Tag Archives: Matthew Lloyd

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

All Eyes On The Juddster! (Media Street)

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Visy ambassador Chris Judd reacts badly to Michael Rischitelli’s confession that he doesn’t recycle…

Two weeks ago, it was Buddy. Last week, it was Lloydy. This week…Chris Judd? For an alleged eye gouge? Not THE Chris Judd, surely! This can’t be true…must be a case of mistaken identity. Fev is the cause of all problems at the Blues, isn’t he? Must have been Fev! Or even that dancing guy of the same name that married Jennifer Lopez in 2001!

No, it’s true. Carlton captain Chris Judd has been busted for inexplicibly fiddling with the face of Brisbane Lion Michael Rischitelli during Saturday night’s elimination final! The Ruddster will be shattered…

Mr Judd will miss the first three rounds of 2010 unless he takes the early plea, reducing it down to two matches. But relax, football fans – not only is Judd eligible to win the Brownlow Medal this year and next, he can still attend football’s night of nights with his glamorous partner Rebecca Twigley. Forget the AFL tribunal…imagine the trouble he would have been in at home if they weren’t allowed to go!

TwigsJudd

No Brownlow Medal night? Juddy would be lucky to escape with a bloody nose if that ever happened…

Interesting to see whether the Blues challenge this decision as it appears the Match Review Panel have not left much room for them to move. The incident was listed as a ‘misconduct offence in that he made unreasonable and unnecessary contact to the face’ and assessed as intentional conduct (three points), low impact (one point) and high contact (two points). With those parameters in mind, no doubt it was intentional and the face certainly falls in the ‘high’ category. Unless they can downgrade ‘low’ impact to ‘barely any’, I can’t see how Judd can beat this one.

ShutUpJudd

That’s enough Chris…No need to say any more…Ok, you need to stop…Just shut up now…GOD, MAN – WHAT ARE YOU SAYING?! STOP TALKING ALREADY!!!

What certainly works against him are comments made the day after the gut-wrenching loss to the Lions where he denied eye gouging Rischitelli. For reasons that cannot be explained, except for an early start on Mad Monday festivities, the normally measured Judd revealed he was aiming for some type of martial arts style pressure point on the guy’s face! Yeah, that helped clear things up.

Whether he was fair dinkum or not, it was probably the dumbest thing I’ve heard this year. And now we have knob-ends like Craig Hutchison chasing martial arts experts for comment and floating theories about how it could have been lethal. Nice work!

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When the going gets tough, Judd’s super tough…with a Hong Kong Phooey chop!

Something else that would work against any potential challenge is that incident back in 2007 where then-Eagle Judd was initially charged with eye gouging Campbell Brown in a match down in Tasmania. After some ‘generous’ evidence from Brown, Judd walked free. The Hawk hard man appeared to abide by the strict rules of the ‘player code’ on this occasion, though it certainly doesn’t apply in any incident involving Matthew Lloyd.

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Here is Chris Judd doing ‘nothing’ to Campbell Brown’s eye in 2007.

Maybe Judd threatened Brown with some pressure point action…or did he use the Jedi mind trick?

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If Judd gets off this charge, we will know that the Force is with him!

I Got A Fever! (Septocemia – 2009 AFL Finals Series)

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PaddyPunch

No final for you, Paddy. But if you have a handful of jumper when you hit a bloke, exactly like Luke Hodge did to you, you get away with it. Jumper punch equals no suspension…

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Same for you, Lloydy – a handful of jumper and you get away with it. Jumper Bump equals no suspension…ok, maybe not!

It’s finals time…you little ripper!!! After a home-and-away season filled with thrills, surprises, inspiring stories and some downright weirdness, we have eight teams left and four weeks to sort out the wheat from the crap.

This September, the League have again gone into promotional overdrive and declared the finals series as being In A League Of Its Own…it’s going to be harder, faster and fiercerer than ever before! Well, that’s a relief.

Personally, I think that the propensity for rugby league players to poo on the floor of hotels kinda puts the NRL in a league of their own but that’s just me.

Here at Half Back Flanker, the finals series will always be known as Septocemia in homage to my favourite AFL finals promotion from 2007 when the League attempted to transport us all to the mystical footballing fairyland that was Septopia! And it all kicks off tonight when Adelaide defeats Essendon in the opening game of the finals series…come on – they can’t win, can they?

FRIDAY NIGHT

BurtonMOTY

How the heck are you supposed to defend against this?

First Elimination FinalAAMI Stadium, 7:45pm (local): Adelaide v Essendon (SEVEN)

Gee, they are getting a little bit excited in Adelaide, aren’t they? Apparently this side is going to make history because they are better than the group that won two flags in the nineties! They are fully primed for finals action, choc full of flair (a term not usually associated with the Crows) and not even remotely fussed about missing a couple of key players. Are they getting too far ahead of themselves? Even if they are, they probably won’t get caught out this week…

BombersCelebrate

Essendon might just celebrate wildly tonight…if they kick more than two goals in a row against the stingy Crows, that is!

…because they are facing a depleted Essendon outfit that have little finals experience and a crap interstate record. They have some nice young kids and that ‘nothing to lose’ attitude but can the Bombers really pull off an upset of massive proportions? Um…no. Just no.

CROWS by 35

SATURDAY AFTERNOON

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Time for more Gary Ablett magic…the Cats certainly need some!

Second Qualifying Final MCG, 2:30pm (local): Geelong v Western Bulldogs (TEN)

Poor Geelong…what do you have to do to earn some respect around here? You dominate the comp for almost three seasons yet the Doggies were stoked to finish third (don’t be fooled!) to play them and avoid St Kilda. The Cats will find it tough to go all the way this year but with a little tackling practice and some good players returning, they might just earn the week off. This bloke sure hopes they do

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Beating the Cats, a prelim final, a week off…surely that would be worth two thumbs up, Rocket?

The Bulldogs have a couple of nice additions as well, meaning the coach has had one of those nasty selection headaches all week! It’s not about revenge from the 2008 finals…well, maybe a little – however the Dogs say they are better and not bitter. They are definitely better but if they can’t shake Geelong here, their path to the flag will become extremely difficult.

CATS by 21

SATURDAY NIGHT

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Are Brisbane a little nervous leading into this elimination final? Looks that way to me…

Second Elimination Final – GABBA, 7:30pm (local): Brisbane v Carlton (TEN)

The once-mighty Brisbane return to finals action but there were concerns early in the week that they might not be able to field a full team! Of course, that all changed come selection time and you just know that Michael Voss has been waiting most of his adult life to play all these crazy coaching mind games!!! Between that and his Rising Star, Vossy would be loving the week…

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Given that he stops trying in the odd game throughout the season, Fev should be fresh and ready to fire in the finals!

And Blues fans are loving it too because Carlton are here – back in the finals! They would have loved it a little more had their team not screwed up royally last weekend to lose the home final…but they have a proven finals performer leading the way and the timely addition of a few time-challenged players. But I think that every Blues player can chuck their alarm clocks away after the weekend because they will be on holidays.

LIONS by 9

SUNDAY

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To play Max or not to play Max…what a tricky question

First Qualifying Final – MCG, 2:40pm (local): St Kilda v Collingwood (SEVEN)

A lot can change in a month. St Kilda went from being on the verge of immortality four weeks ago to being questioned about their somewhat flaky play during irrelevant games and upcoming team selection issues. But they have finished off an outstanding regular season and can focus on winning that flag…though facing the Pies at the ‘G is not the greatest reward for finishing a clear first.

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Not meaning to bash Collingwood…but is THIS what we want to see on Grand Final day???

Collingwood didn’t fire in last week’s big game but it might be the kick in the arse they needed. But Josh Fraser has a bit of ‘the Adelaides’ about him; he reckons his Pies are fully primed for finals action and poised to go all the way. Yet he also thinks that Anthony Rocca can still play a role…really? Rocca might get a chance if/when St Kilda do the business on Sunday but not sure how much help that will be…

SAINTS by 19

Grand Final Week – Fantasy Finals Frenzy! (Geekin’ Out – Fantasy Footy)

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Hey, Mad Monday for fantasy footy geeks can get pretty crazy too!!!

September is now upon us, which means that fantasy must make way for the reality of what promises to be (all together now…) “The Best Finals Series In Recent Memory”! Well, the best since last year – and until next year, of course…

That said, the top four teams all look capable of winning through to a grand final so it will be fascinating to see which two earn the week off in the next few days and if they can follow up again in the preliminary final. Adelaide appear to be the only outsider truly capable of shaking up the finals with a win over a top four opponent but needs to overcome a far from glittering finals record to do so.

But before we delve too far into the AFL finals series (or ‘the real stuff’) let’s take a look at how Half Back Flanker fared in ‘the imaginary stuff’…the grand final week of our fantasy footy leagues! We started the season with five leagues over three separate competitions – the AFL Dream Team, Herald Sun Super Coach and the AFL Premium Dream Team. Despite taking an almost-too-conservative approach to trading in order to have options galore for the finals, all five squads finished inside the top eight, with only the Super Coach team failing to make the top four…and subsequently bombing out straight away in the elimination final.

However, week one was a triumph for all our other squads with four comprehensive wins – although they were mostly due to St Kilda’s mass omissions unsettling the lineups for our higher-ranked opponents. With a direct path to the preliminary final, we kicked back during the semi finals with fingers crossed that injury wouldn’t strike any of our players…which, of course, it did!

The injuries, plus a stupidly unnecessary panic trade in week one of the finals, forced me to use my last two trades of the Dream Team comp in preliminary final week, hampering my ability to upgrade the midfield. It was good enough to get me into two of the three grand finals but missed out in the Francis Leach SEN league – the one I really wanted to win. Oh well.

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For the second consecutive year, he has come up big in round 22 and helped us win a virtual flag. If you need a player to fire in fantasy footy grand final week, Brett Deledio is your man! Write it on your hand so you don’t forget!!!

So with three virtual premierships up for grabs last weekend; two in Dream Team and one in Premium Dream Team; how did we fare? Well, the wrap-up from last weekend is below but we couldn’t produce our best performance of the season, losing in the Twitter DT grand final and the Premium DT…badly! But we didn’t come home empty handed either, sweeping to victory in our DT Public league…repeating our premiership win in last season’s DT Public league. Back-to-back baby!

But with round one of the 2010 season many months away, what’s a poor fantasy footy geek supposed to do? Well, there is always the AFL Finals Dream Team! Plus we have two grand finals this weekend in rugby league fantasy comps. Then there’s the early stages of the A-League and English Premier League seasons…and the new NFL season kicks off in the States next week…and the NBA around November.

Maybe this fantasy sports thing is starting to get out of hand…

Dream Team 42,864 points overall, 8,693rd place – was way back in 20,948th place nine weeks ago so a good finish to the season.

Public League

Grand Final – defeated Roberts Rollers by 1,965 to 1,827. Lost David Wirrpanda on the eve of the match which proved costly. And seeing Campbell Brown score a lowly 38 for Roberts Rollers made my win just that little bit sweeter!

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Grand Final – lost to Bloodbath 1945 by 1,965 to 2,190. Too good luke2177, too good!

Good:  Brett Deledio (136) and Bryce Gibbs (128) have been great during the fantasy finals . And three others topped the ton, including Geelong’s Simon Hogan (who came in for Lance Franklin) with an even 100 points.

Bad:  Greg Broughton’s last three weeks were well down but his 43 on the weekend was his lowest score of the season. Ditto for Hamish McIntosh (47). And while it didn’t really make a difference, playing Beau Muston (55) at the expense of Daniel Rich (82) and Patrick Dangerfield (74) didn’t work.

Ugly: Apart from Gibbs, all our elite midfielders failed to fire. Captain Dane Swan (81), Chris Judd (77) and Joel Selwood (75) all underperformed while Scott Pendlebury didn’t even front! And worst of all, we used our last trade on Alan Didak and he failed to deliver, averaging just 75.5 points during the past two rounds.

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Geez, you hate to see this happen on the footy field…especially if the guy knocked out is your captain during fantasy footy grand final week. D’OH!!!

Premium Dream Team

Public League

Grand Final – lost to Silly Fairies by 1,532 to 1,827. Wow, that was ugly! Not unexpected, mind you…I’m still trying to figure out how I scraped into fourth spot a month ago, let alone playing off for the flag!

Good:  The midfielders who weren’t stretchered off the ground with a fractured cheekbone and eye socket! Bernie Vince (134) topped 100 in eight of this competition’s 13 weeks. while Gibbs (124), Adam Cooney (105) and Brent Prismall (101) also delivered. Colin Sylvia was on his was to a 200-plus score before a quiet second half saw him finish with 128.

Bad:  My defenders have been nothing but trouble since my draft thirteen weeks ago. Josh Drummond (22) failed to complete another game while the Cale Hooker (39) experiment failed. Aaron Davey (54) also struggled to shake a strong tag.

Ugly: Sewell had 60 point to half time and then Lloyd happened…any faint hope I had was snuffed out at this point! And to rub salt into the wound, all my non-scoring reserves fired – Clint Bartram (91) would have been my best defender had his score counted while Justin Koschitzke (91) almost doubled McIntosh’s output!

Round Twenty Two – Well, Wasn’t That Fun!

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The League announced the finals schedule during an ad break on Channel Seven’s Dancing With The Stars

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…and it looks like Tim Watson grabbed one of the latin dancers from the show to help him!

And just like that, the AFL home-and-away season is done and dusted. It only seems like yesterday that Richmond was being destroyed by Carlton in the season opener, doesn’t it? Actually, no it doesn’t! Season 2009 has been so eventful and action packed that it has felt like this long-standing, never-ending provider of highlights, lowlights and bizarre occurrences. Hard to believe that it is now over…

But never fear, we have a finals campaign that will undoubtedly provide even more of the wonderful, the weird and the wackiness that we’ve come to expect from footy these days. And if round twenty two is anything to go by, this year’s finals series is going to be plenty wacky! It started with (yet) another deplorable showing from Richmond against a West Coast team that the Herald Sun flat-out accused of tanking in order to qualify for a priority draft pick yet ended up winning eight games and would have finished above Hawthorn had they snuck a ninth win! What chance they receive a well-deserved apology from the hacks? Hmmm, not great…

The round then finished with the Western Bulldogs winning by just enough points to leapfrog Collingwood into third spot on the ladder; meaning that they now face the (seemingly) more vulnerable Geelong and the Pies are relegated to fourth and a date with the (almost) all-conquering Saints. But it was the events on the Saturday afternoon of the final round that will be remembered for a very long time to come…

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Clearly Matthew Lloyd didn’t read any of those articles about the bump being dead last week. He should probably avoid reading the papers this week as well!

The playoff for eighth spot always promised to be memorable for one reason or another. And if you thought Essendon and Hawthorn hated each other before Saturday’s game…how about now! Bombers captain Matthew Lloyd’s attempt to exert some influence on the second half ended up with Brad Sewell ironed out on the ground, sparking a wild response from the Hawks that continued on after the match. This included coach Alastair Clarkson going off his nut as he left the ground and hardnut Campbell Brown talking all sorts of smack from the rooms.

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Pot-Kettle? Takes one to know one? Stones-Glass Houses? Own backyard? Call it what you like, they all seem to work in this case!

Essendon took charge in the second half to qualify for September, something Matthew Knights feels they deserve but it’s a view not shared by their opposition. For the Hawks, who lost control of their composure and the match following The Incident, it was a frustrating end to an equally frustrating season that saw them behind the eight-ball all year as they tried to defend their fine win in 2008. They will be back in 2010, and regardless of whether Mr Lloyd is still available, that first Hawks-Bombers match will be…emotional!

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Embarrassing yourself by going bezerk at the umpires while your wife/girlfriend/significant-other looks away and laughs at you! Don’t worry Jeff, it’s happened to all of us!!!

Essendon’s win left us with the potential of a blockbuster elimination final at the ‘G against Carlton. All the Blues needed to do was claim fifth place on Saturday evening…but no! Now both teams head interstate this weekend and will probably head home with their season over, free to drink as much alcohol as they can manage on the flight back! The Blues might feel they will be better off for banning three players for a spot of tardiness but what they really need is a mature response this week in an elimination final is Brisbane. Yep, a team with Brendan Fevola needs to show maturity…gulp!

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Cheer up, Micky O! What’s that? It’s your last game? Oh. In that case, cry away!

The final round of the season also gave us the opportunity to bid farewell to those who are giving the game away. This resulted in some emotional matches; particularly in Sydney for some premiership heroes, at Melbourne for some club stalwarts, and at Richmond…where most of them should probably give it away! Then again, maybe next year the Tigers can start to bounce back and gain respectability in the footy world again. There is always next year…

The Games:

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Jade Rawlings contemplates all those weeks of his life that he can never have back!

Good luck Dimma…you’re gunna need it! West Coast embarrass Richmond in the final game of the season to reinforce the massive task Damien Hardwick has in front of him. The cull has started already but there could be plenty more on the way out if Richmond are to become relevant again any time soon!

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Hardwick’s first move at Richmond? Installing a very large door…preferably extra wide!

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Brad Ottens is back for Geelong! That makes things interesting…

Geelong eased into another finals campaign in a dawdle against Fremantle at Kardinia Park, the most notable event was Brad Ottens not crumpling in a heap in his comeback from a long-tern knee injury. The Dockers can now prepare for 2010 where they will aim to improve their performances on the road and figure out whether it is worth holding onto Paul Hasleby.

And congratulations to Geelong’s Gazy Ablett on winning the Brownlow Medal! That’s what the Herald Sun online reckons…hang on a sec! Who is Gazy? Bit of a mix-up between the formal Gary and the nickname Gazza I suppose. But if you are going to spell a player’s name wrong, it probably shouldn’t be arguably the best player in the game…and one that actually works for your organisation!

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Let’s hope they get Gary’s name right on the medal…if he wins it, of course!

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As an Essendon supporter, can I just say – I love Michael Hurley!

First Buddy, then Bailey (poor kid!) and finally Brad Sewell…but the worst B-word for Hawthorn on Saturday was Bombers!  They all conspired against the Hawks as they went from premiers to outsiders in the space of eleven months. Essendon now have a finals campaign to prepare for and feel that they are not cannon fodder for the Crows. Mmm, not so sure about that…

Oh yeah…the game got a bit fiery too!

CyrilRioli

As a football fan, can I just say – I love Cyril Rioli!

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This guy is over thirty and coming off a knee reco? That’s un-freakin-believable!!!

Carlton’s timing has been off all week. It started with three players missing a recovery session and being dropped from Saturday’s match and ended with the team missing a great opportunity to play their first final in ages in front of their home crowd. Adelaide crushed the Blues and looked scary good in the process…no wonder Neil Craig and co. are thinking big things!

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This would be mark of the year most seasons. But thanks to the Birdman, it wasn’t even the best grab we saw that day!

Space was the final frontier in Star Trek but Michael Voss is probably not into all that sci-fi bulldust! For him, Sydney was the final frontier…which his team has now conquered! The Lions crashed the Swans farewell party and set up a big gathering of their own at the Gabba next weekend against Carlton. Retiring Swan Michael O’Loughlin thinks that his club will never bottom out…they can’t afford to!

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Is it just me or is Mark Williams a little bit too excited that these two veterans are calling it quits?

Port Adelaide are no St Kilda but the Kangaroos managed a second tight upset win in succession…though it is hard to classify any win over Port as an upset these days. In front of very few fans, the Power tried to lift for their retiring stars but still couldn’t stop the determined Roos in the final minutes. They can feel dudded by a late fifty-metre penalty awarded against them if that makes them feel better…but the call was right so it’s a waste of time!

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The St Kilda doctor stood next to Nick Riewoldt all day just in case he got hurt. Thumbs up…he’s OK!

All St Kilda wanted to do was run around on the MCG and not get hurt. Mission accomplished…we think. Melbourne wanted to celebrate their retiring champs…just not with a win. They didn’t and they now have access to the best two kids in the country. Forget Robbo, Wheatley and Whelan…the players should have chaired off Tom Scully after the match!

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They had the game in the bag but Jonno’s late goal gave the Doggies third spot!

It was a footy statistician’s wet dream! Two good teams fighting for ladder position and it went down to the final minute…it was the Western Bulldogs who claimed the prize and head into September choc full of confidence. Will slipping to fourth on the back of this effort cost Collingwood dearly? Mick Malthouse hopes the loss will be a wake-up call for his side. Personally, I hope they don’t get the wake-up call until it’s too late – Betts-Garlett-Cloke style!

Round Three – Should Have Laid Off The Choccy Eggs!

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Heath Shaw – seems like a touch…a touch too much!

Talk about having a crappy Easter break! Collingwood’s Heath Shaw would have been feeling sick to his stomach all weekend without the aid of a single chocolate egg (or many of them in succession, like the rest of us!) after his report for touching an umpire last Thursday night. Unfortunate because it was actually Alan Didak who touched the umpire, Shaw was just covering up for him…again!

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Now this is the best way to touch an umpire…gently, respectfully and with a smile!

The matter has been sent straight to the tribunal so it will be a pretty big night there…particularly if there are a few players who elect to contest charges stemming from round three. But while some people in footy might have had a crappy Easter weekend; Heath Shaw, John Worsfold and Terry Wallace immediately spring to mind; it pales into insignificance compared to the anguish that the family and friends of ex-Hawk and footy documentary whiz Rob Dickson must be feeling. How sad…knocks the stuffing out of you, doesn’t it!

The Games:

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Busted nose for Steve Johnson…guess he won’t be able to rely on his looks anymore!

Geelong continue on their merry way as they steamroll Collingwood…causing the normally-obtuse Mick Malthouse to deal in the bleeding obvious. The Pies were made to pay for numerous acts of inaccuracy…which makes you wonder whether Heath Shaw meant to grab the ump’s arm or was actually trying to grab him elsewhere and just plain missed! Bloody skill errors…

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Be it celebrating with teammates or wrestling with opponents, Kossie just can’t stop whacking blokes in the head!

St Kilda could hardly have been more impressive during the opening three rounds, and Nick Riewoldt has yet to really get going. So maybe this is (finally) the year of the Saint? The Eagles looked very average and you can just imagine John Worsfold being so pissed that he would have confiscated every Easter egg from his players on the long flight home to Perth!

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Two weeks ago, Essendon were a crap team and everybody at Windy Hill hated Hayden Skipworth…seems neither of those things are correct.

Carlton’s rise to premiership glory stalls after the Bombers win a classic in front of seventy thousand at the ‘G. If only Fev wasn’t injured, and if only Matthew Lloyd was really finished as a footballer (like he was last year), the result could have been so different. But…it wasn’t! And a big thanks to the bogan footy family who interrupted a quiet Saturday night dinner at the local Chinese restaurant in Warrnambool with random screams of “Go Bombers”. Made my night!

The Sydney Swans were meant to be Brisbane’s bogey side…sure didn’t look like it! The Lions knock off Sydney at home and it seems like the message of Voss is getting through…though if they are really setting themselves for a return to the big time, beating Collingwood at home is a must. And a Friday night as well…rare territory for Brisbane.

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Doesn’t look like Dean Bailey is loving life as Melbourne coach but…

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HE LOVES TO COUNT…AHH AHH AHH AHH AHH!

First we had Lloydy, now Warren Tredrea rises from the Useless AFL Player grave to kick six goals as Port bounce back after a poor showing in Perth last week. But come on – they were playing the Demons at home…as if they weren’t going to romp it in! The only problem they were going to have was with discipline…and yes, they struggled in that area again. The coach will be delighted. No, seriously – he will think it’s unreal! He loves tough guys…

The premiership hangover theory can be discarded too as Hawthorn put injury woes and tragedy aside to win easily over North Melbourne. It ended a miserable week for the Roos, Dean Laidley referring to the scrutiny around the chicken sex video as akin to World War III.  Well, without the global significance, the devastation and the mass killings of soldiers and innocent people, of course! Apart from that, yeah – just like a war…

The Crows did manage to handle their week of scrutiny a little better than the Roos, fighting their way to a good road win against the Dockers. Three rounds in and how many wins do Fremantle have? None! Luckily, coach Mark Harvey has a supporter in the coach that just knocked off his team. Grant Thomas is definitely not a supporter…but that probably works in Harvey’s favour!

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Will the Tigers find inspiration from Richo snorting his glove through his nose and out his mouth? Well, anything is worth a shot for Richmond…

The Western Bulldogs, a top-four team in good form, had a good win yesterday over Richmond, not a top-four team and not in good form. So the outrage and hysteria about the Tigers seems a little over the top and, dare we say it, contrived by media types who need content for the week. But if Terry Wallace is feeling heat now, imagine what he will cop if they fall to the winless Demons this Sunday!

The Grand Final (Geekin’ Out – Fantasy Footy)

WIll Steve Johnson fill the void left by Matthew Pavlich and lead us to glory? We friggin’ hope so!

Well, the fantasy football season comes down to this…one final week to determine who takes out league premiership glory! And Half Back Flanker will be taking part on that last weekend in August…though it will only be for our AFL Dream Team squad. Having been virtually top four in this comp all year and finishing as the minor premier, it is a nice reward to have a shot at the grand geeky prize!

Last week, we prophecised about how it only takes a bad game here, a late withdrawal there and months of good results can go down the gurglar. And sure enough, our Premium Dream Team suffered that very fate. Matthew Stokes drops out of the Geelong team, Jordan McMahon (27 points? At home to Fremantle?) may as well not have played either…and we lose the prelim by 156 points! So third will play fifth in the grand final and we are left to smash our head against a wall, cursing the name Alan Didak!

But forget all that. We have a big game to focus on this week and the good fortune of having two trades left to plug any gaps…like the one Matthew Pavlich is leaving in our forward line! Having waited until the final hour before making our all-important trades, we now sit back and wait for each game to unfold…hoping that we can pull off a big win in the grand final. And with one of our opponent’s elite midfielders (Dane Swan) being outpointed by our mid-range defender (Garrick Ibbotson) in the Friday night match, things are going our way early!

The Grand Final

Dream Team: 39,009 points, 8,334th place overall – also finishing strongly in the overall category.

Last Week: defeated Moolias 1,860 to 1,612 – comfortable win but the decision to keep two bench forwards that were not selected to play almost backfired when Pavlich withdrew late. At least he won’t do that to me again…

Good: A nice spread of solid scores, with only Nick Stevens producing a spectacular 134! Nick Riewoldt was our only other 100-plus player (that was on the field, at least…) but there were twelve others in the 80-90 range.

Bad: We left Paul Chapman on the bench because we had some doubt over whether he would score well or even play at all. Sure enough, he produces a 121! Don’t worry…he’s straight back in this week!

Ugly: After weeks of leaving Kurt Tippett and Ben Ross as our benched forwards and running the risk of no emergencies, it finally caught up with us when Pav dropped out on Saturday. We were left praying that it wouldn’t cost us a spot in the grand final and there were some anxious moments…

Grand Final: 5th placed Carina Lions (2,070) – great effort to make it this far after finishing outside the top four and a midfield that contains the big guns (Bartel, Swan, Power, Mitchell) will make them tough to beat!

Final changes/trades: Time to cash in those final two trades. Firstly, it’s bye bye Matthew Pavlich…and we have traded him for Geelong’s Steve Johnson. We did look at Matthew Lloyd but not only is Johnson cheaper but playing a home game against the depleted Eagles…we feel that Lloyd won’t quite get the same amount of scoring opportunities.

That left one more trade and plenty of cash to finally upgrade our defence…and with Mark Nicoski facing the Cats, we felt he would be the best trade option. So it’s Nicoski out and Melbourne’s Paul Wheatley in! He was a great addition to our Premium Dream Team when we nabbed him from free agency after an injury layoff and we can sense a 100-plus outing against Richmond coming up for him!

The Team:

Defenders – Chris Newman, Andrew Mackie, Daniel Bradshaw, Michael Osborne, Paul Wheatley, Andrew McLeod, Garrick Ibbotson. (Emergency: Sean Dempster)

Midfielders – Kane Cornes, Nick Stevens, Bryce Gibbs, Rhys Palmer, Paul Chapman, Bradd Dalziell. (Emergency: Ryan Griffin)

Rucks – Dean Cox, Troy Simmonds.

Forwards – Lance Franklin, Brett Deledio, Nick Riewoldt (c), Matthew Richardson (vc), Steve Johnson, Brad Johnson, Cyril Rioli. (Emergency: Kurt Tippett)