Round 9: Sal’s thoughts and predictions for this week

Greetings All,


What a hullabaloo about nothing over the touching of umpires.  There is certainly a need to protect the adjudicators and an even greater need to support them to ensure the few who do put their hand up to do the toughest job in the game keep at it.  However in the cases of May, Hawkins and the brothers Curnow, none of the offenders showed any malice or contempt for the umpire or disregard for  their safety.  Hawkins and now Brother Ed should feel hard done by as the other penalties are more in context with the level of the offences.  If they are to be offences.


My own most recent foray into on field officialdom had me bowled over by an oncoming player.  I was caught in the wrong spot from where the ball was kicked from, the players were focused on the footy – I was collateral damage.  Not sure what the AFL action would have been, but there was no malice and the umpire was as much in error as anyone.  Commonsense prevailed, never considered punitive action – the game went on.


Unfortunately commonsense is not that common.  None of the umpires involved in the weekend’s incidents considered May or the Curnow’s offences worthy of a penalty, so why would the MRO.  Surely this is the exact instance where the umpire is best placed to determine a reportable offence.  Some commentary that the umpires should not put themselves in the position where a player could offend, do not totally disagree with that premise.  However if commonsense prevailed it would not matter anyway.


Then we had Commissioner Al decide it was appropriate to sook up to Gil about the umpires.  All done in the guise of for the betterment of the game.  Not too much wrong with his premise, his Hawks were the masters of defensive protection when Hodge, Lake and Gibbo ruled the backline.  Blocking has been in the game for a long time and exactly the purpose of the “Plus One”.  Certainly an area that could be better enforced in the game, not sure how many other coaches would even get El Supremo’s time of day!


Injury lists keep piling up this week we have had these players all withdrawn and adding to an already long list of injuries – Darcy Moore, Phil Davis, Michael Hurley, Taylor Walker, Mitch McGovern there are probably a few more.  Players are not coming back at the same rate that they are falling over.  It is having a major impact on results, let’s see how hard it is this week.


Grayed Out! ($1.31) vs Jack High ($4.10)


The Crows looked home last week until Robbie Gray entertained us with 5 goals in the third quarter, they got back into the game only to then be Motlopped.  Showdowns are always big and that one might have been the best!  They get to stay at home and host the Bulldogs who just might have the best Jack in the game.  McCrae has been outstanding this season but does need a few mates to join in.  The Dogs form guide might say W-W-W, however they were in 0-58 grade in beating the Blues, Suns and Lions.  The Adelaide injury list is a growing concern, however on their home turf I expect them to get over the Dogs.


Bellerive ($1.64) vs Ogres ($2.52)


The Roos gave the Tigers there biggest test and just came up short, taking on the Giants in Hobart should suit them.  Especially with the injury list the Giants are carrying.  While injuries give them some reasons for their recent performances, the lack of fight and effort is an indictment on the club.  North have not lacked effort this year, to the point where I could almost stomach the Shinboner Spirit being bandied around.  The Giants just don’t have the talent returning yet and will further behind.


Shanghaid ($7.80) vs Adelaide Champs ($1.14)


Last year a struggling Suns outfit went to Shanghai and were obliterated by Port.  With the personnel challenges the Suns have it is hard not to envisage a similar result.


Bad Medicine ($5.20) vs A Case for the Defense ($1.23)


What is it with the Bombers and chemists?  So they were taken down the garden path by a couple a few years ago, now another one is leading them to who knows where.  What was the rush to resign Worsfold?  Who was knocking on his door?  The torch has been fairly and squarely pointed towards Essendon.  They face Geelong who have become the misers of the competition over the last few weeks.  Shutting down the Pies at the G was important.  Surely the Bombers have something to throw at Geelong – another capitulation would be disastrous.  I expect a bold showing, I doubt it will be enough to beat the Cats but might be enough to release the valve a little.


Just add Rice ($4.00) vs No Moore ($1.32)


The Bombers have taken some heat off Richo at St Kilda, they probably need as much inspection just not sure they can be much better.  Good to see Bailey Rice in the team to take on the Pies who have lost Moore plus another setback for Elliott.  Balancing the losses is the return of Pendlebury – Pies Win.


Can’t go Ronke ($1.21) vs Fyfe ($5.60)


The Friday Night Lights of the G did not deter Ben Ronke with a super prime time display against the Hawks.  His Swans get Buddy and Hannebery back to take on Nat Fyffe and his support cast.  Some worries for the Swans back at home, they should conquer those demons it this week.


Oh Brother ($6.40) vs Hi Jack ($1.18)


The Blues get the skipper back but lose one of their keys in Ed Curnow, getting Charlie off was critical.  They have some chance over the Demons after last week’s effort.  The Dees though have too much at stake, too much quality and finally get Jack Viney back in the team.  Would love to see the Blues go two in a row, just don’t think it will happen this week.


Old Hawks ($3.15) vs Coach Squawks ($1.45)


Clarko’s Hawks come up against a couple of his former lieutenants at Brisbane in Fagan and Hodge.  The Hawks play with great system and commitment to the plan, it holds them in good stead, just not sure how really good they really are.  Brisbane at the Gabba are certainly a tough proposition, just give away too many early leads and not able to peg them back.  If they can match the Hawks early they just might climb off the bottom this week with a win.


Missing a Shuey ($2.00) vs Dusted Off ($1.94)


The Eagles were great last week, get a couple of beauties back with McGovern and Natanui but still without Shuey.  They take on the Tigers in the battle of the pacesetters.  The Tiges will have little concern about the travel winning 5 of their last 6 in the west.  Some concern about Dusty’s output overall, he showed his value when the whips were cracking last week.  A great clash between the pacesetters and difficult to pick a winner with a few still under injury concerns.  The teams are pretty evenly matched apart from Dusty, suspect the home ground will more than balance that out and the Eagles to prevail.


Friar Time


A tough day for the Friars last week with the Girls the only winners.  The Seniors came up against a good and committed opponent in UHSVU who were the better side on the day, the twos gave up a start and managed to come back and split the prize.  The Under 19s met a similar fate to the seniors while the Girls held Bulleen Templestowe scoreless to record a good win.  This week sees four games at Friar Park with the Girls kicking off the dew of the main oval against Aquinas to be followed by the Senior teams taking on the Animals from Emmaus.  It’s Sunday Funday for the Under 19s who take on Old Geelong at Midday as part of the College Open Day program.


Go Blues, Go Friars,


Cheers, Sal







  1. Sal, for all the hullaballoo, I reckon this week was an example of the tribunal system worked just as it should.
    Unlike B Scott and yourself, I have plenty of time for Shinboner Spirit.
    Good luck to the Friars.

  2. I was optimistic about my Eagles last week and they won. $2.70 on match day was a steal, but not having a punt for 10 years has me a long way in front. Similarly positive this week, and I can’t remember looking forward to a game so much for years. Have not seen Dusty strut his stuff live over here, so the immovable Tiger object meeting the irresistible Eagle forces should be riveting.
    To my eye both teams play a similar high pressure high pressing style. Eagles with better talls and Tigers with better runners and carriers all over the field.
    Tigers remind me of Might and Power the way they set a solid tempo and then exhaust/overpower teams in the home straight. Hope we can Doriemus them.

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