Round 20 Preview – Saturday’s Alright for Footy – but which one?

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Greetings All,


It is all getting tight this season, often by this time the top 4 and top 8 are pretty much done!  Perhaps it is the result of the FIXture.  But despite all that one team chasing a top four finish and another clinging on desperately to their finals hopes clashed on a Saturday afternoon and could only draw a paltry 20,590 to the game.  OK so the Dogs are not the most supported team in the competition and Port are an interstate club.  In the same context it is worth looking at the numbers for the Collingwood-Carlton game which only attracted 48,000 – agreed they are not playing great footy but given a clear run they should still get 60+.

Caro and other scribes wax on wistfully about the tradition and charm of the Saturday afternoon fixture and how great it is, but the media types are all being paid to be there.  The reality is that Saturday afternoon and twilight games are not attractive propositions.  The competition for bums on seats now clashes with greater participation and involvement at grass roots along with many other pursuits available, the memories the media long for was when the choices on Saturday Arvo were the footy, the races or the garden.  Racing does not need an attendance any longer, footy needs to think about how it will best use this time slot when we are all “doing” something else.  Caro and her colleagues should get out to some of the other local Saturday footy games and they might see that it is often a better product to watch than the top level.

Nevertheless – daytime produces the best footy and the Grand Final should always be played under natural light with a glistening red Sherrin and on Saturday Afternoon!

Whilst on the media they have been spruiking their fancies for a number of awards and in particular the Rising Star.  Patrick Cripps looked a lock early, but this hulking kid at Melbourne whose efforts on the wasteland that is the Melbourne forward line have been amazing.  I love Cripps as a Blues supporter, but line them up in the schoolyard and I’ll take Jesse Hogan.  But these two are already brutes, the question is who is the “Nat Fyfe”?  Shows plenty of talent but still to develop physically, possibly one of those Jacks down at Seaford.

And don’t start me on Adam Cooney’s suspension, Coniglio goes off the field with concussion and the tribunal rules it medium impact!  This rehash of the penalty system is nothing short of shambolic.


Back Off ($1.40) vs Cloked In ($3.05) Ladbrokes have Sydney at the special price of $2

Sydney without Buddy presents plenty of problems and Collingwood with Cloke looks a better proposition plus Ben Reid is pretty handy.  Pendles and Swan ran riot against the Blues but the Sydney midfield should be a tougher proposition although they did not have much go in them last week.  Pyke returning should allow Tippett to stalk the forward line, although I still reckon he is a better ruckman.  I can’t really take notice of a win over Carlton, but Collingwood have an outstanding record against Sydney at the Olympic venue and as such represent great value, however I expect the Swans to hit back and take this one.


Not Drowning, Waving ($3.90) vs Camped Out ($1.27)

Jimmy may have been flabbergasted, but if the Bombers are not drowning there needs to be some word for their malaise, this week they host the Crows.  After last week’s job on the Tigers the media have put Scott Camporeale in the frame for 2016.  They jump at anything.  Adelaide should take one more step toward a finals berth with a win over Essendon.


Bellerive ($1.17) vs Dr Lawry Stewart ($5.25)

North and the Saints travel south to Tassie where the Kangas are making their second home and where three of the greatest Saints hail from (Darrel Baldock, Ian Stewart, Barry Lawrence).  The Roos have been feasting on the minnows over the last few weeks and should add to their record here.


Lobbed Out ($1.30) vs Lobb In ($3.65)

Port have taken the axe to Matthew Lobbe, but in the GWS camp Rory Lobb has been progressing nicely in the absence of Mummy.  After brief decline when Mummy went down the Giants are back in the hunt, whereas Port are pretty much out of it.  This should be a good game with Gray-Greene match up in the centre a colourful affair.  On form the Giants should be good enough and their talent up forward will be tough for Port to handle.  However they have lost three key mid-fielders so depth will be tested plus the Portress factor, favouring the home team is a flip of the coin game.


Party Tricks ($4.10) vs The Cursed ($1.25)

What will StevieJ bring out of the bag this weekend in his 250th game, not sure there has been many more entertaining players over the journey – but he must drive coaches nuts!  His Cats held a curse over Hawthorn but that has been well and truly broken winning the last four from five encounters.  Recently the Cats have found some of their mojo on the back of a more defensive style, but will need to be at their very best to stop the reigning champs.  Even then not sure it is good enough – Hawthorn for mine.


Pole Position ($1.70) vs Next on the Grid ($2.20)

The Lions are in the frame for the prime selection at the draft and Leppa says he is keen not to have it, they take on the Blues who are not averse to grabbing that pick.  So no idea really how this game will be played out except that incredibly Carlton seem to have picked an even weaker team than last week!  Suspect Lions might be up for this on their home court.


Stoned by the Crows ($1.17) vs Queensland Champs ($5.25)

The Suns sealed the northern crown last week while the Tigers did not back up with the fanaticism of the Hawks clash and were taken apart by the Crows.  They will be keen to bounce back in milestone games for Maric and Cotchin both reaching the 150 mark.  With “The Factor” Delidio back in all signs are for a Tiger Triumph.


The Fyfedom ($1.55) vs Nic Natted ($2.50)

Freo welcome back Nat Fyfe, but the Eagles are still without Nic Nat.  Freo can relax with almost a lock on the McClelland Trophy.  West Coast proved worthy combatants against the Hawks but the loss has their second place highly exposed to those Hawks.  They have more to play for, but are down on personnel losing McGovern and Le Cras.  The result of this game will have much to do with whether or not Get Stuffed Lyon puts the queue in the rack like last week.  Picking West Coast but very concerned about their missing talent.


The Four Number ($1.20) vs Prefer the Kitchen ($4.75)

The Doggies are not just using the F word, they are talking about the top end of the tree – a remarkable effort given the pre-season angst.  Add to that an attacking game style and they are the action attraction.  The Demons have not been guilty of that often, but are building a very talented list.  However they are back in the Loungeroom where they have not won since 2007.  Simple – Footscray!


Friar Time

Although it wasn’t last week with all teams suffering defeats and leaving only mathematics for chances of the Seniors playing in finals.  The Under 19s are still in the hunt but face the leaders Parkdale at Gerry Green.  The Seniors travel in a similar direction to take on Old Mentonians who are also dealing with mathematics to avoid relegation after some wild results last week.


And of course the mighty Hammers claimed three critical points over Arsenal at the start of a loooong campaign!

Go Friars, Go Blues, Go Hammers!

Cheers, Sal


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