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by John Loffler


(Last week 5 from 8 total 72 from 120 =60.0%)

Another week and another coach gone!! It looks like we’re into that “fall on your sword” cycle that seems to crop up every so often when we need a bit of a clean out of AFL coaches and some fresh faces in the commentary boxes of Foxtel, 7 and 10!! I don’t know about you guys but to be a journalist in the golden days you needed a bit of nouse, a bit of intelligence and some ability to sense what was a stupid question or a stupid headline as opposed to a question or headline of meaning or smart grammar, perhaps a bit of alliteration. The power of the press these days is beyond belief and one can only shake one’s head when one sees the back page of the local showing either Daniher or Connolly (this week it was Connolly) walking from the field after another ignominious defeat with the headline “Dead Man Walking”. Where to for the coach after reading that one??!! I know that I would rather play than coach after having done both because as a player you really have no responsibility. Put in a bad performance and you can say the coach never motivated me, put in a good performance and I can tell you the football journos and the pundits will never credit a coach for the player ‘s performance that day. Ah well. It will be interesting to see how Freo go after the departure of Connolly, probably pretty much the same as Melbourne went after the departure of Daniher – hardly any difference and do you know why? The players are the same!! Some teams just need a hard-nosed b*stard to lead and coach them (I have filled in the missing letter with a * because last week when I sent the preview with the word a*se as opposed to the American version ‘posterior’ we apparently had no end of problems with the over politically correct filters of you people that work for government departments that can’t differentiate between reality and dreams and the emails were rejected, get real – but I digress) because the football world is getting tougher every year.

Last week I should have directed you to at least 7 correct but the two WA teams imploded, especially the Eagles while the Saints versus Adelaide game could have gone either way. However, tipsters who are 5 – 7 off the pace need to find some inspiration in their tips over the next few weeks to make up that difference. Each week there are some fascinating games to pick from and this week is no exception. So, keep the dogs off the bike track, keep the Hell’s Angels away from the Collingwood clubrooms, keep the drug addicts in Bali and keep all remaining AFL coaches safe, let’s go. Good luck!!

Geelong V Western Bulldogs at Telstra Dome Friday Night

Tipsters, you have got to ask yourself whether a team in this day and age can win 11 games in a row. There will come a time when the Cats will lose, that is, apart from the Grand Final should they make it!! Could this be the game? Which team has its head right for this contest? Don’t worry about the ins and outs and past history the question rests with you dear tipster on whether you think this is one of the games that will help you gain that extra point on the leaders. This is the game where you should have been at team training for both sides during the week and sussed out the mental state and motivation of the players. Is it worth dropping another point behind to be brave and pick the Bulldogs? Why not?

Western Bulldogs by 12

Collingwood V Essendon MCG Saturday

I have stated that Essendon are pretenders to the 8 and I still say they will not make the finals. However, that statement doesn’t make it easier for tipsters to pick the Pies to win the second of encounters between these two teams this season. Last week the Magpies played in front of 85,000 at the MCG against the Cats. This week we may see 90,000 watch them play against the Bombers. Presti is back for Collingwood but both Fletcher and McVeigh return for Essendon. There is a force inside me that will not allow me to pick the Bombers and hey, may the Force be with you as well!!

Collingwood by 21

Adelaide V Fremantle at AAMI Saturday

Now traditionally, even though the stats disagree, a new coach means a victory for that team. Unfortunately, in this instance, THAT team is Fremantle and they come up against Adelaide who were just pipped by the Saints in a surprising loss last week. On top of all their woes this week we have the Jeff Farmer incident as well and even though he wasn’t scheduled to play Jeff’s late night shenanigans do not help the team cause. The disruption in the Freo team is just too much for them to overcome and this could be a real blow out in line with the Eagles loss last week. Let’s hope, for Freo’s sake that it rains otherwise the Crows may kick the sweep.

Adelaide by 39

St Kilda V Hawthorn at Telstra Dome Saturday Night

This is almost the game of the round. St Kilda have found a bit of something over the past 3 weeks hat has seen them beat the Eagles away and the Crows at home but having said that the Saints have been like that all season. Win one, lose one, win one. They have been the most difficult team to tip this year. To say Hawthorn is the surprise team of the AFL is an understatement as they sit 2nd on the ladder with 10 wins. Last time these two teams played it was written up as the worst game of the year with such negative play by both sides. I would like to think the Saints can back up with a second win in a row but history this season is against them and the Hawks don’t mind the dome as an arena. I think the game will be pretty close and it’s a toss of the coin.

Hawthorn by 6

West Coast V Sydney Swans at Subiaco Saturday Night

I know! I know! The last three games between these teams have been decided by a point. That is an unreal and ridiculous statistic – if it wasn’t true. Okay tipsters, do the maths. Last week the Eagles lost by 91 points while the Swans won by 60. I can tell you that this game will not be a blow out for either side. Apart from the fact that Sydney is making the long trip also look at the inclusions for West Coast. Kerr, Staker, Stenglein, Fletcher and Cousins. Yep, Benny Cousins finally gets a guernsey after 15 weeks in the land of, how shall we say it? Oh yeah, let’s use the AFL terminology: substance abuse!! Can you see the Eagles put in two games in a row like the one they played last week against Port Adelaide? If looks could kill there would not be a football reporter left alive after the interview with Whoosher. Apart from having to answer the usual 80% of dumb questions John Worsfold was not a happy camper. Here’s a challenge tipsters. The game is at Subi, the difference will be less than a goal (or a complete blowout) and you have to catch up another point on the tipping competition leaders.

West Coast by 5

Brisbane V Carlton at Gabba Sunday

Do you think Carlton will change their modus operandi from kicking as many goals as possible and letting the opposition kick even more to a defensive style of play? Not this late in the season so, as a tipster, you have to work out which of these two teams will kick the most goals. Harping on something said by our beloved treasurer Peter Costello when offloading his annual fiduciary swill on the public when he said don’t put your hard-earned into a non-performing asset then the decision is easy.

Brisbane by 21

Richmond V Port Adelaide at MCG Sunday

When tipping the Eagles to win against the Swans we basically forecast a 151 point turn around for West Coast. So, tipping a 144 point turn around for the Tigers is really nothing!! Do you really think the Tigers can knock off the Power because the game is at the MCG? Do you really think Richo will come out of his non-goal kicking funk to slam on 10 against Port Adelaide who would have to lay down and die in their backline to allow it? Will the midfield runners for Port Adelaide slow down so as they can have friendly conversations with the Tigers players hence allowing more forward thrusts by the Tigers into their 50? Will Chocko Williams allow his team to blow the opportunity to play in the finals due to a severe lack of concentration by his players after their great win against last year’s premiers? Will Terry Wallace let Richmond win a game and spoil their chances of picking up two priority draft picks at the end of the season? Nope but it will be closer than you would like to think.

Port Adelaide by 11

Kangaroos V Melbourne at Telstra Dome Sunday

May the joy of Laidley continue unabated while the misery of Riley remains uninterrupted.

Kangaroos by 22

Article last changed on Tuesday, July 24, 2007 - 8:52 AM EDT

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