Round 14 Preview – Sal’s thoughts and predictions for this week

Greetings All

The World Cup is here and all my fears of a poor viewing experience came to fruition with Optus’ failure to have any understanding of the demand for the event or any sense of scale to deliver.  Thankfully the remainder of the initial phase of the competition will be seen on SBS.

Onto the footy – Sam Mitchell might think there is nothing wrong with the game indicating it is all a media beat-up.  As Sam should know the numbers don’t lie, the weight of possessions he won got him the recognition he deserved.  With respect to the game – scoring, attendances and ratings are all down.  Poor fixturing, luck of the draw, clashes with Commonwealth Games and the World Cup might account for some of the decreases, it would be folly to think they are the main reason.  Sam might think it’s beat-up, clearly Gil and HQ don’t with new rules being trialled behind closed doors although plenty of leaks about those trials.

Most of the proposed alterations have merit, introducing too many at once could deliver massive unwanted ramifications for the game.  Not only with the way it’s played and the look but right through to recruiting, the draft and the type of player required to be successful under a new look game.  Reduction or removal of interchange – do we go back to resting ruckmen?  Does fatiguing players accentuate the differences between the good and bad teams – leading to more and bigger blowouts?  Do we care if the footy is better to watch?  Players tied to zones – do the mark and kick types come back into vogue.  Reducing the length of the game?

That is enough!  From this fan’s perspective giving us less footy is not the answer.  The fact that it will not fatigue the players as much also would appear counterintuitive.  If the game is taking too long – then get rid of the dead time.  Stop nominating rucks and just throw it in or ball it up, don’t wait for everyone to be in place.  If the goal review system is to stop the howlers, then they will be obvious within 20 seconds – if the genii in the bunker can’t decide by then – stick with the ump and move on.  Just for the network even let them have 30 seconds and take advantage of the most valuable time on TV!  Get rid of the shot clock – watching Jason Castagna last week eyeing off the clock as to when to begin his shot for goal, he was ready 10 seconds before the clock told him to have a ping.  Would think that making all those changes would impact game times by at least 5 minutes duration.

The other issue I have with changing the actual playing time is the records and the history.  Current scoring trends don’t have Fred Fanning too bothered, the introduction of some of these changes may open the game and have him disturbed.  Reducing the game time will maintain his record forever, then consider all the other scoring records.  Reducing the duration of the game might have some merits – reducing the playing time should not be on the agenda.

And one more thing – get rid of Thursday night footy – puts far too much pressure on this scribe!

Jellyfish ($1.29) vs Wooshing ($4.30)

The Eagles have had their spine removed with Kennedy joining Barrass and Darling on the sidelines.  It will certainly make their job harder against the Bombers who now have a very content coach, believing his team is working cohesively after the horror stretch a few weeks ago.  Suspect the Perth stadium and the midfield and ruck strength of the Eagles will get them over the line, with both Kennedy and Darling missing does give the Bombers a realistic chance.

No More Wining ($1.65) vs Stage Frightened ($2.50)

With Ollie all signed up Port are ready for their attack on the second half of the season, they get the Friday night blockbuster and host the Demons who did not handle their big day against the Pies.  This fixture won’t be any easier and another chance for Melbourne to properly denounce the big game demons that haunt them.  While I expect them to make it a tough contest I do think that Port are going too well and will be too strong at home.

Launceston ($1.06) vs Overdew ($15.00)

The Suns have the joy of departing the Gold Coast to play in Launceston in midwinter.  They already have enough problems, the Hawks will present a few more.

Hamstrung ($3.95) vs Lobbed Out ($1.31)

Chris Fagan will be constrained in his coaching locations having to deal with the injury received getting out of the ice.  That injury won’t hamper his team compared to the one of Rory Lobb with a fracture in his back that will really limit the ruck options for the Giants.  They do have Kelly back up and firing which has helped get them back on track.  The Lions though are fierce competitors at home and could get number three on the board, just think the Giants will get over the line in a close one.

Huskies ($5.40) vs Waite and See ($1.21)

The Dogs bonded in the near freezing water while the Roos continue to spruik themselves and with a fair amount of justification.  Losing Waite for an indeterminate amount of could have some impact, not this week against the disappointing Bulldogs.

Bucks Fizzing ($1.07) vs Bolts Flailing ($13.50)

Collingwood are playing good footy, Carlton might not even be playing footy.  Pies to win.

Friar Time

Another tough loss to the Friars against the Bushrangers last week after leading for most of the game.  The Reserves, Under 19s and girls all registering good wins.   This week sees the return bout with UHSVU at Friar Park in a crucial game to stay in touch with the top two.  The girls have another 1st against 2nd clash against OMs at Elsternwick Park on Saturday evening while the Under 19s travel to Ivanhoe.

Go Friars, Go Blues, Go Socceroos!

It’s Timmy Time!

Cheers, Sal



  1. george smith says

    World cup sees Australia, Germany and Argentina with one hand on the ticket home, sort of like Melbourne in round 23. Meanwhile the bad boys Russia, Uruguay and Croatia are doing the Kevin Bartlett dance all over our dreams. Essendon destroys the great neutral hope the Weagles…

    Here’s hoping that the masters of skulduggery do not rediscover their mojo on Sunday, and destroy the hopes of my beloved Magpies…

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