Monday, July 30, 2012

AFL Review Round 18

AFL Review

Round 18

Within the final 8 itself there are a couple of mini battles going on with 5 teams trying to finish top 4 knowing all too well just what that means in the finals run to the premiership. Then we have the next 3 teams battling to make the finals with a few just outside the 8 knocking on that door. It will be a fascinating final few rounds and it’s interesting to note that Carlton and St Kilda are two lucky teams that get to play the two new teams in the final round. Teams above them will want to be settled in their ladder positions knowing those ‘gimmes’ with the 4 premiership points will be handed out!

Monday, July 23, 2012

AFL Review Round 17

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In a round of football that had AFL lovers and supporters watering at the mouth at the prospect of seeing all the top teams play off in what were expected to be close games the weekend turned out to be a major disappointment. Margins of 8 and 11 goals seemed the order of the day and while the results sorted out some high ladder positions it also helped to add confusion to just which team might make the preliminaries and the big one at the end of the year. The performances by the losing teams were abysmal to say the least and there will need to be some questions asked of players as we enter the pointy end of the season. Geelong coming good? Essendon going bad? Sydney and Adelaide still strong. Hawthorn awesome, lurking. Collingwood pretenders? West Coast struggling. The rest don’t matter!

Geelong 20.14.134 defeated Essendon 10.7.67

It was another ‘double your score’ match when the Cats came out and mauled the Bombers showing very little mercy in a game that was expected to go down to the wire with a much closer margin. Either Essendon was having a bad day and Geelong was having an exceptional one or this is the true difference between the teams. The Cats virtually secured 7th spot so the race for 8th will be interesting.Well maybe not secured because they play the Crows next week, fortunately in Geelong. Essendon might be on the slippery slope because they play Hawthorn on Friday night and you can expect another bumper crowd for that one.

Hawthorn 21.12.138 defeated Collingwood 13.13.91

A bumper crowd was treated to a really one sided game and if Collingwood thinks that they can win a premiership, or even make the GF, playing like that then they had better wake up. A million bucks for Cloke? One hopes he takes the money because this season, apart from 2 games, he has been very ordinary albeit he is a focal point there. And Dawes? Rioli and Mitchell …….aggh…what’s the use. It was a thrashing and Hawthorn should be installed as premiership favourite after that game. The Hawks meet Essendon in another test for both teams next week and the Pies have a bye…oh…no…they play the Giants. Same thing except you get 4 points and extra percentage!

Adelaide 19.10.124 defeated West Coast 11.9.75

The game was well and truly over in the 2nd quarter when the Eagles were some 7 goals adrift and they just could never make up that deficit. Whether the huge injury list the Eagles have is starting to take its toll or what, who knows, but 2 big losses in a row are making the fans nervous. The Crows look good and they don’t have a hard draw to get them home and retain a top 4 spot. West Coast is looking for a home final. Might be hard. The Crows travel along the Coast road ( I wonder why they don’t take that wonderful bus ride along the Great Ocean Road?) to play the Cats and West Coast might get a bit of a breather playing the Lions at Paterson.

Brisbane Lions 8.11.59 defeated the Gold Coast Suns 5.18.48

You would be excused looking at the score line and making the assumption that it was pouring rain, slippery ball and two mediocre teams were slogging it out in the wet. That wasn’t the case with both teams struggling to put any scoreboard pressure on the other team. Atrocious kicking by Gold Coast eventually cost them the game even though they led late in the last quarter and with 3 minutes to go it was looking like a Suns win. 2 late goals by Brisbane gave them the slender win and added another loss for Gold Coast. Their misery is set to continue against Sydney and Brisbane has that huge trip across the continent to Perth. I think they leave tomorrow.

Carlton 16.6.102 defeated Western Bulldogs 12.12.84

A very poor season almost turned ugly for Carlton as they battled injuries, suspensions and poor form to finally beat the Bulldogs by 3 goals. Punters were licking their lips at three quarter time which showed a Bulldogs’ lead of 5 points on the scoreboard. Blues coach Ratten breathed a sigh of relief as his team kicked 6 goals in the final term to finally run out winners and keep Carlton’s finals hopes alive. They will have to beat the Tigers next week to stay in touch and based on current form that game will be tough.

Port Adelaide 12.12.84 defeated Melbourne 8.8.56

The Dees kicked 5 goals straight in the 1st quarter but it was all downhill from there. They managed just another 3.8 for the game while the Power played 4 consistent quarters saving their best quarter till the last during which they put Melbourne away. Where to for the Demons from here? Well it can only be up and the Power might be happy enough with their efforts so far this season. They might fancy their chances against Fremantle at home next week too. Melbourne has no hope against North.

Sydney 15.15.105 defeated St Kilda 10.16.76

In the round that saw all top 8 teams play each other this turned out to be the closest with the final margin probably a little unfair to the Saints who got within a goal in the final term. But 4 goals in the last few minutes by the Swans proved just too good for St Kilda who, as a result, exchange places in the 8 with North Melbourne. Sydney is on some roll here winning their past 7 games and they can be truly added to the mix come prelim finals time. They will make that 8 in a row next week against Gold Coast and St Kilda might be able to get back on the bike with a game against the Western Bulldogs.

North Melbourne 15.13.103 defeated Richmond 14.15.99

The Tigers can look back on this season and count their close games and see how they can go about winning those next year which will guarantee them a place in the finals. Last week they lost by 2 points on the last kick of the day and this week by 4 points in what turned out to be the closest game of the round and was also an important one for both teams in the context of making the finals. 7 goals by Petrie for North proved to be a match winner. North can maintain that winning feeling when they play the Dees and Richmond needs to vent their frustration on Carlton.

Fremantle 18.24.132 defeated GWS Giants 5.7.37

It’s probably enough to say that Freo’s Pavlich kicked a bigger score off his own boot than the Giants kicked with their 22 players! The only interest the crowd would have had was whether the Dockers could win this by 100 points. They fell 5 points short. Disposals stats show that Fremantle was very even between all players and also show that straighter kicking would have given the Dockers a mammoth score and consequently the Giants their 3rd consecutive 100 point hiding. They could be looking at another 100 point loss next week against Collingwood and Freo can consolidate its position when they play Port Adelaide.

Friday, July 20, 2012

AFL Preview Round 17

The main AFL news item seemed to centre around Chris Judd and his 4 week suspension for his ‘chicken wing’ tackle on Adams, a North Melbourne player, last week. Do you want fries with that Chris? Funnily enough I was talking to a teaching mate here who hails from Ohio in the USA and he actually watched the game with his mate from Sweden which enabled me to discuss AFL in a small Chinese restaurant for the first time in my life. Typical bloody yank, all he could say was that he enjoyed any vision of Chris Judd during the game because the cameras would pan in on his wife, Rebecca Twigley, whom he, and the guy from Sweden, thought was the most beautiful woman they had ever seen. I couldn’t resist it…….I said I knew Rebecca personally when I lived in Perth!! OMG!
Geelong V Essendon at Etihad Friday night

After the Cats’ loss last week to the Magpies there are a number of teams snapping at their heels to take over their ladder position. If ever Geelong needed a win to rally and make sure of an appearance in the finals then this is that game. For a tipster it’s a nightmare selection as you would not expect a big winning margin. If you are well down in the tipping then pick a draw if the value of that draw is 3 points. A draw is possible.

Geelong by 6 points

Monday, July 16, 2012

Dragons Back on the Winners List

The Dragons were surprise Favourites going into their Wollongong clash against the in-form Cronulla Sharks and started the game with wave upon wave of  attack, seemingly hell-bent on blowing the Sharks away early.

However the Sharks defence was stoic, and while the Dragons led early, the Sharks hung close with a 6-4 scorline indicative of the contest. However a Brett Morris runaway try gave the Dragons some breathing space at Half-time 12-4.

The second half was gripping edge of the seat football, with the Sharks scoring in the 53rd minute, giving the game even more grip and even more edge of the seat stuff 12-10.Trent Merrin gave the Dragons some buffer scoring off a Hornby pass, and the Dragons held the 18-10 scoreline with many heart flutters for the fans of both sides.

The Dragons attacked with abandon yet still could only put on 18 points against a great defensive effort from the Sharks. The win kept the Dragons in touch with the 8, while the Sharks cemented their reputation as a potential top 4 side.

AFL Review : Round 16

AFL Review

Round 16

Just to add some healthy interest to the competition we have the unique draw next week that will see the top 8 teams play off in a mini final series! While that will sort out some top 8 positions it’s also good news for the teams just outside trying to get in giving them an opportunity to take advantage if they’re good enough. For us poor tipsters it’s just another weekend of selection nightmares.

North Melbourne 24.5.149 defeated Carlton 14.12.96

Well that tells us that the win against Collingwood by the Blues was just one of those things as they went from the joy of winning that game to the despair of getting a hiding in this one.

Friday, July 13, 2012

AFL Preview Round 16

Meanwhile back at the AFL: Round 15 generated quite a bit of work for the MRP – Match Review Panel. Wellingham had the book thrown at him and will miss 3 weeks and a couple of Eagles also copped suspensions. Players coming back from injury for some teams and as we head to the latter part of the season the race for the 8 is hotting up. I can’t believe we are so advanced through another season.

North Melbourne V Carlton at Etihad Friday night

Monday, July 9, 2012

AFl Review Round 15 Stinking hot in China and apparently even worse in the USA. And speaking of heat the real interest this year in the AFL is in which teams will finish top 4!!? To be honest the team that scrapes into 8th position is only in the finals for a week usually and at the moment it’s an intense battle at the top of the ladder. West Coast, Hawthorn and Collingwood look to be the stand out teams but Adelaide, Sydney and Essendon are all in the mix. It will make for an absorbing last few weeks of home and away fixtures.

Carlton 12.13.85 defeated Collingwood 8.14.62

The result in this game is far too painful for me to write about….my creative juices seem to be getting choked up. I have a very close friend who went to the game and he ‘kindly’ sent me a match report which I asked to use for this Review. His name is Rog and he is, unfortunately, a Carlton supporter. I retained some of the personal comments to maintain the flow. Enjoy!

How are things in China?
I have a few things to report regarding our three man Great Wall Footy Tipping Competition and last night's game.
First of all I should tell you that I went last night. Marto took me into the members.
Secondly, as I have done since 1955, I purchased a FootyRrecord and marked all the goal kickers as well as the quarter by quarter scores. Of interest to me is the fact that in 1955 a Footy Record cost 6d (5c) and, at $5, is now priced at exactly 100 times what it was 57 years ago. Would you like me to post this outrageously expensive item on to you?

Friday, July 6, 2012

AFL Preview Round 15

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Meanwhile back at the AFL: Should a guy lose his job as an AFL footballer because of a sleeping pill? Is there more to the story than we read? And will Ratten lose his job at Carlton? A couple of injuries to key players haven’t helped his prediction of a top 4 finish which definitely won’t happen. And will Mick Malthouse be coaching Carlton? Doesn’t form a comfortable picture in my mind but what the Blues really need are the good players back and players like Kruezer and Judd to be playing better. That may be the coach’s fault. Tipping preview last week was 8 from 9 but it was an easy round. See how we go this week.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Origin : Everything it Should be

Game Three!!! Queensland. Lets just hope that the newspapers today talk about the game that it was, and not focus on that Justin Hodges try. Queensland dominated the game in my eyes, but how good were NSW to hang in and almost steal the game.

NSW were more dangerous in attack when attacking the QLD line and were way more effective in that area than Qld. But as in all Origins, we saw the human element at play. Sam Thiadays poor first half display, especially in defence with his glaring miss on Josh Morris to set up the Blues first try, but Qld will be eternally grateful for Robbie Farrah dropping the ball in a simple play the ball without a hand being on him...and of course the refs made plenty of human errors...But we wont focus on them.

Great game, great series, the teams have never been closer...but history shows 7 series in a row. Its great to be a Qlder today.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The Decider

Its the decider tonight and in the states of NSW and QLD, we have a lot of people sitting on the edge of their seast at the prospect of one of the best games of football in living memory. Will Qld uphold their dominance over the last six years, or will NSW finally hold their nerve to take out the game and the series. No matter what happens today, this game tonight will be an absolute cracker.

Personally, I think Cronk and Thurston need to dominate on the back of a more aggressive Qld forward display if they are a chance to win. It will only be then that Greg Inglis can be unleashed with some room to move from fullback. Will it happen? Lets just wait and see.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

AFL Review Round 14

AFL Review

Round 14

The preview tipped 8 this week, a vast improvement on the 2 last week. Might have to go back through the records and see what my tipping score is. Picking winners from the middle tier of teams is a nightmare but then again tipping has always been a nightmare. Mick Malthouse is an astute guy and his observation that the quick addition of two teams into the AFL has seriously diluted the talent pool is somewhat true. While we didn’t really like 17 teams in the competition with that blessed bye the 18th team has just added to the problem of giving easy wins for established teams.

Dragons Heartbreak

Honestly, Who would be a Dragons Fan? Leading 18-16 with just minutes to play, the Canberra Raiders exploited a poor defensive read down the righ edge to score the match winning try and give them a 22-18 victory, thus maintaining the Canberra Hoodoo for the Dragons.

Once again the Dragons were their own worst enemy with many unforced errors and a stilted attack, while the Raiders built pressure around the Dragons mistakes and took their chances.

@TheFooty Podcast Episode #001

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