Five hot takes from AFL Round 13

Josh Elliott Editor

By Josh Elliott, Josh Elliott is a Roar Editor


197 Have your say

    AFL might not have taken centre stage this week with the World Cup and Wallabies drawing away some of the limelight, but there’s still plenty of interest to talk about. Here’s my five hot takes from the weekend.

    Tenacious Tigers take back top spot
    It was a close contest for the most part at the MCG on Sunday but it ended the way we have seen many Richmond games end this year – with the Tigers outlasting their opponents and running away with it in the end.

    Geelong had the stronger start with four goals to one in the final term but Richmond were quick to respond in the second. There was just two points the difference in the game at half time, only one at the final break.

    Goals from two returning players in Dustin Martin and Daniel Rioli as well as from Jack Riewoldt and Jason Castagna however gave Richmond and strong advantage in the final term and what looked like it could have gone down to the wire was in the end a fairly comfy win.

    With West Coast having fallen short against Sydney on Friday night, this match gave Richmond the chance to reclaim top spot and they took it with gusto.

    Of course, the Tigers have the bye next week while the Eagles have a game in hand – so they might not want to get too use to life at the top.

    Still, I feel like this result cements once again the truth that most of us would prefer to just avoid: Richmond are flag favourites.

    You can nitpick as much as you want and ask questions of their interstate record, but if they finish in the top two then it is not going to matter.

    They haven’t lost a game at the MCG in nearly 12 months… who knows when they will again? Even if they don’t win interstate all year long, it might not hurt at all their chances of going back to back.

    (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

    A lesson the AFL can learn from the World Cup
    I hope it won’t come as a controversial shock to those reading this column that I am not exactly the world’s most dedicated (association) football devotee.

    Nothing wrong with it. Loved playing it in school. My best position was, well, the bench, but I still remember the day I scored three goals and broke my nose. Never found it exciting to watch, though.

    AFL on the other hand I could watch until my eyes fell out and after that I would just turn on the radio – so it was to my own surprise that I found myself choosing the World Cup on Saturday night.

    Look, there’s been a lot of talk this year about the quality of football and what changes could be made to improve it.

    It’s not really my type of conversation because honest, I don’t feel anything needs to be changed. The game has evolved year after year and it will continue to do so.

    I won’t deny that things have been a bit less watchable this year than they were in the past two – but I reckon that’s more due to an absence of close games than it is the style of play necesarilly.

    Because the funny thing about watching last night’s World Cup games is that they reminded me exactly why it is that we all like sport – and it’s got nothing to do with starting positions or bigger goalsquares.

    Instead it was the chance to be a part of a rare and engaging narrative as a side like Iceland, coming from a nation of 330,000 people and coached by a part-time dentist, manage to frustrate and deny one of the greatest players in the world, playing for one of the greatest football nations in the world.

    One in ten Icelandic citizens is in Russia right now supporting their team at the real cup. What passion that is.

    That’s the thing about sport – it’s like a movie, except it’s real. It’s unpredictable, it’s gritty, and it’s meaningful to us.

    I guess that even if there were thrilling contests going on the AFL might battle to displace the Socceroos at a world cup occasionally clash schedules.

    But what I would say to the AFL if they are looking for ways to improve the game is something I’ve said many times before. It is the passion of the fans which makes the game great – take good care of that as your first priority, and the rest will work itself out.

    Iceland fan

    (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

    Carlton needs their ‘culture’ back
    The big achievement of Brendon Bolton’s first two years as coach of the Carlton Blues was the restoration of the club’s pride and a sense of indentity in the way they played.

    It was defensive footy, essentially the training wheels of football identity, but it worked. Carlton snatched more wins than expected because they could surprise teams who took them lightly, and Blues fans turned up each week knowing that while they wouldn’t win most games, they would usually be competitive.

    The AFL seemed to be fans of it – the gave them Rising Star nominations and they gave them Friday night fixtures. Perhaps most importantly, opposition fans (sometimes) gave them respect, because they could see the strength of effort and appreciate the promise of young players.

    This is why I was confused at the start of the year when Bolton telegraphed a chance to a more offensive style of play in the 2018 season. Don’t get me wrong, I was a fan, as I usually am of things that surprise me, but it didn’t make a whole lot of sense.

    Most teams who learn defence first do eventually graduate to a more balanced style of playing the game, but with the Blues having lost a senior leader in Bryce Gibbs and getting younger again, it just didn’t seem like the right time.

    I would have loved to see it be successful and in the preseason and Round 1 it looked like it might well be, but unfortunately those are distant memories right now.

    We’ve seen a shift away from defense in that the Blues are no longer restricting teams as much as they once were… but it hasn’t been balanced out by the kind of offensive improvement you need to justify that. Instead of making that step forward, they’ve just taken a step back.

    That was readily apparent in this week’s game where they were considered a good chance to get their second win of the season but instead got smashed twelve goals to none in the first half.

    Rhys Palmer, who spent a single year at the Blues in 2017 before retiring (at the age of 28) tweeted something a bit cryptic during the game.

    If Rhys Palmer’s mid-game tweets are anything like my mid-game tweets then it’s fair to say there might not be a whole of depth of thought behind this one, but it did get me thinking a bit about culture and identity at football team and what shapes those.

    Generally speaking they tend to rely heavily on the mature and veteran players in the side but so much of Carlton’s list build strategy has been to ship those players out while brining in mature talent from other clubs at the same time.

    But that ‘mature talent’ tends to be more accurately described as ‘blokes who could not get games elsewhere’, and many of them – like Palmer – have only hung around at the Blues a short time before their careers wound up due to lack of talent.

    In truth what the Blues need is for mature leaders to develop out of their young talent. And it will probably happen – word this week was that both Patrick Cripps and Charlie Curnow are ready to commit to the club for the long term.

    But perhaps the Blues need to revisit how they’re playing the game and look at the best way to build a strong football indentity among the playing group they have now. It’s not as easy as just putting the training wheels right back on, but maybe an innovative solution can be found.

    Patrick Cripps

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

    We can no longer be silent about the Sydney Swans
    I reckon we’ve all been a little guilty at times of underrating the Sydney Swans this season.

    Why? It’s hard to put a finger on it exactly. Maybe it comes down to margin sizes – where teams like Richmond, West Coast and Melbourne have shown they have an ability to blow poor sides away, Sydney have generally just gotten the job done.

    And sometimes they haven’t. They’ve lost to Port Adelaide, Adelaide and North Melbourne – all at home. It’s the sort of thing that can make you question a team.

    For some reason or another, they just don’t seem to be a popular pick when we start talking about teams who might feature in the grand final.

    But they’re also the only side in the league to beat top-of-the-table West Coast. In fact as of this week they’re the only side to beat them twice – something we might not see any other side equal this year.

    They’ve got themselves onto a six-game winning streak ahead of the bye. The fact that Lance Franklin is back in the side after missing a few games earlier in the year is no doubt a big part of them achieving that consistency.

    Perhaps most impressive has been a demonstrated ability to win on the road. They’ve knocked off West Coast at Optus Stadium and Geelong at Kardinia – both feats that no other team can claim to match this year.

    And yes, they’ve had one of those all-important wins at the MCG, beating a solidly good Hawthorn side there by eight points earlier this year.

    Their first two matches back after that bye will tell us a lot about where this team is at – going up against Richmond and Geelong in consecutive weeks.

    But on current form and where they are on the ladder right now, there’s no good reason not to consider them just about as deep in the flag race as any other side.

    Lance Franklin

    (Photo by Brett Hemmings/AFL Media/Getty Images)

    Fourth quarters are a problem, but not Gold Coast’s biggest
    Gold Coast’s last four fourth quarters have resulted in a grand total of zero goals, four behinds being scored for the club.

    It wasn’t that interesting a stat until this week. In the three weeks prior, it was just yet another disappointing part of overall comprehensive losses.

    This week instead it was the reason they lost their game – a match that, up until the final break, they had looked like winning, if not winning comfortably.

    On Saturday they had a fairly even first term against the St Kilda Saints before racing out with five goals to one in the second to set up what should have been a decisive advantage.

    They lead by 31 points at the final break… but then went completely scoreless in the last term, and St Kilda snatched the win.

    Clearly this is a pattern for Gold Coast, so what explains it? Perhaps it’s their all-over-the-place fixture to start the season. Perhaps the players are being worked too hard at training. All speculation of course – who knows.

    But the truth is that poor fourth quarters is not Gold Coast’s biggest problem: their biggest problem is that fact that – and apologies if this is a bit harsh – no one really seems to care what their problems are.

    Talk about the size of fanbases of clubs is something that I’ve never found particularly interesting (typical of a North fan, eh?) but I can’t help but wonder if the intangible benefits of having a passionate crowd is something the Suns are missing.

    It’s often said that a team like West Coast can benefit a lot from the ‘noise of affirmation’ swaying an umpire decision, but instead what I’m talking about is the pressure that passionate fanbase puts on a team to take pride in itself and make effort to be better.

    Perhaps you need a bit of that fire and burden of expectation to really reach the elite standard, and perhaps that’s why it’s only the teams who had existing Victorian fanbases that have managed to be successful playing outside traditional AFL territory – something to think about.

    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.

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    The Crowd Says (197)

    • Roar Guru

      June 17th 2018 @ 6:13pm
      Paul Dawson said | June 17th 2018 @ 6:13pm | ! Report

      Re: the Suns – I would say that’s an inevitable consequence of players on guaranteed money, guaranteed games, guaranteed employment.

      Fans up here long ago worked out the AFL would keep picking up the tab regardless of whether they funded the clubs or not through their attendance. Cost of living pressures are at an all time high for most people and a ticket to go see the Suns is a luxury in time and money most people can’t afford or don’t want to spend.

      Likewise the players know they’ve got a guaranteed job for years if they keep doing just enough – there is simply not enough talent to go around 18 clubs and have them all be competitive, that much is painfully obvious. The Suns can’t retain any players, so if you’re a professional athlete who wants to maximise your earnings, career length and are taking the long view – football is a means to an end, to set oneself up for life moneywise, then the Suns is a nice careful, easy wicket to dig in and make a career out of being an average player for 8-10 years.

      There are simply no real consequences for losing. The club keeps getting games, the players keep getting paid and the AFL keeps paying the bills. That’s why no-one cares about the Suns – and it’s not harsh at all to say no-one cares what their problems are, and that includes everyone up here in Queensland.

      You also take a look at their coaching panel – Matthew Primus is the midfield coach and deadset would have to be the worst person holding down that role in ANY of the 18 clubs, I’d love to hear someone make a case for a worse midfield coach. Dean Solomon – the guy who inspired his players to a 135-20 loss after Rocket got the sack is senior assistant, the hits just keep on coming.

      The players at the Suns aren’t silly, they know they’re no good compared to other sides, they know they haven’t got experience or nous in the coaching box and as such they’re set up to lose every week and not care beyond being able to rationalise it away as inevitable.

      The AFL will learn, even if it costs them half a billion dollars before it’s done, that Queenslanders can be the most stubborn, determined people to sabotage and bring about the ruination of a high flying expensive organisation that takes them for granted. I’m loving the absolute indifference we are showing the AFL, I’m loving the millions it’s costing them too. They never asked us about expansion here, they ruined elite footy in Queensland for a decade by their ill-judged cash grab for broadcast rights, they ruined footy in tasmania by ignoring them, and hopefully the AFL gets an absolute financial bath out of this before it is done. I’m fascinated to see how many years this malaise goes on for. It could easily be another decade.

      Unless the AFL is prepared to give the Suns an unfair advantage over other clubs they will never be any good, not while the players and coaching staff get veto rights over who plays where. Short of a dozen players all deciding in one year to go to the Suns you will never get enough critical mass to shift the club to a good place in a hurry – because every time they bring someone in, they’ll be losing others out the back door to other clubs. It’s a treadmill to nowhere, and a fascinating study in economics.

      Re: Carlton – I’ll also be interested to see who they can bring in end of this season. I’m not as concerned over their trade prospects as I think playing in Melbourne, even for a bad club, is still going to be more appealing for a lot of players then getting on a plane every fortnight. The only thing that will stop them is other melbourne clubs pinching their trade targets.

      • Roar Guru

        June 17th 2018 @ 7:06pm
        hairy fat man said | June 17th 2018 @ 7:06pm | ! Report

        There is a logic behind having a game in Queensland every week, but logic isn’t always applicable in the real world.

      • Roar Guru

        June 17th 2018 @ 7:42pm
        Rick Figjam said | June 17th 2018 @ 7:42pm | ! Report

        I mentioned this in another thread, but it’s quite pertinent here.

        The Suns are strategically crucial for many reasons, none more so than long-term AFL career pathways in QLD. The A-League has this very problem across its entire spectrum, despite annihilating the AFL at the junior level.

        The four pillars of sustained sporting success (something the British recently employed to their Olympic Program) are:

        1. Opportunity,
        2. Talent Identification,
        3. Infrastructure; and
        4. Career Pathways.

        If you don’t have those four pillars, you risk sustainability at the elite level.

        The AFL has made the bold decision to expand into one of the highest growth corridors in the country. Your mention of critical mass is significant and one that will hopefully (in the decades to come) be solved by the junior talent pool both growing and benefitting from infrastructure investment, coupled with career opportunity in their home state of QLD.

        The AFL does need to address the more immediate issue of competitiveness and acknowledge the competition is far from equitable in many facets of its running.

        I’d personally conduct an audit on the many variables, i.e. academies, MCG finals, finance etc. and develop an algorithm to identify which clubs have a significant advantage. A break down into what areas, along with a numerical value for each (readily available to the public) would then help to formulate appropriate subsidisation for struggling clubs.

        It’s a socialist competition run by a draconian organisation. As such, if the AFL wants to conduct its operations in this manner, it needs to be far more transparent, offering hope and clarity to all concerned.

        • Roar Guru

          June 17th 2018 @ 10:59pm
          Paul Dawson said | June 17th 2018 @ 10:59pm | ! Report

          Your algorithm has as much chance of coming into being in the next decade as the Suns winning the flag I feel.

          I’m not sold on the career pathways line either – for starters there was already hundreds of places available for talented Queenslanders to play in the afl, and the lions squad was scarcely turning away Queenslanders back in 2007 and had a lot of imports from interstate.

          My view on the suns is the afl got greedy and went early. They helicoptered in a side from above. They should have built from the ground up, put in the academies first and then brought in the new team once demand for spots was bulging at the seams in Queensland. They got greedy and they have now poisoned a fair bit of the well up here. It will take years – maybe a decade or more – to undo the scepticism and damage they have sown in the minds of potential spectators and players up here.

          But that’s hindsight. I’m sure they’d agree they made loads of mistakes. But I don’t think an algorithm aimed at redressing not just the suns and lions but all clubs is going to solve this particular problem.

          I don’t think the Suns are ever going to be much of a success. I don’t think it’s coincidence that every pro football outfit on the Gold Coast has been spectacularly unsuccessful and cost their parent code a ton of money. It’s a city with a lot of people who are not that interested in watching stadium sports at stadiums. But I’ll be interested to see how much more money the afl wants to lose here, and how long they keep losing it for.

          • Roar Guru

            June 17th 2018 @ 11:39pm
            Rick Figjam said | June 17th 2018 @ 11:39pm | ! Report

            What if an algorithm could be devised that resulted in the Suns and Lions having full access to all future QLD academy players at zero expense?

            What if it allowed an increase in the football operations soft-cap?
            What if it allowed for an increase in the salary cap?
            What if it allowed for extra draft picks that could only be traded for veteran players?

            This value could only be ascertained by having a better understanding of what numerical advantage certain Victorian teams have over QLD teams, if any at all.

            We can’t make these decisions unless we agree on what is fair and reasonable within an inequitable competition.

            No doubt, the Lions had a numerical advantage in the early 2000’s for a number of reasons. Do I have an issue with that? Absolutely not, but Eddie did.

            We need to acknowledge what these advantages are, put a price on them and move from there.

            • Roar Guru

              June 18th 2018 @ 12:07am
              DingoGray said | June 18th 2018 @ 12:07am | ! Report

              While that all sounds great Rick, but the AFL Melbourne Mafia will never ever allow it happen….

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2018 @ 12:10am
                Rick Figjam said | June 18th 2018 @ 12:10am | ! Report

                You’re probably right.

                I can’t believe I lost those two close games.

                Damn Peter Baker!

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2018 @ 10:01am
                DingoGray said | June 18th 2018 @ 10:01am | ! Report

                Peter Baker is a hard man to catch at the moment.

                Your bloody Cats didn’t help out! Lol

    • Roar Guru

      June 17th 2018 @ 6:18pm
      Peppsy said | June 17th 2018 @ 6:18pm | ! Report

      Woooo! 10 straight rounds without a Hawthorn quick take! Congrats everyone.

      • Roar Guru

        June 17th 2018 @ 6:54pm
        hairy fat man said | June 17th 2018 @ 6:54pm | ! Report

        Here’s one: The Hawks are a middle-of-the-road, okay-ish football team right now. Quick, and to the point.

      • Roar Guru

        June 17th 2018 @ 8:11pm
        Cat said | June 17th 2018 @ 8:11pm | ! Report

        I reckon Geelong is right with you.

    • June 17th 2018 @ 6:30pm
      Kris said | June 17th 2018 @ 6:30pm | ! Report

      The Swans have made the finals 19 of the last 22 seasons; soon to be 20 from 23. There are writers presenting as experts who have barely known the competition without them playing in September.

      Every year they are tipped to miss. Every year their game plan is a problem, or they are too reliant on certain players. Every year it is either COLA, or home ground advantage or a soft draw or some other nonsense.

      I think some experts need to stop sniffing whatever it is that tricks them into thinking they are experts. The Swans flat out know how to run a football club, deserve more respect, and should be penciled into your top-8 every year until they prove that the wheel’s have actually come lose.

      • June 17th 2018 @ 8:21pm
        Angela said | June 17th 2018 @ 8:21pm | ! Report

        Here, here.

        As far as we – the great unwashed – can tell the Swans club is a role model for other clubs. Longmire is quiet, modest and unassuming. His comments (apart from finally being pushed to have a go at Alistair Clarkson’s dummy spit about blocking) are measured. He is also one of the few coaches not to come out of the Alistair Clarkson stable.

        The Swans gather in players other clubs overlook and turn them into champions. Again, as far as we can tell, (Tom Mitchell aside) the players seem to love being part of the Swans and young players want to go there.
        While it’s disappointing when they make the GF and lose, every year the Swans give their supporters great pleasure, hope and something to cheer for.

        Their membership is now 60,000 – amazing for a non-AFL state/city.

        I don’t think this year is our year and, frankly, I’d sooner see them dip out than lose another GF to – probably – Richmond having a lovely time at their home ground the MCG.

        But lookout next year. Our stunning younger players will be really something by then, there will be – I understand – more money in the kitty than there has been for a while and we are finally over all the poobah COLA payback business.

        Cheer, cheer the red and the white etc, etc, etc,

        • June 17th 2018 @ 8:41pm
          Birdman said | June 17th 2018 @ 8:41pm | ! Report

          Hang on. If the Swans are still operating in an non-AFL state after all these years then when will that change?

          Surely it’s more accurate that the Swans have cornered the AFL market in NSW?

          • June 18th 2018 @ 7:48am
            Christo the Daddyo said | June 18th 2018 @ 7:48am | ! Report

            And you’ve just identified why the Giants are a crucial element to the AFL’s overall, long-term plan. Having two clubs in NSW means the AFL can chip away at the goal of growing the AFL market in NSW. Will it ever overtake the rugby codes? Probably not, but there’s no reason the AFL can’t get a bigger slice of the pie.

            NSW and QLD will (for the foreseeable future) be non-AFL states. As such the AFL should be doing everything it can to increase its presence in these markets. The traditionalists will whine about the Giants and the Suns not being “real” clubs (whatever that actually means) and that nobody cares about them. But I’m yet to hear any of those haters come up with a real alternative for growing the game in those markets.

            I’m old enough to remember the bad old days of the Swans being an embarrassment for years. Low quality playing rosters, poor administration, no support from the AFL. But all of those factors were addressed and the club is now excelling in just about every aspect of running a football club. Given time and patience, there is no reason the Suns and the Giants can’t do the same.

      • Roar Pro

        June 17th 2018 @ 8:55pm
        anon said | June 17th 2018 @ 8:55pm | ! Report

        Swans have won 25 of their past 31 games.

        Only two regular season losses last year after round 6, both to Hawthorn by less than a goal each time.

        • June 18th 2018 @ 11:40am
          Glenn said | June 18th 2018 @ 11:40am | ! Report

          Thanks, anon, I was thinking the same thing over the weekend, but had forgotten the Hawthorn detail. That makes their record look even better. Unfortunately others will make silly comments about choosing round 7 as the starting point of the run being arbitrary, but it was actually the point where things started clicking.

    • June 17th 2018 @ 6:38pm
      Macca said | June 17th 2018 @ 6:38pm | ! Report

      The blues don’t need their culture back, they need their players back. Getting Docherty and Murphy in alone addresses the need for “mature leaders”.

      • Roar Guru

        June 17th 2018 @ 10:16pm
        Dalgety Carrington said | June 17th 2018 @ 10:16pm | ! Report

        You reckon? Kruezer, Cripps, Curnow(E), Casboult, Jones, Simpson, Thomas. Getting those two you listed back no doubt will help, but Freo was a younger team on average and had more players with jack experience. Given how quickly and brutally Carlton was dispatched, there’s a bit more at play you’d think.

        • Roar Guru

          June 17th 2018 @ 10:50pm
          Rick Figjam said | June 17th 2018 @ 10:50pm | ! Report

          Yes, and it’s likely in the form of a midget who can’t see over the dashboard.

        • June 17th 2018 @ 10:56pm
          Macca said | June 17th 2018 @ 10:56pm | ! Report

          Dalgety – Kreuzer, Cripps, Simpson and E Curnow were the blues best players yesterday – they can see not do so much.

          • Roar Guru

            June 17th 2018 @ 11:42pm
            Dalgety Carrington said | June 17th 2018 @ 11:42pm | ! Report


            Are they not “mature leaders”?

            • June 18th 2018 @ 7:35am
              Macca said | June 18th 2018 @ 7:35am | ! Report

              The point is if you think the blues need mature leaders the best place to start would be the captain and vice captain.

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2018 @ 10:59am
                Peter the Scribe said | June 18th 2018 @ 10:59am | ! Report

                The consensus Macca is Murphy will walk at the end of the year and who can blame him? He deserves to play for a side who are at least a chance for finals next year. He should go to the Hawks IMO.

              • June 18th 2018 @ 11:28am
                Macca said | June 18th 2018 @ 11:28am | ! Report

                The only consensus that matters is between Murphy and the club.

    • June 17th 2018 @ 6:40pm
      Slane said | June 17th 2018 @ 6:40pm | ! Report

      Great to have Daniel Rioli back. Love what he brings to the Tigers.

    • Roar Guru

      June 17th 2018 @ 6:52pm
      Rick Figjam said | June 17th 2018 @ 6:52pm | ! Report

      AFL will never produce an Icelandic moment. The very fabric of football and its scoring system allow minnows to compete against powerhouse nations.

      If the AFL wants to replicate this, it needs to encourage less scoring, not more in an attempt to even the playing field. Sports with high scoring, i.e. test cricket are less likely to have countries capable of competing at the elite level, which is why we see so very few Test-playing nations, compared to one day and T20.

      A team from the VFL would have no chance against any AFL team (well, maybe Carlton). However, a third division football team in England has every opportunity to snag victory against an EPL side. We see it occur in the FA Cup regularly.

      But why? Simple, defence is always more facile than attack to both teach and implement under pressure. When a team lacks talent, the best way to temper such deficiency is through defence, combined with counter-attacking football. Conversely, possession, control, and precision are very difficult to master, along with mitigation on the turnover.

      The AFL needs to think wisely about where it wants to take the game in the coming years.

      • Roar Guru

        June 17th 2018 @ 7:21pm
        hairy fat man said | June 17th 2018 @ 7:21pm | ! Report

        I don’t think a low-scoring sport is necessarily more even than a high-scoring one. European soccer competitions are dominated by a handful of wealthy clubs, and only large Western European & South American nations win the World Cup.

        • Roar Guru

          June 17th 2018 @ 8:21pm
          Rick Figjam said | June 17th 2018 @ 8:21pm | ! Report

          They are dominated by a handful of wealthy clubs across a season due to the capitalistic nature of the competition that encapsulates them. It’s also worth noting that despite this, the EPL has generated four premiers to the AFL’s six over the past ten years.

          Secondly, despite certain teams dominating across a season in the EPL, we don’t see the inherent blowouts that occur on a regular basis, as we do in the AFL, effectively killing a match by halftime in many cases.

          As such, in one-off contests such as the World Cup, each nation has some level of hope; despite potentially facing insurmountable odds. I can’t think of another sport where a country can field a team worth $400m, yet struggle to defeat another worth $1m.

          To put that in perspective, the rest of the world could combine all their resources and would still be heavily defeated by the All Australian team. Ever wonder why we’re not allowed in the Australian Football International Cup, despite hosting the competition?

          The winner of World Cup 2018 could be held to a draw by Thailand, or even beaten with some level of luck.

          That’s why the World Cup generates such drama and passion.

          • Roar Guru

            June 17th 2018 @ 10:04pm
            Dalgety Carrington said | June 17th 2018 @ 10:04pm | ! Report

            Is it real hope, or merely fool’s gold? To each their own, but it’s all a bit too flaccid for me.

            • Roar Guru

              June 17th 2018 @ 10:38pm
              Rick Figjam said | June 17th 2018 @ 10:38pm | ! Report

              There’s hope for each individual game, not necessarily to win the World Cup. However, Greece won the Euros a few years back, which many thought would be impossible. It happens in football.

              Australia was a real chance against France the other night, despite most ‘experts’ predicting a flogging. Not bad for a country outgunned 100-1 on the payroll. Had a little luck gone our way, we would have defeated those Frogs.

              It astounds me why fans, like yourself, are so negative in your clubs outlook at times. Don Freo is a nut, but he will always find the best in his club, irrespective of the impending doom surrounding.

              Many would do well to follow, but I’m not here to lecture, rather defend my own views on sport in general.

              • Roar Guru

                June 17th 2018 @ 10:47pm
                AdelaideDocker said | June 17th 2018 @ 10:47pm | ! Report

                See, perhaps it’s just the way my life’s been so far, but I don’t like the “eternal, permanately optimistic attitudes” some people take to sport.

                I have nothing against supporting the club – I have issues with people overlooking clear issues, or overstating facts around their teams.

                Macca + Carlton is interesting. He’s realistic, looking at the facts (often a little excessively in terms of stats, though) and he’ll generally be able to access Carlton’s chances and their accurate position. He’ll do all this in a manner that irritates people – of course – but all in all he’s a pretty good judge. He just doesn’t know when to stop, or where the limit is.

                Don Freo’s the opposite. He’s often far too unrealistic, hyping up players to dumb extents and refusing to accept clear flaws in Freo. He differs from most of us other Freo fans – you call it finding the best in his club, I call it becoming far too obsessive, and out of touch at times.

                Be optimistic – just don’t be ignorant.

                Sorry if this makes no sense; I imagine it just sounds like ramblings, but I’m running on like three hours sleep here.

              • June 18th 2018 @ 12:25am
                Don Freo said | June 18th 2018 @ 12:25am | ! Report

                You’ll find I haven’t been wrong about any of my support for Freo’s players. Have you finally noticed Michael Apeness? Have you seen how we play better with Sandi, Fyfe and Hill? Did we not point out Luke Ryan and Brennan Cox before everyone else latched on.

                My tone is always that there is no need for doom and gloom if the players are there. They may be injured but there is no need for restructure or sackings…you just wait for them to return.

                What point is there in supporting a side if you don’t support them?

              • Roar Guru

                June 17th 2018 @ 11:02pm
                Rick Figjam said | June 17th 2018 @ 11:02pm | ! Report

                Macca has been completely wrong in his assessment of the Carlton Football club for the past 5 years. None more so than last round.

                He’s been accused of being overly optimistic at times. Now you’re suggesting he’s realistic. I’d suggest he’s both – a man frustrated and unsure of himself, which is natural given how rubbish and disappointing his team has been.

                Don Freo I don’t converse with anymore. He use to stalk me, but I learnt long ago what he was about. He’s a stirrer, but passionate in his belief of his club and what following sport should be about.

                There are times to be objective and times to show strength as a fan. It’s a delicate balance and why I enjoy this site with all the different personalities we can interact with. 🙂

              • June 17th 2018 @ 11:08pm
                Macca said | June 17th 2018 @ 11:08pm | ! Report

                Rick – can you point to a prediction I made about this last round?

                Also if you look back at the pre-season prediction score I made about the blues since Bolton arrived you will see I predicted bottom 4 each year – how exactly was that wrong?

              • Roar Guru

                June 17th 2018 @ 11:16pm
                Paul Dawson said | June 17th 2018 @ 11:16pm | ! Report

                Honestly I think anyone still supporting Carlton passionately after the last 5 years deserves a medal

                Macca gives me the pip sometimes but the man drags himself down to Melbourne hundreds of km to watch Carlton, and for all that gets called a “supporter” or other derogatory remarks by various people on here – honestly I think that’s absolute crap

                I only watch 3 lions games this year live at the ground. I’ve been watching less and less on tv in between that. But that’s my choice, same as others choose to go every week or once a year or just watch on tv

                There’s a lot of people on here making outlandish ridiculous claims about their experience compared to others which for me just illustrates their own stupidity. The one thing I’ve learnt playing masters this year is that you just give it a go to the best of your ability whatever that is, and don’t worry if you make a hash of it. It’s not about winning or being the best it’s about getting out there and having a go

                I think some people on here should remember that when comparing themselves to others and perhaps consider their circumstances relative to others. Instead of being derogatory perhaps be appreciative of what you do have and be thankful for that.

              • Roar Guru

                June 17th 2018 @ 11:14pm
                AdelaideDocker said | June 17th 2018 @ 11:14pm | ! Report

                Interesting points Rick. That last sentence is among the most wholesome you’ve ever typed on here, so that’s a little scary 😉


                Very good comment, I’m enjoying how … nice … everyone is being tonight. It’s a refreshing change.

              • Roar Guru

                June 17th 2018 @ 11:48pm
                Dalgety Carrington said | June 17th 2018 @ 11:48pm | ! Report

                I don’t think I’ve ever been particularly negative on Freo’s outlook. I don’t see the point. For starters there’s plenty on here who’ll do that for me and second, the future is uncertain (so why go the heartburn route?), thirdly pessimism is just as irrational as optimism and in no way is it any closer to being realistic.

                I didn’t watch the soccer, was Iceland a more defensive team? 😛

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2018 @ 12:09am
                Rick Figjam said | June 18th 2018 @ 12:09am | ! Report

                Dal, I’ll retract my pessimistic comment. You’re generally pretty good. It’s not often I retract a comment either.

                Macca, I think you and Don set a new record for comments made on the tips thread last week. Your d#c& measuring was very impressive. I guess Don’s was bigger after witnessing his boys thrash yours by 9 goals in the first half.

                But according to you, there was no prediction, just fence sitting it would appear.

              • June 18th 2018 @ 12:40am
                dontknowmuchaboutfootball said | June 18th 2018 @ 12:40am | ! Report

                Bit harsh on Dalgety. He’s far from negative in his outlook on Freo!

                Edit: comment retracted, I see. All good.

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2018 @ 1:03am
                AdelaideDocker said | June 18th 2018 @ 1:03am | ! Report


                As I said, I don’t care if you support Freo. I often like many of your calls. Full blooded supporters like yourself is what clubs need.

                It’s just you’re often a little too optimistic, wherein it begins to be hard to take some of your comments legitimately. You’ll make big-throated claims, you’ll discourage anyone from criticising Freo – you’ll essentially go overboard. You’ll seemingly be fine with consistent failure within the footy club (when that occurs), and refuse to hold people accountable.

                Ugh jesus I’m going on for far to long. I think my point’s been made. i need sleep desperately.

              • June 18th 2018 @ 7:38am
                Macca said | June 18th 2018 @ 7:38am | ! Report

                Rick – the discussion between Don and I was nothing to do with the outcome of the game, I said so explicitly.

                So again where have I been wrong about this round or my predictions of the blues finishing position since Bolton took over?

          • Roar Guru

            June 17th 2018 @ 10:05pm
            hairy fat man said | June 17th 2018 @ 10:05pm | ! Report

            There were plenty of blowouts in the EPL last season, with 3+ goals being my definition of a blowout.

            I don’t see how an occasional upset changes the dynamic of the soccer World Cup. There’s eight to ten teams who could realistically win a World Cup — the rest are just props.

            • Roar Guru

              June 17th 2018 @ 10:20pm
              Rick Figjam said | June 17th 2018 @ 10:20pm | ! Report

              How many were blowouts in the first half?

              Damn, the last few AFL grand finals have been over in the first 20 minutes.

              • Roar Pro

                June 17th 2018 @ 11:18pm
                anon said | June 17th 2018 @ 11:18pm | ! Report

                Not related to this thread but related to what you were arguing last night.

                Big problems with the Optus stream again tonight.

                Problem is at the Optus end. My internet is fast and reliable so isn’t the limiting factor.

                Getting a great stream through Kodi.

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2018 @ 10:32am
                Rick Figjam said | June 18th 2018 @ 10:32am | ! Report

                I told you the issue, it’s a bandwidth problem.

                Optus made the fatal mistake of believing it could deliver a service to the masses using our current infrastructure levels. It can’t.

                I’m asuming you’re using a VPN to use Kodi and the only reason that ‘may’ be working better is because it’s not a pure ‘live’ stream, or even close. It’s buffed signifcantly, but I’ve read just as many complaints about their bufffing problems too.

                If you want to watch the World Cup close to live, you’ll need to watch it on SBS or Optus Sports.

                If you want to use Optus Sports, you’ll need FTTP or a 1 to 4 connection or better.

                My connection is perfect, along with most people I know. I’m not disputing others are having issues, but don’t expect Optus to fix it anytime soon, or Kodi to be any better. It really is dependent on traffic at the node.

                It’s an infrastrure issue, not Optus. Optus are just m@r@ons for thinking they could do the impossible, but that’s expected of them. Channel 7 had the same issues with their Olympic steaming App, and they have vastly better resoures. Over a two year period, they corrected zero problems, as the Winter Games had the same issues. Why? Because they can’t correct anything until the government gets their $#!T together.

                Reliability and speed are not a factor here. Update your user ratio if you want to fix this problem correctly.

              • Roar Pro

                June 18th 2018 @ 2:19pm
                anon said | June 18th 2018 @ 2:19pm | ! Report

                I can stream anything with never an issue.

                Numerous people are complaining about the Optus Sport stream including people with great internet connections.

                You said the issue was with people being to poor to have a proper internet connection, when it’s actually an issue with Optus.

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2018 @ 2:49pm
                Rick Figjam said | June 18th 2018 @ 2:49pm | ! Report

                It is an issue with people being too poor to have a proper internet connection, which is why governments build this stuff for them.

                Of course, you have a perfect stream using Kodi (which I doubt you have), as it’s convenient for your argument.

              • Roar Pro

                June 18th 2018 @ 3:02pm
                anon said | June 18th 2018 @ 3:02pm | ! Report

                Of course, you have a perfect stream using Kodi (which I doubt you have), as it’s convenient for your argument.

                I do. Nice crisp, smooth video too.

                Maybe fast internet is a rich man’s luxury in your neck of the woods…

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2018 @ 3:36pm
                Rick Figjam said | June 18th 2018 @ 3:36pm | ! Report

                I’m not the one who can’t watch the football live, anon. You are, along with all the $#!Y streaming Kodi lovers out there resorting to VPN services.

              • Roar Pro

                June 18th 2018 @ 4:47pm
                anon said | June 18th 2018 @ 4:47pm | ! Report

                I watch live on Kodi.

                Works well.

                Certainly better than what Optus is offering.

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2018 @ 6:27pm
                Rick Figjam said | June 18th 2018 @ 6:27pm | ! Report

                A free, awesome streaming site vs Optus at $15/mth. Some would question why you even bothered asking about the Optus platform to begin with.

                Not me though, I’m loving your storytelling ability.

              • Roar Pro

                June 18th 2018 @ 8:28pm
                anon said | June 18th 2018 @ 8:28pm | ! Report

                Looks as though Optus have admitted they can’t offer a quality product and asked SBS to broadcast games for the next two nights.

                Which confirms what I was saying.

                That the problem is not as SBS’s end, not with the consumer.

              • Roar Guru

                June 18th 2018 @ 11:10pm
                Rick Figjam said | June 18th 2018 @ 11:10pm | ! Report

                No, I think you’ll find when the dust settles the following:

                1. SBS onselling the WC rights due to government budget cuts;
                2. Inadequate infrastructure to allow such an event to be broadcast via streaming.

                Those two critical issues colliding are the problem.

                Optus will not fix this issue, nor you pretending to have a perfect stream via Kodi.

                Optus will have two days to liaise with Telstra – the only organisation that can free up the exchange at the node, allowing for a greater amount of traffic to those still limited by their $#!ty copper network (which are most). This of course will require subsidisation, which Optus will blame the government for due to a lack of infrastructure.

                The only thing I blame Optus for is being blind enough to think they could provide this service. However, the government is the root cause of the issue.

                Once again, bandwidth is the problem. It won’t be solved in two days, or easily without Telstra’s involvement, just like Sevens Olympic App.

                Unless your exchange is shared by people who don’t stream live sport, your little fake Kodi won’t work either during heavy traffic World Cup games.

                Don’t be a slave to the ill-informed.

              • Roar Pro

                June 19th 2018 @ 12:04am
                anon said | June 19th 2018 @ 12:04am | ! Report

                I have pretty fast internet so that’s probably why I don’t have any issues streaming Kodi, nor issues streaming other products.

                Optus is acknowledging that they are at fault and not their subscribers.

              • Roar Guru

                June 19th 2018 @ 7:43am
                Rick Figjam said | June 19th 2018 @ 7:43am | ! Report

                You can have the fastest car in the world, but it won’t make any difference in a traffic jam, which is why your Kodi won’t work. If it does, Optus would probably work for you too.

                Have your own lane… well you can do whatever you like, which is why some people are not having issues with Optus. If it were a problem at their end, everyone would be getting stuck, which clearly isn’t the case.

                Optus have to take responsibility – they’ve taken peoples money, but they won’t be the ones solving the problem.

              • Roar Pro

                June 19th 2018 @ 12:38pm
                anon said | June 19th 2018 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

                Kodi works great for me. Always has.

                Makes me suspect your internet isn’t very good if that surprises you.

              • Roar Guru

                June 19th 2018 @ 2:37pm
                Rick Figjam said | June 19th 2018 @ 2:37pm | ! Report

                Like I said, makes we wonder why you asked about Optus to begin with when you allegedly can access a site for free that does the same thing.

                Makes no sense, anon, especially when you’ve been using it already.

                Logic tells me, you had Kodi already, but it was rubbish. You wanted a better quality service and were willing to pay $15/mth. Optus has failed to deliver that to people with poor connections, and as such, you haven’t bothered with it.

                Sound about right?

              • Roar Pro

                June 19th 2018 @ 6:07pm
                anon said | June 19th 2018 @ 6:07pm | ! Report

                I have Foxtel because I don’t like to bother with Kodi.

                Last resort for me.

                Was really smooth and crisp with no buffering on my super fast internet connection.

              • Roar Guru

                June 19th 2018 @ 6:53pm
                Rick Figjam said | June 19th 2018 @ 6:53pm | ! Report

                Still doesn’t explain why you needed to ask about Optus, especially since you allegedly already have crystal clear, free access to the World Cup via Kodi.

                Why would anyone pay an extra $15 bucks, just for the World Cup, when they already have access?

                After all, this is what you said:

                “I watch live on Kodi.
                Works well.”

                Now your story has changed to it being a bother.

                Which is it?

              • Roar Pro

                June 19th 2018 @ 7:09pm
                anon said | June 19th 2018 @ 7:09pm | ! Report

                Streaming service is more convenient, less steps involved than Kodi.

                That’s why I subscribe to Foxtel.

                Kodi being smooth and crystal clear was more about demonstrating how good my internet is.

              • Roar Guru

                June 20th 2018 @ 9:27am
                Rick Figjam said | June 20th 2018 @ 9:27am | ! Report

                So now you’re incompetent.

                Once Kodi is setup, it’s straightforward. The problem is, it’s of rubbish quality.

                If you want to use Kodi, call Geeks2U. I hear they are very good with old people. My uncle couldn’t afford Optus either.

      • June 18th 2018 @ 8:03pm
        Kevo said | June 18th 2018 @ 8:03pm | ! Report

        Was n’t the bulldogs winning the 2016 flag an Icelandic moment – certainly 4 Icelandic finals games at least?