Round 24 – Sal’s Preview: The Final Squeeze

Greetings All,

With the assistance of a goal umpire it all did go to script last week except for the inexplicable Dogs, resulting just the one change in the eight with GWS coming in at their expense.  However that assistance probably had significant make-up of this year’s combatants.  Not much has gone in the Crows’ favour and they deserving of some sympathy, by the same token they do get to play 13 games on their home deck so probably should have had the spot wrapped up.  Nevertheless it was a controversy that should never have happened and unfortunately somewhat foreseeable given the inconsistency of the review protocols.

The form ladder as we head to finals is of less relevance but there are a couple of observations.  There is a long tail to the competition with 12 teams having under 50% records in the last five weeks, possibly understandable as teams drop out of contention but two of them are Collingwood and Port.  The others being the descension of the Cats and Suns despite being competitive as attested by their percentage.

Team P F A Perc
Carl 20 457 342 133.63%
Syd 20 490 419 116.95%
StK 16 426 339 125.66%
Melb 16 473 382 123.82%
Bris 16 419 416 100.72%
GWS 12 513 404 126.98%
WB 8 438 357 122.69%
Fre 8 413 353 117.00%
Adel 8 460 396 116.16%
Port 8 443 437 101.37%
Haw 8 420 442 95.02%
Coll 8 443 506 87.55%
Rich 8 423 516 81.98%
Ess 8 343 502 68.33%
WCE 8 338 499 67.74%
Geel 4 370 417 88.73%
GC 4 397 452 87.83%
NM 0 348 431 80.74%



Onto the more meaningful dissection for this week’s matches, we had to wait for so long for the AFL to “fix” the fixture for this round hoping for several games to shape the finals.  It is possible there may only be one live game to effect the make-up of the eight.  There is much trepidation for this week’s selections as the motivations for many teams will be adjusted with prior results.  As stated often it would be so much fairer to have all games played concurrently.


Tipped Off (4%) vs Fly Zone (96%)

The Bombers will give Tippa his send-off as a substitute it appears.  While Mathematics gives them a chance Brad Scott has not taken the Lloyd Christmas view given the number of players put out to pasture for this game.  The Pies should be able to pull their game together and seal pole position – whether it’s a quality hit-out a different question.  But there will be plenty of questionable games over the weekend.


Jai (66%) vs Caleb (34%)

There are a few Jais and Calebs running around but not many Serongs!  The Hawks version hosts the Freo version in one of the Seinfeld Games of the weekend.  The Hawks ran out of puff last week against the Dees and just think Freo will have enough motivation to get over them but complete guess work really, yada, yada, yada….


Reed About It (6%) vs 80 Percent (94%)

Clarko began the sparring early foreseeing an impending rivalry with the Suns who appear well on the way to a flag according to Coach Dimma.  North should be able to retain the number one pick, while the Suns will be well pleased with what they have coming in the door.


Hippy, Hippy Shake (94%) vs Maxxed Out (6%)

While top spot is probably out of the Lions reach they still need to put St Kilda away to ensure two finals at the Gabba.  Eric Hipwood plays his 150th, always a dangerous opponent and has become more consistent through this year.  St Kilda need a win to challenge the Blues for 5thspot and protest themselves from dropping to 7th and an interstate final.  They go in without Max King but do get Jack Hayes back in after recovery from a knee reconstruction.  Lions rarely lose at home and suspect the Saints will be hoping for the Demons to salute the next day.


Operation 2024 (31%) vs Last Drinks? (69%)

The Cats have filled the wards sending key players off for various bouts of surgery to prepare for next year, have they left a strong enough team in place to beat the Dogs at home?  Based on last week it might not take much.  But footy works more on motivation than form and there should be no more motivated team than the Bulldogs with the coach having even more motivation.  Is it time for the end of Beveridge?  The crescendo will peak with a loss, a win and place in the finals should silence the baying hounds.  Reckon they will win.


Dog Catchers (6%) vs Keays Stoned (94%)

Ben Keays has been a beauty for the Crows and thought he put them into the finals, unfortunately not and now they take on West Coast just to close out the season.  The Eagles will bid farewell to a pair of greats in Luke Shuey and Shannon Hurn, despite their heroics against the Dogs last week reckon Adelaide will be all systems go to get Tex as close to the Coleman Medal as possible.


A Vintage Release (98%) vs Mini Minored (2%)

We have marvelled at the quality of Buttters, Rozee and Horne-Francis all year, last week Ollie Wines reminded us that there is plenty more depth in that midfield with a vintage display.  They will know before the game whether or not 2ndplace is in reach.  No matter what they need to beat Richmond to ensure they remain above Melbourne to secure 3rd.  The Tigers sent off a couple of greats last week, this week they are likely to be sending off their interim coach in Andrew McQualter.  He has had an on-the-job interview but suspect not quite good enough.  The likely loss here possibly has them finishing 14th.


The Amartey Party (55%) vs The Magnets on the Board (45%)

A couple of key forwards return for both side with Joel Amartey and Bailey Fritsch back for a pre-finals warm up.  A warm up for finals is precisely how Melbourne are likely to play this game, unless both Port and Brisbane lose they will be perfectly happy to remain in 4th spot and play the Pies at the ‘G’ instead of interstate travel.  The Sydney motivation is stronger with a home final on the cards with a win, think they will.


Que Cerra, Cerra (63%) vs A Cog in the Machine (37%)

A similar scenario is in play for the Blues and Giants.  Unless St Kilda beat Brisbane they are likely to be locked into 5thspot, while the Giants will be in a must win scenario to make finals.  Carlton will want to get some good footy into the returning players in Cerra, Walsh and McGovern.  For GWS they will want to end the season well in Steve Coniglio’s 200th game.  Suspect the Giants’ motivations will get them home and we will have a repeat encounter in a fortnight.


Friar Time

A great weekend on the scoreboard for the Friars with the Seniors and Reserves posting strong wins over Brunswick and keeping the hope of finals alive.  The Seniors need a victory over Aquinas this week with a massive boost in percentage to ensure chance of playing finals, the 3rd and 4th placed sides are also playing lowly ranked opposition. The Reserves are similarly placed although the 4th side is playing one of the top sides.  Then there is the 3s!  Defeated MHSOB by 93 points to book a place in the Grand Final in two weeks.


Track Time

Well the first quaddie for the season came in – included both shorties winning so the return was quite as good as the investment.  We are back to the Valley this week with the Carlyon Stakes as the feature.  A couple of interest are Robrick (R3, #3) short enough but looks well placed, Croatian Belle (R6, #2) taking on a Godolphin favourite but worth a look each way and will back up on Jimmy the Bear (R7, #4) after saluting last week.


Quaddie Time

Leg 1 – 3, 4, 6, 8

Leg 2 – 2, 4, 7, 8

Leg 3 – 1, 6, 7, 11

Leg 4 – 4, 11

Represents 128 combinations, a $30 investment return 23.4% of the dividend.


Go Blues, Go Friars, Go Jimmy

Cheers, Sal




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