Round 6 Preview – Oh no, no, no and No!

Greetings to all for Australia’s own sacred day,

 

Plenty of discussion raging this week about the state of the game and various other issues

Debate rages for a few days every year about the Christian sacred day of Good Friday and whether the AFL should schedule a game on the day.  Whether a game is played or not is a matter for personal opinion, my position is one ambivalence.  Although I find it difficult to justify the public holiday if no-one is honouring the reason it exists!  But to the point of the discussion, the league’s choice of to play or not to play should not be influenced by the opposing codes.  The arguments I hear about giving up ground to other codes is sheer baloney and the rest of the Easter break is more then covered.

The lame duck CEO finally came out on the other burning issue of crowds and pricing.  The issue has been building and Vlad only came out when the top came off after Easter Monday – methinks he would have been onto the issue much earlier in years gone by.  As for the corporate speak justifying the new system – what a bunch of crap!  The one and only reason for it is get more dollars per seat no matter how you spin it.  I am fortunate to be an MCC member where if I get there early enough I can get the seat of my choice.  But I turn up to the lounge room, pay an entry fee (more than last year) and be forced to sit further away from the game as now even more of the stadium is reserved seating.  No wonder TV has more attraction – especially when the luxurious middle tier is less than 50% occupied for most games.  I do note this is specifically a Melbourne problem other venues especially in Adelaide, Perth and Geelong have been gouging their members for years!

Then there is the ridiculous idea of names on jumpers.  Some of the discussion I have heard borders on insanity – it might be handy for the TV viewer but hardly necessary when commentary will identify players.  They are illegible from where the majority of the crowd has to sit, no Dwayne making them bigger would not help, in fact it would hinder making the numbers smaller would be worse for all.  The system we have had for years works well.  The footy record might not present the value it used to be but there are also countless smartphone apps available that will provide a guide to players names and numbers.

As for the state of the game debate – this column kicked off that discussion last week!  I did appreciate the dripping irony of Get Stuffed Lyon lamenting the “the saddle’s back.” People are being jumped on the ground. Being ridden and jumped on by two or three, and the ball can’t get out.

Finally the Blues have to get a mention.  No, No, No and No!  Perhaps Chris Judd was ready to play and the hamstring would have gone no matter how match fit he was, but would he have played if the Blues were 4-0?  Comparing to the second guessing of the Hawks who chose to sacrifice Kyle Cheney rather risk Brian Lake – the Cats may have won that battle but will it pay back for Hawthorn later?  Once again mixed messages from Princes Park, but thankfully one on the board now!

 

Last week saw the Swans, Saints and Hawks upset this applecart although as suggested the Cats at $2.50 was always good value.  This week there are a few delectable choices before the what should be a sweet dessert with Port and Geelong closing out the weekend.

 

Ghost Busters ($1.60) vs Recovery Session ($2.60)

Will the broadside fired by Bomber to the Bombers on their professionalism have an effect and will it be enough to combat the Pie machine who once again destroyed  the mythical Shinboner Spirit?  On form it is hard to see it happening, but there is no doubt the best of the Bombers is good enough.  I am expecting them to bounce back and really take it up to Collingwood and do enough to prevail, which make the current odds pretty appealing.  On the other hand if the broadside fails – the Pies could win by panels!

 

The Boots ($1.43) vs The Perfect Storm ($3.25)

St Kilda move beyond Seaford to Wellington to face battling Brisbane.  St Kilda’s effort last week against Essendon was outstanding and as much as their youth is shining they also gave the ultimate solution with Reiwoldt who is in outstanding form.  The perfect storm has formed around Brisbane they have a tough draw and now have been smashed by injury, although there is also a question about whether they have a game style that can be competitive.  Brisbane will need a huge turn in form to win this, by the same token this would be a game they believe they can win.  If Leppa releases the shackles then I can see an upset which provides value, but on form I have to pick the Wellington Boots.

 

Ride ‘em Cowboy ($1.28) vs Spirit Got Lost ($4.20)

Get Stuffed Lyon saddles up his charges to lasso the Kangas and tie them up in the confines of Subiaco.  A task that has not proved difficult with North Melbourne only registering one win there since 2007.  Freo to win.

 

Old Hands ($1.23) vs New Kids on the Block ($5.00)

The clash of the future titans with the experience of the Gold Coast hosting the new and brash Giants.  Whilst I grant the home ground and the Ablett-vantage the odds are too far apart.  If their mummy returns and Ward is OK, the Giants will be a real challenge around the stoppages and their big forwards could be a handful.  However the Suns are tough opponents at The Mansion and should prove too experienced.

 

No, No, No…..No ($2.20) vs Emus ($1.75)

Carlton finally got on the board with a style more akin to Mick’s predecessor; across the country the Eagles look more like their flightless relatives as they continued to splutter along, but they were up against a pretty hot team in Port.  Whilst Judd took the column inches, of as much concern is the injury to Ed Curnow who has not only been an effective stopper but collected plenty of footy.  But the opposition have their share of concerns losing Darren Glass amazingly suspended for only one week and the form of some of their forwards.  I lament that the Blues defence has been pretty good at playing forwards into form of late.  Again going for the Blues through loyalty as much as anything, but this is closer to a flip of the coin game than the current odds suggest.

 

The Witchhunt ($8.20) vs The Car Crash ($1.12)

With the inclusion of Salem are the Dees looking for extra help, or did they already receive with Buddy’s antics during the week?  His show got rolling last week and the Swans were revived, was it long term or a backs to the wall response?  No matter what a defeat of Freo is a worthy win.  How disruptive Buddy’s road transgression is will be some concern, but not too much that that they can’t overcome the Demons.  Despite Paul Roos inside knowledge it won’t quite be enough.

 

Dog Day Afternoon ($2.30) vs St Henri ($1.72)

In the words of Michael Holding the Crows have been “drowning in honey” with successive big wins over lowly ranked opposition, not worthy of popping a Grange but getting closer.  They are a team on a roll that is very difficult to stop and more so when Dangerfield is barnstorming his way around the ground.  I suspect though that Brendan McArtney will have Dogs primed to ensure that does not happen especially after last week where his charges did not play with the accountability he expects.  Adelaide have not defeated Footscray in the Lounge room for over 10 years and have only done it once – I am tipping that record will not improve as the Dogs respond.

 

Dimmed? ($5.10) vs Winged ($1.22)

Lots of discussion about Damian Hardwick – all I think he has done wrong is overrate his list.  Plenty of other clubs are guilty of that!   But the Hawks after being winged last week face their nemesis over the last two years.  But coming off a loss I don’t think they will give the Tiges a look in and re-assert themselves.

 

It ain’t Boak ($2.14) vs Purring Along ($1.85)

Not are Port not broke they are proving last year was not built on surprise but a team of talent and grit, they face their biggest test of the year against the undefeated Cats.  With all the discussion of the quality of play, these two teams play the brand of footy that we aspire to watch and a shame that it is confined to the twilight shift and subscriber television!  It should be a cracking game and I reckon the home team has been looking forward to this contest all year and is primed to win.  As great as the Cats were last week, I am concerned that Clarkson might have kept a few bullet in the barrel – I doubt that Hinkley will do the same and they will throw everything at the Cats.  Whilst it is dangerous to go against the hooped machine, I am tipping Port to make another loud statement to the competition on Sunday night.

 

The Carnival is Over

The final weekend of the Sydney carnival is the beginning of a couple of major days in Adelaide.  I find it intriguing that we have the Australasian Oaks at Morphettville a week after the Australian Oaks at Randwick and they both have Group 1 status – as good a field as the Adelaide event is the field is a level below last week’s  But onto the pontification.

 

Randwick

 

The babies stretch out to a mile for the Champagne Stakes (G1, 1600m, 2YO) and it presents a couple of well-credentialed fillies in Peggy Jean (6) and Veuvelicious (8) and both must be hot chances for this event.  But I am sticking with Kumaon (4) to take the bubbles and give the Sheikh clan a great send from the Snowden clan.  The other runners of interest are the SA visitor in Go Indy Go (9), the VRC Sires winner Zululand (2) and Bachman (3).  A quality race!

Selections Randwick Race 5 – 4-8-6-3

 

The All-Aged Stakes (G1, 1400m, WFA) closes out the Sydney Group one races with the collision of sprinters the milers over 7 furlongs.  Atlante (9) was Murray Baker’s new hope but didn’t get to the 3yo classics, has been freshened up and makes an interesting runner here.  Looking for others who have won over the journey points me toward Steps In Time (6), Weary (4) and Rebel Dane (1).  Would almost have Shamexpress (3) on top, but 3 efforts over 1400m have not yielded a place even though his pattern would seem to suit the extra distance.

Selections Randwick Race 6 – 9-4-6-1

 

Morphettville

 

The Australasian Oaks (G1, 2000m 3yo Fillies) give a couple of the lesser lights to get some value into their future progeny.  Plenty of Victorian raiders and Scratchy Bottom (6) has a suitable racing pattern to win over the distance.  May’s Dream (1) was well fancied in the VRC Oaks so must be a contender here as are Star Fashion (4) and Quayside (8).

Selections Morphettville Race 6 – 6-1-4-8

 

The girls follow up for the Sportingbet Classic (G1, 1200m, F&M WFA) – this one does get a crack field.  Shamal Wind (3) gets a crack at a G1, plenty of pace but only small mare so challenged as she heads up the weight scale.  Plenty of question marks but can win.  Platelet (1) and Driefontein (2) quinellad the lead up race and will be prominent, A Time for Julia (4) must be respected and Villa Verde (11) at odds pulled off a big win for AJ Cummings in Sydney.  Her odds look a bit short for AJC here!  The other filly Gregers (12) is very quick also.

Selections Morphettville Race 7 – 3-11-1-2

 

Go Blues, Go Friars,

Lest we forget,

 

Cheers, Sal

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