Round 11 chit chat

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Post by Booney on Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:17 am

Not sure if the last two weeks have been more painful for tipsters or Geelong fans, if it’s the latter, my heart bleeds. We’ve had some fallout from round 10, Lindsay Thomas pulls off two Joel Selwood’s and the “Laws of the game” committee are going to “look closely at it”. Look at what? A high tackle is a high tackle and if blokes want to encourage another blokes arm to belt them in the head who are we to stop them? Massive over reaction. Gone a couple of “upsets” this week, can feel it in me waters.

North v Richmond –

Dust off the moccies folks, FNF is kicking off in Taswegia for the first time and the locals would be beside themselves. Not since colour TV came along in the 90’s has the Apple Isle been so excited. North faced just about the biggest test in footy last week, no shame in losing to Sydney in Sydney as the Tigers made it 3 on the trot by beating the Bombers. No real surprise for either side last weekend. Nice night in Tassie, getting down to 4° over night....brrr.

North had a few players really well held last weekend, Petrie with 6 touches, Harvey 13, Waite 14 and zero majors between them made it real hard for the Kanga’s to beat the Swannies. All three would have been disappointed with that effort and will be looking for a big one this weekend. Just the 9 goals on the night ( in the last 5 weeks they’ve scored 9,11,10,17 and 9 goals ) and the front half is starting to dry up a little as the focus on Waite and Brown in particular increases. Take out the 3 goals from Thomas’ 9 touches and it could have been much, much worse. They need to make a statement this weekend.

The Tigers are on a little roll and their best are standing up after a horrid month, why did it take so long? Well, Deledio ( as noted last week ) is crucial to their chances. He’s very much the barometer for the Tigers and if he’s going well so are they. He’s their Mr Fix-it. Can go back, mid or forward and has an impact wherever he goes. Martin is in some top notch form, Ellis is making himself known and the rest of the mids are feeding off them. Hampson is offering a contest and keeping Maric in the magoos.

North would want to win this one, the Tigers are capable and the Kangaroos need to show everyone including themselves they’re as genuine as a 9-1 side should be. I’ll pick them but I can’t say I’m confident. Norf by 11 points. ( North $1.45 Richmond $2.75 )

Hawthorn v Melbourne –

The Hawks went up to the Gabba for the first time in 8 years ( so the AFL make Brisbane come to Melbourne 8 years in a row to play the Hawks? Harsh ) and duly salute in Lewis’ 250th as Melbourne sell a home game to Alice Springs and 4 points to Port Adelaide for the second year in a row. Somewhere else next year perhaps?

Was only a cuttle goal lead at ¾ time and the Lions had stuck with them, 9 goals to 3 in the last and the reigning 3 time brings home the points. Lewis huge in his 250th, 42 touches, 6 marks, 9 clearances, 2 tackles, 6 I50’s and a sausage roll. You don’t see many more complete games than that. He steps up in the big games, now just to step up and admit he’s got a massive bald spot and stop trying to cover it up. Come on Jordan, it’s time. Cyril got in among it and his 5 big ones were important. Burgoyne good, Breust and Gunston 2 more each, they’re still around the mark.

Melbourne looked like they had the edge over Port with big Max Gawn in the ruck and Jesse Hogan up front both outweighing their direct opponents but it made little difference as the Dees got opened up. Their wins over Gold Coast and Brisbane had seduced plenty of on lookers, many lamenting picking Melbourne last week. It wasn’t so much Melbournes wasted opportunities that hurt them, it was the way they got opened up through the middle. They spoke about their defence getting fixed first, last year it did. This year they started to attack, but it seems to have come at a cost. It’s now only the bottom 4 who have conceded more points. They need to fix up the back half quickly.

Not the side to face when you’re leaking in defence, the Hawks will take it off you and then they won’t let you out. Hawthorn to make it 8-3 with a 33 point win. ( Hawks $1.18 Melbourne $5 )

Carlton v Brisbane –

Boltons Blues have come of age and much faster than any of us thought, 5-5 with a winnable one in front of them could the Blues make a tilt at the 8? We know the Lions won’t be having a tilt at the 8 any time soon, they need to find someone to aim at when they get the ball in the midfield.

The top end talent has always been there, the question has been over their consistency and ability to do it week in and week out. Well, right at the moment they sure are. Since taking over as skipper Murphy has been consistent, he’s the one who over the last year or two can hold his head high and now the likes of Gibbs and Kreuzer are living up to their potential. The back half and midfield are playing the Bolton Zone well, the likes of Simpson and Docherty are making the most of the space this creates when they turn the ball over and they move it to the forward half quickly. Then they lock you in. Massive effort for Casboult and Kreuzer to get up after one week off when it looked like they’d be out for a month or more.

Brisbane can plug away for a time, not for four quarters, but for long enough when they really commit themselves to make the day at least uncomfortable for the opposition. Less than a goal behind the Hawks at half time, 2 goals down at ¾ time and they drop off the intensity and the Hawks bury 9 majors in the last. Christensen is fitter and making time around the ball count, Robinson cracks his ugly mug in, Taylor, Zorko and Bell are all honest. Schache will be better than good but he’ll be shouldering a huge load in the early days of his career, he needs help quickly.

Can’t see the Lions busting into Boltons zone, the Blues to carry on by 23 points. ( Carlton $1.26 Brisbane $3.85 )

Geelong v GWS –

The Catters have dropped tow they should have won, perhaps the top 4 berth many had earmarked for them will be missed with the two losses to sides outside the 8. The Giants came to Adelaide full of run and in form, they weren’t given the opportunity to show either as they were strangled in close.

The Cats loss to the Pies was certainly an upset, perhaps their loss to the Blues not quite as much but in all reality it’s two wins the Cats should have picked up with ease, IF they are a top 4 side as many of us suspected. So, where has it gone wrong? Not working hard enough in the midfield battles, they lost clearances and tackle counts to the Blues, broke even with Collingwood and because of this the scoring has dried up, 85 and 80 points the last two weeks when it’s pretty clear you need the best part of 100 points to win in the modern game. Does the coach have some questions to answer? Might have the eyeballs on the midfield this week looking for a “two way” effort.

Playing in front of perhaps the biggest crowd in their history the Giants failed to fire against the Crows, they had just 27 clearances for the night ( they lead the comp averaging 40 per game ) and 52 I50’s ( Avg 59 ). The coaches reacted to Adelaide fast start and threw Jono Patton behind the ball which left Cameron alone with Talia. It proved costly. Kept to 14 touches and 1 goal it made as huge difference to the Giants ability to score. Johnson was well held, ( o goals ), Palmer ( 0 goals ) while not a high goal scorer does the hard work keeping the ball I50 and he too was shut out. A few players kept very quiet. Anyone slee see Shaw lose his **** a few times? Funny to watch indeed.

The Giants beat the Cats in round 2 winning by dominating clearances and contested ball. Both sides will be looking for redemption this week. At Cat land, I’m calling a GWS win. GWS to bounce back by 13 points. ( Cats $1.52 GWS $2.55 )

Gold Coast v Sydney –

Nothing much to say about the Suns, their two’s had just 3 AFL listed players play last weekend such is the injury list on the Goldy. I’ll list them in a moment. Sydney, well, I keep say they just keep on keeping on and they took on the unbeaten Roos and really didn’t give them a look in all night on the way to a 26 point win.

Gold Coast have ( take a deep breath ) Ah Chee, Currie, Day, Fiorini, Grant, Hallahan, Kolodjashnij, Leslie, Macpherson, McKenzie, Miller, O’Meara, Rosa, Saad, Sexton, Stanley, Swallow and Thompson on the injury list. Wow. 18 out. 11 of them listed as “Test” though so perhaps some relief at selection for Rocket and his men. Justin Cordy, listed as “Elite performance manager” might have some senior staff knocking on his door when the end of year review comes up. No doubt he’ll have some charts and graphs to show them....but hard to argue when 18 blokes are lined up outside the physios room. Ablett getting some touch back, looks to be moving better than he was a month back.

The team to beat. Hannebery was outstanding last week, Mitchell and Kennedy too, they opened the contest up by winning it in close. The Swans 169-144 in contested possessions, 52 of them to the three mentioned. Tippett gets a mention in my write ups, plenty of observers now noting his impact on the side. Since the middle of last year he could stake a claim to be one of, if not the most important big man in the competition. Goldy would argue it well, Tippo has some good come back though.

Another nasty one for the Suns, expect a solid Swannies win. Sydney by 48 points. ( Gold Coast $9 Sydney $1.06 )

Fremantle v Essendon –

Change your Saturday night plans folks, forget about the wedding, the party, the catch up with mates. You’ve got something far, far more important to do. You’ve got an absolute blockbuster in front of you, Fremantle hosting Essendon in the west, what could take precedence over this?

Fremantle are actually 0-10 just 12 months after being 10-0. First and foremost we were told the game plan was changed and to “hang on”. Things didn’t go well early, the injuries to key personnel took its toll and from there it’s been a flat out disaster. Rosco is already into pre-season 2017, make no bones about it he is not interested in winning this year is now all about player development and if the AFL don’t come knocking soon then it’s just another example of how toothless and inept they really are. Could they “not win” against Essendon? You betcha. Ibbotson out for a month with something or other too.

Didn’t think I’d be writing this much, Essendon are a chance this weekend. Don’t be fooled by the win/loss column, they’re a chance because they tackle and chase and then when they get the aggart they run and attack. Uncontested ball the Bombers are 2nd ( 268 per game ) and the Dockers are 17th ( 208 per game ), if the Bombers can get enough of the ball outside they’ll play as fast as they can to their F50. This can create some headaches for the Dockers. Other than Zac Dawson they have no real heightdown back to take on Daniher. If the Bombers get it to Daniher enough, they just might.

It’s very, very hard to pick Essendon, it’s just as hard to pick Fremantle. Out west you probably go Fremantle, by 8 points. ( Fremantle $1.28 Essendon $3.70 and I’ll be looking at the line betting in this one )

Collingwood v Port Adelaide –

Injuries took their toll on the Pies last weekend and an admirable effort for ¾’s was ultimately in vain as no rotations in the last ¼ left them struggling for run and the Dogs got on top. In the red centre many expected Port to fall short against the Demons, a convincing 45 point win to the Power and Melbourne backers wondering “Why did I?”.

With the front half decimated by injury the Pies may have to look to the $800k man, Trav Cloke to come in and help the big American in the F50. Leading goal kicker Fasolo is out with a broken collar bone, young gun Moore an AC, running man Adams a bad hamstring and throw in Broomhead and Elliott and the forward half is a make shift one at the Holden Centre. A big win over Brisbane gave them some confidence, a blistering start over the Cats and a solid half against the Dogs gave the appearance the Pies were back, injuries might just curtail that for the time being. Lots now falls on the midfielders to hit the scoreboard when they can and big Cox has a load to carry as the target forward of the ball.

Port lose another soldier with Jack Hombsch missing a couple with a hamstring strain, with several big bodies on the sidelines Port could hardly afford to lose another tall defender. Young Dougal Howard came in last week to support Trengove in the ruck and he might get the chance to be the #1 this weekend. Port have struggled in the middle with big men, ranking 17th for hit outs which means someone is doing worse in that area, yep, it’s Collingwood who rank 18th for hit outs. Points to Port at least being able to break even there, a nice change from recent weeks if we can. I expect Howard to ruck, Carlile or Austin on debut to come in and Trengove and Carlile/Austin to be together in the back half.

Port win more contested ball, more clearances, tackle more and actually win more hit outs, but don’t particularly play the MCG well....winning 1 of the last 5. Ports midfield and forward pose a problem for the Pies here, Port by 19 points. ( Collingwood $2.05 Port $1.77 )

Western Bulldogs v West Coast –

A couple of contenders who are right around the mark despite some battles. The Dogs looked like the Pies would get them, injuries getting to Collingwood and allowing the Dogs to take the spoils late as the Eagles took care of the Suns on home turf out west. 77 points about what most expected.

The Dogs have won 7 of 10, but is anyone convinced by the 2016 version yet? With wins over Fremantle, St Kilda, Carlton, Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne and Collingwood you can’t say they’ve taken a scalp just yet. Narrow losses to North, Hawthorn and GWS suggest they are around the mark, but some still need to be convinced. I think I’m in that camp. The Eagles aren’t as stern a test away as they are at home and this shapes as an important one for both sides. Bullies 10th for points for, 1st for points against, so while the defence is holding up they’ve dried up a little in attack and the sides who can score with key forwards worry them. Just 10 and 11 goals the last two weeks.

3 wins on the trot for the Eagles and some form coming together. 5th for points for, 4th for points against and like the Dogs their losses to Sydney, Hawthorn and Geelong all away doesn’t look all doom and gloom. St Kilda and Gold Coast at home either side of Port away has just got them up and running after being 4-3 and they’re starting to get the look of a side who just played in a GF. All the mids are getting some run, Lycett is providing more than back up for Naitanui, he’s very capable and Naitanui now gets the luxury of some time away from the midfield. Kennedy 17 in the last 3 weeks. Morris might have to play tall this week to combat Kennedy, or Roberts gets a big task.

Should just pip Freo/Essendon as the match of the round, I’m leaning towards the Eagles forward line as the difference here and might go an upset. Eagles by 16 points. ( Dogs $1.82 Eagles $2.00 )

Adelaide v St Kilda –

Big scalp for Adelaide last week taking on and beating the formidable GWS line up and I might add beating them pretty convincingly. St Kilda on the other hand came from nowhere to beat the Dockers kicking the last 8 goals after being 4 goals down midway through the third. Check the worm out on that one, not one you’ll see too often.

The Crows turned it on in front of their home fans last weekend, Captain Walker took the game by the scruff of the neck early and looked like his game could have been anything at ¼ time. His under sized opponent, Joel Patful, had no answers for Walkers ability to read the play and the delivery the midfield was offering him. Betts also threw in some of his tricks as the Adelaide midfield held their own and some against the slick runners of GWS. Adelaide made it a contested game to stop the outsider run of GWS and they did so by applying lots of heat to the “second” GWS player outside the contest. GWS won some in close, but they went nowhere after that. Talia excellent on Cameron, Cheney very good on Johnson, Sloane, Douglas and Thompson all stepped up the challenge.

They keep plugging away the Saints and it resulted in 4 points last week. Perhaps a bit to do with the Dockers and a bit to do with the Saints not stopping they bagged the last 8 majors to win by 34 points. Reiwoldt is having as good a time now as he did 10 years ago, 24 touches, 11 marks, 6 tackles and 2 goals. Excellent outing and he spent more time up through the midfield. Some big numbers from Steven and Armitage ( 17 tackles ) as the Saints turned the screws with 101 tackles for the match. ( comp avg is 69 ). Working hard defensively to give the forwards some chances. Only average 3 less I50’s per game than Adelaide, but they don’t have the Adelaide forward line.

Adelaide should be too good at home in the late Sunday fixture, rubbish timeslot for fans to get along to. Expect a pretty solid Adelaide win with Jenkins and Walker too much for the Saints to hold. Adelaide by 44. ( Adelaide $1.14 Saints $5.75 )

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