The Post Wrap: Round 1

Where life imitates Football

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.  Down at Tigerland the jungle drums are beating out the message – Eat ‘em Alive in Two Oh One Five – as The Striped Marvels cancelled Mick’s clean sweep aspirations for the 2015 Toyota Premiership Season.  On the Saturday it was The Demons turn to launch their 2015 Campaign, which they did convincingly.  The Rocket Propelled Suns seemed flat, and you’d be excused from thinking the Gold Coast Hierarchy may be harbouring a few doubts about their decision to move on Guy McKenna at the end of last season.  Then there was Essendon, or at least for three quarters, there was Essendon.  In an incredible turnaround, The Swannies, doubling their own score, held The Human Hamstrings to zip.  The Maggies seemed to have The Maroons’ measure, until they, The Pied Songbirds, racked the cue in the Last.  They managed to hang on when The Boys From Old Fitzroy ran out of Weeties.  And in another absolute thriller, The Bullies outscored The Wedgies under cover.

Come Sunday and The Saints and The Orangemen kicked us off in the early one.  The Orangemen prevailed but not until after a spirited Last Quarter Challenge from The Feeling Faints.   Over to the City of Light and Roo-tail broth was the soup de jour, and The Pride of South Australia were helping Maggie Beer with the main ingredient.  Across the Nullarbor The Power From Port were locked in an epic battle with The Other Adelaide Team.  The Hometeam surging in the end to turn a three point OT Huddle deficit into a seven-point lead when the siren sounded to end hostilities.


What a tipsters nightmare Wrappers.  Here in the Wraproom, with enough collective Football intellect to power a small inland city, we got three tips right.  And one of those was Sydney.

One of two things to come out of the Round were the level of commitment and the level of the intensity from all the teams – well, nearly all the teams.  (You want me to whistle while you point Wrap? – Ed)  The other was the times a team was able to pull themselves back into the contest regardless of the margin they had forfeited.  Based on Round I, there’s movement at the station.  This season has all the hallmarks of being a ripper.

Memory fails us on this one, but can anyone remember when so many coaches have conceded that it was impossible to get the intensity required at Competition Level from the pre-season competition?  You’d have to think the Essendon Coach would be within his rights to make the claim, but it was interesting to hear it from other coaches.  But we should ask, has the level of intensity increased at the Highest Level, or has the Whatever Cup deteriorated to a run around the park and a membership and merchandise marketing exercise?

Surely by now everyone has worked out what really happened out there at Whingy Hill under the What Ever It Takes injection regime, and what ensued in the handling of the matter at all levels thereafter.  Now we read that The Hird Camp, through its lawyer, says he too has heard enough of the whole thing, and feels we should all move on.  In the next breath he claims that Sherriff McDevitt, The G-Mac, most of the AFL Commission and the Appalling Football League’s competition integrity manager Ben Clothier should all resign over the ordeal.  Hardly a healing statement.  Hardly drawing off the oxygen.  (Loved the use of ordeal in this instance – Ed)  Not sure if he does or does not, but lawyer, Steven Amendola, would surely be entitled to call Little Jimmy Buttercup, Daisy or Strawberry.  Shoeless Jim must be the best milker he’s ever rounded up.  But can anyone else see a Fevola Medal nomination coming up for St James of Eternal Petulance should he not muzzle his attack lawyer over the season?

Speaking of medals, we’ve had another nomination for the Robbie Flower: George Bailey.  As captain of the Baggy Green ODI team he spent three years moulding them for the World Cup only to have to stand aside to allow Michael Clarke to hold up the trophy.  And he did that without a peep of ill will.

Congratulations are in order for the AFL Fans Association.  (You can’t see a Robbie Flower nomination there Wrap? – Ed)  Food and beverage prices are back to some semblance of commercial reality.  A little leverage goes a long way, eh?  Although any Kooweerup spud cockey would be quick to point out that if you’re paying $4 for 50g of chips you’re paying $80,000 a tonne for machine sliced deep fried potatoes.  Now that’s what you’d call easy money, eh?  Not only does the AFLFA receives a Robbie Flower nomination, but also the undying gratitude of all who go to the Footy just to have the scalding gravy of a Four&Twenty dribble down under their sleeve and along their wrist past their watch band.

Essendon have their Reckless OH&S Regimen to keep them in the spotlight over the off-season.  Carlton have Mickey The Maltster.  As if his boast that The Silvertails would go through the Home&Away Season undefeated wasn’t enough, he raised the issue of his contract, the one that expires at the end of this year.  If we could get it passed the Wrapcave Finance Department we’d strike a medal for disingenuousness and call it The Malthouse Award for Verbosity & Insincerity in his honour.  And no Nurelle, it’s not a Scandinavian hot spring resort; disingenuousness is a real word.  Cop this comment from The Footy Show“It’s not a distraction for me.  Naivety will say it won’t be a distraction for the players; it will be, because I have been through this at Collingwood and I know it was a distraction,” So if you know it’s going to be a distraction to the players Michael, why bring it up at all?  And why prompt the players to be distracted?  And just to prove coaching is 95% politics and 5% Footy smarts, he lamented at his Post Match Pressers – after Richmond had held his ragtag forward line to six goals in  the opening three quarters of Football in perfect conditions  – not having 20 to 30-goal a year forwards on the list to call on.  When you lose the likes of Betts, Garlett & Waite it leaves a big hole in the attack.  No one was game enough to ask where he’d lost them, but presumable it was down that big hole.  Fair dinkum, he’s wasted coaching; he really should be at the Comedy Festival.  At least that way he’d be able to justify what he’s being paid at Visy Park.  (You don’t get to coach 710 games without being politically savvy Wrap – Ed)

It’s been offered by an emailer over the long weekend that one reason the expiring contract isn’t a distraction to Mick could be that he already has a place booked in the Sacked Coaches Retirement Village along Melrose Drive.

Speaking of Pressers, anyone catch Buck’s?  What a gentleman.  You can see why Eddie has a long tenure set for him.

There’s no truth to the rumour that Christopher & Bradley have been signed up for a twins’ study.  Just because they both chose teams that theme blue & white in their colour coding isn’t, apparently, sufficient commonality to get them into the program.  SOTG may be able to suggest other links to twinning as the season progresses, but after Round I the teams that played the Scott Twins respective outfits sit one & two on the Competition Table.

Are you kidding?  They’ve redrawn the protocols at the Star Chamber?  Brett Deledio hasn’t had his fist clenched since he was a baby and he gets a week for an innocuous bump on a Carlton’s Simon White who bounced to his feet to take the kick while the thuggish ambush of one of The Game’s Great Ball Players is considered no case to answer.  Redrawn them?  Yes.  Made them anymore more meaningful?  No.  (I thought you might have wanted to raise the difference between Matt Shaw’s off-the ground charge at Melbourne’s Dean Kent, which also attracted a one week penalty, to the Deledio incident Wrap – Ed)

Food for thought.  The last Captain Coach to play in the VFL/AFL was Carl Ditterich at Melbourne in 1979-80.  Is Clarko the first Manager- in the soccer sense – of the AFL?  The Hawks have more depth than Roden’s Thinker and a player culture that draws the crème de la crème of the Competition to their colours.  Who wouldn’t want to play for Hawthorn?  Who wouldn’t want to be part of the Administration?  Who wouldn’t want to be Paid-up, Proud & Passionate?  Now of course we’re not privy to who’s behind it all, but they’ve created a monolith out there at Waverley; a monolith that revolves around The Way They Play At Hawthorn.  And that comes back to their Manager.  Arise Sir Clarko of the Punctured Wall.  (Get back on your medication Wrap.  That’s an order – Ed)

And it’s worth going to watch a Hawthorn Home Game for the subliminal GoldenBrown message flashed at the punters on those ever scrolling billboards that circle the ground at the boundary and on the stand fascias.  It’s all about Hawthorn.  The gas flares and smoke machine are a bit lame, but are we alone in noticing there’s an up-market burgundy hue creeping into the original mission brown of the GoldenBrown image?  If only they’d cut out that pointless music that makes conversation impossible during the intervals.  (In the case of opposition fans, it’s to help deaden the pain – Ed)

But enough of my gabbin’.  Let’s see who’s jumped the gun in Round I.

The Silvertails v The Striped Marvels on The Paddock That Grew.  They’re JTIOWAAT around at the MeBank Oval, but their performance on Thursday night – a 50-point turnaround from Quarter Time – justifies the faith shown in them by The Tiger Army and the Punt Road Coaching Department.  And watch for all those old #33 Jumpers to come out of mothballs.  Not since Matty Knight hung up The Yellow&Black Guernsey have all the threes been seen carving up the opposition in the manner in which we witnessed the other night.   They’re great raps for Kamdyn McIntosh at the club, and the way he beat Super Ju$$ mano-u-mano, and ran through a packed defence to slot a game-turning twin calico heralded his arrival.  Watching Bluebaggers would have recognized a young Kouta.  Sadly he wasn’t wearing The Old Dark Blue All Carlton Knows.   (Older Saints might even be recalling Carl Ditterich’s explosive debut game against Ronald Dale back on the Junction Oval in the 1963 Round I Opener – Ed)  And isn’t Taylor Hunt revelling in his time at Tigerland?  Jack’s back and the Alex Rance/Bachar Houli led defence kept The Miseries goalless in the Championship Quarter.  But what of Mick’s Much Vaunted Silvertails?  (Much vaunted only by Mick really – Ed)  In the Opening Stanza to the 2015 Toyota Premiership Season, when The Tiggers fumbled and farted around, The Miseries piled on a match losing 4-7 to 2-3.  That’s 11 scoring shots to five Wrappers!  The Velvet Fog summed it up towards the end of the night when he said Carlton have had their moments, but not enough of them.  Now you know it gives us little pleasure to have to bring this to your attention – to do otherwise would be unprofessional – but in all honesty – and anyone who was at the game would have picked up on it – too many of the Carlton players just didn’t have an heartfelt desire for the Pigskin.  Super Ju$$ touched the Footy a few times but had little impact till the Final Stanza when a Carlton recovery was still mathematically possible.  (And when he was relieved of the job of minding Kamdyn McIntosh and allowed to run free – Ed)  There were some at the match, Oh Persevering Policer of Plagiarisms who felt he chose to station himself on the debutant with the intention of playing through that wing.  Bell had 25 touches for the night, but half of those were in the last quarter.  The most confusing part of the night – as far as Carlton were concerned – would have to have been their Coach’s PMP.   The crux of it was his players weren’t ready for the occasion, Plan A was blown to the wide when Daisy had to go off, and some of his players were out of form, and had been throughout the pre-season comp.  Where’s the confusion?  How couldn’t he see the same list not being beaten in any of the matches they’d been drawn to play before The Finals?   An unkind journalist, or maybe a foolhardy one, may have been temped to point out that it was the coach’s job to prepare his charges for Round 1 to the point they were in form and ready to run out onto THOF before a full house in the Traditional Season Opening Blockbuster, and to have a Plan B.  (But that wouldn’t have been a question; Mick only answers questions.  You know that –Ed)  Losing Daisy Thomas early, and probably for a good part of the season was/is a huge blow.  (Getting two from Collingwood for the price of one hasn’t quite worked out for them, has it? – Ed)  I think you’ll find it more like two for the price of three Oh Worldly Wordsmith.  It’s always possible that they played only as well as the opposition allowed them to play, but that aside, while Mick’s still struggling to find a match The Miseries can lose the rest of us are struggling to find one they can win.  (You’d reckon St Kilda, Melbourne & GWS would be licking their chops in anticipation on Thursday night’s effort – Ed)  They have West Coast over there next Friday to notch up their inaugural win for 2015.  The Striped Marvels are back at The G next Saturday as hosts for the early one against The Sons of The West.

The Fuchsias v The Gold Coast Suns.  Boy, did we get this one wrong?  Who would have thought?   The 2015 model Fuchsia has a V 16 fuel injected diesel engine.  They jumped The 2015 HotRods at the fall of the chequered flag and had built themselves a handy 4-goal buffer by the Long Break.  Rodney had put a rocket up The GoldenReds and poured a gallon or three of methylbenzene in their tank and a couple of times they drew within striking distance of the Redlegs, only to see the 2015 Model pull away again.  Heri L & Garlett have certainly added something to the mix at Melbourne as in the same way Melbourne seems to have given each a new lease of life.  And that symbiosis appears to have rubbed off on Former # 1 Draft Pick Jack Who.  They have The Other Experiments next Saturday up at StarTrek Oval kicking off at the traditional time.  (They’re not serious are they – StarTrek Oval?  What’s the demographic they’re trying to draw on up there where English is spoken as a second language and where The Eels & The Panthers are the dominant tribes? – Ed)  The 2015 Suns may take some comfort from the match from their comeback behaviour in the second half, but they’re going to have to learn to hit the ground running at the first bounce.  Andreas Demetriou has fitted them up with St Kilda next Saturday night, up at the Metricon.

The Tinseltowners v The Marshmallows.  What is it with The Swans?  Last year they let The Giants publically wedge them, this time it was The Peptides.  It was another of those wet long weekends up in Sin City and it was better weather for ducks & rugby than Football.   This didn’t worry Jimmie’s Bombers and they had held the Tinseltowners to 1-7 while they piled on 5.5 themselves by the Long Interval.  By the time the oranges came out the scores were Reigning Runners-up 26 to The Flying Syringes 60.  Yes Wrappers, this mob of under-trained heroes were 34 roast joints up on the team that had played off for Last Year’s Flag.  The commentary boxes were full of talk about how Steak & Kidney had folded on TLSIS in 2014, and the obvious question was asked about The Sydney Bloods’ trend line.   With the rain still pouring down Victory was always going to go to the team with more stamina and strength.  The Bombers didn’t dog it.  Actually they may have been running on empty long before The Bloods gained the ascendency, but once Buddy started dragging Carl Hooker all over the park and Karl Tippett demonstrated that Big Men don’t get any smaller as the game goes on, it became a matter of time.  And with the Final Stanza extended when Parker had to be stretchered off after some friendly fire from Buddy, it was a Famous Victory too far for The Same Olds.   The Marshmallows were a whisker under seven majors to the good when the Jeremy Laidler snagged a late third quarter major to give The Sydney Faithful something to cheer about, even if nothing only more than a flicker of hope against the run of the play.  It had been all Essendon all day and no one, not even the most died-in-the-wool Lakeside Oval Faithful would have foreseen what unfolded in that Last Fateful Quarter.  The Bombers had no fresh legs to bring on and The Harboursiders were down to two on the bench.  It was last man standing stuff, and Essendon’s lack of match practice showed.  It doesn’t get any better for them in Round II: The Hawks on The G.  The Swans don’t get a let off either; they drag their ANZ Stadium wearied legs across to The City of Churches to tackle The Power From Port in the Shadow of Mt Lofty on Saturday night.

Brissy v Carringbush.  If ever The Woodsmen needed a good start to a season it was this one.  The widely voiced doubts over the Incumbent Coach and his methods, coupled with turmoil the positive drug tests results have created at the club, and the condition of the list had many Students of The Game slotting them in the low teens in Pre-season Ladder predictions.  Figjam noted their Final Term fadeout was something they’d have to look at during the week, but he was proud of how they came back in the last 10 minutes of the match after looking to be gone.  The Maroons would have to reckon they were stiff.  The humid conditions should have given them a clear hometown advantage, but it was The Visitors who handled the slippery Pigskin better.  True, The Roys were going like a German Band at the end, but the gap was nearly six goals at the Citrus Break and even with a bottle of Bundy mixed amongst the OJ it was a gap too far, even against The Tiring Pies.  They’re in the Twilight Zone on the Shifting Sands next Sunday against The Enigmatic Shinboners.  The Pied Song Larks host the Pride of South Australia on a rare trip away from their beloved MCG.  They’re also in the Twilight Zone on the Shifting Sands, but on the night before.

The Dogs v The Weagles on Saturday night under cover.  Another tough one on the tipsters, but canny investors will have been waiting for things to settle down before blowing the summer dust off the piggy bank.  It was a free-flowing seesawing affair that had the 22,366 punters & SOTG totally engrossed from the first bounce.  Bulldogs Bite and Bulldogs Roar; they had 10 more scoring shots than The High Flying Eagles and they won by 10 points – all scored in behinds.  Good to see NickNatNui amongst the best, and even though they go home empty handed, they’ll travel with the confidence that they can do better.  This was a great match to watch and both sides can look forward to a bright 2015, even if it may be a bit of a roller coaster ride.  We’ll find out more about The Tricolours next Saturday in the early one when they visit The Wasps on The Paddock That Grew for the early one.  They won the corresponding match last year in a boilover.  The Tiggers shouldn’t be caught off-guard again.  The High Flying Kings of The Big Game are back at their beloved Domain Stadium to give The Cartoon Blues a traditional West Coast Welcome.

St Kilda v GWS.  It was a low scoring affair, as would be expected of a couple of Cellar Dwellers, but what it lacked in scoreboard activity it made up for in excitement.  What was not part of the excitement was Tomas Bugg’s cowardly ambush of St Riewoldt.  Joss Bruce, recruited from GWS, took the responsibility of squaring the ledger for his new club.  Both sides showed commitment to the contest and anyone who plays them will know they’ve been in a fight.   The Saints are up to Wally World next Saturday night.  The Leviathans are home to The Dees at the traditional time, but at a venue as far removed from tradition as you can possibly get without incorporating animation.

The Pride of South Australia v The Kangaroos.  Well, the secret’s out; The Mighty Adelaide Crows are BIT.  There’s two teams in South Australia that are going to make a trip to the Picturesque Adelaide Oval a glimpse of Hades.    But let’s go back to the preview – If North are going to be contenders they’re going to have to win this one and win it well.  Which they should.  But may not.  The Long Suffering Gasometer Oval Faithful will be shaking their heads and wondering where their season goes from here.  SOTG will also be wondering whether the outcome tells us more about North or more about Adelaide.  The Crows’ firepower was awesome.  Big Tex and The Hon. Edward A. Betts snared 10 six-pointers between them and created mayhem amongst the Roo’s defenders, whom, it should be pointed out, looked seriously undermanned.  (As did the Moggies’ defence – Ed)  They have the Magpies in the gathering gloom under cover on the Saturday.  The Kangas do it at the same time and place on the Sunday against The Boys From Old Fitzroy.

Fremantle v Port.  The Power had their noses in front at every bell except the last.  They would have loved to take home the Eight Points available in this contest for a Top Four Berth, and make no mistake, both sides are up for one.  The Pav led from the front and put The Stevedores in front with a couple of his four majors when it counted most, in the run down the home straight.  Neither side took a backward step and you can bet your last Pacific Peso both will feature large at the Pointy End of The Season.  The Power host The Bloods next Saturday night in what should be another ripper of a game.  The Anchormen are down to Skilled Stadium for the early one on Sunday.

The Mayblooms v The Pivotonians.  This was scary.  Totally scary.  And it would be fair to say The Kennett Curse has been well and truly exorcised.  The Cats looked thereabouts in the first quarter, but by the 10-minute mark of the Second Quarter one SOTG in the Hawthorn stand predicted The Hawks by six goals.  He’d revised that to eight, ten 10, before the Long Interval and after some Half Time libation had the winning margin at 14 goals.  And if The Squawkers had kicked anywhere near straight in the Final Stanza he would have been on the money.  This was The Reigning Premiers remember, but their opponents had won three of the last eight Flags on offer.  (But were knocked out in the First Saturday of September last year – Ed)  So how much does it tell us about The Pivotonians?  Is the aging leadership group slipped behind the level of intensity required of the 2015 Competition?  Their Corey Enright-led defence was not so much porous as sieve-like.  Their entry into their attacking 50 in the middle stages of the match was lamentable, and they were beaten for contested marks and ground ball possessions hands down.  Rookie Clark looks as though he’s going to be a handy pick-up and Motlop didn’t stop trying all day.  But how much of the eclipse – and we’re talking a blood moon eclipse here – was due to the overall dominance of what could be one of the greatest teams of all times.  And we’re going back to the days of Norm Smith’s Redleg outfits of the 50’s & 60’s – six Pennants in 11 years and they were Runners-up twice* – right back to the John Wren fuelled Collingwood Era when between WWI & WWII, The Mighty Magpies won seven Flags and were Runners-up in another six Grand Finals.  Yes Wrappers, it was that scary.  They stay at THOF to turn the hot water system off for The Bothered Bombers next Sunday for the 3.20 match.  The Handbags are back at Cat Central to do the same for The Barry Crockers.

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

The Wrapcave will be closed over Round II.  For enquiries about the progress of the ASADA Review, please refer all correspondence to The Sage’s Award-winning Senior Football Writer.  For enquires as to the plight of the EFC please refer all enquiries to Downright, Lie & Procrastynate’s Senior Associate, Sir Frank Downright.

* That included six Flags in seven years.  No other team has come anywhere near that sort of dominance.  The closest has been Hawthorn between 1983 and 1991 when they won five Premierships and contested all but one in that 8-year period.  – Ed

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.


  1. Last chance saloon for my Wedgies on Friday. If they can’t beat Mick’s Mob at home it’s Swan Districts in the WAFL for me for the rest of the year.
    The Flying Syringes looked distressingly capable until they ran out of legs. I can’t abide them until they give Lord Jim the flick. Wonder how to engineer their downfall this season? Salary cap breaches? Surely they have to find a new way to hang onto the Fevola.
    Comp seems split into 3 pretty clear divisions of Contenders; Maybes and Not in a Month of Sundays. 6/6/6 and its not just the Number of the Beast.
    Can your Marvels step up from Maybes to Contenders? Looks a stretch based on the standard of the opening game. Still AWAGW.
    Has the Editor in Chief approved your leave pass for Round 2? The bookies will be disappointed after all the Round 1 donations from your faithful followers.

  2. Skip of Skipton says

    Round 1 Ladder

    ADELAIDE 7 222.2
    RICHMOND 7 134.6
    COLLINGWOOD 7 116.2
    GWS 6.5
    HAWTHORN 6 201.6
    SYDNEY 6 120
    Fremantle 6 110.3
    Port Adelaide 2 90.7
    West Coast 2 89.7
    Essendon 2 83.3
    Geelong 2 49.6
    St. Kilda 1.5
    Brisbane 1 86.1
    Carlton 1 74.3
    North Melbourne 1 45
    Gold Coast 0.5

    Despite being soundly thrashed, the Cats still managed to bank two points; which is what good teams do.

  3. The Wrap says

    We’ll BTFP Mr B, don’t you worry about that. Not too sure what they’re going to have to do out at Melrose Drivw to redeem themselves. We’re not going to be offered the head of John the Baptist any time soon. As much as that would do it for the average Footy fan. Your mob weren’t disgraced. Even OTR you should account for Mickey’s Miseries. Or suffer eternal opprobrium.

    Fantastic Skip. I was hoping you’d be prepared to do the Eight Point Ladder again. As you so rifgrtly point out St Kilda wiped the floor with The Suns but The Cats salvaged two points from what would otherwise have been The Easter Monday Massacre. I’ll give it a plug when I get back on the keyboard.

Leave a Comment