Round 19 Preview – Please do not adjust your settings

Greetings All,


Back in footy heartland and there are just not enough journalists to cover the game.  First of all though pumping up a lunch.  The Great Garry Wilson will be the guest of honour at a Footy Almanac Luncheon on Friday August 3.  The venue is Percy Jones’ North Fitzroy Arms Hotel, 196 Rae St, North Fitzroy.  Kicking off at 12:30pm and a mere $45 for three courses.  To book email to [email protected] or even respond to me.


Making up for last week with a few things on my mind.


Gil throwing it out that they might trial rule changes during the season and the histrionics that have been thrown back have made for interesting reading.  The concern about the sanctity of the competition is rubbish, the end of the season for lower placed clubs has been compromised for years.  With the draft order advantages, the need to assess the list for next year and the need to get players ready for next year that horse has bolted.  Should there be rule changes?  That horse has bolted too – it is inevitable changes are coming, they just quibble over terms and call them adjustments.  Whether or not they go ahead with the trial or not if I were Bolton, Fagan, Dew, et al I would be arranging to have these games played under the trial rules in a gentlemen’s agreement to get a jump on their opponents next year and assess which players will succeed and fail through the adjustments.  Agree on the 6-6-6 starting positions, agree to only have 40 interchange or any other changes that can be made without new markings on the ground.


It might be the only way the lower placed clubs can get an advantage.  The mouth from the north, Tony Cochrane has it absolutely correct with respect to the imbalance of the competition.  Quite simply the lower clubs paying 92.5% of the salary cap with only 60-70% capability cannot bank enough to make players offers they can’t refuse.  Whether that is for Tom Lynch to stay at the Gold Coast or Ollie Wines to take the money and run.  Once they do go there is the mystery compensation system for the loss of a free agent, my position remains that there should be no compensation.  However if there is to be compensation then it needs to transparent and predictable.  The Blues received no compensation for Jarrad Waite, most expecting he only had one more year in him.  He is now playing his third year at North and could go on.


Daniel Howe go his right whack for two incidents against the Blues, but the penalties were surely the wrong way round.  The instinctive trip has largely been unpunished by either umpires or the tribunal over the last couple of years, aside from a couple of unlucky ones that have been fined.  The intent was not there and while the outcome for Zac Fisher was extreme it was in play, surely it was only worth two weeks at most.  His whack on Patrick Cripps though was at the other extreme and surely off the ball cheap shots require a harsher penalty than two weeks – no matter the injury.  All the talk of love taps is bollocks – it’s not in play, against the rules and should be penalised accordingly.  Get this sorted and it will remove much of the other bulldust niggling we see these days.


Finally can we get over the Friday Night sooking.  Not every game is a ripper – although we have had a few Saturday Night Specials lately.  The fixture is compromised enough without rigging it to have every Friday be special, sometimes you just get bad games.  Richmond-St Kilda would have looked a tasty prospect at the end of last year, who could predict the Saints would drop off so badly.  They were also playing for a lot more than the four points.  Still not sure why Carlton got that many Friday fixtures.  The broadcaster might not be enamoured, but they would had their input to the fixture back in October.


All done now and time to look at this week’s encounters


Strung Up ($1.82) vs Sunburnt ($2.18)


It is four years since the Bombers hosted Sydney in the Loungeroom, it was a further three years earlier when they beat them.  They need to win this and stay in contact with the top eight, yet they are only 2 games away from fourth!  Sydney dropped yet another at the SCG, their record in the Loungeroom is impressive.  The stats give them a huge chance, the football they are playing at the moment doesn’t.  The heavy reliance on Buddy is not helping, the mounting injury list hurting more.  They will need to look after Stringer and Fantasia who provide the Essendon forward great energy and need to defend strongly in their own forward line.  On form the Bombers are playing better, the Swans though are a great “backs to wall” team and can turn it around.


100 Gorillas ($1.37) vs No Goey ($3.60)


What an effort from the Tigers to get to 100,000 members!  Winning a flag helps, their engagement with the supporters started well before last year and have set the benchmark for the other clubs.  One would have thought the Pies would reach the milestone first as the self-positioned “biggest” club in Australia.  Enough of that what about this week’s blockbuster.  The Tigers beat anybody at home, the Pies have some lingering doubts on their true credentials – they did not need to add de Goey to the injury list.  They do play a style that could challenge the Tigers matching their rapid ball movement and pressure.  Just don’t think they have the depth of talent that the Tigers do.  They have strength in the midfield, just have lost leg speed without Treloar.  Nankervis can match Grundy in the ruck.  Can the Mihocek, Cox, Stephenson and the other Collingwood forwards put enough pressure on Rance, Vlastuin, Grimes and co to stop the Tigers clean possession from defense?  At the other end who can stop Jack and are the Pie backs quick enough to deal with the marauding Tiger forwards.  Get it all right and the Pies might win, just too many questions so the Tiges are the pick.


Dee-stroyers ($1.20) vs Coxless ($5.90)


The Cats broke Demon hearts last week at their hovel and host the Lions this week.  The Lions might have dropped Cox, but welcome back their on field coxswain in Luke Hodge.  Should be a much easier assignment, although they have been known to cough up the odd furball.  Great to see Harris Andrews back on the field!


Fee Fi Fo Fum ($1.15) vs A Savage Battle ($7.60)


The Giants are coming – as they have got healthier, they have got better.   They take on the Saints who were obliterated early last week and fought on well for the remainder of the game they will need to do the same for four quarters this week.  They will be feisty, however GWS will be too strong at home.


Duck Shooters ($1.37) vs Cripptonite ($3.70)


A great win from the Suns last week and a testament to the work Stuart Dew has been doing.  The Blues will muster a team together from the remnants that are not injured, one of those being Patrick Cripps of who Blues fan will be rejoicing that he has recommitted to the club.  Suns will buoyed by the win, have more talent on the park and should win at home.


Walk Right In ($1.76) vs Smiles All Round ($2.28)


What a hullabaloo over Bernie Vince this week, surely the major issue about the Demons was the 20 seconds before the siren and not the two minutes after.  Too much crying over spilt milk that the Cats were happy to lap up.  They have their chance for redemption against the Crows who welcome back Taylor Walker.  They scraped in over the Lions but will be pleased to be back at home.  Congratulations to Jordan Lewis in reaching 300 games and that should give Melbourne extra motivation although they should not need it.  Just think there are too many holes in the Demons line up especially in defence that will tip this one Adelaide’s way.


Bellerive ($2.20) vs Hippy Hippy Shake ($1.80)


North get to host West Coast down in Hobart, they could not have got better conditions to take on a team from Perth.  Wet, windy and cold!  The Eagles though have appeared to be made of sterner stuff this season compared to the last couple.  A 50 gamer doesn’t usually rate a mention, however Nathan Vardy’s journey has been a tough one.  Kudos to him for working through a debilitating hip problem.  North’s season seems to be spluttering perhaps the visit to their southern fortress will be the answer?  If West Coast are genuinely the number one contender they win this, I am not sure they are and reckon the Roos can win this.


Sebastapol ($3.30) vs Ryding for Luck ($1.39)


The Dogs will try to build their Ballarat fortress, the issue is that you have to be good to build one.  Not sure they are, by the same token the jury is out on Port.  They are so heavily dependent on Paddy Ryder.  If he plays and is fit they win, if not I think they still do but it will be a contest.


Got the Chocolates ($2.94) vs Silk Road ($1.49)


Ballantyne back for Freo is a prize, just not sure he will get a taste.  They host the Hawks who towelled up the Blues last week and ensured they build percentage.  They are getting close to their best line up and will really appreciate the return of Shaun Burgoyne.  If the finals hype is true then the Hawks win over a side missing their two most influential players.  If they don’t can the media stop pumping them up?


Friar Time


A massive weekend for the Friars last week with four wins and all teams now well entrenched to play after the regular season!  The Girls withstood the challenge from Smokey’s CYs, while the Under 19s did the same with Old Geelong.  The reserves took on the first seeded Unicorns and displaced them from pole position.  The seniors played in a fantastic contest against the Unicorns to win and go two games clear of fifth.  This week the Girls head to Oakleigh for the final home and away game, the Under 19s kick off the dew at Friar Park against the well fancied PEGS.  The seniors take on the undefeated Old Paradians in a match that draw parallels in this grade with the goings on at the MCG at the same time.


Go Blues, Go Friars,


Cheers, Sal


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  1. Love your weekly preview Sal. Concise and accurate – saves me listening to all the meandering crap on radio and TV. Your introductory comments are always worth reading. Spot on about cheap shots off the ball. Needs to be stamped out with tough penalties. Ditto for trash talk.
    Glad the Friars are giving you some joy. More seasons like your Bluebaggers could see you lost to the game.

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