Sal’s Preview: One for the fans

Greetings All,

We all understand the importance of the broadcasters for the game and the availability of stats and replays makes it a different experience to attending the game. However, those attending deserve to get a bit more information while at the game. Surely it would be simple for there to be an announcement at the ground when a sub has been activated, at least shown on the scoreboard. So often the sub appears but it is often guesswork for the fans as to who has been replaced – especially when the decision is tactical.

The other also relates to interchange and subs. Why can’t the display of who is on the bench appear on both sides of the stadium so everyone can see it?

Plenty of unexpected results last week – what will be delivered?


Maxxed Out (54%) vs Lobbed In (46%)

The big boys go in opposite direction with Max King out for the Saints and Rory Lobb replacing Jamara Ugle-Hagan for the Dogs. Jamara has been the pea for the Dogs but the other out is more crucial with Tom Liberatore also out. Is it enough to swing the Saints way? It leaves a huge load on the Bont who is likely to have Jack Steele as his wrestling partner for the evening. He will be up for the challenge as I reckon his team will be after their ordinary performance last week, reckon they might get this despite the personnel losses.


Butt Out (78%) vs Crow Eaters (22%)

Adelaide lose Butts for an encounter with their hoodoo team. The Bombers are chasing their 7th victory on the trot and have not lost to Adelaide since 2017. The Crows were terrific last week against the Blues getting maximum value from their best talent, the Bombers weren’t too shabby either rebounding aggressively from their gather round performance. Going with the home turf for Adelaide to break the hoodoo.


By a Lipinski! (55%) vs Port Radelaide (45%)

A shame for Nathan Murphy to have to end his career after only 57 games, but handy to have the premiership medallion to treasure. His Pies just survived a scare from the Hawks two weeks ago as did their opponents last week against Freo. This will be a great test for Collingwood against an in-form team at the MCG. The week off has allowed Pendlebury to recover from a broken rib so they go in with their best midfield against the much-vaunted Power midfield. Port are only missing Boak from theirs and does not play a lead part. On form it is difficult to go against Port and their recent record at the venue is good, however not against Collingwood who gave them a touch up here in last year’s opener. I doubt the Pies are back but reckon they will be ready and refreshed after the bye and can win this.


De Ja Blues (55%) vs Buckley’s Chance (45%)

Is it 2023 all over again for Carlton? For the second year in succession, they have taken an unbeaten record in against the Crows and failed the assignment. In a similar vein the injury list has spiralled also losing Saad, McGovern and Cerra to hamstring injuries with those on the sidelines already not ready to return. They face the Giants where Jack Buckley will need to lead the defence in the absence of Sam Taylor, a big loss up against Curnow and McKay. They also lose Coniglio from the midfield but Ward is a more than handy replacement, for the Blues Sam Walsh made a great return some of the other decision making of the Carlton midfield was poor and will need to be significantly better against the tsunami. Trusting the Blues to stand up here in what should be a fascinating contest.


Deemolishers (74%) vs Roaming Jeremy (26%)

The Lions got back to their best with a terrific win over Melbourne and get to host the undefeated Cats who play their sixth game against a team outside the top eight. Can only beat the opposition that is put up and they have done that adequately so far, this will be a great test for both teams. On the personnel side the loss of Bailey will hurt the Lions, few have his class and composure with the footy in hand, they do get to keep Charlie Cameron because he is a good bloke. The Demons will be rueing not using that defence for the Recidivist. (Charlie’s prior transgression did not seem to count). The beauty of the Cats draw has allowed them to rest Hawkins and not rush Dangerfield back, they will be amongst it on Saturday Night. Provided they have a suitable plan for the other Cameron, reckon the Lions re-establish the Gabbatoir.


Taking Flight (3%) vs Almost Home (97%)

A cruel trip to SA for the Dockers losing both games by slender margins but certainly stamping themselves as one of the toughest teams to play against. They play ‘away’ this week in the WA Derby against a revived Eagles. Ludicrous levels of excitement about Harley Reid, he is certainly living up to a fair bit of it! A more important factor for the Eagles is health – having Yeo and Kelly also firing in the middle makes it very tough plus the potential return of Dom Sheed. Freo’s midfield goes pretty well too with Serong, Brayshaw and Fyfe – plus the potential addition of Darcy this week. The Eagles will be feisty, but expect Freo to retain their mantle of the Best in the West.


Mighty Ducks (87%) vs The Barometer (13%)

Sydney come off the bye and host the Suns. Gold Coast have been a predictable team winning against who they should beat and not quite coming up to the better teams. Reckon in year one Hardwick will be OK with that, a couple of wins against highly rated opposition would be a bonus. Expect the trend to continue this week.


Hobart (18%) vs Launceston (82%)

The two Tasmanian government-funded teams playing in the Loungeroom. Both teams are coming of poor performances last week and a bit of guess as to who will win here. The Hawks have made no secret that they need to lift their intensity so expect a tough encounter. Clarkson will be more than aware of the intensity level required and reckon the Roos can win this one.


Track Time

We stay provincial here in Victoria with the Mornington Cup being the main event while The Championships shut down at Randwick. Some excitement over west where their Pop Up race The Quokka will be run.



Another meeting with very open races will make finding a winner tough but rewarding. Been sweating on the return of Perspiration (R1, #1) and looks well placed here, the short price is not that enticing. The next two are tough so looking at a couple on an each-way basis. Thought Provoking (R2, #1) does just that, had a poor previous campaign but comes here 2nd up so strips fitter.  Ciaran Maher goes with the 3kg claiming apprentice on Field of Flutes (R3, #4) who is an on pace runner and only wins have been over this distance.  The fourth is a beauty with plenty of chances, like the previous run of Galeron (R4, #3) meeting his conqueror on better terms at the weights. The next gets the full field with an interesting favourite in End Assembly (R5, #6), new to the Moody/Coleman yard from Queensland and a handy first up record. Probably a watch race though. Riproar (R6, #5) is well fancied in the next, the filly Dolphin Skin (R6, #2) is a good each way chance.

We hit the quaddie legs with a short-priced favourite in See What I See (R7, #3) who was very impressive winning at HQ, might need a couple more for insurance but one ticket will be one out. First Immortal (R8, #4) has been killing the punters last start, putting it down as a mulligan and can win the cup and get a free ticket into the Caulfield Cup. Respect for a couple of others. The Hareeba is the feature sprint where Maharba (R9, #10) looks well placed.  Gone cold on Frigid (R10, #8) got to leave her in the quaddie but reckon Cadmus (R10, #10) is worth a ticket first up.

Leg 1 – 3, 5, 14

Leg 2 – 2, 3, 4, 8, 10

Leg 3 – 5, 10, 11, 15

Leg 4 – 2, 4, 8, 10

300 Combinations, $30 investment returns 10% of the dividend.



Race 7 – Champagne Stakes (G1, 1600m, 2YO SW)

The babies stretch to a mile does Manaal (7) just rinse and repeat as per the Sires?  She could but happy to go with the undefeated Linebacker (2) who beat a couple of other foes last start. One of those was Broadsiding (3) who is backing up from winning over this journey on Saturday and Anode (1) has been running consistently well.

Selections – 2-3-7-1


Race 8 – The All-Aged Stakes (G1, 1400m, WFA)

A ripping edition of this race. She might not be the punters favourite winning her last two at big odds, but not going to leave Chain of Lightning (8) out of the selections here.  Happy to stick with a mare in form at a reasonable price. Southport Tycoon (12) has been held back for this since his Australian Guineas win, big chance if he runs to that form. The mares Espiona (9) and Sunshine in Paris (10) were both within a length of Chain of Lightning (8) in the TJ justifying their quotes here and capable of winning.

Selections – 8-12-10-9



Race 8 – The Quokka (1200m, WFA)

Another pop up over 6 furlongs – maybe we give it a Christian name of Bawwie? Nevertheless, a handy field with few travellers from the east to hunt the riches. Overpass (1) won it last year, then the Winterbottom over the same course he’ll be hard to beat. The three best hopes are Oscar’s Fortune (10), Amelia’s Jewel (8) and Bella Nipotina (7). Oscar chased home Overpass in the Winterbottom and won the main leadup to this. Amelia was close in that lead up but will be giving her rivals a start and Bella is just so consistent 2nd in the TJ is handy for this.  At longer odds Ripcord (9) is up to this class.

Selections – 1–7- 10-8


Friar Time

The Friars got off to a handy start to the season winning the men’s and women’s games over St Marys Salesian, unfortunately the Reserves and Thirds went down. This week we the Strike-Wilkinson Cup is up for grabs as the Friars head to Aquinas. The women head Oakleigh while the threes host Ajax.


Go Blues, Go Friars

Cheers, Sal


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  1. Mark Duffett says

    Great suggestions, Sal. More relevant, timely information and less DJ-driven noise would make for a better ‘match day experience’, as the AFL are wont to say.

  2. Daryl Schramm says

    Adelaide Oval is poor on both counts as mentioned above. Not even any info available on interchange (who is off) let alone subs. The ‘match day experience’ is getting worse with the constant bla bla bla from the loud speakers. The international cricket is no different.

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