Round 9 – Preview: Head High Heaven

Greetings All,


Trying to keep Malthouse to a minimum – but blaming the media is rubbish.  For the most part they do deserve criticism with their sycophantic approach to the job, but it was Malthouse who played them to manufacture the result he desired.  It was the right result but the work is only just beginning at Carlton

The revamped match review panel though requires scrutiny, Saturday night saw players delivering clear and deliberate shots to the head in off the ball situations and all they get is a $1000 fine and a reprimand.  This will escalate through the year unless the MRP get tougher, being slapped with a piece of wet lettuce is not a sufficient penalty for players who dish out head high cheapies.  I don’t necessarily agree even with the “Love Tap” stuff, it is just not necessary and if you want to prove your tough stick your head over the ball!  Sam Mitchell and Jarryd McVeigh are fortunate to be playing this week, as was Steve Johnson after his low blow.  Swift and decisive delivery of justice will get rid of this behavior.

Then there is Will Minson – no different to Andrew Moore in SANFL.  Astonishing that he has been let off with a reprimand – those sanctions are for inadvertent and careless contact with an umpire.  Will’s contact might have been light, but it was intentional and moved the umpire off his line – a suspension was in order.

But enough there are games to play.


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This week’s Harlem Globetrotters ($1.04) ($2 special) vs Every week’s Washington Generals ($22)

A tough task for John Barker not made much easier with a few key outs.  Expect improvement in the Blues endeavour, but won’t be nearly enough even if the Swans are slightly off.


Dog Catchers ($3.05) vs Shack Dwellers ($1.47)

I have been loath to use the monicker for Port Adelaide since the Kenny Culture kicked in, but not sure where that is for the last few weeks.  Meanwhile the Dees snared the Bulldogs not allowing them to run and recorded a fine win.  They clash in the Alice and on recent form Melbourne must rate – the loss of Ryder and Trengrove doesn’t hurt either.  Port must win this or the spotlight on the will become a laser beam, I suspect they will regroup and win.  Nevertheless on form Melbourne at $3 is worth a look.


Launceston ($1.04) vs Where is that Guy? ($19)

Guy McKenna must be an interested observer of the Suns this year, not too many others will be on Saturday facing the Hawks!


Boyd ($2.60) vs The Griff ($1.60)

The Slater & Gordon relationship paid off at the tribunal and fortunately too as Ayce Cordy looked in need of a rest last week.  Tom Boyd will be keen to impress his old club after a below par performance, meanwhile that club is flying.  The balance of youth and experience they have might look like a Geoffrey Edelsten marriage, but it is working well with some pundits throwing up the P word.  A little premature perhaps, but they are on a roll and on form should roll over Footscray.  We know the Dogs can have their day and are a chance at $2.50.


Tell ‘em they’re dreamin’ ($1.84) vs WADA Nightmare ($2.12)

The Tigers are in a trance after finding redemption for the Elimination Final, meanwhile the Bombers get their escape from WADA with a game of footy every week.  Putting the Lions to sword will give them great confidence.  These teams at their best are pretty closely matched and they are both pretty healthy.  Essendon are good value at better than flip of the coin odds, but the Tigers have proven they can hold their form.  With Delidio up forward stretches most defences and that might get them over the line, however  Essendon will be desperate to win in Dustin Fletcher’s 400th game.  On any measure a great achievement, Bombers to do it.


April Premiers ($3.75) vs October Premiers? ($1.35)


The Media scrum were all over the Crows early, but haven’t heard too many say they might have been wrong!  5-3 sounds OK, but the last couple of wins against lowly ranked opponents – a super test this week against the flag favourites.  Freo have taken all before them so far and I doubt a full strength Adelaide side could match them.  The man with the porn star hair and the porn star name in Rory Sloane is really missed around the contest, important in most games – critical in this one.  The Fabulous Freo Four in Fyfe, Barlow, Mundy and Sutcliffe are dominating like the Brisbane midfield in their Threepeat.  Freo to win, Adelaide might be fair at $4 but very brave to tip against the undefeated leaders.


McStay, McGone ($1.64) vs They’ve got the Jacks ($2.46)

Steven, Billings, Lonie, Newnes and for good measure Sinclair – 5 Jacks is a pretty good hand!  They will need it at the Gabba, the Lions were feisty for a while last week and will enjoy the home paddock a bit more.  The loss of McStay will hurt as he does present well up forward and has talent.  If Brisbane can win enough ball in the middle, they should be able to kick a winning score and are my selection.  Not discounting St Kilda though especially if Bruce and Reiwoldt get on top, I would rate $2.50 as fair value.


He might be in Mrs Marsh ($2.06) vs The Litmus Test ($1.87)

Jonathon Marsh is a chance to be in for the Pies who are looking good at 5-3, but it must be viewed with suspicion.  Not just because it is Collingwood, but who they have beaten.  Aside from Essendon they have defeated the bottom four teams on the ladder and their conquerors thus far would generally be considered in the same “division”.  Playing North comes at a good time, the Roos have long been the litmus club – beating who they should and losing to those above them.  Can the Pies pass this test?  Both forward lines have size over their opponents and Travis Cloke could monster Scott Thompson.  If that occurs the Pies could win, but at the other end North have a wider spread of capable big forwards and they can separate the Pie defence should be able to put a winning score on the board.  North but not by much.


The Western Riddle ($1.46) vs Have Blitzes ($3.05)

The Eagles have defeated 5 of the bottom 6 sides and sit second – is it a false position?  One of the vanquished was Port Adelaide at the Portress and they also beat the 4th placed Giants.  The FTBB tag still sits on them, but a win over Geelong would certainly be considered a meritorious one.  The Cats blew away the Blues, but little should be taken from that game.  Can Jordan Murdoch follow up against tougher opposition?  We should see a bit of brotherly love between the Selwoods.  The ruck matchup of Nic Nat against the Blicavs/Stanley combination will be very interesting.  Does Simpson use Lycett more and have Nic Nat matching roles with Blicavs?  Never mind the concerns on West Coast I suspect their form is actually better and at home they should win, but $3 on the Cats has been good value for many years.


Friar Time

The Seniors allowed Kew a big start and catch up was difficult against a well-drilled outfit, the margin flattered the winners but the Friars never genuinely threatened either.  The Under 19s returned to the winners list with a great win over Marcellin.  This week they kick the dew off Brighton Beach Oval at 9:20 against Old Brighton.  The Senior sides are taking on Old Mentonians at Friar Park in a critical game for both clubs, the Panthers are in 5th place a game ahead but the Friars have superior percentage.  Should be a great day with the 2005 Clubbies team remember their Premiership success.


Go Blues, Go Friars

Cheers, Sal

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  1. John Butler says

    Sal, an astute reading of the Malthouse/media interaction this week.

    I’m hoping the lads come out tonight and have a real crack. That would speak louder than anything else said this week.

  2. David Zampatti says

    Hi Sal – when you say “Sutcliffe” I guess you mean” Neale”. Still, when Matthew Campbell says “Hill” he means “Waters” – and he’s getting paid for it.

    I see Freo will be shown on free-to-air television in Melbourne next week – for the first time this season – because someone in the AFL mistook purple for blue and accidentally put them on Friday night against the Tigers. So you can be forgiven for the mistaken identity.

    Wonder whether people will tune in for a rare glimpse of the 9-0 Dockers (assuming your tip comes good)?

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