Sal’s Round 5 Preview – The Road Past Gundagai

Greetings All,


So much material but so little time as the bride and I have made our escape from Victoria into NSW and the ACT.  We will get straight into the footy with our names inspired by clubs along the track to Sydney and Canberra that share the nicknames from the big league clubs.


Campbelltown ($2.08) vs Wodonga ($1.90)


The Blues and Saints win the reshuffle raffle scoring a prime time slot.  A fair reward for a couple of teams that have been pretty aggressive with their footy.  St Kilda are going full throttle with the swap of Geary for Jones releasing the pedal from the metal a little.  For the Blues, Harry McKay could be a boost in the pristine conditions of the Loungeroom.  Whichever side does best out of the five day break is the likely winner.  Have to go with the heart and the Blues to win.


Wangaratta ($1.49) vs Hume ($3.00)


Steeling ourselves for a big Friday Night with Collingwood taking on Essendon.  The loss of Sidebottom is significant with tagging attention likely to move to Pendlebury. Does De Goey now spend more time in the midfield?  Then there is the loss of Jeremy Howe from defence.  The Pies will have the belief their system will stand up.  The Bombers just need to get more from their forwards who were AWOL last week as well as a lift from whoever has the task of negating Grundy.  If the Bombers are up they can win, but the Pies thrive in a “backs to the wall” environment so just giving them the nod.


East Coast ($1.65) vs Goulburn ($2.44)


So we have Eagles on the east coast also, the West Coast variety get to host Sydney on the Gold Coast.  So far they failed the hub test but might be about to win the lottery with the challenges facing Victorian clubs.  They could not handle Charlie without McGovern last week, the Swans don’t present the same challenges in that part of the ground.  They are further challenged with the loss of Naismith suffering another ACL rupture.  Surely the Eagles have to get up in this one.


Belconnen ($1.33) vs Balgowlah Juniors ($3.90)


The Cats head home to take on the sparkling Suns who leave Queensland for the first time in the season.  They have done little wrong so far and have uncovered the most exciting first year player for a while.  How will the Cats deal with Rowell?  My suspicion is that they are more likely to have their own guns ask more questions with a couple of beauties in Joel Selwood and Gary Ablett playing their 300th and 350th games respectively.  That will be motivation enough to get the Cats over the line.


Gundagai ($1.77) vs Corowa-Rutherglen ($2.28)


OK so Gundagai are not the dogs but the town does pay tribute to one.  The AFL Dogs take on the Kangaroos in another very interesting encounter.  The Hawks suffocated the Roos last week with the forwards completely bottled until caution was thrown to the wind in the last five minutes.  The Dogs do like to move the footy so, on paper, we should get a pretty free flowing game – which means we will probably finish up with a dour slumberfest!  The lack of Jack for the Roos takes away a forward target, however the Dogs lose more without Naughton.  Reckon the Roos might get up here.


Seymour ($1.96) vs Lavington ($1.96)


Hard to find many teams called Power, however Lavington at least wear the same colours.  They head to the Gabba to take on Brisbane for a “Top of the Table” clash.  Charlie Dixon has been awesome for Port giving them a strong focal point and imposing himself physically on the opposition.  This will be a super test for Harris Andrews who has been one of the better key defenders so far in the season.  Port’s challenge will be to cut off the supply provided by the Brisbane midfield who not only win the footy but have plenty of shots for goal – if they convert it will present Port bigger challenges.  Just going with Brisbane to be better on Charlie than West Coast and stop the Power Train.


Billabong ($2.46) vs Templestowe ($1.66)


Had to get off the beaten track a bit to find the Billabong Crows who play in the Hume League and for that matter the Dockers were tough but we did take Fitzsimons lane to get to the Melbourne end of the Hume Freeway.  Anyway that just about covers the Crows and Dockers who have both been pretty poor.  Think the no Fyfe factor might sway this to Adelaide.


Eastlake ($2.60) vs Albury ($1.61)


The clash of traditional co-tenants at the G with Melbourne taking on Richmond with both keen to make up for their losses last week.  Selection for the Tigers will be interesting as Hardwick tries to engender the hunger in his players that they have had in the last couple of years.  Melbourne just need to play with more and take the game on.  Just think the Tigers will pit their imprimatur on here.


Young Benalla ($1.69) vs Tuggeranong ($2.34)


Giants are hard to find but we did find the Benalla Giants Junior FC, and the big version take on Hawthorn in the late show on Sunday.  Clarko bemoaned the footy last week and the lack of reward for his team’s tackling.  Happy if umps reward the tackle provided they also protect the player who gets the pill from illegal tackles.  If he wants to see better footy, how about letting his players kick the ball further than 15 metres.  In the end though he is a coach and four points matter most.  I don’t think he will be getting them this week.


Track Time


It’s finals day at Flemington on Saturday with the favourites generally getting my favour.  We’ll leave first alone for the babies and look at the staying event for Race 2.  Sin to Win (R2, #7) meets his conquerors from last start with handy weight advantage and appears a solid each way prospect.  Cherry Tortoni (R3, #1)  was outstanding a couple of weeks ago, has to carry a burden but looks very good.  Persan (R4, #1) has a similar challenge deserved favourite but short enough at $2.25.  Reckon I Am Someone (R5, #4)  can hold form and win again.


Take your pick in the next, will be a wide start to the Quaddie.  Jamie Kah rode Smoke Bomb (R7, #2) last start, she stays on and so do I.  Open affair in the next hard to jump off Heptagon (R8, #2) and Splendouronthegrass (R9, #1) rattled home last start and should appreciate the longer straight at Flemington to get over the top.




Leg 1  – 1, 3, 5, 8, 9, 11

Leg 2 – 2, 3, 7, 9

Leg 3 – 2, 5, 8, 16

Leg 4 – 1, 4, 7


Go Blues


Cheers, Sal


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  1. Enjoy the trip, Sal.

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