Round 3....and they start to appear.

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Round 3....and they start to appear.

Post by Booney on Thu Apr 07, 2016 11:47 am

The pretenders and the contenders, that is. Some contenders made their presence felt, some pretenders found a mirror in their lockers to take a good hard look.

I enjoy doing my write ups, I enjoy putting my thoughts out there, I do however warn you about following my tipping and if you did that last week stiff cheddar, pick your own tips! Pretty sure I wasn’t the only one to have a stinker last weekend though.


Port Adelaide v Essendon –

What do I say about Port that could be voiced in the Family Friendly area? Not much, really. 70 I50’s, 30 scoring shots, pummelled by 10 goals. It was horrific for Port fans to watch and while there’s extra spice on the line in Showdowns it is for 4 points like all other games, but my phone doesn’t run as hot when we lose to any other side. Thanks to all for the messages people, I’ll remember, don’t worry. Port have played 15 minutes of footy in the first two weeks, spotlight on AO Friday night. Meanwhile it was a miracle at the G as the Bombers, the Bombers got the points against the Dees when most thought anyone who donned the sash would go winless for the year. Must have been all those people marching in support of the club eating itself alive. What was with that? “Yes, you’ve ruined our club, our reputation, you’ve given players who-knows-what and we’re right behind you.” Really odd.

They’re my mob, I live near them, I live and breathe them and it’s time for them to stand up. It might be painting over the cracks IF they get a win over the Bombers, it might be the start of a good thing but either way Friday night could ensure we fall into the pretenders bracket if there isn’t a response from the boys at Alberton. Defensively Paris Hilton makes it harder to score against her than Port have in the first two weeks. 7 goals to the Saints and an infuriating 10.2 from Adelaide taking the ball from D50 to score. Terrible pressure by the midfield running one way leaving the defenders exposed with half the ground open for the opposition forward to use. Must tighten up in the middle from here on in.

One bloke who was born to be a Bomber hero stood up with one of the best games we’ve seen from a young key forward, Joe the Moe took the game by the scruff of the neck making the most of the smaller Melbourne defence. 21 touches, 15 marks and 2 goals gave the young/old Essendon midfield a genuine target and he took anything that was in the air near him. 7 contested and 9 marks inside 50, the big lad showed he’s a star in the making. Merrett (x2), Zaharakis, Parish and McDonald-Tipungwuti made the midfield competitive on the field and not just in the worst midfield names competition that they are leading comfortably in.

I really don’t want to make a prediction here, my heart and head are confused by the churning in my guts. Port missing Harlett, Wingard, Carlile ( late out Thursday ), Schulz along with Ryder and Monfries are seriously testing their depth, which in all reality is pretty shallow. Port should still have enough class to win, by 30 points.



St Kilda v Collingwood –

The Saints met stiff opposition last weekend with the rampaging Dogs mauling them all over the ground. Rooey’s 300th was a great opportunity to dip the lid to one of the stars of the modern game, shame that he’ll leave the game without the ultimate team honour, he’s not alone there though and the 300 club with 0 flags wouldn’t be a great reunion to be at. What happened Friday night? 3 goals in 4 minutes and the ‘Pies say “Thank you very much Richmond” as they steal the 4 points with less than 20 seconds to go. Only Richmond ( or Melbourne, actually ).

Tough one last week for the Saints, just 5 goals and 42 I50’s against one of the real contenders going forward. Held their own in the midfield where Armitage, Montagna, Steven and Newnes give everything they have every week but the rest of them found themselves overwhelmed by the Bulldogs attack. The Saints forwards struggled to get any decent supply, had even more trouble holding the ball in and in the end coughed it up to the very impressive Doggies back half. Rooeys two the only multiple goal scorer and that will not beat the Dogs, won’t beat many sides in fact.

Did anyone else turn the TV off and go to bed the moment they saw Eddie after the final siren? I was going to watch Mick and the boys on the Carlton Draught front bar but Eddie’s head smiling and going red is enough to turn me off. Should have stayed up longer, the nightmares were terrible, imagine what they were like for Damien Hardwick? The Fas stood up in the second half, he also bent down for one and took it as clean as a whistle, turned and kicked truly, for mine about as good as it gets for a small forward and his 6 majors was the difference. Treloar showed his worth and the back half welcomed back Ben Reid, he was telling all night.

I think the confidence the Pies took from stealing that one will be enough for them to get some spring in their step and beat the St’s who might struggle to score again this week against the Pies backline who can cover Reiwoldt and Bruce. Collingwood by 3 goals...although anything is possible.



Richmond v Adelaide –

Like the Tigers of old, it gets tough and we fold oh we’re from Tiger ( lead by 3 goals and cracked ) oh we’re from Tigerrrrr land. I don’t think anyone should change teams, but if you said to me “Yeah, I barrack for the Kangas, I used to barrack for Richmond” I’d completely understand. How did they let that one slip? Meanwhile Hardwick has been given another year to keep them treading water mid table. Back at Adelaide Oval *shudder* I think the Crows put their hand up as a contender, last years battles off field galvanised a club and they are playing with some real team attitude. Hard to beat when you have 22 blokes working together.

Again, how did they drop that one? At the 20 minute mark when Reiwoldt goaled the Tigers led by 17 points and looked to be heading to a 2-0 start and it all went downhill from there. Two hard heads in Martin and Lambert are doing some real grunt work for the Tigers, Houli seems to be allowed to run riot across half back unmarked, I bag him a bit but he’s playing his role a treat and Reiwoldt is moving up and down the ground looking fit and in form. Cotchin...why spend all night running towards your own goals to get handballs around the back and cheap stats? His worth to the side is so much more than that and any criticism he cops is fair at the moment, needs to be a ball winner again for the Tigers to prosper.

( This will hurt ) Adelaide could make a case that they should have beat the Roos, they didn’t as they ran out of legs but that wasn’t the case on the weekend as their first 45 minutes of football completely ripped Ports structure to shreds. Thompson, Sloane, Laird, Crouch (x2), Mackay ( you know you going rough when he goes well ) and Brown all created and Lynch, Jenkins and Betts said thank you very much as Adelaide piled on 13 first half goals and led by 60 points early in the second. Thankfully they didn’t really keep the foot on the throat as the final margin could have been much more than 58 points. Talia now has some real support with Lever reading the ball to be the third man up and the once questioned defensive unit is shaping up faster than first thought. Makes them genuine with their midfield and forward mix if the back half hold strong.

Hard to pick the Tigers here, they’re hardly reliable and Adelaide were very good last weekend. Anything is possible from the Tigers but I don’t think they can hold Adelaide’s forwards out enough. Adelaide by 30 points.



Sydney v GWS –

The battle of the bridge is set to become more whizz than fizz in the next couple of years as the Giants make the gap between them and the Swans less and less. The Swans did as they pleased against Carlton last week, no surprises there, as the Giants held their own and some in the nationals capital as they beat the 2016 premiers, Geelong.

Big win for the Swans last week, lazy 10 goals with all the usual suspects doing their job. Buddy has come back into the game in good nick, 4 goals on the weekend while big Tippo was again the best big man out there, 16 touches, 7 marks, 26 hitouts, 4 goals and it since mid-15 he really has been earning the big coin he is on. Making a statement as the lead ruckman and getting support from Sinclair means he can go forward as he pleases. He’s a real weapon for the Swans. Mitchell, Parker, Kennedy, Jack and Hannebery....is it the best midfield in the game?

The Giants had plenty of supporters last week, well, not real ones at the game in club colours but plenty of people had the bookies holding money for a Giants win over the previously, seemingly, invincible Danger....I mean Geelong. The most bandaged man in football history, big Mummy enjoyed playing his old side with his old mate Stevie J alongside him. Scully continues a strong start to the season, Griffen had plenty of it as the Giants are starting to make Canberra a home away from home, I think they spend more time there now than most of our MP’s.

While they’re on the improve and a Giants win against their cross town rivals is not the upset it once was, it would be an upset this weekend. The Swans to be 3-0, by 24 points.




Gold Coast v Carlton –

The Mighty Suns went west with success for the first time in their brief history, they wrote a chapter into their own history and penned a page or two for the Dockers while they were there, the second part didn;t make for good reading. Carlton copped the Swans and it wasn’t pretty, was never going to be.

Like their adolescent cousins in GWS, the Suns had some support last week as they went West to take on the ailing Dockers ( anything but adolescent ) and duly saluted. Breaking the 120 point barrier with big fellow Lynch bagging 5 more to make it 9 goals in two weeks and he makes a real contest, loves the physical stuff. While the little Master still has a big influence on the games he plays his mate in Prestia keeps getting better and they’re getting an even spread from blokes like Kolodjashnij, Hall, Martin, Sexton and Nicholls does his best to compete in the rucks.

Not going to get any easier writing up Carlton previews. I might just make a template:

Cripps is good, Gibbs, Kerridge and Simpson ok, Docherty gets plenty of opportunity as he plays in defence, Casboult missed some marks and goals and Thomas is as over paid as a back bencher in Canberra.Done.

The Suns can go 3-0 and set themselves up for a solid year by rolling the Blues at Metricon and with the Q Clash next week they could be 4-0. One week at a time though and the Suns comfortably with their tails in the air, by 36 points.




West Coast v Fremantle –

They derby/darby however you pronounce it has both clubs coming in on the back of a loss, both you could argue unexpected. The Dockers offered a shocker up on their home deck and the Eagles against got swooped on by the Hawks at the G, they didn’t even see it coming.

I was critical of Fremantle over the summer for not recruiting very well and perhaps being a little sentimental by having Pav go around again. The Cats showed there’s no room for sentiment in this game by telling some long standing stars their time is up and perhaps Fremantle should have done that with the Pav. Instead of being the wise old owl who pops up from time to time during games he’s the focal point of a forward line that the coach said was going to be 3-4 goals a game better this year. Who was he kidding? They’ve looked slow and miles off the pace in their two games this year and anyone wearing purple must be questioning what lies ahead and that isn’t just Fremantle fans, I mean anyone wearing purple.

You can’t win the flag in the rematch, you can’t really even make up for it but when it’s early in the year and it’s on the same stage you can make a statement. After whalloping the Bears in the first game of the year the Eagles would have shaken a little of the summer of discontent off and running onto the G on Sunday would have liked their chances against an undermanned Hawthorn unit. Bubkiss to that. They let Gibson do as he pleased in the back half, they let Mitchell run around unattended and if you do that they’ll bring enough young Hawks into the game to roll you. I’m sure that wasn’t Simpsons plan and he would have had the 6 hours on the way home to digest it and ready himself for this week.

I reakon this one will be a good one to watch. The Dockers are season on the line stage, 0-3 and you don’t play finals and who better to knock off than your cross town, more fancied rival? Can they? I don’t think so, the Eagles will be filthy at last weeks performance and they’re a genuine side where as the Dockers are on a genuine slide. Eagles by 40 points in a feisty one.




North Melbourne v Melbourne –

We’re off to sunny Blundstone Arena in Hobart where it’ll be blowing hard on Sunday for the Roos and the Demons. The Roos are stating a pretty solid case as genuine contenders are two top 4 finishes and getting off to a 2-0 start to ’16 with Melbourne to come and the Demons are still, well, still the Demons after pinching one from the Giants they get rolled by the Bombers.

It really is a case of the same old faces for North doing the grunt work and a couple of “newish” faces being the cream on top. Waite had his best game for the Kangas last week, bagging 5 majors and as well as getting up the ground to be an avenue for goal and someone who might have been lost to the game, Daniel Wells has come back into the side this year and we all knew he could play, we probably all wondered how he would return or even if he would return and after an ok showing against the Crows he opened up and 23 touches, 7 clearances ( where his speed is best used ), 5 I50’s and 3 score involvements has given the Roos an extra top sheld player in the forward half. Could he be their missing link from the last 2 years?

Much like Tigers fans, life for Demons supporters takes far too many twists and turns to be any fun at all. They start the year with 3 wins in the preseason, beat the much more fancied Giants at home and boy oh boy they’re away! Hold up, no they’re not. They somehow, in Paul Roos’ mind anyway, got “ahead of themselves”, WTF? How can Melbourne “get ahead of themselves”? What an indictment on the playing group that the coach thought their own good press and the undermanned Bombers line up meant the 4 point were a given. Another lamentable loss for the Demons where no spark was shown at all.

Top 4 side taking on a bottom 4 side and although it’s early in the year there’s miles between these two sides. The Kangas, with ease, 40 points+.




Western Bulldogs v Hawthorn –

Match of the round stuff and an early look at one of the challengers to the crown. The Doggies did as they pleased last week, St Kilda offered little resistance and to the surprise of not many the Hawks bounced back and did the same, as they pleased against a West Coast outfit not prepared to work across half back, that’s where the Doggies do their best work.

The Doggies are “sexy” according to some of the Melbourne media. Now, I see beauty in many things but a salivating Bulldog aint one of them. Must be far too many hipsters in Melbourne wearing those stupid hats for the folks there to remember what sexy is. Anyway, back on track, the Dogs build from the back by getting Johannisen, Murphy and Adams the ball across half back and use the ball extremely well. By using it so well they don’t need to go into the F50 that often for Stringer, little Daniel, the Bont and the reborn Picken to make space and hit the scoreboard. How will this work against the Hawks structure?

Couldn’t believe the Eagles last week, unless Gibson and Mitchell reported a highly contagious skin condition to the club doctors I fail to see why the Eagles didn’t man them up. Make it a lazy 114 touches between back half marshall Gibson, midfield grunt of Mitchell and outside run of Smith and you are not going to beat the Hawks too often. Sure, they’re missing a handful from their premiership side of ’15 but the likes of Duryea, Hartung and Frawley go up a notch and they bring in young Sicily for just his 5th game and he bags 4 majors. They’ve got depth and the one key ingredient many sides would like, Clarkson. Not Jeremy, he’d be no good coaching the Hawks, Alastair who is the most important piece in the push for a Fourthorn.

The sides aren’t in yet for any of the games, least of all Sundays so it’s hard to make any allowances for any changes but both sides reported no injuries from last week. The Hawks might get Shiels back into the side but unlikely. Big test for the young Doggies and a very hard one to pick ( they all are for me! ), the Hawks by 12 points in a ripper.




Geelong v Brisbane –

Wasn’t happy hunting for either of the felines last weekend as the Cats got rolled in Canberra and the Lions couldn’t beat the Roos at home.

Geelong didn’t deal with the Giants pressure last week and couldn’t counter big Mumford giving the Giants mids first look at the ball. Smith and Stanley would like last week over again but alas, they can’t and this week they need to find some form against one of the few Lions who stands up every week, Stef Martin. They should be able to break even at worst there and give their midfield the chance to feed the forward half some decent delivery. 50 odd clangers and some pressure from the Giants kept the Cats to just 48 inside 50’s. They’ll want to turn that number up this week.

A bit like Carlton it’s going to be tough to think up material for the Lions as the year goes on, especially if they keep losing their better players to injury. With Paparone and Rockliff to miss the next two, Dayne Beams nowhere to be seen and Robinson under a cloud, it’s hard to mount a case for them going to HJUOELDFHUTYNIO Stadium and taking the points. So I won’t.

The Cats to win and win big in their first home game of the year, by 50+ points.


Follow ‘em at your peril, folks.
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Booney

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Re: Round 3....and they start to appear.

Post by Scrappy on Thu Apr 07, 2016 11:56 am

" Defensively Paris Hilton makes it harder to score against her than Port have in the first 2 weeks."

Keep em coming Booney

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Re: Round 3....and they start to appear.

Post by Lee on Thu Apr 07, 2016 12:34 pm

Lovely work, Booney,

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