Previews. Round 4, 2011.

Richmond v Collingwood
MCG, Friday, 15 April, 7.40pm

B: Newman, Astbury, Conca
HB: Deledio, Thursfield, Batchelor
C: Cotchin, Martin, Edwards
HF: King, Vickery, Grigg
F: Helbig, Riewoldt, Houli
Foll: Graham, Jackson, Foley
I/C: Nahas, White, Grimes, Miller
Emg: Tuck, Dea, Nason
In: Thursfield, Miller
Out: Connors (leg), Morton
New: Miller (Melbourne)

B: Shaw, Tarrant, Toovey
HB: O’Brien, Reid, Maxwell
C: Krakouer, Ball, Thomas
HF: Beams, Dawes, Pendlebury
F: Sidebottom, Brown, Cloke
Foll: Wood, Dane Swan, Alan Didak
I/C: Davis, Johnson, Wellingham, Blair
Emg:Brad Dick, Goldsack, McCarthy
In: Wood
Out: Jolly (knee)

The Caringbush are just continuing on their merry way and one
could not imagine that Richmond will bother them for a moment.
As I said in this week’s podcast, Collingwood is all about
structure as opposed to individuals and it will take a lot of
theories on how to beat them, unless one looks at the way they
structure up in all aspects of the game, you are on a hiding to

Collingwood does not care about the randomness of the shape of the
ball or the way it bounces. IT does not care about how good an
opposition player might be or the wind.  What Malthouse has done
is drill into his players the ability only to control the things
they have direct control over.

How to kick, where to run, where to kick to, mateship on the
ground, working in tandem and running in waves.  This is the key
both to their winning ways, and is also going to be the key to
beating them.  Once the algorithms of the Malthouse system has
been sorted out, and counter-balances implemented by opposition
coaches, they will be so indoctrinated into their own methods that
the players will soon resort to the randomness of footy and the
creation of more contests which will be their downfall.

It will happen this year.

Unfortunately it will not happen with Richmond.

Richmond supporters can talk up their improvement so far in 2011
but the reality is somewhat different.  They are just not a very
good side.

Good to see Thursfield back and he should take Cloke whilst young
Astbury should go with Dawes.  If Richmond are to create a close
contest, they will need to stop the Collingwood run-on with tempo
footy but they will also need to push quickly forward at times.

The biggest trick will be juggling when to do either.

Collingwood by 58 points.

Hawthorn v West Coast
Aurora Stadium, Launceston, Saturday 16, April, 2.10pm

B: Ladson, Gilham, Bruce
H: Birchall, Gibson, Suckling
C: Bateman, Mitchell, Shiels
HF: Young, Franklin, Burgoyne
F: Osborne, Roughead, Lewis
Foll: Renouf, Hodge, Sewell
I/C: Ellis, Guerra, Savage, Hale
Emg: Whitecross, Murphy, Puopolo
In: Mitchell, Rioli
Out: Osborne (calf), Stratton (knee)

B: Brown, Glass, Hurn
HB: Butler, Mackenzie, S Selwood
C: Rosa, Priddis, Embley
HF: Ebert, Kennedy, Shuey
F: Nicoski, Lynch, Naitanui
Foll: Cox, A Selwood, Kerr
I/C: Schofield, Dalziell, Gaff, Darling
Emg: Swift, McGinnity, Sheppard
In: Dalziell
Out: McGinnity

Tassie gets its first taste of the big league for 2011 and this
could seriously be a fantastic game.  The medja has been creaming
its collective self over how great Buddy is but maybe the cooler
climate of Tassie might help put his ego in check a bit – even
though he is used to the lifestyle down there.
Mr. Said is back after his suspension and there will be gushing
aplenty every time he goes near the ball.  It will be that
sickening that I don’t think I will watch or listen to it.  *yawn*

Woosha should run Butler with Said to just pressure him a lot.
Scott Selwood has been getting a lot of the ball recently and
would be wasted in a negating role so let him run and carry.

I would be tempted to let Embley run with Hodge.  Both are great
players and will get a lot of the ball as they play wide of each

I just feel that Hodge has been getting his own way so
much in his career as he floated around halfback without an
opponent that ANYONE paying any attention to him and able to hurt
him the other way is going to get him frustrated and put him off
his game a bit.  Not that he doesn’t like the hard ball….just
that he has forgotten how to get it.

The midfield battle should be interesting because neither is
overly endowed with extreme pace.  Dana Sewell will go with
Priddis and that should be a great battle.  Both are in and under
players so the clash of heads and egos will be great to watch.

Hmm, so who should match up on Buddy.???  WAtch this space but I
would say throw a hat into the ring with Natanui and let the big Q
Bomber take the rucking duties when Coxy has his big breaks.

Looking at this game, I can actually see that the new look West
coast matches up very well on Hawthorn.  I can see Kennedy having
a day out on Josh Gibson and I am tipping West Coast to win by a

Carlton v Essendon
MCG, Saturday 16, April, 2.10pm

B: White, Jamison, Carrazzo
HB: Duigan, Laidler, Russell,
C: Scotland, Judd, Yarran
HF: Betts, Waite, Simpson
F:  Hampson, Henderson, Garlett
Foll: Warnock, Murphy, Gibbs,
I/C: Walker, Robinson, Curnow, Collins
Emg: Armfield, Ellard, Lucas
In: Henderson, White, Jamison
Out: Thornton, Watson

B: Hardingham, Fletcher, Dempsey
H: Heppell, Hooker, Lovett-Murray
C: McVeigh, Watson, Stanton
HF: Zaharakis, Hurley, Winderlich
F: Crameri, Ryder, Monfries
Foll: Bellchambers, Howlett, Hocking
I/C: Lonergan, Jetta, Prismall, Melksham
Emg: Reimers, Hille, Davey
In: Prismall
Out: Davey

So much to say about this game but knowing my allegiances, I
better keep it simple, stupid.

In an nutshell, Essendon has too much pace and move the ball way
to quickly for Carlton.  Carlton will try to play tempo footy as
they did last week against Collingwood but this will only play
into Essendon’s hands and with the usual turnover coming off
half-back by the Blues (would be worse if Bower and Thornton were
playing), Hurley, Ryder and Zaharakis will get a lot of scoring

Look for Monfries to try to rough up his opponent prior to the
bounce, only to cop a touch on his precious Michael Finnigin, and
go down in a heap like a screaming meamie!  A free before the
bounce in the goalsquare. For crying out loud Gieschen, its not
like we haven’t seen that before FFS!

As for the matchups, Jamison should take Hurley although the
Essendon big forwards will rotate between FF and CHF.  Laidler
will probably take the resting ruckman when he goes down there,
which means the Blues are very short down back.  (and

Duigan will go to Monfries and get sucked in, Yarran should go to
Winderich and Russell will probably go with Zaharakis.

I can’t see the Blueboys getting up because of one bloke…
Carazzo.  How he continues to get a game is beyond anyone’s
comprehension.  He is just not good enough and will cough up a lot
of turnovers to opponents.  He is slow and unskilled. WHERE THE

I don’t think there will be much tagging through the middle unless
Carlton decides to run Gibbs with Jobey the Watt in a negating

Down back for the Bombre’s, Fletch the Letch will do what he likes
against Waite and Henderson.  Hooker is just a solid and quality
player – he plays tight and tough and knows where to kick and run
off.  Waite will play the lazy forward and not chase.

Carlton has to stop the press from being set up easily and this is
what coach Thompson has been working on all summer.  The red and
black attack is doing it very well.

As much as it pains me to say, I cannot see Carlton’s forwards
kicking enough goals and its midfield does not impact the
scoreboard as much as Essendon’s does.

Bombers by 18 points.

Sydney v Geelong
SCG, Saturday 16, April, 7.10pm

B: Bevan, Richards, Mattner
H: Shaw, Grundy, Johnson
C: McGlynn, Jack, Smith
HF: Bolton, Reid, Goodes
F: O’Keefe, White, Hannebery
Foll: Mumford, Kennedy, McVeigh
I/C: Bird, Rohan, Jetta, Everitt
Emg: Pyke, Sumner, Parker

B: J Hunt, Scarlett, Enright
HB: Mackie, Taylor, Kelly
C: Bartel, Ling, Johnson
HF: Stokes, Mooney, Varcoe
F: Menzel, Podsiadly, Chapman
Foll: Ottens, Corey, Selwood
I/C: Lonergan, Milburn, Wojcinski, T Hunt
Emg: West, Christensen, Cowan
In: Lonergan, Mackie, Wojcinski
Out: Hawkins (back), Duncan (soreness), Allen Christensen

Game of the round up in Sydney for mine.  Two unbeaten teams and a
top 2 spot up for grabs, as well as the chance to put some space
between themselves and other teams early in the year.
I certainly didn’t expect either side to be in this situation 3
games in but it augers well for a quality match-up.

The big Horse is quietly confident from the looks of it as there
are no changes in his side from last week whilst the Cats have
lost a few that they can easily afford to lose and welcome back
Premiership players.

One thing that does bother me in terms of a spectacle is both
sides abilities to kick goals.  Neither is really reknowned for
their big scoring so it looks like it is going to be a very dour
(and boring) affair.  I only hope that it is much better than the
St. Kilda v Geelong game in round 1.

Jessie White tries hard and has a day out once every 6 weeks.
Young Reid is still learning the caper and the old reliance on
Goodes, Bolton and O’Keefe gets a bit stale as they can’t keep
going to the well time and time and time again.  As both teams
have found however, the need to inject more goal kickers rather
than big named forwards is vitally important.  Rohan, Everitt and
Hannebery for the Swannies have been great in keeping the
scoreboard ticking over.

For Geelong it is the same old story as well.  Chapamn, Mooney and
Stokes added to some of the midfield scorers has generally been
the M.O but the introduction of Menzel has been a revelation so
far in 2011.  I don’t think he will be able to do it over and over
again however.

Geelong’s strength is its midfield as we know but I think Mumford
will get the better of Ottie, who is on his last legs in 2011, and
will give Jack, McGlynn, Hannebury and Kennedy an armchair ride
through the guts.  I actually struggle to see how Geelong will
keep Kennedy quite to be honest and I am calling him for 3 votes

If either side can keep the other to 12 goals, they should come
out on top.

In Sydney, I think the Swannies will win by 9 points.

Port Adelaide v Adelaide
AAMI Stadium, Saturday 16, April, 7.40pm

B: Logan, Carlile, Trengove
HB: Pettigrew, Chaplin, Surjan
C: Boak, Thomas, Stewart
HF: Broadbent, C. Cornes, Gray
F: Ebert, Westhoff, D. Motlop
Foll: Brogan, Hartlett, Rodan
I/C: Salopek, Pittard, Hitchcock, O’Shea
Emg: Banner, Davenport, Irons
In: Ebert, Pettigrew, Salopek, Surjan, Hitchcock
Out: K. Cornes, Irons, Pearce, Davenport, Stewart

B: Tambling, Rutten, Johncock
HB: van Berlo, L Thompson, Symes
C: Smith, Dangerfield, Martin
HF: Vince, Walker, Knights
F: Jaensch, Tippett, Henderson
Foll: Maric, Thompson, Reilly
I/C: Douglas, Otten, Cook, McKernan
Emg: Moran, Gunston, Wright
In: Cook, L Thompson
Out: Stevens (illness), Davis (shoulder),
New: Luke Thompson (Geelong Falcons)

Even though those in the eastern (or western) states couldn’t
really care too much about this game, thank God the code has gone
national.  This should be a quality matchup.  (Can you feel the
sincerity there??)

Tarvis Boak is showing the sort of form that the Melbourne clubs
are keen to harness and they will be cursing that they will have
to wait for another 3 years before doing so.

The Chad is on his last legs and seems to have completely lost the
passion for the game. Getting pumped every week both by opposition
teams and in the medja won’t help but we will have to say a teary
farewell to The at the end of the year.  The strangest thing is
that iPrimus has dropped the wrong Jimmy Crack Cornes.  What is
going on there??

Let’s be honest about this game though.  Port just do not seem to
have much going for them do they?  There are some good ‘ins’ with
Surjan, Salopek and Ebert but they seem to lack the really good
quality that Adelaide has.

Losing Phil Davis from CHB will hurt and it will give a chance for
big Justin Westhoffer to put a stamp on the match.  They guy is
capable but doesn’t do it very often.

I can’t see the Port Adelaide backline keeping Adelaide to a
losing score though. Tippet, Walker, Vince and Knights should run

rings around Port and they will be well fed by Thompson, Reilly,
Dangerfield, Martin and Van Berlo.

There just seems to be not enough quality at Port to cause any
problems and although there will be a lot of emotion early in the
game, it won’t last long and the Crows should win by 45 points.

Gold Coast v Melbourne
Gabba, Sunday 17, April, 2.10pm

B: Bock, Hunt, Tape
HB: Toy, Coad, Harbrow
C: Rischitelli, G Ablett, Shaw
HF: Russell, Dixon, Stanley
F: Fraser, Gorringe, Matera
F: Smith, Harris, Swallow
I/C: (from) Prestia, Brennan, McKenzie, Weller, Jolly, Hutchins,
In: Fraser, Russell, Jolly, Toy, Shaw, Hutchins
Out: Brown (suspended) Krakouer, Bennell
New: Matt Shaw, 19, Dandenong U18; Luke Russell, 19, Tasmania U18;
Hayden Jolly, 19, Glenelg SA; Jack Hutchins, 19, Sandringham U18

B: Bartram, Frawley, Tapscott
HB: Trengove, Garland, Rivers
C: Bail, Grimes, Gysberts
HF: Bennell, Green, Wonaeamirri
F: Davey Dunn, Jurrah
F: Jamar, Moloney, Sylvia
I: (from) Jones, Petterd, Morton, Maric, Martin, Watts, Strauss
In: Petterd Maric Strauss

This is another one of those ‘who care’s sort of games as most
games with the two new interstate sides over the next 5 years will
be. Complete and utter waste of time, effort and space as far as
this reporter is concerned.

The only thing that will be of any interest is how Clint Bartram
plays on young Matera, how GC17 plays without NUTS Brown down back
and how their first gamers go.  Congrats to Matt Shaw, Luke
Russell, Hayden Jolly and Jack Hutchins.

Speaking of Jacks.  Jackie Watts should use this game to show the
football world all those fantastic skills that he had prior to his
being drafted.  If he doesn’t, then his passport to Penrith will
be stamped with a big red “deported’ mark – never to return to

Great to see Austin Wonaeamirri back in some form as well so that
will create a bit more interest as well.

Melbourne didn’t play great footy to beat Brisbane last week and
GC17 will give themselves a shot at causing an upset.

Unfortunately, pipedreams do not equal reality and Melbourne will
win by 48 points.

Fremantle v North Melbourne
Patersons Stadium, Sunday 17, April, 4.40pm

B: De Boer Grover McPhee
HB: Broughton McPharlin, Duffield
C: Fyfe Suban Mundy
HF: Bradley Mayne Hill
F: Ballantyne Johnson Pitt
Foll: Sandilands Pavlich Crowley
I/C: (from): Roberton, Palmer, Lower, Walters, Crichton, van
Berlo, Ibbotson
In: Ibbotson, van Berlo, Crichton
Out: Nil

B: Rawlings, Grima, Thompson
HB: Firrito Tarrant Richardson
C: Adams Anthony Harvey
HF: Wells Hansen McMahon
F: Wright Petrie Thomas
Foll: Goldstein Swallow Garlett
I/C: (from): Warren, Ziebell, Cunnington, Atley, Edwards, Pratt,
In: Pratt Warren Pedersen

Freo – Good. North – Bad.

Enough said.

Well done to Pavlich who is an out and out champion of the game.
If people over here want to talk up NUTS Riewoldt as being one of
the best current day players, well seriously, he gets in line a
long long long way behind Matt Pavlich.

North looks to have a team full of ‘fillers’.  Those blokes who
would be able to come in from the Ressies on any given day and
perform well for one or two weeks.  The problem is that they are
being asked to do the top job week in and week out when they are
not up to it.

A forward structure of Wells, Hansen, McMahon, Wright, Petrie and
Thomas.  I mean..please!!!  Who is in charge of recruiting down
there at Arden St?  As I said – each on their own and in a good
team could do the job from time to time.  They can’t all do it
regularly enough in the team environment to really trouble anyone.


The backline doesn’t look too bad with Thompson, Firrito, Rawlings
and Grima but it just seems to lack polish.

Freo will run rings off North on the huge expanse of Subiaco.
Fyfe continues to improve and impress, Mundy is just quality, Hill
is an absolute gun and even blokes like Ibbotson, Crowley and I
shudder to say Ballantyne are all dangerous when on song.

The biggest difference in this game is not so much the individual
players, but the way they play together as a team.

Chris Scott will try hard to generate a solid game plan but the
group seems to be splintered and pretty much ineffective at the

That being said, I think that Freo will win by 10 goals.

Round by Round

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