Tag Archives: Scott Pendlebury

They Didn’t Go Marching In But The Saints Are There!(Septocemia – 2009 AFL Finals Series)

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RiewoldtGoal

Saint Nick’s knee holds up long enough for him to do this…

How about that! In a finals series that has already delivered high drama and some classic finishes, we got another oneThe Saints are in the grand final…but they were this freakin’ close to a shock exit. And if it wasn’t for inspirational skipper Nick Riewoldt, they wouldn’t have made it. It really is that simple. That dodgy knee of his is more valuable than gold right now!

You just knew it was going to end in heartbreak for one of these traditionally down-trodden clubs…but recovering from this will be a massive challenge for Rodney Eade’s men. That loss was so harsh that I can’t even find a way to make fun of loudmouth lair Jason Akermanis! As much as I love doing it, it just feels cruel right now, wrong even…

CooneyShattered

The power of the red beard was not quite enough for Adam Cooney and the Dogs.

The Dogs dominated the opening quarter and could have built a more than handy lead if not for a couple of squandered opportunities. As a result, the Saints were able to stay in touch and slowly work their way to the front in the third term. Down by five points at three-quarter time, Brad Johnson put the Doggies back in front but it was the other captain that willed his side into the big one next Saturday afternoon.

Whether Johnson returns next season is yet to be determined but it would be a real boost for a wounded club to have that guy back next year.

RocketComposed

The hacks have quizzed Rocket every week about recruiting Barry Hall for 2010…imagine if David Schwartz asked him now!

And now we go through it all again tonight with the Cats and Pies and thank you Channel Ten…we can see it LIVE,  baby!  No Channel Seven again in 2009 so no more garden makeovers, no more tasty recipes, No Johanna Griggs and no watching Dr Harry feeding the fish…it’s finals action as it happens!!!

SchwartzDisgrace

Last night was Channel Seven’s grand final…and didn’t they deliver some high quality family fun!

SATURDAY NIGHT

Second Preliminary Final – MCG, 7:30pm (local): Geelong v Collingwood (TEN)

kevinscarlett

Matthew Scarlett is hoping to keep his hair for one more week before launching into some post-season stupidity!

Fresh from a nice relaxing week off, Geelong will be buoyed by the inclusion of two vital cogs and now appear to have their strongest available team. Steve Johnson and his dodgy hip will be a bit of an unknown quantity so they need somebody like Tom Hawkins to get on the scoreboard. Cameron Ling is not feeling the pressure now but that might change if Dane Swan gets a few early touches!

Geelong’s Dodgy Headline of the Week: Ling Primed For Ding Dong With Swan! Hmmm…Ling Ding, Swan Dong?

RejoiceEd

Settle Ed, it was just a semi final! Imagine if they actually won the flag!!! Actually, don’t do that…I dread the very thought.

It would have been difficult to forget about last Saturday night’s miracle win but, more importantly, Collingwood need to forget about what happened in round three! They have improved since then, says no-pressure Mick. How Scott Pendlebury’s broken leg has improved enough for him to play is beyond me…we’ll see.

Collingwood”s Dodgy Headline of the Week: Goldsack Wants Crack at Stevie J! All that’s missing is the defender reference so they could use the words back, crack and sack!

CATS by 19

Sorting The Wheat From The Crap (Septocemia – 2009 AFL Finals Series)

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GarnierGriffin

The flowing long locks of Ryan Griffin – perfect product promotion for Garnier Fructis!!

GarnierEagleton

But Nathan Eagleton? Nah, not so much…

Septopia 2009 is all going to script so far. Top two teams in the prelim, bottom two teams on the drink. And now the Brisbane Lions can enjoy a nice shandy or two having been eliminated from the premiership race by the Western Bulldogs. While the game was quite physical at times, it lacked a lot of the tension we saw in three of the four matches last weekend…mainly because the result seemed assured from midway through the first quarter.

AkerSlammed

Relax everybody, Aker’s ok. But did anybody else kinda secretly enjoy this? Or was it just sadistic little ol’ me?

The Dogs didn’t allow last week’s setback to rattle them and the Lions just weren’t up to it. And that means the 2009 AFL Grand Final is now assured of having at least one participant with a legion of  long-suffering fans that have not seen a premiership for many decades. It’s the Saints and Dogs next Friday night – get ready for a barrage of emotional reportage!

But the early part of next week could well be dedicated to ‘Collingwood Stuffed Up…Again’ if tonight turns to disaster for the Pies. Either way, let’s hope for a less one-sided event than the slow inevitability of last night.

SATURDAY NIGHT

Second Semi Final – MCG, 7:30pm (local): Collingwood v Adelaide (TEN)

bucksandmick

Don’t worry Pies fans – that bloke on the left will help the bloke on the right next year.

Collingwood is not the most desirable place to be at the best of times but how sucky would it be if they were eliminated tonight? They lose some big names to injury as well, which usually spells danger but Pendlebury is the only one that will be tough to replace. Apparently Travis Cloke would really love Anthony Rocca out there but he is injured again…plus, doesn’t Travis realise that it is no longer 2002? Clokey has other things to worry about anyway…

GoodwinChair

Geez, Adelaide are confident…the fans are giving Simon Goodwin a standing ovation as his teammates carry him to the airport!

And why wouldn’t they be! They are in great form and intend on sticking with what works…apart from some ‘fine tuning’ direct from Neil Craig mechanical coaching workshop. Adelaide bring back Shirley and, sorry Jeff Kennett, this will be the closest we ever get to a female playing AFL. The Crows may not run away with the win like they believe they can but timing seems right for a semi final upset.

CROWS by 9

Rough Start But It Sure Got Better! (Septocemia – 2009 AFL Finals Series)

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SlowRocca

The slow motion footage, the wanky opera music, the pissweak attempt to make Anthony Rocca appear graceful. Yep, must be finals time!

September action is finally under way! There was a bit of an ugly beginning on Friday night but after that we saw plenty of riveting footy action that made sitting through rubbish games like round 22 West Coast v Richmond all worthwhile. Typically in the first week of the finals, the results play out according to ladder position. The top two sides win through to the preliminary final and the seventh and eighth teams are eliminated. Boring! But this year…no just kidding! It all went to plan but it was far from boring.

RiewoldtIce

St Kilda will now encase Nick Riewoldt’s entire body in ice for two weeks to ensure he is right for preliminary final day!

Runaway leaders during the home-and-away season, St Kilda were destined for failure according to Dermott Brereton, the Bogan Football Oracle himself. If Brereton’s ‘theory’ held such weight then we are screwed this year because each of the top four teams have not experienced Hawthorn-style sustained success in the past 45 to 50 years. Shall we just not award the premiership cup this season because Dermie feels none of the clubs are worthy enough? It’s not just about culture – class goes a long way too; Nick Riewoldt and the Saints proved that on Sunday. This also leads us to the Cats…

LingWins

The media wanted the red, white and blue to triumph on Saturday. Well, it did….but only in the form of football’s favourite ranga, Mr Cameron Ling!

Geelong’s performance in the other qualifying final not only shattered the Western Bulldogs but ruined the football media’s fevered pursuit of a drought breaking premiership for the Dogs. There was no doubt that the preference for Saturday’s game was success for the ‘sexier’ storyline of the Doggies. Poised to make history! This might be their year! And Channel Ten spent the entire pre-match playing the Footsray violin and barely recognising the fact that the Cats have their own shot at creating some history going on this September.

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The 1954 Footscray premiership team pass the mantle to the cuurent day players. Didn’t realise the Doggies were already in the Grand Final?! Well, congratulations…I guess.

Don’t get me wrong – that feature made for good television. Really good television. It would have been perfect as part of the pre-game for the 2009 Grand Final…if the Bulldogs were actually playing in it! But the Dogs were the third-placed team playing a club that, believe it or not, actually finished higher than them on the ladder…and has been the best performed team for the past three years. The hacks had Geelong written off, forgotten and ignored…that will be hard to do now they are in the prelim!

ThirstyKnights

Matthew Knights would have been looking for something a little stronger to drink as the night wore on!

While the beaten Doggies and Pies live to fight another day, two teams are in the midst of conducting their alcohol-laced post-mortems after being eliminated on the weekend. The first team to be shown the door was Essendon…and it sure wasn’t pretty! Already undermanned and missing their first three ruck options, Essendon coach Matthew Knights gambled at the last minute by leaving out the only bloke they had over 200cms tall for ‘a runner’, which ended up being an Irish kiddie who cannot even spell Sherrin…let alone drop one onto his foot to kick a goal from the goal line!

Actually, they looked ok early until they coughed up a goal late in the first quarter…and then another 22 goals for the rest of the night! Reports of involvement by Bombers players in an altercation at some Adelaide nightclub proved to be false. For the second time that night, it seems that they were merely innocent bystanders!

LionsSing

You never see Jono Brown this pumped up! Either they have just pulled off a miracle comeback or Cold Chisel have reformed!!!

The Bombers were joined in post-season shenanigans by the Brisbane Lions Carlton? WHAT? How did this happen? The Blues were home for all money with a five-goal lead early in the final quarter but half an hour later, their season was over. Brisbane completed a true football miracle which resulted in euphoric scenes all around the Gabba, including some great footage of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd clapping, cheering and pretending to know every word to the Lions theme song…when it was clear that he had absolutely no idea!

HappyRuddster

“We are Brisbane, la la la, hmm hmm something, blue and gold! We are good and stuff, la la la la, yeah wow hey something old!

No doubt the Ruddstar will make the trek down to the MCG for Brisbane’s semi final clash with the Western Bulldogs on Friday night…

The Games:

QuinnHowler

Anytime you can drop your only ruckman from a do-or-die game to bring in an Irishman who had never played the sport twelve months ago…you have to do it, right?

Adelaide are damn scary! They win their first final for a few years and could barely have looked more impressive in the process…plus they have a couple of key additions to come for the Collingwood game. Essendon did well enough to make the finals but lost more games than they won during the year so it’s fitting that they bow out at this stage. They probably wish that they weren’t exposed this badly in prime time though!

PissedDogs

Is it any coincidence that the only time Brad Johnson does not seem to have a smile on his face, Jason Akermanis appears to be running his mouth? Gee, good luck next year!

Geelong did exactly what it needed to do in order to qualify for a third straight preliminary final. How they prepare over the next two weeks will be vital as they aim for another grand final berth…well, they’ve had a bit of practice at it! The Doggies failed to deliver when it counted but Rodney Eade still believes they can go all the way. First things first – try starting with Aker’s old mob on Friday night! They’re coming…by whatever means necessary!

JuddFinger

Not sure what Chris Judd is up to here but I’m sure it’s all pure and sweet and innocent. It’s Chris Judd after all…

Whatever Vossy said, it must have bordered on genius – it was one of the best alright! The Brisbane Lions kicked the last six goals of the match to storm to victory, leaving Carlton a long off-season to figure out what the heck just happened to them. But hey, at least Brendan Fevola tried really hard for the entire game! Will we see this more often? Unlikely…

RiewoldtCelebrates

If any team other than St Kilda wants to win the flag, they have to find a way to stop this bloke!!!

The Saints passed their first finals pressure test with flying colourshope Ross Lyon enjoys his break! Like the Dogs, the Pies still think they can win it but they need to beat the rampant Crows with two less days to prepare. Scott Pendlebury’s season could be over while you wonder whether they will persist with the Anthony Rocca Experience. He did lead the team with two goals…he also managed team-high stats for pulling mean faces, talking smack and unnecessary displays of force which result in nothing of substance.

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

DrunkGeek

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.

DeledioHand

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!

Twitter DT

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.

LloydSewell

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!

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

BenBuddy

And with this bump, my Dream Team premiership aspirations have been dealt a severe blow!

It’s grand final week! That last week in August which is the ultimate for fantasy footy nerds all over the nation. And Half Back Flanker will be there after winning three of the four preliminary finals we participated in during round 21. Though it wasn’t without a few traumatic moments…

After a magnificent performance against St Kilda in round 20, I got caught up in the Jobe Watson hype and promoted him to captain for my Premium Dream Team preliminary final match-up…only to watch in horror as he produced his worst score of the season at Subiaco on Sunday evening! His 24 points, doubling to an underwhelming 48 as the skipper, left us perilously close to a heartbreaking defeat after building a handy lead over TheDream Team.

With five Essendon players in our opponent’s line-up (including Dustin Fletcher – who we dumped last Monday morning after thinking his season was over), they were closing the gap quickly and looked poised to overtake us in the final minutes. But when the match ended, HBF was in front of TheDream Team by 23 points and through to an unlikely virtual premiership decider.

JobeWatson

He was the toast of the football world in round 20 but Jobe Watson’s shocker on the weekend almost cost me a place in the Premium Dream Team grand final!

HBF also won through to two grand finals in the AFL Dream Team competition but fell short in the SENFrank league. While disappointed in being eliminated at the preliminary final stage, this league was highly competitive and included some of the best squads in the entire comp. No glory but a lot of fun just being involved. That’s what you’re supposed to say after being knocked off in the prelim, right?

That said, we still have two virtual Dream Team premierships to play for this weekend with our Public and Twitter DT leagues. And with some good news at the selection table, we can now field a full squad despite the Lance Franklin suspension. Sure, Geelong’s Simon Hogan is no Buddy but will it be enough to claim the big prize?

DidakLoser

He might think of himself as a legend but unless new-buy Alan Didak does a lot better this week, it will be L for Loser!

Dream Team 40,899 points overall, 8,849th place – second highest rank for the season, hoping a big score gets me into the seven thousands next week.

Last Week: 2,133 points – best score of the finals series so far…saving the best for last, perhaps?

Good:  Half the side were 90 points or above; Brett Deledio (139), Joel Selwood (136) and Franklin (131) the pick of the bunch. Using our second-last trade to bring in Jason Gram (108) paid off…

Bad:  However, our final trade for Alan Didak (61) did not pay off on the weekend…he was our lowest scoring player of the round! His Magpie teammates Tarkyn Lockyer (64) and Scott Pendlebury (74) were well down this week also. Hopefully, there will be a massive pay-off from the Didak trade this week.

Ugly: The Buddy Bump!

Public League

2nd Preliminary Final defeated Fats Rockets (1,913) Only four 100-plus performers for Fats and midfield failed to fire, resulted in defeat by over 200 points!

The Finals

Grand Final verses Roberts Rollers (2,019 last round) – relying on quite a few mid-range defenders but appears to have a full squad.

SENFrank01

1st Preliminary Final lost to The Dominators (2,243) – not quite good enough but not too disappointed with a prelim finish in a tough league

Twitter DT

1st Preliminary Final defeated D Team (2,084) – they had a bad week in defence while our addition of  Gram gave us that little boost which helped make the difference.

The Finals

Grand Final verses Bloodbath 1945 (2,269 last round) – Luke (luke2177) has a strong team and is coming off a great week but will also miss Buddy.

Potential changes/trades: The Paul Chapman injury has affected many fantasy teams including ours…even though we don’t own him. In need of a running mid/forward type in place of Chappy, Geelong have recalled Simon Hogan – who now slots into our forward line in place of Buddy. Having used our final two trades last week, this news means that we can field a full team of 22 players. We will also gamble on promoting bench midfielder Beau Muston to the starting line-up, thinking that he can score more points against Essendon than Lions rookie Daniel Rich will against the stingy Swans.

Captain: Dane Swan should be automatic but faces a tough opponent in the Bulldogs, as does Bryce Gibbs with the Crows. Then there’s Joel Selwood…who could rack up the stats with a home game against Fremantle. It’s out of those three!

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Could Brownlow Medal winner Adam Cooney add a fantasy flag to his list of achievements? I’m sure he’d love to…

Premium Dream Team

Last Week: 1,513 points – our second lowest score of the season…yet it was good enough!

Good:  Six 100-plus scores plus high 90’s from Bulldogs Adam Cooney and Jarrod Harbrow. New addition Nathan Grima also managed 80, making him our second highest scoring defender for the week.

Bad:  Apart from Grima and Sam Gilbert (88), the rest of our backmen were well below average. Hamish McIntosh (66) was also down from his usual 90-point output.

Ugly: 24 points from your captain in a preliminary final week? And to think we went with Jobe over Bryce Gibbs (120)!!!

Public League

1st Preliminary Final defeated TheDream Team (1,490) – 23 point win…extremely bloody lucky!

The Finals

Grand Final verses Silly Fairies (1,774 last round) – ranked 103rd overall – my team has defied the odds to get this far but the premiership might be a little too much to ask!

Potential changes/trades: The Roger Hayden gamble from last weekend didn’t pay off and with a trip to Geelong on Saturday, can’t see him producing the goods. Cale Hooker replaces him in defence while Melbourne’s Clint Bartram returns at the expense of Jarrod Atkinson. Brad Sewell will start this week while last week’s captain could well be the bench midfielder this week.

Captain: Safe to say that it won’t be Jobe…Brad Sewell against the Bombers looks like a safe bet with Gibbs as his deputy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ChappyPillow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AkerPumped

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

Premium Dream Team

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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