Round 21 Preview – We have to talk about Brisbane!

Greetings All,


Much gnashing of teeth over the plight of the Lions – with a certain amount of justification but plenty of the pain also being self-inflicted.  After the halcyon days of 2001-2004 the draft and salary cap worked exactly as planned for the AFL with Brisbane not getting access to the top picks and having to pay overs to maintain some their stars, they took the tumble and were committed to the rebuild.  But that is when it started to get ugly.  Coaching decisions have been poor, a statement easy to say in retrospect but both first time coaches and both “in the family”.  Michael Voss was a champion player however I suspect some of those champion player traits did not transfer well to coaching.  Leppa did his apprenticeship and may have been ready but the personnel challenges were already in motion.


They had arguably the most influential player in the league in Jonathon Brown but not much depth after that and resorted to the Sydney formula of bringing in a star forward.  The Saints never put Plugger or Big Bad Bustling on the table the Swans chased them, the Blues put Fev on the market knowing he could kick goals but was uncontrollable off the field.  Brisbane paid a big price for that mistake, how handy would Lachie Henderson be at the Gabba now?


Somewhat beyond their control has been the flight of young talent to other clubs, Aish, Yeo, Docherty, Polec, ….  Most of them to head home but we have not really seen the same flight from the other northern clubs – yet!  At least Dayne Beams and Tom Bell also went home but it still does not quite balance up.


Then machinations of the AFL has also conspired to inflict greater pain on them.  The introduction of new franchises completely destroyed the integrity of the draft leaving slim pickings for all those clubs desperate to climb the table.  Added to that has been the introduction of free agency which has worked completely against the socialist manifesto of the league and equalisation.  Players have now been picking and choosing where to be traded and most of the time those choices are with the teams at the top of the tree.  The removal of COLA may have pulled Sydney into line for Eddie but it placed the Lions at a real competitive disadvantage.


They also planted Greg Swann up there as CEO.  Great job at Collingwood when everything was running smoothly, but then his time at the Blues was mixed and he was closely involved in the recruitment and appointment of Mick Malthouse as coach.  Was certainly concerned when Trigg got the Blues gig after the Tippett affair but has been a revelation in communication compared to Swann.  Can they get the dream team of Roos and Jackson to Brisbane?


Should they get priority treatment?  They certainly need assistance with administration and facilities and that must be addressed.  However there are many clubs that have struggled for longer and have not got compensation in the draft.  The league need to address the broader fairness of the draft and free agency.  Bailing out a failing interstate club will set a dangerous precedent for the future especially when cycle turns for Gold Coast and GWS who will have even less goodwill to draw on.  Everyone deserves their time at the top but they all need to serve their time at the bottom!


But they may not be bottom this week up against the stuttering Blues – but first a few more important contests.


The Not So Full Monty ($1.46) vs Uncloked ($3.10)

The parasite coaches wanted clarity on their future, not so sure the process is right with Brett Montgomery being one of two assistant coaches leaving their club on the eve of finals.  How the Dogs deal with the change will be interesting but suspect most of his work is done.  They face the disappointing Pies who have gone to the “Drop Travis” well for the third time this season.  It is the kind of game where the Pies can be up, but suspect that there is far too much on the line for Dogs to cough this one up.


Priority One ($3.10) vs Making Space ($1.38)

Picking the Blues again this week but with almost as much trepidation as last week a win is so much more important for Brisbane and Leppa.  They were completely uncompetitive against the Saints and I expect Brisbane to come out full of aggression after their last two weeks of torment.  Planning well in motion at Carlton with Michael Jamison retiring this week and playing another debutante in Cunningham – should look at even more over the next couple of weeks.


Spluttered ($1.43) vs Hangin’ On ($3.25)

The Hawks coughed one up last week to put themselves under more pressure than necessary to beat North Melbourne who just need to win one to lock in their finals spot.  Not sure they can do it this week especially with the injury cloud surrounding their best big forward in Big Ben Brown, surely he is not 100%.  The Hawks get back three if not four of their best 22 and should get one step closer to locking in the prime barrier position.


The Franchise ($1.32) vs The Corporation ($3.95)

The Giants look like the perfect model for launching a franchise and they are up against the ultimate footy business machine in the Eagles.  The problem being that the machine tends to malfunction away from home and this venue is as hard any nowadays.  West Coast were able to run over their local rivals last week but cannot see that happening this week and expect the midfield power of the Giants to stamp themselves on this one.


Butchered ($1.53) vs It’s Mac Time ($2.80)

After thumping Brisbane Port found out about the other end of the table with Sydney handing them a good towelling, John Butcher one of the players to pay the price – what are his prospects for 2017.  They face the Hawk conquerors in Melbourne who will be keen to put another notch in the 2016 belt.  They have two wins already this week with the McDonald brothers committing to the club, suspect that might be all with Port keen to make amends for last week and a far different proposition at the Portress.


The Heat ($3.40) vs The Test ($1.39)

A rabid Sainter sent a simple text last week as St Kilda suffocated the Blues with their intensity just with “The Heat” – it summed up the game pretty well and they will be looking to take that heat into the Loungeroom.  It will be severely tested though by the Swans who not only have the capacity to absorb that heat but can apply the blowtorch pretty well themselves.  A win for the Saints turns the maths almost into probable if the Hawks win so there will be plenty to play for, while the Swans will need to keep winning to get that home final.  The loss of Dunstan takes away some defensive pressure which will be critical against Kennedy, Hannebery, Jack and more – suspect that the heat might be extinguished.


Go Long ($3.50) vs Almost Jack & The Beanstalk ($1.36)

The Bombers get to enjoy another Father-Son prospect with Jake Long joining Joe Daniher – it is the one piece of the draft that should remain compromised!  They host the Suns who are back on track with great structure and really took it to the Giants last week but could not quite kill them off, that will be good enough form against the Bombers.


Fre Fall ($8.80) vs Lion Tamers ($1.12)

The Crows did not just tame the Lions but could face charges for cruelty and this week they head west to face Fremantle who fell apart last week to their bitter crosstown rivals.  Adelaide won’t win by quite as much but they will win.


Dusty ($5.50) vs Danger ($1.21)

The Brownlow Medal favourites go head to head in what shapes to be the main event of the day.  On the year’s form that is certainly the case as Geelong would seem to have the Tigers covered, however as we saw last week if Richmond’s elite play well they are capable.  But Geelong have too mauch on the line and they are a bit better than the Pies.


Friar Time

All the mathematics disappeared last week despite the loss to a slick Old Mentonians with NOBSP also going down with Friars assured of D1 footy in 2017.  A game effort against the ladder leaders booting the first five of the game but not being able to maintain control of the hard running Panthers.  The Under 19s played well in patches against Fitzroy but too many defensive lapses gifted easy goals.  The seniors head to Ford Park to face the fast fading Ivanhoe in a game of academics.  Three massive games on D1 with The Panthers and The OGS chasing prime position although percentages are unlikely to see any change, PEGS (3rd) take on St Marys (5th) where there is a chance the Saints could climb back into the four and at the other end NOBSP host Old Paradians – a win for the Raiders will send NOBSP to relegation but a loss will take it down to final round.  The Under 19s get an opportunity against Old Carey in a pretty even match up.


Go Blues, Go Friars

Cheers, Sal



  1. Interesting analysis re Brisbane, I must admit that they seem to be beyond redemption bu then look at the way that Ken Hinkley turned Port Adelaide around when he joined the club.

  2. we don’t hang around Brisso much. does anyone really care up there – as opposed to Adelaide?

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