The Post Wrap – AFL Round 23: the Yellow and Back (from the dead) Edition

THE WRAP – THE FURY OF THE TIGER ROUND

YELLOW & BACK EDITION

ROUND XXIII

Where life imitates Football

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.  The Mudlarks were no match for the Mayblooms on Friday night, and departed the scene early.  Then it was The Bluebaggers and The Dons’ turn to entertain us with a nail biting tie.  The Barry Crockers outlasted a fast finishing Port Power to sneak into the Top Four and earn a match against a full Sydney team up in Sin City next weekend.  The Endangered Species jumped The Swans and withstood a Bloods Football finish and for once 9th earned respect, not ridicule, and secure a Finals’ Berth.  The Moggies had a practice run against The Boys From Old Fitzroy, and The Shinboners had a similar hitout against The Dees.

Come Sunday and The Wedgies kicked The Sweep against The Ablettless Metermaids to finish both their seasons.  And The Pride of South Australia did the same for The Feeling Faints.   The Doggies finished off a disappointing season in a most disappointing way, going down to The Leviathans in a photo finish.

Well Wrappers, that’s it or half of us, and September Glory for the other half.  The Striped Marvels’ march through to The Finals has ignited everyone’s imagination, and what a march it’s been.  At 3&10 they were the whipping boy of The Competition and the butt of coffee machine & canteen jokes around The Football Nation.  There was even a degree of misogyny in some of the ribaldry:  How can you play with a Charlie Wheeler running the show.  Now they’re all head hunting from the distaff side.  Make no mistake; The Jungle Drums are beating out the message across the Deep Woods and into the Tough Waterside Bars of Morristown – B-I-T  B-I-T  B-I-T.

West Coast must consider themselves stiff.  And Adelaide too, but both were consistently inconsistent all year, and even the most die hard of their Faithful would agree they need to toughen up in the head department.  And also fill a few gaps in their line-up.   But, as we all know, GTWTCO, and that’s about the sum of it.  Look at Geelong.  Look at The Tiges.  Even look at Essendon.  Skip of Skipton has worked out the 8-point ladder.  The Bombers would have finished out of September – only for being in front where it matters most – at the Final Bell.  (You starting a campaign for the 8-point system Wrap? – Ed)

The Mighty Maggies dropped to 11th, one off the Wooden Spoon in the old money.  Worse still, they finished 11&11 with a sub par percentage.  This is not a good look.  After being in the mix mid season, they fell away as injuries to key personnel took their toll.  The pressure must be mounting on Coach Figjam.  As yet, Eddie hasn’t announced that the committee is 100% behind the coach, nor mentioned the R word, but the Yarra Falls Fault Line must be at least starting to tremor as the Victoria Park and Westpac Centre plates start to rub against each other.  Expect the ground to open up sometime in 2015 if the tectonic cups & saucers continue their inexorable movement.

The Gold Coast will be better for the season.  They looked the goods when The Little Master was piling up Brownlow votes, but the ship didn’t take water over the gunwales when it became all hands to the pumps.  Now they’ve freed up some salary cap space with the departure of Karmichael Hunt they can fit in a couple of real footballers who can play the game, and who’ll pull the Fantasy Land punters through the turnstiles for the right reasons.

Then there’s The Competition’s most loveable cartoon character: Captain Carlton.  What is there to say about these softcocks?  They have hunted high and low for a replacement CEO and came up with Stephen Trigg.  More cynical Students of The Game are suggesting he’ll be a good mix for Carlton.  He was certainly talking as though he owned the club on Great Southern Grandstand’s interview with Mark McClure.  (In fact they both did – Ed)

Which brings us to the things we’ll miss in September department.  For us it’s going to be those Coach Brewery press conferences.  His round XXIII presser would have to be one of his best.  Anyone else catch it?  Loved the bit where he told the media to do their research.  Then he rolled out the excuses, one of which was the team’s inexperienced captain.  Better do some research yourself Mick.  Mark Murphy’s 28 next birthday, he played his first game back in 2006, and has knocked up another 184 in The Old Dark Navy Blue Guernsey since then.  How much experience do you want Mick?  As much as you’ve knocked up?  But the one that took our breath away was his commendation to his players’ resolve.  For crying out loud Blues Brothers, you were 30 points up at the first huddle, and allowed Essendon an 8-goal second quarter while your mob scrambled around to kick 1-1.  If that’s what passes for resolve around at Visy Park, no wonder you’ve only won seven games for the season.    Furthermore Mickey Old Son, your top three possession winners in Round XXIII were McLean, Judd & Simpson.  Ages?  28, 32 & 31 respectively.   That enough experience for you whinger?  Captain Carlton & The Silvertails look set to keep us amused for decades to come.

The Tricolours had a mixed season, but one that would have to go down as treading water.  They’ll need to start making some headway soon to be taken seriously.

The Young Lions showed some promise, and a trip up under the palms next year may be a road trip of concern, if not necessarily one into The Lions’ Den.

GWS had six good wins under their new coach– one less than Carlton – and worried a few more during the journey.  They came home with a wet sail for their first win on the Shifting Sands of the Docklands, which should set them up for next year.   (You’re surely not counting that one in which they clobbered Thomas the Tank Engine and The Fat Controller as a good win are you Wrap? – Ed)  Injuries haven’t helped, nor being out of the loop stuck at the far western reaches of the civilized world.  The Brisbane Bears didn’t find real form till they moved to The Gabba, and while they’ve got certain contractual obligations, they either need a permanent home ground like The Suns – with a home ground following and some sort of regular scheduling – or a ground sharing arrangement like the one that has proved so successful at the Picturesque Adelaide Oval between the Power & The Crows.

The Fuchsias.  Are you kidding?  The less said the better.  They’ve got two more seasons to run under the Consultancy of Pope Paul before the reality of the outside world rolls over their misguided attempt at basket weaving by numbers.  Then what?  I’ll tell you what Wrappers; more of your inflated turnstile and food & beverage taxation will go down the gurgler to bail out another Appalling Football League administrative and marketing blunder.

The Feeling Faints add another Coveted Sylvan Shield to their burgeoning trophy cabinet.  But hope blooms eternal down at Eel Race Road.  Especially since news of their return to their Spiritual Home has been announced.  They’ve got a few kids coming on out at Casey Fields and there’s a lot to like about the way they go about their business.  They’ve lost another of their Loyal Sons from the days of their most recent foray into the Top Echelon and are likely to lose another to the trade table.  Never frightened of the R word, we would like to think they could start moving north again soon.

Apologies – we forgot to mention Karmichael Hunt bowed out this season.  After 44 matches and six goals – one of which famously sunk The Tiges in the dying stages up at Cazaly Stadium – the 27 year old Hunt has decided to pull the pin on his AFL career.  Retiring after four seasons on seven figures plus endorsements, he was given a lap of honour and a new body shape for all his troubles.  Delighted to see your inflated food & beverage and entry prices at work?  Give you a warm fuzzy feeling inside?  No?  It’s probably the unwashed lettuce from that new deli on the corner then.

Just one goat department.  Admonished for sniping, and requested to drop it by his coach, Dual Brownlow Medallist and Australian of The Year Adam Goodes, is now receiving plaudits for his thespian attributes.  A regular all round performer wouldn’t you say?

Here’s the final Ladder as per the 8-point system.  Many thanks to Skip of Skipton for the work put in on it.  What does it tell us?  Well, for openers The Pride of South Australia would be playing The Shinboners in the 1st Elimination Final at Docklands next weekend.  And Essendon would be celebrating Glorious Ninth as Bomber handed over the syringes reins at Melrose Drive.  And that 10th placed Adelaide [52] won more quarters of Football than Fremantle [51], who finished Top Four.

But do you reckon it would make the Footy more intense – the 8-point system?  For instance, The Peptides received 4 points under the current system for their exciting drawn with The Silvertails.  Under the 8-point system they would have received three: two for the draw and one for their only victorious quarter.  The Softcocks would have received five:  two for the draw and three for quarters won.   (It might cut out those dud last quarters where a side with a thumping lead racks the cue and heads for the showers before the final bell – Ed)

The way Toyota has it        the way the 8-point system sees it Quarters won*

  • Sydney             [68]              Sydney             [127]             [59]     
  • Hawthorn         [68]              Hawthorn         [126]             [58]
  • Geelong            [68]              Geelong               [121]             [54]
  • Fremantle         [64]              Fremantle            [115]             [51]
  • Port Adelaide   [56]              Port Adelaide   [111]            [55]
  • Kangaroos        [56]              Kangaroos             [106]            [50]
  • Essendon         [50]              Adelaide                [96]             [41]
  • Richmond        [48]              Richmond             [94]            [46]

 

  1. WCE                  [44]             Essendon               [91]             [46]
  2. Adelaide           [44]              WCE                    [90]            [52]
  3. Collingwood         [44]              Collingwood           [83]            [39]
  4. GCS                       [40]              GCS                     [78]            [38]
  5. Carlton                [30]             Carlton                [71]            [41]
  6. Bulldogs                [28]             Bulldogs             [66]            [38]
  7. Brisbane              [28]             GWS                    [53]            [21]
  8. GWS                  [24]              Brisbane              [49]            [29]
  9. Melbourne            [16]              Melbourne              [46]            [30]
  10. St Kilda             [16]              St Kilda               [40]            [24]

* Quarters won are aligned with the 2014 Toyota Premiership Season Ladder listing.  No half points are awarded for quarters drawn.                         

But enough of my yackin’.  Let’s see who’s going to be feeling footloose and fancy free after Round XXIII.

The Mighty Magpie Larks v The Family Club.  If ever the One True Code plays what the roundball code calls friendlies, this is what it would look like. Heaven forbid.  (A soccer friendly usually pulls more punters, as you’ll see next Winter – Ed)  The Hawks got some handy match practice.  The Collingwood Coach got something to think about.  True, they’ve had a shocking run with injuries, and that in itself is also worth a good deal of thought.  The Leafblowers didn’t take out the Minor Premiership, but as a consolation prize they get The Handbaggers again on the big stage for The First Round of September.  This time it’s The Mayblooms who get the one day of extra rest.

The Miseries v The Marshmallows.  If The Visy Park Softcocks had shown just a smidgen of resolve they could have relegated the Gliders to 8th and sent them over to the City of Churches next weekend to take on The Power OTR.  (And The Tiges would have played North here.  You not think of that Wrap? – Ed)  As it stands now it’s The Dons who play The Shinboners, and The Silvertails slink off into the night.  But let’s be honest, once more Bomber’s Bombers have limped home on a wing and a prayer after being shot to ribbons over enemy territory.  It’s going to be interesting to see how this playing group respond to James the Hird’s sermonizing next season.  And where Bomber sells his laconic wit.  The Captain has said he wants Bomber around the club, but from memory, wasn’t he one of the Leadership Group that told Shoeless Jim and Princess Tania to pull their heads and get on with their sabbatical?

The Mauve Miasma v The Power From Port.  This was a classic Port loss and a classic Freo win.  Nothing in it at the Long Break, then The Haze burst away in the Championship Quarter, only to have to withstand a withering Port finish.  The win has earned The Stevedores a trip up to the Harbour City, the double chance and a home semi final should they lose.  The losers are back home next weekend to face The Fury of The Tiger.

Struggletown v The Tinseltown.  The Striped Marvels can really turn it on when they click, and can defend as good as anyone.  They’ve got serious ball getters, and if they jump The Swans it will be game on.  Hope you heeded those words and passed on your feelings to Little Tommy Waterhouse.  Look, they’re just taking it one week at a time around at Punt Road, and are perfectly aware that The Swans had some injury problems.  But you can only beat who they put on the park against you.  Next week will tell if Sydney has messed with winning form.  And whether The Striped Marvels are The Tigers Of Old.

The Moggies OTR v The Boys From Old Fitzroy.  Nothing unexpected here, except The Tomahawk axed seven majors and The Moggies did some drills in preparation for their match against their Old Nemesis.

The Shinboners v The Furphies.  The outcome here flatters The Fuchsias.  The Kangaroos had pulled their main players and fielded a team of wallabies.  No Toddy G, no Mr Potatohead, no Lindsay Thomas, no Luke McDonald.  And no one minding the dangerous Jack What, who had 12 possessions in a blinding Championship Quarter during which The Imps piled on a massive 1-2 to 5-4.  The Shinboners will be taking things more seriously next week against The Dons.

The Gold Coast v The West Coast.  With nothing to gain but honour, The Eddie Eagles turned on a display of what might have been.  Far too little, far too late.  The Metermaids hardly did anything for membership sales, which would have been disappointing.

The Pride of South Australia v The Feeling Faints.  Another display of too little too late.  The Chardonnays finished the season in a flurry.  The Sainters will be glad it’s all over for 2014.

The Sons of The West v The Big Team From The West of The Town.  This was the Boilover.  Not the result with which to send off Gia.  This was a black day for Footscray.  A watermark outcome for The Orangemen.  (And it ruined your only perfect tipping round of the season Wrap – Ed)  They led all day and withstood a valiant Bulldog surge in the Final Stanza to carry off a Famous Victory – their first under cover.  For The Scraggers, it was a bitter pill to swallow.

And remember, if you read it in the Wrap, you’ll know it’s not crap.

About John Mosig

I'm an Aussie Rules tragic who can remember, as a four year old, shaking the hand of Captain Blood in the rooms just before he ran out onto the ground after half time, as my Old Man slipped him a packet of under-the-counter Craven A cork tipped. Now it's my turn to take my grandson Ben through the ritual of character building that is the journey through PUNT ROAD to the outside world.

Comments

  1. David Zampatti says

    I’ve got to come of the bench on Pete B’s behalf and defend his Eagles from your charge of inconsistency, John. West Coast played exactly to their talent this season, in a week-in, week-out performance which must have made Simpson proud of his donkeys.
    All their 11 wins came from their 13 games against their fellow bottom 10 also-rans, at a truly impressive 154.44%. Against the top eight sides, though, they failed to salute in any of their nine attempts, at a sadly underwhelming 67.88%. Not once.
    No inconsistency there. All Simmo has to do is find a teeny extra 50% from his charges and, who knows, we might be able to take them seriously. Which I, for one, truly yearn to do.

  2. I stand humbled before your powerful analysis Zampo. A truly consistent performance. BTW, where is Mr B? I hope you’ve got someone around there from the club sitting with him.

  3. I am (always) angry at Freo. Losing all their backmen over 6’2″ is retribution enough.
    I am not angry at Richmond. They put up a brave showing against the Sydney Seconds. Next Sunday’s second half fade out will be retribution enough.
    I am not angry at Simpson or my Eagles. He has dragged them into the 21st century after we got rid of the last of the knucklemen. I have seen enough this season that with a good midfield recruit we have plenty to look forward to.
    In victory revenge, in defeat malice.
    I will take some more of the tablets and have a good lie down.

  4. Draw the blinds and keep up the fluids Mr B. Hopefully we’ll catch up when you’re over for GF week.

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