The 2018 Cannonball Adderley Cup – Round Seven

Greetings Tipsters

Round Seven is a fair enough point to assess the league, winners, losers, etc. First, tho, let’s revisit my pre-season predictions

Gee, I made a few howlers, North and Essendon being the standouts. So, given that every team still has that treasured mathematical chance of making the finals, let’s revisit the concept and rewrite the list.

No chance
Brisbane – poor bastards, they kicked 18 goals and still couldn’t win. What does this do to the morale of the players? Let alone the fans who had to sit up last night watching that rollercoaster of a match, then go to work a few hours later. Lovely scheduling, that.
Carlton – the recession they had to have? Or have been having most of this century. Like Brisbane, what does it do to the players morale? How do you get to training every day, get to the match and not think “holy crap, here we go again” and walk onto the paddock with a feeling of dread.
St Kilda – the lowest scoring team in the league, kicking 5.18 or so every week will do that. Almost the most disappointing team in the league, were it not for…
Essendon – that SSS recruitment has done wonders, hasn’t it? How do us outsiders get a grip on what happens to a club? This was meant to be Joe Daniher’s breakout season, instead he’s playing like me wearing thongs. I’m slightly troubled by coaches who dye their hair, Woosha, we all know your natural colour is mousy brown, if you’re gonna dye it black at least put a diagonal red stripe thru it.
Fremantle – another coach dying what’s left of his hair black. Speaking of black, how’s the mood around the club? Knowing the coach to be, at the very least, a rude, graceless arsehole cannot help. Sure, Nat Fyfe is in sparkling form but somewhere deep in his soul he’s thinking how good it’d be to play with a team that’s a genuine contender.

Outside chance
Footscray – they’ve played some terrible football, occasionally they get it together. Most weeks, the youngest and least experienced team on the park but, as Bruce is prone to say all too often, you just get a feeling.
Gold Coast – the homeless team are three from seven and showing a bit of grit, don’t be surprised if the home-ground-loaded late season serves them well.

There’s a pattern in the ladder, none of the teams that have won three or less have a percentage higher than 88.7, the four or more wins teams have a percentage no lower than 102.2. And so we move on to the…

Fair chance
Port Adelaide – it’s Port. Like Essendon, recruiting average players is not gonna make you a good team.
Collingwood – they weren’t supposed to be competitive. Maybe Nat bumped into Frank Lowy at the Cigar Club and picked up a few pointers about focus and hard work. Almost the surprise of the season thus far.
Melbourne – we continue to expect the Fuschias to “do”, the cattle are all there but is the drover up to the job? And, more to the point, do the cattle have the faintest clue?
North – four from seven, one-seventeen percent, we didn’t anticipate that. North didn’t recruit any players, they put faith in the blokes on the list and it’s paying off nicely. The Gasometers have been thereabouts for a few years, it shouldn’t be as much of a surprise as it is. Grandad was a North fan, so I’m glad to see ‘em do okay.
GWS – back in the pack, this mob. Losing five of yr best seven players to injury won’t help, but they’re clueless. Imagine the selection committee meeting: “we’ve one proper forward left, let’s play him in the ruck.” Wayne Carey was right.

Good chance
Sydney – always around the eight, can’t write ‘em off. Bizarrely, three losses all at the SCG.
Hawthorn – likewise, always there. The year off did ‘em good. Do nasty players make for great coaches? Discuss.
Geelong – ditto. I still don’t rate them too highly, but they’ve the numbers on the board.
Adelaide – ditto again. The Crows are getting the job done so far.

Very good chance
West Coast – no-one rated the Eagles but, a Franklin masterclass aside, they haven’t dropped a beat. Next week they play…
Richmond – six from seven, 154.8%, not bad, eh? The one loss was against the only ’17 finals team they’ve played this year. Still, you can only play the oppo drawn on the day, it’ll build confidence and team play. The trip to Perth Stadium ought to give us a better clue. The key players, Riewoldt, Cotchin, Rance, Martin, are all in form, but if injuries strike one or two or that lot, we’ll see just how good a team they can be.

Does this get us any closer to picking the 2018 flag team? No, of course not, but if you reckon it’ll be a team other than the good/very good chances, well, mister you’re a better man than I.

Cheers Tipsters

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About Earl O'Neill

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