Round 6 Preview: A Bin for their Sins

Greetings All,


Have there been enough events in footy this week?  At least enough to keep the Blues off the back pages.  They pumped the media in the off season with almost a story a day – not quite as accommodating now.  Their good fortune was set by the unsociable Hawks on Saturday Night.  It has generated timely discussion on whether or not the AFL should fall into line with most sports and for that matter most other leagues and associations and introduce a send-off rule.

The argument against it has been sound with reported players regularly being set free by the tribunal, umpiring errors have cost games in the past but not ones where they change the make of the teams.  The actions of Hodge and Lewis plus Yarran a couple of weeks earlier warrant dissection and determination of a just penalty – in particular one that benefits the team the deed was perpetrated against.  The concerns about umpire error are easily managed with the level of video scrutiny on games.  Any action deemed questionable can “go to the videotape” and a message relayed to the central umpires to meet out justice.  Behind the play incidents that the umpires do not pick up can also be reviewed and have immediate ramifications.

The question is should a sin-binned player be allowed to be replaced?  My overall sentiment is that they should not be replaced, however it could have ramifications on the game that are undesired.  Being able to replace the player will still restrict their team by limiting their rotations during the sin-bin time.  Suggest a two tiered sentencing regime would be appropriate with a “red” card offence carrying a penalty of being off for the rest of the match and a softer “yellow” card where the player is required to spend ten minutes of actual playing time in the bin.  The Hodge and Yarran incidents would warrant red cards, whereas Lewis could have been deemed to be in play so a yellow might be more appropriate.  Mind you Jordan is remarkably accurate in his carelessness!

What about May I hear you scream?  His incident was in play and should not have warranted an immediate penalty.  However the hue and cry from commentators and coaches saying what he did was OK is utter rubbish.  The tribunal indicated he had an option to go straight at the ball, that he did but I would concur with the throng that his best ploy was to clear space and win uncontested possession.  However once he made that choice to bump he had a duty of care for Tom Rockliff and for not being careful enough he was justifiably penalised.  It is just that his club was too stupid not to just accept the decision that he must sit out an extra week.  But his penalty is unjustifiably harsh relative to the acts of his Hawthorn counterparts, they both should have received harsher penalties.  Not sure Hodge and Yarran deserved any leniency for a guilty plea – I doubt Jack McCoy would have put anything on the table if we were in New York!


Then there is the Queensland challenge.  Not sure about the Leppa-O’Brien clash but too much is being made of it, though the days of coaches manhandling players should be over in this day and age.  I find the comparison of the Jeans-Dipierdomenico confrontation interesting.  Whilst there was a physical element to that incident – I suspect it was the harsh truths spoken by Yabby that had the real effect on Dipper.  As for the breaking of team rules and drinking issues at the Suns.  I don’t quite get it.  Turning up to training still under influence is not on, but surely responsible consumption after a game is OK.  Perhaps the consumption was irresponsible which may justify the suspensions.  But it is no wonder they go off the rails in October


Enough of that – What about the Dogs?  Didn’t help my selections last week, but what a great story they might be and great to see Bob Murphy celebrate that win.  Most games this week look to be one-sided but there have been so many unexpected results – I am sure we will get at least one this week.


Prices thanks to our bookie Ladbrokes who have a sign-up offer for Almanac punters, and are offering $2 favourites on this week’s AFL matches


Blue Murderers ($1.67) vs Split Ball ($2.25)

James Kelly suffered a rupture last week not dissimilar to the rupture the Pies inflicted on the Blues the night before.  This game is again a test for both teams, Geelong did not win over too many last week despite the victory and while Collingwood looked great their opposition was insipid.  The jury is still out as two of their other victories were against lowly ranked teams, but you can only beat who is put in front of you.  The Pies defence is working beautifully but will be tested with the presence of Hawkins and Clark, if they work together they are formidable but if the Cats can separate them gaps my appear. At the other end the Cats been OK, their issues have come from the speed of incoming footy.  The Pie forward line should hold no fears, Cloke and White kick bags of goals as frequently as a Mick Malthouse smile at a press conference.  Their spread of goal kickers last week was impressive, but they were allowed far too much time and latitude.  The midfields will determine the outcome here, can Joel Selwood hold up against the spread of Pies?  This should be a flip of the coin game and mine has come up Geelong, but only because I have rated their opposition so far better than Collingwood’s.  They are good value at $2.20 or better – but of more interest will be how these teams are rated at the conclusion of this game irrespective of the result.


Hobart ($1.53) vs Jack’s Back ($2.60)

The Tigers welcome back Brett Delidio and Taswegians will welcome Jack Riewoldt back as they front up against the Roos at Bellerive.  A sprightly finish by Richmond last week sent the jury back for further consideration after it appeared a verdict was nigh early in the piece – was it a last hurrah?  Meanwhile the Kangas lost control of their game with the ten goal blowout not completely reflecting the contest.  Nevertheless it was game the Roos usually lose and against Richmond they usually win – I will be sticking with the form guide and selecting North – especially with the game in Hobart.


Just Ayce ($1.36) vs Rookie Error ($3.20)

The Bulldogs are flying despite having Ayce Cordy still learning the ruck trade and copping a smashing and face the ever improving Saints who should have clinched the game against the Bombers if not for the errors by their veteran rookie in Schneider.  The Dogs are playing scintillating footy and should be too good for the Saints who welcome back Reiwoldt and Montagna – but suspect the rest of the team will be sore after the torrid encounter with the Bombers.


Kings of Leon ($3.50) vs Just Plain Bullies ($1.29)

Leon Cameron’s lads finally get a game in Sydney but of all the opponents they get it is the horrible, nasty Hawks.  But underneath the nasty, horrible they are one of the more skilful teams we have ever seen and because of all that they will win.


One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Beer ($6.00) vs Eddie needs to be Everywhere ($1.14)

The Gold Coast lads cross a few boundaries and as a result we see a compromised team to face the Crows.  This might have been a danger game for the Crows who were valiant in the showdown but not quite as efficient as their crosstown rivals.  As good as Eddie Betts was the big forwards in Jenkins and Walker must be more competitive against top opposition.  But the Suns are not top opposition and the Crows will have too much talent.


Pretty in Pink ($4.75) vs Dog Day Afternoon ($1.18)

The Dees with be adorned with Pink representing a great cause in the battle against breast cancer, they will have another battle on their hands again Sydney who will be keen to respond to last week’s defeat by the Dogs.  Despite the margin Melbourne stuck with Freo for a while and they may even last longer against the Swans, but there is too much fire power in the Sydney team.  Wet weather might make it interesting as the Bloods have struggled in poor conditions in recent times, but Sydney to win.


Another Pearcing ($1.28) vs Scary Sunday ($3.75)

Alex joins Clancee and Danyle as the third Pearce in the Freo line up who take on the Bombers who are probably still wondering how they got away with a win over the Saints.  They have the toughest trip in footy to be thrown in front of the Purple throng.  But they have two of their last three encounters at Subiaco against Freo.  But they are going to well with their midfield in sublime form, just wouldn’t mind if all players had the time to dispose of the ball that Fyfe gets.  By the same token tackles don’t seem to really restrain him either.  Freo to win.

Off Broadway ($1.28) vs 50 Cents ($3.75)

Brisbane will be introducing the swear jar to the clubrooms so in future any transgression in language is dealt with financially, should be good for the footy trip.  But this week’s footy trip is to take on the Blues at the Lounge Room in the Mother’s day graveyard slot.  Incentives going out with cheap ticket deals, I am worried if I attend there will be no escape.  Again the Blues selections are baffling – yes there are still three to come out but surely there had to be more bloodletting after last week’s effort.  Brisbane have not looked much better, they are missing big bodies, their talented midfield is not winning enough footy and are certainly not chasing the other way.  These two teams a justifiably located in 17th and 18th slots.  Because they have better structure the Blues are barely justifiable favourites and through misguided faith are my selection, however Brisbane are certainly capable of winning and represent fair value at anything over $3.


Gray’s Anatomy ($1.20) vs Elbow Bending ($4.75)

Robbie Gray’s clearance work last week at the clutch time in the game was incredible, with the Crows in striking distance he cleared two stoppages with surgical precision to set up goals and ice the game.  To think Port also have Wingard, Boak and Ebert who are also at the top of the class for clearances – there should be room for excitement at Alberton.  They play host to the Eagles who FTBBed the Giants last week and have spent this week consternating over Josh Kennedy’s elbow.  The said elbow may have required surgery, but nevertheless JK played out last week’s game to boot his six goals in a result that was a formality.  Surely they should have been more precautionary and put him in cotton wool – but that’s how they roll at West Coast.  This week they will simply roll over against Port.


Check out the $2 favourites offer from Ladbrokes:

Victory ($1.80) vs City ($4.33) – Draw ($3.50)

The other big game is in the Lounge Room on Friday night with a Melbourne derby for the A-League semi-final.  Victory have been the most consistent team through the year, but do put in the odd poor performance.  Their opponents when playing well are tough to break down and can score, but their worst is much worse than Muscat’s men.  The beauty of the world game is that there is rarely more than a goal in it which gives City some hope and for the heir’s sake I hope they do.  However I suspect the speed and craft of Berisha, Thompson, Finkler and the rest of the Victory team will get through 2-0.


Friar Time

A tough day for the Friars losing all three games last week and having a player taken to hospital directly from the ground – the great part of the day being that his leg was not broken as suspect but he does have a nasty flesh wound!  This week the Under 19s head to Old Ivanhoe and the Seniors host the newly promoted St Marys Salesian at Friar Park.


Go Blues, Go Friars,

Cheers, Sal


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