Round 15 Preview – Tackling a few issues?

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Greetings All,


Yes there are plenty of issues to tackle, but they all pail into insignificance relative to the death of Phil Walsh.  This readership and footy in general will recover from this horrific event, but for his families and friends their lives are changed forever.  There can be no good that comes of such a tragedy, but let’s hope it is constant reminder to us of the horror of famiy violence and the destruction it brings.


Issue number two though is tackling!  I try to vary my targets – or at least recycle them – but this is now the third week in a row that the MRP (Mostly Random Penalties) are on the receiving end.  How “Sergeant” Schulz was let off for his tackle on Ted Richards only went to prove that the MRP “knows nothing”!  They simply got either Gibbs or Schulz wrong – in my opinion Schulz and I still cannot fathom how they differentiated the two.  Bryce had every right to be confused, but what about the coaches and how they will drill their players on tackling.  The league decision to review tackle laws is not necessary, what was necessary was an immediate appeal against the MRP decision and a tribunal hearing to sort out the mess immediately instead what will be months of navel gazing.


Then it is the media and more specifically Rupert’s money and how they hung Harley Bennell out in publishing those pictures of him from 24 months ago.  I have heard their “footy” journalists indicate they knew nothing of it, which may be true, indicating it was a decision made out of the Courier Mail and the editorial justification being that it was in the public interest.  What a bunch of bollocks, yes there is public interest in the scourge of drugs in both society and footy, but weighing that up against the damage to the individual – there were several other angles they could have taken the story and probably be more constructive in the discussion.  They ran these photos purely for purely commercial reason and I hope Harley Bennell can pull his life and career back together otherwise those editors have much to answer for!


But whilst Harley might not be playing this weekend there are plenty that are and it is time to pontificate over the potential predicaments of the participants.  I have lamented the difficulty in pontification without team selections, it has not really been an issue however many of the games this week will be influenced by available personnel.

Check out the Ladbrokes prices for this round of AFL fixtures. Including the $2 special on Richmond to beat Carlton.

Neade this One ($2.00) vs Swanning Around ($1.90)

Not everyone’s cuppa but Dane Swan reaches 250 games, he is a pure footballer and has the right attitude to the game.  I can see him playing “a la” Leigh Matthews in the Pie forward line for a couple more years.  His Pies are almost finished a 3 part examination, whilst they lost the first two they lost no admirers.  This looks an easier section of the exam, but Port have their own examination in progress.  They have brought back Neade, Trengrove amongst others, but it does not look like their bottom six are getting any better.  Getting back on the winners list is critical to them as their season heads into freefall.  This is their first game since the death of Phil Walsh who was part of the club for the last few years, there will be plenty of emotion in this one for Port.  Emotion can take the result either way and I can envisage a positive performance.  However their form overall is average at best, so going with Collingwood whose form surely deserves a win.


Timber Topped ($1.40) vs Tutt, Tutt, Tutt ($3.45)

The Tigers got a massive fright from the Giants and it has cost them some tall timber with the loss of both Griffith and Maric, they disembowelled the Blues in the season opener but the Blues seem to have some sterner stuff now.  However their skill level and decision making is very much dependent on who is out on the park so selection is critical for this game.  Whilst the rucks will present a challenge for the Tigers there organisation at both ends of the ground will give them the ascendency and make them my selection.  However given their personnel issues and Carlton’s improved effort levels anything better than $3.20 on them is fair value.


Hird Mentality ($2.52) vs Watts Up ($1.62)

Jimmy lamented that his charges stopped playing last week against the rampant Saints, they take on Melbourne coming back from Darwin.  Something not covered too much has been the improving output from Jack Watts – seems to have settled into a role and doing it well.  On form the Dees are justified favourites, but the Bombers have copped it left, right and centre all week I doubt we will see a lack of effort.  They are undermanned but do have enough talent and represent good value at $2.50 and are my selection.


Cairns ($1.72) vs Roo Cullers ($2.32)

The Dogs were too clean for the Blues last week and take the game to the tropics, but face Gold Coast who welcomed back their little champ and then put the Kangas to the sword.  They had a few other good ins apart from Gazza and expect improved efforts from here on, but the Bulldogs have too much on the line this week and I suspect will have the edge.  Gold Coast not without a chance, but would want north of $2.50.


Spirit on Vacation ($1.96) vs Bye Bye ($1.94)

The Shinboner Spirit went to the Gold Coast but might have got lost at the theme parks, meanwhile the Cats issue with 6 day breaks has gone with 20 days between matches after last week’s cancellation effectively having two byes in succession.  (not necessarily what the players are requesting.  They welcome back Jimmy Bartel, but need to address their ruck stocks.  Up against Goldstein this will be important.  The Roo defence was troubled by the Suns big forwards and there ain’t many bigger than the Tomahawk.  A really tough one to pick, but going for the Roos purely because of their need to respond after last week.  But pretty a toss of the coin game as the satchel slingers have it.


West Coast ($1.28) vs For Phil ($4.30)

A really tough game for Adelaide after the death of their coach and facing the all-conquering Eagles.  The end of the game will be a relief for them, but the Eagles will win.


What Mummy ($1.71) vs The Young and the Not So Restless($2.28)

The Saints are an attractive proposition to watch, while the Giants showed last week they can cope without their Mummy.  This should be a great game to show off young talent, but going for the team with the solid old stagers.  Yes, the Saints have plenty of youngsters, but they are complemented pretty well with Fisher, Dempster, Reiwoldt, Montagna, Gilbert, Schneider and a couple of other seasoned players.  I reckon they have the right blend youth and experience to take this one out.


Southern Comfort ($1.52) vs Rain Dancers ($2.90)

A pity for the Melbourne Hawk members, but a bonus for the Tassie ones with one of the match ups of the year being played in Launceston.  Freo have been spluttering along but still finding a way to win, of note most of their recent encounters have been in poor weather.  While the Hawks are a highly skilled team they enough insiders to be able to cope with poor conditions which are on the cards for Sunday.  Almost a toss of the coin game and I suspect Freo will be right up for the contest and could win, however the Hawk record in their southern comfort zone is imposing and they are my selection.


Brisbane ($6.00) vs Sydney ($1.12)

A feisty effort from the Lions against Freo and facing Sydney at home they would fancy their chances.  However Sydney seem to cruising along with the occasional hiccup, whereas the Lions feistiness does not turn up every week and when it does it is not for every quarter.


Friar Time

The Ammos get a week off!  Last week the Under 19s suffered with the Premier Section bye, with Collegians bringing back a few handy types and proving too strong.  But the Friar seniors had a convincing victory over Bulleen-Temp to re-establish a gap from the relegation zone.


Go Blues and Get Well Soon Roughy!

Cheers, Sal

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  1. David Zampatti says

    Couple of things: people who can’t tell the difference between the Gibbs and Schultz slings, and why one should have been penalised and the other (a little, but only a little, fortunately) let go, tend to call Gibbs Bryce and Schulz Schulz. Like they call Swan Swanny and neglect to mention it’s Luke McPharlin’s 250th game too.

    And they live in Melbourne.

    Not quite changing the subject, Freo will beat the Hawks (in Luke McPharlin’s 250th game) on Sunday. They’ve done better against better opposition so far this year, were more impressive against Collingwood than the Hawks (who kicked 11.7 two weeks ago and 12.19 last weekend). The Hawks were a patchy 4-4 for the first eight rounds and haven’t beaten anyone who could kick straight since. Weather-wise, Freo may as well have been playing in Launceston for the past five games, and have won four of them.

  2. Sal Ciardulli says

    Yes Dave,

    No matter how players are referenced I still cannot differentiate the two tackles and certainly not the result. My concern is for the “good of the game” not the individual, truth be told I am happy to have Jay playing against Collingwood so Port have more chance to win. The question remains how do we teach players how to tackle? As a Carlton supporter I have many names for Bryce Gibbs, many of them uncomplimentary and not due to him hailing from SA.

    Have missed a few milestones in my prognostications and Luke Joins the list – he certainly does deserve recognition especially after his battles last year. I had something for him, but for brevity left this out of my diatribe. I loved his honesty when interviewed at half time last week – it was about the only time we actually got something real in one of those pieces. The fact that he has felt the need to come out and apologise for it, shows that for the most part the mid-match chats with players and coaches do nothing for the coverage. He has been a great player over the journey – even when he was in Melbourne. Well Played.

    As for Freo beating Hawthorn – a distinct possibility and for many “Good for the Game!”. They have certainly had to endure some ordinary conditions so it is tough to know their true form. However my other background is stats – and the Hawks are 20-2 at York Park since 2010 a safer selection in my opinion. Not that my record this year is too impressive.

  3. Rick Kane says

    Actually, there’s a bunch of Hawks milestones, including our gift to Freo in McPharlin. There’s also Puopolo – 100 games and the King of Colac, Luke Hodge playing his 100th games as captain! Hawks by 23 points

  4. Skip of Skipton says

    Give me a strong cuppa of Dane Swan, Sal! I know the real shit when I see it.

  5. Skip of Skipton says

    Dan Menzel rag-dolling Swan on his way to 5 goals in r24 2011 is a highlight too. For me.

    “Man!, did you just see that Mofo do that?

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