Round 13 Preview: Welcome to the Future

Greeting All and wishing you a happy World Cup,


The lead up to this year’s renewal of the biggest show on the planet has not been nearly as strong as previous tournaments. Perhaps an Australian side with modest ambition.  More likely though due to the inane awarding of television rights to a phone company, not only that a phone company that is far from a dominant player in this market, not that I think Telstra would do better.  To watch every game one has to cough up $15 to Optus, being a Foxtel subscriber paying for television content is not something I can complain about, but for the majority that are not it is a different argument.  Then it is not exactly television either – it is for internet streaming.  Australia has some of the poorest quality infrastructure to support internet services, while NBN espouses better speeds and services (and doesn’t deliver), most of us are not NBN connected yet and rely on cable or ADSL.  Australia is far from ready for these events to be exclusively in the domain of streaming services.


The EPL experience has proven so, the quality of service is ordinary at best.  Importantly the interest level in the competition has significantly diminished since Optus gained exclusive rights.  Why am I writing about this when I should be banging on about the footy?  Because it is the future, expect to see new players in the market when the next AFL and NRL rights are up for grabs.  Telstra hold the streaming rights for the footy – handy if you’re away and you can’t get access to TV but not the greatest viewing experience.  Expect them to be after much more in the future.  That future is here for the EPL with Amazon picking up the rights for a package of 20 EPL matches next season, they already stream a number of US sports.


For the consumer I cannot really see any benefits in exclusive access to live sport via streaming, understandably there are financial benefits for the competitions and certain value for the rights holders.  Sport has been described as the “opiate for the masses”, if the masses can’t get access to watch those sports then those benefits and value will diminish.  Perhaps it is different in other countries where infrastructure is capable of delivering content in high quality at good speed, until infrastructure in Australia can deliver to that level let’s stick to the TV.


This week we do have a feast of TV, some of it on FTA – six games of footy over four days plus Australia vs France on Saturday night.


Less Wattage ($1.13) vs Pampered Pets ($8.60)


Power without Watts might not sound right to the physicists, Ken Hinkley has had to go that way after a few underwhelming performances from Jack.  They put on a tremendous display of contested footy to beat the Tigers and will need to do the same this week against the Bulldogs in what are expected to be very wet conditions.  The Dogs have experienced a downpour in Adelaide recently and just did not do the basics required in those conditions.  Teams that live in the Loungeroom will always be susceptible in poor conditions, they should be ready for whatever gets presented this week.  The Bullies have more problems than playing in the wet and expect that Port at home will continue on their drive to September.


Horsing Around ($1.59) vs Darling it Hurts ($2.62)


The Swans are back in the groove winning their last five against lowly teams, they will be tested this week up against the pace setter in the Eagles.  They are coming off the bye and most notably will be without Jack Darling, that will put a bit more pressure back on Josh Kennedy (Eagles variety) to step up.  The Sydney variety will have his share of pressure too with the West Coast midfield proving to be very powerful this season.  The loss of Darling is a concern as is playing in Sydney, just not sure how good Sydney’s form really is.  A great test for both too many questions on Sydney form so making West Coast the selection.


Boulting ($2.32) vs Crow Eaters ($1.70)


The Blues will get some experience back with Levi expected to return to the fray – they desperately need more.  They take on Freo fresh off a fantastic win over Adelaide and without Fyfe or Sandilands.  Both of them are back this week although offset somewhat by the loss of Pearce and Walters.  The Blues must give themselves some chance pitted against a young Freo team, they can win if they can control Fyfe and the influence of Sandilands.  Just not sure they will.


Sun Setting ($2.40) vs Sinners ($1.66)


All sorts of doom and gloom predictions for both St Kilda and Gold Coast during the week makes this a critical game for both clubs.  Neither will feature at the business end, the players need to show their supporters what footy means to them.  It didn’t mean enough to either of these teams last week.  Not sure if Richo will bring Billings back in – 50+ possessions in a game against Frankston does not really mean much.  Both of these clubs present challenges for HQ – with all the talent lined up to depart other clubs it is imperative they can both hook a big fish.  This week I expect the Saints to be at the end of the Suns line.


Silk ($1.64) vs Unlevered ($2.44)


Shaun Burgoyne has been a star for most of his 350 games, in Victoria not as highly appreciated until his move to the Hawks.  He has always been one of the best stoppage players I have seen and the Hawks go to man in the middle when they have to win the footy.  Superb career, not sure when it will end!  His Hawks host the Crows who are missing Lever almost as much as Melbourne did on Monday.  Yes he would help fill in for an injury or two, his departure though seems to have been a catalyst for a seemingly fractured group.  Quite possibly all rumour and innuendo and perhaps a few fit players and wins will sort everything out, getting players back and firing will be a challenge.  None more so than this week where the Hawks will celebrate in style.


Gaz ($2.62) vs Dusty ($1.58)


As important a game as we have seen all year, the Cats wanting to stamp their credentials away from Kardinia Park.  The Tigers wanting get back on the winners list after their third loss on the road, getting a top two finish will make them feel much more comfortable.  Ablett back and firing gives Geelong more weapons and the release of Dangerfield forward will test any defense.  That Tiger defense was heavily challenged last week through Port not allowing the spare defender any uncontested marks.  Will that become a blueprint for opposition sides?  Assuming Dustin Martin will return and be appropriately fit I expect that Richmond will be able to match the Geelong midfield.  The Geelong defense are tall and also like to make use of the spare defender, the Tiger forwards will do everything to bring the ball to ground.  Should be a ripper and expect the premiers to bounce back at home.


Friar Time


Refreshed after a week off the Friars travel down Donny Road to Leeds Street to take on the Yarra Valley Bushrangers.  Sure to be a great test with the Bushrangers hitting form in the last few weeks.  The Under 19 host Parkside at Friar Park and the Girls are in a top of the table stoush against Old Ivanhoe at Chelsworth Park.


Back from Bonnie Doon, Go Blues, Go Friars




  1. Geelong defenders are tall? Blicavs yes but the rest Bews excepted are closer to mediums who can play tall I would have thought. It has however proved to be fairly stingy.

  2. With you 100% on the World Cup streaming debacle. We have Foxtel but the Avenging Eagle only really likes footy and tennis, and she owns the remote/lounge room. I watch a lot of golf on Foxtel Go streaming but it is plagued by buffering problems even when the ISP speed is ok (we are not NBN yet either – and I’m not sure how much real improvement that offers without a super expensive plan).
    I was sitting down last night and contemplating my options. Second screen in the study and cable Foxtel from the lounge room, as AE watches a lot of Netflix. Get one of them VPN thingys and try to get my sport from a cheaper overseas service. And cancel Foxtel ($65 a month for just sport is a lot for a soon to be retiree when their coverage is so patchy).
    Thanks for confirming I am not alone in my confusion and pissed offedness.
    Friday night will be a ripper for us Eagles/Swans fans. I just want us to bring the same intensity as the first half of the year, and reassure me that the flat game against the Saints was just tuning out early for the break. Eagles haven’t won at the SCG since Methuselah and it doesn’t seem to be the Swans favourite venue. I can’t see Buddy getting off the leash again on a smaller ground. Should be a brutal slug fest. Fingers crossed but not investment grade for either side. Onya Sal.

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