Round 5 Preview – The Spots don’t Change

Greetings All,

 

Way back in 1987 Clarko established my opinion of him and he has done little to change that since.  His actions last Saturday night were predictable and somewhat understandable given the proximity of the antagonist, but as he explained eventually he has to work to a higher standard.  It disappointed me that much of the commentary was about his choice not to board the bus – surely we do not want the football fraternity needing to segregate themselves from the rest of the community.  It may become the reality, but it will be a sad day for society if we cannot handle the presence of footballers in our midst.  Just to go back to Clarkson – his Hawthorn mates know his volatility and weren’t that far away – a bit of proactivity on their part might have helped!

On to the game and the ongoing discussion of the green vest – everyone says they don’t want it, but as a fan I say extend it!  Why not allow three substitutions with 5 players to pick from – coaches might then have to use some tactical nous rather than just rely on rotations.  But while we are it bring the interchange back to 60 and possibly only two players.  The efforts to reduce congestion haven’t really worked so far, just need to make them more tired!

With reference to last week’s edition – good to see that the Port protest on umpire contact was thrown out!

A tough week last week for this prognosticator only selecting five winners, but as suggested the Dees and Power represented good value.  This week sees some of the seeded games disappear from the fixture but there are a couple of teams that really have to make a stand.

 

The Master ($2.66) vs The Disciple ($1.58)

Mick and Bucks face off again with Carlton yet to defeat Collingwood in four attempts under Malthouse’s tenure.  The form guide taking a line through both Essendon and St Kilda would indicate the fifth encounter will also be a struggle. The Pies appear pretty settled, while the Blues welcome back Judd.  Can’t understand Casboult’s omission with the Blues looking very similar to the team that lost to Richmond without a solid second ruck option – the Pies rely heavily on Grundy but to me that is all the more reason to have a sound backup for Wood.  But nevertheless this is Carlton v Collingwood and no matter what the form says or what I think of selection I am picking the Blues.  Probably need the quote to get out to $2.80 before any hard earned is put at risk though.

 

Molten Plastic ($1.76) vs Cat-astrophe ($2.28)

Tiger fans that have not yet destroyed their 2015 tickets get the chance to see the remains of the other fallen Cat!  Richmond have not beaten Geelong in their last 10 encounters, are coming off a loss to one of the lesser ranked teams – but are favourites for this match!  It is certainly indicates what the satchel swingers think of the Cats, which is really a reflection of what the fans think.  Evidence is becoming compelling that their days in the breakaway are done and they will ride with the peloton from here on in.  A critical game for both clubs which under even circumstances would have me favouring the Cats, however the 6 day break compared to 8 swings it to Richmond for mine.  By the same token better than a flip of the coin for Geelong against Richmond has to be enticing.

 

The Goodes Train ($1.19) vs Drinks ($6.00)

Beveridge’s dogs slayed the Crows last week, but face another brutal test against the Swans who see the return of Adam Goodes and the reselection of Tom Mitchell.  Footscray seem to have found a great blend of not only inside and outside players, but also youth and experience.  Reports of their demise without Libba were clearly premature, the Bont is scary good but there are a few more such as Jong, Macrae, Dalhaus that can’t be ignored.  But Sydney on their SCG is a tough ask – I don’t expect the Dogs to fall away like they did against Hawthorn but I don’t expect them to win either.

 

Hard to Swallow ($1.96) vs Beams Me Up ($2.02)

Rocket is tasting some pretty ordinary medicine being served by the Suns, but their opponents are not faring any better for Leppa.  This might just be the Tousled  Mane’s biggest issue – that both Queensland teams are not looking competitive.  Brisbane are missing key forwards and defenders which makes their plight difficult, but they still need to win more footy.  Rocket has much work to do to bring the effort levels up to AFL standard down by the theme parks.  A genuine toss of the coin game, home ground advantage will suit the Suns but I am backing the midfield of Beams, Christensen, Rockliff, Redden, Rich to generate enough possessions to set the Suns.

 

FTBB ($1.66) vs I had a Patfull ($2.44)

A game of intrigue – West Coast usually beat up on lowly ranked opposition at Subi.  We are just not sure where Joel and the Giants rank – the seeded draw has seen them get off to a flyer.  They seem to have unearthed a couple of beauties, in particular The Great McCarthy, what an exciting prospect.  I suspect the Eagles will get up, but this will be a big test for the Giants to make sure they don’t blown away.

 

BBB ($3.50) vs Smokin’ the Ceglar ($1.38)

The seeded fixture hasn’t helped the Hawks and coming up against North will be a further test especially in the Lounge Room.  Both sides have issues down back, the Hawks have injuries in defence and Big Ben Brown, Petrie and Waite will present a sizeable challenge.  By the same token the Roo defence is solid if they can work together, but if the Hawk forwards can separate them they lack one-on-one talent.  Liam Shiels is an important inclusion for the Hawks who look vulnerable in defensive transition, which is where the Kangas really took  it to Geelong.  The Hawks do have the talent and my pick to win, but this game is a lot tighter than what the bagmen have on offer.  North are great value at anything over $3 for mine.

 

Tiger Hunters ($5.10) vs Duck Pluckers ($1.20)

Both teams coming off good wins with the Demons snuffing out the Tigers and Freo taking apart the Swans (especially early).  This will be huge test for Roos’ Demons against what looks like a genuine Premiership threat along with the likely Brownlow medallist!  Nat Fyfe is the only player in single figure odds!  Freo will be looking to perform well in one their two performances at the G for the season and should be too good.

 

How Much Longer? ($6.20) vs Hallucinations ($1.18)

Bombers were dreaming of fine weather and blue skies as they sunk themselves on a wet MCG last week, or maybe they were thinking of the Lounge Room.  They get back there this week against the slowly building Saints – who will be impressed with the progress of Billy Longer.  But they are building slowly and Essendon won’t let this one slip.

 

Jetty-soned ($2.44) vs Wingard-ium Leviosa ($1.64)

We get a Sunday Afternoon special with the Showdown.  Phil was filthy with his Crows threatening to have them leap from the Glenelg Jetty, I expect them to really have a taste for the contest to show last week as aberration.  For Port Chad Wingard elevated them to another level with an inspired performance early in the game against Hawthorn, it could not last but despite the comeback it was over by half time.  I expected them to miss Wines and Gray but along with Chad, Boak was terrific.  Should be a great contest but favouring Port mainly due to the Lobbe-Ryder combination – likely to be a major factor in many games this year.

 

Friar Time

The Under 19s powered to a 3-0 start with a hard fought win over Fitzroy.  However the Seniors came up against a well organised Old Geelong outfit that proved too good on the day, the reserves won in a very entertaining contest,  The week Friar Park hosts the Under 19s up against St Bedes/Mentone renewing some ACC rivalries, the older lads head to Gillon Oval in Brunswick to take on another of the 2014 finalists in NOBSP.

 

Go Blues, Go Friars,

Cheers, Sal

 

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