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AFL Round 23 preview: The rubber's wearing thin

Roar Guru
3rd September, 2015
2
1540 Reads

Footy tragics, it’s been a long year and ‘Dead rubber’ round promises to deliver like never before. ‘Super Saturday’ returns and umpires wearing blue in support of smurf health issues make it the round of the year.

North Melbourne versus Richmond at Etihad Stadium
The Tigers are furious this match is being played at a ground that they won’t be able to fit all their fans into. There is also nowhere to park the bandwagon. North could rest every player and make sure they don’t win and have to perhaps travel to Adelaide for a final. That integrity rule is working well for the AFL.

North have beaten the six bottom teams and ‘lowly’ Fremantle in the past two months and I’ve finally worked out that the really real Kangas are nothing more than bottom team bullies. Took six months to work it out. They’ll need to take six months off to fix it.

Brett Deledio is set to play after officials dug the last pieces of him out of the turf.

Richmond are ready to play in their third straight finals series and this year could even win one! Wouldn’t that whip the Tiger army into a frenzy. Uncharted territory for anyone under the age of 12.

The Tigers will jump all over them.

Richmond by 41 points.

Geelong versus Adelaide at Dangerfield Stadium
The Crows are on a mission and they play the type of footy that don’t just draw crowds and win matches, but win premierships and are beginning to scare a few sides above them. Adelaide haven’t beaten Geelong at the Cattery since 2003 and that’s about to change, not even ‘Lingy’ barracking from the commentary box can save them.

This will be the farewell match for a litter of Cat players which could free up a handbag full of cash for all the new players the so called experts say are set to join the club.

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Adelaide has serious depth at the moment with half a dozen players in red hot form knocking on the door for selection but Coach Campo will keep the door locked and would want to stick to the same 22 who bashed up the Eagles.

‘Duck’ Carey thinks there should be double votes for the Brownlow given the last match was cancelled due to the death of Phil Walsh. Duck’s coming up with too many good ideas and this is another gem. Give votes at half time and then full time. The AFL love playing with the rules and here’s another chance for them to do it.

Geelong fans you can cheer all you want. You can even wear Paddy masks if it makes you feel better. It won’t change a thing and it won’t stop the rampaging Crows. How about you show some respect for your retiring champs instead of cheering an opposition player. Just a thought.

Get used to losing matches again. Without Danger.

Adelaide by 31 points

Brisbane versus Western Bulldogs at the Gabba
How many Bulldogs will be rested this week? 6? 8? Brisbane have been resting players all year. They have mastered the art of ‘sore’ players. The exodus of Lions has begun again. They should rename Brisbane, ‘The Academy’, and just let them train players up for the rest of the competition.

The Bulldogs might pull a surprise and name Daniel Cross for his last match and given he now plays for Melbourne I’m sure the AFL wouldn’t begrudge a bloke playing in a side that wins a game.

The Lions have won four of the last five games against the Dogs and this could be a danger game for them, the Lions that is, they really want that number one draft pick.

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The Bulldogs by 33 points.

Port Adelaide versus Fremantle at The Adelaide Oval
Dead rubber match #1.

Finally Freo have some silverware! Now they can hire someone to dust it. Buying the trophy cabinet 20 years ago was a masterstroke.

The decision to deprive the paying public of a chance to see a decent match means why should I bother as well. I’m having a rest so I’ll let my wife finish this one.

Edgar, if you can see this, you need to do the dishes, walk the dogs and put out the rubbish. I don’t care that you’re sore, you still have to do the right thing by me and the family… so do it! And while you’re at it, reacquaint yourself with the lawn mower. I don’t like the kids playing with the wild animals hiding in there. Also, your mother rang in April… call her back.

Port by 17 points.

Hawthorn versus Carlton at the MCG
The Brendon Bolton Cup.

The last time they met was a bludgeoning, and it’s not going to be pretty for Carlton fans again. The Blues made a formal request to the AFL to make Hawthorn rest at least 12 players and perhaps borrow a few. They are going to have trouble getting a team on the park who aren’t either injured or uninterested.

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Carrazzo gets one last go around after announcing his retirement and given his eagerness to leave the club was surprised they even decided to play him. I bet Henderson is scratching his head.

James Frawley has received intensive training on how to celebrate. Last week’s attempted high five on Hill could have been life threatening. I hope Bruce calls this one. His love affair with Rioli doesn’t get nearly enough air time.

Bolton spent the best part of the week looking to see if there was a cooling off period in his new ‘non contract’ contract. Sorry fella, the job’s yours. Hope you have a good therapist lined up.

Hawthorn by 86 points.

Sydney versus Gold Coast at the SCG
Buddy needs a rest. The weight of his pay cheque has done his back in.

It’s the battle of who has the most salary cap in the stands. I believe the Suns win this week. They have 73% and the Swans have 68%. That’s about all they’ll win unless they win the toss.

Steven May started going for the man instead of the ball last week. Eade had to drag him and was told there’s no room for The Hulk on the Gold Coast unless you worked at Movie World.

The pundits are getting back on the Swans band wagon and rightly so. Bashing up bottom teams is obviously the perfect way to quieten all those rumours leading into the finals.

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Sydney by 58 points.

West Coast versus St Kilda at Domain Stadium
I hope St Kilda did a bit of goal kicking practice this week.

Masten comes back and he will be ‘chomping’ at the bit if they decide to ‘chews’ him. Perhaps the Saints could supply some arm guards for whoever plays on him. He might get hungry for the ball and go overboard again.

West Coast would be angry after they went down to the Crows last week. They should probably rest every defensive player they have left. I’m not sure if there’s any cotton wool left in the west. If there is, Ross Lyon would have it.

West Coast by 68 points.

Melbourne versus GWS at Etihad Stadium
Dead rubber match #2.

A horse walks into a bar and the bartender says “Why the long face?”

Substitute the words ‘A Horse’ with ‘Paul Roos’ and you get a general idea of what it’s like to coach the Demons. I’m sure Wes Craven would have trouble writing a horror story to match the Melbourne football club.

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GWS are used to empty stadiums and they’ll feel right at home here although they aren’t orange. Melbourne fans can’t remember the last time they went there. Maybe they could footify a handshake or whatever the hell that stupid thing is. The loser has to wash the winner’s face. I’m sure that would benefit football enormously while promoting some bank. Which bank? No, not them.

GWS by 9 points.

Collingwood versus Essendon at the MCG
The match of the round… in 2003!

Dead rubber match #3.

Dud match of the round

“Bring out your dead!”

Does anyone really care about this match? This could be Dustin Fletcher’s farewell match if they can get him patched up. Maybe staple and tape him to Goddard.

Let’s face it, he’s been carrying the players all year and one more match won’t make any difference. You might get a few more touches if you have Fletcher pointing for you.

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Dustin has been playing for so long he once played against “God”.

The Pies dropped Travis Cloke before the match last week because they wanted to win and they may do the same here. Dane Swan, the human colouring book, is out with a knee injury.

I hope the Bombers give James Hird a lap of dishonour so the fans can really say what they think of him. #StandOnHird

The Bombers have set up a sub committee with Goddard as spokesman. They have the task of seeing if there’s any Hawthorn assistants left.

The handful of Collingwood fans wondered what the siren was at the end of the fourth quarter last week and I hope Eddie explained it to them properly. He had to get an interpreter who could scream with no teeth so they could understand.

Collingwood by 23 points.

What am I looking forward to this week?

Subtitles on the screen whenever Jonathan Brown speaks.

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The MRP declaring where their off season holiday is. I hear this year it’s Mount Kosciuszko. They wanted somewhere ‘High’ with ‘Low impact’ on the environment where they could be a bit ‘Reckless’. I hear it’s ‘Striking’ this time of the year. Sorry if you are offended by that. It was purely ‘unintentional’. I hope they enjoy their three weeks down to two

Calling the new AFL whistle blowers hotline and asking for help with my footy tips.