Last week 6/8 = 117/155 (75.5%)
Today was a return to China after almost 3 weeks in the Philippines. Last couple of days were spent in Manila where it did not pour rain continually this time. Stayed at a place called the Pearl Gardens Hotel which was strangely rated as a 2 star hotel but was at least 3 and a half or maybe 4 stars. The bathroom was way beyond expectations with a bath as well as a shower and very spacious. The restaurant and bar was a terrific place to eat and drink and as a pleasant change the service was super great, they even had knives with the meals! The hotel is located on Adriatico street where the night life rages from 5pm to 3am and during the day it is also a very busy street. The real surprise was the coffee shop attached to the hotel and with free Wifi there as well as in the hotel it was a great place to sit and have a cuppaccino and watch the world go by. In the evenings at about 6pm the 2 clubs that were opposite the hotel were hustling for customers and had the girls out there scantily clad and enticing passers-by. I noticed the name of one clubs was “The Sting”. How fitting!!The beggars, mostly kids, were stationed outside the few hotels in the area and of course the pimps were active offering girls to all foreigners and there were the sellers of watches, Viagra, sunglasses and the usual assortment of wares who never let you get by them without aggressively pushing their products. There are lots of restaurants and eateries as well as the clubs and bars and police presence was also obvious. The Robinson Mall was nearby so you could buy anything you liked there at a more inflated price than on the street and the mall also had an untold number of places to eat but these are very expensive. My hotel had over 50 TV channels but none of them, even the Aussie station, had AFL football. Must let my mate Andy Demetriou know about the expansion opportunity and of course Eddie should get some Magpie marketing happening here on the streets. The beggar kids would all love a Collingwood jumper with Harry O’s number on the back I reckon.
We have reached round 21 in season 2011 and this would, in past years, be the last round. Regardless of the number of matches left two things are certain – Collingwood and Geelong will finish 1st and 2nd. The rest of the ladder positions are up for grabs including the Wooden Spoon.
Tipping this week offers a challenge or two so tipsters that are looking for an extra point to close the gap might want to take the risk. Tipping comp leaders can stay with the favourites and they will not be too far off a handy 6 or 7 points.
St Kilda V Collingwood at Etihad Friday night
The second GF replay game of the season but expect this one to be closer than the first one as the Saints seem to have got their game back together after a horror start. Unfortunately they meet the Magpies who are in terrific form as well so while the result might be closer it should still be a Collingwood victory. The Pies still have some good players returning to the side. If they can shut down Milne who has been dangerous the past two games and keep Reiwoldt outside scoring range then St Kilda avenues to goal will be limited.
Collingwood by 30
Hawthorn V Port Adelaide at the MCG Saturday
The Power was powerless last week against Collingwood and this week it doesn’t get a lot better for them. Hawthorn is in winning form and certainly will add another victory to their season’s tally in this match. Buddy might kick 6 plus this week. He’s such a player that even a small contribution can turn a game as he did last week.
Hawthorn by 89
Fremantle V Carlton at Paterson Stadium Subiaco Saturday
As the game is being played in Perth there is the slightest hint of concern for the Blues. The Dockers have grown another leg playing at home against some teams but I doubt Carlton will allow the door to be opened for West Coast to sneak into fourth. Hard to see what player from Fremantle can be spared to keep Judd quiet. Scores level at half time, close at 3 quarter time and the Blues power away in the last. If Fremantle can get the jump on Carlton early it will be interesting.
Carlton by 29
Western Bulldogs V Essendon at Etihad Saturday Night
Even though the Bulldogs have lost a few in a row they are more than capable of taking this game up to the Bombers. Essendon crept back into the 8 last week courtesy of a 1 point win against the Swans and this match has the makings of a real close one as well. The Bombers spanked the Doggies last time they met and it was certainly a surprise result. Essendon has gone on to challenge for the 8 while the Bulldogs have fallen away. I am not sure Rocket will be at the Western Bulldogs next year. They need a fix and the management might think that will come from a new coach.
Western Bulldogs by 6
Brisbane Lions V Gold Coast at the Gabba Saturday Night
Last time they met the Suns scored what was thought to be an upset win against Brisbane. If Ablett is out injured again this week Gold Coast might struggle. The Lions were disappointing in the last quarter against the Crows so here’s their chance to make amends. At this stage of the season the young Suns seem to be tiring which was expected and they will find the Lions a bit tougher even though Brisbane is without Jonathan Brown.
Brisbane by 22
Melbourne V West Coast Eagles at Etihad Sunday
The Demons have really fallen away over the past few weeks and interim coach Viney will need to concoct a miracle for them to get up against an Eagles outfit that continue their own miracle resurgence. West Coast does struggle at Etihad and lost here to the Saints recently. But Melbourne has an even worse record here. Tipsters desperate to gain a surprise point might look at this as a possible upset but it’s a stretch of the imagination. When Melbourne fires as a team they can beat most sides but that fire has been absent far too often. It’s a danger game for the Eagles though.
West Coast by 31
Richmond V Sydney at the MCG Sunday
If the Demons have been disappointing this season then the Tigers have been even more so after a promising few wins in the middle of the year. Sydney was just pipped last week but I don’t think they will allow the Tigers to get that close this week. Pride might see a better effort by Richmond but the odds are against them. The Swans don’t have an issue with playing at the ‘G’ and they still have a purpose. The season is over for the Tigers after the home and away games.
Sydney by 18
Adelaide V Geelong at AAMI Sunday
With the game being at AAMI and the Crows on a mini victory roll the margin is the only point of conjecture in this match. Throw in some wet weather and the Cats should win this by only 10 goals and Bickley can count that as another victory.
Geelong by 60