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Round 6: Sal’s preview

Greetings All,


Not much fodder for discussion this week apart from the Alex Rance brain fade and subsequent penalty.  Some debate about whether the MRP got it right or wrong, but there is no dispute that Mick Malthouse got it wrong in saying he should have been let off with a warning.  Methinks just another Malthouse statement to make sure he is in the headlines.  The real talking point for the week or season for that matter is the number of teams playing above or below expectations.  At the top of the table The Roos are flying albeit with a pretty cushy draw, but you can only beat who they put in front of you.  Apart from the Bullies this week it does not get too tough for a few weeks.  Then the Bulldogs themselves are not doing too badly just failing their test against the Hawks – the fear of them being found out seems to have waned but their injuries may take a toll.


We should not really be surprised by plight of the Giants they have formidable young talent well blended with experienced recruits, the Hawthorn test will be a beauty this week.  The Suns are a different story for mine and the last two weeks paint the real picture after three easy opening contests.  Melbourne fans and even players need to understand they are only 10th on the ladder – but it is a pretty impressive 10th – importantly even under Roos they are playing a very exciting brand of footy to watch.


On the other side we have the fall aways.  Port Adelaide were expected to become competitive again, but we have seen nothing like competitive.  Ryder is being missed but there is much more to it.  After being 11-1 in 2014 the win-loss record since indicates that they are a middle of the road team at best with a 20-21 record since then – so maybe they have not really fallen away!  This column has discussed the Tigers in some depth and it appears that they may have reached their nadir with this group, all not lost as they faced similar predicaments in the last two years.  However even if they do turn it around can they progress in the finals?  The Pies look back on track but a win over the Bombers is good for confidence but not really a true gauge.  Then there is the Fremantle, have been dealt some horror blows with injury but just too many limited players that can’t take up the slack.


So how will they all fair this week?


The Breakaway ($1.90) vs The Chaser ($2.10)


What fortuitous scheduling by Simon Lethlean to finish with 1st vs 2nd on a Friday night.  The Roos and the Dogs deserve top billing.  Footscray will be without another talented player with the injury to Matt Suckling – North are not the team to come up against when you’re missing key personnel.  The Dogs are generally vertically challenged down back and how they plan to counter the Brown-Petrie-Waite combination will be interesting.  The Kangas defence still leaks like a sieve so we can expect a shoot-out.  North have come up trumps in every contest so far and I think their big forwards can get them home again.


The Convenience Store ($1.85) vs Four Jacks (2.16)


The Demons can certainly thank heaven for 7-11.  Jack Viney and Max Gawn could be the quinella for the most improved players in the competition, the fact that they do it at the coalface is even better for the Dees.  They have done everything required in the last two weeks, but the jury is out on their opposition.  I was asked recently whether the Saints or Dees are in a better position, I’d prefer a hand with four Jacks (Steven, Billings, Sinclair Newnes) over a pair (Watts and Viney) but we are playing footy!  Face value says the Demons are better placed, whilst the Saints have had a tougher schedule. Structurally Melbourne look superior although Carlisle in 2017 will certainly help St Kilda.  Not sure if either of them will be runners up to GWS next year.  Against the Demons this week is their terrible record both against St Kilda and in the Loungeroom. Last victory over the Saints was the 2006 Elimination Final and finally broke the hoodoo in the Loungeroom in a meaningless final round game against GWS last year. I do expect the Demons to get up this week despite the curses of the opponents and the venue.  Good luck to Friar Christian Petracca on his debut.


Outback Eddie ($1.10) vs Fre-falling ($9.80)


Eddie showed early against the Hawks why he is so dangerous, got them out the back thrice early.   But it went a bit awry after that with Eddie only getting another 7 possessions for the rest of the match, if Adelaide are to contend then he will have to get even better against the best teams.  He should not have too many issues this week against the free falling Dockers.  They have lost key players and the sight of Nat Fyfe limping off with a leg fracture is the last thing they could afford.  No confidence and no leaders at the moment.  Watching Pav being beaten by Rowe would indicate he might have chosen the wrong option and the end of last season, but who else can play forward?  Getting Mundy back will help, but I doubt the duck will be broken this week.


2017 Premiers ($2.02) vs Three-peaters ($1.88)


What a great test for the Giants up against the reigning premiers.  The Hawks got away with another one with great help from their small forwards, they need to help cause their big forwards don’t quite look ready at the moment.  Suspect Roughy might help later in the season.  The Hawks will either turn the corner and blow the upstarts away or they will find a game where they cannot cover their deficiencies.  I am suspecting the latter this week.  GWS are working well together and with Mumford ruling the skies I can see a scenario where the Hawk midfield struggles to keep up, especially now without Langford and Hartung.  They did it last year and reckon they can repeat the dose.


Well Managed ($1.12) vs Two Metre Peter ($9.20)


Gold Coast might not have got the chocolates against the leaders, but “Two Metre” Peter Wright returned with 3 goals and 8 grabs in an encouraging performance.  They will need him again this week at the Cattery where Geelong can rest players at will such is the health of their list right now.  Geelong at Geelong has been a pretty easy selection for a while now.


Rance Id ($1.40) vs Lobbed Out ($3.35)


This could be like a car crash and just impossible to look away from!  Both the Tigers and Power have big outs – Rance’s plight is well publicised but Port have lost Robbie Gray and Chad Wingard to injury plus Jackson Trengrove to suspension.  The Tigers have reacted to Port dropping Lobbe by bringing in an extra ruckman in Hampson and they have selected Delidio again (maybe he’ll play).  Was selecting Port all week until seeing the teams, just don’t think they have the cattle without Gray and Wingard so Tigers to win.  By the same token I can’t have Richmond at under $1.50, so anything better than $3 is worth a look at for Power fans.


KoTJ ($5.80) vs Allo Allo to Aliir Aliir ($1.19)


The Kings of the Jungle return to the Gabbatoir but they face a tough opponent in Sydney who have named a couple of newbies including Aliir Aliir being the second player to grace the field from Sudan.  Another great story for the game.  Brisbane will be better at home but won’t be good enough to stop Sydney recording another victory.


Mediocrity ($1.42) vs Hooked ($3.25)


The Bombers needed some good news after Monday and got it in the form of Cale Hooker’s signature, but that will be little value against the now mediocre Blues.  Michael Gleeson in The Age described the Blues climb to mediocrity by the numbers.  He described the move to a team defence, indicating Mick Malthouse was forced to use a man-on-man defence due to personnel.  Blimey will the media just call Mick for what he was at Carlton – a very poor coach who failed to have the team play as one.  Even if the personnel is not up to it, you still need to employ tactics and strategies of the current day.  He did not fail to do that because of personnel but through his own stubbornness and protection of his own records and status.  Anyway the Blues did get on the board in a high pressure shocker at Freo, which will give them plenty of confidence.  However, they will face an Essendon outfit keen to atone for the poor showing on ANZAC day.  Just gotta go with the Blues in what should just about be a flip of the coin game – so the odds for the Bombers are very juicy.


Home Boys ($1.12) vs Chevy to the Levee ($7.60)


Well the American Pie certainly made his presence felt booting the opening goal on ANZAC day and showing some affinity for the game – but the opposition does need to be taken into account.  They take on the Eagles who are fast developing an unwanted record of not having won away from home July last year – notably against Collingwood.  Back on the home deck they should record their 3rd in a row over the Pies.


Friar Time


A win on the board over Prahran last week in was a very entertaining affair.  This week the seniors travel out to Keilor to take on PEGS – they have a 2-1 record so will be a formidable foe and excellent test.  The Under 19s recorded a tough win over Old Trinity and head down to Brindisi St to take on the rampant St Bedes/Mentone.  Anyone interested in the pre-game luncheon next week at Friars let me know.  It will be a year since Noel Kierce died and we will also be fundraising for the Pat Cronin Foundation.


Go Blues, Go Hammers, Go Friars



  1. John Butler says

    Sal, absolutely on the money re Mr Malthouse.

    Fingers crossed for Sunday.

  2. Sal, along with JB I second your motion re Malthouse at Carlton:
    a dinosaur who could not adapt to the modern game.
    His special comments on SEN are at times laughable.

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