Geelong d Carlton
Well this one went pretty well to script. I actually didn’t turn it on until half time and the Blues were all over them for about 20 minutes or more and looking pretty good but ultimately they were beaten by the class of the Cats, something which the Blues are still searching for. It was all good for the Cats except J Pod who is in trouble after crunching Gibbs. Had a good game though did J Pod and he’s a good player but I think somewhere along the line this season he went from being underrated to overrated in the space of about 5 weeks. There’s a reason why he wasn’t picked up until he was 28. It will make selection interesting though for the Cats in the finals if J Pod is out and then comes back. The Blues showed enough and have a decent team but just have a few major holes before they should worry about thinking they are a contender. Name their best backmen? I have no idea. Russell? Thornton, Doull? Is he still playing? Once they find a few backmen then they should make the leap as long as it is before Judd fades. They have the ruckmen and enough players to fill in for Fev up forward to kick a winning score. The Blues will finish 6 or 7 and if they win a final then that would be a pretty successful year I would think. I’m not sure what all the kafuffle was about a few weeks ago, more than likely it was just over inflated expectations from their fans and marketing department!!
St Kilda d Richmond
Kosy!!! He’s alive!!! Well this week anyway. The Tiges did a lot better than I thought and really gave the Saints all they could handle for three quarters. Milne must have been spewing, he would have penciled in this game as one where he could kick a bag as it would be the perfect soft affair where his downhill skiing skills could be used effectively. As the game was a bit close, as usual he couldn’t get a touch. Honestly when your previous coach (no matter how much of crackpot he might be) comes out and says he wouldn’t play him in a final the week after kicking 11 goals there is something very wrong. Another damning indictment is the recruitment of Schneider, to do, pretty much the same job Milne does and he’s not that consistent himself. The only reason Milne is still in that team is they have no one to replace him. If he was up for trade would anyone take him? I doubt it. If he gets a premiership I’ll spew. Goddard had taken mark of the year until I just saw Liam Jurrah’s versus Port Adelaide. Wooo. Nice.
Hawthorn d Fremantle
Currently watching this live and its 10 minutes before halftime and the Hawks are 9 goals in front and could win by about 150 pts. Buddy on his way to about 15 goals. Gunna be a big night on the drugs for the Hawkers tonight. Hope there are no drug testers in Tassie tonight. Now flicking back and forth to the Box Hill Hawks vs Williamstown which is a blow out the other way. Freo playing some kid who just got smashed by Campbell Brown I’m not too sure that is the experience Harvey was hoping to get for his younger players. Clive Waterhouse kicked 2 for the Dockers though and looked good at 45 years of age. Buddy only got 5 goals. The Coke must have slowed him down in the 2nd half certainly wasn’t Freo.
Collingwood d Adelaide
Well the Crowbots attacked and were very effective in bleeding any excitement out of the game whatsoever. They kicked more goals than the Pies too but lost, when was the last time that happened. It was such a boring night, and frustrating and even the win in the end was boring. Soon as the game finished I bolted, seemed pointless to sing the song for that. Crows actually played really well and showed how to challenge the Pies zone. Never sure how to judge Neil Craig as a coach, his team is always prepared well and drilled beautifully to give a contest much like Sydney, however they seem to lack that wildcard or flair outside of their structured play, which just about all premiership teams need. Burton was the one but he’s too injured and Craig doesn’t seem able to develop or find another, is that his fault?? The Pies, well it was their typical non-blockbuster effort, struggling to find some kind of inspiration. In the end we actually dominated the last quarter and should have won by a lot more, but having said that the Crows could have been a lot further in front too. Pies fans hoping it’s the shocker we had to have, out the way. Opposing fans hoping that’s how we’ll kick in the finals. Less said about this game the better.
Sydney d Western Bulldogs
Yes. Thanks for coming. See don’t listen to Fang. Again, it went pretty much as I predicted. The Swannies spirit too much for the faltering Dogs. The Bloods are now looking at hosting a final. A really great season by the Swannies considering some of the players they have had missing for large chunks. Why can’t Essendon, Brisbane and a few other teams cover injuries like the Swannies do? Lewis Jetta starting to kick goals, Keiran Jack taking over from Kirky and the Swannies looked to have retooled and stayed competitive for the next few years. They need to fill a couple more holes, in the middle with some more speed and get a decent forward, not sure Bradshaw wins them a Premiership? But they certainly don’t seem to have dropped away as quick as most thought. Doggies?? Where are they at? This was their year!! They certainly don’t have the youngest of lists and with Cooney and Johnson looking done, it might be 2 and out in the finals this year the way they are playing at the moment.
Port d Melbourne
Yes. Haha. Fang loses again. Just as predicted again, the Dees can’t travel and Port look to be playing Matty Primus into a job. What’s with Port?, if they played like this halfway during the year a few times they’d be a finals chance. Injury has stuffed them a bit but what a wacky team. Melbourne, well no good on the road, but it’s a young team and something that they can improve on. Overall an excellent year though and 2nd to only Fremantle in overall improvement, exciting years to come to with the Wonaemearri, Jurrah forward setup. Did you see Jurrah’s mark? That was awesome, hope he has a long career and doesn’t run into a coach like Neil Craig who would probably coach that out of him or delist him.
Brisbane d Essendon
Damn it, my first stuff up... gotta admit I didn’t see this one coming at all, even though a few other people couldn’t make a decision on this one, I really didn’t think the Bombers were this bad. Anyway the disappointment cup… and the winner is….. the Bombers, not the Lions, because the Bombers were more disappointing! Brisbane looked good from the opening bounce, I’m not sure if it’s just because of a lack of pressure by the Bombers but the Lions looked sharp and Brown particularly dangerous all day and the Lions are still racked injury too. Are the Bombers? Not really. So are they really this bad? I think the answer is Yes!. No point bagging any Bombers players or I would be here all day. But quickly Brett Stanton, just not up to it, Kyle Reimers what an embarrassment. Anyway we could bag the Bombers all day, but they do a good enough job of that, themselves. The Lions if they get everyone up and running and have Black and Power and Rich in the middle they will get enough ball out of the guts for the Fev, Brown and Banfield forward line to work and the defence of Drummond, Merrett etc works well enough. It’s just a matter of all staying healthy and not retiring haha. Is that possible? On a personal note its Sunday night at 8.30pm kids are in bed, I’m writing crap about the footy and watching Tom Hanks finest film ‘BIG’ on the box. Gee does life get much better than this?
Kangaroos d West Coast
Boomers 300th! What a star. He played well too. Was a pretty decent game with the home state advantage evening up the contest. Eagles were up by 9 deep into the last quarter but a few mistakes from their young fellas and the young fellas from the Kangaroos pounced. Really rate Brad Scott as a coach and they have plenty of good kids coming through, they aren’t going to lose many key pieces to retirement soon and have had plenty of injuries this year but still played well. Plenty to like about the Roos. Can they get a big name there though, they just don’t have the facilities or fan base. Should have taken the Gold Coast offer in my opinion. The Coasters pretty disappointing year to end up with the wooden spoon, but I couldn’t see them winning back to back wooden spoons, in fact with their home ground advantage I could see a finals appearance quicker than they think.
Well 7 out of 8 ain’t a bad effort and hopefully gets me into outright lead in my tipping comp. Hope no one took Fangs advice. For the finals, it looks like 3 horse race between the Cats, Pies and Saints and as the last 2 finals GF’s have shown anything can happen on the day, you just gotta make it. Go Pies!!!
And a big thanks to Anonymous for his excellent preview and review of the round. Can't argue with his results either. And also thanks to Gaz and T for their great work.
I'm well rested after 3 weeks off but I'll back on board to preview what looks a pointless round 22 (unless you are barracking for a team chasing a home final in 5th or 6th). - Fang