Twelve quick takes from the JLT Community Series week three

Josh Elliott Editor

By Josh Elliott, Josh Elliott is a Roar Editor


104 Have your say

    That’s a wrap on the JLT Community Series after all eighteen AFL teams made an appearance this week. Here’s my quick takes from the weekend’s action.

    Cats’ star trio in Danger of collapse
    Dreams of seeing Joel Selwood, Patrick Dangerfield and Gary Ablett all at the first centre bounce in Geelong’s Round 1 match against Melbourne look to be on the verge of becoming nightmares.

    Ablett hasn’t appeared in either of Geelong’s preseason matches due to a hamstring injury. He’s expected to be right for Round 1, but fans are entitled to be sceptical.

    Making matters much worse on Sunday though was a hamstring injury to Patrick Dangerfield, the extent of which is not yet known. He didn’t return to the field.

    Some are making the early call and saying Dangerfield will definitely miss Round 1. The Cats haven’t said anything official just yet, so let’s not jump to conclusions – but he’s certainly in serious doubt.

    The good news is that Mitch Duncan is there and ready to pick up some of the slack if one or more of Geelong’s holy trinity isn’t able to take to the field – 38 touches, five clearances, five inside 50s and a goal was a pretty handy effort on Sunday.

    Still, this is just not really how things were meant to go. Is it too late for me to change my premiership tip?

    Patrick Dangerfield Geelong Cats AFL 2017

    (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

    Nic Nat or bust for woeful West Coast
    It’s hard to imagine the West Coast Eagles putting in a worse performance than what we saw from them in the final game of the JLT Community Series on Sunday night.

    They finished the night -115 disposals, -6 clearances, -17 contested possessions, -28 inside 50s, -31 tackles and 62 points behind on the scoreboard.

    That’s just an atrocious performance no matter which way you look at it and in particular to have so little of the ball but also get mashed that badly in the tackle count is unforgivable on any month of the calendar.

    There is just so little to offer in the way of excuses, too. West Coast had close to a full-strength midfield on the park – the problem is that just isn’t saying much, because the depth drops off dramatically after Luke Shuey and Andrew Gaff.

    Many Eagles fans have tried to talk down the loss of two Brownlow Medallists in Matt Priddis and Sam Mitchell as being the moving on of old and slow players, but their ball-winning ability and defensive effort is exactly what West Coast lacked.

    With Nic Naitanui returning via a WAFL trial match this weekend Scott Lycett was left to shoulder most of the load against Aaron Sandilands and while he was okay, he’s not on the same level as the game’s best rucks.

    Maybe, just maybe, if Naitanui can be fit and firing sooner rather than later, his dynamism and talent can get this threadbare Eagles midfield to at least be competitive on a regular basis. It’s a lot to ask of a guy who has missed more than a year of football.

    More likely, the Eagles are just headed for a painful year of football. A performance like this leading into the season won’t help morale, and the fact they’ll be missing Naitanui and Josh J Kennedy for the start of the season only makes things worse.

    Shannon Hurn West Coast Eagles AFL 2017

    (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

    Watts on offer from Port’s new recruits
    I’ve got nothing against Jack Watts but I’ve never been a particularly big fan of him either and suffice to say that when Port acquired him in October last year, I was underwhelmed.

    ‘Recruiting for the sake of recruiting’ is how I’d probably describe Port Adelaide’s off-season as a whole – they made a splash, certainly, but so does a bellyflop.

    Tom Rockliff is yet to appear for the club having missed both preseason matches due to a minor injury, so we’ll have to reserve judgment on him until Round 1 at least.

    Steven Motlop has played both matches without starring but was solid on Saturday against the Crows. Dom Barry has put himself in the conversation for Round 1.

    But Watts? Well, he has kicked the biggest bag of the preseason and already captained the club (albeit in AFLX)! Okay, that comment is a bit of tongue in cheek, but I am impressed.

    Watts was undoubtedly the match winner for Port at Alberton. Not only did he kick six himself but he handed off two goal assists.

    However, he’s also the kind of player who is more likely to be affected by the increase in intensity between preseason and Round 1 than most.

    Regardless, Port fans have reason enough to be cautiously optimistic that their new players can help them go to the next level in 2018.

    They will of course skip right past that and instead be toweringly, fanatically optimistic about it instead, but that’s just what being a football fan is.

    Jack Watts

    (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

    Pies pressure impresses
    If you undertake a journalism course at an Australian university you’ll find that the majority of coursework is dedicated to the matter of how best to criticise Collingwood whenever you get the chance.

    That’s not true (mostly), but I imagine Pies fans probably feel like it is sometimes.

    Heck, even last week I felt a bit uncomfortable talking up the key forward combination of Mason Cox and Ben Reid in a game where Collingwood suffered a humiliating loss.

    They kicked six between them this week – I’m feeling a lot better about it.

    And while the American Pie was a headline-grabber, what actually impressed me more was the level of defensive effort that Collingwood put into their performance.

    They bested the Bulldogs in the tackle count 71-44, an absolute thrashing no matter what way you look at it, and that came despite Collingwood also being +5 in the disposal count.

    Take it with a grain of salt of course because it’s the preseason and sometimes opposition sides are just not going to put the effort in.

    And the news after the match ended that neither of Daniel Wells nor Jamie Elliott are expected to be fit for Round 1 certainly put a damper on the celebrations.

    But if the Pies can have something resembling an effective key forward pairing and also improve their team defense in 2018, then Nathan Buckley will be a happy man.

    Nathan Buckley Collingwood Magpies AFL 2017

    (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

    Brad Scott can survive a wooden spoon season – but should he?
    It’s fair to say that from the perspective of a North Melbourne fan, the JLT Community Series hasn’t exactly been full of excitement.

    There’s been a few highlights – players like Marley Williams, Ben Jacobs and Ed Vickers-Willis returned successfully from injury, and Luke Davies-Uniacke looks reasonably impressive – but they’ve been buried among two big-margin defeats.

    I thought going into the series that North would probably be safe from the wooden spoon in 2018 simply because the ‘Roos are likely to be ahead of Carlton or Gold Coast, but both of those sides have shown the promise of improvement in the football they played this preseason, while North simply haven’t.

    North finished 15th last year but only bettered those sides on percentage, and were still a strong spoon candidate right up until their last-round win over Brisbane.

    If the Lions, Blues and Suns all take a step forward this year while North take a step back, then it’ll be very hard for the club to avoid finishing last for what would be the first time in 46 years.

    However the big question is perhaps not whether North could finish last, but what it would mean for the career of Brad Scott if they do.

    Were he out of contract at the end of the year he’d probably be the AFL’s No.1 under pressure coach – but instead the club saw fit to extend his contract until the end of 2020 late last year.

    Despite the cringeworthy talk of finals that has come out of the club at times this preseason, those running the show are probably well aware that it looks like a lean year ahead, with the spoon a realistic possibility.

    That makes it unlikely that – although heat will certainly come – Scott could be moved on. Is that the right call? We’ll need to see more football played in 2018 before that question can be answered.

    North Melbourne coach Brad Scott

    (AAP Image/David Crosling)

    Tigers in a terrific mental space
    A team that has so often spent time not being in one should know all too well the value of a good mental space, and that is surely the case for the Richmond Tigers.

    They’re the happiest team in football coming into 2018 – as they absolutely should be. They’ve played both their preseason matches with an infectious sort of joy you can’t help but smile at.

    Don’t take that though to mean that they aren’t taking the game seriously. We’d probably let them off the hook in preseason for not bringing that same hard defence they did in finals matches last year – but they have.

    Their ability to get numbers to the ball is more than a little scary and watching their game against North, you could be forgiven for thinking that Richmond had been allowed an extra fifteen or so players on the ground.

    Interestingly in a survey of AFL players this week, 34 per cent tipped the Tigers as being the side who will suffer the biggest fall down the ladder this year.

    You’d have to think that tip wasn’t made based on their preseason form.

    Maybe sides will be less willing to be bullied when the real stuff starts – and to be fair, they’ve only done it to a gastro-stricken Essendon and one of last year’s bottom-four sides in North Melbourne.

    Still, so much of footy is played between the ears. You can draft and you can trade and you can drill but there’s no easy way to replicate the good mood going around Punt Road right now.

    It’s the kind of intangible that can give Richmond an edge in 2018 that no other team has.

    Coach of the Tigers, Damien Hardwick

    (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

    I’ll say it again – the Dockers will play in September
    I wrote on Tuesday that I’m tipping Fremantle to be 2018’s shock finalists, and after a dominant preseason performance on Sunday night, I’m sticking by it.

    One of the issues in a one-sided game such as that one of course is that it can be hard to decide which team we learned more about – were Fremantle that good? Or were West Coast that bad?

    My theory is that even if the opposition is that bad, you still have to be a halfway decent football team to really take advantage of it.

    Fremantle made it very clear that they are going to be capable of taking a team apart when the opportunity presents itself, and that could prove crucial for finals calculations when you consider what a narrow whisker Melbourne missed by last year.

    I’ll admit to being one of those people who thought Hayden Ballantyne was probably finished at AFL level, but maybe he’s not. Throw in the impressive preseason efforts of Bailey Banfield too and you’ve got the prospective of a revitalised Freo forward line on your hands.

    Matt Taberner? Tick. Andrew Brayshaw? Tick. Nathan Wilson? Tick. That Lachie Neale bloke goes alright too. And let’s not forget this was done without either of the Hill brothers.

    Not all of it will translate to real-season form, certainly, but Fremantle have more than enough reasons to believe they can radically improve this year.

    Lachie Neale Fremantle Dockers AFL 2017

    (AAP Image/Tony McDonough)

    Lions lose the unlosable, but the battle for Queensland is on
    The competition’s two Queenslander sides finished at the bottom of the table last year in yet another uninspiring year of footy from the Sunshine state.

    However, while their preseason hitout on Sunday wasn’t exactly champagne football, you do get the impression from both clubs that they’re ready to take a step forward.

    Brisbane finished the game with +36 disposals, +5 clearances, +12 inside 50s, +8 scoring shots… if you put those numbers into a simulation, the odds of the side losing are surely one in a hundred at best.

    A 4.18.42 scoreline will do that to you. To be fair, the conditions weren’t great. And it’d be a mistake to think that Queensland footy is not capable of rising this year.

    Many of us have the Suns tipped for the spoon this year – I still do, though not as comfortably as before – but the way they have approached the game these past two weeks has been impressive.

    Stuart Dew, in addition to having the most rhymable name in the AFL, looks set to gain many plaudits during the season for how he has reorganised the club.

    I particularly liked the story during the week that Gold Coast’s small forward group has a running bet going requiring the one who lays the least tackles each week to shout coffee. Very nifty.

    On the Brisbane side of things, while they’ve gone 0-2 in the JLT Community Series, this was a performance that would’ve been really impressive if they’d been better in front of goal.

    It’s actually got me a little excited to see who can come out on top on the two occasions these sides meet this year in Rounds 5 and 22. There’s been some reasonably watchable games between them.

    They might both be bottom four sides this year again – or they might not. Either way, footy in Queensland looks to be headed upwards.

    To be fair, there was no other direction to go in.

    Stuart Dew

    (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

    Improved Impey could offer plenty
    It was just last week that I was asking where Hawthorn’s goals were coming from and questioning Jarman Impey’s lack of scoreboard impact in his first preseason hitout. Cleary he must have read that article and become possessed of a single-minded focus to prove me wrong.

    Eighteen disposals including 12 kicks, five marks, six tackles, five inside 50s and three goals – it’s the kind of all-bases-covered stat sheet that you absolutely love to see from someone playing half-forward.

    Tom Mitchell is a hard man to take down but you could make nearly half an argument to have Impey as best on ground for the Hawks on Saturday night, or at the very least in the conversation for it.

    Fingers crossed that this performance proves to be a precursor of big things to come in the 2018 season for the new Hawk.

    He’s got a lot of great attributes to be an excellent AFL player and unless you’ve been living under a rock all these years you’d be well aware that Hawthorn are pretty good and getting talent to bloom.

    Of course, Impey’s impressive peformance and indeed every possible talking point from the night was buried under an avalanche of (totally warranted) criticism of Carlton’s extremely gray preseason strip. C’est la vie.

    Jarman Impey

    (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

    Can Fogarty fit in the Crows’ forward line?
    Darcy Fogarty dominated the junior scene in his underage year but had something of an underwhelming under-18 season, which led to the top South Australian prospect in the pool sliding all the way to Adelaide’s first pick at No.12.

    That being the case, most would not have picked him to have an immediate impact at AFL level in 2018 – but he showed on Saturday that he just might do exactly that.

    Fogarty, who I highly recommend we all start calling The Fog Machine, had 14 disposals with ten kicks, eight marks, and booted three goals.

    At 192cm he’s slated by some as growing into a tall midfielder role, but will likely spend the start of his career playing in the forward line.

    That puts Adelaide in a very awkward position because they’ve already got Taylor Walker, Josh Jenkins, Tom Lynch and Mitch McGovern as 190cm-plus players inside 50.

    They are arguably already too tall in that area of the ground – especially if you’re a card-carrying member of the Ryan Buckland Church of Smallball. Realistically, a fifth big forward is just not going to fit in.

    A foot injury has delayed Walker’s preseason and just might keep him out for Round 1, which could give Fogarty a chance to debut and impress at AFL level.

    At some point though the Crows will have to work out just how much height fits in their forward line. It will be a hard choice to make, but a nice problem to have.

    Darcy Fogarty

    (AAP Image/David Mariuz)

    Sam Murray shows his worth
    One of the more baffling decisions at the time in last year’s trade period was Collingwood’s decision to give away their 2018 second-round pick for Sam Murray, an untested player on Sydney’s rookie list.

    Most of us went racing to Google to try to work out just who this random bloke was that the Pies were about to give up a potential top 25 pick for. Collingwood fans no doubt did the same.

    Then when he wasn’t even named in the side’s first preseason match, concern levels skyrocketed. Paying up for an untried player on its own is bad, worse still if they turn out to be a lemon.

    However Murray’s first appearance in black and white on Saturday will have given supporters good reason to feel that the trade was not only reasonable, but perhaps a stroke of genius.

    Murray finished the day with 24 disposals, 18 of them being kicks, nine marks, seven rebound 50s, five inside 50s, and a goal assist.

    He looks like the kind of outside-midfield-link-up player that Collingwood desperately need to balance out what is often a turgid, meat-and-potatoes midfield.

    It’s not uncommon for players of Murray’s type to excel in the preseason but struggle to have the same impact when the heat is turned up, of course.

    But if the 20-year-old and can grow into that role over the course of the season and eventually get to the point of having a consistent impact at AFL level, Pies fans will have some reason to call the deal a winner.

    Sam Murray

    (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

    Bold Blues set up exciting season opener
    Another impressive display of attacking football against Hawthorn on Saturday night proved that Carlton’s first preseason performance was no fluke, and and a more aggressive gameplan really does appear here to stay.

    Carlton go into the season with a 2-0 record in the JLT Community Series – aided by the fact that they were very accurate this week, and Hawthorn decidedly not so – and no doubt the mood around the club has got to be a very good one right now.

    It’s almost a shame that they are going to open the season against a Richmond side that is in imperious form, meaning that even if they absolutely play out of their skins they’ll probably still get caned by six goals minimum.

    However it’s a nice position to be in that the traditional Round 1 match between these two sides is one neutral fans can watch with real interest, this year rather than just wondering why someone else doesn’t finally get a turn.

    Both sides have played watchable, engaging, joyful footy during the preseason and while the scoreline probably won’t be all that close, I’m looking forward to seeing them go head to head next Thursday.

    Zac Fisher

    (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

    Josh Elliott
    Josh Elliott

    Josh Elliott may be The Roar's Weekend Editor, but at heart he's just a rusted-on North Melbourne tragic with a penchant for pun headlines - and also abnormal alliteration, assuredly; assuming achievability. He once finished third in a hot chilli pie eating contest. You can follow him on Twitter @JoshElliott_29 and listen to him on The Roar's AFL Podcast.

    Do you find yourself logged out of The Roar?
    We have just switched over to a secure site (https). This means you will need to log-in afresh. If you need help with recovering your password, please get in contact.

    This video is trending right now! Submit your videos for the chance to win a share of $10,000!

    Have Your Say

    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (104)

    • March 11th 2018 @ 9:41pm
      Rissole said | March 11th 2018 @ 9:41pm | ! Report

      Clearly the AFL misinformed us when they said no rule changes this year. You’re still not allowed to touch Joel Selwood but apparently now you can’t make contact to any Geelong player either.

      • Roar Guru

        March 11th 2018 @ 10:24pm
        Cat said | March 11th 2018 @ 10:24pm | ! Report

        Maybe Essendon should practice their tackling technique … and … learn to not hold.

      • March 12th 2018 @ 9:35am
        Paul said | March 12th 2018 @ 9:35am | ! Report

        They do have a stadium to pay for

        Fair weather supporters means great fixture, plenty of green from the umpire and of course hype

        If they don’t win , they won’t come no matter if you build it

        Also with west coast looking at a poorer year , you’re on the money freos a lock for the 8

        New stadium after all

      • March 12th 2018 @ 1:52pm
        Harsh Truth Harry said | March 12th 2018 @ 1:52pm | ! Report

        blokes had more ducks than the Bangladesh cricket team.

    • March 11th 2018 @ 9:53pm
      1DER said | March 11th 2018 @ 9:53pm | ! Report

      No need to comment on the last game as the Eagles were just not interested right from the start. Freo would have gained nothing from this hit out.

      • March 12th 2018 @ 12:38am
        Don Freo said | March 12th 2018 @ 12:38am | ! Report

        You’ve misread that. WC came out of the blocks with the first 2 goals. Freo wore them down, shut them down and re-shaped the terms of the game. A lesser opposition and we might have seen what WC is really able to do.

        • March 12th 2018 @ 2:09am
          13th Man said | March 12th 2018 @ 2:09am | ! Report

          From my view i just think West Coast lack the cattle in the midfield. Good players at either end of the ground and of course NicNat coming back will help, but bear in mind he hasn’t played for 18 months as well.
          They’ve got Shuey and Gaff who are good players but after that it really drops off, the likes of Redden, Duggan, Masten, Sheed, Ah Chee etc will have to step up a lot. Now that he’s gone i think people will realise just how valuable Priddis was to that side.

          • March 12th 2018 @ 10:52am
            Aflisagoodgame said | March 12th 2018 @ 10:52am | ! Report

            Remember they got Petroculle. He looks awesome. For some stupid reason they didn’t play Brander. Who looks like he could be one of the games next best forwards. Then theres Oscar Allen who will be played as a midfielder and Partington and Mutimer and Callan England.

            • March 12th 2018 @ 11:56am
              13th Man said | March 12th 2018 @ 11:56am | ! Report

              Yeah those guys may well be good in a couple of years time but its a tough ask for them to step up this year.

          • March 12th 2018 @ 12:01pm
            Kris said | March 12th 2018 @ 12:01pm | ! Report

            Replacing Priddis and Mitchell with Sheed and Redden is going to cost them clearances and tackles. If they can break even in the middle they will be OK, but can’t see them doing that.

            • March 12th 2018 @ 12:09pm
              13th Man said | March 12th 2018 @ 12:09pm | ! Report

              Cannot understand how a lot of WCE fans didn’t rate Priddis, the guy was so important to that midfield. They’ll miss him this season.
              Mitchell only played the one year so not as big of a loss.

      • March 12th 2018 @ 10:53am
        Aflisagoodgame said | March 12th 2018 @ 10:53am | ! Report

        Remember they got Jack Petroculle. He looks awesome. For some stupid reason they didn’t play Jarrod Brander.

      • March 12th 2018 @ 10:57am
        Aflisagoodgame said | March 12th 2018 @ 10:57am | ! Report

        Scott should be sacked. So should Buckley and if we finish bottom 5 so should Simpson and Richardson. Scott has coached over 200 games for the roos. He is a good coach and isn’t doing a lot wrong but needs to leave.

    • March 11th 2018 @ 10:01pm
      Neil from Warrandyte said | March 11th 2018 @ 10:01pm | ! Report

      Tigers running above ground level ATM, but it’s only preseason. Can’t wait for the real stuff to start next week.

    • March 11th 2018 @ 10:19pm
      WesternRoo said | March 11th 2018 @ 10:19pm | ! Report

      Although North were touched up in both pre season games and made to look very ordinary, it must be remembered that these losses were to powerful teams that most are predicting to be top 4 this year.
      I expect a much more competitive effort in round 1.
      I have enjoyed the football played by Carlton so far this pre season. The kids are looking good and the decision to draft Garlett late in the draft could prove to be another great move. Carlton have been making good decisions in this version of their rebuild and hopefully this one sticks.
      I have been surprised so many people have had Fremantle so low in their season predictions. On paper the Dockers best 22 should be incredibly competitive and with a strong home ground advantage and an emerging Taberner, they could potentially give the top 8 a scare.
      Good to see some competitive football out of QLD. While not top 8 material, I believe both teams have shown enough to believe that they won’t be the easybeats of the competition like many have predicted.

    • March 11th 2018 @ 10:28pm
      13th Man said | March 11th 2018 @ 10:28pm | ! Report

      Freo looking really good and West Coast looking very average not worth a mention? I know its only pre season but i think ive seen a real improvement in how Freo are moving the football. Positive signs meanwhile worrying for West Coast how poor they looked.
      Need nic nat and JK asap i think.

      • Roar Guru

        March 11th 2018 @ 10:35pm
        AdelaideDocker said | March 11th 2018 @ 10:35pm | ! Report

        I’m pretty sure he’s writing pieces on those teams up tonight.

        But yeah, Freo’s ball movement this evening was very good. Good signs.

        • March 12th 2018 @ 2:03am
          13th Man said | March 12th 2018 @ 2:03am | ! Report

          Yeah i went a bit early on that (sorry Josh)… Good signs from Freo i agree, although im not going to say we’ll play finals but we certainly look like an improved side.
          Interestingly Ross pretty much confirmed that Brayshaw and Banfield will debut in rd 1. Potentially Brad Hill and maybe Steve as well into that side too.
          Yes its only pre season and i have to remind myself that but the positives are certainly there.
          Bring on rd 1.

          • March 12th 2018 @ 12:03pm
            Kris said | March 12th 2018 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

            Will be interesting to see if Ross will keep letting them run and gun or if he reverts to type after a couple of losses. A very different looking Fremantle team than we are used to.

            • March 12th 2018 @ 12:11pm
              13th Man said | March 12th 2018 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

              He has to keep being positive, we have a tough start to the year so even if we lose a couple I hope like crazy that we continue to play a more exciting brand of football.

            • Roar Guru

              March 12th 2018 @ 12:20pm
              Dalgety Carrington said | March 12th 2018 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

              Lyon has stated he is looking for more rapid ball movement for a while now. Late last year he also went on record to endorse Nathan Wilson’s adventurous approach from half-back, saying that’s what they’re looking to implement into their game.

    • March 11th 2018 @ 10:43pm
      Macca said | March 11th 2018 @ 10:43pm | ! Report

      I said it last week and I’ll say it again, the blues attacking game style should be a surprise to no one! Apart from the fact that the blues have been explicitly stating that they plan to evolve to a more aggressive game plan and the fact you could see the seeds of it last year at times the recruiting strategy should have made it pretty obvious. That isn’t to say they will rocket up the ladder this year but you can see where they are going.

      As forCollingwood, I think this week is their traditional one in 4 that makes people think they are actually going somewhere.

      • March 11th 2018 @ 10:56pm
        Rippa86 said | March 11th 2018 @ 10:56pm | ! Report

        Boltan is pretty much following the exact philosophy Paul Roos did with Melbourne. step 1. Shore up the defense and stop these regular 50+ point blow outs. step 2, bring in some good young talent and start slowly bringing in attacking flair.

      • March 11th 2018 @ 10:59pm
        Floyd Calhoun said | March 11th 2018 @ 10:59pm | ! Report

        All Carlton needs now Is a relatively easy season opener. Something low-key, just to get the season off to a solid start.

        • March 11th 2018 @ 11:08pm
          Macca said | March 11th 2018 @ 11:08pm | ! Report

          Exactly Floyd !!

          In all seriousness though after round 1 they have Gold Coast in Melbourne, Collingwoo, North and West Coast in Melbourne 3-2 (or even 4-1) after 5 isn’t unthinkable

          • March 11th 2018 @ 11:34pm
            mattyb said | March 11th 2018 @ 11:34pm | ! Report

            Blues fans should definitely be excited.
            No excuses this year for not turning up to round one.,90k plus and the G should be pumping.
            Sign up bluebaggers and get to some actual games.

            • March 12th 2018 @ 9:58am
              Macca said | March 12th 2018 @ 9:58am | ! Report

              Yeah it’s amazing how excited we should be given we selected the wrong coach, our list manager need some to be sacked, our list strategy is wrong, we got it wrong taking Weitering and our list is full of rejects

              • March 12th 2018 @ 1:47pm
                Harsh Truth Harry said | March 12th 2018 @ 1:47pm | ! Report

                there’s an awful lot of Carlton fans getting carried away with the pre-season rubbish.
                What was that year you won the preseason comp and then got the wooden spoon? Repeat in 2018?

              • March 12th 2018 @ 2:57pm
                Macca said | March 12th 2018 @ 2:57pm | ! Report

                The bloke who is most excited is a Bulldogs supporter, the Carlton supporters are aware of reality.

              • March 12th 2018 @ 4:10pm
                Harsh Truth Harry said | March 12th 2018 @ 4:10pm | ! Report

                the harshest truth is that Carlton supporters have such low expectations these days macca, Mattyb knows it, big Harry knows it, we all know it.

              • March 12th 2018 @ 4:32pm
                Macca said | March 12th 2018 @ 4:32pm | ! Report

                And yet despite how low we have sunk Essendon remain less successful in the last decade.

                That must be a harsh truth for you Harry

            • Roar Guru

              March 12th 2018 @ 10:23am
              Col from Brissie said | March 12th 2018 @ 10:23am | ! Report

              Luckily it is at the biggest stadium in Australia so 90k plus people will be able to attend. As for me sorry I cannot make it. Normally living in Brisbane I usually only get 1 or 2 chances to see the Blues live although for this game I will actually be holidaying in Tasmania. I guess I could jump on a plane or the Spirit of Tasmania but I doubt my wife and travelling companions would be impressed..

              I will be in Melbourne when we play the Pies so I an planning on going to that game.

              • March 12th 2018 @ 11:48am
                Macca said | March 12th 2018 @ 11:48am | ! Report

                Not good enough Col! Didn’t you hear the man, no excuses, doesn’t matter that tickets will be hard to get because there are many more members than there are seats (let alone supporters) or that Thursday night makes it difficult for anyone outside of Melbourne or that you may be in another state – no excuses means no excuses – he has said it on every thread he can find for a while now, how much clearer can he be! 😉

              • March 12th 2018 @ 1:53pm
                Harsh Truth Harry said | March 12th 2018 @ 1:53pm | ! Report

                thats great Col enjoy that epic encounter! The losers cup!

              • March 13th 2018 @ 1:55pm
                Macca said | March 13th 2018 @ 1:55pm | ! Report

                Col – just got tickets to the Blues Essendon game, hopefully it will be a close as last years were.

              • Roar Guru

                March 13th 2018 @ 2:31pm
                Col from Brissie said | March 13th 2018 @ 2:31pm | ! Report

                Did you get some for Big Harry and Matthew as it looks like he has jumped on the Bombers bandwagon so he should be willing to fly over from WA. That would make for a fun day.

              • March 13th 2018 @ 3:02pm
                Macca said | March 13th 2018 @ 3:02pm | ! Report

                I assumed Matthew would be at an AGSV game so unable to attend and I couldn’t get enough seats together to fit a man the size of Harry in unfortunately so it will just be my nephew, my brother, my Dad and me.

              • March 13th 2018 @ 3:06pm
                Harsh Truth Harry said | March 13th 2018 @ 3:06pm | ! Report

                Ill come with you blokes to that game for sure! Big harry’s shoulders are as wide as Barry Round though fellas so will need some space from you small blokes!

              • March 13th 2018 @ 3:47pm
                Macca said | March 13th 2018 @ 3:47pm | ! Report

                You don’t read much do you Harry.

      • March 12th 2018 @ 1:22pm
        Peter the Scribe said | March 12th 2018 @ 1:22pm | ! Report

        Ha ha Macca, you can’t resist having a crack at the Pies. Good to see 🙂 I’ve got to say an epic Collingwood v Carlton final would be something after all these years. In fact, I wonder when the last was? Surely not way back to the early 80’s?

        • Roar Guru

          March 13th 2018 @ 3:13pm
          Paul D said | March 13th 2018 @ 3:13pm | ! Report

          1988 wasn’t it? Was that the era that gave us that great quote “What’s better than beating Collingwood by ten goals? beating them by five points!”

          I’d love to see some of the big old Melbourne rivalries back in September. The game has missed them for too long. Not saying every year, but 30 years since a final between the two most loathed rivals is a bit much. Hell, the last time there was any real spite in the game was in the early 2000’s and that’s only because Carlton were about to win their first wooden spoon

          • March 13th 2018 @ 10:14pm
            Darren said | March 13th 2018 @ 10:14pm | ! Report

            That quote is from George Harris Paul D. It was a speech after the 1979 GF (he was Carlton President at the time) which Carlton won by 5 pts.
            Also the game when Wayne Harmes knocked the ball back to the goal square in the last quarter for Ken Sheldon to score a goal. I was at the game (showing my age now). I was right down the other end but I can say without any question of doubt the ball never left the field of play.
            Anyway more worried about the present day. I had Carlton and Brisbane as big improvers from the bottom group but listening to Fagan speak in the past few days I think he is setting expectations for a season like Carlton’s last year – i.e. sure up defence but not fussed about winning any more games.
            What’s the feeling in Brisbane?

            • Roar Guru

              March 13th 2018 @ 11:12pm
              Paul D said | March 13th 2018 @ 11:12pm | ! Report

              There’s some dull levels of excitement – frankly any excitement after the last few years is good, but for me, I think it’s still a bottom 4 season for us, the players will and have improved but so has everyone else in the competition, and I don’t see many sides we’re going to finish ahead of after 23 weeks, not unless we progress and a couple of sides regress badly