The Pre-Wrap: Finals — Week 1


For the Philosophical Marngrook Follower

What a week it’s been in Footy Eddie.  Out at Whinging Hill, The Bombers stood up in the tackle.  Taking sound advice from the Senior Associate at Downright Lie & Procrastinate, Sir Frank Downright, they swallowed their medicine and pleaded guilty as charged Your Honour.  In a measured presentation, it is only fair to say, something they could well learn from out at Waverly, they prepared for a trip to the City of Light.  It can only be hoped that after a good Spring cleaning and a long summer holiday we’ll see a less Dysfunctional Family at Hawthorn.

And while the Coaches Carousel remains in mothballs, the Alberton Ferris Wheel concession continues to spin.  The Junk Yard Dog was seen climbing aboard the bottom gondola while Chokko waved to him from the top.  Funny thing, are we alone in thinking that just might just be the right balance for The Basket Weavers?

Where were you when it happened?  The selling of the soul of OUR GREAT GAME?  We all saw what happened to the Flannelled Fools when they started betting on who would take the 1st wicket, the last catch or brush away the next fly.  It is a gross distraction at best and a potentially destructive move at worst.  Hollywood has a sport in gambling category at the Oscars for crying out loud.  Don’t think for a moment it can’t happen here.  Shame, Andrew. Shame. A pox on your spawn.

Off shore, the English Rain washed out the lightning cricket, just when we had caught the To & Froms nursing a Trafalgar Square sized hangover.  Now we move on to a best of seven of the longer version of the pyjama game.  And Llil Lleyton faces The Fed on a roll.  Naturally we wish him and his brave little entourage well, but the message must be getting through soon.  Come home Lleyton.  All is forgiven.

But enough of my gabbin’. Let’s see who’s going to have a September to remember.

The Pride of South Australia v The Mosquito Bombers at Crow Park tonight.  And Mosquito Bombers they are.  With their Squadron Leader grounded and their strike force Matty Ryder in the hangar with him, The Bombers look decidedly under equipped to take on the form side of the Competition on their Home Turf.  But let’s not write them off just yet.  Matty Pears at full back is having a blinding tyro year and Matty Lovett-Murray is having his best year for ages.  Matty Hurley is a star in the making and Matty Fletcher should never be underestimated.  Even Matty McPhee can be handy at times.  Their attack is loaded with Matties – Lovett, Wunderkind, Monfries, Hooker & Welsh all know where the goals are.  And who wouldn’t want the luxury of Matty Prisnall, Matty Dempsey and Matty Hocking in the rack waiting to launch?  Top that off with Matty Watson  & Matty Stanton on the ball and it doesn’t look as bleak as The Sage Pundits would have it.  It’s just the quality of the opposition that throws a shadow over the parade.  They are in frightening form.  Van Berlo will be missed, but the mixture of youth and cool heads, with the Rabid Adelaide Mob urging them on to victory will be too much for Matty Knights’ Mosquito Bombers.  The Dons will have a fair dinkum dip, they’re like that out at Whingy Hill, but in the end it will be like sending Wirraways up against Zeros.  McLeod, Edwards & Goodwin have all been there before and the attack led by The Birdman, The Dangerman, The Porpoise & The Tippett are as exciting as it gets.  Make sure you get the kiddies off to bed before it gets too ugly.  The Mighty Adelaide Crows.

Geelong v The Western Bulldogs at The G tomorrow.  This is a toughie.  The Sleepy Hollow Millionaires may have had that D&M talk with their bank manager in time.  Their win against Freo last week in conditions that carried a sheep weather alert for the Mallee & Wimmera was impressive.  The Big Tomahawk fired like he’d had a session with a horse whisperer and Brad Ottens looked like he had something to prove.  But the scariest thing for anyone who has to face them this month would have been the smile on Bomber’s dial.  Fair dinkum, you could have toasted raisin bread on it.  He’s hoping to get Stevie J back next week but add Varcoe and Chappy to Mad Dog Mooney and Jimmy Bartell for this outing and you’ve got an attack with frightening potential fire power.  (Potential because of Mad Dog’s brittleness Wrap? – Ed)  Not sure about Blake in the 1st ruck.  It sort of sends the wrong message, but they must know what they’re doing down there at Catland.  The interchange bench is also as good as it gets.  They’re playing the sentimental favourite: The Sons of The West.  Of whom it should be said, have also struck a vein of form.  The reigning Brownlow Medallist is getting back to his 2008 best and Gilbee is also picking up his step.  Griffen is back, and Hudson.  Akka is Akka and Hargraves, Harbrow & Lake make a formidable full back line.  Bomber is sure to play his last line of attack deep to leave plenty of open space into which his half forwards and midfielders can lead.  And Big Tomahawk in the goal square is as scary as it gets for a full back.  Even the latest Full Back of The Century.  True, The Dogs had The Cats measure a fortnight go, and it looked convincing at the time.  But around here at The Wrap we’re starting to get the feeling that maybe it was The Dogs who were being meaured.  And next week’s fashion accessory will be the Bulldog hide Handbag.  We’re going for The Pivotonians in this one.

The Brisbane Lions v The Royal Parade Silvertails at The Gabbattoir tomorrow night.  It’s been a great effort from Boss Voss to get his charges into September with a Home Final.  He’s got Brown & Bradshaw back in the key forward posts against, let’s be honest here, a pretty iffy Carlton pair.  The rest of the Carlton defence doesn’t look any less porous.  At the other end The Blues can boast this year’s Coleman Medallist and the mercurial Eddie Betts and Will o’ the Wisp Garlett.  The Lion’s defence is better than it looks on paper but it’s in the Following Division that The Blues show real class: The Juddanaught, The Kreuzer and Gibbs.  The ball is going to be coming down into Carlton’s scoring zone like holiday rain and even with the Brisbane Faithful in full voice, no number of Halleluiahs will be able to hold back the deluge.   It’s going to be a great match but It’s hard to see The Bad News Bears getting across the line in this one.  Go Roys make a noise, but when they ring the bell for full time, it will be The Bluebaggers who go through to next week.

St Kilda v Collingwood at The G on Sunday.  Nineteen Sixty Six revisited.  Or will it be The Culture Club v The Collywobbles?  The Long Suffering Junction Oval Faithful must have their season flashing before their eyes right now.  After winning every close one and blitzing more than a few, they seem to have gone back to their roots.  However, fear not it’s certainly not a return to The Culture Club, however there’s every indication that they’ve trained off somewhat.  Their opponents of Sunday, Carringbush, have been the ones going like a German band.  Until last week that is.  They were exposed up forward last week.  Jack Anthony seems to have had his kicking boots nicked but the culprit certainly wasn’t Travis Cloke.  It still places a lot of responsibility on the St Kilda defence led by the ex-Hawthorn cult figure Zac Dawson.  The interchange benches haven’t been announced but the both sides appear to have a full line-up to choose from.  You’d expect Gardiner to join King to cover the two Magpie giraffes, and you’d go for Luke Ball to be covering your back when the boots and barstools started to fly wouldn’t you?.  Playing personnel is not St Kilda’s problem.  It’s between the ears that they’ve been falling down.  If they get their intensity back they’ll yard Collingwood in along the boundary and rebound through the corridor to where the Panzer Divisions Riewoldt and Koschitzke await.  True, Presti is on the All Australian long list and Skipper Maxwell is leading from the front.  And Shaw and Lockyer are having a good year, but Leigh Brown on Jason Gram looks a bit vulnerable once the ball spills free.  The Pies have plenty of sorcerers and you’d hitch hike down from Manangatang for this one.  It could go either way.  TLSJOF will be praying that St Riewoldt doesn’t have to kick the decider after the siren.  But around here at The Wrap we’re saying 3rd time lucky.  It’s The Junction Oval Seagulls for us.

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.

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