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Round 16 – Sal’s Preview: A view from the Tigertanic

Every media pundit has been cracking into the Tigers this week, their perilous state was predicted here long ago.  Dimma says we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg of their talent – just concerned he might be the captain of the Titanic!  So I got that one right, but still waiting for the Dogs to fall over.  No matter how Richmond are going will they or other teams be able to build and climb to the upper echelons.  There is a log jam at the top with Hawthorn, Sydney and Geelong being very difficult to move.  So how do clubs below build and break in or at least be in contention for the at least the medium term.  Long term residence in the upper echelons is not the AFL’s preference but through a variety of factors that is what they have.


Much is said about the need to build from the draft and that is where Richmond in particular had it tough – they were due some higher picks but missed out during the compromised drafts with the gold going to the new franchises.  Notwithstanding the fact that they screwed up on a few of the prime picks they did have.  But the Blues, Saints and Pies are in a similar predicament, how can they continually grab top end talent to build a team that can get to top four if they get themselves to mid table and fall down the draft order?  Not to mention the travails of Brisbane and quite possibly Gold Coast over the next couple of years.


Maybe those top sides will drop off and create the vacancies, but the AFLPA have made that difficult with free agency.  Interstate sides will always find it easier to climb as they improve due to their home ground advantage, but then again for ultimate success they will never play the Grand Final on their home ground which provides some balance.  Hawthorn and Geelong also have their own fortresses that help them bank a few victories.


We probably need to wait for the effect of the compromised draft to wear off – which is still few years away to really see if the competition can balance.  In the meantime, Richmond are still a sneaky chance for 2016 glory.


Now for the tips, but after shocker last week the recommendation is to tread warily!


The Best of the Rest ($2.26) vs Cyrilicious ($1.78)


The win over the Tiges put the Power back in the most purgatorious position of ninth.  This week they host the Hawks who will have the best small forward in the competition back in Cyril Rioli.  Port are beating who they should but not really looking like the top four side that Kenny thinks they are.  While the Hawks might not be as good as the last couple of years, they are a top four side and will show that on Thursday night.


Moorabool St ($1.48) vs The Model Club ($3.05)


Buddy and Jesinta now Kieran and Charlotte the Swans are certainly the pin up boys up north, but they travel south this weekend to Kardinia Park in one the toughest away venues.  The car park is closed so indications are that the going will be in the soft to heavy scale.  Sydney are pretty familiar with such conditions this year, by the same token Geelong have been proven mudlarks over the last few years.  Sydney were careless in their loss last – not paying enough attention to detail in the last few minutes and paid the price – they will be desperate to get that one back.  However, the Cats would seem to have the capability to match that Sydney midfield and the Swans need to spread the goal scoring away from Buddy.  It promises to be a mighty encounter and certainly give the Swans a chance, but Geelong at Geelong is the safe way home.


A Spotless Record ($1.11) vs One Jong don’t make it Right ($9.20)


The Bakery looking to add another ingredient hosted Lin Jong to much furore – from a purist deservedly so.  Media Mick had all sorts of problems, but conveniently forgets his time being courted by the Pies while still in charge of West Coast.  Whether Footscray play him or not is a simple decision.  They are in contention – if he is in the best available 22 he plays.  If they were out of contention, they should take the Carlton-Henderson path assuming he is intent on departing.  The Pies travel to what might be a tougher venue than Geelong to face the Giants.  I suspect the franchise will have a bit of extra motivation facing Adam Treloar for the first time and they have more ammunition in the middle than the Blues had last week.  Giants to remain spotless.


Jaeger Meisters ($1.23) vs Leppa’s lament ($5.20)


The Suns are buoyed by Jaeger’s progression to return the big league; this week they face the team that began the ten loss streak and was put to rest last week.  Unfortunately for Justin Leppitsch it has been the Lions only victory.  Gold Coast are getting healthier – the Lions are not – Gold Coast to win.


Dennis Denuto ($1.23) vs A Bit Un-Ty-dy ($5.20)


The Castle has been in the news all week with the Kerrigan Home about to succumb to development then Luke Beveridge channelling Dennis Denuto waiting for the right vibe before releasing Tom Boyd from the naughty corner.  They return to the Loungeroom where they enjoy an excellent vibe, mind you last week’s was pretty good too.  Their guests are the Tigers whose vibe is at the other end of the spectrum and the one around Ty Vickery is pretty nasty.  Sure he has struggled, but he has plenty of mates in the same predicament.  The media blood sport targeting players and coaches can be pretty unsavoury.  They will try hard – but just do not have the depth and the Dogs will continue on their way.


Very North Melbourne ($1.46) vs Is he Lyon? ($3.05)


The Dees travel to another unhappy hunting ground in Darwin where they have lost four on the trot, they take on Freo whose coach dished some hope for others that Nat Fyfe could leave.  If it were the case, I doubt the coach would be spruiking the possibility – but he is not playing this week and they will need to improve significantly on their Collingwood performance to have any chance this week.  Melbourne could not quite match it with the Crows, but have the necessary equipment to deal with the Dockers and are my selection with some trepidation about their record at the venue.


Only Jack in Attack ($5.60) vs Yattarna Sippers ($1.21)


Adelaide fans are delving deeper in the wine store for some higher quality to match the footy their team is playing.  It’s not just winning it’s the style they are playing that makes the Crows irresistible to watch – then there is Carlton.  They are playing very resistible football lacking any initiative and devoid of confidence.  The one bright light being the debut of Jack Silvagni – a blight on the team that he was clearly the Blues most active forward.  On last week’s relative form this could be a twenty goal blow out – however I expect the Blues coaches to address the malaise the team has played with in their last two encounters.  I still think the Crows will roll on.


Scary at Subi ($1.44) vs Still Waite-ing ($3.05)


North travel west in a critical game as they attempt to get 2016 back on track.  The Eagles at home are a tough challenge, but Adelaide exposed their soft underbelly and proved it is not quite the fortress we thought.  It is an ideal opportunity for the Roos to not only silence the doubters, but also to silence the little man in their heads that also questions their legitimacy.  If Goldy is fit they have an advantage, but question marks over the availability of Waite and more specifically Wells makes it difficult to predict.  West Coast have their own legitimacy questions and putting North away won’t resolve them, but a loss will certainly make their little men louder.  Going for West Coast but with little confidence.


The Other Bye ($7.60) vs Paddy Whacked ($1.14)


Hope all goes well for Paddy McArtin and his footy after yet another concussion, would be a shame if his career had to be curtailed.  The Saints will look after him well.  They are back in their loungeroom against the Bombers who unsurprisingly are battling to be competitive throughout games.  Saints to win.


Friar Time


Could not follow up the St Marys game with a win – with PEGS proving too clean through the middle and too strong up forward.  The Under 19s gave up an early lead to St Bede’s Mentone but were competitive from ¼ time without making any impact on that lead.  All Ammos have the week off and beautifully timed by the VAFA given the Melbourne weather this week.


And if anyone wants see my thoughts on the Blues-Pies game and a bit more check out the MCC Blog Round 15: Carlton vs Collingwood – Elections, Footy, The ‘G and Me


Go Blues

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