Tag Archives: Michael Rischitelli

Out In Straight Sets? Can We Play Best Of Three? (Septocemia – 2009 AFL Finals Series)

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akertennis

Is Aker taking to centre court for the final time? Will he be back next year? Will it be as a Bulldog? Will we ever hear the end of it?

Two premiership contenders who fell short in the qualifying final and now fight for survival with the prospect of being beaten twice and ousted from the finals. Two lower-ranked teams who each displayed different types of awesomeness to win last week and challenge for a preliminary final place.

This happens every year come second week of the finals…as does Half Back Flanker recycling the same old ‘straight sets’ joke and that image of Aker with his tennis racquet. But hey, it’s September – no time for experimentation! Just go with what you know…

For the Western Bulldogs and Collingwood, this weekend’s semi-finals are all about keeping your composure and displaying the kind of fight that help earn the double chance in the first place. But each face a different challenge. The Dogs have a brave but slightly wounded Brisbane outfit that are intent on piling the pressure on their more fancied rival. They say that they won’t fall for it…we’ll see.

The Pies, on the other hand, are facing what appears to be a rampant footballing machine from South Australia and are having a few personnel issues of their own. While some absences will be difficult to cover, others might be a blessing in disguise. And with the Crows surging to favouritism, can the Pies keep their focus and play again next Saturday night?

If Collingwood do bow out at the semi-final stage, they will join Carlton captain Chris Judd on the sidelines after he was ousted in straight sets. Of course, Judd challenged the two-match ban he received for…whatever it was he was trying to do to Michael Rischitelle’s face. That challenge was thrown out on Tuesday night but Carlton used their double chance and went to appeal. Funnily enough, that also failed and Judd misses the first three rounds of 2010! With all that time off, perhaps he can work his way through the entire back catalogue of Steven Seagal movies

But first, tonight…

FRIDAY NIGHT

Second Semi FinalMCG, 7:45pm (local): Western Bulldogs v Brisbane (SEVEN)

JohnsonThirsty

Look out Lions…Brad Johnson has revenge on his mind for Brisbane and ‘The Beer Wench’!

The Western Bulldogs should be favoured to qualify for the prelim in this one but they certainly need to lift. The senior guys need to show up…well, show up and perform, and the versatile Robert and/or Bob Murphy needs to play as he is the best writer/performer/footballer in their team.

But, most importantly, they need to start well! Um, yep…coulda guessed that starting well was part of the plan. And, bugger me, their opponents might have cottoned on to the same idea!! How did the Lions find out about this? Must be a spy in the ranks…

BrennanCarr

Ok, Jared…you sorted out Josh Carr back in July but failed to get Aker in August. September, big stage, this could be your last chance…go for it!!

Yes, they might be the least attractive of the remaining teams but recent history shows that you cannot count them out  so easily. They also have a stronger look about them with a couple of handy inclusions and Jono Brown’s by-hook-or-by-crook attitude that might spur his boys on. However, I can’t see it being enough to beat the Dogs.

DOGS by 35

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All Eyes On The Juddster! (Media Street)

JuddFinger

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.

CampbellFaking

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?

ObiWanMindTrick

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…

LloydSewell

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

lionspew

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…

FevDenial

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

MaxBaby

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

Round Four – Should Have Known Better…

Should have known better than…

lionspew

Don’t worry Michael Rischitelli…I had the same reaction as you did when I saw the final score last Friday night!!!

  • To dismiss Port Adelaide’s chances of upsetting Hawthorn purely on the strength of their poxy away jumpers! Honestly, they are shit, aren’t they? And now that they have beaten the reigning champs by five goals in those ugly things, that will just encourage them to wear it more and more. I think I’m going to have another Michael Rischitelli moment…

tredreapillow

Those stupid away jumpers might have been designed with pillows in mind but the Power were far from soft against the Hawks!

  • To tell my Carlton supporting friends that the Blues would bounce back after my Bombers knocked them off last week. Fortunately, I didn’t believe it myself when it came to tipping as the Swans squeaked out a win at the SCG. Once again, the Blues were wayward with the ball while poor old Fev missed shots at goal and could barely stay on the field! Well, we all know how wayward he can get…

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Brendan Fevola – just a lovable larrikin who is always pushing the boundaries…or tumbling over them!

  • To think the Adelaide Crows would complete a remarkable comeback to beat Geelong. The Cats looked like they were going to cut up the Crows ‘St Kilda-Freo’ style but Adelaide fought back hard in the second and third quarters. However, all their hard work was quickly blown away in the final term as lil’ Gazza did as he pleased on the way to a big win…holy crap, that guy is good!!!

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Gary Ablett should not just be chaired around by teammates after footy games. It should happen all the time – to training, to the shops…he deserves it!

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Forget the on-field clangers…the Bombers couldn’t even exit the arena correctly against the Kangaroos.

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Terry Wallace makes a quick call to Centrelink, only to hear that they are open from 8:30am to 5pm weekdays and to call back during business hours.