Sal’s Tips: Round 2, 2012

Greetings to one all and hope everyone has a great Easter break,


The commentators have waxed lyrical about the opening round of the season and with some justification I might say, I enjoyed each of the games that I sat down to watch and the ones I didn’t were pretty good too apparently.  But it set my mind back to Round 1 2011 and I believe we were similarly bullish, no self-respecting statistician would do anything less than run the numbers.  And as all you accountants out there know, the numbers don’t lie, but you make them talk in many mysterious ways!


A couple of the common theories being that there is more attacking, “The Press” is dead and we are in for tighter contests.  Comparing Round 1 from this year to last.


·         In 2011, 4 games out of 8 were decided by less than a kick, only 3 of 9 this year

·         Only one 60 point blowout last year, 2 this year.  (Skewed though as GC had a Round 1 bye last year and GWS did not exist)

·         Average margin 22 in 2011 compared to 33 this year.

·         Average score 88 in 2011 but 100 in 2012.


But one round does not a season make.  However based on these figures, it does look like scoring is on the up, 2 goals per team more.  Maybe “The Press” is dead, however I do believe the defensive minded coaches – Get Stuffed Lyon – will adjust to counter the strategies against it.  Hopefully we do get a better balance.  As for tighter contests, I have my doubts.  The Suns and Giants will skew the numbers, however my other set of numbers show that as the season wears on the margins get wider.  Some facts from Round 1 compared to the whole season for 2011.


·         The average margin blew out from 22 to 40 for the whole season

·         4 games (50%) decided by less than kick in Round 1, 19 for the entire season just over 10%

·         43 decided by 60+ (23%) for the season – only one in Round 1.

·         The average score for the season rose from 88 to almost 93 over the entire season


From these figures I hypothesise that we will not see any real tightening of the contest – there are too many bad teams and as the season gets longer they tend to get less competitive.  Hopefully the contests among the elite make up for the blowouts.  I suspect the 100 point average is an aberration and the eventual average score will drop, however the attacking instincts do seem to be prevalent and maybe that 93 point average will become 95 in 2012.  I look forward to that.


Now let’s have a look at how Nostradamus went last week!


Blues and Hawks – both delivered although not without some concerns.  Selected the Dees but as suggested $3 on Brisbane was good value – yep the Dees were horrible but take nothing away from Brisbane they were terrific.  No shock with the Crows, but Freo did produce the upset as suggested.  My coin came up the wrong way on North, West Coast winning as predicted – some concern about the Dogs fade out and Port showed that the odds were wrong!


Now for the mouth-watering second helping


King of The Jungle ($3.90) vs Rodney Dangerfield ($1.33)


What do the Blues need to do to get some respect?  They can only beat who is put in front of them and the Tiges were last week.  My guess beat Hawthorn, Collingwood, Geelong or West Coast will go some of the way.  This week they have a test up on the Gabbatoir and based on the Lions performance it will be a test.  Structurally, I thought Brisbane looked pretty good and Merrett forward gave a real contest.  Not sure if they will get away with Rockliff forward again, but it does look like Voss has few tricks to play with.  Nevertheless, this is a game the Blues can ill afford to lose and I don’t believe they will, but they still won’t have any respect!


Loungeroom Lizards ($1.27) vs Shack Dwellers ($4.50)


After Grand Final like scenes in Adelaide last week the boys from the Port take on the Bombers in their comfortable little loungeroom.  Essendon have developed a game style well suited to the confines of a basketball court and will prove too strong.


Horseness ($1.71) vs The Munsters ($2.38)


One of the more interesting contests of the round.  We have not really seen Sydney in action and even in that win they were missing a few keys, meanwhile some of us saw too much of Freo.  Herman dominated early, but it was Eddie who stole the show.  The question is who plays the role of the delightful Marilyn?  Well in a similar way to watching the Munsters for Marilyn, one could watch Nat Fyffe play footy at anytime.  Of course you know I reckon Pav would be playing Lily.  As for this game, on form the odds look slightly out, expected Freo a bit shorter.  However their horrendous record on the road makes them a risky conveyance any time away from home, I am sure GSL will be looking to change that this year.  However I will wait till I see the evidence and go with Sydney for this one.


The Forest ($1.07) vs Deestroyed ($13.50)


All that tall timber was too much for the Doggies and I expect the same for the Dees over in Perth.  Of all the weeks for them to have to go west.  I watched them last week, reckon the Dees tried their guts out but the young blokes were “over the top” and all their energy was expended early.  Unfortunately their older blokes have never offered much.  Hopefully though they work together as a group on this trip and come back as a stronger unit, win, lose or draw.  For mine they will lose.


Still March Champions ($1.27) vs Western Worry ($4.60)


Only 12 goals for the Bullies last week and only one from the timber up forward, demonstrates my concern for the kennel. I can’t see them kicking enough goals to worry the all-conquering Adelaide.


Buckley’s Next Chance ($1.17) vs Deflated Again ($6.40)


Undermanned against the flag favourites, the Pies have been buoyant this week.  I see no reason for them not to be, with key players to come back they will be a very strong unit.  However some of their permanent losses do need to be covered and that will be the challenge.  However not this week against the Tiggers, I wrote last week about the Blues lack of defense.  I was clearly focused too much on my own club, the Richmond backline was extremely inexperienced and full of panic.  Not sure it will get much better.  Pies easily.


Hobart ($1.03) vs The Ochre Haze ($27.00)


Pretty simple – Kangas win – it will be interesting to see how long the odds will get on GWS throughout the year.  Shame for Hobart this is one of their two games.


Watters the Matter ($1.08) vs Gazza ($12.5)


Saints back in their own domain will be too good for the Gold Coast – who need to do a lot more than watch Gazza pick up all the possessions.


The French ($2.62) vs September Champions ($1.59)


Will the Cats be arrogant against the Flag Favourites – I doubt it.  On form though I reckon the teams should be much closer. Freo at home will be a tough test for everyone this year so Geelong effort was full of merit. The loss of Scarlett though is a real challenge coming up against the likes of Franklin and possibly Roughead.  With that in mind I am leaning to Hawthorn in spite of the poor record they have against Geelong since that Grand Final.  However due to that record $2.50 or better on Geelong is well worth it.


Then there is a monster Easter for sports fans – Augusta for the Masters, Cycling in Melbourne, The time honoured Stawell Gift, Test Cricket….the poor old IPL can’t even get on TV!  And of course we have 5 Group Ones at Rosehill and the Oakbank Carnival in the Adelaide Hills.  And a few other events I am sure I have missed.


For the G1 events, The Vinery Stud over 2000m sees the clash of Mosheen and Streama – it has taken me a while but Mosheen is an outstanding filly and I reckon the clash with Atlantic Jewel would be much closer than what we saw in the spring.  Mosheen for me.


The Tancred Stakes now known as the BMW has always been a favourite race of mine, WFA over the classic distance of 2400, what a test.  Sticking with the shorty here – Americain will be primed.


More Joyous turns up for the Queen of the Turf – which might be aptly named for her.  A shame that Pinker Pinker is in the field.  Looking for valueKing’s Rose is a quality mare, Yosei finished off brilliantly at her last start and Hurtle Myrtle is a Group One winner.


Then the most over-rated race in the world – The Golden Slipper – a juvenile sprint that keeps our breeding industry stuck on quick returns.  Would have been keen to back All Too Hard, but now can’t see past Samaready.  Gai needs to be respected in this race and I reckon Pierro is the best of them.


Finally the George Ryder Stakes – I will steer away from the shorties here and try and get the money back that I was robbed of in the Railway Stakes. He’s Remarkable ran well in the Spring and is very good.  Has C Williams on board (What about his ride on Ortensia!), could ride a pantomime horse to victory.  Happy to get him at $17 each way.


Anyway for Easter – We’re Going to Bonnie Doon – and I’ll be singing all the way,


Hope you have a great Easter with your families,


Go Blues, Go Hammers, Go He’s Remarkable!


Cheers, Sal


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