Round 9 – Sal’s Preview: Taking a good hard look at themselves

Greetings All,


The AFL needs to take a lesson from itself.  The penalties meted out to the buffoons brawling in the stands were effective in two ways.  A deserved punishment for unacceptable behaviour at the footy (or anywhere else for that matter) and a deterrent for other imbeciles who might try and take on the crowd.  Some discussion about whether this behaviour has become more prevalent.  With the advent of video cameras in every hand there is not much you can get away with, so certainly more will be reported.  I do however sense a more volatile environment compared to five years ago, when cameras were just as prevalent.


The punishments or lack thereof for Gary Ablett and Nathan Fyfe are in stark contrast.  If a player can appeal their sentence then surely the AFL can also appeal if the MRO has got it manifestly wrong.  Fyfe was lucky not do any damage, the act itself required a penalty to not only stop Fyfe from such an action in the future but also as a deterrent.  As for Ablett, his coach can argue all he likes about technique his forearms were still high and worthy of a sanction.  The confusing piece to me on blocking a player after a handball is that it was a free kick plus 50 metres a few years ago to stop exactly that action.


As for Goalpost Gate for something so trivial it has consumed a ridiculous amount of airtime and it won’t be getting any more here.



Down and Dirty ($1.32) v And Another Point ($4.00)



The Demons got another ugly win with a scrambled point at the death last week, this week they head west and will need an equally ugly game to beat West Coast.  Port found success against the Eagles “playing dirty”, with scrappy ground ball forward entries negating the aerial prowess of McGovern.  Could the same tactics work again, suspect the Eagles will be prepared for it and not sure the Melbourne forward pressure is quite up to the task.  Eagles to win at home.



Break the Curse ($1.23) v Go the Curse ($5.10)



No team has won the following week after their encounter with the Blues this year, the Saints will be hoping the curse continues for their clash with the Pies.  Collingwood displayed their power obliterating Carlton in the final ten minutes of last week’s game – their best is as good we have seen this year.  Not sure they are putting it on show for long enough in the big games, but they should for enough of their encounter with St Kilda.  Another step in the development of Rowan Marshall up against Grundy.  St Kilda will be feisty, the Pies on the G should prevail unless the curse takes over!



Ballaratted ($1.83) v Big Game Hunters ($2.18)



The cool climes of Victoria’s central highlands and the Dogs proved too much for the Lions last week, they will appreciate the warmth of being back on the own deck.  They will have some work to do taking on the Crows who have now strung together four in the trot with Jenkins and Gibbs both unable to break back into the team.  In addition the Lions last win against Adelaide was in 2012 with four margins of at least 80 points amongst those 7 losses.  Form and history says the Crows, Brisbane are better now and expect them to respond from last week’s loss and scrape over the line.



Ratted Out ($1.21) v Doggone ($5.50)



Teams are going OK if they can afford to rest players like Ratugolea, while all the noise about Ablett’s elbows the rest of the Cats are purring away quite nicely with another four points on offer at home.  They take on the Dogs who announced the early retirement of Tom Boyd yesterday.  More strength to Tom for recognising he did not have the passion or desire to play footy at this level, undoubtedly some competition questions will arise with regards to the salary cap.  They have tow tough wins on the trot now, but a poor record against the Cats.  I doubt this trip to rural Victoria will deliver the same joy as last week’s.



Norazio ($1.51) v Speed Bumped ($2.92)



Fremantle struggled with the pace and aggression of the Tigers last week and come up against an outfit who also like to play with speed.  They will be pleased to see that a couple of Essendon’s speedsters in Smith and Fantasia are out.  Get Stuffed Lyon has never been afraid of strangling the opposition in the Loungeroom and expect those tactics to be employed this week.  If successful they can cause an upset, just think that with Joe back the Bombers will still have enough fire power to get home.



Across the Derwent ($1.55) v Pole Dancing ($2.80)


The Swans and their pole climbing skipper head to the southern capital to play North, 18 degrees for the day sounds nice suspect it will be below 10 by game time on Saturday night.  Probably as much a challenge for both sides and something to get used to as the Melbourne weather cools down also.  The Roos have built a healthy home ground advantage at Bellerive with a 14-4 record and winning the last five, suspect that will extend to six come late Saturday night.


Rearing off a good length? ($1.20) v Hard to Swallow ($5.70)


Will Joel Garner appear at Adelaide Oval – not sure this edition will strike the same fear in the opposition as the great West Indian did to batsmen the world over.  Named as an emergency for Port who host the Suns who will still be coming to grips in losing the unlosable last week.  They are in every game though while Port are playing very patchy footy – their best is good and scared the Crows it is just not for long enough.  The Suns lose a bit of pace without Handley and Miller, they will be heartened though with the return of Sam Day who will provide great flexibility to the team.  Line ball at a neutral venue, Port not to be torn apart at home.


Calling Dr Harry ($1.79) v Boring, Boring, Arsenal ($2.24)


So many Tigers going down has the vets working overtime at Punt Road, unfortunately for the opposition there are plenty of cubs ready and willing to take up the slack.  They play the Richmond way and burn the turf.  Their opponents also rely on system to control the game and induce the fans and opponents into a coma.  They did it successfully against the Giants last week and only 14,000 of their flock could wake up go and watch.  The Hawks have been a model of inconsistency through the season and are due for a loss.  The Tigers though have a mounting injury list and Nankervis on that list will life easier for McEvoy.  A tough one to call, however if the Tigers can get running not sure the Hawks can stop them.


Orange Aid ($1.15) v Fear Factor ($6.80)


Help returns for the Giants with their bellwether Shane Mumford back in the team, they all go better when he is around.  They are smarting from a dreadful performance last week and frankly I fear for the Blues. Carlton have a similar issue in the ruck as the Giants, with Kruezer being vital to the team.  They have a growing injury list and the potential inclusions would not be keeping the Maserati driver awake at night.  Bad luck he was asleep right through last Sunday.  Giants to get back on track.



Friar Time


A physical encounter on the postage stamp sized Leeds St oval was expected and delivered against Yarra Old Grammarians.  After a slow start the Friars recovered, restricting Yarra to one goal after quarter time recording a 47 point win.  The reserves had a similar challenge but got the chocolates while the Under 23s held their place in the four with a win over Old Camberwell.  The girls went down by a point to Old Carey.  This week the senior men’s teams play host to Bulleen-Templestowe who have had some encouraging results thus far.  The Under 23s head to Stradbroke Park to face the undefeated Old Xavs, the girls head to Chelsworth to play Old Ivanhoe in a preliminary final rematch.


Go Blues, Go Friars,


Cheers, Sal


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