THE WRAP – ROUND XIV

WHERE LIFE IMITATES FOOTBALL

What a round it’s been in Footy Eddie.  Les Miserables opened proceedings with a win on Thursday night in a match that had some viewers taking 40 winks so they would be fresh from the midnight soccer.  On Friday Night The Hawks topped the Doggies in one for the archives.  Saturday’s offerings saw the end of Essendon’s 2010 campaign and the belated launching of Adelaide’s, while Collingwood boosted it’s percentage at the expense of The Woeful Eagles.

Come Sunday and it was North’s turn to be put through the mincer down at The Cattery.  The Saints chopper up The Dees and The Tigers – like The Tigers Of Old – Never Weakened Till The Final Siren’s Gone.

If you thought that the Ayatollah’s pronouncements from the pulpit at Jellymont House took some beating, let’s look a bit further afield, in a land where the Flannelled Fools hold sway.  Yes folks, were in Pakistan.  It appears that to nominate for office in the parcel of land wedged between India, Afghanistan and the 9th Century AD, you have to have a degree.  It may come as no surprise to learn that dozens of pollies there may have falsified their certificates.  But it isn’t troubling some legislators.  The Chief Minister of Balochistan, Nawab Aslam Raisani, has told it how it is.  “A degree is a degree.  Whether it’s fake or genuine, it’s a degree.  It makes no difference”.  Spot on Aslam.  If you ever get run out of office over in Balochistan, there’s always a job for you here on the Docklands PR team, or as a support act for Gormless Monday with The Geisha.

Caretaker Coach Watch.  As mentioned earlier, there is no word from John Pascoe Fawkner Reserve this round because Downright Lie & Procrastinate are stocktaking for the end of the financial year.  However, Blighty’s comments on Channel Rove’s coverage of the carnage at Crow Park should suffice.  When you cop a thumping the 1st thing you should do is look at yourself as a coach.  Look at your structures; look at what you said to people through the week.  Until you get yourself sorted out you can never help your team. Did you figure all that out by yourself Blighty?

Maggot Watch.  Where do we start?  This would have to have been the worst example of game control and adjudication the maggots have put up since Our Founding Fathers set out the Victorian Rules back in the days when the streets of Clunes & Kyneton were paved with gold.  If they weren’t cruelling a game, as they did on Thursday night (That’s not to say Brisbane & Carlton didn’t play their role in it – Ed) they were making absolute fools of themselves and holding Our Great Game up to ridicule as they did in Adelaide on Saturday night.  At one stage Essendon had snapped a snagger that, although it bounced perilously close to the post, was clearly a six pointer.  Next we have the boundary maggot claiming it had touched the post.  The unedifying sight of the three canary clad maggots – the adjudicating field maggot, the boundary maggot and the goal maggot – debating the case on an open mike did nothing for their credibility.  Apparently the rules state that in the case of uncertainty, the lesser score shall be given.  The goal maggot had to semaphore his colleague at the other end of the ground to cancel the previous signal and insert a behind on his scorecard.  We’ve said it before, and we’ll keep on saying it.  – IGTCSAFOD.  (I’d love to see this farce played out at an Essendon Collingwood GF.  They’d be over the fence and have the three of them lynched before you could say Thomas Wentworth Wills – Ed)

Later, at a ball up – the field maggot said I’m going to throw it up.  He did – at a 45o angle.  Rather than recall the ball, which would have been an admission that he couldn’t even get the throw-up right, he awarded a free for holding in the ruck contest.

And talking about holding, are we the only ones tiring of the constant voice-over of ‘watch the holding’, ‘ no holding now’.  This is not Auskick.  These aren’t under 10s.  These are grown men playing at the elite levels.  If they’re holding, ping ‘em.  That’s what you’re there for dopey.

And the constant call of ‘Play-on!’  ‘Play-on!’  Play-on’.  Ditto above.  If they don’t move, ping ‘em for holding the ball.   It’s a wonder coaches don’t have someone behind the kicker to charge in at the very first call of ‘move it on’.  Expeditious Eddie pulled off a beauty a few weeks back, but we just don’t see enough of it.  The opposition fans love it.  It makes the ball holder look such a goose and the chance for the turnover into an open paddock has tremendous potential

The new rules keeping cropping up.  Hawthorn’s Spiritual Leader was slung in a half circle while in possession.  He got the handball away but was pinged for 360o.  Apparently being slung the full a full circle while in possession is now a free kick.  That Hodgie was slung less than the full circle’s not the point.  Are we the only ones who can feel Mr Football and The Late Great Living Legend, Captain Blood, spinning in the their sepulchres?

And while there measuring the sling on the Hawthorn Vice Captain with their compasses and protractors, maybe they should be measuring some of those 15m kicks cleanly taken by the kicker’s teammate; sometimes they’re a mark, sometimes they’re play-on.  It would appear that 15m, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

Think Before You Speak Department.  Luke Darcy on Brendan Goddard.  “He intrigues me as a bloke and a player, although I don’t know him at all”.  Anyone ever need a character witness, Luke’s your boy.

Velvet Fog Watch.  Calling The Tigers’ Great Come From Behind Win.  Sydney’s  Craig Bird had taken the ball between the centre and the boundary line – “There’s a Bird on the wing”.  And when David Astbury had done something mature for his years with the football he re-called the eternal lines of Redgum  – “And he’s only 19”.   Our favourite was, when Tiger Skipper Newman had fumbled the ball in a tight situation, “Now there’s a Newman error”.  Human error.  Newman error.  Get it?  Although we were disappointed, after so many references to the two hyphenated players playing in the same team, that when Trent Dennis-Taylor passed the ball to Lewis Roberts-Thompson, that he didn’t have anything prepared.

But enough of my gabbin.  Let’s see who came out clean from Round XIV.

The Silvertails v The Boys From Old Fitzroy.  The final result of this one turned out as expected.  The Gorillas had only two sure avenues to goal and one was seen up in the Coaches’ Box and the other one wasn’t seen at all – certainly not amongst the wife’s & girl friends.  Daniel Rich was on the ground, but he wasn’t seen much either.  But don’t let the score line fool you.  This was not a high-class performance by The Blues.  Eddie Betts always looked dangerous up forward, as did Yarran & Garlett, and The Silvertail midfielders knocked up plenty of possessions, but they looked far from coming until the Roy Boys finally collapsed midway through the Championship Quarter.  BoG was without doubt maggot McInerney.  In a stellar performance that would surely have him as hot favourite for the Harry Beitzel Medal, he dominated this game from his first 50m penalty to his last laying on the ball decision.  SOTG may feel he was not as inconsistent as he could be, however he managed to cruel this game as an even contest and as a spectacle.  The players’ indecision and frustration was a direct result of his masterful maggotry and his file tape is certain to be trotted out in decades to come at Maggot Central as an example of just how to stuff up a good game of Football.  After a game best forgotten, Carlton move on.  They have The Kennel Coughs under cover to close off Round XV in a Top Four play-off, comfortable in the knowledge that they’re there abouts.  The Bad News Bears slink home with their season and future in tatters.  With The Gold Coast Meter Maids due to challenge for SEQ supremacy next season they find themselves seriously undermanned to meet any sort of challenge.  They have The Feeling Faints up under the palm trees for the Saturday night match.

The Mayblooms v The Kennel Coughs.  If you needed one to lift your spirits after Thursday night’s error riddled circus this was it.  The maggoting was a bit party line, but everybody expected that.  And to be fair, it was so inconsistent that it favoured no one.  Roughie and Buddy were held on the night but did enough to earn their pay.  The Hawthorn Captain & Spiritual Leader did enough to earn their bonuses.  The Scrays were always in this and it has been said that whoever was in front when the final siren went would be the one chosen by The Football Gods.  To borrow from The Bard – ‘As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods.  They kill us for their sport’.  No passage of play better exemplified the ‘sport’ of The Football Gods than that from Buddy’s last goal to apparently seal the game to the final siren.  Lake slips him one as he’s celebrating the goal and the ball is being run back to the centre.  In the context of the game under the ‘get tough’ ruling from Jellymont House, Buddy should have been awarded free kick and another shot on goal before the ball was bounced.  It went ignored.  Another case of 10 blind maggots.  (Or 10 blind invertebrates – Ed)  The Rabid Leafy East Mob, sensing victory was firmly in their grasp with a nine point break, were reasonably civil about it.  Then one of the silliest 50m penalties of the round is paid against Buddy for infringing the mark and Jarrad Grant goals. Time for one more play.  A long bomb from Easton Wood to the goal square where Ellis and Griffen are locked together waiting for the drop of the ball.  The siren sounds and Griffen stops contesting.  We’ll never know if he could have shepherded the still live ball through.  Or whether it would have slewed sideways, because Ellis had the presence of mind to slip from the now defunct goal square contest to grab the ball to his chest.  Make no mistake, these were season defining moments.  But let’s take nothing away from The Dogs – except the Four Points – and herein lies the tale.  The Pre-season Flag Favourites look as though they are going to have to make their challenge from outside The Four.  Their NAB Cup Hangover could cost them The Flag.  They have Carlton at The Dumb to close off Round XV.  The Hawks are back on the Big Stage for the 2008 GF replay at the traditional time.

The Barry Crockers v The Chokers.  This may well turn our to be a Pyrrhic Victory for the Anchormen.  They have lost their Engine Room and Brownlow Fancy Barlow in a tragic accident and sustained injuries to several key players.  The remainder of the Home & Away matches should tell us a lot about The Dockers.  The 1st of these is a test against The Roaring Tigers on the Shifting Sands of Ethelred Oval on Saturday night.  For The Tealers, they drag Carringbush up to the Top End for the Friday Night Football.

The Mighty Adelaide Crows v The North Essendon Gliders.  The Fred Hesse Annihilation Scoreboard tells it all.  While Downright Lie & Procrastinate are in lockdown, we have to rely on the word along Puckle Street, and it would seem the doubts about the Caretaker Coach have remerged.  There’s even a rumour floating around that Sir Frank Downright tipped Adelaide by 25.  Our reliable source wasn’t sure if that was 25 points or 25 goals.  But let’s not take anything away from The Chardonnays.  They may have been playing This Weeks Biggest Loser in a match that had about as much pressure as a doughnut machine but they put on a great display and The Rabid Adelaide Mob is working on the mathematical chances of making it through to September.  Comforted by the fact that their five goals for the night at least they would have beaten Germany, The Marshmallows get ready for The Dees on The G next Sunday at the traditional time.  For The Pride of South Australia it’s WCE over there.

The Woodsmen v The Coasters.  Speaking of practice drills …..  The Maggies were back to their bullying best.  Dawes looks to have filled the void left by Savario and Anthony, Diddums Didak was back to his Diacosian best and the whole team looked up and about, although Cloke’s yips when shooting on goal would have to have the forward coach at Victoria Park worried.  When you consider some of the duds amongst the veteran trades this year – the Troubled Fev, the Injured Bradshaw,  Lovett at Moorabbin – Ball & Jolley are pure recruiting genius.  The Pies have a few to come up from The Mudlarks as well.  They’ll be rueing that draw against Arch Rivals Melbourne, as they have a softish run home and a handy percentage.  For their opponents on the night the future looks bleak.  Finishing well last season, big things were expected of their rebuilt team.  Woosher’s fate tempting boast of a few weeks back – when Richmond started winning – that they wouldn’t finish with the Coveted Timber Trophy is now a reality and the ominous dirge of the Coaches’ Carousel can be heard wafting over the terraces at Subiaco.  They have Adelaide on Saturday Arvo at Sooby.  The Maggies have to wing it up to Darwin as guests of the Port Adelaide Football Club to opening proceedings for Round XV.

The Corio Kittens v The Kangaroos.  This was the jPod Show and he didn’t let them down.  As Tim Lane said, when you buy your Footy Record down at Skilled Stadium, while you’re waiting for your dog’s eye to cool down, you can fill it in with five goals against the # 31 for The Pivotonians.  This went the way Pundits and The Punters had it marked down.  Not that The Kangaroos were disgraced or anything; they were just out classed.  The Cats, on the Saturday at THOF, have The Hawks in a no-love-lost contest that could decide whether The Hawks can break into the Four and who takes out the Minor Premiership.  The Roos have Sydney up there to decide who fills in the death seat at 8th in September.

Richmond v South Melbourne.  The Fight & Fight & Win Tigers pulled off another win in their comeback and moved ominously off the Bottom of The Table when they came from 33 points down 10 minutes into the Championship Quarter in a low scoring affair.  Sydney, would have inked this one in as four points in their run to September, and they had every chance to consolidate with costly misses from set shots.  First gamer Dennis-Taylor & Dual Brownlow Medallist Adam Goodes being repeat offenders.  Goodes’ form has been embarrassing of late, and he seems to be bewildered by his loss of powers.  Paul Roos, and while this may seem a bit harsh on someone of his standing, also seems to have lost his desire for the game.  But let’s not take anything away from this Famous Struggletown Victory.  The Swans have had the wood on The Tigers for over a decade now and this come from behind win is a real breakout game for Richmond.  The courage of Deledio to come back on from a sickening elbow hyperextension was inspirational.  He played a leading role in the Richmond comeback.  Daniel Collins was knocked out cold in a head clash with LRT.  He too came back on and kicked the two goals that gave The Tiges the lead in the Shadow of Full Time.  Jumping Jack Riewoldt’s five goals were all hard earned.  And SOTG would have recognized the importance of Captain Newman’s major.  Taking a handball out on wing half forward he was forced wide by the pursuit of his opposite number, he bounced and ran to the 50m arc.  Captain Kirk now found himself having to covering two Tigers as Matty White was free and more centred.  He fatefully chose to cover the player in the better position (As you do – Ed).  This allowed Newman to take an extra couple of steps and slot the Captain’s Goal from the paint.  From that point The Long Suffering Punt Road Faithful knew they could win and the chanting started.  They have Freo at the little ground at the end of Bourke Street next Saturday night.  The Bloods have The Shinboners for the early one on Sunday.

The Junction Oval Seagulls v The Fuchsias.  The Saints are a workman like outfit that goes about its business in a workman like fashion.  Melbourne were always in touch on the scoreboard, but never managed to make The Seagulls feel threatened on the field.  Jack Who kicked a goal and picked up 18 possessions however, neither he nor his teammates looked to have the heart for the contest.  But Saint Kilda do that to other sides – strangle the desire for the pigskin out of them.  The Sainters have The Bad News Bears up at The Gabbatoir next Saturday Night for the Channel Rove game.  The Fuchsias have The Marshmallows on The Hallowed Turf on Sunday arvo at the traditional time.

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.

Comments

  1. Andrew Fithall says

    Wrap – there may be a few Collingwood supporters a bit disturbed that their bus tickets to Adelaide and accommodation at Alberton camp ground is going to be of no value if they have moved the Pies v Port game to Darwin. I don’t believe the bus ticket is invalid. Football Park on Friday night is still on the agenda.

    I agree with your sentiment that the maggoting is going from bad to worse. I thought I had seen the worst decision ever last week when Milne played on from a mark, was legitimately tackled and the umpire opted for a ball up because Milne “had no prior opportunity”. It was nearly usurped this week when Presti was thrown out of a marking contest before the ball arrived and was pinged for holding the arm of the man who had two arms wrapped around him. Aaaaarrrrgh.

  2. John Mosig says

    Sorry Andrew. Put it down to post operative stress. Although, sending The Pies to Darwin would be one way Chokko could get his Chokers up for this one.

    And as for the maggots, everyone’s got a story from this round. You only had to take out your mouth guard while standing the mark to cop a fifty. Disgraceful.

    However, for what it’s worth, I watched the Richmond/Sth Melbourne game and there was no argy barrgy. A few players even shook hands. There were minimal 50m penalties, in fact i can’t remember one, but the game was as tough as you’d want to see. Maybe we’ve been conned into acting tough. In fact you’ve given me an idea for an editorial. Ta.

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