AFL Round 2 Preview – Oh so Kewell

Greetings All,

I was remiss last week in not recognising the careers of a couple of my favourites, Jimmy Bartel and Bob Murphy are opposition players you still like to see do well and a great achievement in reaching 250 games.  Then Dustin Fletcher’s effort in breaking Simon Madden’s club record is a step even further – and who knows when he will stop.  Nick Maxwell might not be a player I love to watch, but at the beginning of his career who would have thought he would play 200 games and be a premiership captain?  Has absolutely maximised his career, a great effort.  And finally there was Harry.  Played a different game and at his best he also played a different game.  Arguments may abound about whether he has been Australia’s best ever with the round ball, but his skills were sublime.  We got a brief reminder of his magnificent left foot when he put one past the Victory defense a few weeks ago.  The Wizard of Oz – a very apt moniker for Harry Kewell.


Well with the advent of IT issues for most tipsters got off to a flyer, and particularly good for this tipster who only got Freo in week 1 but only missed on the Saints in week 2.  But for many supporters we would like to completely wipe Round 1 and let the season really start this week.  We have plenty of matches to savour this weekend.


Conca-ed ($1.69) vs The Number Nine ($2.42)

The clash of traditional round one rivals – provided tradition only goes back to 2007!  They showed in the Elimination Final the crowds and passion they generate and they open proceedings at the G which should see a terrific crowd turn up.  Both teams were terribly disappointing in their season opener and were justifiably pilloried – but the level of pillorying was a bit over the top.  Expect the Tiger midfield to be very switched on after the public bake from the coach, I suspect though the Blues will have had no less of a bake but not quite in the open.  So who can score goals?  Expecting that Carlton will shore up their defence and have both Henderson and Jamieson back – assuming that is the case they general cope well enough with Jack and his troupe.  At the other end the Blues will need to replace Henderson and find another avenue to goal, but they generally find someone to spring up against the Tiggers.  Hampson is a good pickup for the Tiges, but if the Blues are right he was third inline behind Kruezer and Warnock which should give Carlton the edge  The odds on offer do reflect relative expectations but do not reflect the recent history between these sides.  Of course I am selecting the Blues and whilst the satchel swingers are not as generous as they were for the elimination final, they are pretty good value.


Cattle Class (3.15) vs The Big Boys ($1.43)

If only that was the case but Cult Hurd have to be in the spotlight!  Meanwhile the Hawks lose a ruckman but trade for a better one!  The Ben McEvoy trade raised many an eye brow, but the Saints looked after themselves – they do not play in the same competition as Hawthorn at this stage.  He should do pretty well this week not facing up to Bellchambers – by the same token Ryder did a number on Goldstein last week.  As great as the Bombers were, they will not be afforded the time and space that the Roos provided them.  Whilst the Bombers will put up a fight – the Hawks have bombed over twenty goals against Essendon in their last three encounters.  One would expect the Buddy factor – but he only played in one of those games.  I can’t see the trend reversing.  Whether Essendon are worth $3.15 is a matter of conjecture – but I won’t be betting against the Hawks very often.


Seaford ($2.04) vs Breakfast Point ($1.94)

The Saints and the Final Solution were impressive last week, but the Demons losing two key structural players certainly assisted.  Up against GWS who are pretty well loaded for structural players it will not be as easy.  The concern for GWS is not just the horrific injury to Phil Davis but who else can stand (or more particular run with) Reiwoldt.  It might not be the battle for the Wooden Spoon I expected before the season, however I reckon that GWS might have too many guns up front for the Saints.  But a genuine flip of the coin game.


Fine Wines ($1.70) vs In Danger ($2.40)

What a great way to kick off the revamped Adelaide Oval with a showdown – and especially good as both teams rate themselves.  Will be very interested to watch the treatment of Patrick Dangerfield who was mauled by the Cats last week, for all the wraps the umps got last week they were horrible with this.  Port were good but patchy against the Blues, but they did have some very good patches!  However they also worked well to manage the game when the patches were not so good.  Adelaide faded in the home straight against Geelong which plenty have done.  Do they have enough to get over a rampant Port?  I am not sure – Port seem healthier.  But Showdowns don’t always go to form and this one should be close. Selecting Port but Adelaide are fair value if you can get $2.30.


Purple Haze ($1.10) vs GC Gazza ($10)

Will be interesting to see how hard Freo hits the scoreboard up against the Suns.  They will hit it hard enough to win.


Bondi ($1.49) vs Bucks Fizz ($3.00)

Sydney’s record at the Olympic venue against Collingwood has been horrible.  Both teams will be keen to atone for their poor showings.  I suspect though that Sydney have the greater capacity to improve and that they will be pretty focussed on proving their team ethos.  The Pies without Reid still seem to lack some class down back, but the Pies have often proven that criticism wrong.  In fact they are pretty adept at proving lots of criticism wrong.  But Sydney have plenty to prove and should prevail.  A simple scan of Collingwood v Sydney results of late would indicate $3 is great value if you can bring yourself to back them.


Leppa’s ($4.10) vs Tabbies ($1.31)

The Lions took it up to the champs last week, their assignment for this week is not much easier up against the Cats.  It will be interesting to see how they go at the Gabbatoir and I suspect they will be a handful up there through the year.  But Geelong should have enough to cover this one off, mind you the $4 on Brisbane does have some appeal.


Watts Happening? ($8.60) vs The Forest ($1.12)

All the tall timber at West Coast is up and going, but for Melbourne of the few that were fit two couldn’t finish the game last week.  Another teaching moment for Roos.  But Watts to the midfield might be OK, creative and hits his targets.


Dog Day Evening ($3.25) vs Where’s the Bubble? ($1.43)

After the massive build-up of the Kangaroos pre-season, what a letdown last week was.  They will certainly play a more accountable game this week against the almost as disappointing Dogs.  They were not expected to beat the Eagles – but they pride themselves on effort which was not up to their standard.  The pre-season form would indicate the Roos, however the Doggie midfield will also bounce back.  Whilst I will wait to see selections – I am happy to be on the Puppies at $3.25.


Rosey Hill

Well it wasn’t quite as successful last week – but 7 days is a long time in racing!  This week there are three Group 1 events as the Sydney scene heads towards the Golden Slipper.  The bane of Sydney racing is the propensity for wet tracks during their major carnival and the forecast for the next couple of days is not promising.


The Galaxy (G1, 1100m, HCP) begins the big ones with the leading sprinters charging for glory.  As for most sprinting handicaps it very difficult to make the selections, however with the prospect of affected going I am happy to plonk for Temple of Boom (6).  Looking down in the weights for my other picks Villa Verde (9) was very impressive, Kencella (12) keeps winning and Anatina (14) is in the deep end but loves the distance.

Selections – Race 6 – 6-12-9-14


Boban (1) is back in form and contests the George Ryder Stakes (G1, 1500m, WFA), up against a good field but will take a beauty to beat him under the scale.  If the track is affected then Red Tracer (12) could be that beauty, she has an impeccable record in wet conditions.  Streama (13) is not going quite as well but also likes the sting out of the track as does Lidari (8).  Very open for the placings, but pretty comfortable on Boban (1).

Selections – Race 7 – 1-12-8-13


The Rosehill Guineas (G1, 2000m, 3yo SW) closes out the big races on the program as the cream of the colts prepare for the Australian Derby.  Dissident (2) was super in the winning the Randwick Guineas and despite having Sebring for a dad he is hard to tip against even over the 10 furlongs.  The Cox Plate winner   Shamus Award (1) has led all the way over the journey and must be a threat, Puccini (4) is tuned for this coming off 3 wins including the NZ Derby and Thunder Fantasy (6) keeps running well against his peers.

Selections – Race 8 – 2-1-4-6


Quaddie – Picking out the specials has failed on me for the last two, but I reckon we can skinny the second leg and go Boban and Red Tracer.

Leg 1 – 2-5-6-9-12-14

Leg 2 – 1-12

Leg 3 – 1-2-4-6

Leg 4 – 1-2-9

144 Combinations so the $30 investment will return 20.8% of the dividend – we hope!


Be very happy next when the first game is on Friday Night!

Go Blues, Thanks Harry

Cheers, Sal


  1. Skip of Skipton says

    I noticed J.Bartel* and R.Murphy both brought up the 250. Some synchronicity going on there. Real footballers and real blokes, two favourites whose careers I have followed closely and enjoyed humungously.

    *When J.Bartel got drafted to Geelong in Nov 01 he was living with his mum in Grovedale and catching the bus. ( The bus stop is right out the front of my mums house. My mum (still) catches the bus to go to the shops in Town or Belmont )

    She told me there is a very good looking, pleasant young chap catching the bus lately who keeps bull-shitting that he plays for Geelong.

  2. Skip of Skipton says

    Harry Kewell by a mile, I reckon.

    I’m no soccer expert or afficionado, but I can remember back to Harry playing at Leeds. (Know what I’m saying sorta thing kind-a like?)

    That was some serious soccer. Leeds were right up there, and he was killing it as a youngster. Alan Smith who is a commentator nowdays played alongside also as a young man. Then he got shopped to Man U and went downhill etc.

    Craig Johnston deserves an honourable mention.

  3. Sal Ciardulli says

    Bob’s article in The Age today is a beauty and shows what a diamond he is!

    Hope he joins the almanac team when his footy is done!

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