The Pre Wrap: Semi Final Weekend

What a week it’s been in Football Eddie? The Tiges & Bombers have gone on the rampage as Mad Monday swept over them.  You’d have to say the Richmond Skipper looked like a cast member from The Rocky Horror Show – Brad Majors.  That boy would look squeaky clean in a leather G-string, wouldn’t he?

The Striped Marvels and The Long Suffering Punt Road Faithful have copped a bit of flack this week. And in True Tigerland Tradition they’ve banked the character building.  Last year they got well ahead of themselves.  Twice they let Tradition Rivals Carlton up off the mat to turn the tables on them.  This season they hadn‘t done enough preparation to toughen up for what awaited them in the Shadows of Mt Lofty.  All good learning for the next September, because – and you heard it here first – they are going to come out roaring next season.

As for The Peptides, they just can’t seem to get away from the spotlight, can they? Let’s see how they handle this Paddy Ryder business.  And the outcome of Mr. Justice Middleton’s findings.  And Bomber Harvey’s departure from the club.  So far they haven’t covered themselves in glory, and there’s straws in the wind that suggest they ain’t out of the woods yet.  Our hearts go out to all those Whingy Hill Faithful who have had to endure the opprobrium brought down on them by the actions of a few, and we of course wish them all the very best over the Long Dark Summer.  They have suffered enough.  Let’s hope they haven’t suffered in vain.  (You reckon they’d be awarded long Suffering Status if they applied for it Wrap? – Ed)  Turn it up Oh Wondrous Wordsmith.  This is Essendon we’re talking about.

The Final’s results are starting to filter in from the bush. And the first one to hit the Wrapdesk was a half page pix of The Mirboo North Tigers holding aloft the Mid Gippy Football League Trophy for Season 2014.  They finished third and did it the hard way.  In fact Runners-up Newborough were the Minor Premiers.  They’d lost only twice all season and finished with a percentage of 217.  Top that with the fact they’d beaten The Reigning Premiers Mirboo North three times by a combined total of 241 points through the season.

It was only a Storming Final Stanza that clawed back a 21-point OT-Huddle deficit. Five points down in the last 30 seconds of the match, Shane Peters sealed it for The Tiges with a six-pointer.  Local stringer, The Rover, described it thus  – Deep in time-on in the final quarter, Shane Peters experienced every footballer’s dream when he put the Tigers in front, after brilliantly marking a low, hamstring-tearing pass from Jack Robertson.  (Now there’s a name from the past Wrap, remember when a nanosecond was measured by less than the time it took you to say Jack Robertson? – Ed)  I thought it was Jack Robinson Ed, but never mind.  The important thing is, and again we defer to The Rover – Under extreme pressure, Peters calmly kicked a stylish 32 metre left-foot drop punt over the goal umpires head, to secure victory and his first senior premiership.  Ahhh, those silky left footers from the bush.  But your heart has to go out to Newborough.  This was their third successive nail-biting GF loss.

The Tigers 3rd XVIII had started a Yellow&Black trend for the weekend.  They’d taken out their Premiership and the girls had won the A & B Grade Netball Trophies.  C’mon.  One more time – – – Oh We’re From Tigerland ……..

But enough of my yackin’. Let’s see who’s going to stick like glue in Week II of September.

The Shinboners v.  The Pivotonians at the G tonight.  Ward Rooney has the weather on the improve, but we haven’t passed the Spring Equinox yet.   Make sure you’re well rugged up.  And don’t forget the thermos.  We’re going early on this one.  We reckon The Kangas are going to hop off the mark full of running.  The Handbaggers defence looked a little spongy once Hawthorn got their ball movement going.  Nothing against Harry Taylor & Co, but no one, not Mandrake the Magician, not Superman, not even Popeye The Sailorman  with a full pipe of spinach can hold out fast accurate ball movement indefinitely.  In fact, when you look at it on paper, The Catters have got one of the best defences going around, but The Roos have a livewire attack, which on their night, can tear the heart out of the best of them.  We’ll concede they’re not playing Essendon this week, but they’ll be full of Self Belief.  And Boomer’s fired up to make his mark.

Dal Santo, Swallow & Wells, now that’s a centreline that can deliver. True, Joel Selwood can turn a game off his own endeavours, but without Stevie J, Christiansen, and a suspect Stevie M, he’s going to be carrying the load of a straight sets exit for The Moggies on his pat malone.  It will come down to getting the hands on the pigskin, and The Hoppers are better at that than The Hoopers.

When it comes down to the Geelong attack, they look one-dimensional. Stokes & Varcoe haven’t actually been setting the world on fire, and Mr Potatohead will be wearing Jimmy Bartel like a glove.  Likewise down in the goalsquare.  Although it would be disappointing for the Flat Town Faithful if the Big Tomahawk turned in another shocker, he looked totally bewildered last week, and when he lost his rag, what was left of his game fell apart.  And you can rely on one thing; Thommo will have been watching the replay of Lake’s game on him all week.

It’s going to be a bottler. Both sides can really turn it on.  As we said in the opening para, we reckon it’s going to be The Shinboners.  Mainly because they’re younger & hungrier, and have shown they can turn on some scintillating bursts of Football when they click.  The Pivotonians are a proud club, and won’t make it easy for them, but we’re going with The Northerners

The Power From Port v The Barry Crockers over amongst the kangaroo paws.  This is déjà vu all over gain, or as they say along the Rhine – das glieche alte lied.  The last time they met we wrote  – Both sides are cracking the whip for September. Port looked super impressive last weekend against Carlton, but then, so would have the Nar Nar Goon 3rds.  The Barry Crockers have also been showing some form.  They were stiff not to get up down at Skilled Stadium the other week and looked comfortable against The Bears up in The Lions’ Den.

We went for The Mauve Miasma then. So what’s changed since?  Well, to start with, The Miasmas have had a leg-wearying trip to the Homebush Morass.  The Tealers have had a Sunday school picnic on the Picturesque Adelaide Oval.  How’s that going to leave them both physically?  The Power to be cherry ripe?  Yeah, we’d go along with that.  (Playing Matty White with a fractured jaw not a risk Wrap? – Ed)

How about mentally? The Anchormen would have to have a bit of Rebound in them.  Rossy Lyon would have been working on that on Tuesday night, and again on Thursday.  That’s on top of the burning feeling around the clubrooms on the Pleasant Sunday Morning after the match.  The Alberton Crowd may have looked like flat track bullies a couple of times over the last three times they played, and they won’t have The Knowledgeable Port Adelaide Mob booing every time the opposition touches the ball or are awarded a free.  That barrage will be coming from their opposition supporters this time.  But they’ll know the sound, and they’ll know that it’s hard tackles that break your bones, and constant pressure that breaks down your resolve, not opposition supporter rancour.  Mentally you’d say both sides are battle hardened.

In attack, both sides have serious firepower. Big Jay can crunch a pack and Westie can soar above it.  Westie’s boot is not as reliable as Jay’s but both kick the ball like a forward.  At the other end, The Anchormen are equally well served by the Pav & Mayne.  But without the fire and goalsneaking of Hayden the Horrible, Freo look a bit sparse up forward.  At the other end of the ground there’s the magic of Wingard & Gray.

Fyfe & Boak lead their respective midfields, which are as good as you’ll get. Big Laurie Sandilands the key here.  If Port can shark Sandilands’ potential control of the ruck contests they’ll have gone a long way to controlling the clearances.  Another 50/50 outcome for ours.

When we weigh up Homeground Advantage against the absence of Ballantyne and the gaps in the Dockers’ defence and the scales tilt Port’s way. We’re going with the wearers of the Silver, Teal and Black&White.

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. Both games this weekend should be bewdies, and like Mr Wrap I will be supporting the Kangas and the Prison Bar Maggies. Spring is in the air in Perth and I have the urge to join a throng going to see our great game.
    Unfortunately the 40k capacity of Subiaco makes it a members only sell out. Melbourne Almanackers have the glory of the MCG that only sells out for the GF. The Avenging Eagle and I went to watch a Crows Dockers game at Subi a few years ago. The bloke across the aisle was outraged that 1 in 100 people was not barracking for the Mauve Miasma. After exchanging ribald badinage all game, the final straw was when we pulled the thermos and muffins out of our Eagles carry bag at half time. He exploded “what are you doing here if you don’t even barrack for either side?” I calmed the situation by advising that “I only come to see you lot get done”. We had to be separated by fearful wives who thought we were both candidates for a coronary more than a KO. The Crows won. Bliss.

  2. I’d say you owe your very existence on more than one occasion to the quick thinking and courage of the Avenging Eagle Mr B.

    How’re the kangaroo paws in Kings Park? They’d be an absolute picture this time of the year, wouldn’t they? In fact, how’s the season looking? The crops shaping up okay? We’re as dry as a Rechabites’ Christmas Party over here. Not a good look.

  3. Jeez Mr Wrap, you make us sound like a couple of old bushies, parked our ute in the middle of the main drag, having a yarn. “Did you get any of the showers that went through last week? How’s the crop looking? Prices are a bastard. That bloody $A is rooting us. Bloody politicians. How do you reckon the boys will go on the weekend?”
    Suppose we are the Statler and Waldorf of the Almanac, with our curmudgeonly barbs from the digital dress circle.
    Since you ask, WA is having a great season. The northern wheatbelt was looking a bit dry after good early rains, but they were saved by an inch of rain that came through a week back. The southern parts are as green as Ireland. Of course the bloody frosts will probably ruin everything.

  4. That ties in with an El Nino Mr B. Dry this side, wet your side. Batten the hatches and pump the creek up into the ground tank while it’s still running.

    Loved the touch about the frost Hanrahan. Does it betray an ancestry not transparent in your Free Settler surname?

  5. Maternal grandfather was a Soldier Settler farmer from WW1 on the northern reaches of Eyre Peninsula. Poor bastards that survived the Western Front got rewarded by a ‘grateful’ nation with the shit land that the squattocracy had turned its nose up at. A few droughts and the Great Depression in the 30’s finished him off on the land, but one of mum’s brothers made a go of it.
    I grew up barracking for West Torrens and St Kilda. Pessimism was forged into our bones on the mound at Thebarton.

  6. Skip of Skipton says

    Central Highlands league grand-finals tomorrow. Skipton are in the A grade netball decider. Huge effort in an 18 team comp.

    The Cats will be down to the Lord of the Isles Tavern on Monday if they think Bartel and Selwood kicking half their score again is going to be enough.

  7. Good call on The Moggies Skip. Too little from too few. Big load on the Tomahawk tonight. Then again, they just may have one more life left in them.

  8. Skip of Skipton says

    It is time to pay out Chris Scott’s contract and show Ken Hinkley a blank cheque.

    Who was the brainiac that reckoned keeping only two injury prone ruckmen on the list would suffice? Sack him too. If we still had Trent West we would have won.

    Why was Motlop playing?

    Great to see young Gazza barracking for the Cats.

  9. I agree Skip. A lot of thinking to do down at The Cattery. Need to polish up those mirrors too. Starting with the one on the back of Varcoe’s locker door. They looked very flat. Even appeared to lack desire for the pigskin at various times. How long’s Coach Christopher got to run on his contract?

  10. Skip – The main thing I noticed about Chris Scott’s coaching was how Tom Hawkins was used. He threatened to win the game off his own boot all night. But the only time I saw him in the 2nd and 3rd quarters he was on the wing or the back flank. What the?
    Tonight was a strange game. Geelong was awful, but had some wonderful individuals in Selwood, Hawkins, Caddy. North can play wonderful footy in patches, but they lack the strength and experience to do it for more than a half.
    Swans will win by 10 goals but the experience for North is priceless.
    Who goes from Geelong? Enright and Varcoe definitely. Kelly, Mackie and Bartel are still handy, but do you hang on like Enright when your best is behind you?

  11. Skip of Skipton says

    It’s like they are trying to make Varcoe into what Wojcinski was. It aint happening. Varcoe is a forward flanker. And we could have done with him on the forward flank last night.

    You play your best players in their best positions. Bartel and Kelly both played midfield against North at Kardinia Park midway through the season and killed it.

    Enright should fall on his sword, but wants to play on and get to 300. Has waned noticeably in the last two years. Somehow got AA last year which was bollocks.

  12. The Cats are at the crossroads. Next season will be a seminal year down at Flat Town. It’s an enthralling story. Or should that be narrative?

    The questions is, have all the gap filling from the football factory of The Geelong Falcons really filled the gapes, to just puttied them over? You’ve identified then pretty well Skip.

    And Mr B, you may have nailed the situation pretty well too. It might be time to re-shuffle the deck and deal the cards in a differently way. Push these young blokes forward and get some of the pressure off the ageing stars. Remember how dangerous Lethal was in his dotage lurking in the forward pocket? The Moggies have looked one dimensional for a good part of the season. Against The Shinboners they sorely missed Stevies J & M (don’t tell me Motlop was 100% fit) and Christiansen. They were smashed in the midfield, which in turn caused the back line to unravelled under pressure. A back line that is not as impregnable and explosive as it looks on paper.

    They ran out of lives on Friday night, as simple as that. But North deserved to win. It is written – those whom The Gods endower, The Gods can destroy

  13. Hey Skip – Congratulations to the Skipton netball side on going top. Even out here on the fatal shore we got the news on the excellent ABC radio country footy round-the-grounds. I hear there is $300 on the bar at the Skipton pub. Have one for me.
    And Stone Cold Stevie Baker got a mention ringing in the scores from Wangaratta.
    Knackers rule.
    Go you Prison Bar Magpies at Stockbroker Stadium tonight. That would really make my day, week, month……

  14. Bloody ripper. Boyz II Men.
    Freo ran out of legs and soldiers.
    Best game of the finals. Salute all 44 men out there.

  15. Didn’t stay up for Ross Lyon’s presser. Just about to bring it up now.

    But you know what, The Hink the Boyz II Men can go all the way. No, I mean really believes it, and in them. And I reckon he’ll convince them.

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