Who is the best new coach?
It’s a loaded question really – Brett Ratten has coached before, at Carlton as it happens, so he’s a re-new coach. If he’s able to convince the St Kilda board of that, he could end up a confirmed re-newed coach. David Teague was confirmed after a few good weeks with the Blues, which is very un-Carlton. Carlton has a very good list. I’m not sure what Brendan Bolton was doing but I reckon I could have gotten them up for a couple of games, for a fraction of the cost of whatever Teague is on.
Blues here, threee goals
Top of the Table
I picked both of these sides to finish outside the 8. That’s why no one pays me to write this stuff. Big game this but what stands up here – the tried, true experience of the Cats, or the off the leash lightning ball movement of Brisbane. Despite Geelong starting so strongly and putting three games on the opposition, they are now only on top thanks to a healthy percentage 13% ahead of anyone else. But if they lose this, the could easily lose top spot and could lose their home ground advantage for the finals .
Two markedly different game styles here and will be fascinating to see which holds up.
Quality not Quantity
For the second week in a row, the Crows go in with two rucks – two good rucks. Perhaps last week was a dress rehearsal for taking on Brody Grundy rather than a comment on Eagles’ journeyman ruckman Tom Hickey. These are two very good ruckmen in Jacobs and O’Brien and Grundy will have his work cut out. Collingwood has made the move trusting seven gamer Jack Madgen with a key defensive post to free up Jordan Roughead to play as a forward ruck and give some cover to Grundy. This is a role Roughead is familiar with having played in a premiership for Western Bulldogs as a forward/ruck.
Pies here, less then ten points.
It’s a new … Contract
Rhys Shaw celebrated his confirmation and North Melbourne’s senior coach for the next five years by losing to Geelong and recording their lowest ever score. This is a new thing – we haven’t seen a caretaker confirmed mid-season in my living memory. A poor showing from Carlton and we could have a phenomenon on our hands. So a new caretaker rewards us with a win while a mid season confirmation gives us an ugly loss. I’m not drawing on a lot of evidence here, only one game, but I could be on to something.
Port really need this to get a place in the eight but coming off a relatively easy win is not good news for them as the SA press will have been all over them.
Essendon lost seven percent last week while the Western Bulldogs piled on eighteen consecutive goals. Now there are only four sides who have a worse percentage an they are all in the bottom five. This will really hurt the Bombers as they struggle to hold their spot in the eight. Now they head over to Perth to take on the Dockers.
The Dockers are sending off two of their favourite sons – Aaron Sandilands and Hayden Ballantyne, aka Herman and Billy Munster, are at different ends of the likeability scale. It’s tough for Ballantyne, no one likes a small forward and when you compound that by being an obnoxious little shit, you don’t have many opposition fans. Sandi on the the other hand, a man mountain who has given silver service to the likes of Mundy, Fyfe and Callaghan for years. Both have been huge for Fremantle over the years. The big send off game at home will make this hard for Essendon despite getting a hand full of good players back.
Dockers here by about five goals.
Top of the Table 2
This feels like more of a Grand Final preview with both of these sides in very good form. No outs for either side this week and while Richmond get Dusty back, Cotchin is still missing. It would be good to see Marlon Picket, listed in the 26, get a game. It’s another good story, a 27 year old picked up in the mid season draft. Will be playing against friends here being from WA. The Eagles have been playing the MCG very well and really need this if they want to get a home final.
Eagles by four goals.
Little Giants vs Hot Dogs
The Giants have reached breaking point on injuries and it’s easy to be sympathetic but their effort against the Hawks in the snow in Canberra was awful. They’ve got some big ins, particularly Josh Kelly – but no sooner does Himmelburg come in then they lose Jeremy Cameron. If the Hot Dogs have a weakness, it is talls in the back half and Cameron and Himmelburg could have exploited that.
It’s hard to think now, but the Doggies midfield is looking elite and even with Kelly back, Bontempelli, Macrae and Dunkly are all in serious form. Mummy could be a bit big for English but look for English, who takes a good mark and sneaks forward effectively, to exploit Mumford and Dawson around the ground.
Doggies by four goals
Farewell the Big Ranga
There’s not too much to look forward to here. In the graveyard timeslot, under the roof at Marvel, Jarrod Roughead gets a testimonial game – at least he is in the squad. Clarkson have proven himself to be heartless bastard and maybe he’s just teasing Roughy who will instead pull on a long sleeve jumper at Box Hill.
There aren’t many four time premiership players and Roughy is one of the best. He formed great partnerships with Buddy Franklin and later Jack Gunston. He battled issues with skin cancer but made it back. Never took a backward step and one of the great, dare I say, ornaments to the game. See ya Roughy.
Hawks by ten goals