Round 17 Preview – 15 minutes of infamy!

Greetings All,


A great weekend of footy was pretty much ignored, instead we had the Monday focus on someone just after his 15 minutes of fame. The “fan” demanding an apology from Clayton Oliver was simply ridiculous, Clarry may have been over the top with his retort but surely the indignant stand from the Carlton supporter was more so. There were plenty of other mistakes in this one. Did the “fan” really request an apology or was he prompted through the media pack who descended upon him? No matter he could have simply let it go, just getting an opposition player to engage achieves the desired effect. Then once the demand was made the Demons made a hash of it – no need to put a young kid in front of the pack for such a non-issue. They could have simply read a statement they wrote for Clarry then counsel him in case he encounters boundary nutters again.


Fortunately a real footy story did take over with the great Luke Hodge announcing the end is nigh. Having watched a few Hawthorn games during the year it was clear to me that he had physically had enough, still able to read the play and collect possession but not willing get as low as he used to and too great a propensity to kick the ball off the ground. Upstairs nothing has changed and any physical deficiencies are more than covered through his leadership and pure footy smarts that are as good as any other player I have seen. The description of him I heard as “fearsome and fearless” fits perfectly.  Always prepared to impose himself physically in the contest, but never shirked it coming back the other way.  I doubt the Hawks would have won all four flags without his services. Fittingly playing game 300 against the Cats against whom he has had so many great contests (was that round one suspension manufactured?) Then who knows maybe a finals finale as Hawthorn’s form improves.


Now for the nightmare to find nine winners!


Thanks for the Membreys ($1.73) vs Staying in the Parish ($2.34)

The Saints played as good a footy as we’ve seen this year in tearing the Tigers apart in the first half last week, they face the Bombers who will be pleased to have locked away Darcy Parish for another couple of years. The Saints speed of ball movement was spectacular, their opponents this week have also put a couple of teams to the sword when they can get their running game going.  On the lightning fast deck in the Loungeroom this could be a shootout. St Kilda lose a couple of key players in Longer and Membrey, Hickey is an able replacement for Longer but with McCartin still working through his concussion issues that third tall forward might be harder to fill. The Bombers dined on the Pies, however everyone is at the moment so how good is that form?  Going with the Saints, but as the satchel swingers suggest the Bombers are a huge chance.


Buzzed Off ($1.45) vs Howe’s Burton? ($3.10)

A few weeks ago a Geelong-Hawthorn clash at the G would not have generated much excitement, even without Hodge’s 300th the encounter is now as salivating as many they have played in recent history. The Cats just keep going, we’re always worried about spreading the load but they are still in the top echelon. They get Menzel and the other Selwood back, but it costs Wylie Buzza his spot. The Hawks have simply improved from the bottom up, Daniel Howe is looking after the opposition key players while Ryan Burton will surely rank very highly the in the Rising Star votes. Unsurprisingly they are tactically switched on. That will present some challenges to Chris Scott, however he holds a couple of aces in Dangerfield and Selwood that are yet to be quelled and will make them tough to beat. They are my selection although the bagmen are offering very reasonable offerings for the reborn Hawks.


The Love Machine ($1.18) vs Scott Some Love ($6.40)

Kenny might have gone slightly over the top declaring his man love for Paddy Ryder, but he has provided another dimension to the team this year. While others inexplicably express their love for Brad Scott, I just have not heard that from too many North supporters. He has the chance to present his credentials at The Portress that was stormed by the Tigers a couple of weeks ago. I doubt the Roos can break it down this week.


Rocket Time ($1.87) vs Tipping the Bucket ($2.10)

Bucks declared his team reached a tipping point, it appears to me that the club may have also but quietened the din by declaring Nathan as the coach at least till the end of the year.  Meanwhile another spiritless performance shone the spotlight on Rocket.  A little unfairly in my opinion, they are a 30% better team with Gary Ablett playing and Sydney are in pretty hot form.  Reckon back at the Mansion and with the little master the Suns can notch this one, but certainly wary of the Pies travelling record.


Greene Fields ($1.87) vs The Great Dane ($2.12)

Is the Sydney Saturday Night Special a Grand Final preview? The spluttering Giants get some handy ones back in Greene, Johnson and Williams but the Maserati driver still has work to do in countering opposition tactics that are not allowing them to move the ball with the speed they desire.  here is not a better team at holding up the opposition than Sydney and when they do get out the Franklin-Reid show is tough to beat.  At the other end they are the stingiest in the competition now that Dane Rampe is up and going.  Something is going to crack for both of these teams – the Giants are due to break out and put a team to the sword again, Sydney are on a roll which has been something very hard to do in 2017.  At the Showgrounds it could be Cracking Day, but going with form an selecting the Swans.


Jeffie ($3.35) vs Eddie ($1.42)

It’s amigo vs amigo in the Darwin Dustup which is as appetising a contest as the one in Sydney. Melbourne got over the Blues last week as a finals bound team should have and every four points is so critical this season, while the Crows found their Adelaide Oval mojo and all but sealed the Dogs fate. Adelaide would only be missing Hartigan from their best line up, while the Demons are still without the co-captains who drive their engine. The Crows should have the ascendancy, but this is where the recruitment of Jordan Lewis comes to the fore. He organised the Melbourne midfield in the second half last week and with incursions from Christian Petracca were able to get clean breaks from stoppages.  Whoever can get dominance in the middle should prevail, and while Melbourne have covered the loss of Jones and Viney well the Crows bat deeper and so they are the selection.


Pop! ($1.16) vs The Other Great Dayne ($6.20)

The sound was deafening as the air burst out of the Tiger balloon last week. It exposed the knock many had on the Tiges that they can put in the odd shocker, September has no room for a shocker. They will have it a bit easier this week up against the Lions who suffered against a rampant Geelong. Brisbane will provide solid opposition and their midfield led by Dayne Beams and dominated by Dayne Zorko will take it right up to Cotchin, Martin and co. Tigers should prevail, but we thought the Bombers would two weeks ago also.


Docked Lyon ($2.98) vs Dead Parrots ($1.43)

Get Stuffed Lyon reckons his contractual situation at the Dockers is different to what he had at St Kilda – hmmm maybe so but there is no better salesman than Ed!  They take on the Eagles whose midfield has been declared mortus by fellow almanacker Peter Baulderstone in this piece PB’s Eagles do get Josh Kennedy back (or at least have named him) several weeks after suffering a one week calf injury.  The club’s supporters deserve better than the bulldust they have been fed since he went down. Back to the game, worried about the very inexperienced forward line of the Dockers, but they have Fyfe, Mundy, Walters, Neale and the two Hills to provide plenty pace and footy.  Have the Eagles at least got their midfield back on life support? A most intriguing contest as always and reckon Freo might prevail in this Derby.


Decrippted ($2.74) vs On Life Support ($1.56)

The news of Patrick Cripps sustaining a broken leg was not great, but finding out he had been playing with broken ribs already showed even more about his desire to play. Just not so sure it was the right thing for the Blues in the situation they are currently in. Finals are not on the radar but teaching and learning are, this is now an opportunity for Team Bolton to learn who can step up and provide that extra depth needed in the midfield. The loss of Ed Curnow and now Cripps will require others to step up.  Finals are almost off the radar for the premiers and will be tough from the position they are in. Their next four games though are against teams outside the eight and are “winnable”, if they win those it will have them 11-8 with three to play.  Just not sure they are playing well enough to win all four but they should start with one over the Blues this week despite the loss of Easton Wood. Would love to tip the Blues, but they just don’t know how to win.


Amateur Hour

Thick and Thin round in the VAFA focussing on mental health of which has been in the AFL news significantly in the last couple of weeks. A Big triple header at Friar Park with all three teams taking on Preston Bullants. Seniors desperately in need of a win, while for the Under 19s another win will keep finals hopes alive.


Go Blues, Go Friars,

Cheers, Sal



  1. Tough round – again. I don’t reckon I’ve nailed a 50-50 since May.

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