The Pre-Wrap: Round 7

by John Mosig

What a week it’s been in Footy Eddie.  The Appalling Football League shows concern for the plight of The Endangered Tigers, clamps down on gambling in Football and fends off the roundball code’s claim on The Home of Football for the 2018 World Cup.

Benny Gale comes out with all guns blazing.  As does President Jeff.  Little Gary Ablett seen out after midnight.  (How are they going to keep him in up on the Gold Coast? – Ed)

But let’s look at this crack down on gambling.  You have to hand it to the invertebrates around there at Jellymont House don’t you?   A goal umpire placed sixty bucks on the 2009 GF, a game at which he didn’t officiate.  Goodness gracious me.  What’s the world coming to?  And that Western Bulldog’s director who placed five bets totally $50 – his club was fined $7,500.  Nice pick-up Adrian.  But the one that really caught our eye, and yours too I imagine, was the trainee timekeeper  who risked a whole five dollars of his apprenticeship pay packet on a lone wager back in 2009.  He’s been rubbed out for five weeks.  And rightly so.  The Appalling Football League has to be seen to be on the ball here.

Fair dinkum, we can’t really be expected to take this mob seriously can we?  As if a match fixer is going to hang up his shingle and open a Sportsbet account.  No, they are the ones using runners and dealing with The Bagmen (And when available, The Pieman – Ed)  In the meantime, the goal ump, who probably loves The Game as much as you & I has been suspended for the rest of the season.  And that extra money may have been helping pay his aging mother’s medical bills too.

And just to show how tough they can get they’ve sent triple Maggot of The Year Scott McLaren up to Manangatang for his sins against society.  Around here at The Wrap we can’t see what Coach Knighter was so upset about.  I’d be more concerned that Slattery waltzed the ball across the behind line instead of running it out of the pocket.  The field in front of him was wide open too.  I would have sent him to Manangatang. 

And while we’re around there at Whingy Hill, we hear that The Gilders, in true Essendon Tradition, may be ready to huff off from their ancestral grounds because the Historic Bowling club won’t give ground.  (From driving around town, it’s probably the only bowling club left in the region – Ed)  But where to now Bombers?  Bendigo?  Surely not.  Maybe share Visy Park with the Blues?

But enough of my gabbin, let’s see who’s going to be heading for Football Heaven and who’s going to be writing off their season after Round VII.

Melbourne v Bulldogs at THOF tonight.  What a night to be away from the comfort of the Dumb, eh?  Ward Rooney has a sheep weather alert out for all districts and snow is expected down to 1,000m.  Both losers from last week, one in a much talked about contest, the other in a forgettable encounter against 11th Placed North Melbourne.  Look, if The Kennel Coughs are going to hold any pretentions to Flag Favouritism they’re going to have to blast Jimmy’s Dees off the park.  SOTG may have noted that a couple of Bulldog veterans – Johnson & Eagleton are showing their age.  Not a good sign so early in the season.  And it won’t be a good night for Bulldog Barry to play himself back into form.  (I’m sure they have sheep weather alerts and snow down to 1,000m at Broadford Wrap.  Probably on the pavilion roof – Ed)  The Fuchsias have dropped McDonald & Martin and lost Pettterd to injury.  They’ve blooded Danny Hughes who has waited around nearly five years to get a run with the Seniors.  It has to be The Tricolours.

Essendon v Port Adelaide under cover at the Traditional Time.  Port have shuffled their winning team around and the mercurial Danny Motlop is back with Trengrove & Krakouer.  The Bombers have replaced Welsh (naughty boy) and Dyson (injured) with Melksham & Howlett.  You’d like to think The Dons will win this one.  Hawthorn were pathetic last week and made Essendon look better than they really are.  But a win’s a win and they must take a bit of Self Belief into the match.  The Chokers have been winning, but not impressively.  One notable scalp was St Kilda at Footy Park.  One notable loss was Geelong at Kardinia Park by 95 points.  If the Bombers can apply the same pressure that cracked The Mayblooms they should take the Four Points here – Essendon.

West Coast v Hawthorn at Sooby on Saturday Arvo.  These two would, along with Adelaide, have to be the big disappointments of Season 2010.  Kayler-Thompson, Lewis, Murphy & Osborne have all been Jeffed.  In come Morton, Muston, Suckling & Peterson.  Not a lot of household names there.  The Coasters appear to be in a similar state of disarray.  Of their three changes they’ll miss the suspended Embley most.  On paper The Hawks have plonked Roughie in the goal square and Buddy out to CHF.  Down at the other end The Weagles have an equally imposing pair in Lynch & Kennedy.  Big Nat is dominating the hit outs and should be too strong for Young McEvoy giving West Coast first use of the ball from the clearances.  This plus the home crowd will go a long way to winning this one.  For The Mustard Pots to win they’ll need to lift to their 2008 intensity.  We keep hearing how The Hawks have won a Flag once every 4.25 years over the last 34 years.  For what it’s worth they won The Coveted Sylvan Shield on average every 5 years in the previous 50 years.  But stats are for cricket.  This is about taking it one week at a time.  This will be a big challenge and we expect them to make a good account of themselves.  In fact we wouldn’t even be surprised to see a Roughie-led Hawthorn take the Four Points.  We’re going for The Hawkers climbing out of the grave and boarding the redeye with a Famous Victory on their belt.  And at $2.25 they’re The Wrap Roughie of The Round.

Carringbush v North Melbourne on The G tomorrow night.  You couldn’t tip against Carringbush on current form.  Or tip North for the same reason.  And get hold of as much of the $1.20 as you can. For those haemorrhaging on The Bourse, here’s a chance to rebound.  The Woodsmen are The Wrap Safe as Houses Investment Opportunity of The Round.

Brisbane v Fremantle in The Lions’ Den.  Brissy have gone a bit pear shaped over the last fortnight.  Losing to Melbourne by 50 sleazy joints away is not confidence building football.  They had their chances against Steak & Kidney last weekend but weren’t able to capitalize on them.  Freo have only one serious scalp on the belt – TRP.  We’d like to go with The Anchormen, but this one’s a road trip too far.  With Rich leading a midfield feeding Jonathon Brown & The Fev it’s The Lions.

The Pivotonians v The Bloods at Corio Oval for the early Sunday match.  In Ablett & Scarlett, out Ottens is clearly on the debit side for The Moggies.  The Lakers are blooding a couple of new lads in Pyke & Rohan.  Not that the Roos/Longmuir coached Swans aren’t without a chance, but we’ve already stuck our neck out once this Round.

Adelaide v Richmond at Crow Park on Sunday arvo.  The Tiges are going to have a breakout game sometime this year.  But not in the first half of the season.  They’re playing with endeavour but lack skills.  They were woeful even before they got smashed by The Cats last week.  In fact, the reason they got blown away was because they were woeful.  A blustery day in The Shadows of Mt Lofty won’t improve their demeanour any.  The are taking a full bus across including Graeme Pollack, Cotchin, Martin Tambling, White and New Boy Webberley.  They aren’t without a chance, but The Wiley Crows, on paper, appear to have too much experience for The Tiger Cubs.  However, The Visitors will make a better account of themselves than they did last weekend and they shouldn’t get blown away again.  Look for value in the margins.  They may even jump The Chardonnays at the first bounce.

St Kilda v Carlton under cover on Monday night.  The Miseries aren’t without a chance in this one.  Judd on the Iconic Zac has all the makings of a match winning move.  Will kick it long to Juddie become the new Silvertail war cry?  I can actually see The Bluebaggers winning this one.  Footscray played into St Kilda’s hands last weekend, and only for a very un-Bulldog like drop in concentration in the dying stages of the contest let The Enigmatic Saints steal the Four Points.  Last week The Blues showed they could come back once they broke free of Collingwood’s fierce tackling.  The Feeling Faints know how to apply the pressure too, and Rossy Lyon & SOS were in the stands to evaluate their opponent of this week.  But The Kreuzer, Judd & Eddie Betts are an imposing trio so close to goal and you can bet Ratts will have the midfield bombing it into the sweet spot.  Look, we hate to tip against the Sainters as much as we hate tipping The Silvertails, but we reckon Carlton have the firepower to break through the ironclad Saint Kilda defence and the return of Vinny Waite will bolster their defence.  Kossy will need to hold everything that comes his way and kick truly.  It all has to do with first use of the ball at this level and Judd in the goal square may be robbing Judd at the centre bound.  Watch for the switch once the ball is in play.  Likewise Kreuzer.  If it works it could swing the match Carlton’s way.  If it doesn’t, and The Saints get their attacking game going on the back of it, it will be The Saints.  We tossed The Wrap penny and it came down Carlton.  We had to toss out of 11 to get a Saint Kilda win, but we got it.

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. tim dixon says

    its obvious the AFL is of the opinion that the apprentice timekeeper had been got at by “mr big” and it was only as short time before clubs started throwing games to appease the underworld. what a joke!

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