Tag Archives: Trent Hentschel

Round Two – Some Things Never Change

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The moment when the new rushed behind rule won me over…

Tough questions being asked of good teams after just two rounds, youngsters making the most of their opportunities, off-field indiscretions (not just by footballers either) and the Fremantle Dockers stinking up football grounds all across the nation. These are just some of the AFL footy norms that occur year after year…and 2009 appears to no exception.

One element of the game that does appear to change every season is the rules but even that creates the traditional argument about the laws of the game and whether all these damn changes are necessary and why don’t they just leave the game alone! But the evidence after two rounds is that the implementation of the rushed behind rule will be a big success.

After some dodgy decisions in the equally dodgy NAP Cup, the opening round saw a reduction of rushed behinds and produced some exciting passages of play in the defensive fifty…mainly because the players didn’t quite know what to do when under pressure close to goal! I thought that once the players and/or coaches figured out how to exploit the rule, it might not have much of an impact. But when Ed Lower swooped past a hesitant defender inches from the line to kick a goal early in the last quarter of yesterday’s Bulldogs-Kangaroos game, it absolutely won we over.

The fifty-metre penalty for dragging down running players after disposal…that’s a different story! But another of footy’s norms is that the League cannot get everything right…

The Games:

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Shall we call him Logan, Weapon X or Wolverine? Brendon Goddard and the Saints take out the Crows…X-Men style!

The St Kilda bandwagon was already starting to gain momentum but it might get out of control now after finishing all over the Crows in Adelaide on Friday night. Chuck in Trent Hentschel’s knee and the Nathan Bock affair…what a shit weekend for the Crows!

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The Prez looks at the scoreboard and then vomits a little bit in his own mouth…

President Eddie looks worried here but the Pies eventually recovered to win handily. But if they had lost, would Media Eddie have told President Eddie that he should bring Kevin Sheedy to Magpieland…just like he did with Richmond last week? Hopefully, we can look forward to just one week when we don’t hear a peep from any of the Eddies…fat chance, right?

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Don’t worry Terry…you will probably feel much, much, much flatter than this later on this season!

You just got flogged by Carlton, have rarely beaten Geelong and then gave the Cats one heck of a fright down at Kardinia Park. And you feel flatter now than this time last week? Does he mean flatter in the stomach because he punched out a shitload of abdominal crunches all week? No, apparently not. Who should be feeling flat right now…Brad Ottens, that’s who!

The Sydney Swans had a planmust have worked ok. The Hawks have now suffered their first loss on the “Morale Victory” competition ladder but, unfortunately, the reigning champs have yet to register a win on the real ladder…you know, the one that counts for something.

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Browny is spitting chips…and that was before he got reported!

According to the back page of the Herald Sun, The Mighty Blues crushed the Lions to remain unbeaten after two rounds. Apparently easy wins against Richmond and holding off a late fightback against Brisbane at home makes you a ‘mighty’ team…imagine all the adjectives they could use if they actually beat a team that finished in the top eight recently…

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Sure, it’s not a pint of Guinness but young Irishman Michael Quinn doesn’t seem to mind having a drink tipped on his head!

Speed Kills…and coaching Fremantle can’t be good for your health either! Essendon take care of the Dockers to win their first of the season, forcing Patrick Smith to make shit up about another team this week. But what was more amazing – that AFL novice Michael Quinn made such an impression on debut…or that Kevin Sheedy never actually recruited and played an Irishman in all his years at Windy Hill?

The Western Bulldogs eek out a close one against North Melbourne, though the Roos pressed them all the way – and kudos to Mark Robinson for not using the mythical Shinboner Spirit to describe the effort. Can’t have been easy…  Dean Laidley should be a little worried about the form of Brent Harvey though…as am I. He’s killing my fantasy teams!

Daylight savings time has just ended and looks like the Eagles may have wound back their clocks further than one hour…try about three years! West Coast win big against Port Adelaide but relax Power fans – you may have lost the football game but you are still the toughest talking team in the whole comp!

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From First To Worst – Fast Forward To September (AFL Season 2009)

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One week from defending the premiership and what is Hawk Luke Hodge up to? He’s impressing the ladies with the size of his Wii! Is this a bad sign for Hawthorn?

Surely by now, you have checked out many of the 2009 AFL season previews that have been published in print or online. They are all over the damn place! Both Melbourne papers put out season preview magazines over the weekend but the Herald Sun have previews for each team available here. You can also check out previews for all sixteen clubs from Sportal Australia while the official website of the AFL have gone as far as rating players for each team in order to make their guestimates appear better than everybody elses.

But it’s not just the media big-boys that are cranking out good previews for the new season…try checking out some of the other footy sites out there such as The Roar, Contested Footy or Kick 2 Kick. This season, Half Back Flanker has completely run out of time opted against writing previews for each team but instead has peered into the League’s crystal ball to find out who finishes where on the ladder after the home-and-away season.

That’s right – Andy D actually has a crystal ball in his office (honestly, check the book case…it’s hidden behind a framed photo of new Queensland Premier Anna Bligh!) Don’t worry, I won’t spoil the surprise of who wins it all in September, or whether Jason Akermanis finally makes it to 300 games…because Aker is the biggest story of this season, right? Right?

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First To Worst – The Ladder as of Round 22, 2009

1st: Geelong

Redemption from last September and an intense hatred for mouthy Hawk prez Jeff Kennett should be enough of a driving force for Geelong. Jimmy Bartel also revealed in this article that he discovered The Ramones in the off-season…so expect greatness from him!

2nd: Hawthorn

Apart from Luke Hodge’s Wii exploits, the Hawks will find life much more difficult having gone all the way last season. But it won’t stop the likes of Buddy Franklin and this year’s leading goalkicker…Jarryd Roughead!

3rd: Western Bulldogs

The Doggies might have a tough start but if the coach gets big improvement from the current Brownlow Medallist…watch out for the team of the mighty west!

4th: Collingwood

Collingwood will not only play good footy but again dominate the league in off-field discussion. Prepare yourself as our journos indulge in weekly speculation about the current coach, the coach in waiting and the president in everything. And we mean EVERYTHING!

5th: St Kilda

A fast start to the year would certainly help the Saints if they want to return to the top four…as would kicking more goals and keeping Nick Riewoldt forever and ever!

6th: Carlton

Looks like the arrogant Blues are back and finals are a real possibility. If they qualify for September, prey that the match is not broadcast by Channel Ten – Robert Walls, Tim Lane, Andy Maher on the boundary…sheeesh!

7th: North Melbourne

North died in the arse last year so even if they make the most of their Victorian-based opening half to the year, there will be lingering doubts about how far they can progress. The Roos do like having doubters though…

8th: Adelaide

The Crow-bots could easily slide out of finals contention…and it could all hinge on their ability to kick goals via the reconstructed knee of Trent Hentschel and a rebuilt Porpoise.

9th: Port Adelaide

Hard to tell who needs rescuing more – the club by the AFL or the coach by another club that wants to pay top dollar for a footy-obsessed maniac! This season has so-close and yet so-far written all over it…

10th: Richmond

Between Terry Wallace’s contract, Kevin Sheedy’s warblings and the comeback of Ben Cousins, Richmond will be a hot topic this year but too much depends on a 34 year old Richo. At least we don’t have them finishing ninth…

11th: Sydney

The Swans might feel confident that they can defy the critics who say they are too old and qualify for another finals campaign. But we don’t!

12th: Brisbane

Voss is now boss at BrisVegas and has given Jono Brown the captaincy all to himself. But the new coach can’t just order his side to become more skilful…it will be interesting to see how Vossy handles a rare taste of mediocrity.

13th: Fremantle

As if the Fremantle Football Club isn’t weird enough, they appear to be set for a big season of shouting at umpires in order to protect the tallest man in the competition. At least the worst theme song in footy won’t be heard that many times!

14th: Essendon

The Bombers were hoping for an injury-free run in ’09…and that lasted a good few weeks before completely turning to shit! They could do better than bottom four if their players stop break themselves…however, that appears unlikely.

15th: West Coast

The Eagles will try to use the AFL captains poll (where nobody gave them a chance of making the finals) as some type of motivation to play well. But there is a reason nobody thinks they are good enough…it’s because they are not good enough!

16th: Melbourne

After what happened last year, 2009 could only be an improvement, right? Maybe, but optimism seems to be pretty damn low at Demonland. Well, they have some major sponsors now…but it’s hard to see many other positives.