On the Grass – AFL Round 23

AFL Round 23 – Friday 31 August 2012

Soon…

More SOON pics in the thread…

HAWTHORN V WEST COAST EAGLES

MCG – Fri Aug 31, 7:50pm

LIVE CHAT @7:30PM

Hawthorn

West Coast Eagles

GEELONG CATS V SYDNEY SWANS

SS – Sat Sep 01, 1:45pm

Geelong Cats

Sydney Swans

B: Nicholas Smith, Ted Richards, Alex Johnson
HB: Jarrad McVeigh, Heath Grundy, Martin Mattner
C: Rhyce Shaw, Kieren Jack, Lewis Jetta
HF: Jude Bolton, Lewis Roberts-Thomson, Ryan O’Keefe
F: Daniel Hannebery, Adam Goodes, Shane Mumford
Foll: Mike Pyke, Josh P. Kennedy, Craig Bird
I/C: Nick Malceski, Ben McGlynn, Luke Parker, Tommy Walsh
Emg: Brett Meredith, Mitch Morton, Tony Armstrong
In: Jude Bolton, Tommy Walsh
Out: Sam Reid (Gluteal), Mitch Morton

ADELAIDE V GOLD COAST SUNS

AS – Sat Sep 01, 1:40pm

Adelaide

B: Sam Shaw, Ben Rutten, Michael Doughty

HB: Nathan van Berlo, Daniel Talia, Brent Reilly
C: David Mackay, Scott Thompson, Richard Douglas
HF: Matthew Wright, Taylor Walker, Jared Petrenko
F: Ian Callinan, Kurt Tippett, Jason Porplyzia
Foll: Sam Jacobs, Rory Sloane, Patrick Dangerfield
I/C: Graham Johncock, Aidan Riley, Matthew Jaensch, Brodie Smith
Emg: Luke Thompson, Richard Tambling, Tom Lynch
In: Rory Sloane, Matthew Jaensch
Out: Bernie Vince (Knee), Luke Brown

Gold Coast Suns

GWS GIANTS V NORTH MELBOURNE

SK – Sat Sep 01, 4:40pm

GWS Giants

North Melbourne

ESSENDON V COLLINGWOOD

MCG – Sat Sep 01, 7:40pm

Essendon

B: Brent Stanton, Tayte Pears, Cale Hooker

HB: Jake Melksham, Kyle Hardingham, Michael Hibberd
C: Mark Baguley, Jobe Watson, Courtenay Dempsey
HF: Leroy Jetta, Stewart Crameri, Dyson Heppell
F: Michael Hurley, Tom Bellchambers, Nicholas O’Brien
Foll: David Hille, Ben Howlett, Angus Monfries
I/C: David Myers, David Zaharakis, Jackson Merrett, Cory Dell’Olio
Emg: Sam Lonergan, Travis Colyer, Alex Browne
In: David Hille, David Myers, Ben Howlett, Jackson Merrett, Cory Dell’Olio
Out: Heath Hocking (Knee), Nathan Lovett-Murray (Hamstring), Alwyn Davey (Hamstring), Scott Gumbleton (Soreness), Alex Browne
New: Jackson Merrett (Geelong Falcons)
Milestones: Angus Monfries – 150 games

Collingwood

FREMANTLE V MELBOURNE

PS – Sat Sep 01, 5:40pm

Fremantle

News

Melbourne

CARLTON V ST KILDA

ES – Sun Sep 02, 1:10pm

Carlton

St Kilda

B: Jason Blake, James Gwilt, Tom Simpkin
HB: Jamie Cripps, Sean Dempster, Jarryn Geary
C: Farren Ray, Nick Dal Santo, Brendon Goddard
HF: Arryn Siposs, Rhys Stanley, David Armitage
F: Stephen Milne, Beau Wilkes, Ahmed Saad
Foll: Ben McEvoy, Lenny Hayes, Leigh Montagna
I/C: Jason Gram, Justin Koschitzke, Jack Steven, Tom Ledger, Terry Milera, Sebastian Ross, Jack Newnes
In: Jason Blake, Jason Gram, Justin Koschitzke, David Armitage
Out: Sam Gilbert (Shoulder)

RICHMOND V PORT ADELAIDE

MCG – Sun Sep 02, 3:15pm

Richmond

Whats Hot

Port Adelaide

Hot Topics

BRISBANE LIONS V WESTERN BULLDOGS

G – Sun Sep 02, 4:40pm

Brisbane Lions

Western Bulldogs

Mark Williams on GWS, Port, Kevin Sheedy and his future

BigFootyNews caught up with Mark Williams to discuss his first season as assistant coach of start-up club GWS.

Son of South Australian legend Fos, Williams has become an AFL heavyweight in his own right. Beginning his career at West Adelaide, he moved to Port Adelaide in the SANFL in 1979 before starting his VFL career with Collingwood, playing 135 games for them and kicking 178 goals.

He’s no stranger to new sides either, having played 66 games for the Brisbane Bears from 1987-1990.

As a coach, Williams won a flag and finished with a positive winning record at Port Adelaide. He’s not slowing either as he begins a new chapter of his life at Greater Western Sydney.

In this exclusive interview, Williams speaks of his feelings about the expansion side’s win over his old team Port, the atmosphere around the club, the role he had in recruiting ex-Port players there and the future that lies ahead for AFL’s most challenging experiment yet.

Dylan Toune: Obviously was a tough game against St Kilda, at half time what did you say to the boys?

Mark Williams: Well first quarter we won the stoppages, second quarter we got smashed in them. I think by half time they’d kicked eight goals to two from stoppages so we made some adjustments there, and by the end of the game, they’d only kicked two more to one. We’d won the clearances by the end of the game, that was great for us.

We changed a few players around, just gave everyone a few targets to work at. In general it was a pretty good game in the second half for our players, given that we were so far down we could have gotten smashed by, you know even more, could have lost by 200 points at one stage there. With not much to play for, it was pretty good.

DT: At the end of your current contract do you see yourself staying with the Giants? Are you enjoying it there?

MW: Yeah, it’s fantastic. With such a great group of young players and I’m really enjoying working with the young coaches too, giving them a chance to develop. You can see in a very short period of time they’re going to be a lot better and become a force in the AFL.

DT: You played for the Bears didn’t you?

MW: Yeah, first side player for the Brisbane Bears.

DT: Has it made you more aware?

MW: Well, I was at Port Adelaide as well, so I’ve been at three start-up clubs, which is a bit unique.

DT: You have a teaching background don’t you?

MW: I’m a phys-ed teacher, I taught for 10 years while I played at Collingwood and also before I started playing as well. That’s what I did, so I really enjoy the skill development and skill acquisition and decision-making training, helping them make decisions under pressure.

DT: Are there any players that have you shaking your head a bit, in terms of acting a bit silly or something?

MW: Well look, if you’ve got 50 players you’re always going to probably have 10% or so that are giving you a bit of trouble, but these guys are terrific and self-motivated. The fact that they’re high achievers and want to be well recognised in the AFL as soon as they can so they come to work, it doesn’t matter if they win or lose – get smashed or not, they’re very resillient. They always want to shake anything bad that happened last week off and improve very quickly, so it’s a great environment to be in.

DT: I just wanted to ask about the coaching dynamics at the club. There’s been a lot of talk that Kevin Sheedy doesn’t actually do much, so I wanted to ask how much of a presence Sheedy actually has down there.

MW: He has a massive presence. In the scheme of things I’m certainly given the opportunity to do most of the coaching, but Sheeds oversees it and he’s on the track to make sure we do what he wants. The individual development and the drills and that, myself and the line coaches certianly spend more time on that than Sheeds, he lets us do what we do best and he certainly does what he does best.

Come match day he runs the show. It works really well for everyone.

DT: The players must love having someone of his experience around.

MW: Yeah, he also plays a major role in the promotion of the club, he’s always off doing things. The club will see they get more bang for the buck for him being there at our meetings and training sessions.

DT: I’m a Lions supporter, I wanted to ask how has Luke Power been around the club, along with the other older guys? Are they good leaders and contributors?

MW: Luke’s good, I didn’t really know him before he came but to get to 300 games is brilliant for him. I wouldn’t say he’s any more influential than James McDonald, Dean Brogan, Chad Cornes or even Setanta O’Hailpin, all of those guys have played a massive role off the field.

Whether they provide feedback to the players, on the field they’re just terrific as far as being able to calm the players and make better decisions while they’re out there. Instead of having to send a runner out there we’ve got coaches on the field who are continually giving feedback to the players and continually trying to change what they’re doing with their thinking in a second, rather than waiting five minutes to get a runner out there.

Mark Williams says having playing coaches Chad Cornes (pictured), Luke Power, Dean Brogan and James McDonald on the field is immensely useful.

DT: It must be great for the group dynamic. Just on that point, assuming a few of the blokes don’t go round again will you be looking at picking up more senior bodies and senior players?

MW: That’s what I’ve heard, but honestly I don’t have too much to do with that.

DT: I wanted to ask about Skoda, do you find there’s any sort of home ground advantage there yet? How are the facilities?

MW: (laughs) We’ve won one game there, so no home ground advantage yet, but it’s a fantastic facility. The AFL have done a wonderful job, and the people at Olympic Park there. We’ve just recently purchased the golf driving range, so our training facility is going to be right there.

We’re building a new oval and a new indoor facility with gym, weights, recovery. For those that know where the driving range is, it’s right next to the Olympic swimming pool. So that’ll be great, it’s probably one year away from being totally ready. The truth is that we’ll be based only ten minutes away from where most of the players live, but still be able to surface out to Blacktown where many of our new fans and players will come from in the future.

DT: Speaking of the players, we all know the likes of Toby Greene, Jeremy Cameron and Adam Treloar are fantastic, but are there any you can see that will come out and surprise us next year like these guys have? 

MW: Everyone’s seem little glimpses of certain people. Stephen Coniglio’s done some good stuff but its only been spasmodic and I’m sure he’ll have much better gears [in future]. Jon Patton did virtually nothing all pre-season, I mean he could barely walk around the grounds, but to play what he has [been able to] has been fantastic for him.

You’re all aware my daughter goes out with Dylan Shiel, he’s been really good but unfortunately he’s been injured twice this pre-season – he had appendicitis and then had foot surgery which has put him out for the last eight weeks or so. He’ll show some real signs when he comes back.

I think Jon Giles has been the standout in regards to a bloke that was delisted after four years at Port, to show the form he has is a great story for us as well.

Toby Greene

DT: Were you a part of getting him to GWS? Assumedly you would have worked with him at Port.

MW: Yeah, very much so. When they talked about who might be the best ruckman I might be aware of I mentioned he played very well at Sturt and so on. He’s played two years up here now, we had a year in the NEAFL and he was certainly our best player last year, so it didn’t surprise us much that he could [perform at AFL level].

We played against the Suns, Lions and Swans reserves so he was against good ruckmen, the likes of [Mike] Pyke, [Mark] Seaby and those sort of blokes played and he played pretty well against those blokes.

DT: He’s been fantastic this year. A lot of people are looking at them trading Brogan to you and with Lobbe and Redden struggling a bit, they can be amazed that he slipped through their fingers.

MW: It’s just great to think that people getting a second chance can shine. We all love people who are underdogs and get second chances. It doesn’t always necessarily work the first time – it might be the circumstance or the opportunity, but this has worked well and he has a bright future in front of him.

DT: Speaking of second chances and people moving up, you got Steve Clifton from the VFL and I’m a big fan of his, will you be looking at the state leagues again?

MW: As I said, I don’t have too much to do with that, but if you look at a lot of the rookies, some of the best players in the AFL, whether it’s [Dean] Cox, [Aaron] Sandilands, [Stephen] Milne, there’s a whole stack of them that have come through as rookies or players who get second chances.

It was fantastic that Tom Logan played his 100th game for the Power and he was a second-chance man from Brisbane.

Tom Logan played his 100th game for the Power on the weekend – one of the ‘second-chance men’ Williams spoke of.

DT: On the Power, was the win against them a little bittersweet?

MW: Oh, very much so. It was brilliant for our fans and supporters, trainers, all the people who have done a lot of work to get it going, but I have so many good friends and memories with Port that when the siren had gone it was, yeah, to understand the ramifications of that loss to Port, such a proud club, it was pretty hard to watch the other boys and how they had to handle it.

It was the same when I spoke to Chad [Cornes] and Broges [Dean Brogan], the thought of beating Port was exciting before the game but afterwards it didn’t taste that good.

DT: Yeah, I can imagine with Matthew Primus’s reaction, a lot of the Port boys and yourself would have been a bit…

MW: He’s a great friend of all of us – Alan Hinch, our opposition analyst and video man, Jon Giles, the other boys and I, there’s four or five of us that have spent a lot of time at Port and we always keep an eye on what’s going on there.

DT: Just wanted to ask how you guys are interacting with the community, and how you’re finding the coverage out there?

MW: I think the people in the media department have done just a brilliant job, I can’t imagine the amount of publicity we’ve gotten. I was pretty skeptical, thinking we wouldn’t get too much, but we’ve certainly gotten an amazing amount of publicity. I think Israel Folau is the reason for a lot of that, and obviously Sheeds is brilliant as well.

Whatever Israel gets paid he’s certainly been worth it with the publicity so far. He’s gonna take a bit of time with his footy, he’s had a bit of an injury-interrupted season but he’s moving in the right direction.

Folau playing in the AFL for GWS. (Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/affers)

If the club can keep getting publicity, win a few more games next year and more people jump on board, it’ll certainly take off, just like it did with Brisbane.

Out, out damn Ratts!

One of the few things I learned in school is that behind all the awesome violence and rooting in Shakespeare, there’s often a Message to be had.

The Scottish play, Macbeth, has a particularly easy to comprehend moral: naked ambition, when realised by bloodshed, rarely leads to happiness, indeed, usually resulting in torment and ultimately the destruction of the ambitious murderer themselves.

It is a lesson that Stephen Kernahan would do well to learn, admitting as he has that Carlton have “blood on their hands” after knifing Brett Ratten in the banquet chamber.

Kernahan is no Lady Macbeth. She’s traditionally depicted a shrill harpy type figure, screeching “Out, out damn spot!” while Greenpeace are currently taking court action to have Kernahan’s vocal cords removed as he speaks at a pitch so deep it interferes with the navigation systems of whales in the far Antarctic.

But the moral remains the same: Carlton have committed an unholy murder, from which no good can come. And they know it.

You actually have to wonder why the Blues would do it. Returning the Macbeth metaphor, it is pretty obvious that the cackling witches on the scene – Mathieson, Pratt and the other bloke I won’t name as he gets a bit litigious – were egging the whole thing on.

Yet Malthouse? Is Mick really the answer? There’s no denying the fact that the bloke can coach. Piles of premierships attest to that. But surely Carlton have already learned that getting a bloke in just because he won flags somewhere else isn’t a guaranteed recipe for success.

Carlton are a lot like Essendon here. They still haven’t, at a fundamental level, realised that the flag winning game has changed forever. You simply cannot buy success any more. You can’t jump the queue with cash alone. Flags are built, not bought. Look at Geelong, built a multiple flag winning team over the better part of a decade, almost sacking Bomber in the process.

Same at Hawthorn, Clarko built that team over years, has been there years himself. Even Mick Malthouse needed a bottom finish and a good few years to mould the Collingwood juggernaut.

Carlton aren’t really in a position, given the age of key players, to be embarking on that kind of process. More importantly, they seem divided as a club, with directors and presidents and the playing group drifting in various directions. It is going to take more than throwing a few million bucks at Mick Malthouse to right that ship.

Speaking of a few million bucks, I’m wondering just how Carlton are going to finance all this. They still have an enormous debt, and more pertinently, still owe the AFL from when they were bailed after going all but under a decade ago.

The Bluebaggers are also getting $1m in “disequal” funding off the AFL in the current round. Is sacking your third coach in a row and having to pay him out half a mil really financially prudent? Carlton types will no doubt respond that they have various wealthy types ready to fund them. But they’ve always had a (brown paper) bagful of rich people on board. They still went all but bankrupt by overextending themselves. Here we go again.

It is almost like Carlton embraces hubris.

There is one thing they can be thankful for though: Brett Ratten appears to be putting club before personal welfare or grudges. It’s a mark of how badly Carlton have done this that Ratten still comes away with so much dignity and pride. The man leaves with a positive winning record after all.

Which is interesting given that his first few games included the legendary Kreuzer Cup. Given the recent trend for sacked coaches of teams that got priority picks to tip the bucket on tanking, Carlton can be very thankful that, unlike Banquo, Ratts’ ghost will not rise at an inopportune moment to remind them of their hideous misdeeds.

That can be a job for the rest of us.

AFL Teams Round 23

HAWTHORN V WEST COAST EAGLES

MCG – Fri Aug 31, 7:50pm

Hawthorn

B: Brent Guerra, Josh Gibson, Benjamin Stratton
HB: Grant Birchall, Ryan Schoenmakers, Shaun Burgoyne
C: Jordan Lewis, Sam Mitchell, Isaac Smith
HF: Luke Hodge, Lance Franklin, Cyril Rioli
F: Luke Breust, Jarryd Roughead, Paul Puopolo
Foll: David Hale, Brad Sewell, Liam Shiels
I/C: Clinton Young, Brendan Whitecross, Matt Suckling, Jack Gunston
Emg: Max Bailey, Xavier Ellis, Shane Savage
In: Cyril Rioli
Out: Xavier Ellis

West Coast Eagles

B: Beau Waters, Darren Glass, Adam Selwood
HB: Shannon Hurn, Mitch Brown, Will Schofield
C: Daniel Kerr, Matthew Priddis, Andrew Gaff

HF: Josh Hill, Jack Darling, Patrick McGinnity
F: Andrew Embley, Josh Kennedy, Nic Naitanui
Foll: Dean Cox, Scott Selwood, Luke Shuey
I/C: Sam Butler, Chris Masten, Andrew Strijk, Jacob Brennan
Emg: Quinten Lynch, Bradd Dalziell, Lewis Stevenson
In: Mitch Brown, Jacob Brennan
Out: Matthew Rosa (collarbone), Eric Mackenzie (Hamstring)
Milestones: Luke Shuey – 50 games

GEELONG CATS V SYDNEY SWANS

SS – Sat Sep 01, 1:45pm

Geelong Cats

B: Matthew Scarlett, Tom Lonergan, Josh Hunt

HB: Taylor Hunt, Harry Taylor, Corey Enright
C: Mitch Duncan, Joel Selwood, Jimmy Bartel
HF: Mathew Stokes, Allen Christensen, Steven Motlop
F: Paul Chapman, Tom Hawkins, James Podsiadly
Foll: Nathan Vardy, Steve Johnson, James Kelly
I/C: Joel Corey, Andrew Mackie, Trent West, Jordan Murdoch
Emg: David Wojcinski, Cameron Guthrie, Josh Walker
In: Matthew Scarlett, Joel Selwood, Taylor Hunt, Nathan Vardy
Out: Travis Varcoe (Foot), Billie Smedts (Hand), Cameron Guthrie, Josh Walker
Milestones: Tom Hawkins – 100 games, Mitch Duncan – 50 games

Sydney Swans

B: Nicholas Smith, Ted Richards, Alex Johnson
HB: Jarrad McVeigh, Heath Grundy, Martin Mattner
C: Rhyce Shaw, Kieren Jack, Lewis Jetta
HF: Jude Bolton, Lewis Roberts-Thomson, Ryan O’Keefe
F: Daniel Hannebery, Adam Goodes, Shane Mumford
Foll: Mike Pyke, Josh P. Kennedy, Craig Bird
I/C: Nick Malceski, Ben McGlynn, Luke Parker, Tommy Walsh
Emg: Brett Meredith, Mitch Morton, Tony Armstrong
In: Jude Bolton, Tommy Walsh
Out: Sam Reid (Gluteal), Mitch Morton

ADELAIDE V GOLD COAST SUNS

AS – Sat Sep 01, 1:40pm

Adelaide

B: Sam Shaw, Ben Rutten, Michael Doughty

HB: Nathan van Berlo, Daniel Talia, Brent Reilly
C: David Mackay, Scott Thompson, Richard Douglas
HF: Matthew Wright, Taylor Walker, Jared Petrenko
F: Ian Callinan, Kurt Tippett, Jason Porplyzia
Foll: Sam Jacobs, Rory Sloane, Patrick Dangerfield
I/C: Graham Johncock, Aidan Riley, Matthew Jaensch, Brodie Smith
Emg: Luke Thompson, Richard Tambling, Tom Lynch
In: Rory Sloane, Matthew Jaensch
Out: Bernie Vince (Knee), Luke Brown

Gold Coast Suns

B: Michael Coad, Matthew Warnock, Trent McKenzie
HB: Jeremy Taylor, Daniel Stanley, Jarrod Harbrow
C: Piers Flanagan, Gary Ablett, Taylor Hine
HF: Matt Shaw, Tom Lynch, Brandon Matera
F: Alik Magin, Steven May, Campbell Brown
Foll: Charlie Dixon, Josh Caddy, Harley Bennell
I/C: Maverick Weller, Tom Hickey, Jacob Gillbee, Kyal Horsley
Emg: Hayden Jolly, Josh Toy, Sam Iles
In: Jeremy Taylor
Out: Josh Toy

GWS GIANTS V NORTH MELBOURNE

SK – Sat Sep 01, 4:40pm

GWS Giants

B: Matthew Buntine, Phil Davis, Nick Haynes

HB: Curtly Hampton, Jack Hombsch, Adam Kennedy
C: Tom Scully, Callan Ward, Luke Power
HF: James McDonald, Jonathan Giles, Adam Treloar
F: Rhys Palmer, Chad Cornes, Taylor Adams
Foll: Dean Brogan, Steve Clifton, Toby Greene
I/C: Israel Folau, WIlliam Hoskin-Elliott, Devon Smith, Dom Tyson
Emg: Rhys Cooyou, Andrew Phillips, Adam Tomlinson
In: Steve Clifton, Israel Folau, Jack Hombsch, Tom Scully, Rhys Palmer, Dean Brogan, Chad Cornes
Out: Tomas Bugg, Rhys Cooyou, Sam Darley (Foot), Anthony Miles, Andrew Phillips, Nathan Wilson (Cheek bone), Adam Tomlinson
Milestones: Tom Scully – 50 games

North Melbourne

B: Scott McMahon, Luke Delaney, Michael Firrito
HB: Shaun Atley, Scott Thompson, Samuel Wright
C: Ryan Bastinac, Ben Cunnington, Jamie Macmillan
HF: Kieran Harper, Robert Tarrant, Lindsay Thomas
F: Brent Harvey, Drew Petrie, Lachlan Hansen
Foll: Todd Goldstein, Andrew Swallow, Jack Ziebell
I/C: Matt Campbell, Cruize Garlett, Liam Anthony, Sam Gibson
Emg: Aaron Black, Cameron Delaney, Aaron Mullett

ESSENDON V COLLINGWOOD

MCG – Sat Sep 01, 7:40pm

Essendon

B: Brent Stanton, Tayte Pears, Cale Hooker

HB: Jake Melksham, Kyle Hardingham, Michael Hibberd
C: Mark Baguley, Jobe Watson, Courtenay Dempsey
HF: Leroy Jetta, Stewart Crameri, Dyson Heppell
F: Michael Hurley, Tom Bellchambers, Nicholas O’Brien
Foll: David Hille, Ben Howlett, Angus Monfries
I/C: David Myers, David Zaharakis, Jackson Merrett, Cory Dell’Olio
Emg: Sam Lonergan, Travis Colyer, Alex Browne
In: David Hille, David Myers, Ben Howlett, Jackson Merrett, Cory Dell’Olio
Out: Heath Hocking (Knee), Nathan Lovett-Murray (Hamstring), Alwyn Davey (Hamstring), Scott Gumbleton (Soreness), Alex Browne
New: Jackson Merrett (Geelong Falcons)
Milestones: Angus Monfries – 150 games

Collingwood

B: Chris Tarrant, Heritier O’Brien, Nathan Brown
HB: Ben Johnson, Ben Reid, Nick Maxwell
C: Sharrod Wellingham, Dane Swan, Alan Toovey
HF: Scott Pendlebury, Jackson Paine, Heath Shaw
F: Dale Thomas, Travis Cloke, Jamie Elliott
Foll: Darren Jolly, Steele Sidebottom, Dayne Beams
I/C: Alan Didak, Tyson Goldsack, Andrew Krakouer, Alex Fasolo
Emg: Ben Sinclair, Josh Thomas, Paul Seedsman
In: Nick Maxwell, Darren Jolly, Andrew Krakouer, Jamie Elliott, Jackson Paine
Out: Chris Dawes, Cameron Wood, Jarryd Blair (Groin), Ben Sinclair, Paul Seedsman
Milestones: Heath Shaw – 150 games

FREMANTLE V MELBOURNE

PS – Sat Sep 01, 5:40pm

Fremantle

B: Adam McPhee, Luke McPharlin, Zac Dawson
HB: Lee Spurr, Michael Johnson, Paul Duffield
C: Michael Barlow, Ryan Crowley, Tendai Mzungu
HF: Michael Walters, Christopher Mayne, David Mundy
F: Hayden Ballantyne, Matthew Pavlich, Clancee Pearce
Foll: Aaron Sandilands, Nathan Fyfe, Stephen Hill
I/C: Garrick Ibbotson, Jonathon Griffin, Thomas Sheridan, Nicholas Suban
Emg: Zachary Clarke, Jesse Crichton, Dylan Roberton
In: Matthew Pavlich, Jonathon Griffin, Thomas Sheridan
Out: Kepler Bradley (Concussion), Zachary Clarke, Matthew de Boer (Ankle)
New: Thomas Sheridan (Calder Cannons)
Milestones: Garrick Ibbotson – 100 games

Melbourne

B: Joel Macdonald, James Sellar, Tom McDonald
HB: Jack Watts, James Frawley, Lynden Dunn
C: Jack Trengove, Jordie McKenzie, Jack Grimes
HF: Luke Tapscott, Colin Garland, Rohan Bail
F: Jeremy Howe, Jared Rivers, Sam Blease
Foll: Mark Jamar, Colin Sylvia, Nathan Jones
I/C: Neville Jetta, Jack Fitzpatrick, Daniel Nicholson, Josh Tynan
Emg: Jake Spencer, James Strauss, Jordan Gysberts
In: Mark Jamar, Jack Fitzpatrick, Josh Tynan
Out: Brad Green (Retired), Jake Spencer, James Strauss
Milestones: Jared Rivers – 150 games

CARLTON V ST KILDA

ES – Sun Sep 02, 1:10pm

Carlton

B: Nick Duigan, Simon White, Zach Tuohy
HB: Heath Scotland, Andrew Walker, Bryce Gibbs
C: Marc Murphy, Chris Judd, Kade Simpson
HF: Mitch Robinson, Jarrad Waite, Christopher Yarran
F: Jeffrey Garlett, Luke Mitchell, Eddie Betts
Foll: Matthew Kreuzer, Brock McLean, Andrew Carrazzo
I/C: Dennis Armfield, David Ellard, Rhys O’Keeffe, Kane Lucas, Pat McCarthy, Edward Curnow, Tom Bell
In: Mitch Robinson, Rhys O’Keeffe, Kane Lucas, Pat McCarthy, Luke Mitchell
Out: Levi Casboult (Kidney), Andrew McInnes (Knee)
New: Pat McCarthy (Glenelg / Plympton), Luke Mitchell (Calder Cannons / St Bernards)

St Kilda

B: Jason Blake, James Gwilt, Tom Simpkin
HB: Jamie Cripps, Sean Dempster, Jarryn Geary
C: Farren Ray, Nick Dal Santo, Brendon Goddard
HF: Arryn Siposs, Rhys Stanley, David Armitage
F: Stephen Milne, Beau Wilkes, Ahmed Saad
Foll: Ben McEvoy, Lenny Hayes, Leigh Montagna
I/C: Jason Gram, Justin Koschitzke, Jack Steven, Tom Ledger, Terry Milera, Sebastian Ross, Jack Newnes
In: Jason Blake, Jason Gram, Justin Koschitzke, David Armitage
Out: Sam Gilbert (Shoulder)

RICHMOND V PORT ADELAIDE

MCG – Sun Sep 02, 3:15pm

Richmond

B: Steven Morris, Alex Rance, Jayden Post
HB: Jake Batchelor, Chris Newman, Bachar Houli
C: Shaun Grigg, Trent Cotchin, Bradley Helbig
HF: Brett Deledio, Shane Edwards, Daniel Jackson
F: Luke McGuane, Jack Riewoldt, Robin Nahas
Foll: Ivan Maric, Dustin Martin, Shane Tuck
I/C: David Astbury, Matt Dea, Tom Derickx, Brandon Ellis, Todd Elton, Brett O’Hanlon, Addam Maric
In: Tom Derickx, Brandon Ellis, Todd Elton, Addam Maric
Out: Matthew White (Hamstring)

Port Adelaide

B: Tom Logan, Alipate Carlile, Thomas Jonas
HB: Danyle Pearce, Jackson Trengove, Domenic Cassisi
C: Kane Cornes, Bradley Ebert, Matthew Broadbent
HF: Matt Thomas, Justin Westhoff, Brett Ebert
F: Paul Stewart, Jay Schulz, Chad Wingard
Foll: Jarrad Redden, Travis Boak, Hamish Hartlett
I/C: David Rodan, Daniel Stewart, Simon Phillips, Aaron Young, Nathan Blee, Darren Pfeiffer, John McCarthy
In: Hamish Hartlett, Jarrad Redden, Daniel Stewart, Simon Phillips
Out: Matthew Lobbe (Hamstring)

BRISBANE LIONS V WESTERN BULLDOGS

G – Sun Sep 02, 4:40pm

Brisbane Lions

B: Josh Drummond, Daniel Merrett, Ryan Lester
HB: Pearce Hanley, Joel Patfull, Jed Adcock
C: Rohan Bewick, Daniel Rich, James Polkinghorne
HF: Jack Redden, Jonathan Brown, Dayne Zorko
F: Tom Rockliff, Jordan Lisle, Joshua Green
Foll: Ben Hudson, Simon Black, Andrew Raines
I/C: James Hawksley, Amon Buchanan, Ryan Harwood, Claye Beams, Sam Docherty, Elliot Yeo, Jack Crisp
In: Amon Buchanan, Sam Docherty, Elliot Yeo
New: Sam Docherty (Gippsland Power (VIC))

Western Bulldogs

B: Michael Talia, Lukas Markovic, Easton Wood
HB: Shaun Higgins, Jordan Roughead, Robert Murphy
C: Christian Howard, Matthew Boyd, Ryan Griffen
HF: Nathan Djerrkura, Brian Lake, Tory Dickson
F: Dylan Addison, Tom Campbell, Jarrad Grant
Foll: William Minson, Liam Picken, Mitchell Wallis
I/C: Adam Cooney, Matthew Panos, Patrick Veszpremi, Zephaniah Skinner, Clay Smith, Lin Jong, Fletcher Roberts
In: Brian Lake, Matthew Panos, Patrick Veszpremi, Fletcher Roberts
Out: Daniel Giansiracusa (Knee)
New: Matthew Panos (Norwood)
Milestones: Jarrad Grant – 50 games

Weekly Punt: Last Round and Still Plenty of Value

The Weekly Punt may be the best kept secret in the AFL as it continues increasing its stake and doing a far better job of predicting margins. It has now beaten the market eight times in the last nine weeks and this week should be no different. If the trend continues it should more than quintuple its initial stake by the end of the season.

GWS winning the wooden spoon this year should be a formality but their year apart from some really bad losses has been pretty good for the teenage side. They play North this week, and both teams have beaten the betting lines 11 times this season. The Kangaroos momentum was stopped last week dead its tracks with a 53 point loss to the Dockers. How then North is expected to thrash a team away this week is baffling. Take GWS at +84.5 this week with our bet of the round.

When both these two teams played on Anzac Day it seemed at the time that they were both heading for top four. How much can change in a few months, but do not be fooled by Collingwood’s poor form. Four of their last five wins have been against the Swans, Saints, Cats, Dockers and Eagles. If a fit Collingwood team is up for the finals they can still go all the way and with Dons out for the count, the Pies should smash them this week. Take Collingwood with Betfair as they will give you the best line at -33.5; they should get well past that even possibly before half-time.

The Hawks last week beat the betting line only just, yet this meant they equalled the Swans and both are outright leaders in this category with 14 each this season. It is always fascinating to why the top two teams on the ladder continue to be underrated in the betting market lines. This Friday night is no different. Hawthorn has their best 22 out there, while the Eagles have several key players still out. Given it is at the MCG, expect the Hawks to take the minor premiership in emphatic fashion. Betfair are offering the best odds at $1.95 for the -26.5 line.

In this dead rubber game between Saints and Carlton, the game has taken an even more eerily ghostly feel with Ratten coaching the last game despite been given marching orders. With little to play for and Carlton still with several key players out (why the Carlton board do not take this into account is disconcerting) expect the margin to be a lot bigger for the Saints as they show no sentiment skipping well past the -4.5 line offered by Centrebet this week.

Fremantle hasn’t exactly been smashing teams this season, they have only managed two wins with more than ten goal margins. Given the Dockers have not beaten the Dees in two years, the +53.5 line for Melbourne seems like a reasonable bet.

Port get some good players back this week, and given they should have won last week against the Lions, they look like they may provide a contest for Tigers. Betfair are offering the best odds for the Power at $1.94 with the +42.5 handicap.

 

Current Betting Fund: $4,569.50. Total staked so far: $1,003.50

 

GWS v North Melbourne – Handicap (+84.5) – $200 @ $1.92 Sportsbet

Essendon  v  Collingwood – Handicap (-33.5) – $200 @ $1.90 Betfair

Hawthorn v West Coast – Handicap (-26.5) – $200 @ $1.95 Betfair

Carlton v St Kilda – Handicap (-4.5) – $200 @ $1.91  Centrebet

Fremantle v Melbourne – Handicap (+53.5) – $100 @ $1.92 Sportsbet

Richmond v Port Adelaide – Handicap (+42.5) – $100 @ $1.94 Betfair

 

(Bet is on team in Bold)

Odds correct at time of posting – go to odds.BigFooty.com for the latest prices from all the big bookies.

 

 

Lions itching to go 3 in a row

Brisbane Lions v Western Bulldogs

WHERE AND WHEN: The Gabba, Sunday September 2, 4.40pm
LAST TIME: Brisbane Lions 18.6 (114) d Western Bulldogs 7.14 (56), round 13, 2012, at Etihad Stadium

Ryan Griffen will need to be at his best for the Dogs to have a real chance at the Gabba.

The final game of the home and away season is a battle of the lesser lights, but one that is set to be important for each side despite their ladder placing.

The Brisbane Lions are coming off successive wins against the top 4 placed Crows at home and the lowly Port away, while the Western Bulldogs will want to continue the improved form they showed against Geelong at the fortress of Simonds Stadium last weekend.

The Dogs and Lions win/loss records have almost flipped from each other in 2011, with the Lions currently sitting on 9 wins (up from 4) with the Dogs on 5 (down from 9). Despite this, the Dogs are still a far more experienced side and the Lions will not want to take them lightly; if they do, they risk a chance of a shock loss and the undoing of some of their good work over the past fortnight.

The good news for the Dogs is that they fought hard against Geelong in a situation where many expected decimation. Although a 34 point loss might not sound like much to be excited about, the improvement from youngsters along with the scintillating form of Ryan Griffen and Matthew Boyd would have had Bulldogs’ fans smiling. Also promising was Adam Cooney, who’s degenerative knee condition led many to believe his career may be over, recording his highest disposal count in what was probably his best game for 2012.

The bad news is that the Lions monstered them in their previous clash this season. Away from home, Brisbane kicked 10 goals to 2 after half-time to record a 58 point victory. Midfielder Tom Rockliff had one of the best games of his career, reaching 40 disposals for the first time and booting 2 goals. He is currently carrying what looks to be a slight groin injury and has been down on form, but midfielders like Jack Redden, Andrew Raines, Daniel Rich and first year sensation Dayne Zorko have been more than adequate in stepping up to the plate.

The respective forward set-ups look to be much different this time around. Ashley McGrath and Daniel Merrett kicked 5 and 4 respectively in round 13, but McGrath is injured and Merrett has been shifted back to defense. The onus falls on Jonathan Brown, Jordan Lisle and small forward Josh Green to kick the score with assistance from the midfield. Daniel Giansiracusa was the Dogs only multiple goalkicker in the last encounter, but it looks like he will play second fiddle to Jarrad Grant after he was impressive with 3 goals against Geelong, helping the Dogs find the forward they have been screaming out for.

Another added spark to the clash is that former Bulldogs ruckman Ben Hudson may be playing his last game. At 33 it’s a flip of the coin whether the Lions can coax Hudson into going around again. If he does retire, it seems only fitting that he would do so against the team he played the bulk of his career against.

Will this be Ben Hudson’s last game in the AFL? (Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/77047082@N07)

The Brisbane Lions haven’t won 3 games in a row since 2010 and will be itching to finish off 2012 with a bang.

Key Players

Jarrad Grant – Can he back up his game from last week? The Dogs need a focal point and he provided one against the Cats. As a high draft pick he hasn’t come along as expected, but if he has another good game it could go a long way to helping the Dogs get an upset.

Ryan Griffen – After two gigantic games Griffen will need to fire again to give the Dogs a shot. Lions’ tagger Andrew Raines seems to be improving his shut-down efforts each game and will most likely go to Griffen as the opposition’s most damaging player. Griffen will need to shake off the tag and keep up his form at the Gabba.

Dayne Zorko – Zorko was rewarded with 10 coaches votes against Port Adelaide and with good reason. He isn’t the most elegant player in the AFL but for his size his tackling pressure, ball extraction and goal-kicking ability is titanic. He averages nearly 20 disposals and 7 tackles along with a goal a game in his first season and doesn’t seem like he’ll slow down in the final round.

Jordan Lisle – ‘Moose’ has been quiet up forward in his first few games for the Lions, but has provided a target and taken some strong marks. This is his chance to convert against a stretched Bulldogs defense which will likely be without Brian Lake.

Prediction: Lions by 32

Tigers set to Power to the finish line

Richmond are set to take on Port Adelaide

Richmond v Port Adelaide

MCG – September 2 2012 – 3:15PM

Richmond and Port Adelaide will take to the plains of the MCG this Sunday as the two teams officially end their 2012 campaign.

As both teams are well and truly out of finals contention, pride and development for the future are the only purpose of this contest as thinking ahead for 2013 becomes involved.

A Tigers win however could see them finish as high as 10th if other results fall their way, including finishing ahead of rivals such as Carlton and Essendon.

For Port Adelaide, a win or a loss is unlikely to make a difference to their final resting spot of 14th.

The Tigers will be hot favourites running in to the match, with coach Damien Hardwick enjoying a late season flourish from his troops after their demolition job of Essendon.

It means there is unlikely to be too many changes to the successful line up, with White the only player to likely miss out due to a hamstring injury. White is looking likely to be replaced by the impressive Ellis, who will look to finish off his classy debut season in style.

Port Adelaide meanwhile will likely give Steven Salopek a fair well game in what would likely be his final game with the club.

All eyes will be on Trent Cotchin in his final attempt to gain further votes in his Brownlow quest.

Richmond has been dominant through the midfield in recents weeks, curtailing Essendon to just 40 inside 50’s last week to Richmond’s 71.

It will be difficult for Port Adelaide to counter-act the Tigers, given the comparative difference in class.

If Port are to win, they would need to base their game on counter-attacking football. Absorbing the Richmond attack before taking opportunities as they come at the other end.

Richmond has shown a tendency to fall over in close games this year, so Port Adelaide would fancy their chances if they are close enough.

It seems unlikely though at this stage that Port Adelaide could absorb such an attack though, meaning a Richmond win is a highly likely outcome.

Prediction: Richmond by 48 points

 

Check out BigFooty today for the thoughts of both teams’ supporters

Richmond Tigers

Port Adelaide

Jobs on the line in the 2012 ‘if only’ Cup

Carlton vs St Kilda

Sunday, 2nd September
Etihad Stadium, 1:10pm

Carlton and St Kilda’s 2012 seasons have both been reduced to a battle for ninth with Richmond in a match which may be Brett Ratten’s last as Blues coach.

The Blues put themselves in the running to clinch a top eight sport with three wins on the trot, including a humiliation of arch rivals Essendon, but inexplicably lost to the Gold Coast Suns, ending their September hopes, and most likely their coaches’ job. Carlton will be without Levi Casboult, who faces surgery after splitting his kidney, and Andrew McInnes who faces a knee reconstruction, while Michael Jamison is a good chance to return from his hamstring injury.

St Kilda will be buoyed by four key resigning through the week, goal sneak Stephen Milne and stoic midfielder Lenny Hayes will be back next year, while Leigh Montagna and Sam Gilbert got two, and three year extensions respectively.

The Saints took out their frustrations at a season which could so very nearly have gone a different way had a tackle been broken with five minutes to go against Sydney on the hapless GWS last week and will be keen to head for their footy trip with a solid performance.

Both teams have the opportunity to dip to the bottom of their lists and blood some young talent, and both would be hoping to put mediocre seasons behind them. It will be interesting to see how the Blues playing squad react to their feeble effort last week, and the furore surrounding the inevitable axing of their coach, and the supposed appointment of Mick Malthouse to take over the reins next season.

Carlton have a terrible record against the Saints in recent times, having beaten them only twice since 2001. St Kilda’s resigning of players through the week and punishing 128 win last week will have them best placed finish on a high.

Prediction

St Kilda by 45.

Pies to pass damaged Dons

Essendon v Collingwood

WHERE AND WHEN: MCG, Saturday September 1, 7.40pm

Collingwood have a top 4 chance on the line when the meet their old rivals Essendon who have all but stopped.

This game is the most influential game of the round, its outcome will determine who makes wheather or not West Coast or Collingwood will finish in 4 th. If  Collingwood wins and the Eagles win Collingwood will finish 5th but if Collingwood win and the Eagles don’t then it will be the Magpies the seize the double chance.

Essendon will want to spoil the part but will need a big turn around in form. Last week they were embarrassed again, this time it was Richmond by 45 points. They are limping to the line and will just want this week to be over.

The Pies are hardly in good form themselves. Despite sitting 5th their last two losses are indicative of their form. Their 30 point loss to North Melbourne and 49 point loss West Coast last week were pathetic and they need to turn their form around by Friday.

Collingwood Will Want To See…

The Pies must win, their task come finals  is already difficult enough, if they miss out on top 4 it will become nigh impossible.

Another week has passed and yet again the two big forwards Cloke and Dawes failed to get the job done. It is sounding like a broken record but they need to be at least half competitive otherwise all hope is lost for Collingwood and its premiership push.

Finally Collingood would love to see a solid first game back form Andrew Krakouer. He has been out all season and Pies fans are hoping he can bring back that X factor that they  have been missing.

Essendon Will Want To See…

The Bombers would love to rain on Collingwood’ s parade, winning and  delivering a huge blow to their finals chances would be a welcome consultation prize.

Their injuries have also provided them the opportunity to blood some youngsters. The likes of Mark Baguley and Nick O’Brien have played in their first  few games at the end of  the year. Collingwood is just another team that they will provide them with valuable experience to carry into the next few years.

Prediction

Essendon would love to spoil the party but their year is over. They are decimated by injury and limping to the line. They just don’t have an upset left in them.

Collingwood are far from flag favourites, but they should be able to play well enough to get over the line.

Collingwood by 15

Dockers and Demons to crunch the numbers

Fremantle vs Melbourne

Saturday, 1st September
Patersons Stadium, 7:40pm

Fremantle’s coaches will have their calculators out as part of their pre-game warm up as the Dockers will be in the unique position of knowing exactly how much they will have to win by to possibly claim a home final.

While the Demons have shown some bright glimpses in an otherwise dreary season with recent wins over Gold Coast and GWS, their 69-point loss, after leading in the second term, to Adelaide last round to farewell Brad Green is more in line with their disappointing season. The form of Colin Sylvia has been a highlight, and he will probably attract the smothering tag of Ryan Crowley for his troubles this week.

The Dockers will have the luxury of having the matches that will shape their finals destiny prior to their own match. Depending on whether Geelong beat Sydney at home and if -and by how far- North Melbourne beat GWS they will be able to know exactly how much they will need to win by to secure sixth spot.

Matthew Pavlich was a late withdrawal against North Melbourne with a corked hamstring and general soreness, yet his side still returned an impressive 53-point victory to seal their finals berth. The Dockers small forwards in Michael Walters and Hayden Ballantyne stood up in the absence of their skipper, kicking four goals apiece. If Pavlich misses another week Zac Clarke may again be pushed forward. Kepler Bradley may be in doubt after being subbed off with a head-knock at half time against the Roos.

The Dockers midfield has been firing of late, with Clancee Pearce, Stephen Hill, Nat Fyfe and David Mundy dining out on Aaron Sandilands dominance in the middle. Mark Jamar is no certainty to start for the Demons, so Jake Spencer may be in for a long afternoon. Fremantle will also be farewelling Antoni Grover, fifth in the clubs all time games totals, who announced his retirement at season’s end.

Fremantle have won the past six games against Melbourne at Subiaco by an average of 33 points and took out their round 16 clash by 34 in what was their first victory against the Dees in Victoria since 2007.

Fremantle have been second only to Sydney for points conceded this season, and lead the competition for trapping the ball in opponents forward lines.

The Demons will of course be without Green and as such, wont offer much in scoreboard resistance, and are probably looking forward to another miserable season ending; allowing the Dockers to play to the calculator as need be.

Prediction:
Fremantle by *insert score required come Saturday afternoon here*