Round 15 – Sal’s Preview: Bring your mouthguard

Greetings All,


The Blues didn’t need to call a review, they have been justifiably scrutinised by the media after yet another lacklustre effort.  The thing that has been common, even among the response from the club, is that the “team defence” is not working.  Reckon the core issue is more basic than that.  Aside from Weitering and Jones they just do not play good one-on-one footy, not just losing those contests but then burn their mates with lack of pressure – poor team defence follows quickly.  Clarko had the Hawks belt each other in the boxing ring to get the desired response and they ambushed Sydney.  Can’t see what is wrong with ‘bring your mouthguards Tuesday Night’ and just some old-fashioned mano-e-mano drills.  Blaming team defence lets them blame everybody else.


Anyway enough on the Blues, a few other clubs with some issues and a final eight that is looking pretty set.  The strains of covid disruption on clubs could have a detrimental effect on the season.  If it gets too disruptive I can see a few stars being given relief to refresh for the attack on 2022, it already happens but could be more prevalent this year.


Gabba Gabba do ($1.75) vs After the Buzzer Beaters ($2.30)


Playing at the Gabba puts plenty in the Lions favour, however Geelong has been a tough opponent for them for a long time winning only 3 of their last 24 encounters.  The Cats were more than challenged by the Bulldogs last week, they survived through some poor execution from the opposition and perfect execution from Gary Rohan.  That is where the Lions’ biggest challenge lies in stopping the dominance of Hawkins-Cameron-Rohan, they have scored over 60% of Geelong’s goals through this 6-game winning streak.  Therein might also lie the secret to beating them but who has enough quality defenders.  The Lions look one short to me so they will be reliant on their midfield winning enough of the ball to stem the supply.  Their forwards can stretch a defence but will have problems if they allow Tom Stewart to rule the skies as he did last week.  It’s a flip of the coin but the Gabba has me with the Lions.


The Benchmark ($1.22) vs Hollering ($5.30)


In a couple of week the Tigers will have virtually a full list to choose from, their opponents can only dream of that luxury faced with the prospect of having to bring back players before they are fully fit as may be the case with Rowan Marshall.  The injury lists alone has me with the Premiers.


No Moore ($1.81) vs Purple Haze ($2.22)


Robert Harvey gets his first gig in charge and get Grundy back to help him out, however he has lost the services of Darcy Moore for the season.  This will stress the defence that has been better with the inclusion of Roughead to assist with the big forwards.  Freo have a couple of those to contend with in Taberner and Lobb.  The Dockers chances will improve significantly if Fyfe has recovered but still going against them away from home.


Bellerive ($1.77) vs UnDew Pressure ($2.26)


The Suns are struggling again towards the back of the season with their Chairman Tony Cochrane putting pressure on the team and the coach.  It may have an impact with the opportunity up against the Roos.  The Kangas fortunes have been travelling the other way though and the Hobart climate will be much frostier than the Gold Coast.  North should prevail down south.


Grayed Out ($1.36) vs Ambushed ($3.70)


Of all the teams in the eight Sydney appear the most vulnerable. They have this tough trip to play Port Adelaide followed by the Eagles, Dogs and Giants.  Add to that the travails of enduring banishment from home.  The ambush from the Hawks could really hurt at the end of the season.  Port again showed their ability to deal with the lesser teams, Sydney will be more of a challenge and especially with the services of Robbie Gray.  Their home ground advantage should help them prevail.


The Other Harry ($4.10) vs Buckley’s Lament ($1.30)


The Demons suffered the fate of many with an outgoing coach and plenty of emotion in the opposition, but they should have been much better prepared for what Collingwood would deliver.  Two weeks of soul searching should have them ready for the Bombers.  Essendon have been terrific with another rising star nominee in Harrison Jones.  He needs close attention from the opposition as of course does Jake Stringer who looks to have added consistency to his bow.  Should be a beauty on Saturday night, but if Melbourne are in the hunt they win this.


Go the Torp ($1.71) vs Boxing On ($2.34)


Toby Greene loves the moment and given chance to bomb one long after the siren there was little surprise in the result.  Nor ultimately in the result with his team challenging to get an elusive berth in the finals.  Based on trajectory they should look after Hawthorn.  History says no!  The Giants have not beaten Hawthorn at any other location apart from the Showgrounds.  Two years ago the Hawks pulled off another ambush against the Giants in the Canberra snow.  Going with GWS but with some trepidation.


It’s Shuetime ($1.83) vs Doggone It ($2.18)


The Bulldogs almost got there on the Geelong road trip, this week they cross the Nullabor for the toughest trip.  Libba’s performance to win contest after contest was extraordinary.  The Eagles lifted themselves over the Tigers and are getting healthier with the prospect of Kelly, Sheppard, Shuey and McGovern all coming back.  The Bulldogs assault will be meticulously planned as always by Beveridge and the players generally execute his plans well.  West Coast at home is a big ask and think they might just fall short.


Analyse This (%1.54) vs Tropical Delight ($2.68)


The Crows came back to defeat the Saints in Cairns and on form that should be enough to beat Carlton.  The Blue’s woes have been surgically dissected this week, that should have some affect on effort and performance.  By the same token so it should have after the lamentable efforts against West Coast and Sydney.  What is their favour is being back in Melbourne.  Picking them with much trepidation this week.


Friar Time


A handy return for the Friars going 4 from 4 with the Thirds taking the points over Monash and the Girls winning well over Monash.  The Reserves and Seniors both had hard fought games against Brunswick with both eventually kicking clear to win.  This week the Friars host Oakleigh who we defeated a mere two games ago, great to have supporters back at the ground.  The Girls have been given the late game at Old Brighton which will be a solid test and the 3s head to Elsternwick.


Go Friars, Go Blues,





The Tigers (Covid) Almanac 2020 will be published in 2021. It will have all the usual features – a game by game account of the Tigers season – and will also include some of the best Almanac writing from the Covid winter.  Pre-order HERE


To return to our Footy Almanac home page click HERE.


Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


Do you enjoy the Almanac concept?

And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help things keep ticking over please consider making your own contribution.


Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE.

One-off financial contribution – CLICK HERE.

Regular financial contribution (monthly EFT) – CLICK HERE.



Leave a Comment