Round 15 and we're into the home stretch

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Round 15 and we're into the home stretch Empty Round 15 and we're into the home stretch

Post by Booney on Thu Jul 09, 2015 8:38 am

While many things have been said and written about Phil Walsh over the last week, all of it so positive, none of it has been as positive as the reaction and the genuine caring nature shown from the wider football family. From the post match gesture Friday night that Al Clarkson ( a close ally of Walsh’s ) organised through to the discussion this would have created among families all over the country we can all be very proud of the way this terrible tragedy has been handled by those directly affected by it and those who have been touched by it.

To those who are directly affected by it, the Walsh family, the Adelaide Football Club across all levels, the people who Phil had become a great friend and mentor to over his all to brief journey in football,we say we are sorry. You have our deepest most sincere condolences. All I can think is hopefully this has made us all closer to family and given us all reason to be thankful for what we have and do everything we can to keep it just that way.

R.I.P Phil and may your family and friends find the strength to get through this.

Aaaaaaaand off we go again with Thursday night footy, Adelaide Oval gets it’s second taste of Thursday night action and it’s Port Adelaide hosting the hot ‘Pies. In what will be a very emotional return to the field for Port Adelaide this week in front of their home crowd it will also be a stern test against a Collingwood outfit that has been so close yet so far in recent weeks against the competitions best.

A 7 point loss to Fremantle away and a 10 point loss to the Hawks at the G after burning some opportunities really sets the ‘Pies up as one of the form teams of the comp, albeit with back to back losses. Astute judges though will say that both losses were against sides set to be there or thereabouts in the last weeks of the year.

Port on the other hand had a depleted Sydney side on the ropes and with pretty much only themselves to blame they burnt the ball far to often in the middle and back half of the ground and came home with a 10 point loss to add to the “L” column on the ladder. A familiar sight for frustrated Port fans in 2015.

Witts gets the ball moving for Collingwood in the ruck, Pendlebury is just red hot after 37 touches, 10 clearances and 10 tackles last week, with Bottom Steeleside, Crisp, Williams and Varcoe playing some of his best footy for years helping get the ball down to a potent forward half. Port on the other hand can only boast patchy form from a handful of players in recent weeks. Individuals have been inconsistent and as such the side has had no confidence or run for some time. Again, last week, there were patches of form but when Port drop off of late they drop right off. Sides score quickly and heavily in a sign Port are not applying themselves mentally as they should.

Thursday night looks like it will be cold and wet, showers forecast ( in Tony Greig voice ) for the night. Won’t be a high scoring one because of it. Collingwood should get the job done, Port might have other things on their mind, it might rally them together. ‘Pies too hot at the moment, by 17 points.

Friday night footy hasn’t really been the same since Carlton stopped getting flogged and Richmond started to string impressive wins together. 8 weeks ago this would have been a dead set raffle, not quite as hard to predict this time around but far from a certainty.

The Tigers have been very impressive of late but they still have the ability to make their fans look the other way. With 15 minutes to go the under manned GWS lads had them, then in the blink of an eye it was the Tigers 3 goals clear. Carlton were scrappy at best against the Bulldogs, not sure if that’s how both coaches wanted it played, in the end it was an average spectacle at best. 9 goals to 7 and it wasn’t one to send to your mates overseas to catch up on modern footy.

Richmond should hold sway here, losing Mullet Maric isn’t perfect for them and Kruezer and Wood should make the most the most of his absence in the ruck duels. The usual midfield subjects for Richmond should be the difference here, while Carlton’s midfield is growing, it isn’t as deep as Richmonds. Or, is this the week the Richmond lads drop one? Love him or hate him Jack Reiwoldt looks to have really matured this year and is leading the way in the F50 for the Tigers. He’s in great nick. Richmond, by 27 points.

I’ve been saying for weeks the Bombers are shot, I picked St Kilda to beat them ( by 4 points ) but crickey, I didn’t see that walloping coming! They really smacked the Bombers up and the Bombers rolled over and took it. They lose their skipper for the season with a shoulder, hardly what they needed, the one bloke who has stood strong going down. Mind you, the skipper looked like he was finally breaking under the strain.

Melbourne again had their midfield to thank for keeping them in it against the Weagles in Darwin. 20+ touches from Cross, Watts, Tyson, Vince and Jones along with more tackles than the Eagles and they were in it until half way through the second stanza. From there, 11 goals to 4 and the Eagles took over. It was just a case of the best team winning that one. Melbourne showed some fight but were outclassed.

The big questions here, can the Bombers muster up any sort of effort to bring to the table from now on? I can’t see how. It really has ground them down but mind you 3 years of negative press and constant speculation about your future has to take it’s toll. They need to show something this week, they need to show some fight after last weeks debacle.

Can Jim hold on until the end of the year? Depends what his lawyers have said to Mr.Little and co. Also depends on how much of the folding pocket filler the Bombers would be prepared to pay out to give him the ****. If they do boot him, it’ll be in and out of court more often than a honeymooners love stick.

The Dees mids are firing consistently, their big men are competing and their defence does its best week in week out, led by McDonald, Garland and Cross. Essendon are a rabble, the coach is under more pressure (can you believe it!) than ever before and the playing group look like they’re running with concrete boots in quick sand. Melbourne by 32 points.

The Doggies and the Suns both come into this one with winning form. Scrappy (not Scooby’s little brother) affair with the Dogs over the Blues last week and the Suns surprised many by giving the Kangaroos a hiding on the Coast.

The little bald man with a hairy face came back into the Suns line up like he never left, 30 touches and three goals from the little master. Speaking of little, they don’t come any little’er than the bloke the Dogs unleashed on the AFL, Caleb Daniel. The helmeted little bloke is Boomer Harvey height and Damien Oliver weight. SA based fans know him from his South Adelaide days where he was a solid contributor and size was never going to be against him with his work ethic and willingness to compete.

So how do you read the form of the sides coming into this one? Might as well be in braille as I’ve got no clue on how to read this one. The Suns have got a spine again with May, Day, Ablett, Lynch and Dixon forming a backbone to build on, Swallow added to the midfield and big Charlie Dixon took advantage of some supply to the forward line snaffling 7 sausage rolls. The Dogs scoring has dried up, 9 goals, (bye) 22 (over Brisbane) and 9 goals in each of the last two weeks, not great. Neither side can hit the scoreboard heavily with any consistency. Might be the first to 10 wins it.

The Suns really are a different side with Gaz back in it, damning for them to be so reliant on one player, then again, he’s a once in a generation player. I think they’ll continue on their winning way, Gold Coast by 21 points in a low scoring affair.

In the striped corner the Kangas, dear oh dear, up and down like a pair of Paris Hiltons underwear. What is it with them? One minute they’re holding firm against the Weagles, the next they’re rolling over to the bottom side. How frustrating are they? In the hooped corner, the Catters. With the Walsh tragedy unfolding in Adelaide last Friday the AFL rightly cancelled the Adelaide v Geelong fixture and because if this the Cats, coming off their bye, haven’t played since June 21 when the Dee’s upset them at Sleepy Hollow. It’s seems like ages ago, because it is.

This means we’ve got the Kangas coming off a loss to the bottom side and needing a win to keep any finals hopes alive and the Catters coming off a 3 week break. Like the last match, how can you read this one with any confidence? After a rare VFL outing Jimmy Bartel looks like he’ll make his long awaited return from a knee / infection, big Dawson Simpson might also return to add to their ruck stocks and Kelly and Smedts will be close. The Roos will probably bring Ben Brown back in after being dropped and kicking 4 goals, while Majak Daw will be dropped after getting 4 kicks.

The Kangas need more from their inconsistent forwards in Waite and Petrie who both only have 20 goals to date ( Waite has missed one match ) which isn’t a great return from the two key big men and they face the league’s most experienced back half who hold firm most weeks. Higgins and Thomas are acting as the leading goal kickers at Arden St. That won’t win you finals, let alone get you there.

Can’t back the Roos. Geelong by 28 points.

In what will be a must watch for all footy fans West Coast take on Adelaide in the West. Phil Walsh has left an impression on both of these clubs, on the playing groups, the coaching staff and supporters and this will be as emotion charged as a game of footy has ever, ever been. It does feel strange thinking football will give the players a chance to focus on something other than the terrible tragedy and it will, for moments in time. Each player will deal with it in his own way, some will be able to slip the game face on and play as they would have any other given week, some will struggle from time to time and some may not have the mindset to even put the boots on. It’s unthinkable the pain the Adelaide playing group must be experiencing. The confusion, the sense of loss, the sense of what might have been.

The very clear message from West Lakes this week is the message will remain the same, the message Walsh first delivered to the coaches and players will remain the same. Team first. Team. First. This is where these blokes will find the strength, as a team. Care for each other, on the field, care by running to create space for a team mate to take advantage of, care by “going” when it’s your turn.

Who knows what will happen Saturday night, who knows how the players will be able to cope. It almost seems inconceivable to think who scores the most goals will be a winner on the night, for none of them will feel like they’ve won a thing. West Coast by 21 points.

GWS nearly pulled off their second big upset of the season when they pushed the Tigers for 3 ½ quarters at the G last week, they ultimately ran out of legs as the Tiger train got up to full steam while St Kilda had a massive win over the hapless Essington. 450 disposals, 60 Inside 50’s and 25 goals. The Saints were marching in that’s for sure.

Not all that long ago GWS were 7-3 and looking like they would give their legion of fans something to do in September but decimated by injury in the last 3 weeks they have slipped from 4th to 9th and appear to be heading in the wrong direction. One of their issues is key back men and this isn’t great news when they face the side who are third in the competition for marks inside F50. Membrey and Bruce are developing as genuine options which gives Riewoldt room to move for the first time in about 10 years. As such he’s back to some of his best footy in some years.

The Giants lost almost all the stats that matter last weekend, and the one that really matters, on the scoreboard, after the Tigers kicked 6 of the last 7 goals. The Saints simply had no opposition as the Bombers folded and the Saints enjoyed their biggest ever win over the Dons. With that confidence behind them I think the Saints will make it two on the trot, by 19 points.

Premiership fancies Hawthorn and Fremantle battle down in Tassie where the forecast for Sunday is max 10° with a chance of 60% chance of penguins and polar bears. In a similar fixture a couple of years ago the Dockers made a record 11 changes to their side and as such lost the fixture. With them sitting on top of the table two games clear at 12-1 ( and with this being written on Wednesday night ) I expect them to again be conscious of player management and keep some big bodied big names at home in Perth.

The Hawks are all thinking of the big Ginger Roughead who after having a melanoma removed from his bottom lip is still a week or two from returning. This would have, in normal circumstances, been massive news but the events that unfolded in Adelaide over shadowed this. We all hope the big melon is back out there sooner rather than later, he looks like a ripping bloke and he’s a special talent on field. Best wish to the big fella.

This one is impossible to look at from a player personnel point of view, Fremantle will likely make plenty of changes and the Hawks might take a chance to do the same. I’ll go the Hawks by 23 points. I don’t know how.

In the last of the weekends fixtures the Bears host the Swans. Good programming by the AFL here. Brisbane played on Perth Sunday twilight and Sydney played on the Thursday night meaning one side gets a 5 day break after travelling home and the other gets 9 days. Even better it’s the bottom placed Bears on the short turn around against the top 4 Swans.

Hard to see how the Bears who are the lowest scoring side can muster up a winning score and hard to see them holding the Swans, the Bears concede more than any other side. Hmmmm.....

The Bears have lost 5 in a row, the Swans are a game clear in third and two games clear of fifth. They will sure up their spot in the top 4 this weekend.

I expect some big numbers this weekend from the Swans mid and small forward, if you’ve elected to give up normal life and do Super Coach or Dream Team stuff you might want to load up on Swans, not Dane Swan’s, this weekend. If you do do your Super Coach, Dream Team stuff and you’ve read this take a moment to look away from your phone or PC and say “Hi” to your significant other, kids and mates.

Sydney easily. By 59 points.

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Round 15 and we're into the home stretch Empty Re: Round 15 and we're into the home stretch

Post by Paul on Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:32 pm

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Last edited by Paul on Thu Jul 09, 2015 8:39 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Changed tip to Essendon)

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Round 15 and we're into the home stretch Empty Re: Round 15 and we're into the home stretch

Post by Thiele on Thu Jul 09, 2015 5:56 pm

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Round 15 and we're into the home stretch Empty Re: Round 15 and we're into the home stretch

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