The 2015 ‘Mopsy’ Fraser Cup – Round Six

Greetings Tipsters


That U-word was being given a bashing by sub-editors over the weekend, someone even going so far as to say that the Demons’ loss was an upset because it wasn’t an upset. Fiddlesticks, say I!


Geelong had a dandy win, not unexpected. The Cats have been a bit handbaggish this season, we knew they could play better. The 4&20s hadn’t beaten one of the better teams – and still haven’t – so were always a chance to get thrown off balance early on. Credit to them for fighting back, we had two games in one Frinite, the first half thrashing and the second half knock-down, drag-em-out slog.


Freo beat Essendon. No surprise there. Ross seems to have the Wharfies working to a pattern, get a huge lead up by halftime, then do whatever needs to be done to ensure the win. Some important players are getting on in years and the strategy is not unlike that required to win the Bathurst 500/1000 in the Series Production and Group C years, when standard production components were subjected to strains far beyond the original design parameters. In order to win, first you have to finish, so don’t thrash the car when you don’t have to. As the legendary Harry Firth put it, win at the slowest possible speed.


North beat Richmond by six goals. Hardly an upset, no joy at home for Jack, the lesser Riewoldt. Ever wondered how he’d go if he’d been drafted by one of the good clubs?


The Saints win was hardly an upset, even I knew it last week. They’re a year or two behind the Dogs and, as young teams are wont to do, many goals were scored very quickly. Fifth best comeback ever, and good luck to ‘em. Peta’s doing a good job as development coach, and did you see that pic of her in the Record? Gee, I wouldn’t wanna mess with her, I reckon she could snap your head off with one flick of an ankle.


Being St Kilda, they’ve had a disastrous time of it lately, leaving Moorabbin for Seaford, changing coach every fortnight, but they’ve cleared the decks and, if they hold their nerve, they’ll have some bright spots in the next few years.


Not as many as the Monaros will. I hope none of you take The Wrap too seriously, cos he recommended you mortgage the house and put it on Hawthorn. If you took his advice, you’ve only yourself to blame. The Subiaco thrashing had no bearing on their first Sydney home match. They ran Hawthorn damn fine at the MCG last season and, if you recall the close call that was the 2014 Prelim, a fast running team can rattle the Hawks.


So it proved, the Monaros putting together the most complete football game they’ve played. It was a brilliant display of football from both teams, 30 goals kicked, fast and hard, a swinging pendulum of fortune that rightly settled on the faster, harder, braver team.


A very special mention must be made of Hawthorn’s strip. It looked like the alien from Close Encounters was on there, somewhere, but the players had absolutely zero luck in keeping the lentil and chickpea mix down and it all dribbled out before they ran onto the field so one of the property stewards came up with an idea, had a rattlecan of clear in his bag and sprayed the jumpers. No-one was fooled.


The Murder beat the Schoolies. No-one was shocked.


Sydney beat Melbourne, doing it the Ross way with the minimum required when they really should be planting the foot on the neck and making a statement. Freo have won every match, they don’t need to make a Big Statement, but the Swans ought to. 1 goal 7 in the last term, that’s a team that aren’t really making the most of their chances. Credit has been laid at Tom McDonald’s feet for holding Lance goalless, and more power to him for that, but Lance still had 22 touches.


Sunday, and a bit of tough love may have made the difference for Leppa’s Cubs. I’m 48, I drink and smoke, but if Justin Leppitsch grabbed me by the throat, well, you bet I’d be out there having a go at Chris Judd. For a minute or less, anyway. The Cubs kept on grinding away and came away with the four points. Expect the opinionistas to cut and paste everything they’ve ever writ about Confucian Mick this week.


Being in Sydney, that was the Sunday teev game. Not the Eagles at Port, which I followed online. Very little in the contest, Port did get away and the Eagles pegged ‘em back and hung on. Thus raising two questions; was Port’s 2014 season a bit of a flash in the pan? Will the Eagles be a serious contender in 2015?


With injuries messing the backline, the Eagles looked slightly ruined at the start, but they’ve been playing good football and now sit second with a healthy percentage. For all the talk of Top Four being Hawks, Swans, Wharfies and Power, instinct and experience tells you one of them is gonna drop off the pace. Last week I was thinking it might be Sydney or maybe Port, this week it’s Port and maybe Hawthorn.


Meanwhile, SA police will be talking to Clarko about his fan altercation. Yep, that’s where I wanna see taxpayers money going. Brad Scott had a tangle with a drunk, expect a high-profile investigation.


Mark LoGiudice has thrown his support behind Confucian Mick, whose contract expires this year, but appears less supportive of Murphy and Gibbs. They just aint what they used to be, club presidents. Remember Joe Gutnick? A columnist’s dream, that bloke. Big Jack Elliott at Carlton, Dicker the Condom King at Hawthorn, ah magic times.


Now they’re all fulltime professionals, apart from Fast Eddie, who forgets himself sometimes and makes stupid replies to reasoned comments. Ah, bless your Irish, young McGuire! See you in church Sunday, eh?


Round Six didn’t throw up any grand themes, despite subbies’ desperate attempts to convince us of the Upsets. Round Seven, tho, what does that have hidden up its sleeve?


Essendon and North at the Terrordome, that could be a good one. Saints at Crows, no, fuggedaboudit, the Licorice Strips won’t let this one slip. Hawthorn and Melbourne at the Paddock That Grew, ouch. The Hawks will be seeking redemption this week and who better than the once-was almost-senior-merger-partner?


The Monaros visit Carlton. Don’t get ahead of yourselves, kids, play to win. Then, from about ten minutes into the second term, play for a percentage boost.


Swans host Cats, that’s another game with great potential, could go either way tho I’d expect Sydney to start favourites. Wiggles host Schoolies… hee, hee, hee, that tasteless juvenile humour tickles me everytime.


Footscray host the Wharfies, that’s one that maybe could go surprise. The Dogs will be smarting from their loss, they’re at the Terrordome, they have the pace and style that might throw Freo off their game. Meanwhile, across town at the MCG, the Underdone play the Underdeveloped and, up north, Port visit the once-was-Gabbatoir.


I’m a big proponent of club culture (cf, Franklin-Tambling) and we had a great example of it this weekend. Mitch Clark retired rather than play at Melbourne. Then he decided to have another go and got to Geelong. Post-match Frieve, he flipped, and I know what that’s like, so Chris Scott threw an arm around him and took him off for a bit of a chat.


Onya, Chris. If I had a Footy Bloke Of The Week award, I’d give it to you.


Cheers Tipsters


P&C, a Stop Privatisation Of Footy Production, a division of Trans-Dementia Inc.

Brought to you with the assistance of Fuchsia’s eponymous & sole 1971 album – they’re playing in Sydney this weekend.

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. Onya Earl. A paragon of perspective, in a twitter world gone mad. Mail me that $50 you owe me for giving young Cameron a rev up last week. You gotta let the dog see the lure.
    I saw the last half of the Giants and Hawks in an Adelaide pub. I had only had one beer when the Chocolate Soldiers became the Pale Ghosts after half time. I kept wondering if they had slipped the mickey finn to me or the Mayblooms property steward. Strange days indeed, as you say.
    Still can’t work out how your Monaros lose the plot over the Nullarbor every time. How do they go in the city of churches? I reckon its got something to do with on field leadership as they all dropped their heads when the Eagles got on top. Quite the reverse of Saturday.
    Then again it may just be white sox. What self respecting footballer can get stuck in wearing surgical hose? Hope you have been down to Homebush Bay and drenched the away strip in Bulli black soil.

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