The Wrap Report – August Edition

For the Philosophical Marngrook Follower

 

A guy wins two private box tickets in the Members’ Stand for the 2016 AFL Grand Final…includes business class airfares, all meals and booze, 5-star accommodation, private limo etc.

 

 

However, to his horror, he realises the match is on the same day as his wedding – so he can’t go.

 

 

If you’re interested and want to go instead of him, it’s at St Peter’s Church in Osborne Park, Perth.

 

 

Her name’s Louise.

 

 

Here we are again Wrappers. Refreshed by the rigours of Winter and the prospects of September? Life doesn’t get any better than that, does it? And what a juicy September/October we’ve got before us. It was decided back in July who would be playing off what Hologram Man & The Gnomes Deep in The Bowels of Jellymont House call The 2016 Toyota Premiership Season Championship, and the rest of us call The Flag.

 

 

This year’s contenders are:

 

  • The Mayblooms
  • Sydney
  • Adelaide
  • Greater Western Sydney
  • The Greatest Team of All
  • Footscray
  • The Shinboners
  • West Coast

 

The rest have just been playing off for draft picks. The Flying Syringes add another Coveted Sylvan Shield to their cabinet – their 4th, and their first since 1921. Hirdy, take a bow; that’s your trophy. Even in the dying days of Chez Sheedy could The Gilders bring home this prestigious silverware.

 

 

Before we go on to review the prospects of The Contenders, let’s look at the Season That Was for those who will be Mothballing The Guernsey in a few weeks.

 

 

  • Port Adelaide – The Power has been turned on and off during the season, but mainly it’s been turned off. They beat who they should have beaten, won the odd tight victory in the Group of Mediocrity during a brief mid-season revival, but lost as many as they won in that company. Their only memorable win was over The Kangaroos during that team’s plummet from Old Gold Chocolates to boiled lollies. They host The Dees next week to see who will finish Best of The Rest – Glorious Ninth.

 

  • Melbourne – Hearts are Beating True & The Grand Old Flag is High Flying again. The change from Consultancy to Coaching is kicking in and the dismantling of TRP in Round XX by Simon Goodwin’s Redlegs augers well for next season. Jack Viney’s as hard as Ronald Dale Barassi ever was, and to see him playing in the same paddock as the grandson of Murray ‘The Weed’ Weideman would bring back a few memories. That this Weideman is playing in The Red And The Blue of The High Flying Flag would bring tears to the eyes at the Yarra Falls End. Give them another round of recruiting and a pre-season under SG and they’re going to be a handful. There are at least two places vacant in The Eight – North & West Coast. You can ink in The Dees for one of them.

 

  • St Kilda – they’re doing a lot right down at Eel Race Road. Famous wins include The Handbags & The Sons of The West. They rolled The Dees twice and pushed a few, including the Title Holders. Consistency a problem. In six of their 20 matches thus far this season they’ve kicked over the tonne. In three they’ve kicked less than 50 points. With the eventual arrival of Big Jake Carlisle at the club, the maturation of the current players, plus another round of recruitment and The Feeling Faints can put their name down for one of the vacancies. And as long as Big Rooey can keep going, they’d have every reason to feel confident about making it too.

 

  • Struggletown – they avoided the chook-manure drive-past dumping at Punt Road with a sterling win over Carringbush last Friday, and appear to be getting the ship back on an even keel, but anything could happen around at Tigerland. To be perfectly honest, the list isn’t that bad. Rance is just amazing. Cotch, Dusty & Jack would walk into any side. Lids is injury prone, but in the same class. The word is that they’ve got Prestia. There are some young guns coming on: Riolli, Markov, Menadue, Castagna, Lennon & Short have shown real promise. And the middle-rankers are all professional footballers with professional skills. It’s the coaching that’s stupid. And the list management. Get that right and you can put The Tiges down for one of those 2017 vacancies in The Eight.

 

  • Carlton – the Miracle on Royal Parade deserves nothing but applause. It once again proves that celebrity coaches aren’t the answer. They’ve still got a lot of work to do on their list, and next season will tell us whether Season 2016 was just a flash in the pan. My tip is that it wasn’t. As they say around 530 Collins Street, this one is going to be a steady build. The Under New Management sign has been taken down from the window and the shiny new Navy Blue Shingle reads Bolton & Silvagni, The Team That Never Lets You Down, Purveyors of Fine Football.

 

  • The Gold Coast Sunsets – hard to make any sense of what’s happening up there in Wally World, other than they can be a handful on their day. Three years of celebrity coaching should see Rocket out. He’d be ready to put his feet up, and surely he’s found himself a nice little hideaway up the coast with a solid jetty and a friendly pub overlooking the inlet. Although, in all fairness, those days on which they are a handful are becoming more frequent towards the end of the season. Hopefully that false dawn will become a real sunrise in Season 2017

 

 

  • Collingwood – Sorry Bucks, it’s just not working. Whatever it is you’re doing, it’s just not working. Wanting is not enough. Look at Tony Abbott. Kevin Rudd. Julia Gillard. They all wanted greatness. It didn’t work for them, and you’ve been there longer than all three of them put together. It’s time for a change. And that goes for the Oval Office. It’s time for a change there too. When they start selling group tickets for matinée showings of The Club, to raise funds for the Cheer Squad’s crepe paper for the run-through, it’s time to pack it in Eddie. That’s if you really love Collingwood, as you always say you do.

 

  • Fremantle – don ‘t be surprized if the re-build down Freo takes a bit long than the next mining boom to come around. There’s been very little from The Barry Crockers this year to suggest otherwise. The Enigmatic One is playing his cards close to his chest. There are some SOTG who have gone as far as to say that he isn’t holding all that many anyway. Nat Fyfe’s a joker, but you still need a long suit to go with it, and that’s what seems to be missing from his hand. If you’ve got some lazy money, this one’s a buy and forget about for a few seasons. Our thinking is something like four years before they start knock, knock, knocking on heaven’s door. Either that, or Roscoe retires to a tropical island of his choice.

 

 

  • Brisbane – when the only team you can beat is a team of Tankers from Whingy Hill you know you’re in a heap of trouble. Of course, Hologram Man will tell us that there’s really not much wrong up there under the palms – just a new bladder, lace and cover and she’ll bounce like a new Sherrin. Oh, and a breath of fresh air as well

 

 

  • Essendon – with the Coveted Timber Trophy securely bolted down in the Melrose Drive Trophy Cabinet, all that’s left of this season for The Team That Dare Not Speak Its Name is to get as many of the Essendon 34 back on the list as they can find willing to go around again, or aren’t suing the club.

 

 

A big thank you for all those who helped make up the season. Now for the Contenders.

 

 

The Reigning Premiers– you’d have to give them every chance, although here in the Wrapcave we share the misgivings of many Students of The Game. At this point they sit astride the Competition Table with four losses. Impressive? You betcha. Up until Round XX it was even more impressive. But it wasn’t just the 4th loss for the year that send shudders through the market. It still left them four points clear of a pack of four clubs vying for the three Double Chance places left, it was the way Melbourne dismantled them. Take out the two 50m charity goals gifted by opposition players infringing the sanctity of the kicker (Shades of J. Stynes & G. Buckanara, eh Wrap? – Ed) and The Mayblooms managed only nine majors for the day. Their opponents kicked 17.   But when Tony Leonard’s call included that it was the first time he’d seen Sam Mitchell effectively tackled in 302 games of football, you sense The Waverley Machine might be running slightly off balance.

 

 

Still, they’ve been through this before. In previous premiership season’s Richmond outplayed them on the day late in the season, yet they went on to take The Flag. Then there’s their percentage – a tad over 120. Hardly the percentage of a Golden Brown Horde sweeping all before them. And remember how they keep sneaking into the Grand Final with some very close shaves in the Preliminary finals? Of the top six teams, only Sydney has scored less points and all the other five have had less scored against them. Adelaide & GWS have scored around 300 & 200 more points respectively.   But a word of warning. Don’t mention any of this amongst the mob that haunts the organic coffee shops and glucose free bistros along Glenferrie Road. They’ve just made the final payment out there on 10-metre-high neon signs at either end of the strip welcoming visitors to Fourthorn, and they’ve a bit touchy about anyone questioning the possibility that it might be a bit premature. Reality is not an option in the Leafy East. However, all that having been relayed, come September they are always a dangerous animal. A bite from a taipan with a broken back is just as fatal as one from one that hasn’t. GTWTCO – and Hawthorn, if it’s nothing else, is a Good Team. In fact, Teamwork Is The Thing That Counts At Fourthorn.

 

 

 

Sydney – The Bloods are sitting one out and one back. They could finish top if The Squawkers falter. A huge, huge threat. They know what it takes for a September campaign and have tested themselves twice against the Champs this season for a split decision. The Bloods stole one Flag from The Mustard Pots back in 2012. The Hawkers took their revenge in 2014, but it still doesn’t alter the fact that The Swans were instrumental in postponing the Fourpeat for another. A real chance this year to put a real stop to it.

 

 

The Other Greatest Team of All – Greater Western Sydney – Finish third and GWS get a Home Final. Finish fourth and they have to face The Hawks at The Home of Football for a berth in the Preliminary Final. Their possible hiccup match is Round XXIII against The Shinboners under cover. With North’s fate sealed, there’s a chance Brad Scott will rest half his team, opening the door for a percentage grab and third place for The Leviathans, along with a Qualifying Final against The Harboursiders. If they win that one, and they can, it’s going to be a very interesting Finals’ Series.

 

 

Adelaide – The Pride of South Australia are exactly one percent ahead of The Jumbos. They both have two of their remaining three matches at home, but one The Crows’ is a Showdown. It’s one of those times it doesn’t pay to have enemies. Ask Malcolm Turnbull what it’s like being in the sights of someone who doesn’t like you very much. Our thinking is that both The Orangemen and The Chardonnays will win all three remaining matches, but that The Big Boys will edge the Chardies out to stay in Steak & Kidney for the first week of the finals. Can they beat The Hawks in Melbourne? Yes. Will they? Probably not. Then again, Cyril has a quiet day and The Hon. Edward A. Betts turns in a blinder …

 

 

The Pivotonians – on their day – or should that read on Paddy Dangerfield’s day? – The Moggies are capable of anything. They should have enough firepower to eliminate North Melbourne for season 2016. When they were chasing percentage against The Lamentable Bombers last weekend they sprayed their shots all over the barn. Big Tommy missed the barn door on five occasions. It’s an element – the old Sleepy Hollow Millionaire style of football – that’s creeping back into their game. Not too sure it will carry them over the four rounds of Football they’ve doomed themselves to play to take the 2016 Flag.

 

 

Footscray – whenever you look at the list out at Doggieland it’s hard to see where their stars are. And that’s their strength. This Footscray side is one of the most dogged to come out of The Mighty West. They look set to win one final, and may even win a couple, but a GF appearance at this stage of their development would do more harm than good. Plagued by injuries, Luke Beveridge & his team have done a fantastic job with the team this year, and you can bet you’re bottom Syrian lira 2017 can’t come around fast enough for them out at Whitten Oval.

 

 

The Weagles – only making up the numbers from here. Runners-up last year, they’ve fallen away badly. Got a lot of work ahead of them before they can be taken seriously for 2017. SOTG already have the TO LET sign on the window.

 

 

The Soupboners – if you heard a loud bang, that was the North Melbourne Premiership Window being slammed shut. No point going on about it. Everyone predicted it. Back to the drawing board at Arden Street.

 

 

I told my son, “You will marry the girl I choose.”

He said, “NO!”

I told him, “She is Bill Gates’ daughter.”

He said, “OK.”

I called Bill Gates and said, “I want your daughter to marry my son.”

Bill Gates said, “NO.”

I told Bill Gates, “My son is the CEO of World Bank.”

Bill Gates said, “OK.”

I called the President of World Bank and asked him to make my son the CEO.

He said, “NO.”

I told him, “My son is Bill Gates’ son-in-law.”

He said, “OK.”

This is exactly how politics works …

 

 

The Flag

The Hawks aren’t showing any real form, but they keep winning. They stay on top, win their Qualifying Final and they only have to win two more games. They’ve only dropped four all season, but three of those were against the three sides dwelling on them. Geelong blitzed them early in the season; The Hawks fought back, but the effort exhausted them. GWS took them to the cleaners, and The Bloods had the better of them all day. Their fourth loss was against a side that hit them hard and hit them where it hurt most: in the engine room. A worrying element of that contest – for Leafblower Faithful – would have been the lack of composure from the team leadership. Sam Mitchell’s right cross to Jack Who’s jaw was indicative of a deep frustration, and betrayed a chink in the born-to-reign armour. Cyril’s forearm jolt and, later, his brutal body slam of an opposition player showed the angry pills are working, but boos followed him around the ground whenever he went near the ball. Not a good look, and you can be as mentally tough as you like, but it plays on the nerves of the whole team. Cyril, who wants to be like you? And don’t think the Opposition Brains’ Trusts won’t be pouring over that tape between now and October. It’s a brave investor who’ll take on them faltering, but faint heart never won fair maiden. We’d like to see how they finish off the season before making an investment decision, but at this stage it’s a Pennant too far from us here in the Wrapcave. One thing’s for sure, if they do pull it off from here, they will be stamped as the Greatest Team to have ever trod The Sacred Turf.

 

 

The Bloods are playing with a lot of form. They’re one of three form sides that can have every expectation of holding aloft the Premiership Cup. They’re in great shape physically and have great team balance.

 

 

The Orangemen had to work hard up on the Gold Coast over the weekend. They have the inexperience factor to contend with, but form builds confidence. Let’s see how they finish off the season. We reckon they’re a chance: a real chance.

 

 

The Pride of South Australia has snuck up on us a bit, but anyone who saw Don Pyke interviewed on Footy Classified will have a clear picture of the reason they’re doing so well. They have forward firepower, a springboard defence and the midfield has come to life in the vacuum created by Paddy Dangerfield’s departure. Make no mistake; The Mighty Adelaide Crows can win their third Premiership Cup.

(Time to get off the fence Wrap – Ed) Righto, you want to know what’s going to happen Oh Ponderous Potterer of Prose? The Crows will beat Hawthorn in the QF play and Sydney in the GF. Which they will win. Why? Because they’re fitter and more efficient.

 

 

The Sleepy Hollow Millionaires are by far The Best of The Rest. No idea where it comes from; whether it blows off Corio Bay or washes down The Barwon, but it finishes up at Kardinia Park. And it’s called inconsistency. Don’t get us wrong Catters, The Moggies can take The Flag on their day, but they’ll have to have four consecutive good days, and no one’s done that since The Tigers in 1969. The Hawks took a Flag the long way around in the Modern Era, but they only needed three consecutive wins to do it.

 

 

The Sons of The West have fought against the odds since Robert ‘Bob’ Murphy went down. And don’t we all love them for it? We’re all looking forward to watching their exciting brand of Football in Season 2017.

 

 

North and West Coast: thanks for coming, and please don’t leave the showers running.

 

 

The Coach most likely

Lepper’s gone, and it’s a sad thing, but so is the Brisbane F.C. The appalling football league has got a mess to sort out up there; a mess of its own making. Two teams deep in knuckle-dragger territory where there’s barely a market for one. Merge The Suns & The Bears and give them all of Queensland & the Territory as a recruiting ground. Build up a pool of Longs & Riollis and let the trade table fill in the gaps. Open a franchise down in Tassy with Van Diemens Land as their recruiting ground and let tribalism do the rest. Play alternate home games between Blundstone Arena & York Park. (Or leave the Hawks in Lonny and have The Tasmanian Apples play out of Hobart, eh Wrap? – Ed)

 

 

Then there’s Bucks. We’ll leave it to Eddie The Mouth and the Collingwood Brains’ Trust to work that one out. But do it soon will you; it’s becoming boring.

 

 

The Fevola

This month’s Fevola nomination is a perennial one. It happens at this time every year. Whether it’s a Brownlow Favourite or a crucial player from a September Contender, the Star Chamber match reviewers always manage to get the blind eye to the video tape reviewing screen. The incident’s been mentioned above – the Mitchell punch on Jack Watts. Never mind that the last time Jack had his fist clenched he was a baby, the contact by Slammin’ Sammy was a solid deliberate punch delivered with the clenched fist. No jumper was involved. Now we’re not arguing whether it should be allowed in The Game, it’s been decided that it’s not. Two weeks. Cyril’s shirtfront was one of those borderline things, but it looked very Byron Pickettish from our camera angle, and his body slamming of an opponent in a tackle was unnecessary and hugely dangerous. It was over in a flash, but was delivered with an energy force you’d expect to see in the trenches at Lone Pine or Fromelles.

 

 

Both incidents were reminiscent of the first Gary Ablett and Plugger in their day, one their day. Maybe it’s us, but we sensed something maniacal about them. (You’ve been watching too much Cleverman Wrap, get back on your medication – Ed) That aside, the bottom line here is that the Star Chamber thought nothing of incidents that earlier in the season, or involving lesser players, would have drawn stern penalties. For crying out loud, Brownlow Medals have been lost for less. (Get back on your medication Wrap. Do I have to come round there again? – Ed) The importance of both players to Hawthorn’s chances of making it through to October has not gone unnoticed. It’s not just Hawthorn; you watch over the coming weeks. BTW, The Shinboners like it hard, and they’re Hawthorn’s next opponent. There’s no love lost between the two clubs either.

 

 

The Bazza Award

This month’s Bazza has to go to the Australian swimmer who twittered that he doesn’t associate with drug cheats. After what’s come out about Australian cyclists and footballers over the years, how would he know whether or not he has associating with drug cheats? Maybe he should have twittered that he didn’t associate with convicted drug cheats. Then sat back in his twenty years of smugness and watched the Chinese lay claim to the Great Barrier Reef and Darwin Harbour on the grounds that it’s their traditional trepan fishing zone.

 

 

The Brownlow

Dusty’s hard to miss with that haircut, and umpires don’t measure team value, just possessions. But Dangerman & Rory Sloane would have to be in the count as well.

 

 

The Coleman

It looks liked The Eagles will get a consolation prize in 2016. Josh Kennedy would have to fall over to lose this year’s Coleman – or Buddy or Tom Lynch to have a purple patch.

 

 

Good tipping and gamble responsibly.

 

 

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. I notice you are still slagging all things from the fatal shore Mr Wrap. Taking your gags from “Humour in Uniform” in the March 1963 edition of the Readers Digest that you read in the doctor’s waiting room last week, and “modernising” it with a Perth address. Shame on you.
    Nic Nait’s back solving our hitout, clearance and midfield woes in one sweep. Jeremy McGovern to CHF and Wreckless Eric back on song at full back. Lewis Jetta with a heart transplant and Jack Redden has got an (only used in daytime) second hand set of carbon fibre prosthetic blades from Pretoria to improve the leg speed.
    My Eagles will run over the Doggies in Week 1 and then dispose of the Crows in Week 2. The Giants will get stage fright on the big stage at Blacktown in the Prelim and then we’re back at the Big Dance again. Where is it played this year?

  2. I know you and the AE have set me up here, but I’ll take the bait. Where’s it played this year? In your imagination Mr B.

  3. That’s good news. The Eagles always win in my imagination. We only struggle at the MCG.

  4. Peter Schumacher says:

    Loved this one. ” A bite from a taipan with a broken back is just as fatal as one from one that hasn’t.” I happen to write a weekly newsletter, can I use that quote with the proper attribution? (as well of course as a sense of the context)

    Cheers, Peter S

  5. Love it Wrapster. I agree, the Cats can’t win it. But none of the teams in the 8 will be thrilled to meet them in September (or October?).

    I reckon the Cats CAN win the flag IF Motlop can learn to make a decision with the ball in hand. Which seems an impossibility from what I’ve seen so far.

  6. Good stuff Wrap at least next year we hope the returning druggies remove 1 of the byes at least I don’t rate struggle towns list any where near as highly and freo are well and truly a question mark.This year wide wide open with the hawks still the favorites ( I reckon,Danger will well and truly prove he is number 1 in September ) enjoyed your hu our

  7. No worries Peter; go for it. But with that hat, I thought you would have known that.

    And Dios, it’s not only Motlop who’s a flawed genius down at The Cattery. Big Tommy’s another one. And as for this crap about Jimmy Bartell …… I hate to say it, but you need a review of the coaching staff. It got Bomber going. And it might get Chris Scott going too. If I was a Pivotonian I’d like to see him going out the door. But that’s just me.

    A word of warning Rulebook. Don’t bet against a Tiger Renaissance. And remember you heard it here first.

  8. Great to read your thought again Mr Wrap, especially with regards to how the finals should unfold.

    “The Hon. Edward A. Betts” is the best honorific of all time. I laugh every time I read it. Brilliant.

  9. Hey Mr Wrap – “and the danger game for GWS is……..”? Basketballers not footballers. They need another year to harden up. Cameron is a sulky man child.
    “Nic Nait’s back solving our hitout, clearance and midfield woes in one sweep.” You read it here first (I should have added goal kicking). You better get some extra heart pills for Mrs Wrap for Friday night. The Leafblowers don’t like being so far from home.

  10. I’ve got The Leviathans in a Top Four Finish for a motser Mr B. ‘That kick’ may cost the holiday budget dearly. Only one thing for it – send out an SOS to The Striped Marvels. They beat Sydney and/or The Handbags and the investment lives.

    As for The Travelling Scavengers next week, Mrs Wrap says no hope against The True High Flying Kings of The Big Game.

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