The Pre Wrap – The Finals Week VI

THE BIG ONE

For the Philosophical Marngrook Follower

Ciad Mile Failte.  What a week it’s been in Footy Eddie.  The umpires’ votes have been opened, read out and counted, and The Brownlow awarded.  And what a surprize that was.  The player who won it had a broken keg.  We’ve been through the annals and can’t find another player who had to be assisted onto the podium.  (What about The Fev to collect his Coleman? – Ed)  This year’s Charlie is truly one for the record books.

And speaking of broken legs; Fyfe played out The Preliminary Final with painkillers.  The whole 120 minutes of it.  Tell that to the hair flickers and divers in the roundball game and they wouldn’t believe you.

Mrs Wrap pushed tea through a bit early so we could watch the Diamonds & Dresses waltz down the red carpet without any distractions.  And what a parade of Footballing eye candy that was?  The estimates on hairdos alone would rebuild a medium sized Syrian township.  (I thought we were going to bomb Syria back into the Stone Age Wrap; whose side are you on? – Ed)  The dollars thrown at the frocks would have floated the Greek economy.

Also something that caught the eye of the Wrapcave Statistics Department was the voting for Footscray players.  Marcus Bontempelli (13 votes), Jack Macrae (11 votes), Matthew Boyd (8 votes) & Mitch Watts (8 votes) made up the leader board out at Whitten Oval.  The Bulldog players presented with All Australian blazers this year were Easton Wood, Jake Stringer & Robert “Bob” Murphy.  It probably doesn’t mean much, but it’s something to toss around when the conversation around the BBQ slows down a bit.

Our resident psychiatrist has also brought something to our attention.  Did you know it was possible to retrain your brain to ride a bicycle with a reverse worm gear at the base of the handle bars – in other words you instinctively turn the handle bars to the left to go to the left, but the bike turns right?  Okay? Got the concept?  Well, out at Waverly they have been training with recorded booing and abuse over the loud speakers at full volume.  They’ve trained their minds to believe that booing and abuse is good because it means they’re getting up the opposition’s collective noses.  And do you know what?  Like everything they do out there, it’s working.  (For those that have trouble following some of the Wrap’s convoluted thought patterns – just think of learning to drive in the Americas or Europe – Ed)

Another point worth thinking about. You know when you first undertake a long journey?  And it seems you’ll never get there? Then coming back it doesn’t seem so long?  And when you do it next time it seems shorter again?  That early trip across to Perth The Hawks made would have shortened the second trip a fortnight later, don’t you reckon?

Did you know?  Twenty eight of the VFL/AFL Grand Finals have been played on October – and that includes the two Melbourne v Essendon matches played to decide the 1948 Premiers and the two replays in 1977 & 2010.  You never know; it might come up in a trivia night.

We were wrong – Snake & Pygmy beat Hawthorn 2012, not 2013.  And there was a typo – of course.  Lethal’s Bad News Bears played in four successive Grannies; not his Bas News Bears.  Thanks to everyone who wrote in about both those.  And if you’re writing from Dubai, please make sure you’ve got enough postage on the envelope.  We had to collect the letter from the post office and pay double the postage shortfall.

And BTW Ed, when you were doing your North Melbourne summary you didn’t mention Scott Thompson, Robbie Nahas and Mr Potato Head amongst the veteran class on The Roos’ List.  Or the fact that their defence can be opened up dramatically from time to time.

The Wrap Award Night was a sparkling affair held in the Wrapcave on Tuesday night.  Maybe not as much flesh on show as at Crown, but the counting was just as tense.

The Fevola Medal was a close run thing, but in the end it was Cody Yarran’s sharp right hook to the throat of an off-duty policewoman that took the coveted award.  The Knowledgeable Fremantle Fans came a close second.  Third came Daniel Chick’s publishers.  The ex-Eaglehawk has claimed the 2006 Eagles were on the juice to the eyeballs when they took The Flag.  Hologram Man was suitably appalled and said he’d be looking into it.  (We may have to be calling him the Mirror soon Wrap, in tribute to all the looking into it he’s doing – Ed)

Since The Mad Abbott has taken centre stage in the world of delusion, setting off on a nation-wide whirlwind tour to farewell his adoring flock across The Wide Brown Land, we’ve renamed The Rudd Trophy for Delusional Grandeur in honour of the nation’s new Master Delusionist.  And lo and behold, the first Abbott Mug has produced a tied result. The winners were both coaches, and both claimed messianic powers.  You know of whom we’re talking, don’t you Wrappers?  Honestly, we just couldn’t separate them.  Never will we see their like again.  (Wanna bet on that Wrap? – Ed)

There were so many candidates for The Robbie Flower Award this season that it difficult to choose an individual winner.  But we gave it to The Whole Football World the way they showed genuine respect and understanding for those affected by the tragic death of Phil Walsh.

But enough of my gabbin’.  Let’s see who’s going to be going to be remembered after The First Saturday in October.

The Aquila Audaxii v The Mayblooms on The People’s Ground on Saturday.  Well Wrappers, here it is; The Big One, The Decider; The Moment of Truth.   The moment we’ve all been waiting for.  And at thus stage it’s anybody’s guess.  The Bagmen, after referring to their focus group polling, have installed The Mustard Pots as warm favourites and the line’s a whisker under 10 points goals.  On form that looks about right.  But that was last week’s form.  The Wedgies kicked poorly last week, but then again, so did North.  And they were wasteful in the Qualifying Final as well.  The Wedgies that is.  The Leafblowers have been roaring since their disastrous trip across to The West three weeks ago.  So that’s the form

The Umpiring Panel is also about form.  Wayne Campbell down at Maggot Central has selected a top team, which includes WA Debutant Jeff Dalgleish.  He’ll be supported by three times All Australian Brett Rosebury whistling his way through his 7th GF, while Matt Stevic who will be adjudicating in his third.  This year’s Beitzel Medallist, Razor Ray Chamberlain, will be the emergency for The Big Day.  This was Ray’s third Beitzel, which truly puts him up there amongst the greats of the pea warblers.

Spencer Street Southern Cross Station has been a sea of GoldenBlue since Tuesday and many have been seen limbering up their tonsil around town. The Rabid Leafy Easterners can expect some stern competition from the stands.  Tullamarine is starting to show a flow of similar traffic from those West Coast faithful that haven’t been freed up by the Mining Bust to travel by train.

Look, we can go over the match-ups till we can spell Schoenmakers without having to look it up, but it won’t change the fact that these two teams are evenly matched and whoever plays the better Footy on the day will hold aloft The Premiership Cup.

Take the midfields – evenly matched.  To a point.  The Hawks have been prepared to conceded the rucking contests throughout this Finals’ Series and still managed to hold their own overall.  Shuey’s a bull and can break all but the most vice-like tackles.  If he & Nic Nat Nui get loose they’ll cause The Mayblooms a lot of grief.  Add Matt Priddus to those two and you’ve got grief squared.  If Simmo clamps down on Slammin’ Sammy – say with Scott Selwood – The Hawks will know they’re alive.   Clarko would surely have been working on tactics to nullify The Weagles strength in that area.  Surely.  (Watch for the move of Duryea onto Shuey if he starts causing havoc – Ed)  If he hasn’t, or it doesn’t work, The Leafblowers are going to have to rely on their pinpoint disposal.

And that’s a decider plus.  We’ve given The Mayblooms an edge in having The Hometown Crowd, Big Stage Experience and sublime skills with foot & hand.  The umpires’ reluctance to pay frees in the face of a parochial crowd in The West last weekend – particularly against West Coast and/or to North – would not have gone unnoticed by The Paid-up Proud & Passionate Cheer Squad.  (The umpires in that match were the B Team Wrap.  The A Team is made of sterner stuff – Ed)

The Eagles have two key forwards and plenty of goal sneaks.  Kennedy’s this year’s Coleman Medallist.  He kicked 80 goals 55 behinds, including two finals, from 135 shots.  Their other key forward, Jack Darling has managed only 25-14 from 42 shots.  Both have just under a 60% accuracy record.  The crumbers Josh Hill and Mark Lecras have slotted 83 majors between them.  Lecras has an accurate rating of 60.3%; Hill’s is an impressive 69.6%.  This is a forward line that can kick a cricket score if given half a chance.

Can The Hawthorn Defence hold this mob?  Fact 1: no defence can hold out forever against rapid ball entry.  Fact 2: this is one of the meanest backlines going around.  The selection of the 2013 Norm Smith Medallist has raised a few eyebrows, but if he concentrates he should be able to limit Kennedy’s output.  But he’s going to have to turn in a blinder, which he hasn’t been doing much of recently.

The Hawks boast Breust & Gunston in attack.  Between them they’d scored 105 goals for the season at an accuracy rating of 73.2% & 61.6% respectively.  But Gunston’s in the vest for tomorrow.  We’re not too sure about that.  He’s either fit or he’s not.  And if The Shoe has to be replaced early for tactical reasons, it puts a huge strain on the bench should they lose a soldier to injury.

Roughie has chipped in with 49 for the season at 59% accuracy.  Cyril & Poppy crumbed 40 & 29 rerspectively.  Cyril could be called wasteful at 64.5%, but his real value is the mayhem he creates whenever he goes near the ball.  Poppy’s a deadeye dick with a percentage of 70.7%.  And he has jet-propelled acceleration and ram-like strength.

Summing up the two attacks, The Hawks are going to have to be at their very best to outscore this West Australian Mob.  Accuracy will be the decider.

These are without doubt the two best-performed teams in The Competition.  The question is – can West Coast corral Hawthorn on the wide wings of the MCG the way they were able to hem them in on the narrower Subiaco?  North kicked out on the full seven times when they kicked to wings that weren’t there.  We’re tipping The Happy Team at Hawthorn will make better use of those wings that their High Flying Opponents.

Then there’s the temperature.  With the chilly curtain of Winter lifting quite suddenly, this match is to be played on a sunlit stage.  Ward Rooney has the shade temperatures at 28º with the wind from the north at 25-35km/h.  (Don’t forget the slip slap slop – Ed)  The MCG is going to be like an oven on Saturday with the only cooling breeze a hot gusty Northerly.

Predicting who’s going to win is easy.  It will be the team that applies the most pressure and better withstands the pressure applied to it.  (That conclusion come after a sleepless night of reflection and analysis did it Warp? – Ed)

Look, we have to tip someone.  We’re not all that confident around here in the Wrapcave, but if you’re in front after 23 Rounds and three weeks of Finals you could do worse than take out enough out of the kitty for the airfare to Los Vegas and pile the rest on The Mayblooms at $1.60.  But the one we like is Taylor Duryea at $81 for the Norm Smith.  He’s in stunning form and may get thrown into the hottest part of the fray sometime during the contest.  If The Weagles win it will be because of last year’s Brownlow Medallist.  He’s at $6.50.

Good tipping and even better punting.

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.

Comments

  1. I know you are too smart to believe any of this crap, Mr Wrap. The Hateful Hawker (as Mrs Wrap is known) has been dictating your columns recently with a gun (or the divorce papers?) at your head.
    Look I know I’ve been pissed for a month as my recent columns testify, but Finals Week VI? Was that hangover really so bad (the Zestok Orao says it was) that I have sleepwalked through a Draw and a Drawn Replay?
    NicNait for the Norm Smith. Eagles by 23. I know I said 11 points a few days back, but I was sober then.
    How do I explain to the Croatian neighbours why I am drinking and yelling at 6.30am tomorrow, and its not just another domestic?
    Zivjeli (cheers), and may the best team rub their poo and wee noses in it.

  2. Good luck west coast. Sorry about the entertainment in advance. First we have a man that sings Up there Cazaly , which was made in 1979, because apparently everyone loves it, so it’s a bit tired but we have no alternative. Then, mid game 80s bands singing old hits. Nothing from the 90s or later because poney-tailed producers tell us we don’t need new things. . Oh yeah, the big mouth bloke Craig Willis, still has the same announcing gig he has had for at least 20 years. Boring, give a new voice a chance old man like, Drew Morphett or Tim Lane, oh no they’re old too..
    And on fox footy watch Sandy Roberts say something like, “We’re in for a cracker and the weather gods have smiled on the MCG. Bruce will say something like, “You can just feel the tension building”. Nothing new, but enjoy the game. Please Grand Final organisers, a complete re-vamp from 2016. We need some new ideas

  3. Everything you predicted came to fruition Paubai – including someone calling Majak Daws the Usain Bolt of the AFL. I can’t remember who called it – but it should have been Bruce.

    And you can imagine how sorry we feel for you Mr B, and of course the mrtvi orao leti. Please let her know we’ve cast some rose petals on the waters in memory of her and her Brave Boys. It would have taken a lot of guts to cross The Treeless Plain to face their destiny. And we repeat them for that. But please, next time, how about sending a Football Team if you’re going to play in a Football Match. The netball season finished a fortnight ago.

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