Round 9 Preview – Another load of Bull

Greetings All,


Another round of footy sort of pales into insignificance with the news of Jarryd Roughead’s looming battle. Most of will have been affected through friends, family or even personally with cancer which we deal with amongst our own. However, when such popular public figures have to face the battle the broader community gets to focus on the disease. It doesn’t make it any easier, but hopefully that focus will mean more of us are wary of our health and take the right steps to look after ourselves. Wishing Roughy all the best and a complete recovery!


Back to the footy last Sunday I watched Cripps and Wines lock horns in a battle of the young bulls, then zipped across to the G to see Libba up against Viney. We are blessed with a number of these young bulls that will lead their teams into future. So what defines our bulls, from my perspective they are more than clearance specialists but uncompromising contested beasts who love to tackle as much as winning the pill. They are naturals, leaders whose actions demand that their teammates follow.  Viney and Cripps standout as future captains for their clubs and whilst there are many factors that have improved their respective clubs – their influence should not be underestimated.


Then there are the Old Bulls of which the Hawks have plenty, the question being where and who are the developing young bulls to take control from Hodge, Lewis and Mitchell. Clarko might be rebuilding – this area looks a challenge. It is no coincidence that the teams at the top of the ladder have Bulls in their prime. The North engine room has Ziebell and Cunnington to set the tone, Dangerfield and Selwood are proving that two prime bulls can exist in the same paddock and Callan Ward leads the way out towards Rosehill with help from the biggest bull of all in Mumford.


Then there are a couple of clubs that seem to have no bull. Brisbane without Tom Rockliff are lacking and their conquerors from last week Collingwood are missing that really hard-nosed midfielder despite the efforts of Treloar and Pendlebury – maybe the return of Taylor Adams might make a difference. Gold Coast are completely dependent on the little champ; someone needs to step up. The Bombers really need Watson to return and Freo without the classiest bull of all in Fyfe are a shadow of their previous selves. The Eagles are an interesting case – Priddis plays the role – but someone else needs to help him out. Mind you they all strut like bulls at Subi! Sydney look like they have a few in Hannebery, Parker and Kennedy but last week’s efforts made it seem that in the clinches Josh Kennedy leads the pack.


Then again it might just be a load of bull, a bit like my selections last week. This week sees a few more bulls take each other on.


Luke Hodge ($1.65) v Josh Kennedy ($2.48)

A really tough week for the Hawks but they all support each other and there is no reason to think they will not be ready for this. Sydney, however, need to establish whether or not they can play the MCG. Some question on their coverage over the ground and the wider spaces exposing defenders left mano-e-mano.  Some issues potentially exposed in defence, but last week the game was played on Richmond’s terms and it was Sydney’s poor response to that game plan that really cost them. Let alone not kicking to an unmarked Buddy with less than a minute to go! Sydney must make their mark on the G and reckon they will get up in what should be just about a flip of the coin game.


Adams ($5.60) v Dangerfield ($1.20)

The Pies got their mojo back with a rollicking win over Brisbane but the Cats will present a different problem. Aside from Adams they also saw the return of Varcoe, this week they probably need Coventry, Daicos, Regan, Tuddenham and McKenna to tackle the all-conquering Geelong. The Cats were challenged last week, but they cut out the key Adelaide distributors to record a significant win. I expect the Pies to give some cheek, but not enough.


Ablett ($12.00) v Sloane ($1.08)

Wow how the Suns have set! They lose Ablett and their defensive bull Steven May has a week to go; they have been horrible in his absence. I doubt results would have gone the other way but he does offer some hard-nosed resistance. The Crows will want to come back well from last week, who knows what would have happened if Seedsman kicked the goal? I could not select the Suns in their current form, but they are some chance so that $12 quote is interesting.


Wines ($3.45) v Priddis ($1.40)

A pair of home town hero teams should make this a Port Adelaide victory. However, West Coast actually have a winning record at Adelaide Oval. They also have a healthy list compared to Port who have some key players out although the return of Robbie Gray will help. With fear and trepidation West Coast to win.


Ziebell ($1.23) v Cripps ($5.00)

For the record, the last time the Blues won five on the trot was when they played some of the best footy I have seen from them back in 2000, a 13 game winning streak and Anthony Koutoufides playing at a level unseen before. Alas it did not last – just as I expect the current streak not to last beyond this week. North are tall enough and to lose Kruezer and Casboult will really set some vertical challenges for the Blues. The loss of Wells for North is not insignificant – his brilliance has him seen as the cream for North but puts in plenty of grunt when the need arises. I’d love to but can’t do it this week.  North to go 9-0.


Mundy ($1.91) v Dusty ($2.06)

Freo were in the contest for a while last week, the Tigers stayed in theirs till after the siren! We are just waiting for Freo to make a statement and they have their chance in their own backyard, but they have to be taken on trust. Whilst the Tigers’ trustworthiness is questionable a win over Sydney is certainly noteworthy and they have that habit of getting on a roll. Really tough to choose but going with the Tigers who are getting closer to having their optimal team in.


Viney ($1.20) v Anybody? ($4.80)

The Lions need someone to stand up in the absence of Tom Rockliff, while Viney seems to have plenty willing to help at Melbourne despite getting a lesson in contested footy from the Dogs last week. Will have been good preparation for this and they should win comfortably.


Ward ($1.44) v Liberatore ($3.20)

What a great test for both the Giants and Dogs. Footscray put paid to any concerns about being tied to the Loungeroom with a complete display against Melbourne. The Giants have already disposed of Hawthorn on their home deck and have made it a fortress. They look to have a significant advantage up forward with Cameron, Lobbe and Patton – but Melbourne looked the same and just did not get the supply. I reckon Mummy can sort the supply out that Gawn was not able to deliver last week and provide enough ball for a Giant victory, but blimey the price on the Dogs is luxurious!


Armitage ($1.20) v Please Jobe ($5.60)

The Saints will be looking for redemption after last week’s pummelling and I suspect they will get it; they have bounced back well from poor performances this year. Meanwhile the Bombers are still basking in the glory of last week’s second half!


Friar Time

A massive effort had the Friars within a point of the undefeated Old Mentonians with a couple of minutes to go, but just could not get the ball forward for the decisive goal to get in front. The Under 19s faced up to a handy Fitzroy outfit that established a break that could not be breached. This weekend is a triple treat at Friar Park with the Under 19s taking on Old Melburnians and the senior teams taking on another D1 resident in Old Geelong.


Best Wishes Rough,

Go Blues, Go Friars

Cheers, Sal


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