Round 8 Preview – The Man in White in Always Right

Greetings All,


In amateur footy last week, the Friars-Old Paradians reserves match was umpired by 17-year-old lads supplied by each of the clubs, that was followed by the senior match adjudicated by another pair of young umpires one of them officiating in his first senior match.   Like every game not everything was perfect, but they all did a fine job and received encouragement for their efforts after the game.  Getting young people (or in fact anyone) into umpiring is critical for the game at all levels.


So how unedifying it was to listen to an Adelaide media type indicate that the Crows complaints about last week’s umpiring had to be done to pacify their members.  How and whether they take up their grievances using official protocols is for them to decide, but airing it all for the public does nothing for the game or the encouragement of people to take up a role most critical in the game.  There is more than enough media and statistical scrutiny that will take place in every game, the clubs do not need to raise any concerns publicly with umpiring it will be taken care of.  Luke Beveridge’s “disgusting” was strong criticism of the Crows.  He gets “it”, having built his coaching career through the ranks of grass roots footy and understanding the challenges for the game at every level and not just for the chardonnay set.


There are nine games for adjudication this week and I sure hope everyone followed my selections last week and reaped the rewards in your tipping competitions for picking the card!  I’d be wary this week it doesn’t happen often!


No Danger ($1.96) vs Dangerous (2.02)

Of more concern for Adelaide should be their contested footy and clearance work where the Dogs smashed them, 23-8 just for centre clearances which are so critical in the Loungeroom.  It doesn’t help them this week up with Dangerfield on the other team and along with Selwood and the rest of the purring Cat midfield.  Back at Adelaide Oval helps while Geelong will want to reinforce their credentials on the road.  This game could determine a finals berth for Adelaide so I am selecting them in a genuine flip of the coin game.


Blues Brothers ($14.00) vs On Song ($1.07)

The Bombers are slowly but surely “getting the band back together” with more commitments this week from Myers and Heppell and promising signs from Jobe.  Whether that is all the best for the club is a matter of conjecture and time.  The remnants face the perfectly in tune Kangaroos who will extend their undefeated run despite the loss of Shaun Higgins.


Launceston ($1.10) vs Frebuilding ($9.80)

Slowly Get Stuffed Lyon is bringing new blood into the team, but a baptism of fire having to face Hawthorn at their Northern Tasmanian fortress.  He conceded this game long ago when it was planned Pav would have a break this game right at the start of the season, I think he was right!


Parramatta ($1.08) vs Rocket to the Sun ($13.00)

The last two weeks have been terrible for the Suns, with second half capitulations.  It is a challenge for a new club, that has little history and not many supporters.  There is little for the players to draw on when the chips are down.  Not to say that it doesn’t happen at other clubs, but they seem to have more to fight for – just consider Essendon’s effort levels this year.  The loss of May and Thompson really hurts them.  The same could happen to the Giants, but not at this stage with all their talent firing and will be too good in the battle of the newbies!


Gabba Gladiators ($1.70) vs Swan Dive ($2.26)

Brisbane have developed a split personality with vigorous performances at home, but really struggling away.  Mind you their away fixtures have been tough assignments.  They host the bedraggled Pies whose coach has the spotlight set squarely on him despite the president’s effort to deflect it earlier in the week, he was not assisted by his former mentor who had to get himself another headline this week.  Just shut up Mick!  Bucks’ coaching does warrant inspection, but he has been dealt a shocking hand this year with injuries.  None more so than the loss of Dane Swan, he is that missing leader that has dragged the team up over the line in so many close games.  The longer term issue for the club is “who will take that role when he is done?”.  Their backs are to the wall, their Gabba record is good, Adams and Varcoe are good ins, I reckon the Pies might get this one.


Finals Bound ($4.50) vs Tiger Prey ($1.27)

Will this be the game that launches the Tigers towards that elusive finals win?  They certainly have a fair record against the Swans.  But Dimma’s assertion that they can play finals is almost comedic.  Even if he is correct they cannot win a flag with his current troupe.  As an opposition supporter I am with him, the Tiges don’t need a rebuild.  Rance back will help this week, he has certainly been important against the Swans.  But I reckon Sydney are spreading the load better this year and will find a way to outscore the delusional coach’s side.


The Other 4-peat ($2.56) vs The Measuring Stick ($1.60)

The Blues and Hawks are similar both chasing four in a row – it is just the scale that differs!  ‘twas in the heady (and ultimately delusional) days of 2011 when the Blues last saluted in four successive matches.  Win-Loss was good but the club did not assess who they could not beat to really understand where they were – a bit like another club this year!  They take on Port who have been very compliant this year beating who they should and surrendering to their superiors.  Based on that they should beat the Blues and I am concerned that four on the trot is heady territory.  But the satchel slingers are providing good value for the Blues at $2.40 or better and I reckon they can balance the books and go 4-4.


Melbourne ($2.92) vs Out and About ($1.51)

I doubt this match would have been as keenly anticipated at the start of the year, but what a beauty it shapes as.  The Demons and Dogs both play an exciting and watchable brand of footy, what will we be served up?  The Dogs have faced plenty of challenges, this week they venture into the wilderness of the MCG and without another key in Marcus Adams.  The Demons towelled them in the exact same fixture last year, they don’t play here often and their record is average at best.  Melbourne are prone to shockers – anyone will beat them on those days.  But I reckon they will be up for this one and Max Gawn and his merry men can salute.


Home Boys ($1.17) vs 2-5ers ($6.80)

St Kilda would have to be the best 2-5 team in history, they have played so well with a really tough draw.  For their sake I hope they can salute when the tasks become easier.  But they don’t this week against the Eagles back in their comfort zone.  Heard some commentary this week on Lewis Jetta’s lack of defensive efforts – surely someone watched him when Sydney was losing.  Eagles to keep their home record safe.



Watched the Hammers play their last game at the Boleyn Ground home for over 100 years.  What a spectacle enhanced by the result 3-2 over ManU.  This weekend sees the traditional last round with all games on at same time with European competition places up for grabs despite the championship and relegation spots all being wrapped up.  Just think if we had the top 4, top 8 and number 1 draft pick all coming down to 9 games all at the same time – what theatre!


Friar Time

A shoot out at Friar Park saw the Friars salute over Old Paradians in a game that the fans would have loved but coaches hated!  The Under 19’s got over a poor start to head Caulfield Grammarians but were ultimately overrun.  This the senior teams head to shoot out park where Old Mentonians have been kicking big scores while the Under 19s head to Fitzroy.


Go Friars, Go Hammers, Go Blues


Cheers, Sal




  1. Respectfully disagree about the umpiring issue Sal. I thought the Crows were very measured in their response. There may have been one or two over the top media commentators, but that is mild compared to the rabid Melbourne media.
    The umpiring coaches have some work to do, to stop umpires pavlovian reach for the whistle every time a (mostly) Victorian home crowd howls. And the rules committee have created a monster with the “protect the head at all costs” mantra. It needs to be moderated to not pay frees to the “lead with the head” merchants and the “buckle at the knees/twist the shoulders” practitioners (hello Joel) who put the short term advantage of a free about their long term cognitive capacity.
    Your Blues and Port, and my Eagles and Saints are 50:50 games. God give them (and us) strength.

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