What about a happy ending?

Greetings All,

An extraordinary set of results in Round 7 of the AFL – but nothing compared to the drama of the final round of EPL games early on Monday morning.  The great part of the drama was the ever changing positions of teams in their fight for the title and European league qualification or the battle against the dreaded relegation region.  Unfortunately the socialist structure our competition does not really allow for a promotion and relegation system, but that system does provide clubs a better opportunity to climb and challenge.

However I do think the idea of all teams playing the last round at the same time would make a great climax for the home and away season.  With nearly 50% of teams to make the finals there would be few “dead” rubbers and unlike the EPL where often the champion is decided weeks before the final game there would be a number of teams jockeying for positions in the top 4, top 8 and a home final.  Obviously there would be challenges especially grounds and television rights.  Television rights would require negotiation and creativity, although it should be noted it was possible to watch every EPL game live on Monday Morning.  Only two grounds in Melbourne is not ideal, however it could work quite easily.  Two games in Melbourne and one in each of Sydney, South East Queensland, Perth and Adelaide provides 6 venues.  Then from year to year these other venues could be used Geelong, Launceston, Hobart, Canberra or even a second Sydney or Adelaide venue.

It might not produce a happy ending for everyone, but it would a return to traditional Saturday afternoon values.  It would certainly provide a great lead in to the finals.

A more suitable solution for TV would be having three 6 team “conferences” and each conference playing the last round at the same time.  3 on Friday Night, 3 on Saturday and the last group on Saturday Night.

A review of last week’s results sees a disaster on many levels for this scribe.  The biggest one not being the Blues demise but the assumption that getting seven right was par and then proceeding to select only 3 winners.  Without completely picking over the carcass, it was suggested the odds for the Saint represented good value, the great shame being I was correct.  I would like to claim an extra point as the Cats clearly became the underdog with the late withdrawal of Scarlett.

Now onto this week’s round which promises much with plenty of games bidding for the title of “Match of the Round”.


Where’s the Cloke Room ($1.70) vs Mangy Moggies ($2.36)

A game between a couple of battlers languishing in 7th and 10th place, or the other view a grand final rematch and they still are given great chances to take out this year’s title.  However the evidence at this stage has them trending in different directions with Collingwood on the improve as they indicated, but Geelong seem to be hunting for the spark that will turn the apparent decline around.  I reckon they have improvement in them and it could come tomorrow night, both have enhanced their on field personnel with grand final players replacing a number of young tyros.  The ruck duels will be of great interest with Jolly returning to the Pies line up against the “Big O” and Trent West, if Jolly is fit I reckon he might hold sway but if not the Pies could struggle.  Odds wise there is far too much of a discrepancy; the Geelong line up looks much more like premiership material compared to the last few weeks.  At $2.36 they represent great value and this team has continually lifted itself for these big games over the last few years.  Whilst there are genuine concerns about whether or not the reign is over, however I suspect reports of their demise are a little premature.  I am happy to select Geelong in a flip of the coin game.


Michaelangelo’s Curse ($2.94) vs Spirit Got Lost ($1.51)

Two teams with plenty to prove.  That legendary Shinboner Spirit took yet another day off last week and Port Adelaide need to return to the intensity and competitiveness they showed in the first few games of the season or Michaelangelo will have his way and Matty Primus’ coaching career will be on life support.  The match ups are interesting and how North perform with the ruck duties left on the shoulders of Goldstein, his form has been ordinary so far but maybe the challenge will flick the switch.  Overall I reckon both teams will respond in what could be a tough contest, however I think the Kanga’s talent will be the telling factor.  As for a punt I could not consider either of them.


Taxing Tassie ($1.24) vs Purple Curse ($5.00)

The Hawks welcome back Josh Gibson and head to Launceston, where they usually reign supreme.  Up against Freo who have notched one win away from home already, however these conditions are much less friendly for them and I can’t see Hawthorn letting them have a chance.


Tiger Prey ($1.11) vs Everyone’s Prey ($8.60)

Watched a bit of the Sydney capitulation to Richmond, no surprise that Seaby has been dispensed with for the more rugged and robust Mike Pyke.  Whereas the Dees welcome back three big names in Green, Watts and Jurrah – only Jurrah would strike fear into an opponent of that trio.  The Dees first encounter at the SCG since 2007 will not be a happy one with the Bloods getting their season back on track.


Darwin Theory ($1.17) vs Mermaid Beaches ($6.40)

The game looks obvious that the Dogs, dominant last week,  should be too good for the Suns who were poor.  The challenge here is that the Doggies have not shown week to week consistency, however the Suns have had the same issue.  I would hope that Bluey’s charges will show a significant effort, however the Dogs have dominated their last four encounters in the tropics and should prevail.


The Lid’s Stuck ($1.58) vs Yellow & Black ($2.66)

The Tiggers are daring to dream meanwhile the Bombers have been quietly going about their business not making too much of a fuss.  Then M Long comes along blows the lid right off!  To a certain extent deservedly so, they have now dispatched the Blues and Eagles and are confidently looking at being 9-2 at the turn.  The Tigers hope this will be the 2.  I don’t share that sentiment, yes they now have 2 in a row but neither of those were major shocks.  Their improvement though cannot be doubted and they do tend to have good winning “streaks’ – often followed by longer losing streaks.  Should the bagslingers get them out to $2.80 they are worth consideration, but I will be selecting Essendon.


Princes of the Jungle ($1.21) vs 2018 Premiership Favourites ($5.30)

Sheeds has achieved goal number one and got a win on the board for the Giants, whose form the previous week against Carlton came through against the Gold Coast.  The Blues form against the Giants also continued on against the Saints.  But back to this game, the Lions have have dealt with both ends of the spectrum at the Gabbatoir with Carlton, Geelong and Collingwood at the deep end and an easy kill with the Suns at the other.  This week gives them another “kill” with the Giants who have taken the opportunity to rest a number of tired young bodies.


Seal the Lid ($1.51) vs Adelaide ($2.76)

All season the Blues fans have been loose with their mouths and their wallets and were certainly bitten on Monday night and the $5.50 is still waaaay too short for the flag.  Meanwhile Adelaide have continued on their way, winning their last two games against opponents that would have expected to beat them. They lead the competition in clearances and contested possessions (15th and 14th in 2011), whereas Carlton’s much vaunted midfield has now conceded clearances to the opposition in every encounter since its victory over Collingwood.  It is no coincidence to me that it was the last full game Andrew Carrazzo played in.  Meanwhile both teams have ordinary records in the loungeroom, the Crows last win their in 2009 against Carlton and have lost 8 since then.  The odds on this game seem closer to the mark, but there is still a gamble on whether that Carlton midfield can execute and provide the forwards with first crack at the ball.  I am tipping they will, however for the non-Blues among you the Crows are shopping well.


The Corporation ($1.46) vs Back on the Edge ($3.10)

The Saints deserve plenty of credit for their effort last week, playing with the hard edge that Ross Lyon instilled in them paid dividends.  Can it now be maintained is the question?  The 19 goals was a welcome change for their supporters also, however there were some pretty ordinary defensive errors to donate a number of them.  They will be up against a similarly hard-nosed opponent this week in the Eagles on their home deck.  I doubt that the Eagles will lose at home this year – and very much doubt they will lose this week!


Group 1 Racing

The circus has moved to Brisbane and this week we see Manighar contesting the Doomben Cup.  The $2.50 on offer is pretty short, but only More Joyous has beaten him in the last four starts.  None of the known commodities are in her class, however Shez Sinsational brings a great record from NZ and the imported Mawingo was impressive at Flemington before going under on a heavy track at the Gold Coast.  They may represent value if you don’t want to take the shorts, I will just have them in the tricks and happy to have Manighar at that price.

The Friars come up against the relegated Ormond at Friar Park.  Friars coming off a great win at Como Park, Ormond will be keen to atone for their narrow loss.  A great test for the team.

Go Hammers, Go Blues, Go Friars

Cheers, Sal


  1. Willy play Coburg at the Western Oval on sunday

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