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Err ... umm ... well played, Kangas.

Tony, you may be wrong about our forward power, there is quite a bit added extra this season. Matera is currently in his 'veteran' years but we have some big lumps coming through. Traveling, as ever, will remain our biggest bugbear.

Can Neil Craig coach? Can the likes of Schuback, Jericho and Hentchel develop?

No and No. Will prove worse then Hawthorn, and will dispose of Craig by round 19.

Oh, good start for the 'mons mate. But this will not be your season.

How shit are the Bombers though? Craptacular. You'd struggle to beat Adelaide playing like that.

Yeah....Bombers were Horsemeat, flimsy. Need changes. And Quickly.

Go 'Mons!

Bombers = very shithouse.

It's easy to roll a team with no forward line. I thought we were impressive enough given the circumstances but I'll be interested to see what happens when we run into the good sides. I think your prediction is slightly gloomy though - I see us remaining in pretty much the same place on the ladder as we were last year.

I'll hold my gloomy position until we play a side that aren't anywhere near as appalling as Essington were. They were diabolical! My Melbourne call might have been low, but my Ehhhhhhh - Seh - Don call was prpbably too high.

Go the Lions!!!! *raspberries* to the rest!!

Brizroy Loins, hiss!

...but we have some big lumps coming through.

eg. Hanson. I've been saying it since day dot. "He is a big lunkhead and he's only gonna get bigger". He could easily become another Neitz or G-Train. Combined with that other lunkhead Lynch…

(How good was Hanson's game-sealer goal yesterday?)

Traveling, as ever, will remain our biggest bugbear.

Come from behind win at Football Park. Tick.

Saw David Schwarz and some other nitwit do a wrap-up of the Mons Dons game on the TV. The nitwit said that Troy Broadbridge's wife joined in "the festivities". Maybe it's just me, but I thought "solemn occasion" or something similar would have been more appropriate.

Then David Schwarz said the whole pre-match ceremony was "second rate". What a bloody comedy act.

(Obviously meaning to say "second-to-none" but tripping over his words. One of my favourite occupations when listening to sportspeople: spot the mixed metaphor.)

Hanson's goal was a beauty, but the free to give him the shot was a shocker. As was the one not paid at the other end and the mark not paid to Perrie. The Eagles had all the ball for the last ten minutes but they also had all the luck. Still, a good win by the Toasters.

Schwarz is a bit of a fat-head, but you'll get a massive headache picking up footballers (present and ex) for their mistakes.

Teach,

You've written at length in the past on the home ground advantage of teams like the Eagles, but I'm still not convinced it's an advantage that outweighs the "staying home" advantage of teams like Collingwood and the Mons. I saw the Magpie-Doggies game today (hey, the Dogs were GOOD) and on-screen they showed the Magpie program for the next 5 games. Including today, all of their first six games - with one exception - are at the MCG. The one exception is Telstra Dome.

How do you weigh that home-gound advantage against the travelling schedule of the Eagles and conclude that the Eagles get the better deal? It makes a big difference to recovery across the length of a season (not to mention a career) if you have a 3 hour flight after every second game.

Some years ago (I forget) Essendon won the flag and in the whole year they travelled 3 times. Once to Geelong, once to Adelaide and once to Sydney. All of the rest of their games were played in Melbourne, mostly at the G. By the time the GF came around they were very very fresh. I think it was a huge factor in their premiership.

The big thing about the Home Ground Advantage is that is gives a side a chance to set up their season. Granted it can be a bit difficult in the finals, but throughout the season, the non-Victorian sides have a huge advantage.

West Coast, if they get themselves well organised, can expect to win the majority of their twelve home games (say, 9). That means they've only got to win three away games (they've already wone won) to be virtually guaranteed of making the finals.

Melbourne, on the other hand, only play Freo, WC and Adelaide at the MCG this year. They play Sydney at Telstra, but there will be as many South fans there are Dees fans. The rest of the games Melbourne play in Victoria are against Victorian sides on what amounts to neutral venues.

On second thoughts you may WELL be correct about a lack of forward power in our ranks- how very astute Tony. We're gonna rely on a very strong midfield, going by sunday's result. Too bloody close i reckon- although we have'nt won there for 10 years or so, the Crows will surely be pecking themselves for not finishing us off. they will be pretty pissed, but do i care ?

Actually, the travelling/home advantage arguments and counter arguments kinda balance up in the long run. We have some advantages but the travelling is a drag, every other game a long flight etc etc. It's bloody hard to remain full focus and stay in top match shape, unlike remaining mostly in one state. But this year i sense a determination to grind out games on the road and play the more expansive stuff at our place. Will this win us the flag? Tough- after all there are some pretty free scoring sides out there, but we'll see.

Our strength in midfield to the fore with Danny Kerr a player to watch out for this season- he is gonna be one of the most improved blokes around, will make a big impact, along with Wirrpundas pushes from the back.

But, The cats could go on to win by some HUGE margins, more than you reckon Tony. I know their oppo was pure catmeat first up, but they will kick a huge amount of goals.Weaknesses ????

With the Eag's forward line, I reckon it will depend on who you play.

On the weekend Adelaide got numbers back to clog up the space for Hanson and co to work in and in the end, Adelaide probably should have won. However, when it comes to flooding back, if you do it for too long your scoring opportunities dry up because you haven't got eanyone to give it to on the way back through the centre. And then when Burton went off, WC started to dominate around the guts.

I've mentioned the Home/Away thing above, but suffice it to say, I think the large number of outright home ground advantages afforded the non--Victorian clubs weighs in their favour over the course of a season.

The Catters are very good and I might have to do a mid-season review of my ladder prediction. They smothered Richmond, but, well, the Tiges were awful.

Any Victorian who sees one of those violent monkeys from Brisbane crossing a road is morally obliged to grind their cro-magnon bodies into the tarmac.

AFL talk about reform has been shown to be a complete litany of lies by the non-reaction to the shoulder-buster moves on Riewoldt.

To be absolutely frank, I don't know which way I lean.

On one hand I look at Michael & Scott and think "what a couple of turds" and on the other I think "it would be nice if there were a couple of those players at Melbourne".

Really, though, I don't think there was anything the new AFL Games Review Panel could charge them with. And I don't think the AFL are going to come over the top.

As thommo said- the ground was hard. A bloke can get seriously crook falling over on that sunbaked turf.

Did the Umps act at the time ? Did they blow up ? No. It's a tough game- apparently far tougher in the 70's, but tough nevertheless.

Thommo's really just gotta wear it, otherwise he'll look like a whinger.

Interesting to see if St Kilda toughen up for the return bout. They've got one or two players who flinched when the heat was on.

So much whinging about the Riewoldt incident. 30 years ago they would have cut his shoulder open with a concealed blade, poured a vial of mustard gas into it, hit him over the head with a screwdriver and buried him under lime beneath the Windy Hill grandstand.

People should be thankful that the game is so pissweak that this is the most violent issue that's being discussed.

Footy's certainly changed.

It didn't worry me what Scott and Michael did, but I still think they are arseholes. I wish Melbourne had arseholes like that.

Arseholes win. Always have.

All teams NEED arseholes-and good arseholes at that. Or bad ones. Things were worse 25-30 years back ? Some nasty things must have occured in them olden days- any chance of that returning ? The game needs toughening up- i, myself have suffered the 'indignity' of being cited. I only targetted their key bloke with a crook knee, put him out of the game and we won by 30. He missed the rest of the season but job done.


McManus can be a right panicky no-talet idiot at times. Anyone else noticed that?

I noticed that.

Jeez he coughed up that last kick forward. Connolly has to take some of the blame for having a soft system. McManus should have banged it long.

And Freo should have been able to hang on but the Saints had most of the footy in the last fifteen minutes and if Kozshitski hadn't missed that sitter, the Sints would have won by more than a point.

McGuire was important in that last stage.

Jeez he coughed up that last kick forward.

James Hird would have nailed a six-pointer at goalpost height. That was a woeful kick. Fucking awful.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Freo fan having a dummy spit. I'm not a Freo fan, period. But nothing gets me more in a lather that AFL players lacking FUNDAMENTAL SKILLS.

……Although depending what mood I'm in, sometimes I love it because it gives me so much of a laugh. McManus, Spriggs, and Eagleton are three of the worst going around at the moment. (Richardson, Fewster, Sierakowski, Wilson. How I miss you jokesters!)

Freo have some top players, but I reckon their system sucks. If they don't go well this year Connolly will come under some real pressure. McManus kicking it like he did reeks of a player unsure of what he should have done.

I laugh at bad kickers, too. But only when they're playing in other teams. I hit the roof, seat, floor, TV, wall or whatever is nearby whenever Melbourne players stuff up kicks.

I played Aussie Rules Football once. I felt quite lucky I was able to walk off the field at the end of the game.

It should have been a warning when someone asked what to do if an opposing team member got the ball and the Aussie teaching the few Yanks and Canucks there how to play said "kill him" with a perfectly straight face.

Next time I'm invited to play, I'll bring a shotgun.

Don't you say that over there, PJ? You know, the coach says "When you get out there, kill 'em." Or in response to a result you say "We got killed!" Or "We got murdered!"

It's just not a proper game without there's some regular killing, you understand.

Yep, we say it, and that's probably what fooled me. I didn't realize the Australians were serious when they said it.

Anyway, the game highlights were: I scored a touchdown, which resulted in being attacked by my own teammates, D. broke a rib, a couple of us ran over a family having a picnic, and some children playing nearby were frightened witless, but otherwise unharmed. (Mostly.)

The physical damage has healed, but the emotional scars ... I think M. is still going to counseling for PTSD.

Sounds tough, and not a little confusing. But at least you scared some children. Tick. VG.

You think that's confusing, just wait til I tell you about cricket!

I challenge you to describe cricket WITHOUT any reference to baseball.

'Eags lookin' fair so far- can only improve, four out of four. Wirrapunda been highlight of the seson so far with some mature displays and bursts from the back. A couple more decent players and we will be pretty convincing front runners i reckon. How to stop the 'Mons ? Reckon we will overpower you through the middle Tony- cut off your supply lines and dominate this area.

Hay the eagles r the best ever no one can bet them they r gonna win the grand final this year no doot about it CAN THE EAGELS

Yay Can Eagels! Yay Trys! Yay .. dood!

*sobs quietly*

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