The Pre Wrap: Finals Week 1

What a week it’s been in Football Eddie?  The Long Suffering Punt Road Faithful have dared to dream The Impossible Dream and the others begin their post mortems.  Eddie hired the MCG for a post-season review for the 78,000 Collingwood members.  Organizers gave the crowd at 1,000, but police and the media had it at much less.  Eddie laid on the verisimilitudes, which the Carringbush Faithful who bothered to turn up swallowed it all hook line & sinker.  For Students of The Game, those with a more scientific bent, the similarity between the soft tissue injuries at Carringbush and the soft tissue injuries at Whingy Hill didn’t go un-noticed.

Speaking of Whingy Hill, it’s dog in cat out along Melrose Drive.  No sooner does The Student Prince return than their #1 Ruckman walks out the door.  Don’t bother to ask them what it’s all about.  They don’t even know what was in the syringes.

And Heritier Lumumba (a.k.a. Harry O) is set to walk from Carringbush after some crass attempt to liven up the locker room with humour.  It said more about the level of the comedy as it did about a culture of homophobia at the club.  (There’s no questioning the comedy they trot out onto the paddock each week – Ed)  But Heritier has a point.  One he has not been able to resolve with The Club.  A Favourite Son, he’ll be sadly missed.

Just out of curiosity, we googled the meaning of the name Heritier.  Came across one site that implied personality to a name.  Not that we give much credence to it, but here’s a sample of dot points that sprung up on the screen.

  • Your pleasant manner attracts people to you with their problems and you are capable of offering practical advice, though you probably would not follow that advice yourself.
  • The name causes you to be somewhat too concerned with the personalities, problems, and activities of other people.
  • It is not easy for you to overcome obstacles or face issues
  • Hair loss could be a problem

Don’t take our word for it.  Look it up yourself.

Speaking of comedy trying to be funny, anyone tune in to The Footy Show last night?  The fire was too good to go to bed and there was nothing else on so we caught the first segment.  Crikey, you have to hand it to the Channel Neuf embalmers.  What they’ve achieved with Slammin’ Sammy Newman is nothing short of a miracle.  They had Dane Swan on to discuss the Lumumba situation at The Club.  Fair dinkum, it gave new meaning to the word excruciating.  Not sure if they’d had him locked up in the Green Room for a couple of days, or they’d just lassoed him coming down from a 72 hour Mad Monday.  Or whether he normally can’t string six words into a coherent sentence.  But credit where credit’s due, he kept at the task until he got it right.  Then there was no stopping him, although he did repeat the same sentence several times.  The bottom line is they all love Aitch around there at the Westpac Centre, and they’re happy for him to do his own thing, which in itself pretty much sums up Collingwood’s season.

Skip of Skipton has taken the 8-point ladder to the first decimal place and awarded half a point to each combatant in a drawn quarter.  (Not a lot to do down there along Mt Emu Creek in the Winter once they’ve sown the crop and mulesed the sheep – Ed)

The way Toyota has it        the way the 8-point system sees it

  • Sydney             [68]              Sydney             [127.5]         
  • Hawthorn         [68]              Hawthorn         [126.5]         
  • Geelong            [68]              Geelong              [122]                     
  • Fremantle         [64]              Fremantle               [119]                     
  • Port Adelaide   [56]              Port Adelaide   [113]          
  • Kangaroos        [56]              Kangaroos             [107]           
  • Essendon         [50]              Adelaide             [96]                       
  • Richmond        [48]              Richmond           [94.5]           


  1. WCE                  [44]             WCE                  [91.5]            [116.8%]
  2. Adelaide           [44]              Essendon             [91.5]            [106.3%]
  3. Collingwood         [44]              Collingwood           [84]
  4. GCS                       [40]               GCS                [80.5]
  5. Carlton              [30]              Carlton                [72]
  6. Bulldogs                [28]              Bulldogs                [66]
  7. Brisbane                 [28]              GWS                  [53.5]
  8. GWS                  [24]              Brisbane              [50]
  9. Melbourne            [16]              Melbourne            [48]
  10. St Kilda             [16]              St Kilda               [41]

Skip leaves us with these salient points.  Brisbane failed to win a quarter in eleven matches.  This happened to The Saints on seven occasions, and to the Giants six times.  The Dees were only totally blown away thrice.

But cop this.  Essendon won only one quarter in ten of their matches.  In another they managed to tie only one quarter.  And they’re playing tomorrow.

At the other end of the scale – and this is revealing – Sydney, Freo, Port and The Crows all won at least one quarter in all their matches.  No Hawthorn and no Geelong amongst that group.

Fremantle tied seven quarters and the Power four.  The Bullies were the only team not to tie a quarter.

The Mighty Fighting Hawks had the most total victories – seven.  The Moggies were next best with five.

Relevant to tonight – the only zero point game The Squawkers put in was against The Handbaggers.  The last contest between these two in which the Kennett Curse prevailed.  Skip calls it a dour Freo-type game when Harry Taylor and The Boys held The Explosive Hawthorn Attack to 12 majors, their lowest score for the year.  He expects a similar style of game tonight.  (Check your Broadbents Wrap.  I think you’ll find Skipton is in the heart of the Western Plains.  Hope lives eternal in the Scoria Belt – Ed).  He also reckons Freo will make the most of the conditions out at Homebush Marsh on Saturday arvo too.

But enough of my yackin’.  Let’s see who’s going to start a September to remember.

The Family Club v The Pivotonians at the G tonight.  There’s no fear out at Waverley.  The Kennett Curse has been well and truly exorcised.  Although there’s talk in the trendy bistros and coffee houses along Glenferrie Road that the Colossus Hawkins casts a shadow over the Hawthorn defence,  the Brains Trust at Waverley will have a plan to get the ball to the ground and away from Lumbering Tom.  However, that’s just where Motlop, Stokes & Varcoe will be lurking to pounce on the loose ball.  But the absence of the Chappy-like Christiansen will create a hole in the Geelong Game Plan.  (Offsets the absence of Riolli wouldn’t you say – Ed)  The midfields are even.  Stevie J may be a bit out of touch, but then he might be ready to swallow the pigskin whole.  Jordan Lewis is in career best form.  Selwood & Bartel are always dangerous, but we’re suggesting the return of Hawthorn’s Spiritual Leader and the presence of The Duracell Man, Sammy Mitchell, will be the difference.  When it comes to forward lines, nothing compares with the sheer beauty of the Maybloom Attack as it swings into action.  Like a Robert Helpmann ballet, it is poetry in motion.  A poem that will carry through to a Preliminary Final Birth.  (Settle Wrap; Roughie in a tutu? Get back on the pills, that’s an order – Ed)  It’s The Mustard Pots to be too hot for The Hoopers tonight.

The Bloods v The Barry Crockers up on the Mud Heap tomorrow arvo.  The Mauve Miasma is rolling across the Nullarbor like an Ebola virus.  They’ve regained Fyfe and brought in Silvagni and Griffin to cover Johnson & Suban; Crozier has been omitted.  The Fremantle defence is in tatters.  The iconic Zac on Tippett and Silvagni on Buddy?  Excuse me.  The outing on The Swamp may have left the Swans a bit heavy in the leg department, but the Anchormen had a solid battering fending off The Fast Finishing Power last Sunday.  And Steak & Kidney are playing the ground for the second time in a row.  The Stevedores have had to travel and acclimatize to the steamy Sin City conditions.  Ward Rooney has it 18oC and showers.  True, The Homeside doesn’t play the oval well, but they’ve got a full complement and The Dockers are dishevelled down back.  We’re going with The Tinseltowners.

The Shinboners v The Flying Syringes, at THOF on Saturday night.  These two have been hard to read all season.  The Dons have been able to pull something out of the box when they’ve needed to.  A credit to the current coaching staff at Melrose Drive.  The Northerners have Come Out To Play Just For Recreation Sake To Pass The Time Away.  But they’ve been hard to beat When They’ve Joined In The Chorus.  The Bombers blitzed The Roos early in the season, but since then The Shinboners’ performances have ranged from dowdy, through solid, to powerful.  They’re not at full strength, but they’re not far off it.  The loss of their Spiritual Leader could be telling, but there are others who can step up, notably Swallow & Ziebell.  The Marshmallows have also produced when it’s mattered.  Frustratingly for their Locum Coach, their wins have been the reward of explosive one-quarter bursts.  This may not carry the day in the cauldron that is September Football.  Big Toddy Goldstein v the Recalcitrant Paddy Ryder holds the key to this match.  Both in All Australian Form.  Whoever gets on top here will have a big influence on the outcome. Essendon have struggled all year from lack of consistency in their attack.  The loss of Carlisle is massive.  Both teams are good movers of the ball, and are evenly matched in defence.  Heppell & Watson hold the key for The Gliders.  Hold them and you hold Essendon.  We’re going with The Shinboners to reap revenge for 1950.

The True Believers v Struggletown, in The City of Light to wind up the First Week of The Finals.  The Tiges are coming off a slogging win over The Minor Premiers on a heavy track up in Harbour Town last Saturday night.  The Tealers are coming off a fighting loss over in Sandgroper Country last Sunday.  Both are as close to full strength as they’re going to get this season.  The Tiges fear no one since they’ve rediscovered their Self Belief, but the question remains, have they got the firepower to win?  Let’s look at what they’ve got shall we?  A multi pronged attack with Jumping Jack Riewoldt dishing off and scoring regularly, and Super Boot Griffith pulling his weight at CHF.  A mid field depth that can measure itself confidently against the best of them.  A defence that is back to its 2013 meanest, when it was the 3rd tightest defence going around.  They’re up against the biggest improvers over the last two seasons.  Under Ken Hinkley the Power have moved from basket case to Contenders.  (Which would have to make The Hink Coach of The Year, wouldn’t it Wrap? – Ed)  Well, Oh Paramount Approver of Prose, it’s certainly not someone who hasn’t made an iota of difference to his charges’ attitude and performance from the previous season.  And who has put up his hand for priority draft picks, which is what that club has done at the end of the previous three seasons.  (Are you suggesting that I whistle and you point? – Ed)  Getting back to the Team Sheet at Alberton, they match The Tiges on every line, across and down the spine.  Schultz & Westie are a tag team of absolute quality; the flankers, led by Wingard, are nippy and dangerous; the defence is professional and well drilled; the on-ballers have carried the team to their current Ladder Position.  It comes down to form.  The hostile crowd won’t worry The Tiges; they’re 4-1 on the road this season, and they’re playing like a team possessed.  Port hit a mid season slump from Round XV when they lost The Showdown, and dropped from Top of The Table Contention to 5th.  They lost five of seven, and just scraped home in both those wins.  Then they stuck back against The Miseries in front of their home crowd, but failed to recover the lead over in Perth against The Dockers when 4th place was up for grabs.  Winning the tight ones has become a Port Adelaide trademark under their new coach.  While they seem to have lost that edge a bit, this is Sudden Death September.   They can never be underestimated, but then, neither can The Striped Marvels.  They jumped The Bloods, who to be honest looked bewildered in the first ten minutes.  They won’t jump The Tealers so easily, but they’ll keep going Till The Final Siren’s Gone.  The Bagmen have them art a ridiculously generous $2.90.  That’s right Wrappers; once more The Endangered Species are The Wrap Roughie of The Round.  Just invest half of what you collected down the High Street last week and you’re still in front if the worst comes to the worst.  But it won’t.  Richmond are the form side, and there’ll be plenty of Crows Supporters to cheer them on.

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. You had me until the last para Mr Wrap. A bridge too far for mine, given the number of finals your Tigers have been up for in the last month.
    Is the Wrap roadster making the trip across the Wimmera plains for the game?
    Robert Helpmann and Heritier’s homophobia huff all in the same piece? Mixed metaphors there. To my eye the gay poster slur stuff is the cover story, not the reason. Heritier seems a bit high maintenance for his recent returns to me. Can’t see top clubs lining up to sign on for his ‘look at me’ persona.
    By the way, can you ask Skip to keep shuffling the numbers until the Eagles are no longer ninth?

  2. Decided to have a Grand Finale BBQ instead Mr B. Being under siege for a month doesn’t deplete us, it makes us stronger. We’re not a bunch of Silvertails around at Tigerland.

    I can’t see the Nar Nar Goon Thirds rushing to sign Heritier L – not with imminent loss of hair looming over him..

    Glorious Ninth is an exhaled posit. Anyone can make The Eight, but only one team finishes just outside the finals. Enjoy the moment.

  3. Skip of Skipton says

    Some accurate editors comments there Peter, but the heart of the western plains would be more around Derrinallum where you’ll find the Swagman’s Lighthouse. We’re at 1000ft here on the verge of the central highlands. The temperature got to 14.5 today which is shorts and T-shirt weather.

    Here’s a quarter quad tip for tomorrow night Wrap;

    North 1-12
    North 1-12
    Essendon 37-48
    North 1-12

    McIntosh, Walker and Blicavs’ three way Ruck, CHF, and bench routine will get the Cats up.

  4. Great fan of the Derrinallum Kid Skip – a.k.a. Swoops Northey. He earned me a poultice when he got the Dees up into the finals back in the 1980s.

  5. I might take your advice on the quaddie too Skip. It will help cover the outlay on the cheese board and the extra pine cones for the fire.

  6. Earl O'Neill says

    Genuine LOL from the Dane Swan tale, many thanx.
    Heritier should’ve kept the dreads.

  7. Skip of Skipton says

    I’m fuming like a large lump of recently expended scoria!

    Steve Johnson has kicked 420 goals in his career, Steve Motlop is a renowned goal kicker in his short career thus far; why didn’t I see either of them anywhere near the forward 50 all night? (Steve J kicked a goal in junk time) The team was struggling for goals all night, the forward line wasn’t functioning well etc. Yet those two have to keep playing around the wings or half back?

    Chris Scott’s confident and erudite facade masks a tactical idiot. Walker took a couple of huge marks early on; one on the wing, another at half-back. Wouldn’t you throw him forward?

    Murdoch is too soft for serious AFL competition. Horlin-Smith too slow. Both need to be traded ASAP.

  8. Re Hawks win: Mission accomplished and man that was all she wrote! Prelim, here we come!

  9. Stevie M was a bit of a mystery all night Skip. He spent some time on the pine icing his ankle, and he really couldn’t get into it. Both sides were ferocious at the ball, the Hawks even more so. Stevie J was clearly not right. A straight sets exit looms if you run into – as I’m suspecting – a red hot North Melbourne. Then we’ll see which twin has the Toni.

    Ah, Mr Kane. Where have you been hiding? Out in the Wilds of Waverley no doubt. Great performance. Saw them in Round XXIII. (Yes, we have a Paid-up Proud & Passionate family line) They’re going got take a lot of stopping.

  10. David Zampatti says

    Don’t s’pose any of you are idly checking The Almanac on your smart device while strolling around ANZ Stadium?
    Are you getting wet? Are there kiddies out on the oval making mud bombs? Are you overhearing John Longmire and his Brains Trust deep in conversation about which three of his Four Pillars of Irresistible Attack to leave out because of the conditions?

    What’s the weather like today? Is it good news week?

  11. Haven’t heard any neighing from Horse, but the frogs are croaking out at Homebush. It’s teeming down.

    The upside is that it’s showing signs of clearing. But in Sydney, that can be a 60 minute break in the sky when the sou’ easterlies are scooping it up out of the East Australia Current.

    It’s going to make for an interesting outcome. Freo through to the Prelim is a different Freo from a Battle Weary Dockers coming at you through the semis.

  12. Sydney – Dockers was as hard and tough a game as you will see. Dockers just don’t bat as deep. Their younger fringe players struggled with the intensity. Sandlands, Mzungu, Mundy, Pavlich were enormous. Jetta gave the Swans leg speed and running to space in the second half.
    Terrific stuff to watch for a neutral who doesn’t care for either club.

  13. Skip of Skipton says

    Some Buddy magic early in the last after Freo kicked two in the first minute was the difference. Pretty even apart from that really.

    The little flat track bully doing SFA didn’t help the Dockers’ cause, too much left on Pav’s plate.

  14. Umpiring standard – and interpreation – at odds with last night too.

    Sydney v Hawthorn GF. You can lock it in Eddie.

  15. Skip of Skipton says

    The AFL Swans did seem to get the rub o’ the green from the men in flouro. Free to McGlynn in front of goal was unwarranted. The Jack one from 50 out was fair enough. The Hanneberry free (where he kicked untruly) was wrong.

    Odds of Hawks vs Swans GF would be well into the red, and if it should be, my odds of watching it are in the black for the first time ever. Will be on holidays with better things to do.

  16. We play The Game as it should be played,
    At home or far away.

    So that’s what those words mean Skip. I often wondered.

  17. Thanks Wrap for the lend of 9th spot.
    Speed kills. Much better your mob than mine out there today.

  18. That mob at The Portress has more venom than a fierce snake Mr B. never mind The Poor Old Endangered Species. How about the poor umpies. How’d you like to be out there in Fluoro?

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