Tag Archives: Lenny Hayes

When The Cats Go Marching In! (2009 AFL Grand Final)

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PremierCats

Wow – Geelong are good at this cup-lifting thing! Looks like they’ve done it before…

Holy crap – what a day! A massive audience, a classic match and even the pre-match entertainment didn’t totally suck…well, until the Jersey Boys got involved! Yep, a limp-as-a-lettuce-leaf rendition of the national anthem – won’t that inspire to football masses to buy tickets to their crappy stage show!

NormChapman

Chappy deservedly wins Norm…just don’t ask me how he did it!

Anyway, back to the footy and on a wet, cold day at the ‘G, it was Geelong that found their way to the front when it mattered to win a second flag in three seasons. On the verge of two straight grand final catastrophes, the Cats scored three goals to nil in the final term to earn the ultimate reward for their sustained excellence and become a truly great outfit. Look out, Lions!

HayesYells

How would it feel to lead most of the way in a Grand Final and lose? Lenny Hayes pretty much sums it up…

One of these teams was always going to feel unfortunate to miss out on the great prize. Few could have predicted just how devastating defeat would become for the Saints…particularly when things quite easily could have gone their way had they capitalised on their opportunities early.

BustedGoddard

Broken collarbone, busted nose, dream destroyed…hard to imagine anybody feeling worse than Brendon Goddard must have after the siren!

If there is any consolation for the St Kilda faithful, it seems to lie with the hard-line stance of the coach looking to ensure his club strives to improve and bounce back in 2010. The popular Max Hudghton won’t be back but it will be interesting to see if anybody else joins him on the sidelines…like little twerp goal sneaks who wear number 44, for example.

RookeMobile

Max Rooke claims himself some new wheels…might come in handy this week during the celebrations! Wonder if his psychic told him about this as well?

But enough HBF-style hardcore analysis…it’s time to wind down after a long season that again defied all expectations (and defied logic at certain stages) and let our collective hairs down! Then, maybe, we can start worrying about who will be the team to beat in 2010. Until then, may all your Mondays be Mad and your blondes a little better looking than this one!


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When The Game Takes Over Our Drunken Idiot Coverage! (2009 AFL Grand Final Preview)

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drunkfev

We will now briefly focus on a football game before returning you to your regularly scheduled programming…which, apparently, is this guy!

Relax, people! Once Saturday’s game is over, we can go back to the main reason we all follow the game…what stupid Brendan Fevola up to now and what EVERYBODY ELSE thinks about it! Or maybe you’ve had enough of Fev and would prefer to talk about trades – where Shaun Burgoyne thinks he is going or where Brock McLean says he is going.

Perhaps you are stunned that Marty Clarke is choosing to go home or that Matthew Lloyd is choosing to stay home. But for now, the 2009 AFL Grand Final needs to take centre stage so you’ll just have to make do with that…

Not a bad consolation though…the two best teams in the comp are virtually at full strength (sorry Max fans!) and primed to present us with a fitting finale to the footy season. It’s going to be entertaining day and a great spectacle but, please, remember to behave appropriately. You don’t want to end up like Stupid Fevola (that is, a big blokey legend!), do you?

ST KILDA SAINTS

SaintsPlane

The secret to St Kilda’s success? Not catching swine flu from the filthy, germ-infested masses!

The dominant team of 2009 but not a clear favourite… a lack of respect or is this just history talking?

The Team
B:
Jason Blake, Zac Dawson, Steven Baker
HB: Brendon Goddard, Sam Fisher, Sam Gilbert
C: Farren Ray, Lenny Hayes, Nick Dal Santo
HF: Andrew McQualter, Justin Koschitzke, Clint Jones
F: Stephen Milne, Nick Riewoldt, Jason Gram
Foll: Steven King, Leigh Montagna, Adam Schneider
I/C: Luke Ball, Raphael Clarke, Sean Dempster, Michael Gardiner
Emg: David Armitage, Jarryn Geary, James Gwilt

In: Dempster
Out: Robert Eddy

GEELONG CATS

AblettPolice

The secret to Geelong’s success? Police arresting anybody that goes within one metre of Gary Ablett!

The Team
B:
Darren Milburn, Matthew Scarlett, Corey Enright
HB: Tom Harley, Harry Taylor, Andrew Mackie
C: Joel Corey, Cameron Ling, James Kelly
HF: Jimmy Bartel, Cameron Mooney, Steve Johnson
F: Travis Varcoe, Tom Hawkins, Paul Chapman
Foll: Mark Blake, Joel Selwood, Gary Ablett
I/C: Brad Ottens, Shannon Byrnes, Max Rooke, David Wojcinski
Emg: Shane Mumford, Simon Hogan, Mathew Stokes

No change

So…who wins this bloody thing? St Kilda made the one team change but it will not result in a fairytale send-off for stalwart Max Hudghton. Geelong are unchanged but have sterner opposition compared to last week. Hard to predict a winner with any great confidence; hence the call of a draw’ being quite popular.

For me, the deciding factor is simple…and probably a touch immature, but oh well. I just don’t want to see Stephen Milne win a grand final. The thought of that little twerp receiving a premiership medallion and whooping it up would ruin my entire year.

MilneSucks

For the love of God, do not let this twerp win a premiership!

If St Kilda did win and for whatever reason; concussion,  injury, diarrhoea; Milne was not involved at the end, I could live with that. If they could vote him off the podium and replace him with Robert Harvey, even better. But please Geelong..do not let this twerp win!!!

CATS by 22

About Freakin’ Time! (2009 Brownlow Medal)

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For just a split second, Adam Cooney made Gary Ablett wonder whether winning the medal was worth it…

He has been the best player in the competition for the past three seasons but, finally, Gary Ablett has a Brownlow Medal to his name. After being pipped at the post in 2007 and 2008, the Geelong midfielder led from the opening game and had the award all wrapped up with two rounds left to count.

The ending may have lacked the drama of previous seasons but having watched a clearly nervous Gazza watch on helplessly as less-favoured (but still deserving!) players took the honour two years running, it was more a sense of relief once the result was beyond doubt.

AblettWins

He’s been crapping his daks about making a Brownlow speech for three years, now that time had come…

As expected, a number of St Kilda players polled very strongly, as did many of Gary’s teammates. Carlton’s Chris Judd finished second while Lions pair Simon Black and Jonathan Brown each picked up 19 votes. As usual, midfielders featured prominently in the votes but Brown’s equal fourth placing showed that forwards are capable of polling well.

Brendon Fevola was probably being light-hearted about the extra focus on-ballers receive from the umpires at the expense of forwards but, considering Fev has been known to check out of games when things aren’t going his way, the joke is on him!

FevDisapproves

Fev shows his displeasure at a midfielder, one whose level of effort is never conditional, taking votes off him. He has to be joking, doesn’t he?

But enough of Ablett! More importantly, the evening kicked off with the traditional red carpet fashions. And, in typical AFL style, any hint of tradition was sold off to the highest bidder as the carpet went from ‘red’ to ‘blue’. Apparently Toyota have a new car…and it’s blue. Wow, the things you can do with technology these days! Ground breaking…

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Brownlow night is the highlight of the season for many a WAG… including the Princess Bride of Bogans, Alex Fevola!

The ‘blue-red’ carpet saw the usual mix of elegance, class and skank; from the half-mill diamond dress (ever taken a wee surrounded by four bodyguards?) to the eye-popping squeeze of former Sydney Swans supremo Dr Geoffrey Edelston! But the award for best couple of the night was unanimous…Adam Goodes and Simon Black!

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As soon as it became obvious there was no need to stay sober for a speech, Simon and Adam lived it up! You boys have my three votes!!

Fantasy Finals Frenzy – Week Two (Geekin’ Out – Fantasy Footy)

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Many of my fantasy opponents had star players that were laid low by injury in the first week of finals…

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…and now we can be laid back this week as we enjoy a break before the prelim finals!

Half Back Flanker is officially…one lucky son-of-a-gun! While many owners struggled mightily to field full squads in round 19 due to the massive injury toll of key fantasy players, we capitalised big time in AFL Dream Team and Premium Dream Team by winning all four qualifying finals to earn a preliminary final spot and one week’s rest. When it became apparent that each of my opponents in the AFL Dream Team finals would be short anywhere between four and eight players, I used up one of my final three trades to ensure I filled all 22 on-field positions and secure my path to the final four in each league.

While the trade (Liam Jurrah for Brennan Stack) was not really necessary as I would have won all three matches comfortably with one forward down, I have two trades and a wad of cash awaiting me for preliminary final weekend. How I use those trades could determine how many grand finals I can qualify for…or if I even make it into one!

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Nick Dal Santo, and a few of his teammates, sat out last week…it helped me immensely!

My strategy for Premium Dream Team also paid off, electing to wait until the final minutes of trading on Friday night to release my two injured key defenders, Brendan Goddard and Jack Grimes, in order to field a full team. It was a risk but, considering my league-leading opponent Teal Power refused to part with injured Saints midfielders Lenny Hayes and Leigh Montagna, it was worth taking if I wanted any shot of the upset. And when Nick Dal Santo failed to make the trip, leaving my opponent another mid short, I managed the win by 124 points and my tactic paid off. Now having traded my key defenders back in, let’s hope that they are both fit and firing come round 21.

However, it wasn’t all good news for Half Back Flanker last weekend. The good fortune on the injury front did not extend to our Herald Sun Super Coach team, knocked out in the elimination final stage by the team we easily defeated just the week earlier. Too many absent players meant that even with the addition of two new elite players via trade, we were well short of a competitive team and a 500-point drop from last round meant our year was over.

So, no matches this week…but still plenty of homework to be done. We are planning to make the most of our final trades and field the strongest possible lineups in the upcoming preliminary finals. Hopefully we can win our way into some grand finals but if we do, we might find ourselves in a couple of rematches against the top-ranked teams we just knocked off that won their way through…and have all their injured players back!

BuddyToothless

Buddy took one for the team! He’ll be right…but if he wants to take it easy this week and be right for round 21, fine by me!!!

Dream Team 36,906 points overall, 8,596th place – best overall position for the year, probably overtook many teams choc full of St Kilda players!

Last Week: 1,896 points – a drop of almost 400 points from last round…but it was still good enough.

Good:  Having 22 fit players was great! Five players over 100 points (including captain Dane Swan with 103), three of those over 120 – Joel Selwood and Greg Broughton (128) and the much maligned (by me!) Shannon Hurn (121).

Bad:  Big names Lance Franklin (55), Chad Cornes (57) and Luke Hodge (70) not up to standard. Concerned that any or all three of these guys might not be major contributors in the final two rounds, especially if finals are out of reach for their teams.

Ugly: The Stack for Jurrah trade ensured I had 22 players, and a little extra cash, but it was probably a panic move that wasn’t required considering the size of my winning margins. Stack (20) didn’t produce and provided Jurrah is back by round 21, he would not be the preferred option if I needed a replacement forward to play anyway.

Public League

2nd Qualifying Final – defeated Woosha Warriors (1,205). Fielded just 13 players.

The Finals – Prelim final in two weeks verses winner of Fats Rockets (1,873) and Uninformed (1,702). Expecting to face the minor premier Fats Rockets for a spot in the grannie.

SENFrank01

1st Qualifying Final – defeated Princess Superstar (1,619 last week). Good score considering they only had 18 players, unlikely to have beaten this team otherwise. But…I’ll take it!

The Finals – Prelim final in two weeks verses winner of The Dominators (1,904) and mansnotacamel (1,759). Dominators would have beaten me this week and they had just 20 players…will need to make the most of my final two trades to beat them!

Twitter DT

1st Qualifying Final – defeated BigAl’s Bombers (1,619 last week). Big Al just had 17 players so feeling fortunate that he wasn’t at full strength as well. But that’s the way it goes.

The Finals – Prelim final in two weeks verses winner of The Irish Invaders (1,645) and D Team (2,021). Irish actually had 20 players while the D Team had a full team and a good round. Might be the 6th-placed D Team that wins through.

Potential changes/trades: Can stick the feet up this week in terms of trades but will keep a close eye on which players do and do not run out this weekend. Hoping that Goddard, Grimes and Hayden Skipworth will be ready for round 21 so that my final two trades can be used to bring in some elites.

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The loss of Goddard (and many others) was too great to cover…so cross us out for season 2009!

Super Coach 38,777 points overall, 20,427th place – big drop. Big big drop!

Last Week: 1,599 points – the biggest round of the season and it’s our worst score!

Good:  Not much…four 100-plus scores

Bad:  Nine scores under 80 points…the last thing you want when you are three players down to begin with.

Ugly: We were relying on a massive night for captain Gary Ablett in the hope that the double points could somehow keep us competitive. Alas, a mere 81 – his lowest score for the year. In fact, it was probably his lowest score in five years!

GMHBA

1st Elimination Final – lost to Hardy’s Heroes (1,799).  From our meeting the week before, they dropped almost 30 points. We dropped almost 500 points! And just like that…season over.

BrennanCarr

Jared Brennan kicked arse last round…just don’t headbutt anybody on the weekend, I will need you!

Premium Dream Team

Last Week: 1,659 points – Second best weekly score for the season and best of all teams in the league this round.

Good:  Seven 100-plus scores including a 127-point effort from Jared Brennan and four of our five midfielders. The only midfielder under 100 was Brent Prismall…who chalked up a 93 after being a replacement for Hawthorn’s Brad Sewell.

Bad:  Shannon Byrnes (58) is another victim of Geelong’s overall struggles, Aaron Davey (60) seems to be fading out a bit.

Ugly: Injury concerns over Josh Drummond (67) – wished he was a late scratching after reserve back Jason Blake pulled out a 102!

Public League

1st Qualifying Final – defeated Teal Power  (1,535 last week). Those three missing Saints midfielders made all the difference but, provided at least two of them fire this week, this team should feature in the other prelim final. Will we meet again in the big one?

The Finals – Prelim final in two weeks verses winner of TheDream Team (1,490) and Shelleys Boys (1,552). Can sixth-placed Shelleys Boys make the prelim? Interesting that TheDream Team has drafted retiring Richmond stat-machine Joel Bowden…does he have one last pearler in him before hanging up the boots?

Potential changes/trades: As soon as the Sunday lockout ended, went back in and reclaimed our two key defenders Goddard and Grimes, dropping Campbell Brown and Bachar Houli in the process. So unless something catastrophic occurs to one of our players before Friday, we might use our last trade on a speculative pickup for an injured player that should be back in action for round 21. Bulldog Shaun Higgins is a prime example and if he was right to go next weekend, would be a better option that teammate Jarrod Harbrow.

Update: just checked all the available forwards and somebody has already taken the gamble and drafted Higgins. Skipworth is still there but might just wait until team selection and see if any players suddenly become available.

Fantasy Finals Frenzy – Week One (Geekin’ Out – Fantasy Footy)

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Will Half Back Flanker trouble the engravers for the second season in a row? Well, we are about to find out!

It’s a little taste of September action right here in August! That’s right – it’s finals time for fantasy football geeks all over Australia and Half Back Flanker is primed for another shot at a virtual premiership! Well, we have five opportunities to win so hopefully we can go all the way in one comp at least!

And if there is such a thing as fantasy form, we definitely have it. The final round of the regular season was a triumph for our AFL Dream Team squad – we scored our highest ever weekly total on the way to victories in all three leagues, securing the double chance for each one in the process. The top four was already out of reach for our Herald Sun Super Coach team but a comfortable victory was also achieved against a side we now face again in the elimination final. A repeat performance will see us remain alive for another week…but it’s hard to see us running the table for the premiership.

But the biggest result last round was a shock top-four finish in our Premium Dream Team comp! After registering an upset win over the second-placed team, a few other results fell our way and we will now participate in a qualifying final this weekend – something we would never had envisioned after our disastrous start to the season. Can we make the most of our outrageously good fortune and challenge for top honours?

At this time of year, injuries play a major role in any team’s progression through the finals and with only a few trades left, every personnel decision is crucial. But, oh my goodness…there were some huge omissions announced on Thursday night that will have many coaches scrambling to field a full side! We only need to trade one forward in order to field twenty-two fit players in Dream Team but our  Super Coach squad has been decimated. On the other hand, some of our opponents for this weekend also face some major headaches and if they don’t have any trades up their sleeves, I might benefit greatly!

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While Francis Leach’s fantasy team is out of the running, our top four finish in his SEN league gives us a good shot at glory!

Dream Team 35,010 points overall, 10,444th place – another season-high overall ranking, close to cracking the top ten thousand.

Last Week: 2,282 points – another season high, 230th place for the week!

Good:  Only one score under 70 points was a major factor in this season-high result. It included ten 100-plus scores with two Dockers, Greg Broughton (129) and Matthew Pavlich (120), and two Pies, Scott Pendlebury (129) and captain Dane Swan (122), the pick of the bunch.

Bad: That score under 70 was Tarkyn Lockyer’s 68 while three of our forwards (Hayden Skipworth, Ryan Houlihan and Simon Hogan) all finished in the seventies. Can we win our way through to a grand final by playing all three of these guys in attack?

Ugly: Watching Buddy Franklin spraying shots at goal all over the shop in Adelaide on Sunday! Hopefully he is primed for a big one this week but he is facing the stingy Saints…won’t be easy!

Public League – defeated Finals or Bust (1,670). Massive win for us and our opponents didn’t Bust either by scraping into eighth spot.

Ladder Position – 3rd place (11-4, 120.00%) – Highest points scored in the league and best percentage…now for the real stuff!

The Finals 2nd Qualifying Final – 2nd placed Woosha Warriors  (1,847 last week). Will be seven players short if current squad remains the same for this weekend. Either he is out of trades or waiting until now to upgrade…and even if he makes two trades, he will still be five short. Looking good here…

SENFrank01 – defeated mansnotacamel (1,961). Would have finished in fourth regardless of the result but the win was nice…

Ladder Position – 4th place (10-5, 106.15%) – Great result in a tough league…a massive challenge faces us this week.

The Finals1st Qualifying Final – 1st placed Princess Superstar (2,040 last week). Below par score last week and, if she is out of trades, will be three players short! Primed to  spring a major upset and make the prelim…or am I speaking too soon?

Twitter DT – defeated Hybrid Flyers  (1,443). The percentage boost was nice but a loss by the D Team lifts us into fourth place!

Ladder Position – 4th place (11-4, 109.17%)  – Snuck up to fourth giving us the double chance in all three Dream Team leagues.

The Finals1st Qualifying Final – 1st placed BigAl’s Bombers (2,122 last week). The best performed of our three opponents last round but will be six players short if out of trades.

Potential changes/trades: While all our opponents are guaranteed to be short, we can have a full team by just using one of our last three trades! We could go all out and swap Skipworth for an elite like Brent Harvey or Alan Didak…but that would use up the rest of our salary cap.

Otherwise we could bring in promising (and cheap) young Doggie Brennan Stack for Liam Jurrah and have 230 grand left for our final two trades. We are leaning towards Stack and hoping that HBF can earn the week’s break in all three leagues!

Captain: Swan has been extremely reliable this season but there is something about facing the Crows at AAMI Stadium on a Saturday night worries me. So the captaincy might be passed to Geelong’s Joel Selwood with Bryce Gibbs as deputy.

ChappyPillow

Paul Chapman can use that pillow to rest up for the next couple of weeks…but it’s the last thing I needed heading into an elimination final!

Super Coach 37,178 points overall, 17,605th place – tiny drop but just treading water this week before the finals.

Last Week: 2,071 points – around my average weekly score, need to be well above average from here!

Good:  Ten 100-plus scores, including captain Gary Ablett (115) but seven players managed to score higher than him. The best…vice captain Swan (170).

Bad:  Seven scores under 60 points; including three of my defenders and a rusty Steve Johnson (32).

Ugly: A hamstrung Darren Jolly (24)…after trading up for Jolly in round 17, the last thing I want to contemplate is using one of my three remaining trades to replace him. At least Melbourne’s Jake Spencer is getting a run again…but if you are relying on him to win you a fantasy final, that’s not great!

GMHBA – defeated Hardy’s Heroes  (1,821). Solid win and, as luck would have it, have the chance to repeat the dose this week.

Ladder Position – 5th place (10-5, 106.39%) No double chance, need to go the long way to have a shot at the flag.

The Finals – 1st Elimination Final – 8th placed Hardy’s Heroes! Difficult to tell how many short they will be. There could be as many as five missing but they have trades to use, and both Alex Rance and Peter Burgoyne could make the cut for Sunday, so they might be just one player short.

Potential changes/trades: Even if you include our two trades this round, we will be three players short. So we have to go for it! Jed Adcock will make way for his teammate Josh Drummond – not only does he own the third-highest average per round for defenders but he is around 50 grand cheaper and has a date with the spluttering Essendon this Saturday night that might lead to a big total.

With plenty of cash in reserve, we can swap Skipworth or Jurrah for a forward the calibre of Leon Davis, Jonathan Brown or even Harvey who is running into form for the Roos but doesn’t have the hefty price tag. That way, if we are fortunate enough to survive another week, we will have a little cash to use for our final trade.

Captain: Pinning our hopes on Ablett to have a huge game. Our opponent does not have Gazza in their lineup so if he produces, the double points might be enough to save my arse for another week. Pavlich has been red hot since his return from injury so he will be the vice captain.

AkerPumped

We asked Aker to  fire up…and he delivered big time! More please…

Premium Dream Team

Last Week: 1,596 points – Second best weekly score for this comp, couldn’t have been timed any better!

Good:  Jason Akermanis delivers a massive 142-point game while 100-plus efforts from Gibbs (119), Jack Grimes (109) and Adam Cooney (100) contributed to the win.

Bad:  All that effort to nab Colin Sylvia didn’t pay off after he was banished to the reserves after serving his suspension. Also the switch of Saint Jason Blake from backup ruckman into defence didn’t pay off…just 34 points!

Ugly: The Brent Prismall captaincy experiment failed (78) while the tradition of the benched Bomber midfielder outscoring the on-field Bomber continued…Jobe Watson’s 121 going to waste!

Public League – defeated TheDream Team (1,512). Caught them on a bad week and took full advantage!

Ladder Position – 4th place (5-4, 98.35%) Losses last week by the fourth and fifth placed teams sees us sneak into the four!

The Finals 1st Qualifying Final – 1st placed Teal Power  (1,559 last week). Players out – Leigh Montagna, Lenny Hayes, Leigh Harding and Hayden Skipworth. Those first two are major blows and one will need to be let go in order for them to field a full team. Or will they play short rather than dump one of their key Sainters?

Potential changes/trades: In order to field a full team, we need to trade either Goddard or Grimes. Didn’t particularly want to lose either but will make a last minute trade for a new defender and hope they are still there when I try to trade them back in at the end of the round.

Captain: Carlton’s Gibbs to take on the responsibility this week with Brad Sewell as vice captain.

The Matthew Pavlich Blues (Geekin’ Out – Fantasy Footy)

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The Dockers will have to face Wharfie Time without Pav…that can’t be good!

Fremantle captain Matthew Pavlich sent many a fantasy coach into a tailspin last Saturday afternoon when he limped out of the Collingwood match early with a calf injury. A fantasy footy fave, Pav’s lack of output hit many team owners hard…and the news that he will miss at least a fortnight will tempt a few coaches to hit that trade button. Will Half Back Flanker be one of them?

Well, not in our Herald Sun Super Coach squad. With only eight trades left, we are trying to build the best side we can for the finals…which appears a certainty after we won our league match this week with little from Pavlich and no Dean Cox. Pav will be back in time to contribute in the final weeks but with Cox out again and Taylor Walker’s omission at Adelaide, we need to trade one forward to avoid being two players short this round. But it won’t be Captain Wharfie…

What about AFL Dream Team? Pav’s early exit and a no-show from Leon Davis cost us victory in our Twitter DT league and we are ranked no higher than sixth in any of our three Dream Team leagues. Can we afford to be down one elite player at this stage with finals spot on the line? If we do trade Pav for a star, it could help us in the short term but with only seven trades left, that’s one less opportunity to strengthen the squad during the business end of proceedings.

While we don’t have the Pavlich dilemma in Premium Dream Team, we do have continual injury problems. With Josh Drummond and Cyril Rioli injured, we have had no substitutes in case of a forward or back being a late omission…which cost us when Bret Thorton was again a late scratching from Carlton’s side. But, somehow, we managed a third straight win in our league and will shoot for a fourth this weekend with Jobe Watson joining Drummond and Rioli on the sidelines. But at least we should start with eighteen fit players this time…hopefully!

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Paul Hasleby loves Captain Wharfie…will he step up in his absence?

Dream Team 24,459 points overall, 20,948th place – can’t see myself tearing up the overall standing from here!

Last Week: 1,865 points – only topped 2,000 points twice all season. Not fantastic.

League Results

Public League – lost to Roberts Rollers (2,127). Carnage…this one wasn’t even close!

SENFrank01 – defeated Demon Revival (1,756). Important win over top eight rival and behind fourth on percentage only.

Twitter DT – lost to Soaring 09 (1,909). Davis withdrawal and Pavlich injury costs us the win…and perhaps a top-four spot as well.

Ladder Positions

Public League – 8th place (6-4, 117.63%)

SENFrank01 – 6th place (6-4, 101.55%)

Twitter DT – 6th place (6-4, 104.41%)

Good:  Seven players over 100 points – with the added bonus of the captain being our highest scorer, Brendon Goddard (128). Paul Hasleby (121) has been a bit up and down but pulled out a massive game this week.

Bad: Beau Muston (38) couldn’t deliver in the absence of Scott Pendlebury while choosing Courtenay Dempsey (43) over Shannon Hurn (79) in defence didn’t work for the best.

Ugly: Pavlich with 16 points was ugly enough but Taylor Walker could only manage 24 in place of Leon Davis. We lost by 44 points in the SENFrank league. Now that is ugly!

Next opponents:

Public League – 3rd placed NoobsRUs (1,813 last week). Would have beaten them on last week’s scores, desperate to win in order to keep top four in sight.

SENFrank01 – 12th placed Leica Hawk  (1,858 last week). Already one forward short and could also have Cox and Pavlich missing. How they cover these losses could determine who wins.

Twitter DT – 3rd placed The Irish Invaders (1,921 last week). Outscored me last week despite having the Cox/Pavlich blues.

Potential changes/trades: We have three forwards out (Pav, Walker and Steele Sidebottom) and only seven trades. We cannot afford a quality forward unless we trade Pav and really want to hold onto him for the finals. So we will cash in Sidebottom, who might struggle to break into Collingwood’s best team from here, and buy young Demon Liam Jurrah. Hopefully he can have a productive couple of weeks until either Pav or Walker are back.

Captain: Bryce Gibbs should find enough of the ball against Freo at Subiaco to be worth a shot at captain.

ablettgroin

Gazza is on fire…let’s hope he doesn’t end up like this again this year!

Super Coach 26,565 points overall, 18,464th place – surprisingly up by quite a few thousand.

Last Week: 2,191 points – four weeks with over 2,100 points – went in one player short and scored second-highest tally for the season.

League Results

GMHBA – defeated Jamesisfullofcrap (2,025). End two-game skid and probably assured of finals action now.

Ladder Positions

GMHBA – 3rd place (7-3, 110.24%)

Good:  Eight 100-plus scores including a massive double century from the one and only Gary Ablett (206). And yes, he was our captain!

Bad:  And here’s the weekly Shane Mumford gripe…just 29 points!

Ugly: Apart from Pav,  we had another case where the emergency defender we dumped from the team last week (Heath Grundy – 69) outscored the guy we brought into the team as his replacement (Stephen Hill – 39).

Next opponents:

GMHBA – 6th placed Cool Cats  (2,159 last week). Plenty of Saints and Cats…but needs to cover the loss of Pavlich and Giansiracusa.

Potential changes/trades: With Pav out, Walker dropped and Jack Ziebell injured, we need to add a forward…especially with Cox still sidelined and our reluctance to trade him out just yet. Who’s out? Well, Pav will definitely play again this year, Taylor probably will but Ziebell and his broken leg probably won’t. Ziebell out for a cheap, short-term option to fill the void until Pav returns…we’ll go with Jurrah again.

This move gives us 394 grand in our salary cap…and our patience with stand-in second ruckman Shane Mumford has run out. We can give away Mumford and 97 grand and turn it into Melbourne’s Mark Jamar, who has averaged 89  in two games and is back this week against a Cox-less West Coast. These moves still leave us one player short this week but when Cox is back, this will be a formidable ruck tandem.

Captain: Gary Ablett. Don’t care if St Kilda tag him with Stevie Baker, Lenny Hayes and Tony Liberatore at the same time…you just have to pick Gazza!

daveyloss

Chin up, Aaron Davey. Your team may lose but while you keep touching the footy, I win!

Premium Dream Team

Last Week: 1,548 points – Exceeded last week’s season-high with just 17 players.

League Results

Public League – defeated Dirty Sanchez (1,525). A win despite being one player short…though Mr Sanchez was two players short!

Ladder Positions

Public League – 3rd place (3-1, 100.37%)

Good:  Aaron Davey (133) picking up cheap possessions down back for Melbourne is working out well  for me while five other players hit triple figures, including the red hot Shannon Byrnes (100) and reliable mids Brad Sewell (113) and Bernie Vince (110).

Bad: The Bombers were great on Friday night but an ankle injury to Jobe Watson (53) ruined what could have been a massive night for him. Newly acquired defender Dustin Fletcher (45) didn’t have a great night stats-wise…shame that touching shots at goal inches before they cross the line do not register as points in Dream Team!

Ugly: Managed to trade out Bret Thornton just before the lockout in round 12 but was halfway to the ‘G when I heard he was a non-starter last weekend as well. Very lucky that it didn’t cost me victory…

Next opponents:

Public League – 6th placed Brady Way Big Hits (1,555 last week).

Potential changes/trades: Pre-empted the dumping of Collingwood’s Shannon Cox by trading him for Hawk defender Campbell Brown on Sunday night. Almost bagged Robert Murphy for Ryan Houlihan too but Murphy appeared to be picked up by another team before I could complete the trade!

Captain: Brad Sewell will be required to do a mountain of work for his Hawks to beat the Doggies. Here’s hoping for a massive score.

Warm Up Games For Cats And Hawks? (Welcome To Septocemia!)

Geelong fans had to wait 44 years before breaking through last season…now they can barely wait one full week for the next flag!

Yes, we know – anything can happen in a game of football and nothing should ever be taken for granted. And we haven’t had any major shocks in this finals series thus far so a big surprise might just be around the corner. But, really, come on…Geelong and Hawthorn are going to play each other in the Grand Final next Saturday, right? That is clearly the most attractive outcome from this weekend’s preliminary finals…sorry Saints and Doggies fans.

Buddy is inspiring Hawk fans of all ages with his awesomeness…and they all expect him to boot Hawthorn into a grand final!

In fact, the only time that this finals series really came to life was when Buddy kicked eight to sink the Dogs and Geelong crushed St Kilda back in week one! There was a nice attempt from Jason ‘Cocky Cats’ Akermanis to ruffle some feathers this week but it’s hard to take a notorious shit-stirrer seriously. And if the biggest feud we can come up with during the finals is Jason Dunstall verses James Brayshaw, which is more like a ‘sponsorship arrangement’ between Nine and Foxtel than an actual feud, our game must be in big trouble!

The build-up to this weekend’s matches is mostly focused on the fitness of key players and any mention of either St Kilda or the Doggies actually winning is closely followed by the term ‘fairytale’ or ‘pipedream‘! But the time for speculation on the health of Bateman, Ball, Chapman, Cooney, Giansiracusa, Hayes and pals is over. The crowds look like being massive and there are preliminary finals to be played…and won by Geelong and Hawthorn.

FRIDAY NIGHT

Nathan Ablett won’t be at this year’s Grand Final parade but his big brother sure will…and he might be all medalled up already!

First Preliminary Final – MCG, 7:40pm (local): Geelong v Western Bulldogs (SEVEN)

CATS by 39: They are keeping Paul Chapman on ice until the grand final, what does that tell you! And not only do they have plenty of depth to cover the loss, they could replace Chappy with a mid-thirties, unemployed NFL punter and they would still win. The Cats are vowing to be at their best tonight…and that is good enough for us!

Sure, spirits are high down at Whitten Oval and Rodney Eade may well remind his blokes about what happened to Essendon back in 1999 (so do we…watching the Bombers lose by one point in that prelim was our worst ever sporting experience. We wouldn’t wish it on anybody!) but are there any ‘Kouta’s’ in that Doggies line-up? Will Geelong have the equivalent of Hird, Lucas and Jason Johnson sitting in the stands? No? Well, forget about it! Not happening tonight.

SATURDAY NIGHT

Trent Croad needed that extra week off in order to be fully prepared…for Brownlow night, that is! But water only please…he has a big game next weekend!

Second Preliminary Final – MCG, 7:00pm (local): Hawthorn v St Kilda (TEN)

HAWKS by 21: If there is to be an upset this weekend, it appears more likely that it will be Hawthorn who slip up. And if St Kilda do find a way to starve Buddy of the ball, this game could get very interesting. But the Hawks have been the second best team all year…besides, they want to rack up two flags and 50,000 members over the next five years and you don’t achieve that by losing preliminary finals to St Kilda!

St Kilda actually have a slight edge in finals experience having fallen at this hurdle twice in recent seasons. But, even if the Luke Ball gamble pays off, we doubt that they will go one further this time around. The Saints recovered from a so-so start to finish top four, which is a good effort, but that’s about where they should be. Sorry Harvs!