Round 23 – Sal’s Preview: And then there are Eight

Greetings All,


Missed the preview for the penultimate round but we look forward to the final round with mathematically 12 clubs still in with a chance.  A couple of those clubs have looked at the other part of mathematics and probability of success and taken action accordingly with the Tigers ‘retiring’ David Astbury and Bachar Houli and St Kilda Jake Carlisle.  We look in anticipation of what the next few weeks has in store in what has become a very open premiership to win.


Mangy Mutts ($1.72) vs Blue Murderers ($2.36)


Probably the game with most riding on it to open proceedings and some real concerns about the Dogs who could only manage five goals against the Hawks last week.  They are now precariously placed and must win this game to lock in a top four finish.  Without Josh Bruce the opposition may have an easier time controlling the dogs attack.  Port need a sizeable win to have it’s best chance of locking in the top position however any win will suffice to ensure a home qualifying final.  Their demolition of the Blues pretty much went to script, they are a blood in the water team and enjoy the frenzy of an easy kill.  Their big challenge is when there is a genuine contest with 4 of their 5 losses against the remaining top five teams.  Port are pretty healthy and may have an advantage over the Dogs at either end of the ground, but they still haven’t passed a big test yet so I am happy to stick with the Bullies.


KOTJ ($1.15) vs Oh My, Darling ($7.40)


The Eagle arose from their slumber at quarter time but it was not enough to secure tenure on a finals place.  They have to travel to the Gabba in a make or break game without a number of their key players.  Their chances in this game will really be dependent on the result from Friday night.  If the Dogs lose then a win for Brisbane should see them take fourth position, a Bulldog win locks them into 5th or 6th no matter what the result.  Assuming my Friday night pick is correct, the Eagles will have much more on the line and reckon they can win.  If I am wrong about Friday night, I’ll be plipping to the Lions.  (Exactly why we should be playing the Premier League system will all games on at the same time for the final round!


Good, Better, Betts ($3.85) vs Timmy Time ($1.34)


Great effort from Tim Taranto to play the Toby Greene role and put the Tigers season to bed.  They will beat the Blues.  The Blues have more than a few stories.  First of all hats off to Marc Murphy on a fine career.  Then to one of the greats in Eddie Betts who will play his 350th and final game.  How he has grown as a player and a person from his first game has been incredible.  There are not many players that transcend across club lines – Eddie does that with his dazzling footy on the ground and also with the great leadership he shows off the ground.  He may not have had the dream return to the Blues we wanted but am glad he came back.  Sincerely hope Eddie is not lost to the game.  As for the coaching situation – David Teague has never had close to a full list at his disposal, however reckon he probably had to do a more with what he had at his disposal.


Steeplechasing ($1.93) vs May Day ($2.06)


Another game where motivations will be dependent on the result the previous night.  From a team perspective the Demons get three key players back in May, Viney and McDonald.  I am still unsure if Ben Brown is the right option for them.  Gary Rohan provided the third head for the monster.  I think after 200 games we can say that Mark Blicavs is a footballer first who happened to dabble in athletics.  A Dog win will have the Demons locked into a top two spot and the Cats needing a win to ensure they don’t drop to 3rd or 4th.  If Port win, Melbourne needs to win to avoid dropping to third they lose and Geelong and Port are vying for top on percentage.   Just think Melbourne’s motivation is to keep winning and they will do it no matter what happens Friday Night.


Houli Douli ($3.20) vs Silk Degrees ($1.44)


Like Eddie, Bachar was a two club player.  The start of his career was inauspicious leaving the Bombers to become a Tiger – it was not an overnight success but he became a key element in three flags winning key contests when needed and providing sublime service to his forwards.  Like Eddie he has become an important leader off the ground, another we hope is not lost to the game.  Next door David Astbury just did his job with aplomb, usually taking the key forward while his more glamorous teammates took the glory.  The hullabaloo about Clarkson finishing has somewhat over shadowed another two club retiree.  Shaun Burgoyne has been a beauty for over 400 games and made the game look easy.  Appropriately monickered for his sublime skills there was no shortage of courage or competitiveness either.  Became Mr Fixit for the Hawks and walks away with four premierships.  By the way the Tigers have thrown in the towel and will give Clarko a nice finish.


Seinfeld ($1.23) vs Stewed? (%5.30)


This is pretty much the game about nothing, a win could bump Sydney to 5th not really making any difference to their finals predicament.  Although suspect they would prefer to avoid the Giants.  For the Suns time to get this season done, regroup and find some consistency.  They will be pretty happy to have Jarrod Witts back too.  Sydney to win.


Swansong ($1.91) vs The Kitchenware ($2.08)


Another game about nothing but it is the final game for Adelaide’s swan – or their David Mackay.  For some pointless stats only one letter different in their names Mackay and McKay and only one game different also.  247 for the great Blue and 248 for the great Crow.  They play North who have been a pretty good wooden spooner in the back half of the season and will be looking forward to 2022.  Going for the Crows at home.


Strung Along ($1.35) vs More Please ($3.80)


The Bombers have kept a healthy midfield and had Jake Stringer rampaging through there to find themselves with a finals place in their own hands.  No other club but the Pies would like to deny them but they are well short on manpower, in an odd twist the loss of Mihocek thrusts Oliver Henry into a key forward post.  Pie fans have liked what they have already seen from him.  Bombers to lock in their spot.


Maxxed Out ($1.69) vs Que Cerra Cerra ($2.42)


Whatever will be for Adam Cerra as rumours abound about his future, he is part of a pretty handy midfield at Freo.  They go to Hobart to play the Saints who have cotton balled Max King after a big season.  A win could see Freo climb into the eight but I suspect it will be fleeting.  They should have more motivation but away from Perth and reckon the Saints are keen to finish on a high.


Friar Time


Well not really!  The home and away season has been declared over by the VAFA so our Seniors have finished 2nd and reserves 3rd.  The women await their preliminary final against Old Brighton.  The association is keen to run a full finals series which will see the Seniors taken on Old Camberwell in the second semi and the reserves playing St Marys Salesian in the first semi.


Go Eddie, Go Blues,


Cheers, Sal



The Tigers (Covid) Almanac 2020 will be published in the coming weeks. It will have all the usual features – a game by game account of the Tigers season – and will also include some of the best Almanac writing from the Covid winter.  Pre-order right now HERE


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