the Gatorade treatment!


The Lids Off? ($1.17) v  Decked the Hall ($5.80)

Media types picking apart the Tigers list has to fill inches, but there are a few untouchables – Brett Delidio – is too good a player to trade for a possible good one.  The Tiges might not have too many tradeable commodities but he ain’t one of them.  Meanwhile on the Gold Coast early season flier in Aaron Hall will ply his trade in the NEAFL, suspect he is not the only Sun to have fallen into bad habits.  McKenzie, Thompson and Day good ins and the Suns will field just about their strongest line up for the year.  Could they win it?  Doubtful and I am picking the Tiges but the price on offer is good value for Gold Coast.


Orange is the New Black ($1.90) vs Kings of the Harbour ($2.00)

What a game for the AFL with both Sydney teams firing and selling out Spotless.  The Giants have lost their last two but have lost no admirers with tough away fixtures, Sydney won well last week but in a slog at the Mansion.  Will that have some effect (and on the Suns for that matter)?  It is of some concern but being an eight day break the professionalism I suspect they be ripe and ready.  A genuine flip of the coin encounter, but just think the Swans will enforce themselves in this one to maintain their superiority over their crosstown rival.


Jack’s Back ($1.75) v  Hang up your Cloke ($2.08)

Another extraordinary recovery with Jack Viney returning from a broken knuckle in one week, they have disposed of Jeff Garlett for an effort that Blues supporters grew too familiar with!  The Pies though have hung Travis Cloke out again, he was not terrific last week but he had plenty of mates – more at play there methinks!  I doubt the remaining Pies will strike fear in the Dees, who should prevail unless they put in one their occasional shockers.


Friar Time

Well not really the Ammos are off to the snow!  Last week the Friars notched win number three in a hard fought encounter in wintry conditions against Brunswick/NOBSP.  The first win at Gillon Oval for many a year!  The under 19s battled well but went down to Caulfield Grammarians.


Go Blues, Go Jack!


Cheers, Sal



  1. Generous with Richmond.

    Tough on the Crows.

    Given you’re on fire with the tipping, and have in recent times, who wins the flag?

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