Round 21 stuff

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Round 21 stuff Empty Round 21 stuff

Post by Booney on Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:02 am

Only on Saturday Hirdy said he thought he was the man to lead Essendon out of the doldrums. He’s got a great sense of humour. Although, he also thought he’d done nothing wrong but took full responsibility for having done nothing wrong. Go figure. The other high/low light this week is Chris Masten sinking the chompers into his Fremantle opponent. Well, it actually seems it was Suban forcing his arm into Mastens mouth, if you believe the Weagles lawyers anyway, meanwhile the exodus at Carlton has begun and the Lions are kicking out anyone who isn’t under 23.

Hawthorn v Port

Well, at the start of the year I pencilled this one in as a must see, perhaps my Melbourne trip for the year, now I’m looking to palm off two tickets for this week’s FNF as the Hawks host the Power in a match up of 3rd and 12th. Drive 1400kms, drink Carlton Draught and blow $500 at the Crown for this? I don’t think so. I’ll sit home and watch it on the box and if standard operating procedure is adhered to I’ll fall asleep just after Hamish interviews this week’s Auskicker of the week and wake up when it’s so cold on the lounge that I can’t bear it anymore.

The Hawks are still striding out towards a Grand Final appearance, everyone expects they are still the team to beat and that’s with very good reason. They’ve just been to Perth and beaten the Eagles, they average the highest goals for in the comp, have the second best defence ( behind Fremantle ) and get more of the ball than any other side and have the best disposal efficiency in the comp. Why am I looking so hard into this? It’ll drive a man to drink. They kept all of this going last week rolling the Catters and bagging 19 goals in the process. It’s no wonder they’re the team to beat with Hodge, Mitchell, Rioli, Burgoyne etc etc all hitting full strap late in the season and going into the finals series in top nick with very few injuries while Hale and McEvoy have formed one of if not the best 1-2 ruck combo’s in the league. They might lose Bolton to the Blues before too long (Seriously, does someone want to coach Carlton?) and the tragedy surrounding assistant coach Brett Ratten makes all parents sick to the stomach. Condolences to Ratten and his family.

Port bounced back after the Bulldogs chewed them up and spat them out last week by getting over the top of the angry little ants from GWS. Port made some big changes and a couple of them paid dividends. Brendon Ah Chee came in and had his best game at AFL level with 25 touches, 3 goals and a specky. Patty Ryder had the most influence he’s had on a game in Port colours, despite bagging 3 goals and 4 on one occasion in previous outings his time as #1 ruckman reaped 46 hitouts, 17 disposals and 3 tackles. I think it showed where his best footy is played and it will be interesting to see how he’s used in the next 3 weeks. Sam Gray backed up his last two games with a third solid outing and half backs Broadbent and Hartlett got some ball in hand and Harlett’s 19 touches came at 90% making an impact with his lethal right foot. Wingard bagged another 3 and two of them were rippers in the last quarter when the game was to be won.

No point sugar coating this one, it’s got the potential to get filthy for Port fans. Mind you, the Hawks get up for the big ones and don’t tend to be quite so ruthless in the ones they’re expected to win.....either way, the Hawks by whatever you want to pick them by. For mine, 40+

Ins/Outs – Hale out for Shoe maker (why?), Trengove out with a clipped wing, Schulz back in.

Collingwood v Richmond

Another admirable loss for the Pies last week, it’s killing me how close they’re getting and missing out. My sides are on fire, haven’t laughed this hard in ages. The Tigers on the other hand got back on track with a mauling of the Suns in Melbourne and kept a slim hope of a top 4 berth alive.

The Pies are doing plenty of things right and it’s probably a sign of the youth of the side that when crucial moments come either without the ball in hand or with the ball in hand that they falter and give the opposition a break. As they say, never give a sucker an even break and this competition will hurt you if you give anyone a leg up. They did this with 10 16 and a couple of dead set shocking misses. More touches, more I50’s, more tackles, the numbers that seem to point to a victory don’t always do so. The league average for disposal efficiency is 72%, so less than that and you’re burning to too much. Friday night, 13 Pies below that mark. de Goey got himself a well earned Rising Star nomination after settling in to top flight footy comfortably.

The Tigers spread the load last week by ripping into the Suns with 11 goal kickers (6 multiple goal kickers) 22 more I50s and over 100 more touches. They would have been filthy with their effort against Adelaide the week before and if it wasn’t for a 6 goal to 2 first quarter I think Dimma would have been going off his trolley. One, I say, just one tackle in the first quarter for Richmond which by any measure isn’t good enough and that sort of effort won’t cut it against the fair dinkum sides. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, these are the games that test the faith of every Richmond fan. They’re a bit like Scientologists, you can sort of understand that there might be something else out there to believe in, but why would you choose to hang your happiness on that?

The Tigers need to win this one to remain in the hunt for fourth, with the Giants and Pies losing last week it’s unlikely they’ll miss the 8 but if any can steal 9th from nowhere it’s the Tigers. The Pies a real chance here, but the Tigers should hold sway, by 11 points.

Ins/Outs – Brown suspended for the Pies, Maynard replaces him. Tigers drop Thomas and bring in Edwards.

GWS v Sydney

The Giants must have flown Tiger on their way to Adelaide last week, they looked less than happy when they arrived, like they were made to pay for their own in flight entertainment and they got all argy bargy with Port early on. The Swans on the other hand just held out the Pies in Sydney on the back of some good kicking for goal and wayward Collingwood efforts in front of theirs.

The Giants clearly had a focus to be unsociable but unlike the Hawks these kids are more accustomed to some school yard antics than roughing up league footballers and some of it looked too manufactured to be a part of their game week after week. Rhys Palmer gave football broadcasters a ripping cock up to air for all of time, two bounces in 10 metres 20 from goal with no pressure and he ballsed up a certain major, he did redeem himself though with 5 for the afternoon. The loss of Captain Davis (do I write that every week?) hurt their defence and other than Palmer and Cameron (3) they failed to find any other consistent avenues to goal. Griffen and Ward were solid in the guts and Bugg tried his best to pester Boak in a heavy tagging role. Patton got another run under his belt to give him some more confidence in his body.

“Touched play on” apparently isn’t good enough anymore and the goal review system provided a howler on Friday night as the Swans class held the Pies at bay. The two umpires on the ground knew it was touched, the players knew it was touched, a bloke watching a 3” set with blurry vision disagreed and in a game decided by under two goals it was a fairly crucial incident, having said that the Swans looked like winners all night, that’s if you managed to stay awake through the first half scrums. Mitchell had a belter, McVeigh got plenty as did Kennedy and the Jack’s had 40 touches 2 goals and 10 tackles between them. With the Doggies taking 4th spot but heading West this week the Swans will want to win the battle of the Bridge to make sure any slip up by the Dogs gives them 4th spot back.

The Giants are now playing for pride as finals appear beyond them and this week there’s the home town rivalry on the plate. Won’t be enough though, while the Swans aren’t firing on all cylinders they’ve got plenty more at stake than the kids from out West. Sydney by 13 points. Plenty of good about the Giants ins though.

Ins/Outs – Giants get Treloar, Coniglio, Marchbank in for Smith, Davis and Steele. Rohan, Mitchell and Parker all injured, Towers, Jones and debutant Rose come in.

Gold Coast v Essendon

These two combined for a total combined loss of 195 points last week....they conceded 49 goals between them and kicked 16. Hmm. The Gold Coast were no match for the Tigers and Essendon finally gave all and sundry reason to move Golden Jim on. I’m sure he didn’t go without a fight, something his players could learn from.With 8 wins and a draw between them in a total 38 games it’s not exactly a case of winning form is good form in this one.

The Suns have been reasonable in the last month with a win over the Lions and a draw with the Eagles as they’ve had some key big men find some form with Lynch ( I mention him a lot, I rate him very highly ) in great form ( another 3 goals last week ) and the likes of Rischitelli and Hall getting some good numbers in the mids. They were behind the 8 ball early last week, ruckman Nicholls jarred a knee and was subbed at half time, Jack Martin was out cold after a head clash with Cotchin and big Dixon rolled an ankle late leaving them with only one on the bench. May did a good job to hold Reiwoldt to 2 goals considering 62 I50’s and 22 goals went the Tigers was. Kolodjashnij was creative across half back, well, he had plenty of opportunities to get the ball! The Suns have been ok of late though.

The Bombers.....they just keep sinking lower and lower. The coach has finally walked, the president might not be far behind, the players are at each other on the ground and at least one mentioned he’ll be happy to be somewhere else next year. Regardless of who is to blame in this, who is at fault, it’s the ugliest story any club has faced for a long, long time. If not ever. Puzzling thing is, they still find heaps of the ball, third for total disposals in the comp. I’ve asked before, what do they do with it? They’re 4th for disposal efficiency....I don’t get it. As far as blokes in form, it’s a pretty baron read that column.

The old coach getting sacked up lift or a season that just needs to come to an end for the Bombers? The latter, nothing good to come from this trip North for them. Other than some Sun. Suns, by 22 points.

Ins/Outs – *sigh* Thompson, Schade, Smith, Stanley and Lemmens for Nicholls, Dixon, Harbrow, Boston and Cameron on the Coast. Hurley, McKernan, Ambrose, O’Brien, Fantasia and out go Pears, Langford, Myers, Giles, Steinberg and Hird at the Bombers.

St Kilda v Geelong

Both sides had a crack last week, both fell short against more fancied opponents and both by 6 goals. The Saints were ok against North, poor kicking didn’t help them and the Cats just couldn’t go with the Hawks for long enough to trouble them on the scoreboard.

The Sainters have clearly improved this year and have unearthed some real talent and a couple of them are in key posts to help the rebuild Alan Richardson is leading. Josh Bruce looks ready to take over from Saint Nick as the key forward, Billy Longer is finally delivering on the promise he showed up in Brisbane, Armitage is having a ripping year and the likes of Roberton and Newnes have cemented spots this year. There’s plenty to like about the Saints, the way they play is not only attractive but effective. They’re top 6 for marks I50, obviously Reiwoldt is still a target, they’re also top half dozen for I50 entries. Plenty of clubs build from the back, seems Richardson is about scoring first and then work the defence out.

With the Catters sitting 9th they need to make sure of this one to have any chance of a remarkable 9th straight finals appearance. The draft, trading, all that is designed to keep the top 8 rolling over and these guys have been able to buck that trend and this year it’s been a couple of new faces leading the way, Guthrie keeps bobbing up and Lang is growing with every match. Hawkins is enjoying the fact Walker is settling in, this way the Hawk only has two defenders mauling him instead of the three he’s been accustomed to.

Geelong with loads to play for and a cagey old defensive unit working as well as ever. These two are 17th and 18th for clearances, will be interesting who gets the advantage there, might be the difference. The Cats with more to play for by 21 points BUT the Saints will give them something to think about.

Ins/Outs – St Kilda 7 outs and 7 ins. Rivers, Kelly and Stokes out for Lonergan, Bews and Vardy’s first game in a long time.

Adelaide v Brisbane

Adelaide gave it to Essendon last weekend, 100+ points with the “all played well” sign going up as the Lions pulled out the projector and put the club song up on the wall for the boys to belt out. Been a long time between drinks for the Lions, they would have enjoyed the win over the Blues.

You could argue that Adelaide are one of the form teams of the competition at the moment. They’ve won four of their last 5 with the loss to Sydney in Sydney. No shame in that. More so they are finally getting some reward from their forwards for the great work the midfield is doing. Jacobs leads the way and he, like many of the top ruckman, is very durable, hardly missed a game for three years and Adelaide know what they are going to get from him week in, week out. Does he get the credit he deserves? Maybe, maybe not. It’s his work that creates the opportunities for Dangerfield, Thompson etc and they are now getting some help from the forwards, the big men especially. Walker and Jenkins are in really good touch and Eddie keeps getting his 3/4/5 while Cameron can snaffle 2/3 in no time at all. They could, if they make it, cause some sides in the bottom half of the 8 some headaches.

Not often I’ve had some good things to write about the Lions this year! ( Keep in mind, it was Carlton and they were 4 goals down at one point ) 12 goal kickers, they’d be happy with 12 goals most weeks. Ex-Blue Stitch, I mean Mitch Robinson had a field day against his old team 30 touches, kicked a major, pissed off some old team mates and took home the choccies. He’d have been chuffed with that one. The midfield though had a field day, over 400 disposals and Stef Martin got them going, Zorko, Rich, Rockliff, Redden all got plenty of aggart on the back of Martin leading from the front. If they lose him in the off season it will be a killer blow. He’s been a standout for them this year. Can you believe former skipper Adcock is on the market, Luenbuerger isn’t wanted, Stef Martin might go home? Crikey, Lions fans thought 2015 was bad!

Saturday night at AO and the 19th man/woman/children will be out in force. With good reason. I expect Adelaide to keep their high scoring form going and win, win big. Might be really big. Can I tip a 80 point win? Why not, who do I have to answer to? Adelaide by 80+.

Ins/Outs – Shaw and Douglas replace Lever and McKay at Adelaide, Brisbane lose Rich to a glute and Green comes in.

North Melbourne v Fremantle

North got the job done over the Saints, was nothing spectacular and it was never really in the bag until the last quarter as the Saints took it right up to them while the Dockers dropped a game to the home town rivals and just gave the Eagles a sneaky look at top spot.

Now we all know the Scott brothers are angry, real angry. I guess like all twins they might have been asked “You know, one of you wasn’t planned?” and it’s stuck with them. Didn’t Bradley have the ***** on? He went bonkers at his players, with good reason, their second quarter was poo. 17 shots to 7 at the half and the Roos were lucky the Saints didn’t kick straight. The third quarter was the polar opposite of the first two and the Roos piled on the majors with 9 goals to 2 getting them back in a winning position. Another 5 in the last and the score board papered over some cracks. For the first time in weeks Goldstein was beaten, not in the air but his effectiveness around the ground was limited. Petrie bagged his 4, Thomas another 3 and Boomer keeps going with disposals, goals, tackles and as such earns himself another year on the list and a crack at Tuck’s games record. 6 wins on the trot, all against bottom 8 sides.

Freo were chewed up and spat out early by the Eagles, the Dockers have a habit of leaking goals quick. Sides don’t score heavily against them, but when they do it is often in quick succession and last week was no different. They let the first 6 goals of the game in and despite a 6 goal last quarter they never really got into the game. Hill, Mundy, Fyfe, Neale all got their fare share of it but they were down on efficiency and none of the Freo players really had any influence on the game until after half time. No real worrying signs for them as the Eagles are one of the teams to beat and the Dockers won’t bleed 6 goals to zip early like that again. Having said that, I wouldn’t have wanted to step on Lyon’s toes at half time on the way down to the rooms, I reakon he might have been a little hot under the collar by then.

North might still see a top 4 spot as achievable, the Dockers have pretty much got top sewn up with Melbourne and Port left to play. The Kangas were pretty ordinary last week at times and they’ll need to really lift to give the Dockers a shake here. Goldstein and Sandilands going at it all day worth the admission price alone. Really tough one to pick this. I think the Roos but only just and I can’t really put my finger on why I’ve gone that way. Kangas, 8 points but it is their first real test in two months and I’m not confident.

Ins/Outs – Sunday game. Lots to happen yet.

Carlton v Melbourne

Carlton enjoyed the Sun up in Brisbane last weekend, they hated what unfolded at night though with the Bears handing them the wooden spoon for the time being, not that they really need another one, the timber cutlery is building at Visy Park and the Demons came up against the running power of the Dogs and had no answers.

Last one out at Visy Park, please turn off the lights.....I’ve never heard of such madness. Lachie Henderson has taken his Mum’s sage advice and is saving his body for someone special. He’s told the Blues he’s up for a move and as such doesn’t want to play the last two games and hurt himself. Funny, looks like he’s been playing the last 10 weeks like he hasn’t wanted to hurt himself. Bell seems like he’s wanting to ring in a change of scenery too. Sitting bottom, yet to name their new coach, players walking out, it’s no fun at the navy Blues right at the moment. The Blues struggle to get the ball I50 as it is and without the marking target in Henderson it will fall on returning Casboult to offer a target. If and when the mids get it near there.

With twice as many wins as the Blues and a much better defence this one will give Demons fans reason to rock up to the G on Sunday. I’m not sure that many will, but if they do they can with confidence. Hogan should get some opportunities with Vince and Jones being held last week by the Doggies mids I’d expect them to bounce back to some form and offer some I50’s for Hogan and Dawes to work with. They look set to try and over power the Blues in the air with Gawn, Jamar, Hogan and Dawes all set to see some time in the F50. Watts has had a consistent month of footy and all Dee’s fans will be pleased to see him get some reward for his continued effort.

The Blues have won 5 of the past 6 against the Dee’s but it’s not likely to be 6/7 in my view. The Demons have a more attacking midfield and their forwards can be dangerous, Carlton the worst defence in the league by a long way. The “Full house” sign won’t be needed at the G on Sunday, Melbourne by 18 points.

Ins/Outs – Sunday game. Lots.

West Coast v Bulldogs

Clearly match of the round with 2nd and 4th shaping up with the Eagles flying high, second spot looks to be theirs (if they win this week) and they knocked off top placed home town rival Freo with a blistering first half. They took the foot off the pedal as the Dockers fought back while the Doggies continued to pump sides with run and carry rolling the Demons by nearly 100 points.

West Coast welcome back Nic Nat and Le Cras to bolster an already potent side and despite losing another defender with Schofield pinging a hammy they look to be working the modern “team defence” as well as anyone. Not about the people but the system they all say. Doesn’t hurt having one of the best forward lines in the game at the moment either. Kennedy and Darling are both mobile and can play from the square or up the ground, they are about as versatile as any key forward duo and cost a hell of a lot less than Tippett and Franklin. With the Dogs forward line in sparkling form the under sized Eagles backs will need to keep the ball in hand if they are to win this one. Hill is in good touch and offers that mid/tall quick marking option in the forward half most sides would love.

The good are the Doggies to watch? They chuck it around with handballs galore, have at least 5 options to go to I50 with Redpath, Stringer, Crameri, Dickson and Dahlhaus offering options and big man Tom Campbell is holding down the ruck spot, keeping Will Minson out of the side. Campbell has been good of late, averaging 25 hitouts per game over the last month he’s got a big job ahead of him with the returning Naitanui sure to be set for a big game to do his family proud. Easton Wood will have a task this week, he’ll be rolling off his man and cutting off the space for Kennedy and Darling to run into, problem for Wood is he’s also got Hill and Le Cras to cover.

Massive midfield battle here, both sides play similar styles and both sides coming off good wins. Top 4 assured for the Eagles, top 2 can be wrapped up soon and the Dogs still looking to finish in the double chance spots. Tough to pick the Doggies to beat the Eagles in Perth though, sure, Hawthorn did it but are the Doggies good enough to? I’ll go the Eagles at home, by 20 points.

Ins/Outs – Late Sunday. Nic Nat and Le Cras in for the Eagles and the Dogs lose Boyd and Picken which hurts.

TTFWIW – 8 last week.

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Round 21 stuff Empty Re: Round 21 stuff

Post by Paul on Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:31 am

Richmond but go Pies
Sydney but go Giants
Geelong but go Saints
North Melbourne but go Dockers
West Coast

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