Round 8 Preview – Juddy Kicks a few goals – but misses a point

 

Greetings All,

 

When the great man writes (or does anything) I pay attention!  Chris Judd’s article in The Age (20/5/2015) http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/illicit-drugs-we-need-the-questions-before-the-answer-20150519-gh5268.html covers some critical issues and questions on what should be most important to the AFL.  The discussion on what is worse for the players the use of illicit drugs or problem gambling is an interesting one, as an observer from the inside he would have a better understanding than most about what issues are affecting players’ lives.  His view that if all the players are to be tested then why not the rest of the football industry, particularly the AFL and club employees is fair enough also.  In fact such is my admiration for the man I agree with almost everything.

The point he misses pertains to both the issues he raises excessive gambling and the use of illegal drugs.  His opening salvo of “I would describe the AFL’s core business as running a fair competition” I think is correct – and they should take a good hard look at it when producing the FIXture!  To run a fair competition it must be free from external influences that may compromise the competition.  Which is exactly why the Essendon case should go to its absolute conclusion with key witnesses subpoenaed.  Where players are dabbling in illegal substances or carrying gambling debts they are probably also in contact with species that lurk among the nether regions of society.  Once they are compromised with either of these vices and combined with dubious alliances, they become open to all sorts of skulduggery and in particular match fixing.  About the $50K you owe John the Bookie – look just don’t get the footy for the whole second quarter and we’ll call it square.  So you don’t want the club to know what you’ve been taking or get one of those strikey things – well how about you “do” your hammy during the 3rd quarter.

A bit far-fetched really isn’t it!  So was bowling a no-ball 3rd ball of your 6th over when I first heard about it.  Overall I think the great man is right and our expectations on footballers can be unfair, the AFL needs to completely consider its position on ILLEGAL substances.  But competition integrity has to be its prime consideration, keeping players out of the clasps of the netherworld is equally critical.

Gee I’m glad he wrote that, cause otherwise I was going to tee off on the Blues AGAIN!  Well they are there and I have the bat.  Mick is a student of war – I think he might have even helped Sun Tzu write the book.  He espoused the strategy of not gifting games to young players – sorry Mick that sounds more like a tactic to me!  The issue is that the strategy of the coach and that of the club are misaligned and I suspect that tactic is part of the coaches strategy.  That is of course under the assumption that the club has one, Mick’s aim is to survive but I reckon his strategy is all wrong.

He remains at the club purely through fear.  The Blues have disposed of many coaches on performance over time, but not that many were the wrong decision.  Brett Ratten was the most notable error in my opinion, interestingly he suffered his fate due to the perfect execution of a strategy by Mick Malthouse.  I am not sure Ratts was the right man, but his final season was obliterated by injury.  This board is fearful of what the media will say and what the payout will be.  The payout will be insignificant compared to the losses by playing in front of an ever-diminishing crowd.

Last week saw the favourites put it on the board till the jungle cats produced, with the Tigers over Collingwood and the Lions snatching their prey at the Gabbatoir.  This week see another set of seemingly one sided encounters with all underdogs bar Sydney and Adelaide at better than $3.

 

Hooplas ($1.24) vs Channel 7s Nightmare ($4.90)

Another pair of nightmares for the host broadcaster coming up!  The Cats will welcome back Tomahawk, Mackie and Kelly, the Blues will look slightly better but still missing Jamison and Henderson hurts any already poor structure.  Watching Sam Rowe trying to match it with Cameron was like watching a car crash, you shouldn’t but you can’t take your eyes off it.  Could start another tirade, but will just leave it with a Geelong victory despite the Blues getting a couple of fair ones back.

(Note: You can get $2 on the Cats at Ladbrokes)

 

Nicked Off ($5.50) vs The Real Deal? ($1.22)

The Saints lose Riewoldt while the Eagles continue to impress.  They sit second and do have one good scalp – if they are any good they should win this.  What should not be forgotten is they are missing some key personnel in McKenzie and Darling and seem to have covered them beautifully, harder tests to come later but you can only beat the opposition in front of you.

 

Beat the Blues! ($1.54) vs  Adelaide ($2.76)

Pulllllleeeeease!  As good as the Giants looked all they beat was Carlton!  As this scribe has suggested the only way to judge a player or team is how they perform against the best.  The week before against Hawthorn is much more important, they did get them at the right time but they close the deal.  The Crows looked world beaters but seem to have come back to the field, a win over Giants will lift them a bit.  The Giants won the last two games mainly because of their giant in Mumford, neither the Hawks or Blues could control his influence.  In Jacobs he has a formidable opponent, but the Adelaide midfield will also need to put the clamps on the fleet of GWS midfielders.  Form says the Giants, but last week they won a Benchmark 58 at Manangatang – the Crows will present a sterner test and I reckon they will prevail so happy to see better than $2.50 available.

 

Northern Lack of Exposure ($3.50) vs Free the Cloke ($1.35)

Oh cry me a river Bucks, Cloke is treated no differently to most of the other big forwards in the league.  I’d be slightly more concerned that you have to keep picking Jesse White!  It should not matter this week up against the Suns have the good fortune not being based in Melbourne!

 

Dawes Slammed ($1.55) vs It Matters ($2.76)

I wonder if Chris Dawes wandered into the coaches den after the with a “Sorry about that, Chief” or “I hope I wasn’t outta line with Hawks vulnerable comment”.  Hawthorn reacted as expected to the Giants loss, but it proved little.  This week will prove something as they try and enforce their superiority over Sydney after the Grand Final mauling.  While the teams are playing down the “replay” aspects, it is really important for Sydney to ensure the Hawks do not pummel them again.  If they do a pattern might set in and the psychology of the dominance can take over.  The return of Lewis is important and I would declare the Hawks if Hodge was in.  Still reckon they will win, but expect a close one so I don’t mind the Swans at anything over $2.50.

 

Trip the Fyfe Fantastic ($1.21) vs Mr Brown is Down ($5.40)

We are more comfortable that the Unfair Advantage can still win the Brownlow by 77 votes after copping a fine, but Get Stuffed Lyon sook about the surface deserved a suspension.  The Unfair Advantage and his mates take on North who I suspect will succumb again to superior opposition.  It should be noted the Kangas won both games at Subi last year.  Hansen back is important for them, but losing Ben Brown hurts at the other end.  Freo in this one.

 

The Darkness ($1.28) vs Blackout ($4.30)

The symbolism of the Bombers running onto the ground in the dark is too great just for a preview – so I will allow your own minds to conjure your thoughts.  This week they take on Brisbane who shut the Power down last week, which really left questions of both clubs.  But the Lions are now starting to win more contested footy and despite not having a great structure up front they can still kick a winning score with enough supply.  Essendon’s performance against North was meritorious but quite good enough.  They should be favourites here and are solid, but I reckon the Lions are on a roll and this might be the upset.

 

Watts the Story ($3.20) vs Dogs ($1.43)

Or this one!  The Jack Watts scenario is a blight on Roos – the coach needs to control the situation and not the player.  My greatest fear is Jack joining Liam Jones on the Blues forward line!  But Roos has instilled some ticker and Melbourne will respond to last week with a vengeance.  Their opponents almost pulled another miracle – Luke Beveridge wanders that fine line between genius and insanity.  What would have the reaction been if they did beat Freo with no ruckmen?  Dogs to win, but a better Melbourne this week and should be about $3.

 

Wines Shortage ($1.34) vs De Lids Off ($3.70)

Port handled their first week without Ollie very well, but they have struggled since.  It is not quite that simple, but they have lost their edge and need to find something this week.  Meanwhile Richmond will be keen to atone for their embarrassment in the Elimination Final last year, having Deledio back makes them a much more talented team.  I am expecting Port to hit back with something, however if they don’t then alarm bells will be pealing at Alberton.  Port to win, but Tiges could upset and should be about $3.30.

 

Friar Time

A goalfest last week against Yarra Valley and being on the positive side was a great result.  The Under 19s though succumbed to Caulfield Grammarians.  The week the seniors front up to the undefeated Kew at Victoria Park (High St) – a great test.  The Under 19s get their chance for redemption against Marcellin at Friar Park.

 

Go Friars, Go Blues,

Cheers, Sal

 

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Comments

  1. Good to seeing you hitting out Sal. I’m with you and Judd 100%. The AFL have the superficial public morality of an alley cat. Don’t get between them and a dollar bill.
    CJudd for PM (or playing coach???)
    Ch7 have picked up new sponsors for Friday Night Footy – Greater Union Cinemas and Pizza Hut. Love the tagline “YOU KNOW WHERE YOU”D RATHER BE”.
    Keep punching Sal.

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