Round 6 Preview – The footy is singing but we don’t

Greetings All,

 

We do ANZAC commemorations so well, with utmost respect and honour. Unfortunately the same can’t be said for the footballers and the national anthem, watched three renditions over the weekend and as the cameras panned through the line ups at most a handful of players sang the anthem. This is our national and indigenous game – yet when I watch the Socceroos who played a game imported into the country and historically played here within the migrant minorities they all to a man belt it out. It’s not just the players, we in the stands don’t deliver it with any gusto. The Poms will start belting out God Save Her Maj in the middle of a cricket game, The Star Spangled Banner unites the Yanks in voice, Kiwis sing loud and proud in two languages to defend their Islands. The only national anthem we sing with any gusto is Le Marseillaise when Brisbane win – just not quite the same lyrics! Our club songs are sung with great fervour but why not Advance Australia Fair? Surely we are over the fact it won the selection over Waltzing Matilda back in 1977. So next ANZAC Day or whenever the anthem is to be sung belt it out with pride and, if you have the will, have a crack at the second verse!

As for the footy apart from my team I reckon it has been a much better spectacle this year.  This week has a couple of ripping contests and none better than Friday night!

 

Toby or not Toby ($1.38) vs Top Dogs ($3.55)

 

What a treat for Canberra – a preliminary final rematch at the Honey Pot. The Giants are playing on the edge but some of it is inspired stuff. Toby Greene is a favourite of mine – super competitive, skillful and a really hard worker. He has always played on the edge – it is part of his DNA but some of his actions in the last couple of weeks are really pushing it. How he was let off for a head butt due to insufficient force sends a really poor message not only to Toby but to the rest of the competition about that type of behaviour. It is not something we want to see in the game irrespective of force and that action required a sanction. Toby playing is important against the Premiers but losing another defensive lynch pin in Davis will hurt; by the same token the Dogs have a few of their own injury woes. The midfield duel will be a ripper here and the Dogs at their top can match it, however they are struggling in the ruck without Roughead, Mummy should be able to dominate. Beveridge if nothing else is resourceful and will have a plan to not only negate Mummy, but turn it to his team’s benefit, if he can conjure up the right plan they are a chance. What wins it for Giants though is the forward line; just too much fire power with Cameron, Patton, Lobb in the air and a handy type called Greene working underneath.

 

Back in Business ($1.86) vs Back in the Pack ($2.14)

 

The Hawks are on the board and get to host the Saints in Launceston where they have dominated for a number of years. Their record at the ground since their 2008 premiership is 31 from 36 (86%) including winning the last 19 straight at the venue going back to early 2012. They have been a good team any way – just the York Park free kick makes them great. For comparison their overall record from 2008 is 157 from 219 (72%) and taking out the Launceston games 126 from 183 (69%) – that extra 17% has probably helped get them ladder position and advantage in achieving their great success. So when they say they are doing it for Tassie football we know it is really all about Hawthorn – good luck to them but spare me and the Tasmanian public the bulldust. The Saints could change the record this week especially if they can produce their best, however that seems quite difficult at the moment and they look to be joining the ranks of the also-rans for 2017. We saw Hawthorn’s best last week – skills were up but importantly so was the effort levels and if they can maintain both I have them going at 2-4. York Park might help squeeze them into the eight, but that will be it for mine – unless they can convince the league to play a final there!

 

Under 19s ($4.40) vs If not now, when? ($1.28)

 

John Longmire does not want the Swans to be written off yet and history shows they are a resilient mob. But there are more than a few things amiss at the SCG, the most worrying sign to me is that the “Swans Footy” stoppage driven brand is being coached and umpired out of the game. Stoppage work will always be important but this year it looks like speed is the major factor, the Swans and their opponent in Carlton are both lacking in that department. Debate about whether the Blues should play so many youngsters or put a few of the more mature but limited players into the line up. I have seen this one before having to watch the likes of Mick Martyn, Digby Morrell, Daniel Harford, David Teague and others leading the club into oblivion. Not all the kids will play 200 games – a few will bomb right out – but the Blues need to see them and what they can do sooner rather than later. The immediate results will not be pretty but the club will be better for it, so a bit of set back with this week’s selections. They and the Swans have similar challenges with their age profiles plenty of youngsters – good experienced players – but a big hole in the middle. Nothing a few wins can’t fix though and I suspect this will be the first of them for Sydney, their experienced players are better than Carlton’s and play the key posts – or more simply put they have Buddy.

 

Hip to be Square ($5.30) vs Black Eyed Power ($1.20)

 

Eric Hipwood has continued to impress for the Lions –  a great sign along with the form of their skipper who is more than validating the club’s choice. This week they face the Port who showed no mercy for the Blues last week and I suspect will be attempting a similar rout this week – percentage could be vital in a couple of months from now. Jackson Trengrove looked to further enforce himself off the ground but is wearing the consequences – I did not see the other guy! The Lions though have more resistance than the Blues and at the Gabbatoir will not make it easy, however Port will pack too big a punch for the Lions.

 

Choker Hold ($1.52) vs Surfer’s Paradise ($2.86)

 

The Roos fell over in another tight one as they continue to build their poor record in tight games, but we dare say choker. Sorry the evidence is too great! They take on Gold Coast who have looked OK when they can run and gun and appear well suited against the Roos who have a couple of draught horses through the middle. Those draught horses though still win the pill in particular Ziebell, the Suns will need Ablett to win those centre clearances to establish an advantage. A really intriguing and difficult selection – Gold Coast appear better and quicker, but North have really only been terrible at the end of their games. Sensing that North might get on the board but the satchel swingers have the Suns at an enticing figure.

 

G’d up and out ($1.40) vs Enter Sandman ($3.20)

 

The MCG caused nightmares for the Eagles, but they will feel much better in their own house. The problem is they share the house with Freo who will be celebrating Aaron Sandilands’ 250th game, he has struck form and is presenting nightmares for opposition ruckmen and coaches alike. The Eagles rucks were torched by Ben McEvoy last week how will they cope with Herman? Freo will miss the pace and skill of Stephen Hill which makes this tough to pick. The Eagles need to win this to stay ahead of the ledger – if Mitchell is fit they can win, otherwise they are off to Never Never Land.

 

Go Joe Go ($1.86) vs Ruckman Wanted ($2.10)

 

Taking nothing away from the Tigers again they beat what was presented, but the Demons had been exorcised by ¾ time with two on the bench and Jack Watts burnt out from ruck duties. They get the recalcitrant Jordan Lewis back, but lose Jesse Hogan in sad circumstances with the passing of his father. They need to be creative with their ruck set up or I just can’t see them winning this one either. The Bombers are buoyant after the ANZAC Day victory and will look to exploit that known weakness, in Joe Daniher they have a pretty handy type to do so. What a player he could be! Unless there is some magic from the Demons – this one will go to the Bombers.

 

Hawaii ($1.29) vs Eddie’s Scissorhand ($4.30)

 

The president has been in full cry this week – stoutly defending his coach, his team and his club! And so he should – he has his hands in the mess that is currently Collingwood. The Pies have more talent than they are showing, but somewhere along the line questions need to be answered about their recruiting (and disposal) strategy. Loading up the midfield is important but it has been done at the expense of key structural personnel. Analysis of the issue is long and arduous, but suffice to say it appears they have got it wrong and what’s more overestimated their capability this year (not the first club to do that!). As well as Daniel Wells played on Tuesday I doubt he will get them to the promised land. The Pies will come out firing on Sunday against the Five-0 Cats, they needed a scalp to certify their credentials for a number of pundits (including this one). They did that with aplomb and some hefty assistance from Joel Selwood. The Pies will no doubt bring a huge contest, but the Cats are purring and should be too strong.

 

Bring out the Dom! ($1.23) vs All Aboard ($5.10)

 

Gee what a clash to wait for on Sunday! Crow fans are splurging on the finest bubbles while the Tiger bandwagon is chock ‘o block. Like the Cats the Tigers needed the win for legitimacy and even though they got it the final quarter was up against witches hats, a harsh assessment but they have their chance this week to really prove themselves. It will be a genuine test for the midfield up against Sloane, Crouch and a pretty handy ruckman in Jacobs. Some questions over the fitness of key personnel at Adelaide, but if Talia and Jenkins are ready and get up I think their Adelaide Oval advantage will be too good for the Tigers.

 

Amateur Hour

 

The Under 19s got the club on the board with strong win, however the seniors could not bridge the gap opened by Therry early but showed good signs.  This week sees another triple header but this time away from home at Ruthven Oval against Preston Bullants.

 

Go Blues, Go Friars

Cheers Sal

 

 

 

 

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