Sal is around the grounds for the AFL’s Round 3 and on the track at Flemington!

Greetings All,

 

One week down and, after a horror opening, most other games produced a palatable version of footy. The 16 minute quarters still leave me feeling less than satisfied. While the opening was a horror, we did get the draw. Some commentators can’t handle the draw. The non-result is a great part of the game, the world isn’t black or white and we need to be able to deal with shades of grey in sport and life. In footy we do every week with umpires that have to make split second decisions that are a matter of interpretation and intent. Thought they lacked some intent over the weekend allowing too many ball ups with players “taking the tackle”, they get the stoppage and we get more congestion. Just pay more frees and move the game along. Expect players and umpires will be a bit better this weekend.

 

Plenty of surprises last week, will things settle down in Round 3?  Have to make choices a long way out but I better get used to Thursday Night footy after the ratings last week.

 

Dusted Off ($1.63) vs Jaeger Meisters ($2.56)

 

Massive bonus for the Hawks with the inclusion of O’Meara while the Tigers lose Dusty.  Gives Hawthorn a great chance to break their four game losing streak against the Premiers. The let off of Shaun Burgoyne didn’t hurt either. Expect Hawthorn to be better than last week, still going with the Premiers, too much pace in the forward line with a couple of plodders in defence for the opposition.

 

Libbarated ($2.44) vs On Probation ($1.68)

 

The Dogs and Giants are both coming off embarrassing efforts last week, taking nothing away from their conquerors. When St Kilda and North respectively turned up the wick, these two teams provided paltry resistance. That along with the rivalry between these teams makes Friday Night a salivating contest. Libba back for the Dogs will add some of the bite lacking last week. However, ins and outs, match ups and structure will mean little – this will all be about attitude on Friday and whoever brings the right one wins. The Maserati Driver might have got off the L-Plates but is still very much on the Ps, but trusting his Giants enough to bring the right attitude.

 

ZZ Topped ($1.65) vs Randwick ($2.48)

 

A couple of feisty forwards in Ziebell and Zurhaar have the Kangas flying. They play the game in the trenches and are very good at it. That has been the mode of operation for the Swans for a long time, now warriors like Parker and Kennedy need a few more to help them out. Their last three encounters have been decided within a kick and reckon this might be the same with the Roos having the better forwards to come out on top.

 

Drawn & Quartered ($1.49) vs Out of Geary ($3.00)

 

The Pies split the pickings last week but ruing the opportunity lost after their brilliant start, they take on the Saints who will be without their inspirational skipper Jarryn Geary. They were magnificent against the Dogs last week, also showed that shrewd recruiting pays with the likes of Hill, Ryder, Jones adding experience and class to the team. The venue provides an advantage for the Pies who have held sway over the Saints since the finals of 2009. That is enough to swing it the Pies way for me.

 

Berry Delicious ($1.85) vs Sunburnt ($2.16)

 

What an encounter at the Gabba! The Eagles torched by the Suns last week up against Brisbane on their home deck. The loss of McGovern accentuating the challenge for the Eagles – at least they can play golf on the resort now! Brisbane stumbled over the line against Freo but revealed another ripe berry in Tom to go with his brother Jarrod – great to see brothers playing at the same club. Expect West Coast to come back hard and picking them to get over Brisbane this week.

 

Domesticatted ($1.21) vs Betts are Off ($5.70)

 

The Cats host the Blues in what really should be a formality. Geelong cruised over Hawthorn and Carlton are not up to that opposition. However effort and endeavour counts the Bleas need to show a lot more from the opening bounce than what was dished up last week. They avoided some scrutiny with the disgraceful social media commentary on Eddie Betts. He has his shortcomings on the field (but not many), off the field he is champion, not just for indigenous folk but for all. No one deserves the treatment he received and hopefully this is not something we see again! Cats to win.

 

All Rowelled Up ($1.87) vs Hide the Coolabah ($2.12)

 

Mark Ricciutto is a passionate Adelaide Footy Club person and good on him for being so – passion directed properly gets results. However his commentary about the players they have traded during the week is symptomatic of the issues at his club. Worrying about the performance and value of those players does nothing to improve the challenges within his own club. Crows fans have gone from a comfortable bunch on the charddy to hunting for the next cardboard box to sip from. They get to take on Gold Coast who exposed a bright new star in Matt Rowell, the plaudits and comparisons just need to be tempered. Nevertheless I reckon his team can provide Adelaide with its next defeat.

 

Take me to Church ($1.84) vs Christianity ($2.16)

 

Darcy Parish delivered for the Bombers, breaking a long losing streak in Sydney while, for this week’s opposition, some time in the midfield showed what Christian Petracca is capable of for the Dees. Both teams had to weather fightbacks from the opposition and both deserve credit for holding them off. Reckon Essendon’s was better than Melbourne, they kept trying to win whereas the Dees kept trying not to lose. They lucked out playing Carlton!  Makes Essendon the selection here.

 

Lost their Tucker ($3.75) vs Wine Time ($1.36)

 

6:10pm on a Sunday Night appears appropriate for Ollie to return to the Port Adelaide line up, facing Freo who will lose their number one ruckman in Darcy Tucker. Probably covered by Rory Lobb who needs to have more influence on games. Not sure he will have enough on this one to stop the rampaging Power.

 

Track Time

 

We are back to Flemington this week with some wariness about the impending weather and its affect on the track and the fields. Last week’s concern on leader bias turned to be prophetic which saw some of the selections having no chance but we did Smoke Bomb and Harbour Views over the line.

 

The opening event is pretty even not much confidence but if I had to back one it would be Brilliant Concept (R1, #6). I usually leave the 2yo races alone, however, I really liked the run of Alcyone (R2, #5) for GSOB at Ballarat and should appreciate Flemington. The mares contest another open affair where So You Swing (R3, #12) might present at a reasonable price, not sure we want too much rain though. Then we have the 3yo stretch to 2000m with a few nice types and the one I will be with is the McEvoy charge Coolth (R4, #3). Interesting runner to watch in the sprint in Global Gift (R5, #6) making his debut in Australia – too short for him but one to watch. For TBT it would be funky if Gibbon (R5, #15 EM1) gets a run and repeats his Ballarat performance, however it is the one below Pinyin (R5, #16 EM2) the pick if she gets in the field.

 

Plenty of chances in the opening leg of the Quaddie. If the rain comes, then I am with Artie Lucas (R6, #8) who loves the cut out of the ground. There will be plenty more in the quaddie. The main event is the listed Creswick Stakes and reckon two heading the market will battle it out, favouring the filly Broadwayandfourth (R7, #5) to come over the top again. Heptagon (R8, #1) is in rare form but paying for it in weight, happy to be on Haunted (R8, #3). We close the program with terrific field charging down the straight. Plenty of chances but reckon by this time the outside will be advantaged and on the very outside will be I Am Someone (8).

 

Quaddie

 

Leg 1 – 3, 4, 6, 7, 8

Leg 2 – 1, 5

Leg 3 – 1, 3, 6, 17

Leg 4 – 1, 2, 5, 8

 

Go Blues!

 

Cheers, Sal

 

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.

 

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