Round 21 – Preview: Not quite rights!

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Greetings All,


The appearance of a media mogul at any event is a cause for concern – but when it is Rupert Murdoch you might need to check your pockets.  The fanfare and hullabaloo over the $2.508billion AFL rights deal was all about a couple of bulls showing off their wares, yep the AFL trumped the NRL.  But what does it actually mean for the fans, how does it compare to the current scenario and does it get Brian Taylor out of our living rooms?  In raw terms Channel Seven are down to 3½ games per week, picking up whatever Thursday Night games there are but dropping Saturday afternoon.  A poor deal for those without pay TV, but then Saturday Afternoons have dropped off in both attendance and TV eyeballs.  There is the prospect of Foxtel on selling that slot to another free-to-air station.

Thursday nights have been a TV bonanza with those games scheduled out of Melbourne.  This is really where the two bulls will line up with both NRL and AFL live and free, these games will have an effect on local footy where Thursday Nights have always been club nights.  Local clubs will need to be creative to keep everyone around and ensure it is not swamped by AFL – personally would prefer Thursday night AFL to be a novelty rather than main fare.  It is a boon for the couch potato!  Apart from that there is little change unless you are a digital subscriber – I am not one so can’t comment but I am hearing that it will only be accessible to Telstra customers.  Might be some ACCC action there if it is true.

Unless the honchos at Channel Seven actually watch their coverage it appears we will still endure Brian Taylor – I’d even prefer “Red for Ed” than the moustachioed buffoon.  This is where I think Free TV Australia (FTA) and Channel Seven have missed an opportunity.  They have all collaborated and espoused the virtues of Free-to-Air – each network having multiple channels, surely that was an opportunity to drive a dagger into Rupert’s machine.  How many subscriptions would the pay provider lose if they lost AFL content?  Likely at least one here but there is still Game of Thrones to consider!  The ad free coverage is good, but it is paid for many times over with the subscription.

We will wait and see how the clubs and players fare out of this, but anyone expecting some equalisation just remember to back the horse called “self-interest”.  Which is also why I wanted the FTA to gang up on Rupert.


And by the way James Hird is gone.  Being un-Essendon I was a touch disappointed – the longer it took to get their house in order the better.  They have taken the important first step and unfortunately with that step probably overtaken my club!  But onto Hird and some of commentary that he has done the right thing – IT HAS TAKEN 3 YEARS!  Added to that he has been primarily responsible for many of delays in bringing the Essendon scandal to closure.


Then we can’t go a week with some jaw dropping decision from the penalty adjudicators.  Buckley was spot on, Masten either bit Suban or he didn’t!  He was found guilty the penalty had to be at least four weeks, more in my opinion for such an act.  Instead they have dished out a penalty a bit like the former NZ cricketer Bob Cunis – don’t know whether it is one or the other!  If they were in doubt he should have been found not guilty and cleared.


Anyway 27 matches before we get to the examinations and a third of them for decision this week!


Cyril ($1.08) vs Chad ($11.50) Ladbrokes are offering $2 on Hawthorn to beat Port Adelaide by 15+ points.

Some commentary this week about the best small forward – Rioli or Wingard.  There might be a couple of others in the discussion – but to me Cyril stands apart.  There might not be many possessions but no-one else’s have higher impact.  They get to put them on show in the Loungeroom.  Port are playing for pride, the Hawks have a sniff of second. That says enough for me to tip the Hawks.


Bucks Fizzed ($2.88) vs Time for a Newman ($1.50)

Bucks is pretty tough on the Pies indicating the season as a failure for not reaching the finals – not too many scribes had them in.  But fantastic to set high expectations, expectations to which the Tigers are running headlong into!  Their weary warrior Chris Newman announced his impending retirement – what a great clubman he has been.  The Tiges are striving for a top four finish and getting over the Pies is critical.  They are healthy and have so much more on the line than Collingwood it is tough tip against them.  So I won’t despite the confidence reigning from the Olympic Pool.


Heath ($2.78) vs Rhyce ($1.51)

The Shaw brothers will grace the field together for the last time with Rhyce announcing that this will be his final season.  Rhyce has fought his way back from being a scapegoat at the Pies to be a key part of a Sydney Flag – well done.  Heath continues as a leader for the young Giants who could be a super team as early as 2016.  For the Swans and Giants their respective positions would indicate Sydney should be too good and need to finish as high as possible.  But their form is shaky and their injuries are starting to really affect the on field quality.  Treloar and Coniglio back really helps the Giants, reckon they are in this up to “Pussy’s Bow” and will take the points.  Thus keeping the slim hope that the Brothers Shaw may grace the paddock together again.


Rocket Men ($1.55) vs Egan to Please ($2.64)

Matthew Egan holds the chalice for the last three weeks of the season.  Many players still have a major issue to deal with – but the pressure valve was released this week with St Jimmy’s departure.  The Suns were outshone by the Tigers and are looking for the finish line putting a few more away for 2016 during the week.  The Bombers get a couple of handy ones back – they are still a game and a half ahead of the Suns.  I reckon the satchel swingers might have this one wrong and it should almost a flip of the coin game – my coin came up Bombers.


It’s not Normal ($4.60) vs Rivers Run Dry ($1.22)

The twitter world is abuzz with the selection of American Jason Holmes for the Saints – some claiming the first American in the AFL.  At least Don Pyke may disagree being born in Bloomington, Illinois with the town of Normal immediately adjacent.  Meanwhile for the Cats a knee injury has forced Jared Rivers from the team and he may struggle to get back on the park.  In the Loungeroom the Saints have played some simply, scintillating stuff this year and speed can challenge the Cats.  However the last few weeks has seen Geelong get their groove back even taking it right up to the Flag favourites for a bit – I expect them to bounce back.


Chardy Sippers ($1.11) vs No Adcock ($9.40)

Just far too many options for Lions name this week with Jed Adcock being pink slipped this week – will leave them for your own imagination and mirth.  His Lions take on the Crows who would have gulped down the Yattarna after the spiflication of the Bombers.  They might very well do the same to Brisbane.


Boom Boom ($1.75) vs Pavless ($2.26)

Boomer signs on and looks to threaten Michael Tuck’s record, but the Freo record holder and talisman is struck down with an achilles injury.  The return of Luke McPharlin balances the loss, but with goal scoring at a premium for Get Stuffed Lyon they might need to get inventive!  The Roos stumbled over the Saints last week but kept their run going.  This is a tough one to choose North are flying but have only beaten the meek, Freo sit on top but look vulnerable.  Going with Freo who will want to get another four points to lock up pole positions, but could also see the Kangas put their stamp on a top team.


Where’s the Door? ($3.15) vs Deesposed ($1.45)

The Blues say goodbye to Chris Judd on Sunday and said goodbye to Lachy Henderson this week.  Far too many players are finding the door at the Blues, plenty has been said about those departed and some of their success at their new clubs.  I maintain apart from a couple of exceptions most would not be part of a premiership, the issue being the replacements don’t look like it either!  Despite some challenges Henderson could be one of those exceptions – as a defender he has judgement, skill and pace and will fit in well to the Geelong system.  But I am heartened that the club stood up for something and showed him the door once his intentions were known – I hope they continue to do the same with some other impending critical decisions.  Oh and they play Melbourne who were torched by the Dogs last week – but they simply have more talent than the Blues and will win.


Oh My Darling ($1.34) vs Speed Thrills ($3.85)

Oh what a miss so many other clubs must think with Jack Darling about to play his 100th game after being the 26th selection at the draft.  Athletic, skilled, strong and pretty handy next to one of my exceptions in Kennedy.  Their Eagles take on the Dogs who simply burnt Melbourne in the loungeroom last week.  The expanses of Subiaco will present a different challenge as will their opponents quality.  A real test for the Doggies but suspect will return home with tails between their legs.


Friar Time

The D1 finals are set and the relegated are condemned, but unfortunately that was not the main news in the division with the Kew – Bulleen Templestowe game abandoned due to a brawl.  The investigation will continue as will the Friars for the final time in 2015.  The Under 19s season was put to bed against the leaders Parkdale last week, while the senior team were not prepared for a rabid Old Mentone outfit looking to ensure their place in the D1 for 2016.  The season closes with a triple header at Friar Park with the Under 19s hosting Mazenod and the Seniors taking on Kew. A joint display between both clubs will take place to demonstrate the camaraderie between clubs in our association and show that last week’s events were an aberration, but will not be swept under the carpet.

And sheez the Hammers beat Arsenal and then lose at home to Leicester!


Go Friars, Go Blues, Go Hammers

Cheers, Sal


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