Sal’s Tips: Round 3

Greetings All,


Well round 2 certainly put the competition into perspective with not only poor match ups but pretty ordinary scheduling to go with it!  The average margin for the round of 55 points, but over 62 if you take out the Easter Monday special.  I wrote last year of the two speed competition, maybe this year there is three?  Nevertheless I fear far too many one-sided games again, a situation that Vlad will need to have resolved in three years when the broadcast rights come up again.  Not sure Fox will really want exclusive access to that many 20 goal thumpings!


But we will always have Monday and hopefully the season will be punctuated by a few of these classic top of the table encounters, a tribute to both teams for the show!


Now an investigation into last week’s tipping performance – went into Monday with 100% record and with all games going to form and expectation.  Whilst my selection was the Hawks – it was suggested that $2.50 on the Cats was good value – turned out that $2.80 was irresistible.  Especially as the weather hit which to me suited the Champs but not the precision game of the favourites.


Now we are onto the next instalment.  We get what we hope is a top of the table stoush early, but all the other games bar the Bullies and Saints look foregone conclusions.


1972 Again ($1.87) vs Britannia ($2.14)


1972 was a great year for the Blues plundering the Tiges in the Grand Final – it was also a memorable year for political slogans with Gough Whitlam’s inspired “It’s Time” campaign.  Well for the Blues “It’s Time”!  I have read a few pieces indicating that Carlton has been closing the gap on Collingwood in recent stoushes – maybe from a margin perspective this is the case, however I never really thought the Pies were genuinely threatened in any of those games.  Carlton welcome back Jamison to help counter Cloke and the Pies lose Tarrant but gain the skipper and the wildly underrated Wellingham.  The tactical interest is Buckley’s reaction to the Blues two ruckmen structure, he has plonked with Woods to play Wood alongside Jolly.  Its success or failure could decide the model for many others this year.  Everyone has stated this will be a game decided in the midfield – it may be so – however I think it will be determined in the bottom six to eight players from each club.  The Pies have introduced new blood into the team who are all to prove themselves, but they do not have any baggage.  On the other hand many of the lesser lights for the Blues have been around for a while but have ultimately failed in the harsh spotlight of a genuine blockbuster, noting that two of those have been dispensed with this week.  The others will not get a better opportunity to stand up against a Collingwood side that is not at its strongest.  The encounter is a mouth-watering prospect and whilst I am not sure the Blues are deserved favourites they are my selection of course.


1972 Vanquished ($1.26) vs Kneel Down ($4.60)


A watershed game for both teams and frankly I am startled by the comparative odds.  Richmond have played with more vim and vigour than the Dees but I am not sure they have shown too much, Melbourne have been terrible but West Coast will demolish plenty on their own dung hill.  I believe head to head these teams are pretty evenly matched but probably sway the midfield to the Tigers, but both midfields have accountability issues.  I am happy though to be on the Dees, with Clarke to be a key factor. At over $4.50 they represent terrific value where as there are few who could trust the Tiggers at such a short price.


Shack Dwellers ($2.76) vs Grinders ($1.55)


Some sort of resurgence coming from Port Adelaide must enlighten Vlad with his quest to rule sport in Australia – they weren’t much worse than the Gold Coast last year so there is hope.  They will take it up to Sydney but will eventually be ground down, by a margin of about 30 points.


Wharfies ($1.13) vs Colourless ($8.20)


No Brown, no Black, a very difficult assignment for Brisbane.  While they were completely overrun by the Blues, they were the victims of horrendous scheduling and tiredness played a factor in the margin but not necessarily the result.  This week they face a big a test against the home ground bully boys in Freo, against who I give them little chance but certainly hope they can contain the damage and not allow it to blow out like last week.  As for Freo nothing to prove this week, but they showed some hope for their away fixtures last week.


Bluey’s Nightmare ($12.50) vs Jimmy’s Fortune ($1.08)


Nice opening 3 for “The Chosen One” and a trip to the Sunset Strip to boot.  Bombers should prove too good for the Suns, who really need to show more than have Gablett gather 40 a match.  We may be expecting a lot from 2nd year players – but the experienced selections need to show more leadership.  Bock’s return should stiffen them up a bit.  Unfair for Guy McKenna to be under the pump as reported, but no doubt they will be aiming high – does his former mentor fit the bill?


They Wanna be like Jimmy ($2.72) vs Holy Watters ($1.54)


Hmmm – too large an odds discrepancy methinks.  I reckon the Dogs and Saints are pretty evenly matched – however my unabashed concern for the Bullies up forward warrants some imbalance.  St Kilda though are yet to prove anything and can also have their issues on the scoreboard, but I would rate Footscray at about a $2.30 chance, not $2.50.  Saints to win.


That Explains the Orange ($55) vs Weagles ($1.01)


It should have occurred to me earlier – the orange for The Giants was to compare them to witches hats on a training drill.  Helps Sheeds feel more important when Chocco takes training too!  These are going to get ugly!


Cat Prey ($1.22) vs Chardy Sippers ($5.30)


Back to the scene of the fade for the Hawks who should find a more palatable foe in the Crows who have done everything expected of them thus far.  The coach may not rate them but the Hawks are still a force to be reckoned with notwithstanding challenges in some areas, nothing an on ground coach (captain) can’t sort out.  Of greater concern would be Hodge’s proneness to injury.  They should deal with the Crows this week, although with the question marks hanging perhaps $3.70 is a more appropriate price point but a game to leave alone.


Off the Bye ($4.90) vs Hungry Champs ($1.25)


The Kangas come off their Hobart holiday to face what appears to be a hungry premier.  Of the premiers I don’t doubt the quality, am not so convinced about the hunger.  I am convinced of the hunger to strike the best challengers though.  They will suitably deal with North Melbourne in the Battle of the Twins in a no bet encounter.


On to other sports


A fantastic effort by the Aussies to win the test match in Barbados after a substandard start.


Billionaires and sport don’t mix!


The Group Ones are at Royal Randwick this Saturday.  A shame that we would appear to have lost another star this week with Hay List unlikely to greet the starter again, but we have a delicious encounter with Rain Affair and Foxwedge in the TJ Smith.  After his efforts against Hay List I will stick with Foxwedge – also wary of Hallowell Belle who has continued to improve through her campaign.


Pierro backs up from the Slipper in the time-honoured Sires Produce, but is up against All Too Hard.  It might just be that for Pierro I feel.


The Australian Derby looks a classic contest between the 3 place getters of the Rosehill Guineas Laser Hawk, Ocean Park and Silent Achiever.  I will plonk for Ocean Park and like the value for Strike the Stars.


Also of interest we see the return of Atlantic Jewel in Race 6 – a shame we won’t see a clash with Mosheen – but a tantalising prospect for the Melbourne spring!  I suspect Permit in Race 8 will further tighen the grip on the Sydney Cup.


Go Blues,


Cheers, Sal



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