Round 8 – Sal’s preview: It’s Pie time

Greetings All,


After devoting the lead in to the Blues a couple of weeks ago, the despised enemy get their turn.  Have spoken to a few Pie supporters about their plight – all pretty level headed and describing their wounds as self-inflicted, they are not happy but philosophical about the situation.  The Pies challenges now though are at all levels and once there is acceptance of where the current list is, the on the ground issues are immaterial.  Can’t doubt or question Tony Shaw’s observations of the coaching, Bucks stays in control in the box no matter the situation and at least his public persona is very measured and thoughtful.  He has been in the seat for ten years, a long time for a coach by modern standards but there are a few current coaches with longer tenure.  Some of them on the rebuild path.  On the assumption that he wants to continue the question for the club is whether they think he is the right man for the job.


And that is where the biggest issue lies.  The gaping power vacuum left by Eddie saw the board unable to decide on a president for three months but have eventually done so with Mark Korda.  Ideally that would allow the board to allow the evaluation of coaches and options to be considered as part of the strategic direction.  However the constant jibing and rhetoric from Jeff Browne (well supported by his media buddies) and his desire to join the board to ultimately become president with the possibility of driving an EGM before the January AGM is destabilising and does not give the incumbents clear air to make decisions.


They need to make the decision on Bucks to back him or sack him.  He is a loyal pie and could easily see him transition in a similar manner to Tony Shaw if they decide the latter.  The problem is that this board’s decisions will all be questioned until it is stablised and strong.  As they are enemy – long may it continue!


And there is footy, pretty keen to see the league turn around and give teams on Thursday Night!


A Kick in the Cotch ($1.71) vs Swings ‘n Roundabouts ($2.38)


The Grand Final rematch!  The Tigers second half last week was breathtaking, it was lead from the front by Trent Cotchin who absolutely set the tone for how the game should be played.  He is out this week along with Grimes, but they get a couple of handy ones back in Martin and Vlastuin.  No doubt the Cats need to find something to turn it around – no Dangerfield doesn’t help.  Much hullabaloo over Jeremy’s mark and Joel’s tackle – not much reference to the goal they got despite Bailey’s tackle. Higgins back in the middle cleans them up and is handy while Cameron up forward is a dimension Richmond did not need to address last year.  They are a chance – but still think Richmond simply have too much pace and can exploit the Cats slow defenders.


Ben ($1.84) vs Max ($2.16)


The King Twins face off on the Gold Coast.  Ben’s mob knocked off the Pies at the MCG a terrific effort given the constraints they have with personnel, meanwhile Max and the Saints efficiently disposed of the Hawks with the whipping boy Brad Hill finding form.  At home the Suns should be very competitive, however not sure the part time ruck set up will be good enough to counter the Ryder-Marshall combination so going with the visitors.


Show me the Green Stuff ($1.41) vs The Other Harry ($3.35)


A great boost for the Giant with Toby Greene committing for another two years.  Ridiculous questions to him about wanting the captaincy – Toby would never undermine his teammates.  Little doubt he will be promoted in 2022.  They face the Bombers who were touched up in the shoot out but have plenty of green shoots!  Harrison Jones very impressive against the Blues with strong marking and a great leap.  Would love to know if Mummy is backing up, but think the Giants might have enough to win anyway.


Dad ($3.90) vs Lad ($1.33)


David Noble gets to coach against his son Jon in the battle of the cellar dwellers.  Pundits saying this is must watch – those pundits probably also enjoy watching car crashes!  North have been staying in games for longer and their pace could challenge the Pies.  The torch though has been pretty hot on Collingwood this week, it’s backs to the wall stuff.  That is when they perform and reckon they will release some of the pressure.


Right on Trac’ ($1.34) vs Moore Park Cafe ($3.90)


All things on track for the Dees, Christian Petracca commits long term during the week and their opponents have their key assistant coaches stranded in Sydney due to the COVID outbreak.  The one thing not on track though is the loss of Tomlinson for the season.  Structurally they have options to fill his role with Harrison Petty getting first crack this week – the issue being whether that replacement can match Adam’s output.  Sydney get Buddy back so Harrison will have a serious examination first up, they were terrific against the Cats with Tom Hickey outstanding.  His duel with Max and Jackson should be a ripper.  Swannies will make it tough, but reckon the Dees roll on.


Roadkilled ($1.20) vs Oh for an Eye ($5.80)


Rory Sloane potentially returning for the Crows will make them better, however Port will be smarting after another disappointing effort on the road.  Both teams will be desperate to recover from last week’s results and just think that Port has more capability of a better recovery, not to mention being back in homely Adelaide.


Come Back Kings ($2.66) vs Champs of the West ($1.55)


Take away a couple of stirring come backs from Hawthorn and their performances are in line with the two teams below.  In their favour they seem to have accepted their plight and looking for the way forward.  This week they face West Coast who showed their love for home last week against Freo.  There are always questions about them on the road, they do tend to put away lesser teams on their occasional appearances at the G and should do so again.


Tiger Prey ($1.35) vs Play it again Sam ($3.80)


The Dogs looked the goods for a while against the champs but were simply blasted away in the second half.  Of note was how exposed Cordy and Keath were against Lynch and Reiwoldt.  The Blues have similar ammunition up forward, but not quite at the level or experience of the Tiger pair.  However if they get enough supply Harry will be a handful.  The supply will come from Sam Walsh who was outstanding last week and has been the beacon for the Blues this year.  He will need plenty of mates though as the Dogs will be smarting and they bat much deeper in the midfield and if their defenders are shaky then the Carlton defenders blow the Richter scale.  The Blues need to back up from last week but reckon the Dogs will be fierce and have too many guns through the middle.


Backing Harris ($1.21) vs Runners Up of the West ($4.90)


The COVID swing match could not have occurred any worse for Freo needing to get back on track after the mauling from the Eagles.  They face Brisbane at the Gabba who have found their mojo and have Harris Andrews back doing what he does best.  At the other end Freo lose Luke Ryan making the task of containing Hipwood, Daniher and Cameron that much harder.


Friar Time


Another great and competitive game last week with the Friars 25 point ¾ time lead hauled in by PEGS till a freak goal from the Friars got them home by less than a goal.  The reserves were also challenged before pulling away for the win, while the thirds had a big win over The Animals.  The girls went up a grade and suffered their first loss to Williamstown – always a tough trek!  This week we finally get the Grand Final rematch from 2019 taking on Brunswick at Friar Park for seniors.  In fact it is a quadruple header with the girls hosting Old Melburnians who were promoted with them last week and the thirds up against the Unicorns of MHSOB.


Go Blues, Go Friars,


Cheers, Sal





For more from Sal, click HERE.






The Tigers (Covid) Almanac 2020 will be published in 2021. It will have all the usual features – a game by game account of the Tigers season – and will also include some of the best Almanac writing from the Covid winter.  Pre-order HERE



To return to our Footy Almanac home page click HERE.


Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


Do you enjoy the Almanac concept?

And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help things keep ticking over please consider making your own contribution.


Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE.

One-off financial contribution – CLICK HERE.

Regular financial contribution (monthly EFT) – CLICK HERE.



Leave a Comment