AFL

JT’s ‘Previews’: The AFL, Round 12 (Queen’s Birthday)

Bristle heads down the slide in 2015 (Still: Channel Seven)

It’s hard to tell who’s going to be in more pain on Monday afternoon- The poor bastards participating for a good cause in the Big Freeze At The ‘G, or everyone who has to watch Melbourne.

Here’s an amazing factoid- Did you know today is 20 years since Plugger kicked his 1300th goal?

A moment in time that will never be repeated.

Of course, I’m talking about a ground invasion.

BYES: Essendon, Fremantle, Hawthorn, Port Adelaide, St Kilda, Western Bulldogs


FRIDAY

Richmond vs Geelong @ The MCG, 7:50pm AEST

I remember when I was a kid, this was the matchup where Geelong would make Richmond squeal like a pig, and we’d all sit back and laugh.

Case in point- In the past 50 meetings between Geelong & Richmond, the Cats have won 39 times, including some 20 out of 21 games between 2001 & 2017.

It’s right up there in terms of lopsided match-ups, although we should force ourselves to remember that the Tigers have won the past three encounters.

The Tigers did get back into the Top Four after the Dreamtime win, and then they went to Marvel on Friday Night and encountered the might of the Rhyce Shaw Roos, who, let’s just say, ‘shat’ on the Tigers.

Cam Zurhaar repeatedly tackled their chances of victory, while Ben Brown & Mason Wood repeatedly kicked it blue.

And now to rub more salt into the flesh wound for the Tigs, David Astbury and Brandon Ellis are both injured and scratched from tomorrow night’s game.

On the flip side, Geelong are still going like Geelong, as they won yet again to move 2 games clear on top, thanks to a win against the Swans at the Cattery, without having to get seriously entertaining, thanks to the Swans shooting blanks for three quarters.

The most interesting moment involving the fellas from Sleepy Hollow this past week came when Cats president Colin Carter once again made us split our sides this week, when he argued that the AFL Commission should re-write history and count VFA flags in premiership tallies, restarting the history of the national competition to 1870, meaning the Cats would get bumped up to 16 flags.

Sure you can recognise them Colin… Doesn’t mean I’m not going to sit here and hang crap on your club for effectively adding flags from the current VFL.

If Brown & Wood can treat Richmond’s backline like toilet paper, then I’d hazard a guess that Tom Hawkins is going to drop a log the size of South Barwon on them.

Well may we may God Save The Queen, because nothing will save the Richmond backline!


SATURDAY

Carlton vs Brisbane Lions @ Marvel Stadium, 1:45pm AEST

What the hell is a David Teague?

Is that something you stick in your tea to add flavour to it?

In case you’ve been on a seven day bender and missed the events of the universe, the old Blue-Baggers once again dominated the news cycle, finally deciding to mercilessly execute the Happy Hobbit, Brendan Bolton, after Piss Poor Performance number 41/44 against Essendon last Sunday.

In hindsight, Bolts really was screwed the moment that Patrick Cripps was abducted by Bombers second-gamer Dylan Clarke, who was last seen driving off in a white van marked “Free Handball”.

No wonder Crippa got sucked in.

Meanwhile, the Lions overcame a slow start to mow down Hawthorn at The Gabba, which now leaves them at 7-4 and a percentage of 104.9%, putting them right in the frame to finally crack that finals drought stretching back to 2009.

Harris Andrews may have a weird name combination, but he’s a damn fine defender, and scored a perfect 10 in the Coaches Votes, and will probably find himself up against Harry McKay.

As crazy as it sounds, I see this as a danger game for the Lions, because the Blues are now a genuine unknown, now that the only thing they have to play for is denying Adelaide the easiest Number One draft pick in human history.

Or they could go for the double, and play poorly enough until the end of the year to get Stephen Silvagni the flick too.

Gold Coast vs North Melbourne @ Metricon Stadium, 4:35pm AEST

The Roos once again head up to the Gold Coast, to remind themselves of what life could’ve been like back in 2008, if they’d taken ‘Vlad’ Demetriou’s Godfather offer.

Just think- If they’d taken the money and run to Carrara and become a rehashing of the Brisbane Bears, then they would never have hired Supercoach Rhyce Shaw.

What a scary thought.

In the span of a fortnight, the Roos have gone from the usual pack of hopeless spuds, to a team with confidence, as shown when they mercilessly bullied Richmond with tackling pressure and contested ball dominance.

Meanwhile, the Suns are heading back towards normalcy, after yet another belting down south at the hands of the Giants, but on the bright side for Stewie Dew’s men, at least they’re not Carlton.

The Roos will have plenty to play for in skipper Jack Ziebell’s 200th game, and hopefully for the Roos cheersquad, they can actually manage to spell his name right on the banner.

I mean, how hard is it to spell Zeibel… or is it Ziebull… I can’t remember.

The Roos lost that milestone game, and they also lost Jack’s 50th and 100th games.

He’s like the anti-Boomer Harvey.

Adelaide vs GWS @ The Adelaide Oval, 7:10pm ACST (7:40)

Last year the Giants went to Adelaide in Round 11 on the back of four consecutive losses, but they regained Phil Davis, and managed to pull off their first-ever win against the Crows in Adelaide 97-81, a win that kick-started their run to the finals, which also included another win against the Crows (In Canberra), and another AO win against Port.

But this time around, they’ll come in with a head full of steam, having won three in a row to jump into 2nd spot on the ladder, thanks to that 83 point smashing of the Suns + Collingwood’s piss up, although they have lost Lachie Whitfield to a broken collarbone.

As for the Crows… They won in Darwin, in a somewhat eventful game against the Demons, coming from 31 points down to take the lead with 5 minutes to go, and holding on by 2 points due to the Dees’ craptactular kicking for goal.

That unlikely 4 points did keep them in the Top 8, although did somewhat mask the fact that they’re still ears deep in ‘Ship Creek’, which is located just past Woop Woop.

Fortunately, that set of ears belongs to Tex Walker, so they’ll be fine.

The Crows have been god awful at the Adelaide Oval this year, and I wouldn’t be shocked if the Giants won this and won this well


SUNDAY

Sydney Swans vs West Coast Eagles @ The SCG, 3:20pm AEST

Bloody hell, an SCG game at 3:20 on a Sunday afternoon- Rarer than hen’s teeth.

Owing to our Napoleon Complex, the people of Western Australia utterly despise New South Wales, thanks to petty manners like GST distribution, plus matters like the 2005 & 2006 Grand Finals really played their part.

I think that the WA-NSW relationship can be best summed up by this classic exchange between Michael Ginsberg and Don Draper from Mad Men.

Season 5 Episode 9

If Kardinia Park is a House of Horrors for the Eagles, then the SCG is also a House of Horrors.

The Eagles have lost their past 8 visits to the SCG stretching back to 1999, including last year, when they held the Swans goalless in two quarters- And still managed to lose by 15 points.

Funnily enough, the team to kick off that streak was North Melbourne, back when the Roos were the nomads and selling games to Sydney & Canberra.

The Eagles’ last win at the ground was way back in Round 9, 1999- Which funnily enough, was the last Swans game BEFORE the Plugger 1300.

But they’ll come to Sin City with a head full of steam, having reeled off five consecutive wins, moving back into the Top Four, and based on their bathing of the Bullies last Sunday, finally looking like a team that won the 2018 flag.

On the downside, they’ve had another player go down due to an injury caused by the Optus Stadium surface, and he’s the most important of the lot- skipper Shannon ‘Bunga’ Hurn.

What a unit.

Horse Longmire will tell you about how the heel injury Buddy suffered at Optus in Round 1 of last year still hasn’t heeled.

You know what, ‘heeled’ was a ‘punny’ spelling error, and I’m sticking with it.

As for the Swans, once again they gave a fist of it against a top team in the Cats at Kardinia Park, but they self-immolated their own chances of an upset with some god awful kicking at goal- 5.12 after quarter time.

On the flip side, Daniel Menzel also finally made his debut for the Swans (Ironically against his old team), and he showed Cats fans what they’re missing, as the ball was continually rebounded from the Swans’ 50 without any hint of forward pressure.

Considering the Swans’ form compared to their own, I’d argue this is the Eagles’ best chance to break the SCG hoodoo in those 20 long years.


MONDAY

BIG FREEZE 5

Collingwood vs Melbourne @ The MCG, 3:20pm

Stuff the game, here’s the list of names going down the slide!

Great to see the 2012 Brownlow Medalist in there, and Jobe Watson.

Now, time for the game.

After years of the Queen’s Birthday being used as the one game a year to force people to watch Melbourne and give them some gate revenue, Collingwood are now the home team for the annual Public Holiday game, since Melbourne finally returned to the Top 8 last season.

What a move that’s turned out to be.

After six consecutive weeks of half-arseing their way to wins, the Pies were brought undone by the mythical left foot of Michael Walters, who according to legend, single-handedly defeated a Lion the week prior by kicking a post.

If that wasn’t painful enough, Dayne Beams is done until at least September with a hip issue, Brodie Grundy rolled his ankle, and apparently Will Hoskin-Elliott and Josh Thomas both finished training early.

Ready to come into the place of ‘Beamer’ is the midfield warthog Brayden Sier, still smarting to get back into this Pies team ever since the Grand Final.

Just sit back and watch him reel off 11 consecutive Best on Grounds to pull off the greatest Brownlow Medal win ever seen.

Not that Nathan Buckley cares about anything going on at the Pies, since he decided to arc up about how Mick Malthouse still sees him as his enemy, conveniently as Mick was inducted into the Footy Hall of Fame on Tuesday.

You can take the boy away from FIGJAM, but you can’t take the FIGJAM out of the boy.

As for Melbourne… they were on course to whip the Crows in Darwin, with a 4 goal lead at Three-Quarter Time, but a massive bolt of lightning struck the ground, short circuited power to the ground, and as a result, nobody saw the final quarter.

The end.

If it’s some consolation for their busted arse of a season, the Dees could regain Steven May, Jake Lever, Marty Hore, Christian Salem, and possibly Jordan Lewis.

Yep, the slide should be more entertaining than the game.


Is it somewhat stupid that we still call it the Queen’s Birthday, when the original point of it being in June was to honour the birthday of King George IIIwho died 199 years ago.

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