Sal’s back with AFL Round 2 and his picks for the feature races

Greetings All,

 

Welcome back to footy – not quite back to normal and more of those horrid Thursday Night games making pontification tougher again. Will the big break have given the poor performers from Round 1 enough time to lick their wounds and redeem themselves?  he lockdown has given administrators of all codes free reign to tamper with a few things. From a footy perspective, let’s hope the 16 minute quarters are for this season only. The sceptic in me says it’s the thin end of the wedge. One hopes supporters will not be slugged as much to watch a shortened game next year. There is the thought that it will speed the game up – in reality the players are already too fast and too fit and, as a result, the game is actually slower. Certainly glad they did not fall for the coaches’ request for more interchange. The four weeks at a time fixturing will be one thing the league will look at closely.

 

Then the racing administrators who got the biggest free kick for the year have gone about debating how they can cope interacting with footy. Sanity prevailed, leaving the Caulfield carnival as is with footy only being a single season obstacle. Out of it, the AFL will have the chance to play a night Grand Final and, while being an objector to such in the past, there are more yellow ball games than red ball games now so the move does make sense.

 

Brodie ($2.48) vs Ivan ($1.67)

 

The beauty of the virus being able to kick off again with a blockbuster – just nobody in the stadium! Two of the better performed sides from Round 1 and no reason as to why they won’t be as good. The Pies should get a great advantage out Grundy in the ruck. If he can provide good supply, their forwards will have the chance to put a winning score on the board. If the Tiges take it off them, though, they will pay where the forwards will be very difficult to match up. It’s a flip of the coin for me and coming up Richmond.

 

Stab Wounds ($1.65) vs Head Wounds ($2.50)

 

A nice free kick has gone to Geelong getting to play all its home games at Kardinia Park. It could give them a massive advantage, however it should be noted they will be playing better opposition there more often. The Hawks, Tigers and Pies don’t really travel down the highway, this is Hawthorn’s first visit since 2006. The Cats could get a midfield boost with Jack Stevens recovering from his encounter, while the Hawks will miss the creativity of O’Meara with a broken eye socket. The lack of a crowd may dull the atmosphere, however Geelong’s game is built on defending the narrow wings of this ground. Clarko’s simulation might help but the Cats train here every day.

 

Back to the Jungle ($1.42) vs Purple Haze ($3.40)

 

Brisbane back at the Gabbatoir should be good enough to combat the feisty Freo. Some good news for Freo with Jesse Hogan seemingly back ready for footy, while Brisbane are in pretty good health.  Handy free kicks awarded to both Queensland teams from their government allowing interstate teams in but nobody else.

 

Eddie! ($2.50) vs On Yer Bikes ($1.66)

 

Melbourne were in raptures with announcement that Harley will make his comeback this week. Has had to go through plenty of challenges, some of them self-inflicted but a good talent and will help the Dees if he can stay on the park. The Blues were impotent in Round 1 until Jack Martin went forward and displayed his talent. They get the Harry and Eddie show up forward to try and solve their woes. They also have a Max Gawn challenge with recruit Marc Pittonet set for the task. The Blues have been talking a big game, this is their chance to front up.  Despite their dislike for the Loungeroom, reckon Melbourne will have the edge.

 

Dew Process ($6.60) vs The Corporation ($1.17)

 

Despite the freekick for Gold Coast, the Eagles will be too good for them.

 

Portocol ($1.48) vs Charddy Sippers ($2.94)

 

Ollie has broken protocol and we await the penalty to see how serious the AFL are in enforcing their rules.  Reckon some blame needs to be shared with the broadcaster that should also have been well aware. 2000 fans will get to be at the Showdown, interesting to know how those fans will be chosen and a test for the AFL as to how crowds will return to all venues with the restrictions that will be imposed as restrictions are relaxed. Both teams should be in good health and Round 1 not too much of a guide.  Reckon the extra 1000 fans might help Port get over the line for this.

 

ReWard ($1.41) vs UnLarkey ($3.55)

 

GWS could welcome back Callan Ward from a knee reconstruction to further add to their midfield depth. They are in pretty good health despite missing Tim Taranto. The Roos, on the other hand, are building an injury list which now includes Nick Larkey. Has been a tough match up for opposition defenses, his absence will hurt.  Expect a bold showing from the Roos but just too much talent and hunger at the Giants.

 

Lanced ($1.80) vs A No Joe ($2.20)

 

Plenty of noise from Randwick that Buddy is not finished – unfortunately it is just noise – any games from the champ will just be a bonus. The Bombers also have a few missing with Big Joe and Little Walla ruled out. They have not beaten Sydney at the SCG since 2009 but reckon they have a fair chance up against Sydney with real challenges up forward also missing Reid. They have a way of overcoming these challenges and at this stage I think they will, but keen to see the final selections before hitting the button.

 

Ratted ($2.48) vs Hunted and Punted ($1.67)

 

Is this the new graveyard slot? 6:00 Sunday night. It promises to be one of the most intriguing contests. The Saints were tough in a narrow defeat 12 weeks ago, while the Dogs were fancied against the Pies and were shredded. They have stewed that for those twelve weeks and need to make a statement. They will also be missing Lachie Hunter after his lockdown misdemeanours. Suspect the Dogs will win in what promises to be a good finish to a long round of footy, that will crank up again four days later.

 

Track Time

 

Back at the Valley on Saturday and some pretty good fields for a mid-winter program. We will leave the babies and look at Race 2, which has a couple of in-form fillies heading the market in Le Chevalee (MR2, #2) and Librate (MR2, #3)Smoke Bomb (MR2, #5) was in the market last start but missed the kick, happy with the engagement of J Kah. He should improve and can win. Sikorsky (MR3, #2)  will be short but should be winning. Handy race the fourth top two look OK, reckon there might be value in the bottom two. The undefeated Ms Catherine (MR5, #2) just needs to run up to her form last prep to win this, not sure about taking less than $3 though.

 

Just what we love – an open start to the Quaddie, suffice to say we are going wide. Plein Ciel (MR7, #2) represents decent value after a slashing first up run, respect to 1 and 4, will be on the latter if there is leader bias.  Happy to be on Harbour Views (MR8, #9), but not a $2.50. Happy to close out with Broadwayandfourth (MR9, #8) provided they are swooping need to find a front runner if they are not.

 

Quaddie

 

Leg 1 – 3, 6, 8, 9, 11

Leg 2 – 1, 2, 4

Leg 3 – 2, 6, 9

Leg 4 – 3, 5, 8, 9

 

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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