Round 13 – Sal’s Preview: Tell ’em they’re Dreaming

Greetings All,


What a difference a kick can make!  Jack Newnes goal was all the talk until late on Monday when Tom Lynch punched Sam Collins.  Much personal comment has been made about the protagonist, where as the real problem lies within the rules, adjudication and penalty for the action.  In days of yore such actions may not have been seen by the one or many cameras that covered the game or dealt with at the tribunal should an umpire have seen it but rest assured retribution would be swift and decisive.  Today nothing is missed by the cameras so while the indiscretion is seen the perpetrator can do so in complete comfort that any retribution might be swift but cannot be decisive.


This is where the MRO needs to step in and deliver meaningful penalties for such acts.  A $1000 fine is not a deterrent only the threat of missing games of footy will suffice.  Tom Lynch may have copped a bit through the media and the trolls but suspect he probably takes that a little like our great tennis hero Bernie Tomic.  “I just count money, that’s all I do, I count my millions. You go make $13 or $14 million. Good luck, bye.”


We preview Round 13 paying deference to some of the indigenous stars that have graced our game.


Jarrod Harbrow ($2.80) vs Syd Jackson ($1.54)


The longest service Sun is also their longest serving Indigenous player after joining in year one from the Bulldogs, their opponents meanwhile will celebrate the great Syd Jackson who played 136 games and 2 premierships with the Blues.  The last time Carlton played in Darwin was in 2005, Eddie Betts was there, Kade Simpson was there and so was I.  A terrific time spoiled by a poor and disinterested performance from the Blues who were obliterated by the Dogs.  We will hear that the finals hopes of both teams hinge on this result – the reality is they are both building and any finals aspirations should be secondary to team progression.  The Suns are progressing nicely without winning, the Blues doing the same but getting the occasional victory.  The return of Pittonet is important for the Blues to counter Jarrod Witts and the midfield encounter will be willing with the likes of Greenwood and Swallow taking on Cripps.  What turns this Carltons way is the extra two days off they had compared the Suns coming off a tough assignment against Richmond on Monday Night.


Charlie Stewart ($2.12) vs Liam Jurrah ($1.83)


Charlie Stewart may not be a fabled name among Bulldogs, however he is one of only two indigenous players to have played their whole senior career in the red, white and blue and notch up 20 games.  He was also the first playing 20 games in the 1961 season and being named on the bench in the grand final that year.  (Brannon Stack was the other 21 games).  His Doggies take on Melbourne as we wonder what could have been with Liam Jurrah – the city life was not right for Liam but the brief time we saw him was to watch footy at its purest.  Doubts about the ruckmen for both teams really make it a challenge to pick.  The Demons are in scintillating form with the demolition of the Pies last week, while the Bulldogs got to strut their stuff against the Crows.  The extra day helps the Demons but the big question mark is how they can handle the streak the last time they strung four on the trot was 2018.  Reckon the Bullies will be primed for this and cause an upset.


Wanganeen ($1.19) vs Cyril ($5.70)


Gavin Wanganeen was a Port Adelaide man his entire career – he just had to play with Essendon while Port were not in the AFL coming back to be their inaugural captain.  Played in Premierships at both clubs plus a Brownlow Medal.  His Port takes on Hawthorn and it is not as if we remember Cyril Rioli – we just can’t forget him.  Played footy as an art!  The Hawks don’t have as many artists these days and are missing one more for a year with Sicily rupturing his ACL last week.  Port lose a couple through inattention to the protocols of COVID but still should have enough to win this.



Norm McDonald ($5.10) vs Maurice ($1.22)


This unusual year has given the AFL a great opportunity and they have taken it in scheduling the Dreamtime Game in Darwin.  Norm McDonald graced the Red and Black between 1947 and 1953 playing in the 1949 and 1950 premierships.  For the Tigers we remember the incomparable Maurice Rioli – the Tigers had the best centreman in the league in Geoff Raines, along came Maurice in 1982, Raines was in Black and White in 1983.  Maurice won the Norm Smith Medal in the 1982 Grand Final.  The Tigers might not quite have everything right at the moment, they have a lot more right than the Bombers who will be better if Jake Stringer can play but not better enough.


Michael Walters ($1.61) vs Adam Goodes ($2.60)


Freo have had the largest contingent of indigenous players since they joined the league with Michael Walters a great story.  Undoubted talent but lacking maturity when he started but has become one of the best midfielders in the competition.  For the Swans Adam Goodes might not quite be their best ever but he is in the conversation.  372 Games, 2 flags, 2 Brownlows!  His team were fantastic tearing apart the Giants last week, however in the process have now lost their prime defender and heartbeat in Dane Rampe for the season.  Freo played some good footy against the Blues but lost out at the coalface, Sydney will present a similar challenge.  The home deck and no Rampe has me going with the Dockers.


Andrew McLeod ($10.00) vs Polly ($1.09)


A few handy indigenous players have been Crows, none in the sphere of Andrew McLeod.  Lurked around half forward for a couple of years before Malcolm Blight exposed him in the middle to win the Norm Smith medal in the 1997 Grand Final.  No fluke to repeat the dose a year later going on to be the current games record holder for Adelaide with 340.  Similar can be said of Polly Farmer and his stature at Geelong.  He only graced Kardinia Park for 6 years (1962-67) and 101 games but left an indelible mark on the club and competition, the mark he left on the game was greater as he played the balance of his career in WA playing 356 games from 1952-71.  He coached the first WA State of Origin team in 1977.  His Cats are in great shape as this season unfolds while the Crows are anything but and can only see this going one way.


Chris Johnson ($1.47) vs Neil Elvis Winmar ($2.96)


One the Great Eight that made the move from Fitzroy to Brisbane Chris Johnson was rewarded with three premierships with the Lions where he was a key part of their defense.  His retirement from footy in 2007 made him the last Fitzroy player in the AFL/VFL.  Noting that the ‘Roys also were the first VFL club to have an indigenous in Joe Johnson back in 1904.  Nicky Winmar is immortalized by one defining act in 1993 and so it should be as it was a catalyst for change in both the footy and society, change that is not yet complete.  Neil Elvis had plenty of other great moments on the field including mark of the Year in 1992.  He played 251 AFL games 230 of those with the Saints.  A great contest awaits their teams both at the pointy end of the table and both highly watchable.  The Gabba will provide the Lions sufficient advantage to win this.


Chris Lewis ($1.34) vs Zac Williams ($3.30)


An original Eagles Chris Lewis did not take long to get up to the rigours of AFL footy as a classy player who genuinely played on the edge.  Reached 215 games highlighted by the 1992 and 1994 premierships.  Zac Williams has become one of the key players for GWS. His absence in games this season has seen them struggle to move the ball with any speed or confidence and unsurprisingly one of the Giants being circled by the recruiters.  He is in this week to take on the Eagles in a game that they must take on after the terrible showing against the Swans last week.  Perhaps the inclusion of Greene and Davis will right the ship again.  Are they suffering similar issues to the Crows after a Grand Final belting from the Tigers?  Even if they play better don’t think they can overcome West Coast at home


Leon Davis ($1.37) vs Jimmy & Phil ($3.35)


The Krakouer Brothers lit up Arden St in 1982 as they worked together to mesmerize the opposition.  We were afforded a glimpse of their magic earlier when Claremont played in the night competition in the years prior.  Expectations were high and they delivered.  ‘Neon’ Leon Davis did the same for the Pies playing a s a small forward and snaring Goal of the Year in 2008 before a transition into defense later in his career.  He played 225 games including the 2010 drawn Grand Final but was left out of the team the following week.  His Pies are battling at the moment with a myriad of injuries while North are also struggling there seems to be a bit more spirit as Rhyce Shaw brings in some changes.  Just think Collingwood’s best will be good enough here.


Track Time


Just a meeting this week at the Valley but at least the track surface should be OK no matter what the weather gods deliver, the rail out 5m is likely to favour on pace runners.


Coming Around (R1, #4) was impressive winning at Flemington comes up at a really short price, I will be happy to watch rather than play.  In particular watching Miami Bound (R1, #2)  as she prepares for a big spring.  Another shorty with Tailleur (R2, #4) coming down from Sydney for GSOB – has to get around the Valley but wins if she does.  The third is tough giving Montia (R3, #5) a chance with the inside draw and experience around the track.  High Emocean (R4, #5) put an end to Persan’s winning streak that form is good enough for me.  We got a scratching so Antagoniser (R5, #13) is in the field and looks well placedafter a handy run last start.


The McKenzie Stakes is a tough affair despite the small field – really interested in the two down the bottom who have won at their only start.  Favouring Zipping Boy (R6, #9) off the inside draw.  Almost go field in the quaddie.  We get a shorty in the next with Windstorm (R7, #7) coming from the west with a terrific record – needs to handle the Valley and would want them to be able to run on before jumping in.  Banquo (R7, #6) is a conveyance that is more likely to be on the pace – both are drawn wide.  Happy to stick with Brooklyn Hustle (R8, #10) who seems to relish the tight circuit, then we have a ripping finale but tough to pick the winner.  Going with the Valley form of El Galayel (R9, #4) 3 from 6 here, a race to watch closely with the next couple of months in mind.




An almost Flemington like quaddie for degree of difficulty this week, so taking some risks to preserve a dividend and hope we get it home.


Leg 1 – 1, 2, 4, 8, 9

Leg 2 – 6, 7, 8

Leg 3 – 1, 2, 10

Leg 4 – 3, 4, 7, 9


Go Blues,


Cheers, Sal


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