The 2018 No Zones Cup – Finals, Week Two & Three

Greetings Tipsters


Looks like we will be getting the zones and the Gene Simmons goal ‘square”. Steve Hocking, who shall henceforth be known as Merry Pippin, has Aragorn’s ear and all that malarkey will be rubber stamped cos three matches of lousy VFL teams has proved its worth. Depending on how you read the stats.


Saturday was a bummer. I haven’t had a day like that since the ’96 Grand Final. I wasn’t surprised at the result but felt a profound sense of disappointment.


The HG Monaro GTS350 4 speed could sit on 130mph for hours and match standing quarter ETs w the GTHO. Maybe GM-H were covering themselves in case the Torana didn’t win, but it did, so several hundred ultimate Monaros slipped onto the street with little fanfare.


Saturday I watched the 186S Monaro. Or maybe it was a ute. Down four goals a game on 2016. Oh, f’gawsakes, the oppo kick nine goals in a final and we LOSE?!




I wrote that last week and felt unaccountably down about the whole thing. Detroit Lions dropped their first two (conceded 31 points in a quarter to the bloody Jets, at home) but then beat the Pats. It was on FTA teev on Monday so I arranged my day around viewing it. I feel much better now.


GWS Monaros, 13.5 wins, 114.3%

Talked a lot about the inside game, forgot the outside game that was a real strength. Ought remain a contender but, sans a flag, underachievers.


Hawthorn, 15 wins, 120.1%
Are they rebuilding or just hanging on? The core of the triple-flag team are gone or aging (“a ginger” was suggested by puta as an option for “aging”, which is appropriate). They’ll be competitive but remains to be seen if 2018 was a last gasp or a new start. Over to you, Clarko.


The only surprise of the prelims was Collingwood’s first half. By the time I flicked the teev on, the 4&20s were up three goals to one. Then four, five, Mason Cox is taking big marks and kicking goals. Of course the Tigers will come back, it’s what they do. Isn’t it? Not this time. Jack can’t do it all by himself. Like many others, I’d wondered how they’d manage if one of the Fab Four was down. In the third, Dustin had something like 15 touches but only 3 kicks. Alex was well out of it. Collingwood played like the coach used to, intense focus.


I wasn’t expecting a lot from Melbourne, got even less. There’s little to say about that match, being so one-sided, except that the Wiggles better be ready for much more of a contest this weekend.


Melbourne, 14 wins, 131.4%
For all the great football the Fuschias played in the rounds, this season will only be remembered for the prelim thrashing. Yeah, they beat Geelong and Hawthorn in finals, next season will have to improve vastly.


Richmond, 18 wins, 136.1%
Is it just a case of one bad game at the worst time? They were looking less convincing toward the end of the rounds, sneaking thru a few close ones. They won’t collapse in a Footscray manner, may bounce back like ’09 Cats.


And so to the Grand Final. Many questions are being thrown about. Have Collingwood already played their Grand Final? No, I doubt it. Will they make changes to cover Wiggles tall forwards? Most unlikely. Will the predicted damp, windy weather be a factor? Yes, but not in 4&20s favour as some might think. Mason won’t be ‘clunking’ marks – where did that word come from? – and you’d expect Kennedy and Darling to cope better, given an extra fifteen years of playing Aussie Rules and experience on the big day.


One betting shop has the locals at $1.67, the interstaters at $2.25. That’s a fair gap, I guess a lot of money has been dropped on the 4&20s. I’m leaning toward the Wiggles and will be cheering for them cos my old mate Ringo lives in Perth and is a fan.


Congrats to Tom for the Brownlow, Nat for the AFLCA coach of the year. He’s come a long way since that dark night at the Cigar Club.


Cheers Tipsters

P&C, A Stop Privatisation Of Footy Production, a Division of Trans-Dementia Inc.
Brought to you with the assistance of Cilla Black.


PS – for those in the area, the Earlwood Hotel, my local, is having a Grand Final day. Game is on most of the many screens, incl the nine footer, $5 schooners, sausages, etc. It’s a friendly blokey pub, women and kids welcome.


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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.


  1. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says

    Spot on analysis, Earl. And all the right questions for 2019.
    I don’t mind the idea of the neutral GF this year.
    Cheer cheer.

  2. Thanks Earl. Even as a neutral one side normally presents itself early on, or a personal connection makes the day’s allegiance clear, but this one has me as a real fence-sitter. While the Magpies have certainly overcome some injury concerns, as have the Eagles to a degree, it’s hard to argue that there’s a fairytale lurking in the narrative.

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