Round 15 – Sal’s Preview: Let Bye gones be Bye gones!


Greetings All,

AFLPA might have pushed for the bye for players but after the last three weeks I reckon clubs might want to change that.  The competition is slowed, we have a Melbourne long weekend with only six games and Sunday afternoons with only one.  A few other issues with the competition, but it’s the players that the clubs worry about.

There are so many issues and layers to the de Goey story, or non-story as many would like.  Playing footy week to week keeps the rhythm – at least this year – a break in the rhythm and it all goes pear shaped.  Flawed genius, spoiled brat or some combination of both?  Ultimately he needs to take responsibility for his actions, his club written apology doesn’t count – neither does being bailed out by his “team”.  Would be a good idea to take responsibility of your “mates” with a camera too.


May Day ($1.66) vs Major Payne ($2.48)

Is this a Grand Final Preview at the G, one and two on the ladder facing off.  Melbourne allow Steven May back but in the meantime they will be without Max Gawn for a few weeks.  Reckon it’s a great test for them, consensus would be that they failed the test without Steven May.  Luke Jackson taking the lead in the ruck puts him in the middle of the shop window.  It presents another challenge as he and Max been their most effective targets up forward and scoring has been a major issue in their three losses.  The Lions have their own challenges to bear bringing in Jack Payne for the injured Darcy Gardiner and they will miss the drive and cheek of Dayne Zorko.  Then there is the little question of the venue having lost their last 9 at the G and only four wins since the 2004 Preliminary Final.  Melbourne’s lack of scoring is a real concern and reckon the Lions have the potency to break the hoodoo.


Aeronaughtical ($1.44) vs DeFrosted ($3.15)

The injury to Sam Frost reduces one of their options in shutting down the rampaging Aaron Naughton, being able to do that goes a long way to stopping the Dogs.  The Giants didn’t last week and he dined out, his willing accomplice in Cody Weightman won’t be there though making the task for the Hawthorn defence a bit easier.  The loss of English also hurts the Dogs who need to contend with the improving Ned Reeves.  Hawthorn was so good last match against Freo and get Gunston and Lewis back.  Reckon that could stretch the likes of Gardiner and Keath, Hawthorn have a great record against the Dogs even in the Loungeroom and reckon they might improve it.


It’s Anarchy ($2.86) vs It’s Curtains ($1.51) 

West Coast might be in a mess without Jeremy McGovern for a few weeks coming off second best in a collision with another Jeremy.  Overall though they were OK against Geelong.  They host the Bombers who appear to have unveiled a new leader and cult hero in Sam Draper, he was terrific in the win against the Saints and has led any Bomber physicality all year.  Kennedy and Darling could test the Essendon defenders but until we see it I can’t select the Eagles.


Another One Bites the Dust ($2.14) vs Flagmantle ($1.86)

Another tall defender joined the Blues medical room last week, leaving options very thin for the encounter with Freo.  However it is not Freo’s height up forward that presents the issues, the likes of Frederick, Walters and Schultz work well together and are very creative.  The Blues defence will be tested no matter what.  At the other end McKay and Curnow present their own challenges and need to compete strongly when the ball comes in.  However the real key here is in the middle, the Dockers are flying and have added Fyfe.  The Blues have been relatively poor in their last three outings.  They need to do better against dominant ruckmen and shut down more effectively.  The Loungeroom is good for the Blues but holds no fears for Dockers.  The Blues best can win, but they are not at their best.


Domestic ($1.88) vs Jungle ($2.10)

The felines go at it at the G but not sure Geelong wanted their home game there to be against a rampant Richmond.  They are both 4 from 5, most of those games they were both well favoured.  The manner in which Richmond is playing though is critical, they are back forcing their own style on the game and playing on their own terms.  Can the Cats change that, they did beat them twice last year!  The return of Martin is balanced by the loss of Cotchin, however the loss of Balta removes flexibility especially if Robbie Tarrant is also unfit.  Dangerfield returning certainly boosts the Cats.  Just think Nankervis is enforcing his will on the game and Geelong do not really have the rucks to match him, it then gets played on Tiger terms and they get scarier by the week.


Bloodletting ($1.47) vs Clark Kent ($2.96)

The Saints Man of Steel returns for the final top eight match of the week against the Swans.  Sydney will be filthy with their performance last week and will be out to address that at home.  The Saints were possibly more disappointing, did not show their opposition enough respect and then capitulated after getting back on terms.  St Kilda will make it tough but they are over ten years since a win at the SCG and don’t expect that to change.


Noble Cause ($3.60) vs Sunburnt ($1.36) 

The Roos lose Ziebell but get a couple of handy ones back in McKay and Zurhaar.  The other great one back training is Ben Cunnington, fabulous news and great that he can think about footy again.  They host Adelaide and must go all out for a win.  The Crows owned the footy against the Suns but didn’t do enough with it, they need to be more direct and take a couple of risks.  Reckon North should be up for this, however their inability to play four quarters has me with the Crows.


No Goey ($1.45) vs Toby or not Toby ($3.05)

Enough said about Jordan, whether the leave is by choice or enforced matters little.  It leaves a hole in their midfield, the rest are all capable but none have the explosiveness and ability to burst forward.  They come up against a Giants outfit that are resplendent with midfielders with willingness to attack.  Going the other way is the issue, seven goals for Toby was great but the Dogs defence is not the meanest.  Doubt he will much freedom from Maynard.  The big issue for the Giants though will be in the ruck.  The New Australian Mason Cox and Cameron have been very effective for the Pies, for GWS Flynn is injured and Preuss suspended again.  That tips it the Pies way.


Bunny Boilers ($1.45) vs The Other Bunnies ($3.15)

Port disposed of one of their bunnies in Sydney last week, this week they face another.  Gold Coast beat Port in their first game and have not done so since, they have as good a chance as ever but not at the Adelaide Oval.


Go Friars, Go Blues,

Cheers, Sal


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