Round 17 preview

Some thoughts on Round 17.


About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three kids - Theo13, Anna11, Evie10. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst three. His ambition is to lunch for Australia.


  1. Rick Kane says

    Harmsy, Harmsy, Harmsy. If something pains you to say it, well then, don’t say it. Pies by 12! Ouch! No mention of the inspired Hawks coaching move to have Schoenmakers play forward and bring Gilham back into the back-line? That’s gotta count for something. The lowest winning margin the Hawks have had this year was 22 points in Round 1. Against the Pies. Anyways, your call. Here’s hoping the result is painfull … for the Pies. Hawks by 37. Cheers

  2. John Harms says

    I hope you are right RKane.

    I think the Coast will be competitive v Lions.

  3. Dogs to down the Blues.

  4. Stainless says

    Surprised that North aren’t shorter.

    I’m no punter but I think I know my team.

    Richmond can react in either of two ways to last week’s debacle.

    They implode completely in which case North Melbourne @$1.65 is extraordinarily generous.

    Or they produce a much improved competitive performance, which will probably result in a close finish and…ahh…the memories!!….in which case North Melbourne @$1.65 is extraordinarily generous.

    Certainly can’t see us having an easy win.

  5. I’ve got a lot of love for the Blues at the moment… I think it’s called Stockholm Syndrome.

  6. Pies by 46. Hawks backline laughable.

  7. Rick,

    Just love your love of the Hawks – such Haughtiness! And you well may win by 37pts v the Pies but I thought I might temper your enthusiasm just a little by outlining who you have played over the past eleven weeks……

    This impressive list in reverse order….the Dogs, the Giants, the Blues, a bye, the Lions, Port, the Kangaroos, the Tigers (who crushed you by 10 goals), Freo, the Demons and the Saints. Only one Top 8 side in that lot (the Saints who are 8th).

    I think the PIes might just provide your Haughty Hawks with a bit tougher test than those above.

  8. Rick Kane says

    Haughty, haughty, haughty ho!

    We’ll see tomorrow come 4.30. It’s a big game for both. After 16 rounds, you would think that all teams have measured up pretty much against every other side. (We have the Bombers and Gold Coast to play). So, I’m happy with our result over the 16 rounds. Yes, I’d like to be another win or two to the good but it is what it is. We have beaten two of the three sides above us, convincingly. So I reckon it the swings and roundabouts have captured the measure of the Hawks year as reasonably as they have the Pies or any other side. Whatever else, it’s going to be a humdinger.

    Cheers & good luck to your side :)

  9. Rick Kane says

    Hi from a Hawker who is feeling a little haughty, at least until next Friday night when all the anxieties, neuroses and finger nail biting come rushing back to mainline my perspective. How did we do on Saturday? We did alright … and then some!

    I would like to respond to two comments from post above, they being “Hawks backline laughable” and “I think the Pies might just provide your Haughty Hawks with a bit tougher test than those above”: As it transpired, the Hawks back-line was not as laughable as the Pies forward-line, or indeed the Pies back-line. And as it transpired, the Pies did not provide a bit tougher test than teams we have beaten in the last 7 weeks.

    This is less a comment about the Hawks standing (even though in the Premiership quarter they did reveal a little of how they’re firing) than it is about the Pies. Drop Cloke until he gets his mojo back for a start.

    Cheers from the mighty fighting Hawks

  10. Rick, I was waiting for this one & admit walked right into it. Well played Hawkers. They looked v. good.

    I do recall the Pies beating the Hawks about a year ago by about the same margin that the Hawks won on Saturday – yet by Prelim Final night the bridge had been gapped. So let us not get too carried away.

    I actually thought the talk about Collingwood’s talls was a diversion – the real problem was the backline – smalls and talls – playing nowhere near their direct opponents – Hawthorn kicked uncontested goal after uncontested goal. I’ve never seen so many goals kicked by unchecked players in the goal sqaure. It was like watchin slam-dunks. I just think Bucks might have to tighten up the game plan – maybe just tell his defenders to stand next to their opponents from time to time!

  11. Pies backline problem is; O’brien and Maxwell. Both ok against weak opposition but in big matches against good players they go missing – except for Maxwell’s late head highs (If you don’t believe me just watch a couple of randomly selected replays)

  12. I think Maxwell’s 2 Grand Finals of 2010 dismiss that theory Phantom. He was superb in both. I actually think it is a structural thing with Collingwood’s backline at the moment – the ironic thing is that Maxwell and Heath Shaw are both veryhard to beat one-on-one – but for some reason are electiing to stand no where near their opponents at the moment. They are too concerned with attacking- but the when Collingwood lose possesion up the ground, they are caught out time and time again. They just need to tighten up. Particularly Heath Shaw.

  13. St Kilda weren’t strong in the second Grand final and all he did last year was late knee or elbows into players heads or backs when they were on the ground and picked up a few cheap kicks right at the end when the game was over.

    Have a look at the Pies Cats pre season grand final a few years ago.

    I have watched both replays a couple of times.

    Maxwell is over rated and that’s why Geelong didn’t take him and he now has a chip on his shoulder with respect to the Cats.

  14. Rick,

    I thought the Pies would provide a stern test – seems I got that one wrong! Your Hawks were excellent and their third quarter super impressive. Back to the drawing board for the Pies but still plenty of time to do something about it.

    Phantom – O’Brien was in the best against your Cats two weeks ago…….

  15. Yes, I know Maxwell’s not liked by the opposition, he’s not there to win friends, he’s a defender after all. I’ll never forget Maxwell’s high mark in the dying minutes of the drawn Grand final with the Pies 5 points down – he then speared a pass down the guts, and the ball eventually made it’s way to the goalsquare for a goal when the Pies looked gone for all money. He was magnificant in that game – the biggest stage of all.

  16. What did I say Bakesy?

    We were poor that night. Every one said.

    He only plays well against poor sides.

  17. Phantom,

    Your demi-gods were poor due to the extreme pressure that was brought to bear that night by blokes like Harry.

    Now we all know Harry is not your tough, close-checking defender but his rebound is excellent and he has played some sensational games on forwards of all sizes. Has played some super games in big finals too…isn’t this the stage on which we ultimately judge all player?

    That’s why Pothy is spot on re Maxwell too. As a leader, he is a beauty and has also excelled in the biggest games. I reckon he has been a far more effective skipper at Collingwood than Judd has been at Carlton. It’s all about Juudy at the Blues and that goes to the heart of their problem.

  18. Cheers Bakesy,

    Not demi gods; just cats.

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