The 2015 ‘Mopsy’ Fraser Cup – Round Four

Greetings Tipsters


There’s some odd trends this season, would you have expected that three of four teams in the prelim replays managed a zero goal quarter? And that the other lost?


Six teams had goal-free terms and they ain’t crap teams, Richmond aside. St Kilda, Brisbane, Gold Coast all managed to get at least one thru the big sticks. Port scored 0.1 in the last and still won, Sydney almost pulled it off, Geelong, well…


Melbourne played some really good football and were duly rewarded with a win. Richmond, well, Hardwick will be under the proverbial pump, so the ‘Eat ‘em Alive’ Tigers will do so and whatever poor bastard is an assistant coach with a good team today will accept the poisoned chalice in September. Then they’ll start another ‘Five Year Plan’ and those five year plans that Stalin ran in the 1920s and 30s really worked out fantastically for the Ukraine, didn’t they?


Footscray have become the favored ‘second team’ for many folks and for good reasons. They have an iconic home ground (you reading this, Essendon board members?) and a real connection to the local area. They won’t be a favored second team if they keep on winning.


I love watching these young teams play, they’re fast and enthused. Not that I saw the Dogs on Sunday, but I was following the scores with keen interest and thinking about them playing the Monaros. It’s several weeks away, but, crikey, when you watch these youngsters run around you get to thinking that maybe a cap on age, say 27, could be a great idea.


Watching the Monaros on Sateve, it hit me that they’ve the best response to any player who wants to move – “What, you really wanna go play for Carlton?! (Insert name of most any other team). If you stay here, you have a great chance of winning a flag, a serious historically important flag.”


They’re a tremendous team, running toward goal, four players handballing back and forth as needed, not unlike a great rugby three-quarter line. The Expansion Cup threw it all into stark relief. Why are Gold Coast the crap team that they are and the Monaros looking like a team that will seriously challenge for a flag in the next few years?


Recruiting. The Monaros have done a great job of identifying where they need mature players, probably from reading this column. The Schoolies got Gary Abblett and left it at that. Jeez, even Blighty was predicting a flag for ‘em not so long ago, said he could smell it in the air. But they were lucky not to be thrashed on Saturday, the youngest brother kicking a bit sloppily at the goals. Still, that did result in a scoreline at one point of 10.16 – 8.5. I love those little patterns that appear in numbers. I get a quiet, pleasing feeling when a team scores 15.10.100, which has an air of perfection, and 7.7.49 needs no explanation.


Another potential advantage for the Monaros is their location. Western Sydney is full of working class and middle class families, often aspirational and hardworking. Now, what visuals does ‘Gold Coast’ bring to mind? That’s right, suntans, hi-rise flats and cocaine. Where would you prefer to base an expansion team? Which club would you rather call out your son’s name at the draft?


Not West Coast, either, who host the Monaros this weekend. They’ve won the three previous games by a combined total of 736 points but have little more than home-ground advantage on their side this time. There are other matches but one draws the attention more than any other.


None of us are so naive as to think that it’s sheer coincidence that Mick Malthouse will break Jock McHale’s record of matches coached in a Carlton v Collingwood clash, but it has worked out remarkably well. Collingwood’s last Premiership Coach now in charge of their mortal enemy in a time of clueless ineptitude down Royal Parade


174 games played with St Kilda and Richmond, the 1980 flag, 714 games coached with Footscray, West Coast, Collingwood and Carlton, the 1992, 1994 and 2010 flags, by the gods, you don’t have to like the man but you got to respect him.


I like him. He doesn’t suffer fools gladly, which explains his alleged reputation for being testy with journalists, but if you watch his press conferences he will give detailed, enlightening answers to good questions. Stupid questions are dealt with appropriately. Confucian Mick is a monument of our national football code and all of us here at the Stop  Of Footy office heartily congratulate him on his achievement.


Cheers Tipsters


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Brought to you with the assistance of The Rubinoos eponymous first album.

About Earl O'Neill

Freelance gardener, I've thousands of books, thousands of records, one fast motorcycle and one gorgeous smart funny sexy woman. Life's pretty darn neat.


  1. Monaros or Mini Minors far from home this weekend? Young teams struggle with travel and different routines. Nic Nait owes Mummy a few. My Eagles are playing with passion but little skill. That passion and intensity might cut your saplings to size.
    Hostilities resume. May the worse team win.

  2. Earl O'Neill says

    Peter, a Mini won the Bathurst 500 in 1966, Monaro in ’68 and ’69. The Wiggles are currently something of a 186 Kingswood in need of a wheel alignment, an oil change in engine, gearbox and diff and lacking a spare tyre.

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