Round 8, mate.

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Round 8, mate.

Post by Booney on Thu May 12, 2016 9:00 am

We’ve separated the wheat from the chaff now, if we hadn’t in the lead up to round 7. West Coast and Adelaide ( in the 8 ) and Melbourne and Port ( out the 8 ) all on 4-3, beyond that you can pretty much be thinking the rest of 2016 is a lead up for 2017. From the Gold Coast down it’s hard to see any of the sides making a play at the 8. Hard to see Port or Melbourne getting in, but they might be in by the end of this weekend...might.

Adelaide v Geelong –

Take a ride into the danger zone, I’m gonna take a ride intoooooo the danger zooooooone. Yes, I’m going to attend a Crows v Geelong game, my two favourite things behind gout and a prostate examination. Wish me luck. It really is a blockbuster FNF with Adelaide hosting the Cats, with Pat the Cat coming err, home? Well, he went home, this was his home, it’s now his old home now that he’s back home. Boo they will, oh will they boo him or what? Should be a cracker this one with plenty on the line for both sides. Adelaide got robbed again, I believe, good signs as they were down on output from plenty of guns and still had a chance with a minute to go, while the Cats made a meal of the Eagles on home turf.

Adelaide could well be a little miffed by the umpiring again last week, but Crow fans rest assured, every fan at every game is perplexed at the moment. As noted above, good signs in some respects with Adelaide getting little from key play makers Sloane, Douglas and Thompson, nothing tangible from Betts or Walker and they still had a chance to pinch it with a minute to go. Pinch it they would have, soundly beaten in the middle and leaked in the back half but still managed over the 100 point mark. Showing the options up front are prolific. Jenkins adding some value to his contract with a genuine bag full, 8 majors. Can’t let the Cats have 60+ I50’s though and that will be a focus for them this week, tighter in the middle to help out the backs.

The Catters are right in amongst it in ’16, bar the loss to GWS in Canberra by just 13 points ( no lone soldiers there ) they are faultless. Wins over the Hawks, the Eagles and a big one over Port away shapes as solid form. Dangerfield will be the focus of all in a postcode starting with a 5 this week and why wouldn’t he be? Question for Adelaide, you know all his tricks, you know he rises to the big occasion and you know he’ll have set himself for this one, do you have the player to quell his influence? In a word, no. It will be get it before he does and the heat will be on Adelaide’s mids to take it to him.

Clearly the match of the round on the big stage of Friday night. Form? Both sides have it. Motivation? Never lacking. Can the Cats midfield keep the ball in their F50 enough to restrict Adelaide scoring? Unlikely, Adelaide get to 100 points pretty quickly with few I50’s, the Cats will be very hard to beat and I think the last couple of weeks might take the sting out of Adelaide. Cats by 9 points.



Essendon v North Melbourne –

The Bombers showed some ticker last week, they have a couple of times, they battled for a quarter and a bit before the Swans took over and the 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 Kangaroos held on in a close yet not so thrilling finish over the plucky Saints.

Material.....some Essendon material........I’ll get back to you. Although, this one might actually be worth staying away from even for the Bombers faithful and they’d have to be faithful to show up at any stage this year. Once again Zaharakis the pick of the mid/forwards and the other notables are in defence where opportunities present with monotonous regularity. Former Hawk Simpkin to miss a few with a ripped ‘string.

Top, unbeaten, tested a couple of time in recent weeks and still marching on. Clubs talk about milestone games not being anything different, the ‘Roos are one club to embrace it and Petrie was rightfully acknowledged in his 300th by the club. A couple of majors in a low scoring affair were crucial, big Ben Brown also stretching the Saints backs for 2 between the big sticks. Cunnington, Ziebell and Goldy among the best, if they play well and you get close to the Roos you’ve played well yourself. The heart and soul right there, as well as the G & D. They were up by 4 goals early in the last, did they just take the foot off for a moment? Could be argued they did.

Nasty taste in the mouth thinking about this one. The ‘Roos could be forgiven for taking a little breather this week....will they rest an old body or two? We’ll see, we’ll see them win though. 50 points should be about the mark.



Hawthorn v Fremantle –

The Hawks bounced back over the Tiges last week, pretty easy pickings for the 3 time premier even when missing Hodge, Mitchell and Roughmug. Fremantle continued the annus horribilis and lost to the Giants for the first time in their brief history.

The Hawks just took care of business as a professional unit would last week. Breust popped up to kick 6 majors, Gunston dug himself out of a quiet patch with 4, 3 to Poppy who is playing the small tall forward defensive role perfectly. Tough one to understand, he seems to. Lewis stepped up, as he does when the other two mentioned above are missing and Billy Hartung continues to impress. He’s the nest Lewis. Smith and Birchall also played their parts as Ceglar and McEvoy worked in tandem against Hampson, who sort of held his own against the two big men.

Where to for Freo? Rebuild from here is the only answer which makes some decision last year even more perplexing. No trades and kept a few older names who would, without question, be on their last legs if not in ’16 very much in ’17. Pav’s serviceable but could be holding up the development of another kid and Dawson is not worth a pinch of the proverbial. It’s not that they’ve gone backwards, they just stood still and you can’t do that today. Hill finding some form, Neale, Mayne and Walters in some decent nick.

The wee’s and poo’s just don’t lose in Taswegia. They don’t, they won’t here. 0-8, mate, for the Dockers. Hawks by 33 points with the Dockers one week closer to a win.




GWS v Gold Coast –

The Giants did as they have never done before, a maiden win over the Nullarbor over the still paddling Dockers as the Gold Coast stunk it up for the second week in a row, the Demons pumped them and they showed no ticker. I went the Suns too....good judge.

The first win in Perth, will it be a first finals appearance? Sure looks that way. With the 5th best attack and 4th best defence the Giants are coming and while it’s no great shock it’s certainly making some of the big clubs ( or used to be big clubs ) a bit narky. Again Stevie J snaffles a couple as he structures up the forward half, Patton has some continuity in his game and his body and he’s a massive target for them and runners Ward, Scully and Shiel are loving the rotation cap and making mince meat of opponents. The Giants are good at scoring early in each quarter, looks like they focus on fast starts to each stanza.

Gold Coast, what a bloody rabble. Not sure why but plenty is made of the Malthouse > Buckley move and not anywhere near as much as the McKenna > Eade move. Sure, Collingwood are huge and the Suns are infants but it’s the same, same. Eade looks decidedly prehistoric as he tries to rule a bunch of Gen Y’s with a old school iron fist. It’s not working, not one bit and the captain appears as least responsive as any. Way, way behind the Giants in development on field and note even worth mentioning them in the same breath when it comes to heart and spirit. Maybe Lethal Leigh is right?

Nothing to see here, other than a Giants white wash....not as bad as Rhys Palmers long sleeve white wash last week, but close. The Giants might set another record here...but a truck load I reckon. Might be 80+ and don’t bother recording this one to watch on Sunday.



Brisbane v Collingwood –


The Lions hopped of the big bird in Adelaide with a few backers, an “upset” wouldn’t have surprised some....well, 77 points later and it wasn’t to be. They did start well though. The ‘Pies, tell me you aren’t all enjoying watching this unravel in front of your eyes?

Can sum up Brisbane’s efforts away from home pretty easily, they aren’t any good. 4 goals to ¼ time and it was a 9 point lead to the Lions, 18 goals to 3 after that and they get pumped. The midfield lost Rockliff in the second term to a ‘string ping and they were barely sighted after that. Beams and Zorko tried their best to keep them in it but just a week after pushing the Swans they folded up around the contest and got slaughtered in close. Will need to turn that around. Might also need to get some help for Walker forward, if it isn’t on a plate to him he’s not much chop at ground level.

Nobody can inflict pain on the ‘Pies like Carlton can and let’s be fair, Carlton have plenty of pain sitting around to dish out and did they what. The ‘Pies were just inept going forward, they couldn’t break out of defence, they couldn’t keep it in when they did get it forward and they looked like a team struggling to execute any game plan, let alone their own. Pretty well beaten in all the key stats, too many to mention, in fact. Injuries are hurting them, but there isn’t a lot of star power in the stands, just some solid contributors.

The ‘Gabba can be an unhappy hunting ground for visiting teams, the sting can be taken out of you in the conditions pretty quickly, a night game might ease that for the ‘Pies a little. Tough one to pick, Brisbane were poor last week the Pies no better...probably go with the home team for that reason alone. Brisbane by 11 points with no reasoning to support it at all.



Richmond v Sydney –


Richmond....back to the drawing board? Yeah, pretty much, let’s start again. Big clean out coming over the next 18 months coming and it won’t start with the coach. Or will it? Sydney, boringly predictable unless you support them and looking set for another top 4 spot with a final, or more, at home. Building. Just building.

The Tigers really look shot, don’t they? While they upped the ante for a half or so against the Hawks ( they were always going to ) it was never really going to get the job done. While one man doesn’t make a team the loss of Rance has really highlighted how dependent upon him that back half is. Not only does he beat his man he gets to contests to help his under manned defensive unit. Speaking of defence, how’s this. The last time a Richmond player laid 10 tackles in a game, Dusty Martin, was Round 14 last year. Competition wide, 44 players have done it this year already. One laid 16 last weekend, Hawks Liam Shiels. Not only are the Tigers struggling to win it and keep it they don’t appear to be working hard enough to get it back when they don’t. Back to basics.

Like the strugglers it’s hard to come up with superlatives to express the form the Swannies are in. I’ll state it now, they are my premiership favourite. Midfield depth, ruck tandem, key forward options, unpredictables like Heeney who can turn a game in minutes, Franklin looking as good as he ever has and heading towards a serious bag of majors for the year, proven system, players who have been there and done it, potentially home final(s) and a coach who knows how to take a team all the way to the pinnacle. In my view, the team to beat, at the moment.

In brief, Sydney win this and should win it well in one of their MCG visits for the year. Sydney by 43 with Buddy likely to enjoy the space on offer at the ‘G.



Carlton v Port Adelaide –


3 in a row for the Blues and clearly the message is getting through from Bolton and his working party. Exciting times for the navy Blues. Port have found a little bit of momentum and got the Tigers and Brisbane at the right time, no doubt about it, but a wins a wins a win. A big win was handy for some confidence.

The Blues have been happy with one in a row for the last few years but now this group looks like it’s ready to move forward and Bolton is leading them through a pretty fast learning process. First and foremost he has set the back line up but more importantly he’s got them playing a zone that works. No surprise given his time at Hawthorn. The players clearly believed in it, they’ve worked to get it better each week and the rewards are coming. Doesn’t hurt having a fit Kreuzer on the park, he’s giving them a contest, no world beater, but gives them a look at it. Throw in the clearance ability of Cripps and they’ve now got the ability to move it forward to Casboult who can clunk them as well as anyone.

Port are getting some better efforts from it’s prime movers in the last fortnight. Boak, Wines, Harltett in the middle are standing up and being counted. Pittard is getting some assistance from young DBJ and Broadbent has found some ball. Port, unlike the Tigers, have dug themselves out with some tackling pressure and intent to get the ball back, leading the competition with 80 tackles per game. Finally, some attack on the body and ball. 5th for clearances. Getting to work again. Trengove had much said about him last week, with good reason, he gave Port something they’ve wanted for 18 months. A ruckman willing to work around the ground and get his hands on the ball.

Finding this one really hard to pick. Head and heart disagree. Port owe Carlton one, Carlton are in pretty good form and much like Port the wins haven’t been over anything to write home about. Heart is it, Port but only just, 14 points.



Melbourne v Bulldogs –


Melbourne took another step forward by killing someone off for the first time in living memory, thumping the heartless Suns by 73 points. Good signs for the cellar dwellars that the tide may have just turned in the last 18 months. The #freekickbulldogs won another under the roof, they play it well and often, with their small supporter base they rarely get sent to the G, here’s a chance for them to spread out. Can they?

The Dees have found the ability to score. Finally. Roos said his first task was to sure up defence, that’s still a work in progress, what they have done in the meantime is get some rebound and they’re equal 4th with the Giants for points for, good going. It all starts with big Max Gawn, he’s loving the solo nature of modern ruck work, no need for any back up for him as he runs the games out on his own. Viney and Jones are strong at the contest and young Viney, if he hasn’t just yet, looks set to be a genuine A grader in the game. Petracca in his two senior games looks like he’s been worth the wait.

Stranglers. The Western Stranglers. How do they keep sides from getting I50? Kept Adelaide to 37 last week, North 46 the week before, Brisbane 31 before that. Essendon average 46 per game, the worst in the comp. The Eagles Web gets spoken about, the Hawks zone, Sydney and Adelaide’s midfield pressure....they all rate highly and the Dogs seem to be spoken about in rebounding terms, it’s more than that, they don’t let you in at all! Hard work getting past them under the roof, might be a different case at the G where space is on offer.

Good contest this one, the Melbourne fans will be quietly optimistic, an uneasy feeling for them I’m sure. The Dogs fans will be expecting a win, I’m sure they’re still getting used to that feeling too. I think the Dees will really push them, form is on the Dogs side, just. Dogs by 13 points in a ripper.



West Coast v St Kilda –

Back on home turf and happy, the Eagles are sitting 4-3 and the 3 must be a concern. They don’t give a yelp when away from home. St Kilda, like Melbourne, are digging upwards for the first time in a few years, 2-5 looks St Kilda like but a few of the 5 have been impressive.

What to make of the Eagles? Last year’s powerhouse have found strife when a baggage carousel presents itself on any given weekend. In 4 games at home they average 126 points for, on the road a paltry 60 points per game. Keep in mind, those 3 away games are Hawthorn, Sydney and Geelong. No mug opposition, but no real fight from a team touted as premiership hopefuls. They’ll need to turn it on when away from home soon or risk dropping too many to get the coveted top 4 spot the sides West of Broken Hill desire. Perhaps the web isn’t allowed in carry on?

Do feel for the Saints, a 7 point loss to North and a 3 point loss to the Hawks, most sides would see that as a negative but for the Saints it’s the light at the end of the tunnel that will keep them going. A win over Collingwood isn’t noteworthy, but a solid win over Melbourne and the 7 points to North in the last fortnight suggests they are capable of going west and taking the points, depending on which Eagles outfit rolls up. The home or the away.

The Eagles score more and concede less, which points to an Eagles win but the Saints are no easy beats and they take on a challenge. Bridge too far here, I think, the Eagles by 22 points.
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Booney

Join date : 2011-12-12
Posts : 1984
Location : Alberton.....literally.
Teams : Port Adelaide, Chicago White Sox
My club : port

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