Round 1 2011

Thursday 23rd March 2011.

Carlton v Richmond.

MCG.  7.40pm


B: N.Duigan, B.Thornton, C.Yarran
HB: K.Lucas, S.White, J.Russell
C: J.Laidler, B.Gibbs, H.Scotland
HF: A.Walker, J.Waite, K.Simpson
F: E.Betts, S.Hampson, J.Garlett
Foll: R.Warnock, C.Judd, M.Murphy
Int: A.Carrazzo, D.Armfield, E.Curnow, M.Robinson
Emg: A.Collins, L.Henderson, M.Watson
New: Nick Duigan, Ed Curnow


B: C.Newman, A.Rance, L.McGuane
HB: B.Deledio, D.Astbury, R.Conca
C: T.Cotchin, D.Martin, S.Edwards
HF: M.Morton, T.Vickery, S.Grigg
F: M.White, J.Riewoldt, B.Helbig
Foll: A.Graham, D.Jackson, N.Foley
Inter: B.Houli, J.Batchelor, R.Nahas, D.Connors
Emg: B.Nason, J.Post,  M.Dea
New: Bachar Houli (Essendon), Shaun Grigg (Carlton), Reece Conca, Brad Helbig, Jake Batchlor

Looking at this big game as the introduction to the 2011 season, one has to really wonder how Carlton will stop Richmond’s big powerful forward line.  Carlton’s undermanned defence will struggle against the tall timber and even though Jack-Jack-Jackie has had an interrupted preseason, he should easily be too much for the likes of Thornton, White or even Waite if Ratten decides to throw the versatile utility down back.

Expect Tyrone Vickery to tear the game apart if the weather is dry.  This kid can take a big grab and has been quitely developing his game over the pre-season.  His only downfall could be his kicking for goal which can be a bit M.Richardson-esque from time to time.  The forecast wet weather may not do him any favours either.  It is hard to see who will actually match up on those two big forwards as Carlton’s backline has been decimated by injury and suspension.

Alternatively, you look at Carlton’s forward line and there is not a lot to like.  The Blue’s brainstrust will try to make the Andrew Walker thing work.  It simply won’t.  Jarrad Waite will start forward and have a bit of an impact at various times throughout the match but inconsistency is his big problem.

Delidio and Newman will be instrumental in creating run and rebound from defence in much the same way that Carlton will hope Yarran and new boy Duigan will do so but Richmond’s backline seems to have a bit more stability and reliability and as such will create more for their forwards.

The midfields are hard to split.  The Tiges are talking up Martin, Cotchin, Grigg, Edwards et al and with good reason.  Their development continues to move ahead in leaps and bounds whereas Carlton’s remains built around one guy. Just moving Gibbs into the middle will not make him a good player worthy of his #1 draft pick however I do recognise that Marc Murphy is a much underrated player outside of Carlton and he could surprise.

The difference will be where the goals come from. Carlton is going to rely on its small forward set up with Garlett (All Australian in 2011) and Betts and they will be seriously required because Hampson cannot take a mark.

Richmond’s small forwards in Nahas, Houli and Helbig may surpise in the wet and help the Tiges over the line.

I will tip the Blues.. just..8 points.

Friday 25 March, 7.40pm AEDT,

Backs: Enright Scarlett J Hunt
Half-backs: Mackie Taylor Lonergan
Centres: Kelly Duncan Corey
Half-forwards: Varcoe Mooney Stokes
Forwards: Menzel Hawkins S Johnson
Followers: Ottens Bartel Rover: Selwood
Interchange: Guthrie T Hunt Wojcinski Milburn
Emergencies: Christensen Cowan Chapman
New: Cameron Guthrie, 18, Calder U18 <

St Kilda
Backs: Baker Dawson Blake
Half-backs: Gilbert Fisher Goddard
Centres: Dal Santo Hayes Montagna
Half-forwards: McQualter Riewoldt Milne
Forwards: Clarke Gamble Armitage
Followers: McEvoy Gram Jones
Interchange: Peake Dempster Gwilt Ray
Emergencies: Geary Cripps Archer
New: Ryan Gamble, 23, (Geelong)

Both teams will be wondering what has happened to the aura that they
have built up over the past 6 or so years.  Geelong has lots its best player, its coach and its president. St. Kilda has lost its soul and
no amount of ‘priming the public’ with forced unity in a short
documentary will convince me that things are not rotten down there at Linton St-come Seaford Bowls Club.

I actually think this will be a very close game because of this very
fact.  The strength of both teams seems to have been decimated over
the summer and it will take a lot more than window dressing to repair

Geelong’s forward line is a huge concern and I have major doubts over
Mooney’s and Hawkin’s capacity to kick goals.  The over-reliance on
they had Gary Ablett will show up this year as they won’t have him to
move forward to make up the difference.

There is still a lot of skill in each side but I wonder about the
hunger and ability to keep ‘going to the well’ to get the best out of
their teams and players.

Geelong may only win with a bit of Stevie J magic but his
inconsistency is as reliable as NUTS Riewoldt’s kicking, and also
because it’s backline is probably a bit more solid and capable of
keeping the Saints to a losing score.

Both teams will be best served by forgetting tags and run-withs and
just letting it go head to head, mano-et-mano.  Watch out for key
players in Hunt and Bartel to begin bombing torps from half-back to
try and get over the zone press and for Varcoe and Stokes to be ready
to swoop.

Cats by 5 points


Etihad Stadium, 2.10pm AEDT,

Saturday 26 March

Backs: Shaw Tarrant Toovey
Half-backs: O’Brien Reid Wellingham
Centres: Krakouer Ball Thomas
Half-forwards: Beams Dawes Pendlebury
Forwards: Sidebottom L Brown Cloke
Followers: Jolly Swan Rover: Didak
Interchange: Buckley Blair Johnson Davis

Port Adelaide

Backs: Logan Carlile Trengove
Half-backs: Salopek Chaplin P Stewart
Centres: Pearce Cassisi Broadbent
Half-forwards: Thomas J Westhoff K Cornes
Forwards: Hitchcock Schulz Gray
Followers: Brogan Boak Rodan
Interchange: Irons Pittard D Stewart O’Shea
Emergencies: Pettigrew C Cornes Banner
New: Jarrad Irons, 18, Perth (WA); Jasper Pittard, 19, Geelong U18;
Cameron O’Shea, 19, Eastern U18

Does anyone know if iPrimus is strutting around with new sponsorship
on his t-shirt yet.?  If not, opportuity missed.

Even though everyone in the world except 60,000 Collingwood members
detest everything black and white, it is impossible to make a case for
the iPrimus Power to win this game.

Seriously, looking at the teams there is nothing to get excited about with Port.  All they will do is go through the motions and try to
begin developing their young kids and their new game plan.

It will be interesting to see if Primus and the match committee over
at Alberton have done a lot of homework to try and implement a way
through, around or over the Magpie Nest (zone) because if they
haven’t, this could get very very ugly.

The most interesting aspect of this game will be how the Collingwood
players and coaching staff adapt to playing away.  I doubt they can
even find the ground so they all better have their GPS’s working
properly.. and it is now called Etihad Stadium and not the Footcray
railyards that it was referred to when Collingwood last wandered down
that way.

Collingwood by 56 points

Saturday 26 March, 7.40pm,
AAMI Stadium

Backs: Johncock Rutten Stevens
Half-backs: van Berlo Davis Doughty
Centres: Tambling Sloane Mackay
Half-forwards: Knights Walker Douglas
Forwards: Porplyzia McKernan Vince
Followers: Maric Thompson Reilly
Interchange: Otten Dangerfield Smith Henderson
Emergencies: Moran Jaensch Symes
New: Brodie Smith, 19, Woodville-West Torrens (SA); Richard Tambling,
24, Richmond

Backs: Ladson Gilham Suckling
Half-backs: Stratton Gibson Birchall
Centres: Young Mitchell Bateman
Half-forwards: Burgoyne Franklin Rioli
Forwards: Osborne Roughead Bruce
Followers: Renouf Sewell Rover: Lewis
Interchange: Hale Shiels Savage Whitecross
Emergencies: Cheney Ellis Lisle
New: Cameron Bruce, 31, Melbourne; David Hale, 26, North Melbourne

This could well be the match of the round.  There is a lot of talk
about both sides in the off-season and their respective chances but
most of the early mail is for Hawthorn to be the big improvers and the
ONLY team that will cause any problems to Collingwood for the flag.
Personally I think that Adelaide could be the biggest threat at the start of the year but missing Tippet from the early rounds will be a
huge loss.

Rutten will more than likely get Lance but I would be prone to play a
more versatile player on him.  Rutten moves like the Titanic most of
the time and Lance would run rings around him so through up something
different and try Davis on him.  He is just a young kid in terms of
games played but is able to run and move a bit quicker.  Rutten to
stay on Roughead.

Doughty to completely blanket Rioli’s influence and confine Cyril Said
to the bag of cashews where he belongs.

Hawthorn’s backline to me looks a bit susceptible and even though they
are the same players as last year, I think Knights, Walker, and the
Porpoise could do enough to kick a winning score against them.

Hodge will be a HUGE loss to Hawthorn as the free floating man with no
opponent in the backline and his drive, tenacity and hardness will be
impossible to replace.

Adelaide by 18 points


Saturday 26 March, 7.10pm,

Brisbane Lions
Backs: McGrath Merrett Hanley
Half-backs: Adcock Patfull Stiller
Centres: Redden Black Rockliff
Half-forwards: Power Clark O’Brien
Forwards: Staker Brown Banfield
Followers: Leuenberger Rich Rover: Raines
Interchange: Polkinghorne Lester Buchanan Bewick
Emergencies: Sheldon Collier Beams
New: Ryan Lester, 18, Oakleigh U18; Rohan Bewick, 21, West Perth (WA)


Backs: Broughton Grover van Berlo
Half-backs: Crowley McPharlin Duffield
Centres: Lower Mundy Fyfe
Half-forwards: Bradley Pavlich Johnson
Forwards: Ballantyne Mayne Hill
Followers: Sandilands McPhee Rover: Suban
Interchange: Palmer Pitt Robertson Walters
Emergencies: Crichton Anthony Michie
New: Jayden Pitt, 18, Geelong U18; Nick Lower, 23, Norwood (SA)

Funnily enough, in spite of their respective finishes in 2010, I think
that Brisbane can actually win this game.  But then I think that they
have been decimated by a mass exodus courtesy of Voss’s stubborness
and stupidity over the past two years and I wonder how on earth they
will win any games, let alone this one.

Brisbane has a smattering of decent players but their preseason form
has been up and down without setting the world on fire. And then
Voss’s big gun is coming into the game without any preseason practice
match behind him.

Really just not a great way to come into a season when he is obviously in the twilight of his career and with dodgy
knees, groins and hammies.  I would be tempted to play McPharlin on
him rather than Grover as McPharlin has more body size and

Freo should get an armchair ride from the stoppages from Sandilands so
Pavlich an Mayne will get plenty of opportunities to kick a big score.
I can’t see how Brisbane can get a lot of the ball from the stoppages
to actually provide Brown and Clark with chances so Freo to win easily

Freo by 6 goals.

Etihad Stadium,
Sunday 27 March, 1.10pm AEDT

Backs: Hardingham Hooker Fletcher
Half-backs: Heppell Myers Dempsey
Centres: Stanton Watson Melksham
Half-forwards: Monfries Hurley Winderlich
Forwards: Crameri Ryder Jetta
Followers: Hille Hocking McVeigh
Interchange: From: Zaharakis Howlett Lonergan Lovett-Murray Prismall
Colyer Bellchambers
New: Dyson Heppell, 18, Gippsland U18

Backs: Wood Markovic Morris
Half-backs: Murphy Williams Stack
Centres: Griffen Boyd Ward
Half-forwards: Higgins Jones Giansiracusa
Forwards: Grant Hall Cooney
Followers: Hudson Cross Liberatore
Interchange: From: Barlow Djerrkura Hill Minson Picken Sherman Wallis

The Doggies have flown under the radar during the preseason unlike the
Premiers-elect with the best coaching panel in the history of the
world (Bombre’s)  Maybe it is just going to be a good way for the
Doggies to treat the year.  No hype, no accolades, no pomp and
paegentry – just get on with the job of winning games.

Both teams now love to run the ball – hard and fast.  Both teams will
be relying bursting  the game apart with speed and skill.
Mark Thompson seems to have instilled a certain character into his
charges over the preseason based upon this type of game plan.  It may
work against teams who are not as quick as his players but against
Footscray, who are equally adept in the pace department, they may get
torn apart going the other way.

Footscray will play the corridor, unlike Collingwood, and any
turnovers could see the ball in Barry Hall’s hands quicker than you
can say ‘kick it to me..kick it to me’.

Boyd will get plenty of the ball and justify his brownlow favouritism
in my eyes.  There seems little point in trying to look for specific
midfield matchups as the rotations alter this soo much most of the
time, however I would not be surprised to see Stanton try to run with

In the end however, I think the Bombres bubble will burst and Footscray
will win by 4 goals
to start an organisational rethink by Bomber
Thompson and his well paid assistant.

Sunday 27 March, 2.10pm AEDT

Backs: Bartram Rivers Macdonald
Half-backs: Grimes Garland Bennell
Centres: Jones Moloney Tapscott
Half-forwards: Bail Sylvia Jurrah
Forwards: Watts Green Maric
Followers: Jamar Dunn Rover: Davey
Interchange: From: Jetta Martin Petterd Spencer Strauss Trengove
New: Luke Tapscott, 19, North Adelaide (SA) <

Backs: Bevan Richards Mattner
Half-backs: Shaw Grundy Everitt
Centres: Hannebery Jack Smith
Half-forwards: Jetta Goodes McGlynn
Forwards: O’Keefe Reid White
Followers: Mumford Kennedy McVeigh
Interchange: From: Bolton Dennis-Lane Meredith Moore Rohan Seaby
New: Andrejs Everitt, 22, Western Bulldogs; Byron Sumner, 19,
Woodville-West Torrens (SA)

GET BARTRAM onto Dennis-Lane and leave him there.  Give that over-awed
second-rate match winner something to think about as he is still
living off his one-in-a-lifetime-tackle-and-goal in the Elimination
final last year.  Still hurts!

Anyway lets talk about this game.  It actually should be a great game
because Melbourne are on the way up (according to all and sundry in
the medja) yet have done little to justify this belief as yet.  Sydney
have a new coach and some new players yet pretty much the same boring
game plan and the question is how well they can implement any subtle
changes to it without Brett Kirk around to rally the troops.

I thnk the key here will be the Sydney backline with blokes like
Grundy, Everitt and Shaw providing a lot of drive and rebound down to
Goodes, White and O’Keefe.  All those blokes on their day are capable
of being possible matchwinners.  Losing Frawley does not help their
cause either.

It is hard to see where Melbourne’s matchwinners are despite the hype
surrounding their progression up the laddder.  Maybe Jamar resting up
forward is a key along with Petterd but they Dees will need to get a
LOT more out of Jack Watts… surely he has to show
something..sometime…somewhere as this could well be an audition for
his next life in Western Sydney next year.

Sydney by 25 points.

Patersons Stadium,
Sunday 27 March, 4.10pm


B: Sheppard Glass Hurn
HB: Waters Brown S Selwood
C: Rosa Priddis Embley
HF: Ebert Kennedy Shuey
F: Darling Naitanui LeCras
FOLL: Cox Masten A Selwood
I/C: From: Gaff Hams Lynch McGinnity Nicoski Schofield C Wilson
NEW: Jack Darling, 18, West Perth (WA); Andrew Gaff, 18, Oakleigh U18

B: Rawlings Pedersen Thompson
HB: Firrito Tarrant Richardson
C: Wells Anthony Harvey
HF: Atley Hansen McMahon
F: Wright McKinley Thomas
FOLL: Goldstein Swallow Garlett
I/C: From: Warren Ziebell Cunnington Adams Urquhart Edwards Pratt
NEW: Ben McKinley, 24, West Coast; Cameron Pedersen, 24, Box Hill;
Cameron Richardson, 23, North Ballarat; Shaun Atley, 18, Murray U18

A new name for an old worn out stadium over in Perth.  Much like
renaming North Melbourne to become officially the Kangaroos only to
have to revert back to North Melbourne again when the new image obviously didnt work.

Nothing new in terms of the playing list or game plan from the
westerns either.  West Coast will try hard to implement run and carry
but their collective skills will cause too many turnovers and allow

North to swoop and return the ball forward time and time again.

Natanui really needs to step up but whilst he is a great athlete, he
is still learning positioning, how to use his body and to understand
the flow of the game.  One wonders how long a work in progress can take before it is finally written off as being a dud.  I guess the
many teams who have tried the Irish Experiment are still trying to
find the next Sean Wight.

West Coasts lack of scoring options is its achilles heel and Marc The
Crap cannot do it all alone.  Josh Kennedy tries hard but has not yet
established himself well enough to exert more influence on the match-
perhaps this game will be the start for him as North’s backline could
be susceptible to a big score against it.

Similarly, I don’t know where North’s goals will come from if the
cheating little ‘he who shall not be named’ doesn’t get free kicks for
falling to the ground in front of goal.  Maybe McKinley will be able
to step up and tear it apart himself along with Lachie Hansen.

I am tipping North by 13 points

Round by Round

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