Sal’s Round 2 Preview – 666 the Devil’s number?

Greetings All,


The new season greeted us with some rule changes designed to improve the scoring and the openness of the game.  Scoring stats would indicate that the project has been an abject failure, however it would be folly to really draw any conclusions from one round of footy.  Thoughts after attending the two opening games was that not much had changed, none of the coaches really seemed to present anything new or creative to exploit the rules.  No real attempt at isolation or space creation in the forward 50 after a goal had been scored, the majority of kick outs were still out wide just 10 metres further.  One team turned their game upside down and revelled in the new rules.  We may see something more this week.


Rancid ($2.06) vs Piggy in the Middle ($1.92)


Will the loss of Rance destroy the Tigers flag hopes?  A case of stars and system – he is a key figure in the Richmond defence, however they have a very experienced and strong line up back there who all know how to play their role.  The Pies did not score heavily last week, much could be apportioned to skill and decision errors.  They do have a multi-faceted forward line that took apart the Tigers in the Preliminary Final – plus Jamie Elliott!  The Pies have brought back “Pig” Greenwood to nullify Dusty – will be interesting to see how hard the champ works this week.  Was influential last week against the Blues but without too much exertion.  Picking Collingwood to clean up their ball use and bounce back from the loss last week to win.


Need a Buddy (1.79) vs Don’tDee ($2.24)


Two teams needing to respond after poor efforts last week.  The loss of Doedee will hurt the Crows defence again testing the stars versus the system – however against the Swans it is beat Buddy and you’re half way home.  The Swans are at home and showed glimpses of capability last week so a better showing should be expected.  Very warily choosing Sydney at home.


Worse Fold ($1.35) vs What’s the Point ($3.80)


After last week’s failure this game has taken on huge proportions for the Bombers, while that one extra point has given St Kilda a massive fillip after their pre-season nightmare.  Still plenty of questions on the recruitment of Hannebery though.  Essendon could not be any worse than last week and have spent plenty of time this week in the media “owning” their efforts.  Suspect they will turn it around – will be a huge week for the club if they don’t!


Two Pronged ($1.21) vs Show me the Love ($5.60)


Are Port going to repeat the dose of what they dished up in Coach Kenny’s first year?  No doubt an injection of youth is an injection of life!  Having two genuine ruckmen in Ryder and Lycett doesn’t hurt either.  They should be too strong for the Blues – who might not have been terrible last week but that first quarter cannot happen again.  The coach might be falling in love with the players, not sure how many games that wins.  The ruck strength likely to be a telling factor with Kruezer still not ready to play and Phillips really struggling against Nankervis last week.


Oh my Josh ($1.52) vs Orange Crush ($2.92)


So Coniglio might be the next Giant star in the media all year – did not do his value any harm last week and gets to put on a show in his home town this week.  Were the Eagles poor or the Lions good – reckon more of the latter.  The Premiers will appreciate being in front their own flock with the likely and the return of Kennedy make them more potent up forward to kick a winning score in what should be a beauty!


The Kelly Gang ($1.57) vs Running the Gawntlet ($2.60)


Another mouth-watering contest down the highway.  Tim Kelly was outstanding last week, his capabilities providing the Cats with more flexibility with their other stars.  Will be a great test taking on Melbourne who need to respond after failing to fire last week.   Expect Gawn to get a bit more protection and not sure the Cats ruck stocks are quite of the quality of Port’s, no matter what happens to Max the Melbourne midfield need to lift also.  I think they can, however Geelong play their ground so well I expect them to prevail.


Not so Marvellous ($1.93) vs Gabbatoir ($2.06)


The Kangas need to bounce back after being put to the sword by Freo.  A pretty tough opening for whoever has to travel to Perth, meanwhile Brisbane showed that the Gabbatoir is back with a terrific performance against the premiers.  Can they repeat it on the road?  On the shifting sands of TheLoungeroom against a motivated foe they will be tested.  Reckon the motivated Roos will be stung into action and prevail.


Crow Eaters ($1.46) vs Cartoon Time ($3.10)


The Mitchell-less Hawks demolished the Crows, plenty of others stepping into the gap left by Tom. They take on the Dogs who may have looked like cartoon characters last week but did play like superheroes – not sure the jumpers are a trend we want to see much more of.  The Bulldogs’ Tom might make that midfield battle pretty interesting, still think Hawthorn at the G will be good enough.


Wright or Wrong ($4.00) vs Freed Mantle ($1.33)


Perhaps Get Stuffed Lyon needs a name change!  Freo were scintillating last week – kicked the sweep – the rules changes were made to encourage attacking footy and they delivered!  They take on the luckless Suns.  Peter Wright did the team thing, it is purely speculative if he would have made the distance.  If Freo can bring that game again, they will be too good for the Suns.


Stakes Day in Sydney


So Winx wins again and Nature Strip did settle and win!  Has the Autumn Sun set?  I suspect so after the death of Arrowfield’s flagship stallion Redoutes Choice.  All attention in Sydney this week, only a couple of Group One races but one of my favourites the Tancred over the classic distance 2400m at the scale – a true test.  Prospect of another heavy track.  For those that are keen the Bendigo meeting is high on both quality and quantity – finding a winner will be tough.






Race 6 – Vinery Stud Stakes (G1, 2000m, 3yo Fillies SW)


Verry Elleegant (3) was incredible last start – did everything wrong in the running and still won running away.  She beat a number of fillies also running in this race, at her best I can’t see Aristia (4) or Seabrook (5) turning the tables.  The main danger is Nakeeta Jane (1), suspect come race time there will not be a big gap in the market.  Runs like the distance will suit and will be finishing hard.  El Dorado Dreaming (2) ran a creditable 2nd against the older mares last week, a bit concerned on the seven day back.  There are even more chances here with Pohutukawa (8) and Frankely Awesome (10) well among them.  Great race!


Selections – 3-1-4-10


Race 7 – Tancred Stakes (G1, 2400m, WFA)


Most of the big guns at WFA stick to 2000m, so this field is pretty much full of stayers warming up for the Sydney Cup.  Avilius (1) is the glaring exception won the Ranvet last week at luxurious odds, they won’t be around this week.  Handled the conditions well, some concern with the pilot abandoning – JMac for KMac is pretty much the swap I would want.  KMac has jumped onto Red Cardinal (3) who has found a handy vein of form.  There is a bit of love for Yogi (10), The Bear goes well for Craig Williams and will go well if they can make ground from the back.  The same applies for Big Duke (8).  The Hayes clan entrants are some appeal, they have raved about Muntahaa (2) and expect improvement 2nd up while Ventura Storm (9) comes into consideration if the track favour on pace runners.  Don’t it will matter how they can run, I do expect Avilius (1) to salute.


Selections – 1-3-10-2


Quaddie Time


All about strategy here, the last two legs are pretty open affairs and hope we get that right.  The first leg could be skinnied if Verry Eleegant runs to here best – she can behave badly and if so then it is also wide.  To skinny up reckon Avilius should win and might be the best way to make something on him as the current odds are too short.


Leg 1 – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10

Leg 2 – 1

Leg 3 – 5, 6, 7, 8

Leg 4 – 8, 9, 10, 17


Go Blues (Boys and Girls), Go Avilius!


Cheers, Sal


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  1. Season defining round this one Sal!!

    Reckon the Crows and Lions will get up.

    The Dees will be hoping number 11 can get a kick. That game should be a cracker.

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