The 2016 Age Of Consent Cup – Round 16

Greetings Tipsters

 

It’s that time of the year when us sportswriters start to say things like “approaching the business end of the season” while stroking our beards thoughtfully.  Tradition dictates, as your columnist wrote in Round Seven, that we take another look at the ladder and expecially the Eight.

 

Let’s take a lantern and go explore the dark and gloomy cellar of the AFL.  There, in the corner, is the Brisbane Lion, huddled up with his hands over his head.  The Docker is grumbling about fate and rule changes while the Bomber is gazing up the steps with a tentative gleam of optimism in his eye.

 

Enough of that, let’s get out of here.  Back to the ground floor, phew!  Here we find every other team that isn’t in the eight.  For many and varied reasons, things haven’t worked out the way they wanted.  Most had an idea that they might make the finals, some went so far as to all but claim a berth back in March.

 

Carlton and St Kilda didn’t plan on making the finals.  The Blues’ six wins is probably two more than they expected this season, raising the question: how many more assistants can Al Clarkson afford to let go?  The Teenage Coach would want to be a level-headed fellow, ‘cos it’s a long, plodding climb from hereon.  St Kilda are a year or two ahead and have shocked a few Contenders, or at least given them a fright.

 

Melbourne are another year or two ahead again.  Roos must be glad he took the third year option, cos he’d have looked a goon had he left last year.  Now he can go live in the US for a year, basking in the glow of his genius, then coach Brisbane in 2018.

 

Raising another question: why was every year of last century Nineteen-Something while this century it’s Two-thousand-and-Something?  Not in my house tho, it’s Twenty-Sixteen here.  And while I’m at it, kilometre rhymes with centimetre, not speedometer.  Note the spelling, goofballs.

 

Gold Coast and Collingwood can make a case for injuries ruining their seasons, tho they’d need a great barrister; Port and Richmond just haven’t been good enough.

 

Now we start to enter the rarefied air of the Eight.  No need for the oxygen masks yet, tho, we’ve just reached base camp.  Four teams on ten wins, three of them between 132.1 and 135.4%.  The exception?  North, 112.7.

 

The Roos and Eagles are about where you’d expect them to be.  The Pivotonians have dropped off the pace the last few weeks – is it a disease of blue and white? – and seem distracted.  I love the tale that the jumper design was inspired by sunlight on the waves of Corio Bay, but maybe they’re thinking of breakers at Bells and babes in bikinis.

 

Was last week The Loss That The Monaros Had To Have?  Collingwood kicked 15 goals to 4 across the second and third at the Showground – sixty minutes that could save Nat’s career – while the Orange Tide washed out.  Maybe the first quarter made ‘em slack off, figuring it was one to stroll on, and they’ll learn from it.

 

Footscray are a game clear in fourth but have a low percentage.  That’ll count, come September schedules.  That they’re second for conceded points shows a problem with scoring that’ll hurt ‘em in the finals.  Maybe it’s time for the Million Dollar Man to start earning his money.

 

Adelaide and Hawthorn keep on winning.  Don Pyke is making the most of the players’ strengths, they’re building confidence and getting a helluva lotta goalkicking practice.  Al Clarkson, etc, etc.

 

Sydney had their best win of the year.  Eleven goalkickers, only one from the Fabled Forward, upon whom they are allegedly over-reliant.  Lotta youngsters in the team, but they’re getting the job done, like the youngsters wearing Golden Brown.  Best defence and percentage in the league.

 

One goal here or there can make all the difference between an home or away final, an elimination or a qualification.  The Premier is the best team on Grand Final day, yes, but they’ve gotta get there and teams match up in different ways.  You wouldn’t put money on Monaros beating Hawks at the Big Dance, but a semi-final at the Showground would be a different matter.

 

Who would you bet on to beat Hawthorn in the GF?  Sydney, maybe.  Who would you bet on to beat Sydney?  Adelaide, maybe, the best attack against the best defence.  That’d be something.

 

Cheers Tipsters

 

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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.

Comments

  1. Rulebook says:

    Well played,Earl excellent as usual

  2. Bill Martino says:

    “That they’re second for conceded points shows a problem with scoring that’ll hurt ’em in the finals.”

    Huh?

  3. Peter_B says:

    The balanced eye of the realist, Earl. Over here in EagleLand hope springs eternal. Our worst is behind us, and I suspect that Simpson always plays the long game.
    Not this game; more this season. If not this season; then sowing seeds for next. Clarkson’s apples don’t fall far from the tree.

  4. E.regnans says:

    I’d love to see Darryl Kerrigan’s lawyer make the claim based on Collingwood’s injury excuse.

    Reckon he’d nail it.

  5. Based on last Friday, I gave the Dogs no chance. But their draw and results going their way should see them top 4 and a big chance at home in week 1.

    Swans Hawks for mine at the moment and i would be on and cheering for the red and white. As per 12 and anti- to 14. (2 from 2…)

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