Sal’s Tips: Round 19

I commented last week on the British Open victory by a fat bloke who dealt with the conditions as they were presented, I think exactly the same can be said of Cadel Evans who dealt with the weather, the mountains and the competition as they were presented.  He has changed since his runners up efforts where he came across as a self-absorbed twat and blamed everyone bar himself, many may still consider him self-absorbed but he accepted all the support he got and made the most of it.  Then when isolated on the mountains he accepted that position and ensured damage was limited by doing the hard yards himself and not waiting for others.  His victory was a great victory in terms of both individual and team performances.  And as the great Jack Thompson once said “now we can all get some sleep!”

As for footy, the demise of Neil “The Nutty Professor” Craig has finally occurred and not before time.  He departs the job with an excellent coaching record winning 55.4% of his encounters; however there were a couple of seasons 2005 and 2006 where this was over 70%.  But alas Adelaide finished 1st and 2nd in those years respectively but The Professor could not get his team up to win critical finals – the great home and away season were wasted.  It was at this point I felt he was limited as a coach – supreme on fitness and the theory, but ultimately limited tactically and cannon fodder for the better coaches in the competition.  To his great credit though his departure was completed with great dignity and he would be of high value in other clubs laboratories – but not as the chief scientist.

As for the footy – I had the privilege to be at the ground to see Andrew Walker’s grab.  It is one of the great joys of being there to see such a moment live.  There have been many ridiculous comparisons about where it rates in the pantheon of great grabs – why can’t we just accept that it is was a great mark just like there have been several come before.  A bit like Cadel’s win – it doesn’t beat any other feat – it just is what it is – a great victory.  In reminiscing about great grabs I have witnessed live include:

Peter Bosustow – three storeys high in the Princes Park goal square vs Geelong

Peter Moore – wrapping his legs around Mike Fitzpatrick

Snake Baker – usually on top of Ian Paton but a few others

The Birdman against the Blues a couple of years ago


Plus countless from David McKay, Peter Knights and Kenny Hunter


What a great year it has been with the return of the speccy – You Beauty!

Had them selected all last week but for Haydn Ballantyne’s kick!  Wouldn’t you love the Geisch for a boss – coming out and slamming you in public.  Terrible coach and worse with the umpires – it is well past time to unleash the Geisch.


The Original Friday Night Lights ($4.10) vs Looking Ahead ($1.31)

Looking forward to the 2028 draft to see whether Oscar Dylan costs a first round draft pick – not even contemplating the thought of going to West Coast.  Yes – there have been some ridiculous items filling footy headlines this week.  As the Roos lament about only one Friday Night game for the year – it was never going to last!  But they did make the request to play against Carlton for a reason – as the Blues have improved over the years the Kangas have remained their nemesis.  You will find I suggested the Kangas were great value last year – not much has changed since. Added to that North have won 3 of their last 5 and the Blues only 2.  Then there is the selection of Ryan Houlihan who will play his 200th game of terror – not sure how Ratts thinks he is safe with this howler.  As for McLean – I am concerned by the fast deck but believe he does deserve his chance – how he must hate the pristine conditions presented every week.  So if you don’t barrack for the Blues back North at the $4+ – but I am still tipping the Blues.


Atticus Eade ($2.40) vs Tennis Anyone? ($1.70)

Is Rocket holding the gun to the Dogs head?  No matter what – he must be feeling pretty comfortable Footscray or not he will have job in 2012 – assuming he wants to.  As for this game my original thoughts were that the Dogs were gone and even more so with the injury list – however the word of the year is structure and West Coast have lost two towers in NicNat and Kennedy.  The hard fought game last week may also be a factor which make the $2.40 available on the Dogs good value – but I reckon West Coast might have a bit more motivation with the Dog’s chance of finals action being extinguished last week.


Domesticats ($1.10) vs Scullywags ($9.20)

Interesting injury for the JPod – Facial Soreness.  Was it from the constant laughter at the Tiggers last week?  Anyway solid ins for the Cats and nice to experiment with Mooney in the home lab.  Cats to win.


Party Capital ($8.40) vs Party Masters ($1.12)

The Saints might not quite be back to the devastating boredom of the last couple of years – but they are close enough to get over the lads from the Gold Coast.


Giving Heave Ho the heave ho ($2.78) vs The Challenger ($1.55)

The Freo supporters will get to vote on whether or not they keep “The Dirge of the Volga Boatmen” as their song.  Different, unusual – as are the Dockers – I say keep it.  They should get to vote on keeping their captain – another failure for Pav in a big game.  They may even get to sing the dirge this week up against the Hawks who for mine are the most genuine challenger to the Pies – the improvement in Max Bailey is the required piece to the puzzle although the back line could still be stiffened.  Freo are good value – however the Hawks are my selection especially with the loss of McPharlin who is the only Docker I think who could match up on Buddy.


The Target ($1.11) vs Washington Generals ($7.20)

The poor Bombers – had Eddie Betts and Andrew Walker performing party tricks on them last week – this week they are up against the Harlem Globetrotter!  Hawks might be challengers but the Pies are a fair way off in the distance and starting to really circulate their list through the team.  They might get too smart for themselves one day – but with the leeway they have the risk is minimal.  This one will go to script though with the Trotters to prevail – mind you at some point the Bombers do appeal with Timmy’s boy back – but I reckon it would be at least $10.


The Unattended Lab ($1.63) vs The Unattended Club ($2.52)

Coach gone – players lift – team wins.  A script written many times and expected again – but.  Then there is the old “I know that you know that we know that they know…” factor.  Port will be ready for an Adelaide onslaught and should be desperate to climb out of 17th place.  For that reason the $2.52 is OK – but I could never bet on the most untrustworthy bunch of players in the competition – and even though they know how Adelaide will play they are just not good enough.  I’m confused – but selecting Adelaide.


This week the Friars are at home to NOBS needing to bounce back after the loss to Parkdale last week.  The 1991 Premiership are also gathering in the clubrooms for lunch and hope to see many of you there as we reminisce over Feuta’s perfectly cooked steak and washed down by a smooth Barossa Shiraz or other wine of distinction!


Go Friars, Go Blues, Well Done Cadel!


Cheers, Sal




  1. John Butler says

    Very entertaining Sal.

    Good to have another Carlton man aboard.

  2. JB – Sal does his best to hide his excitement but I know that deep down his Blue heart is beating a little quicker as September approaches.

    Welcome aboard Sal. You’ll have some fun here.

  3. Neil Belford says

    Nice analysis Sal – at least Freo have demonstrated that they can play without Sandi and Pav, and they are expecting Sandi back – as for Pav, that’s an open question. No really for now they need to stick him at full forward, Riewoldt style, and let others who have some go play in the middle.

  4. Skip of Skipton says

    Nice work Sal. You read like the way Sam Kekovich sounds.
    When it comes to great speccies I have witnessed live there aren’t too many; I saw Alan Ezard’s vs. Carlton at Waverley in ’86 when the up and coming Blues dethroned the reigning premiers. I remember Ablett taking a huge grab in the goal square at the city end of K-Park against North in ’85? But I did witness Ablett’s ‘Mark of the Century’ over Gary Pert at the ‘G in ’94. In fact I was directly in line with the balls trajectory, seated behind Ablett and Pert in the lowest part of the top deck of the Southern Stand. As it left Mensch’s boot I said to my brother-in-law that ‘Ablett’s got the sit here’. And he surely did!

    P.S. Hawthorn have no hope of beating Collingwood, same for your team too I’m afraid. Geelong on the other hand have already beaten them this year, and will again. They are the only team (that will be top 4) with a backline good enough. Saints coming from 6th, 7th, 8th is unlikely.

  5. Thanks Sal. You have more than wittily filled some big shoes with the Wrapster away.
    I was feeling like I needed a fix, and you provided it. Had thought about trying to fill the gap myself, but being witty and wise to a regular schedule is a tough gig. I try to do it when the muse strikes – but I decided Fridays and Mondays was too hard.
    Looking forward to your post-game.
    “Wrapster and Salster ” – I will be spoiled for ‘original’ one-liners to share after work on a Friday!! Ta.

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