Tag Archives: Leon Davis

The Best Case Scenario! (Septocemia – 2009 AFL Finals Series)

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GoldenCat

Imitation is usually the best form of flattery…but not down at the Cattery!

So much for that whole ‘excruciating pressure‘ theory! Septocemia 2009 will have the best possible finale as the two best teams in the competition will face off in the AFL Grand Final. Sure, we love a Cinderella story…but if it happened to involve Collingwood, that sure is one ugly Cinderella!

Thankfully, we don’t have to worry about that.  St Kilda squeaked past the Bulldogs on Friday night but Geelong roared its way in by making an absolute mess of Collingwood to qualify for a third straight premiership decider. The Cats produced close to their best football on the big stage with their star players stepping up when it mattered most.

The Pies can talk about the experience being good for their group but this club has played finals in each of the past four years, with at least two finals in the last three Septembers. How much more experience do they want before they show some true substance?

DavisMalthouse

Look – photographic evidence that All-Australian Leon Davis actually got a touch in a finals game! Cue the Bronx cheers from Magpie fans…

Whether the intent of Mick Malthouse’s widely-discussed ‘pressure’ article was overblown is up for debate. But after this trouncing on preliminary final night, one thing is certain – few coaches will be under more pressure next season than Malthouse. Season 2010 will be his eleventh year in change and second last chance to ever win a premiership with Collingwood.

And he has to do it with a shattered group of players, including some alleged high quality guys who inexplicably disappear once the ‘August’ page flips over to the back of the calendar. And did we mention that his successor will be sitting in the office next door?

HulkHoward

Channel Ten gave us Hulk Hogan. Channel Seven gave us David Schwartz wearing tights. Advantage Ten!

While last night’s match lacked any drama or intensity after the main break, I won’t complain. The very thought of the Magpies winning a premiership freaks me right out so Geelong’s dominance after halftime was fantastic view ing for me and capped a dismal day for Collingwood, who were also flogged in the VFL prelim during the afternoon.

And it just gets better Magpie fans…because we can all sit back and relive Collingwood’s back-to-back grand final defeats to the Brisbane Lions on Channel Ten’s One HD! What a great way to get Grand Final week kick-started!!!

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Round Nineteen – Why So Sad?

OttensFinger

Why is Bomber Thompson sad? Because he has to actually do some real work in the coaches box nowadays! And his biggest asset just walks around in a suit, sipping water and trying to figure out where his finger has been…

After losing to the finals-bound Blues on Friday night, the Cats are in a little strife but Thompson appears to be keeping a cool exterior. There is no need to panic just yet…but the signs are not great for that second premiership. You wonder whether Bomber sought out Gary Ablett Senior at Geelong’s 150th birthday celebration and asked him what he was up to over the next couple of months? And what kind of shape was he in?

DumbQuestion

Don’t worry Ross, I’m equally stunned that any competent person would ask you that question!

Why is Ross Lyon sad? He wouldn’t have anything to be sad about, would he? Well, footy must be in a pretty sorry state if some dumb journo actually looked at him with a straight face and seriously used the “T-word” in reference to leaving out injured players! We should be talking about one “D” word…the depth and spirit of St Kilda’s list. Instead, D is for the dunces who are driving this “T-word” debate…which is now so misguided that it is embarrassing. Why?

A) It doesn’t aptly describe what is happening at those clubs who are struggling and in contention for priority draft picks anyway. B) It is now being applied (incorrectly) to any team that fails to field it’s strongest possible line-up, regardless of health status, and/or places a player in a position on the field that (according to the hack) is just slightly different to the way they always play. C) It detracts from the real issue of fans turning up to watch their team play hoping that they will lose…to the point that they are delighted when the opposing team kicks a goal after the siren to snatch victory.

But no…go ahead Herald Sun. Keep that coverage going. Overboard, overblown, over it!

RocketSpray

Have you idiots been reading the Herald Sun or something? This Eagles team are actually trying…they’re playing to win! So pull your bloody fingers out!!!

Why is Rodney Eade sad? Actually, he wouldn’t be sad that his top-four side couldn’t beat a bottom-four side at home on Saturday…he would be freakin’ furious!!! This setback now has critics writing off the Doggies as a premiership threat this year but Eade has announced that he is in for the long haul. But will Aker be joining them next year? Not if he keeps dribbling from the mouth like he does

LostTooth

Well, Buddy won’t forget his 100th game in a hurry…former teammate Zac Dawson made damn sure of that!

Why are all the football-loving ladies sad? Lance Franklin’s face has been tainted! Buddy went goalless in his 100th game as his Hawks faced elimination from the finals race and lost his front tooth in a marking contest…that’s a shit day by anyone’s standards! But by the end of the weekend, the tooth was back and the finals, unbelievably, are still within reach. And the ladies still love him!

BuddyToothless

Hey ladies, where are you going? Why are you running the other way? No female runs from me!!!

GreenDockers

Are the Port Adelaide players more concerned about wearing matching speedos than making the finals? Sure looks that way to me!

Why is the number eight sad? It’s not because seven ate nine…nobody wants eight! The last spot in the finals is up for grabs and nobody wants it. Not Hawthorn…not Essendonnot Port Adelaide. It became so farcical that Caroline Wilson dared suggest on 3AW pre-game last Sunday that Richmond, mathematically, could still finish eighth! Of course, they promptly went out and did what Richmond always do. And now the Sydney Swans have a crazy, outside chance at the spot all of a sudden! And to think that one of these sides has to feature in the opening week of the finals…

BradshawDraw

Bradshaw goal! Bombers gone! Brain hurts!

Why am I sad? I’m sad because having been dealt the potentially season-ending blow of Essendon’s kick-after-the-sirem draw against Brisbane…what was I subjected to on Channel Seven’s Footy Flashback show on Sunday arvo?

PluggersPoint

1996…Plugger’s Point! Prelim lost! Brain hurts more!

The Games:

JuddAblett

Channel Seven pre-game gets all futuristic! But are Juddy and Gazza ‘combat ready’ to take on each other…

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Or are they teaming together to fight an army of Agent Smiths from The Matrix?

Whoah…Carlton just beat Geelong? Does this mean that after all this taking the piss out of the Blues for their 2009 marketing slogan, they might actually be coming now? Or are the Cats just going? It’s probably a little from column A and a little from column B…but Carlton’s win column says that they will play finals footy this year! How long until the prehistoric figure of John Elliott resurfaces, attempting to sell some boneheaded theory about how he played some type of role in this resurgence?

ZacDawson

From Hawk discard to undefeated Saint key defender…no wonder Zac Dawson is so pumped up!

Hey, whaddaya know? Despite a number of high-profile omissions, a fully committed effort from a confident, ladder-leading club proved to be too good for a bottom-eight side struggling for consistency and cohesion. Why are we all so surprised by this? Because all the mug punters out there dropped the Saints like hot spuds? Well…whoop-de-freakin’-do!  The Perfect Season is still a possibility and, according to the reigning premiership coach, the flag is a high probability. Never thought I’d say this about a team containing Twerp Milne but…good on ’em!

GriffinGutted

Yes Ryan Griffin, this shit is really happening!

The Bulldogs blew it big time against an improving Eagles outfit that is starting to benefit from exposing their young players to regular senior footy. Apparently, the fact that West Coast had not won interstate since Chris Judd left town was no issue…well, it sure ain’t one now!

LonerganBlunder

No, Sam Lonergan!! NO NO NO!!! SWEET JESUS NO, DON’T DO IT!!!

Lonergan’s blunder in the final twenty seconds allowed the Lions time to find Daniel Bradshaw in the goal square for the match-tying goal. While the draw proved a thrilling end to the match, coach Matthew Knights will be left cursing the one that got away. Sure, Knights can talk about the draw being part of the learning curve for his side…but take a look at the image below taken just after the final siren. Don’t tell me that Knights is whispering the words ‘learning curve’ under his breath!

KnightsPissed

You reckon this coach is thinking “Learning curve. Learning curve. Learning curve.”? No, neither do I…

LeonMark

Just another stock-standard off-balance one-grab mark for Leon Davis…

Who would have thought that anybody from outside of South Australia would love going to Adelaide so much? Collingwood return to Victoria with another interstate scalp and, thanks to the upstart West Coast Eagles, find themselves in third spot and what currently appears to be the preferred qualifying final opponent of second-placed Geelong rather that first-placed St Kilda.  It could have been the Crows who capitalised on the silly Doggies’ slip-up but now have to face up to their own lost opportunity.

DarrenCrocker

Wonder if Darren had a ‘Barry’ following too many post-victory drinks? Hey, it was his first win as coach – leave him be!

With Australia’s love of rhyming slang, the last thing you want is defeat after defeat when your name is Crocker! Fortunately, interum coach Darren Crocker can finally celebrate a win as the Kangaroos won for the first time in ages. Melbourne were so bad that the Herald Sun decided that they were not “t-wording”…they were just no good!

SwansKids

We all know that when you lose experienced players, clubs like to ‘play the kids’…but surely the Swans are taking this idea a little bit too far!!!

No, they are Michael O’Loughlin’s kids and guiding them through the banner was probably his toughest assignment for the day as Sydney celebrated Mickey O’s 300th with a comprehensive win over Richmond. While the Swans had every reason to feel good about their future, the Tigers went into ‘cultural crisis’ mode as Jade Rawlings called out the players for slipping into long-held bad habits. Benny Gale would understand that culture as well as anybody…so good luck to him. He’ll need it…

derrick4

This is the guy that inspired the Dockers – but he’s wearing red?

Port Adelaide could have virtually sewn up a finals spot with a win over lowly Fremantle. Of course, they cocked it up! The Dockers never looked like losing against the Power and it was all thanks to Mark Harvey and his pre-match motivation using a former NFL player that none of the players would have ever heard of. Derrick Thomas was a great player for the Kansas City Chiefs…but why didn’t he go choose a Minnesota Vikings player like Fran Tarkenton? At least they wear the same colours…

Tark

This is the guy they should have used – somebody who actually won lots of games wearing the colour purple!

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

0191Bfantasytrophyplaque

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!

francis_and_david

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.

Round Seventeen – Oh So Bitter!

AfterSiren

Hawthorn thought they had the upper hand over rivals Geelong…until Bartel’s point after the siren changed everything!

Rivalry round. It kinda snuck up on us a bit…probably because the League didn’t seem to dedicate a lot of time on promoting the event. They did create a web page where you can spend lots of money on sponsors product that you either already have or don’t really need! So that’s something…I guess.

But, as you would expect, the footy did all the talking and the weekend delivered some outstanding games. Not always pretty, some downright ugly, but never boring! And the level of some of these rivalries has now intensified to greater levels after round seventeen action.

NeonLeon

No doubting who is number one right now in the Collingwood-Carlton rivalry. It’s Neon Leon and the Pies!

Geelong and Hawthorn added another exhilarating chapter to their playing history…but this time it was the Cats who got one over the Hawks. Sure, it wasn’t a grand final but a big win just the same. Collingwood got one over Carlton in one of the longest standing rivalries in the game. And while all the heritage-listed footy journos in Melbourne might scoff at the thought that the rivalry between the Crows and Power is the biggest right now, they may have a point. There was no talk about revenge in the lead up to Pies verses Blues…or ‘The Death Derby’! Only in Adelaide…

DogsBench

Whoops! Scott Welsh’s screw-up made the Doggies interchange bench a very intense place to be…

That long-standing rivalry between modern technology and a footballer’s brain came to the fore on Saturday night when failure to read a magnetic whiteboard resulted in 19 Western Bulldogs starting on the ground in the final quarter! The battle between player and umpire also intensified with Hawk coach Alastair Clarkson wondering whether Buddy Franklin will receive a free kick any time soon. And the League flat out refuses to concede defeat in the battle for respectability in the football world regarding the priority draft pick system. Andy D is not afraid to take on his rivals in this one…but there are so damn many of them, would he even have the time?

MaherStuffup

This post-match interview was TV so bad that you couldn’t look away…so expect Channel Nine buy it and make it a 20-episode series!

But our favourite new rivalry was started by an innocent but talkative boundary rider after the Cats-Hawks game…it’s Cancer verses Depression! Channel Ten’s Andy Maher conducted a highly awkward post-match interview with Geelong captain (for the day) Cameron Ling where he babbled on about the importance of playing for the BeyondBlue cup. But, according to Maher, BeyondBlue  are assisting in the fight against cancer! Ling did his absolute best to remain composed before correcting Maher that BeyondBlue is actually the national depression initiative! Ling then explained why it was such a prominent issue for people in Geelong right now! Probably not the best time to stuff that one up on live TV…

That was followed by an equally awkward presentation where the lady with the cup was completely ignored, only given a short “pass it over” command from Maher before she just wandered off…which Ling probably wished he could have done as well! Good to see that the rivalry between the footy media and the English language is still alive and well…

The Games:

MagpieMark

“Marriage proposal, wedding day, birth of a child…forget it! Marking the footy after a Collingwood goal will be the happiest moment of this Magpie fan’s entire life!

So, how is that top-four finish for Carlton looking now? And how could a story like that run in The Age and not be written by Blues lover Robert Walls? At least Wallsy is a realist…predicting that Collingwood would find more goal scorers and hold steady in defence against the Fev-focused Carlton. Spot on. It wasn’t pretty though and Brett Ratten should have plenty of kicking drills in mind for his boys this week!

BartelCelebrates

Geelong have won a shitload of games recently but they would have never celebrated a victory so much since grand final day in 2007!

James Bartel…you friggin’ beauty! Geelong come from 28 points down in the final term to beat Hawthorn with a point after the siren. The Cats may have injuries galore but wins like this can do wonders for their self belief. The Hawks may have let more than just four points slip on Saturday…the premiership defence might just have ended as well!

SandilandsMedal

211cm Aaron Sandilands…a tough assignment for opposing ruckmen and presenters-draping-medals-over-his-head alike!

Hard to believe that Fremantle could have a mental advantage over anybody but it’s starting to look that way with the Western Derby. The Dockers have now won five straight against the West Coast after winning a tight one by less than a kick. Apparently the win is a great indicator for what Freo can achieve in the future…yep, like we have never heard that about the Dockers! Still waiting…


MilneSucks

If this guy ends up a winner on Grand Final day, and it’s looking very likely, I will throw up a little in my mouth…

If, like me, you made the trendy pick of the Bulldogs to end St Kilda’s quest for The Perfect Season…then you must be feeling as stupid as I do right now! The Saints dominated early, weathered the storm in the middle and ran riot in the end. And now they are going to win every game on their way to the flag and that little twerp Stephen Milne will become…don’t make me type it…a premiership player! What a terrifying thought!!! Next game, quickly…

BrownyRules

Finals footy, Coleman medals…Jonathan Brown has missed out recently but is just about to get all that back again!

Jono Brown goes berserk with eight goals as the Brisbane Lions cruise past North Melbourne to pretty much ensure themselves a spot in the finals. Browny is now looking good for the Coleman medal having overtaken Brendan Fevola at the top of the goal kicking list – which would be a fair result considering one of those blokes tries his guts out every week and doesn’t sulk it up…and the other clearly doesn’t!

SydneyMelbourne

This is probably the highlight of the Sydney-Melbourne match…that there was a final score and it was over!

The rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne, or more generally New South Wales and Victoria, has been alive and well in all aspects of life, especially sports, for over 100 years…except for AFL footy! The Swans and Demons don’t have any semblance of intense rivalry – hence this match being played in front of a few thousand curious onlookers in Canberra. Sydney won, by the way…

TigersVictory

They blew it last week and they almost blew it this week too…but the Tigers finally get to belt out that kick-ass club song again!

It’s a Monday night, the last day in August, and the Essendon players will be pissed, tired, emotional and dressed up  in women’s clothing or whatever it is they do at the end of season party. If they start to wonder why they are not planning for an elimination final game that weekend, they have Sunday’s effort to thank! Richmond wins and they thoroughly deserve it…

BirdmanFlies

Hey, I remember you…you’re Brett “The Birdman” Burton!!! Welcome back.

The Adelaide Crows take the honours in the Showdown and become the toast of the town…much to the delight of a large majority of that town! A 70-point win, Brett Burton back doing what he does best, damaging Port’s chances at sneaking into the finals and the opportunity to laugh at Chad Cornes -Rivalry Round could not have been any more perfect for Crows fans.

What A Nailbiter! (Geekin’ Out – Fantasy Footy)

BryceGibbs

Forget Michael Gardiner…our last-gasp hero was Carlton’s Bryce Gibbs! A couple of late stats for him against Freo secured a vital win for Half Back Flanker!

And you thought the St Kilda-Geelong match produced a grandstand finish…what about Half Back Flanker’s AFL Dream Team public league match! Having lost four of the past five matches in this league, nothing short of victory would suffice and heading into the final two minutes of the last match of the round, HBF was trailing the third-placed NoobsRUs by just four points. Keeping a close eye on the live scoring, I looked on nervously in the hope that one of my Dockers or Blues would pick up the necessary points…and Bryce Gibbs delivered to give us a nine-point win!!!

In fact, we scooped the pool in all our leagues last week – three wins from three in our AFL Dream Team leagues, a 49-point triumph in AFL Premium Dream Team and a nice effort with no contributions from players Dean Cox and Steve Johnson to get up in our Herald Sun Super Coach league. Now with four rounds to play before the fantasy finals, we look certain to be involved in the big games for four of our leagues while a tight race to the finals looms in the Twitter DT league.

There was plenty of good news at the selection table with some more-than-handy players returning this week; including Dean Cox, Chad Cornes, Cyril Rioli, Jobe Watson and Josh Drummond. But no Matthew Pavlich, Steve Johnson is out again and now Hayden Skipworth has a knee problem! So much for saving all our trades this round…unless we choose to go in one or two players short. Again!

skipworth_rd4_a

We have already endured injury woes with Skipworth early in the year…how long will he be out for now?

Dream Team 26,470 points overall, 18,723th place – nice little jump in the overall standings

Last Week: 2,011 points – only the third 2,000 plus score for the year, hopefully can pull out a few more in upcoming weeks.

League Results

Public League – defeated NoobsRUs (2,002). Final-minute triumph a much-needed win that keeps top-four hopes alive.

SENFrank01 – defeated Leica Hawk (1,726). Only out of the four on percentage and look assured of finals now.

Twitter DT – defeated The Irish Invaders (1,890). Now one game back from the 4th placed Irish but spot in the eight is far from assured.

Ladder Positions

Public League – 7th place (7-4, 115.72%)

SENFrank01 – 5th place (7-4, 102.83%)

Twitter DT – 5th place (7-4, 104.60%)

Good:  Eleven players over 90 points, eight of those over 100. Carlton duo Gibbs (140) and Judd (132) were great while Melbourne’s Jack Grimes (143) has provided a massive boost for us in defence.

Bad: Paddy Ryder (52) was looking mighty tired on Friday night and his scores might start to suffer from here on in. The same might be happening to Daniel Rich (52) but it’s probably time to upgrade him anyway. Not sure what Ryan Houlihan’s excuse is though…his 53 indicative of his drop-off since the early rounds.

Ugly: Who would have thought that Lance Franklin, in any sense, would be tagged as ‘ugly’! He was lucky to wind up with a 33 and actually worth less than Houlihan now. What do we do with him now?

Next opponents:

Public League – 15th placed O’Brien (1,334 last week). A big win would certainly help our top-four push…we might just get one here!

SENFrank01 – 9th placed Boost  (1,962 last week). Decent score last week playing only one ruckman, pretty even contest.

Twitter DT – 3rd placed Bloodbath 1945  (1,792 last week). Three players short last week so wondering if they are out of trades? If not, and if Cox is back, then we might be in trouble.

Potential changes/trades: Six trades left and one player short in attack…but very tempted to leave it that way this week. I could trade out Taylor Walker at a pinch for somebody like Freo’s Hayden Ballantyne and make a tidy profit as well as fielding 22 players this week. But Ballantyne won’t win me a fantasy flag and that leaves our forward line with two injured players (Pav and Skippy) a few guys out of form (Houlihan, Franklin and Leon Davis) and another rookie in Liam Jurrah. Cannot afford any more sideways moves in this area…

Also tempted to cash in Hawk Beau Muston for Kangaroo Liam Anthony. It gives us an extra 100 grand in the cap and Anthony could well fill in as a sixth midfielder if required. We really want to add two to three elite players for the finals and we have to raise the cash somehow. Might be a last-minute decision…

Captain: Both Bryce Gibbs and Chris Judd had a field day last round and face Richmond this week. I suspect that redheaded Tiger tagger Daniel Jackson will torment Judd all day so Gibbs might be the safer option.

StevieJOut

Steve Johnson pulled out late last week and will now miss again…um, that’s not good.

Super Coach 28,817 points overall, 14,028th place – big leap in the overall, highest mark since round four.

Last Week: 2,252 points – highest score since round three and only had twenty scoring players!

League Results

GMHBA – defeated Cool Cats (2,132). Good win that makes finals a definite, top-four a real possibility

Ladder Positions

GMHBA – 3rd place (8-3, 109.76%)

Good:  Plenty of good! Fourteen players over 90, eleven over 100 and huge games from Chris Judd (165), James Bartel (149), Grimes (142), Paul Chapman (139) and Jed Adcock (134). Removing Shane Mumford last week and adding Mark Jamar (80) provided immediate dividends.

Bad:  Lost Steve Johnson on Sunday and had no reserve to take his spot. Having already gambled with Cox, this made me a tad nervous…

Ugly: Heath Grundy. Played him for weeks and suffered through his 63-point average input. Bench him…and he racks up 100 points and outscores Brendon Goddard? Why now? That pissed me off…

Next opponents:

GMHBA – 4th placed Grenaguns (2,254 last week). Played one short and could have Josh Drummond and Steve Johnson returning this week.

Potential changes/trades: Will take an anti-trade stance in Super Coach as well…even though we are two players short in the forward line at the moment! Could do the Muston-for-Anthony deal and have close to 400 grand to splash on upgrades in the finals…we’ll see.

This move gives us 394 gra

Captain: Sticking with Gary Ablett…even though ten of my players registered higher sores last week than he did. That won’t ever happen again!

Brent Prismall

Young Bomber Brent Prismall…welcome aboard! But will he make the starting line-up?

Premium Dream Team

Last Week: 1,708 points – Best weekly score by a loooong way. Eighteen fit players seems to help…must remember this!

League Results

Public League – defeated Brady Way Big Hits (1,659). Win streak now at four but percentage not that healthy so need to keep winning to stay up there.

Ladder Positions

Public League – 3rd place (4-1, 100.93%)

Good:  Five scores over 100, including the big ones from Grimes and Gibbs. Sam Gilbert’s performance (119) in the Sunday blockbuster was also great.

Bad:  Ryan Houlihan (53) might find himself on the bench if Cyril Rioli is right to play this week. Jason Blake will also be on the bench as our reserve ruckman but the bad thing is – he outscored starting ruckman Hamish McIntosh 108-67. Still won’t start him though…

Ugly: Our reserve midfielder Shane O’Bree (46) couldn’t match the output of the injured Jobe Watson and was our only player to score less than 50 points. That just won’t cut it.

Next opponents:

Public League – 5th placed peckin away  (1,715 last week). Outdid me by just seven points…will probably live or die behind a couple of decisions that need to be made at selection.

Potential changes/trades: Having witnessed the below-par game of O’Bree and the impressive effort of new Bomber Brent Prismall, wasted no time in making that trade on Sunday night. Even though Jobe Watson has been picked this week, Prismall will play in his place. Also managed to add another chapter to the Chad Cornes debacle – having mistakedly drafted him as a midfielder instead of a defender, only to see him pick up a knee injury and forcing me to dump him from the team. At the news he would return this week, I almost picked him up on Monday afternoon but opted out…mainly due to some uncertainty as to who to drop. By the time I went back on Tuesday, Cornes had been picked up already. Maybe it’s just as well…but he will probably come bak to haunt me!

Captain: Gibbs again – particularly with Adam Cooney facing a tougher opponent in Collingwood and Brad Sewell’s Hawks taking on the Roos in Tassie.

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

dockerspavo

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!

haselbyemotional

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.

Round Nine – Where It Was All About Aker…Again!

This round of footy was meant to be a celebration for these guys…

DreamtimeG

Instead, it ended up being all about this guy!

AkerSpotlight

So that was Indigenous Round. Well, you could have fooled me. The week of round nine should have been all about celebrating the likes of Andrew McLeod and the other 81 indigenous players who add so much to the AFL. Instead the focus was hijacked by ‘a senior Western Bulldogs player’ and round nine turned into a week-long soapbox for one individual who, despite his lofty achievements and rare skills, gives many people the shits.

Sure, 300 games is a great achievement and his standard of play is still very high…but he just doesn’t know when to shut the hell up! Which means, of course, that the Herald Sun felt obliged to give us ‘Aker Gold’ every damn day…and probably coughed up good dollars for the privilege of his ‘intellectual property’. Don’t think that Aker would spill his guts for free!

Give top billing to the many players that an entire round of football is dedicated to? Nah! Let’s focus on somebody who is starting to come across as sad and bitter, criticising the most respected figures in the game, will probably never be welcome at the club where he starred and will probably crack the shits with the Dogs when (not if…when!) he backflips on retirement plans and they cannot accommodate him. That’s another Aker public campaign to look forward to…

Anyway, despite a thrilling Friday night game between the Cats and Dogs, where That Guy did play a heck of a game, surely it was time to take an Aker-break? Of course not! The following night, right before Dreamtime at the ‘G, Before The Game spent more than half the show lauding That Guy and giving him a platform to show how ‘funny’ he can be…

ENOUGH AL-FREAKIN’-READY!!!

Looking forward to a Aker-free lead up to this week’s round of football…or is that too much to ask?

The Games:

CatsUnhappy

Um…you boys realise that you actually won the game? Would it kill any of you to give us a big smile? Geez – talk about ungrateful!

Geelong remain undefeated…but only just! Brad Johnson’s checkside kick after the siren could have won the game for the Bulldogs but he couldn’t produce the fairytale finish. The Cats survive a stern test without their only good key forward to win their 51st game in the last 54 starts…but hey, let’s all talk about Aker some more!

RonBurgundy

Look Veronica…it’s Melbourne’s best domed stadium ever!!!

Oh yes, Ron – do me on it!!!

Tuned into AM radio behemoth 3AW to get a progress score for the North Melbourne-Fremantle game and all I heard was some enlightening banter about how half the commentators didn’t even know who Ron Burgundy was and had never seen the movie Anchorman. So rather than listen to the rest of the match, I went to my DVD collection and watched Anchorman instead!

North Melbourne won, by the way…

McLeod313

Not only has Andrew McLeod played more games than Aker, the only person who really hates him is Lleyton Hewitt! But Aker? It would be quicker to name all the people that actually like him…

When you play the Crows  at AAMI Stadium, you don’t expect to be part of a massive goalfest. But come on Carlton… zero goals in the first half? Adelaide bring it home for new games record holder McLeod and the Blues may have lost more than just the four points…not good! We know they’re coming…we just don’t know when!

WallaceNewman

Is that kid presenting an olive branch to Terry Wallace and Chris Newman? And is that Craig Hutchison hiding inside his tracksuit top?

When Richmond were leading by two goals  late in the third quarter, did Herald Sun hack Mark Robinson, in some massive rush to be first with the news, publish an article online saying that the Tigers actually won Dreamtime at the ‘G? Did fellow hack Craig Hutchison report that Richmond had actually won, Mitch Morton finished with seven goals and that Terry Wallace was given a three year extension on his contract? No? Well, that’s why you don’t just f&!#@$g guess these things!!! Essendon blitz Richmond in the second half and make the Tigers sad…

CryingCub

Yep…that just about sums it up! Chin up kid, they’ll come good. Just don’t ask me when…

PiesRaffle

Dane Swan and Leon Davis await the draw for the raffle – winner gets to waltz in for an easy shot at goal. Leon had the winning ticket!

Things haven’t quite worked out for Collingwood in the twelve months since they hammered Geelong in that Friday night match in 2008. But they managed a nice win in the west against the Eagles on Saturday night. According to the WA press, the loss has put a massive dent into West Coast’s finals aspirations. West Coast had finals aspirations? Really?

GrundyScreamer

Heath Grundy with an absolute screamer!!! I wish that screamers were worth 50 points in Super Coach – then he might be worth keeping in my team..

Daniel Motlop’s You Tube video was the talk of the football world this week and had the Swans running scared! Well, they must have extended their defensive zone into the third row of the grandstand at the SCG because Motlop could only kick one goal as the Swans thumped Port Adelaide. Paul Roos feels his side is starting to gain some belief…well, at least they don’t believe every video they see!

LyonPress

Ross Lyon struggles with the reality that as his team keeps winning, he has to keep picking Stephen Milne!

If the aim for St Kilda on Sunday was to remain unbeaten…mission accomplished. If the other aim was to kick straight in order to remain unbeaten…well, maybe next week. The Saints needed some luck in the end to sink the Lions, particularly from that arsey bastard Milne, but Vossy was very pleased with his boys. Well, so he tells us…privately, he should be pretty pissed off!

RobboSmartarse

Has anybody ever failed to score from ten centimetres out in the goal square? Only a smartarse like Russell Robertson!!!

Are Hawthorn really starting to get its act together? Or did they just play Melbourne? Either way, the Hawks had little trouble against the Dees and even some kid with robotic knees did as he pleased! Dean Bailey is cursing his side’s horribly slow starts to games but if they wanted to to get one over Hawthorn, the answer would be easy…take over Tasmania!