Sal’s Tips: Round 23

A notable retirement this week of Cameron Mooney.  Not many opposition fans thought much of Cam, but his value to the Cats was huge.  He will go out of the game with at least 3 premierships, not many players do that and has always done the jobs for the Cats that someone needed to do.  I can’t say he was a great player, but undoubtedly a great team player and I reckon that is a bigger accolade.

Much has been said of the Carlton–Hawthorn game last week, however the reality it was game of no consequence.  Hawthorn were virtually locked up in 3rd place and many planets would have had to align for Carlton to get 4th and the first planet misaligned on Saturday when the Eagles defeated Essendon.  It would though be folly to suggest that there is absolutely no consequence.  For the Hawks their belief that they have the physical edge over the Blues was strengthened and they sorted out the best midfield.  The Dynamic Duo of Cyril and Buddy give them a great advantage in being able to confidently play their desired team structure with excessive defenders.  The perception of them tiring in the second half might be correct, but I reckon that Carlton matched them in skill, structure and desire which is what made that difference.

The question to me though what happened in the first half and more importantly why weren’t some of the obvious changes made earlier.  Commentators indicated that Ratts had a good night in the box.  Unfortunately though he was in the bus shelter, especially when the game was won and lost.  Coaches sitting in the bus stop has its benefits especially with developing teams and to certain extent that is where the Blues are, but eventually the coach needs the big picture in order to battle with the chess masters like Malthouse and Clarkson.  There needs to be a time when Ratts, Hardwick and the like get off the arena and start playing with the big boys.  I am not of the populist opinion that Ratts is not up to it, but his note this week lamented the vital moment where Thornton fell over while Buddy ran away.  Note to Ratts – Thornton ALWAYS falls over at vital moments!

Now time for the this week’s encounters which once again feature several short-priced favourites.  My subservience to the Blues and unexplainable choice of Melbourne let me down last week.

Heave-Hoed? ($23.00) vs Neutered ($1.03)

 Pav gone for the year with a hip problem, I would suggest the surgeons perform an exploratory search for a few other vital organs.  Freo have not been heaved out of contention yet but the Pies Ball-less Pies will sort that out this weekend.  There is some argument that the Pies have nothing to play for and be in safety mode, but Freo have already raised the white flag and plenty of Pies want to be in the finals team.


Flag Favourites ($1.12) vs Out of Gas ($8.80)

After the scenes witnessed last Friday surely the Hawks are on song for the flag – fortunately wiser heads have been seen during the week.  However my view remains as it was a few weeks ago – the Hawks are the best equipped team to beat the Pies on their day.  Mostly because they two that can spin a match in a moment in Franklin and Rioli – neither of their opponents were disgraced last week (Thornton aside) but a couple of moments of brilliance from either one makes a difference in a result.  And this week they will take it out on the Dogs who hopefully do not have Bob Murphy or Ben Hudson driving the team bus.  An odd chap Bob but I do enjoy his prose!


Moon Dancing ($1.08) vs Blood Brothers ($12.00)

The news of Jarrad McVeigh’s daughter puts a perspective for all on how important footy isn’t – by the same token it does remind us how important footy clubs and the footy community are.  I am sure everyone who follows the game will feel for the McVeigh family and we know that the culture of the Sydney Swans will be of great support to them.  They may bring that Blood Brothers fanaticism to the Geelong fortress (or is it a compound) and give the Cats a run for their money, but I still believe Geelong will want to continue their momentum and will do so.


Nicky Knee ($1.83) vs Kanga Who? ($2.16)

A bit of a shame for the competition that there is only one game of real consequence this weekend – fortunately for both the Saints and the Roos they are in it.  Saints win and lock in finals action, North win and they could be playing the last game of the season next week for a place in the eight.  Overall form dictates that the Saints should be favoured to win, however as stated a couple of weeks ago they have not really beaten much.  North coming with the best game could easily upset St Kilda and the $2.16 on offer is a fair bet.  I will select the Saints to win though as I believe they should be able lock the opposition down playing on the small arena in the Loungeroom.


Couldn’t Kill it ($4.10) vs Land of the Giants ($1.31)

West Coast have all their “talls” aside from Darling – Brisbane have kept a competitive team on the park all year despite a horrid injury toll.  They will be brave again this week and might make the Eagles bleed but I doubt they can kill it!


Chardy Sippers ($1.43) vs Roll On 2012 ($3.25)

Speaking to someone astonished by Adelaide’s form reversal under Bickley – really with opposition confronted they have done exactly we would have all expected under the Nutty Professor.  Meanwhile the Tiggers have now got that end of season momentum again – I am sure it will do wonders for the Benny’s 75,000 member plan.  But some fundamental change needs to take place with the playing group to be successful in the long term.  Back in Adelaide – I reckon the Chardy Sippers are getting out of the car park and back inside and as such that Home Ground Advantage will be too much.  Richmond OK value at $3.50.


Fish ‘n Chips ($1.12) vs Almost Set ($8.60)

The Demon flakes should account for tiring Gold Coast teenies – be good to see Todd Viney get a win, he has deserved a better effort than he has received so far.


Lock it in Jimmy ($1.04) vs Vlad’s Evidence ($20.00)

Port Adelaide and paying Vlad back for the $9M they are getting by being such a bad side they can’t be tanking, hence we can accept that it doesn’t happen!  Fortunately for the Dons they can lock in a spot in September and a lazy week off with a victory over the Teal witches hats.


This week the Mighty Friars clash with NOBSP in the First Semi Final on Sunday – but this scribe unable to be there with the heir playing in his Grand Final for the Mighty Doncaster Cats Colts!

Go Friars, Go Donny Cats and relaxed about the Blues,

Cheers, Sal


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