Round 12 – Sal’s Preview: It’s not the end game, it’s the journey!

Greetings All,

Went to the MCC Norm Smith Oration where Sarah Jones and Nathan Jones were the speakers.  Sarah Jones spoke of her love of footy and how it developed through her grandfather playing for Essendon and her upbringing in Echuca where Dad was the local hero.  Sarah bleeds red and black but sees the game for all the joy it can bring such as when Buddy swings on that left boot.  Wanted to be a sports reporter from an early age and has followed her dream.

It was then over to Nathan who it is fair to say is not a natural speaker.  His story though was compelling, joyous and heart-wrenching.  From talking about the darkest days as a Demon through to the appointment of Peter Jackson and how the club was rebuilt from the top down.  He described the bittersweetness of his final weeks in the game trying desperately to be part of the Demons best 22 but just not quite being there and his decision to retire before the grand final and return to Melbourne for the birth of his twins.  It was delivered with plenty of emotion with barely a dry eye in the dining room.  Through the club’s darkest times he was the beacon that shone and persisted.  He may not have been on the ground for the big dance but he sure was part of that premiership.


Puppy Wuppy ($1.79) vs Kitty Kitty ($2.24)

 The domestic pets take their battle to the loungeroom this week with both units stamping their mark on the competition in the last couple of weeks.  Geelong have got back their superiority at home while the Dogs have dealt with feisty opposition before receiving none from the Eagles last week.  Rohan into the team for Geelong makes their forward line a very tough match up, while at the other end Sam De Koning will have one his toughest assignments up against Aaron Naughton.  As with most games involving the Dogs it will come down to supply and just think they have the edge over the Cats in the middle.  A critical game for both and just coming up with the Dogs in a beauty.


Walk Right In ($1.13) vs Chicken Shop Boys ($8.20)

 The Crows get Taylor Walker back as they host the horribly disappointing Eagles, the only thing going right for them getting the number one pick in the Mid-Season draft in Jai Culley straight from fast food to footy!  Suspect he will make his debut in the next few weeks.  They also get Hurn back, to strengthen their team on paper.  But that’s just how they play and fold up too easily.  Crows to win.


It Touk Time ($1.11) vs Raise the Bat ($9.00)

 A fabulous effort for Touk Miller to reach 150 games for the Suns, he has been their heart and soul player for many years and is key part of their growth this year.  They get to host North who will welcome back Ben Mckay to try and plug the hole in the dyke.  The Roos have conceded 100 points in 8 of their 11 games this season including the last seven.  If the weather is fine at the mansion I suspect it might be eight in a row.


May Day ($1.28) vs Lanced ($4.40) 

Have the Demons lost their kryptonite with Steven May going down, it certainly hurt last week against Freo  butwhether it changed the result is debatable.  Tomlinson should be an adequate replacement while Lever needs to step and lead.  They get a few other handy ones back, while their opponents lose their handiest.  The suspension of Lance will really test the Swans and fans miss out too, there is no greater stage for Buddy than the MCG.  Longmire will have planned meticulously for this and expect Sydney to make this a real contest but just think the Dees will get back on track.


Playing 500 ($2.60) vs Masonite ($1.60) 

Some talk about the quality of the return of Ratten and Voss as coaches, these two first-time coaches in Mitchell and McRae are also doing great jobs.  They celebrate the 250th for a couple of great servants in Liam Shiels and Luke Breust and a win over the Pies would be a fitting tribute.  But it won’t be easy with Ned Reeves just returning the Hawk ruck stocks are thin while Mason Cox found form last week and will be formidable if he can carry on.  The Hawks though will have a key defender or two to cover the extra ruckman, Mihocek and Henry so the avenue to goal for Collingwood will be more difficult.  However the Pies have the ability to switch into the middle – injecting Pendlebury as required.  This flexibility just gives them the edge in this one.


The Conquerors ($2.02) vs The Contenders ($1.95) 

Saving the best till last.  Freo were able to stop the Demon procession last week and now get to host the Lions in what will surely be a prelude to a finals matchup this year.  The outs for the Dockers are important, Walters provides spark and Taberner consumes a good defender.  Mind you Frederick is catching Sonny for an excitement machine!  That is all balanced by playing at home.  The Lions are stable and the inclusion of McCluggage important.  Impossible to separate on neutral turf, but this is in Perth so going with the Dockers.


Go Friars, Go Blues,

Cheers, Sal


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  1. When you say “Go Friars”, I assume you mean the plucky San Diego Padres, “The Friars”, who, despite an underwhelming 4-6 last fortnight, are locked in battle with the entitled LA Dodgers for the National League West despite the extended absence of their young god Fernando Tatis (who, like Nat Fyfe, should resume before the mid-season break).

    Go Friars, Go Dockers.

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