Round 2 Preview – The Ball Tampering Issue

Paschal Greetings to all,


What a dark time it has been for Australian sport this week and more specifically cricket. A few coaches would have not been completely unhappy to see Sunday morning’s headlines. It has made us take a good hard look at ourselves with plenty of commentary indicating that we are a pretty hypocritical given the other “cheating and rorting” that we treat as blasé these days. Politicians with their snouts in the trough, governments doing deals without due process, corporations not paying their share of taxation, all of us squeezing to get every deduction…… why do we get so high and mighty about cricketers tampering with the ball but not actually having any effect?


We do because we have always taken the moral high ground when it comes to sport and so we should. It is of paramount importance to sports supporters in this country that the punishments handed down to the perpetrators are appropriately harsh and that the Cricket Australia leadership also take some responsibility for allowing this team representing our country to believe they can act in such a manner. From my perspective the bans on Smith, Warner and Bancroft were at the bottom of the acceptable range. On the hypocritical note I have to say some of the commentary from the Poms and South Africans leaves a lot to be desired. They have both had players found guilty of ball tampering, their administrators saw fit to allow those players to serve out the meagre punitive measures of the ICC. Last week we saw what a toothless tiger that organisation is by allowing Rabada to play. Providing these appropriately harsh penalties will hopefully set the standard for cricket players and administrators worldwide of what is expected when players are found to be cheating. With the ICC’s history I doubt that will be the case.


The perhaps this episode might awaken us all to demand action on the various other forms of cheating and rorting that has become endemic in our society.


Now for the footy!


A few hits and misses last week in what was a great start to the season. The feast continues this week with some critical encounters.


Pre-seasoned ($1.81) vs Dustied Off ($2.20)


Tex Walker hunting down the leaker of their pre-season camp issues puts more pressure on the Crows. With more accredited media than players footy clubs leak more than the federal cabinet, it should not have come as a surprise. The episode just makes game this even harder as they take on the Tigers. The Premiers never really missed a beat last week despite the early scare from the Blues. Dusty again showed his class, his ability to win one-on-one contests is unsurpassed, his kicking is sublime. Being played at the Adelaide Oval is a massive plus for the Crows but they lose Richard Douglas who is an important cog in their midfield especially without Brad Crouch also. Tough to beat Adelaide at home, but I reckon the Tigers will have plenty of confidence while Adelaide do not seem to be happy campers at the moment.


Good Fridays ($3.25) vs Moorabbin ($1.42)


The Roos have claimed Good Friday and this time they face the Saints, good for this fixture to get top billing. St Kilda got over the Lions last week with Stevens, Acres and Billings to the fore. Perhaps they don’t need the big fish if the younger players continue to improve. The Kangas can really relaunch the season after having to play in atrocious conditions in Cairns last week. Some concern to me about how much playing in those conditions would have taken out of them. That adds to what is already a tough task for them and think the Saints can start off two-zip.


15 Minutes of Fame ($1.54) vs The Lynch Mob ($2.82)


The opening 12 minutes of the season had Blues fans delirious, however the remainder of the game showed the size of the gap they need to make up. Leading by 30 points at that time, from then on the reality is that they lost the remainder of the game by almost 10 goals. A major issue being that the bottom 4-6 Blues remain off the mark as AFL players. Some lack skill, others might have the skill but just don’t get the pill. The Suns also have to deal with the after effects of the rain, a clear advantage to the Blues with an extra two days of recovery. Lynch tore the Blues apart last year in this fixture, that was before the resurgence of Jones as a defender who is better equipped from physical perspective than Sam Rowe. With that I reckon the Blues can prevail, but not sure I’d be leaping into deep red figures about them.


Coxless ($3.70) vs Greene with Envy ($1.37)


The Pies lose Bucks’ answer to their attacking ills with Mason Cox being suspended! They were horrendous last week and face the Giants who poleaxed the Dogs with Cameron and Greene on fire up forward and Whitfield providing the attack off half-back that Wilson and Williams provided. The Pies are good with their backs to the wall so I expect a spirited performance, just won’t be enough against GWS.


Back to the Jungle ($3.30) vs Four Gawn Conclusion ($1.42)


The Lions get back to the Gabbatoir after a pretty solid performance in the opener. Suspect the Dees might be tougher opposition after a good showing against Geelong. The loss though was thoroughly deserved after an abysmal second quarter, to reach their supporters’ lofty expectation they will need to play four quarters against the better teams. Brisbane though are not one of those and Melbourne should prevail.


Wharfies ($2.60) vs Crow Eaters ($1.61)


Freo get their first game at the new stadium, will the tickets print out correctly this week? After a poor showing last week they take on the Bombers who were convincing last week in overrunning the Crows. On form Essendon would appear too good, however the Perth teams are a different proposition at home. This is closer to a 50-50 encounter and I reckon the home team might get up.


Dog Day Afternoon ($1.72) vs The Corporation ($2.30)


Could not have been any worse for the Dogs being torn apart by the Giants and losing Libba to a season ending injury. Back in the Loungeroom they host the Eagles who, despite being undermanned, nearly took out the Swans last week. Nic Nat showed how much of an influence he will have on this team. Very tempted to pick the Eagles based on that, this though is away from home and will wait and see how they travel before I pick them on the road.


The Buddy Show ($1.45) vs Paddy Whacked ($3.15)


Both the Swans and Port are challenged for ruckmen, especially after Port disposed of their insurance policy in Lobbe and Ryder is now gone for a while. Buddy showed he is still one of the greats and will present too many challenges for the Port defence. Swans to prevail.


Dangerous ($1.64) vs Jaeger Bomb ($2.52)


The Cats have their trinity on board with Dangerfield joining Ablett and Selwood, in Tim Kelly they might just have a Fab Four now. They will have it tough in there against Tom Mitchell killing them softly with his stats and O’Meara beginning to turn it on through the middle also. Add that Cyril has come back in good form and we should have a beauty on Monday. Geelong appear to have too much depth across the ground and expect them to go two from two. Puts them in the box seat for the year as they have not set foot on Kardinia Park in anger yet.


Rosey Hill


Another tripod for the Quaddie last week and another Winx victory. Would have liked to see her go to Ascot, but pretty pleased also she will be in Melbourne for the Spring. Two group ones for decision this week with the prospect of a good surface.


Rosehill Saturday


Race 6


One of the purest races on the calendar for mine is the Tancred Stakes (G1, 2400m, WFA), run over the classic distance at the scale a true test. Has been lost in the mire of rich juvenile races and shorter distance races. Gailo Chop (1) had everything to suit last week, not sure it is this time. Hasn’t won beyond 2100 metres, only once tried over the journey might be too small a sample. The same cannot be said about Almandin (2) who gets out to a preferred distance and like the engagement of Kerrin McEvoy who piloted him to a Melbourne Cup. Who Shot Thebarman (5) always puts in as does the bonnie mare Single Gaze (9).


Selections – 2-1-5-9


Race 7


A field of feisty fillies contest the Vinery Stud Stakes (G1, 2000, 3yo Fillies SW) in a race of many chances. Alizee (2) comes back to her own age group after finishing only a couple of lengths away from the older mares last week, can win if she gets the trip. Luvaluva (4) has the record over the distance and some may think a better choice, Bring Me Roses (3) comes from the same race as Alizee (2) and is in good form, Aloisia (1) wins this if she produces here best however have not seen that in the Autumn yet.


Selections – 2-4-3-1




Leg 1 – 1,2

Leg 2 – 1,2,3,4,6,7

Leg 3 – 4,7,8,9,10

Leg 4 – 5,13


120 Combinations, $30 investment, 25% of the dividend!


Friar Time


The season is just two weeks away and looking forward to all teams hitting the ground in anger. Some great signs last week with the Seniors and Under 19s accounting for EFL outfit Mulgrave and the reserves going under in a close encounter. While the Lady Friars won two of their three matches in the Lightning Premiership.


Go Blues, Go Friars,


Cheers, Sal



  1. What price would you have Carlton at Sal? $1.65?

    And Freo?

  2. Sal Ciardulli says

    Good question John!

    As selected I reckon the Blues should be about $1.80 but I would not be using my money! If Kreuzer doesn’t come up then it’s your’s for mine. Both senior insurance policies are not ready so it would be Casboult and a kid. Mind you I like Casboult in the ruck.

    As for Freo, I don’t they should be favourites but reckon 2.30 ish is around the mark. Really hard to know what they will be like at home.

  3. Stainless says

    It’s not often that I have anything complimentary to say about sports betting agencies but they absolutely nailed it about Adelaide last night while the entire footy media donned the rose coloured glasses about Richmond. Does anyone actually remember the Crows’ 2017 season other than the Grand Final?

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