The Pre-Wrap: AFL Finals Week 1

And what week it’s been in Footy Eddie.  And let it be said, Stevie J was a victim of Star Chamber overzealousness.  If they take that out of The Game, what’s left?

We were going to run a phone-in on whether Mick has already done the deal around at Visy Park – but it was too boring – and boorish.

But enough of my gabbin, let’s see who’s going to be still in the run after Week I

The Unsociable Hawks v The Monochromes.  Tonight on The Hallowed Turf.  Let’s not waste too much time on this one.  The Hawks have paced themselves beautifully.  After a sluggish start – remember the 10-goal hiding The Tiges dish up to them? – they’ve really hit their straps.  Brent Guerra will be sadly missed, but, on current form, there’s not all that much to beat in the Collingwood forward line.  Diddums Didak is a mere shadow of his former self, Blair is a compromise, and so is Dawes.  Andrew Krakouer may find the going tough.  He’s a touch player, and he may not get too many.  Cloke discovered his old form last week, but his kicking was average – his average.  The rest of the Magpie forwards took their lead from him.  Look, the Mayblooms are on a mission, and they’re not going to let Carringbush get in their way.  They’ve got a pretty handy and committed midfield in red-hot form – which The Pies don’t.  Swan has been treading water most of the season.  Steele Sidebottom has got lead in his boots, and apart from Beames, the rest are only flashing in & out of the play.  And a word of advice for Daisy Thomas – peroxide.  Ben Johnson will bolster the backline, and it’ll need plenty of bolstering.  Buddy’s mystery late season absence may have cost him a Coleman, but he’s back now and giving the forward line a focal point.  Roughie’s killing them in the ruck or as a forward option – in much the same way Big Leroy Brown did for The Monochromes in their last Premiership Season.  Then there’s The Squirrel.  I don’t know why we’re bothering with all this.  Talk to any Magpie Faithful and they’ll tell you there’s no hope and that Eddie Maguire’s made a huge mistake kirribillying Bucks into the driving seat.  And please don’t doubt our sincerity when we say it gives us no please to have to report this, but there’s trouble brewing at the Lexus Centre.  And while it ain’t all about moving the old model on to make room in the showroom for the new model, the evidence suggests that the players aren’t doing it for The Giffer – or The Jumper.  Swan’s little number, a few weeks before the Finals was more than a flash of individuality; it was a break in solidarity.  But we’re bound to hear more about all that if Carringbush goes out in straight sets, so let’s sit back puffing on that cherry wood.  Ward Rooney has issued the usual sheep weather alert and seagulls have been grounded from the South Australia border to 60km east of Gabo Island, so if your leaving the comfort of the 2-bar radiator and Drew & Dan’s call on the crystal set you’d better rug up.  It won’t worry The Mustard Pots.  They’re hot. Tape the match and watch it after you’ve got the kiddies bedded down for the night.  This is not going to be pretty.  The Leafblowers.  And check with your caring Bagman; we’re positive we saw Centrebet offering $1.30 this morning.  As the sun breaks through and sheds some light on the situation that surely can’t last.  And you certainly won’t do better down at the Grace Darling the mood they’re in.  Grab as much as they’ll let you take.

The Pride of South Australia v The Bloods at Crow Park tomorrow arvo.  This a tantalising one, eh?  Both teams have slipped under the radar a bit this season.  The Chardonnays have been labelled soft track bullies, and the Tinseltowners have been labelled workmanlike.  Grundy’s rush of blood was as costly as it was unnecessary.  At the other end they’re relying on Skipper Goodes to come good.  He’s looked a bit less destructive since coming back from a mid-season injury and while no one doubts the size of the ticker, if the rest of the frame isn’t up to delivering a knockout blow it’s the end of the penny section.  The rest will all be playing their Bloods’ Football, and with 30km/h winds sweeping across the West Lakes Oval, it’s going to be a regular slugfest, which will suit The Lakers.  Having said that, with Tippett & Walker, flanked by a pretty smart team of ground players led by The Dolphin, it would appear that the Free Settlers have the scoring edge.  And that’s the way we’re going to call it.

The Pivotonians v The Wharfies on The Paddock That Grew for the Saturday night match.  While it could be argued that Stevie J is irreplaceable, The Handbags can fill the hole his travesty of justice has created better than the hole in The Stevedores’ defence created by McPharlin’s injury.  No matter which way we look at it, we can’t see Iconic Zac holding the Big Tomahawk all night, regardless of how much niggle he serves up.  And therein lies the tale.  Sure, Rossy Lyon has got The Longshoremen moving forward, but this is where his journey will end for 2012.  The Moggies’ have enough forward firepower and midfield dominance to carry them through to the semis.  Speaking of niggles, Nasty Ballantyne’s on Matty Scarlett again.  That alone should be worth the admission.  Long Tom Lonergan will hold The Pave and The Cats’ HB line of Taylor, Mackie & Enright is as good as anything going around, in fact as good as anything going around ever.  All the same, The Moggies should be counting their nine lives that Chappy wasn’t pinged for a higher points-carrying offence.  They won’t have it all their own way, but Finals Experience and greater depth should be enough.  The Sleepy Hollow Millionaires to do it comfortably in the end.  And if you want to spread the interest, their $1.30 is as good as Hawthorn’s $1.30.

The High Flying Aquilas v The Shinboners over there on the Sunday.  Why North didn’t pummel GWS to boost their percentage and give Rossy Lyon something to work with is a mystery.  Angry Adrian couldn’t have engineered it better – a match up between the Scott Twins at The G and a Finals’ Derby in the West.  But wasn’t to be, and now The Roos have a rematch against a team that has beaten them twice this season.  If Toddy Goldsmith looked like a basketballer against Big Laurie, Big Cox & Nick Nat Nui are going to have him reaching for one of Alice’s pill bottles.  And if he thinks it through, he’ll be reaching for the one that says ‘shrink me’.  The Kangas have regained Grima, Wells & Wright, but it may not be enough.  You need to be match hardened for Finals, and you need to be mentally tough to take the trip across the Nullarbor to take on The Eddie Eagles at Fortress Subiaco.  We’re not saying they’re not, but Shinboner Spirit can only carry you so far.  Glass can mix it with Big Drew, McKenzie should be more than a match for Tarrant and there’s a question mark over Hansen.  At the other end, Embury is always dangerous, Hill & MvGinnity are better than handy forwards and the talls in Nick Nat, Kennedy & Darling are imposing.  True, The Boners backs are a well drilled & disciplined combination. But with the Coasters winning dominance in the rucking contests, they’re going to have them against the wall most of the night.  There’ll just be too many opportunities for the best drilled backline in the land to contain them all.  There’s been a lot said about the influence of the Howling Eagles in the stands, and while this column in no way would ever advocate that the umpires can be swayed by the mob crowd, the documented evidence suggest otherwise.  The Eagles running away in the end.  And the $1.22 is one for the rent money.

Good tipping and even better punting.

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.


  1. Bloody Hell Wrap – have you been raiding Wallsy’s bathroom cabinet? You usually give us a better run than that!

    I’m off to load up on a four-upset multi – all the outsiders are way overs in my half-baked, Friday rose-coloured opinion. $20 should return over $3K.

    Or -$20.

  2. Persipacious as ever Mr Wrap. With the Springboks taking on the Wannabees on the sacred turf on Saturday, the pitch is bound to be a bit roughed up for the footy on Sunday.
    With a good offie like Embury in the team I can see us dismissing the Kangas for well under 100, and I’m bagging Josh (Hill or Kennedy – doesn’t matter – both good wrist spinners) to get 5for at the other end.
    Forecasting 28 degrees over here on Sunday so the pitch is bound to crumble by mid afternoon. The Kangas will need an extra waterbag for the trip back across the Nullabor.

  3. I had lunch with an old mate and died in the wool Magpie on Thursday MOC. He gave them less chance than that. It must have rubbed off on me. And with the weather the way it is, I feel it will suit the stronger bodies of Hawthorn. You know I don’t like knocking The Maggies, after all, we’ve shared a boundary fence and fished in the same waterhole for over a hundred years now.

    And you have a right to feel good about yourself Mr B. You’ll be dining on Kangaroo back straps this weekend, and there’ll be enough Roo tail soup to get you through to Wednesday.

  4. Fair enough, Sir Wrap.

    Actually thought the weather went our way, as it could disadvantage the Hawks’ precision-kicking game. We’ll know soon enough, I spose.

    Any Knackers in the vicinity can continue the argument with me in the Cricketers Bar in the Windsor from 5.30pm.

    May your Lords go with you…

  5. Not when you’re playing Kennedy’s Commandos it doesn’t MOC.

  6. Wrapster,

    being a bit on edge about the local game in northern Tassy tomorrow I haven’t been sleeping well so tonight I decided to use sedation prior to bed. I will watch the first half of the Hawks / Pies game and that should put me to sleep.

  7. Don’t take the Kangas too lightly PB.

    (Old Jungle Saying)

  8. Sorry MOC, I can only call them as I see them. Naturally the rumour emanating from the Grace Darling is that this is the softer draw to the GF. Cocktail straws aren’t all they clutch at around there.

    Bad luck you fell asleep Phanto. You missed a master class from this year’s Premiers. Still, you’ll presumably see them if The Handbags get into the Preliminary Final. Even the Gluck Twins would think twice about taking on this Mob from the Leafy East – a.k.a. The Deep Woods.

  9. Went to bed at quarter time Wrapster. Who won?

  10. Who do you think won? You’re asking the question. Let me ask you one. Who do you think won?

  11. Dear Mr Wrap

    I have only just read your piece so I wasn’t fortunate enough to put a bet on the Mightys and, for that matter, fortunately didn’t back the cats (lower case intended). As Sunday night beckons I’m pretty happy.


  12. Worthy of lower case RK. If you needed a case to bring back The Cat (upper case intended) you’d lead with The Handbag evidence wouldn’t you? But then the flogging & public humiliation they received on Saturday night would’ve be worse than the triangle.

  13. Andrew Fithall says

    I have received an email from an M Pavlich. He sent it to me because he believes I may be able to help him locate one D O’Donnell. Apparently this D O’Donnell has written a number of uncomplimentary things about this M Pavlich, specifically about his inability to perform well in big games. M Pavlich is just wanting to know whether this D O’Donnell has in any way changed his opinion of M Pavlich. Not looking for an apology – just an acknowledgement. Anyone seen or heard from this D O’Donnell?

  14. I seem to recall those comments of that D O’Donnell. And I have a feeling he wasn’t on his Pat Malone either. The end of the season’s a good time to deal with those sorts of things isn’t it AF. You wouldn’t want them sitting on your chest over the Long Dark Summer, now would you?

  15. D ODonnell here AF. Reading you loud and clear.

    It is true that I have been uncomplimentary about M Pavlich. He went part way to proving me wrong on Saturday night. He was, however, helped in his efforts by a disgraceful performance by a Geelong mid-field that allowed the Dockers to deliver the ball to Pav with ease.

    I still reserve my judgement. He won’t get gold plated delivery like that for the rest of September.

    Freo were just too good. Too strong, too fast, too skilled.

  16. Wrapster – that’s enough cheek out of you.

    You’ve had a fair bit of humiliation over the recent years. Got any tips for me?

  17. Dips – I used to be the definite authority, but that role has been usurped by Sir Frank Downright of Downright Lie & Procrastinate – Attorney at Law.

  18. Pavlich and Roughead would have been good at the Tigers if they had been astute enough to take them when they had the chance.

    (Repeat Button) Pavlich and Roughead would have been good at the Tigers if they had been astute enough to take them when they had the chance.

    (Repeat Button) Pavlich and Rough…………………………………………….

  19. Straight sets AF? Unthinkable.

  20. That’s emblazoned across the Locker Room at Punt Road thank you Phanto. It’s the mantra driving us at the moment. And will continue to drive us until we hoist the Pennant.

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