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2018 Round 1


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Well, it has been a long drought, but finally season 2018 has started, with all the thrills, spills, but a surprising lack of skills even for the beginning of the season. But, never mind; the game that was invented to keep our convicts fit during the winter (er, I meant cricketers, but I suppose with recent events, there's not much of a difference) is back and, except for a handful of clubs, those jittery mistake will soon be washed away from our memories thanks to alcohol and never to return.


As a warning, I am not be held liable for any therapy you may need or self-harm you inflict after reading this - you do it at your own risk. It is originally intended for bank employees and contractors of certain comotosed disposition (again - have to be careful what I say).


Enough blabbing on... let's take look at the footy!


We start with the first game, where reining premiers, Richmond (jeez, that IS hard to say) took on the not so mighty Blues (Carlton). Well, as expected, the Tiges took the points, but the Blues did themselves pretty proud. Apart from the umps liking the man on the mark to keep on doing 50metre sprints, the game was fast and flowing. The Tiges really showed that they have the silky smooth skills to move the ball fast and accurately, while piling on the pressure. Either these boys don't get hangovers, or they're still under the influence. Cotchin, Martin, Reiwoldt were working together like a well-oiled machine; Faustin was resolute and Rance took a bew....ty (beauty - or just a darned good mark). But let's not treat this as one way traffic; The Blues led well into the 1st quarter and the lead see-sawed until about three-quarter time, where the Tiges took control and won by 26 points. Last year, Carlton would have taken a beating by that "miserly" margin as a win, and they have subtly let the league know they are looking to move up.. In fact, if Kruezner and Kennedy hadn't been injured, the result could have been a lot closer - a win to the Blues is almost unthinkable, but they may have rattled the tigers cage. The Tiges were the most skillful this round and if they keep playing like this (a tall order against some other teams), they will be up there defending their crown.


Well, to follow on from last years grand final defeat, Adelaide struggled against Essendon who provided the first upset for the season. An Essendon lead was just reversed going onto half-time, then Adelaide put their foot on the accelerator. Going into the final break, they had a 20 point lead and it was all over, red rover. But Essendon have truly shaken off their druggie past and dug deep to overturn the deficit and kick something like 7 goals straight to win by 12 points. Of note, my favourite player outside Hawthorn (or ex-hawks that go to other clubs), Stringer, did OK. He has to prove himself now. I wished he ended up at the Hawks - I hope Woosha and the staff can get him to his true potential.


As expected, the Saints took the points over the Brisbane Lions; Hodge, for the Lions (it makes me sick to the stomach to say it) was average at best (ahhh.. that feels better). I didn't see the game and have yet to watch the highlights, so nothing to say here... moving right along...


Fremantle have continued their rut in true rut style getting walloped by Port Adelaide by around 50 points (or 8 goals for you rugby folk). I suppose, given Fremantle's recent form, it is almost a respectable result.


From what I saw, the Gold Coast footy club proved they could swim better than North Melbourne Footy club - no wonder - when they swim in the beaches at the gold coast, they have to be fast to beat the bull-sharks. Seriously, what braniac decided to put a game on in Cairns at the end of the wet season. They say it rained 40 days and 40 nights to cover the earth - well, in Cairns, apparently it only takes a day of rain at the end of the wet season..


And now, to the game of the round - The Hawks (ahem, the majestic Hawks) managed to scrape home a win against Collingwood by a measly 34 points. Well, that is almost like losing against Collingwood. I didn't know if I got more satisfaction from the Hawks winning or the look of sheer exasperation on Buck's face at every monumental skill-miss of the pies. Mason Cox - that 205cm lad who can leap a tall building in a single bound... can't mark nor, it appears, judge where the balll is going to be within 5 metres. He can, however, use his arm to great effect against an opponent's head, earning hom a week's rest because it was deemed low impact.Tom Mitchel (what is it with the name Mitchel and star midfielders) broke the AFL possession record, raking up 54 of them - and a net 800metre gain! However, as a pretty ardent hawks supporter, while everyone else is saying how the Hawks are stating their finals intentions again, the reality is, they will be a bit like the West Coast Eagle last season - sneak in, have a fairy tale win and crash out. Birchall (or is it Frawley) is out, the old fellas did OK and the young-uns still have a bit to learn about their craft.It was, after all, only Collingwood, and Buckley seems to have the knack of taking those with the greatest potential and missing it.


On the next game, what can I say? The Doggies must have partied hard in 2016, because they still have a hangover.. very bad... bad... BAD... hangover. It is so bad, it is almost voyeuristic.. Here is the scoreline: Greater Western Sydney: 20 goals, 13 behinds (to our rugby friends, that is not reference to the posterior), 133 points to Footscray (WB): 7 goals 9 behinds, 51 points. Ok.. focusing on the goals, that is a 13 goal mauling; or an average of 3 goals more per quarter. Cameron, Patten, Greene and, well, the whole GWS team (even the runners) ran riot over the dogged dogs. And it was compounded by plucky midfielder, Liberatore, sustaining a season-ending ACL rupture.


One of the most sentimental games in recent history - Gazza Ablett (junior) at the spritely age of somewhere around 33 (I have a zimmer frame now and the memory is fading) made his return to his spiritual club, Geelong, which overcame an almost certain defeat. It was more Gawn, who marked seconds before the siren from about 30 out almost directly in front, where a 6 point goal would have won the game, who snatched defeat from the jaws fo Victory, bending it to the left and putting it through for a behind - 1 point instead of 6.


OK - it's getting late and you are getting bored.. So last.. but definitely not least... West Coast v Sydney at whatever the ground is now called (Subiaco?). Anyway, it was a smashing match to watch nd even McVeigh, was gutsy at his geriatric age of 35 or thereabouts. Nic Nat for West Coast, after 19 months out with Injury, biut their marketing magic, played like he had been only been suspended for a couple of weeks - and it was great to see him giving back as good as he got. But, if you want a game of sheer individual brilliance, then this one did not disappoint. Lance "Buddy" Franklin dodged, weaver and simply pushed his way to an 8 goal bag, which in the moden game is about equivalent to 12 goals when I last donned boots and played (Mr Gutch, you know when that was). But, undoubtedly, the star of the show was a player I pointed out to a NWM colleague quite a fe years ago as a future star, and that was Luke Parker. He did an overhead bicycle kick, a la Pele, to score a goal from just outside the goal square. If you watch it closely, it was no fluke - he timed it to perfection. I hear he is leaving the swans - Man U have juts offered him £20M a season... (just kidding).


Well, that's the wrap for round 1. I will try to preview Round 2 - no guarantees...



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A good report Jerry even if you became a bit one eyed there in the middle when you were talking about them bloody chooks in the yellow and babyshit brown.


As for the Son of GOD, he done good for a has been, 39 possessions, the same as an Injured Selwood.


Parfit showed promise, but I can't wait till about round 3 or 4 when they get some miles in their legs and we have Selwood Dangerfield and Ablett running out of the middle.


I know it's a bit of a cliché but I'd like to see that.



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One eyed? Blimey! Do I detect a little hissy envy.. 1989, 2008 and the only 3-peaters in the modern game?


Anyway, I do recall saying that while the fans and press are saying the Hawks have stated their finals intentions, I think they have a way to go to beat quality opposition; mean the best they can hope for this year is to emulate the West Coast of last year..


And this week will be the first of the litmus tests... The "pussies" are in a rebuild phase according to Scott at the end of losing a semi final. Not too many teams get tot hat stage and are in a rebuild phase. Going to be a cracker...



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No envy mate just don't like Hawthorn. It is bred into a CATS DNA to dislike birds of all sorts, Hawks, Magpies, Crows, Eagles we hate them all equally. LOL.


Should be a good one. Just out of curiosity where do you think they should start Dangerfield.


I reckon they should start him a fullback, that stuff their tagging plans up.


But then who do you tag when you have Ablett Dangerfield and Selwood 1 & 2 in the line up.



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I would have hoped your dislike was embedded during the great rivalries of the 70s and 80s... My sentiments are Geelong are our greatest foes... but for some reason, they aren't the iones I hate... its Carlton and Collingwood I despise, although Carlton's recent sustained meekness mitigates it somewhat.


The cats have a midfield to be envious of - Dangerfield is still the best in the league with Martin a close second; Selwood is the gutsiest and with Gazza, although a little older, like Tom Mitchell of Hawthorn, once he finds his feet in the team, those 38 touches will be potent.


The question will be do you bother tagging any and even if you do, with whom do you tag them. Gazza is still finding his feet in the new team structure and game plan so is the easiest to tag, but what effectiveness will it be? With Selwood, the easiest thing is to stand someone stationary near the centre of the ground and eventually he will run into them, knocking himself out in the process. So Dangerfield is the on to tag, but who in the Hawks do you use? Sicily could be good, but the idea if teh tagger is to get under the tagged's head and he is a little too hot headed at the moment. You cuod use Burgogyne, but tht would shut down an offensive option. Puopolou - nope - although he is fast aand strong, his role is a breakaway player.. Henderson and Smith would be best, but one shutdowns offensive options very quickly.



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As much as I hate to admit it my dislike for Hawthorne was emmbedded during the great rivalries of the 70s and 80s... My sentiments are Hawthorne are our greatest foes... but for some reason, they aren't the ones I hate... it is Collingwood I despise.


Some of those games through the 70s and 80s were awesome, none better than the 89 grand final. One G Ablett Snr kicking 10 goals in a losing Grand Final. Dermott getting taken out in the most blatant on field assault of all time, then coming back with broken ribs and breaking Geelong. How could I not hate them Bastards. I was at that game and the on field rivalry was matched in the stands.


And that me Hawthorne loving friend is the real reason I dislike them bugga's, I just do not like to admit it. :)



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I was at the game, too.. Dippa also played with a punctured lung.


I think you can still watch the game on youtube...


At the final siren, I learned to forgive Yates and lament Ablett's passing from Hawthorn to Geelong..


As a spectacle and atmosphere, it was the best sports event I have been to; even when Man U beat Bayern Munich to take the triple in '99 (I think) at Nou Camp in Barcelona couldn't quite match it


[edit]And tagging Danger would be about trying to nullify some of those touches [/edit]



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When I was in the US at a gliding event, this guy turned up wearing a North Melbourne tee shirt ( yes it was a long time ago).


I thought he had worn it for my benefit, but no, he was a genuine Nth Melb supporter. He had cable TV at home and he reckoned Australian Rules was the best spectator game of all, which was how he came to follow it.



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A couple of kids of colleagues I used to work with watch it over rugby these days... I did get my boy into it, but peer pressure from school and his mother has skewed him to union. Also his affinity to the hawks wobbled as his mother supports Richmond (because we used to live in the namesake's 'burb in London).. Although he doesn't watch it, he somehow knows the names of players and scorelines???



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I played schoolboy Rugby League right up until I joined the Army.


They never played League in the Army or in Victoria where I spent my first 4 years so I tried my hand at Union.


I never really came to grips with Union so I decided to give Aussie Rules a go.


Well to be quite honest the skill level of the players was way beyond anything that League had prepared me for I did however learn enough about the rules and tactics of the game to become an avid supporter.


I think that once you understand it Aussie Rules is a far better spectator sport than any of the other codes that I have either watched or tried.


As such I will be a lifetime follower.I am even like all Victorian supporter, I follow two teams.


Firstly Geelong, everyone in my house follows Geelong. Even my dogs purr in their sleep.


And of course like all good Aussie Rules fans, I follow anyone who is playing Collingwood. spacer.png



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