The 2018 No Zones Cup – Round Nineteen

Greetings Tipsters


Numbers. The coincidental patterns intrigue me, I was quite chuffed to see 10.6.66, 5.14.44 and 10.17.77 all pop up on the weekend. Granted, that’s the three of the four triples most likely, the other being 15.9.99, which appeared earlier this year. 10.28.88, 5.25.55, 5.3.33 tend toward the thin edge of the statistical bellcurve, but aren’t totally unlikely, given Footscray’s 2.14.26 and Geelong’s 8.23.71. Had Brisbane kicked a bit straighter and had one more shot, that 2.5.17 could’ve been 5.3.33.


My favourite score is 15.10.100, it has a nice round perfection about it, but those crazy sevens render some beauties, imagine the Grand Final score…


GWS Monaros: 11.11.77
Richmond Tigers: 7.7.49


Add up the digits, you get 99 v 63, which is neat. Numerology takes it to 9 v 9. By the beard of the prophet, this does not bode well for the Tigers, shades of Ninth in the Nineties, close but no cigar.


It’s an oddity, Richmond losing away, minds of a more analytic bent than mine have written about it and it’s worth noting that the first two were substantial margins, the next two were a lot closer. The clattering racket of the Tiger Army is a big plus in Melbourne but they’ve trained to play on the wide open spaces of the MCG.


Ground dimensions are always length by breadth. The SCG, f’rinstance, is only a few metres shorter and narrower than the MCG, but, as is brilliantly obvious to anyone that has watched a football match at both, has much shallower pockets. How much shallower?


Thanks to Almanacker Georgina for the stats, the MCG is 20233 sqm, the SCG 16556. Most of the interstate grounds are 10 or 15 metres longer and 15 to 20 metres narrower.


Richmond use the space, the MCG being closer to a circle than any ground, and are caught out on long narrow paddocks. Sure, interstaters could train on an MCG shaped ground but it’s no substitute for a match before the towering grandstands full of rampaging fans.


There’s one ‘AFL’ ground longer and wider than the MCG. Manuka. The Monaros beat the Tigers by the second narrowest of margins, but beat them they did, kept ‘em goalless in the premiership quarter and withstood the inevitable last term rush, they forced ‘em outa their comfort zone, tough enough to rush ‘em, quick and skilled enough to make it count.


The key to beating any team, of course, so “if it bleeds, we can kill it”, which club might have a harpoon? Sure, I’m biassed toward the Monaros but they’re hitting form at the right time and rumours have it that Scully and Williams may be back in the next few weeks. The return of long-term injured players can be a risk for a few reasons. Still, we’ve won seven of the last eight and the biggest problem we face is fitting all the in-form forwards into the one team. Best play Rory on the wing, he’s a great mark and mobile.


West Coast is a serious contender. Naitanui is a talisman, they like him being on the field beyond his value as a player, they can handle losing him if they don’t overthink it.


Port Adelaide have the cattle but the drovers have but a vague idea of how to get there. Exhibit A, Dixon in the ruck.


Collingwood have been brave and played some great football but have lost too many important players to be a serious threat.


Melbourne, the wilting Fuschias haven’t won a flag since 1964, two Big Day shellackings since. The dark horse, as good as anyone on the day, at least up until they look like having a meritorious win against a true contender, then they get all weird and panicky. Sunday arvo, the last round, they meet the Monaros at the G, that’d be a game that might give us a clue.


Richmond versus Who in the Big ‘Un? Yeah, but what if they lost a prelim to any of the Monaros, Wiggles, Fuschias? From a dodgy free two seconds before the siren. To a smartarse Toby Greene, who drills it from 55 as an enraged Tiger Army invades the field. 11.11.77 vs 10.16.76.


Wonderful memories…


Cheers Tipsters


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PS – the lack of proper information on ground dimensions has bugged me for years. It’s one of those elementals, I used to read guitar magazines and goons would talk about the pickups but never the scale length and that’s the biggest difference between a Telecaster and a Les Paul Custom.


“He was an artist when he saw society: it never crossed his mind that society had to be like this; had any right, had any business being like this. A car in the street. Why? Why cars? This is what an artist has to be: harassed to the point of insanity or stupefaction by first principles.” Martin Amis.


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. Eagles and Giants at the big dance Earl? Held at Docklands after 90,000 enraged Tiger fans burn the ‘G to the ground after Toby Greene’s goal.
    Bookies will be laying the Tigers ‘over the gap’. Injury to Nankervis, Reiwoldt or Rance and the whole structure/game plan unravels. “Never in the field of human endeavour, have so many depended on so few.”

  2. E.regnans says

    Cheers Earl. This 2018 preseason is nearly done.
    The real stuff only starts in September.

    Where are the tigers mentally?
    Are the others just that little bit more desperate?
    GWS ready to roll?
    This stuff only ever makes sense in hindsight.

    Ground sizes interesting.
    Should mos def be reported as ellipses, with focal length, curvature specifications.

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