Round 21 – Sal’s Preview: Showtime is Over – Buddy has left the building


Greetings All,


In our heads we knew when Buddy pulled up short on Saturday Night, our hearts hoped we might get one more game out of the great man.  What a magnificent player Lance Franklin has been, as an opposition supporter still watched in awe of his ability.  Went to Swans games at the G just to see him perform.  One of the few players to change the rules – albeit done in anger that he went to Sydney and not GWS.  HQ decided that was enough of COLA, not the right decision at the time however probably OK now for the profile Buddy has given to Sydney.  He may not have won a flag with the Swans but his value has been immeasurable, the game might not be entrenched in Sydney but everyone knows Buddy.  They have always needed the shining star Plugger, Barry and Buddy – who will be the next target.  Happy that Harry and Charlie are locked up for the Blues!


Slinking off to some other territory with the biggest event on our shores taking place at the moment with the Women’s World Cup.  Has been a great competition thus far just a shame that most of it is being shown behind the Optus Vision pay wall.  Surely a such an event played at home should have been subject to stronger anti-siphoning.  It all sort of made sense when there was one provider in Foxtel (expensive but simple).  Now there are at least three more providers in this space and all of them charge a premium for sport above their regular price.  Has been great that the crowds have followed the game and the Matildas progressing sans Sam Kerr a great effort.  Now for the Danes on Monday Night – where will Queen Mary’s allegiances lie!


Some changes in the form ladder after last week and one to focus on.  The Demons jumping up to fourth has them looking ominous, also in the top four is Port but have dropped to 11th on the form ladder with a trip to Kardinia Park this week.  No other team has conceded over 300 points in the last three rounds.


Team P F A Perc
Carl 4 4 4 4 4 20 565 314 179.94%
GWS 4 4 4 4 4 20 384 310 123.87%
Coll 4 4 4 4 0 16 483 362 133.43%
Melb 4 4 4 0 4 16 456 400 114.00%
Syd 4 4 0 2 4 14 413 389 106.17%
Bris 4 0 4 4 0 12 473 342 138.30%
StK 4 0 0 4 4 12 385 387 99.48%
Rich 4 4 4 0 0 12 433 494 87.65%
Geel 0 4 4 2 0 10 418 297 140.74%
Adel 0 0 0 4 4 8 497 420 118.33%
Foots 4 0 0 4 0 8 418 367 113.90%
Port 0 0 4 4 0 8 404 466 86.70%
GC 0 4 0 0 4 8 351 435 80.69%
Haw 0 4 0 0 0 4 400 455 87.91%
Ess 0 0 4 0 0 4 382 488 78.28%
Fre 0 0 0 0 4 4 332 482 68.88%
WCE 0 0 0 0 4 4 313 506 61.86%
NM 0 0 0 0 0 0 303 492 61.59%


How will it change this week?  Safe to say we can predict unpredictability after last week!



A Beveridge Problem (78%) vs Dusted Off? (22%)


A five day break might be a challenge for Dusty and Trent at this stage of the season, however Dusty is still the barometer by which the Tigers perform.  Suspect he might have a roll coming off the bench this week.  Getting Nankervis and Short back helps the line up.  They face the Dogs in the Loungeroom – perhaps they are over their hatred for the venue without Dimma?  We know the Dogs love it but have challenges of their own losing two key defenders last week, with the question still remaining why Aaron Naughton was not shifted to defence.  Rory Lobb struggles to look like a forward let alone being put into defence.  But Luke knows best.  Not as much of an issue this week, Liam Jones returns and the Tigers are not tall up forward.  A taller forward set up is handy against the likes of Balta, Grimes and Vlastuin.  It would be almost lights out for Richmond if they lose, not quite as drastic for the Bullies but would make life difficult.  Just think the Bullies in the Loungeroom might have the edge, noting these teams haven’t met there since 2019.



Tsk Tsk Tsatas (99%) vs Dom and Dusted (1%)


The Bombers choose wisely giving Elijah Tsatas his opener against the Eagles, has been doing extremely in the VFL after a disrupted opening to his career.  On the other side Shannon Hurn gets managed after indicating this will be his final year with a send off at home and Dom Sheed is the next Eagle to be mothballed for 2023.  And Elijah gets his first win.



Butt Out (88%) vs Nut Job (12%)


Reckon the right decision was made with respect to the Touk Miller ‘squirrel grip’, the Suns should be aggrieved about the process not the outcome.  The nuttiest part of the saga is that should have been investigated and sorted straight away by the MRO and not be driven for days through the media coverage.  Not pertaining to be an expert but the vision was clear and Zorko’s reaction was instant.  Nevertheless, Touk is out and his team faces the Kings of South Australia at their beloved Adelaide Oval.  The Crows defence will be tested losing another defender in Jordan Butts, covering Levi and King will be a challenge.  At home though they have been too good for most all year.



Going for a Weddle (4%) vs Coxless (96%)


Fly has had enough of Big Cox and reverted to the one ruckman strategy.  Probably has not been able to that until this week after a strong performance from Dan McStay last week who looks a good option to give Cameron a chop out when needed.  Is it form or structure given the choice Melbourne has made?  They test it against the Hawks who were appropriately chastened at quarter time by Sam Mitchell and played well there after but not well enough.  Not sure they will be good enough against the possibly chastened Pies.



Toma Hooked (74%) vs Head Case (26%)


What a match up at Kardinia Park.  The Cats have lost key players in Hawkins and Blicavs, while Port lose their defensive anchor in Allir balancing Big Tom’s absence.  As previously noted Port have conceded more than anyone in the last three games, in each of those games Allir was “occupied” and unable to zone off and be the interceptor.  Who tries to play that role this week?  Still think the Cats have the personnel up forward to stretch Port, the last time they lost consecutive games at home was back in 2015 and those games were six weeks apart, it’s 2006 for the last home losses in consecutive weeks.  Port have also had to deal with the Jones-Allir concussion aftermath all week, Geelong win this.



Going Green (63%) vs Lanced (37%)


Cross town rivalries are spicy and upsets occur regularly.  Last week we saw Adelaide and Gold Coast knock off their more fancied rival.  Both wins were meticulously planned and executed with gusto by the playing groups.  Will we see the same again here?  The Giants are looking eight in a row and get Tom Green and Jesse Hogan back in the lineup, while the Swans lose not only Buddy but also Dane Rampe and Justing McInerney.  Base on those personnel challenges it is all in the Giants favour.  However, reckon Horse will have this one also meticulously planned and give the Swans a great chance to make this a hattrick of local derby upsets.



Take Two (1%) vs The Max Factor (99%)


Clarkson is back for the Roos and will have his work cut out against the rampant Demons.  They have Max controlling the skies as they push for a top two finish and home qualifying final, they do not want to finish 3rd and travel to Adelaide or Brisbane.  This should help them on the journey.



King of the Hill (25%) vs Hamstrung (75%)


Almost a qualifying final for the Blues and Saints.  They are taking divergent paths at the moment.  The Blues are flying with seven on the trot, while St Kilda are falling over the line to lowly opposition.  On form this should a no brainer.  However the Blues lose two more to hamstring injuries after losing Walsh last week while St Kilda get the cavalry back in King, Hill and Membrey (at the moment).  Not withstanding the fact that St Kilda have been able to overcome a dreadful year of injuries and still lie fifth.  Then there is the St Kilda factor for the Blues.  St Kilda have won their last two against Carlton and 8 of the last 11, they match up well and plan well.  In those last two Jack Steele put the clamps on Cripps and St Kilda’s key playmakers Hill and Sinclair were allowed to run free if both of those happen again the Saints win.  Trusting that Blue hubris is restricted to the fans and Voss and the team can plan better and keep the run going.



Coxed (24%) vs Holding the Fort (76%)


Freo get their Cox back after a terrific win at Kardinia Park last week, is it an outlier or have they set the standard?  They host Brisbane coming off an unexpected defeat but losing McInerney and Coleman, both important in there set up.  Darcy Fort get the ruck duties against Jackson.  How will Freo handle Lachie Neale who was sat on last week by Touk Miller?  Suspect Fagan and Neale will have something up their sleeve to release him but will be an interesting watch.  If Bailey returns it will provide more options through the middle also.  Freo at home is tempting, but they have lacked consistency through the season and this is too important for the Lions to drop two in a row



Friar Time


A massive final quarter saw the Friars give their percentage a much-needed boost over Old Paradians, the reserves had a similar victory.  The Women went to AJAX and fought it out for a two point victory, while the threes lost their first for the season to UHSVU.  This week the seniors travel to Woodfull-Miller Oval to take on the Unicorns, a critical game for the firsts with 3rd and 4th placed teams in reach, the reserves have two games to make up with MHSOB sitting immediately above.  The girls have the Jackas fourth spot in their sites but face a big test against Glen Eira in the penultimate round for their season, still a great chance to grab that spot.  While the threes need to reassert themselves in their penultimate game before finals against Box Hill North.



Track Time


It’s the new season and Flemington hosts the first metro meeting – we also have the start of what we hope is a short-lived experiment with a 10 race program.  Sydney have done this for a while adding their Highway and Midway races which are simply raffles most weeks, not sure about the need to copy.  The main race is the Auries Star which used to be the kick off point for a couple of contenders, the only one of any note here is Here to Shock.  A couple at some value worth looking at (R5, #4) Alhambra Lad comes off a strong win in Adelaide and P Payne places them well the other has to knock over an odds-on pop but (R10, #9) Pioneer River comes off a spell, loves the straight and gets M Zahra on board.


Quaddie Time


Typical wide Flemington meet and would usually trim down the last leg – but reckon the favourite has some challengers in the last.


Leg 1 – 2, 4, 5, 9, 11

Leg 2 – 2, 3, 6, 14

Leg 3 – 2, 3, 5, 15

Leg 4 – 2, 3, 9


Represents 240 combinations, a $30 investment return 12.5% of the dividend.


Go Blues, Go Friars, Go Matildas


Cheers, Sal


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