Round 16 – Taking Care of Business: Sal’s preview and tips

Greetings All,


The Blues and Dogs put last week’s data to the test dropping Freo and Port’s home records to 5-3, we watch on with interest.  What has peaked in interest is the performance of the caretaker coaches, with clamoring starting for both Shaw and Teague to be given the jobs.  The beauty of being a caretaker is that the job has little risk and that both the supporters and the powerbrokers want to see the players play.  A coach with tenure has a greater complexity in their view of their club, their players and their performance.  What is apparent is the joy of both the Roos and Blues players with the relief of the tension.


There have been some differences in their deployment of personnel.  Shaw has given greater trust to younger players through the middle with Simpkin and Davies-Uniacke stepping up.  Whether through design or necessity the Blues have injected veterans Murphy and Ed Curnow back into the furnace with great effect.  Both are taking care of business with aplomb, there is still plenty of time for their clubs to make the best decision for the longer term.


Plenty of discussion about the success and failure of caretaker coaches, concentration has been on recent times.  The most successful from my perspective was Jezza.  Finishing out of the finals in 77 after crashing out in straight sets in 76 saw the demise of Ian Thorogood and the introduction of Ian Stewart at the Blues in ’78.  There was much fanfare and expectation, was all blown apart by the Tigers in the opener by 77 points, another four losses followed to round six when Stewy departed and Jezza took care.  First up a win at Victoria Park opened Jezza’s account, with only 3 more losses that season before bowing out to the Pies in a semi final.  Then 1979 came along Jezza was no longer the caretaker.  The Blues topped the ton in every game bar two, they only lost 3 games by a cumulative total of 29 points.  They won the Grand Final despite not kicking 100 points in that game, only for the club to implode on the off-season and Jezza move to Moorabbin.  40 year celebrations coming up!


The Streakers ($2.90) vs Low Beams ($1.52)


As Dayne Beams takes his leave from the club, and we wish him well, there seems to be plenty more for the Pies to address after their poor showing last week.  They do still cling on to second on the ladder and are up against an opponent on a four game losing streak.  Losing this one will be the first time the Hawks have lost five on the trot since round 7, 2010.  If streaks are relevant they also help them here, their record over Collingwood is outstanding 16-4 since 2007, and 11-1 since 2012.  Expect Collingwood to be primed after last week however Hawthorn just knows how to beat them and will be encouraged by their performance last week.  Clarko loves nothing more than the glare of Friday Night too.  At their best Collingwood wins and form says so too, the data though gives the Hawks a big chance and one that I think they just might take.


Hooked On ($1.57) vs Sunk Lair ($2.72)


The “Roar of Affirmation” and some Cale Hooker heroics put one Sydney team away last week, they host the other Sydney team this week at the G.  The Swans have their challenges no Franklin, losing their main ruckman Sinclair plus the angst over the coach’s future.  The venue holds no fears for the Swans, intriguingly these teams have not played each other at the MCG since 2004.  Too many holes in the Sydney line up, Essendon should win this.


Miles ($5.50) vs Lynch ($1.21)


We will see how traditions travel, I suspect Hardwick’s tongue was planted firmly in the cheek when saying that Tom Lynch will be appreciated by Suns supporters for his eight years of service.  I suspect the Tiger fans will be more appreciative of Anthony Miles who lines up against them for the first time.  A victim of the club’s success being squeezed out at the end of 2018.  Time for the Suns to make a statement after being pushed to the bottom of the ladder, just not sure they can against this opposition who love to travel.


Paying the Bryce ($1.82) vs Yo Yo ($2.20)


Gibbs again takes the hit for the Crows honourable loss to the top seeds, the return of Jenkins should be a boost.  They take on Port who are scheduled for a win this week, their form is consistently inconsistent and they cannot be trusted.  Astonishingly win this and they are on level terms with their cross town nemesis.  Showdowns are highlight games of the season and selecting the winner based on form and logic is pointless, especially having Port involved.  Just think Port might get up for this, the thought of falling eight points behind Adelaide should be good motivation – but then again it is Port.


Rodney Dangerfield  ($3.80) vs Purring ($1.34)


The domestic pets go at it again, the Cats are in cruise control and just humming along.  The brief threat from the Crows was snuffed out as regular transmission resumed.  While the Dogs took to heart Nathan Buckley’s disrespect of them and took it out on Port Adelaide who also forgot to respect them.  “I tell ‘ya” the Cats will give them enough respect to clinch this one.


The Munster Returns ($3.40) vs Return of the Governer ($1.40)


Big ins for the Derby highlighted by Aaron Sandilands coming straight back in for the Dockers, while the Eagles get back the core of their defense with both McGovern and Barrass.  Herman plays not just to counter Natanui, but also releasing Lobb forward to be a threat.  After coughing up a five goal lead to the Blues I just can’t see Fremantle being good enough to defeat the reigning champs.  But like showdowns, form and logic rarely play much part in the result of the Derby, still think the Eagles will win.


Decrippted ($3.05) vs Is he Gawn? ($1.47)


A great performance from the Blues to get a win on the board without Patrick Cripps, should hold them in good stead for the future and build more belief.  Which is just what the Demons need.  Will they slow down from the breakneck speed at which they play, they got burnt by the Lions who were happy to accommodate that style.  The Blues under Teague are also happy to play at a higher tempo.  Lots of conjecture about whether Gawn plays or not, Preuss would be a more than adequate replacement.  The need to quell Kreuzer will be important to the Dees.  Far too excited as a Blues fan and picking them for two in a row.


To be Shaw, to be Shaw, to be Shaw ($1.28) vs Top Billings ($4.40)


North head down to their southern fortress up against the beleaguered Saints who have their bellwether Jack Billings playing his 100th game.  He is so important to how well St Kilda fares, with his footy smarts and exquisite skills.  The Roos have played an aggressive style since Rhyce Shaw has taken the reigns, can they maintain the rage?  It is up to the Saints to match the intensity which they can do at their best, it just has not shown up enough to have me pick them this week.


We have talk about Jeremy ($1.38) vs And Maybe Eric ($3.50)


Who would have thought last year that the most appetizing game of the round would be a 4th vs 5th encounter between the Giants and the Lions.  The Giants should be the complete package, but there is more missing than just supporters.  My thoughts on the Maserati driver are well known.  His key forward Jeremy Cameron is getting away with just floating around and playing the game only on his terms.  No second or third efforts when he hasn’t got the ball, not providing genuine contests in the air and being outmarked.  His counterpart Eric Hipwood is not dissimilar but did put last week’s game to bed with 15 minutes of brilliance.  They both need to do more when they don’t win the footy.  Big worry for the Giants without Mumford, Simpson has put in some good efforts early in the year if he can do so again it will go a long way to the Giants winning.  Just not that confident and reckon the Lions will be primed to take a big scalp on  the road.


Friar Time


A different set of results this week for the Friars with only the seniors getting the points with a solid win over Yarra Valley.  The Reserves were not able reproduce the previous week’s performance falling by 8 points.  The Under 23s tried hard against the tearaway leaders in that competition in Old Xavier while the girls played another close one going down to Old Carey by 2 points.  The Ammos have a week off apart from representative games, where coach Kristan Height has made the squad to take on Perth FL at Fremantle.


Go Blues, Going to Honkers – and Sha Tin!


Cheers, Sal


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  1. It may be our fortress, Sal.
    But we are 0-2 in Hobart this season…

  2. Sal, in relation to Bryce Gibbs. In my opinion he is lucky to get a game at all – I haven’t been at all impressed with him this season. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is either delisted or made captain of the Crows seconds in the SANFL next season.

    Who knows who will prevail in the Showdown this week – both teams’ best is very good whilst both can also be exceedingly disappointing. For all that the match is sure to be hotly contested.

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