Six hot takes from AFL Round 16

Josh Elliott Editor

By Josh Elliott, Josh Elliott is a Roar Editor


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    Another weekend of footy in the books and plenty to talk about. Here’s my hot takes from Round 16.

    So long Cyril, but we’ve got plenty of Riolis left to relish
    More often than not when an AFL star retires we have a decent amount of time to get used to the idea.

    Most players, after all, don’t retire until at least some way into their 30s, and many often announce it well before the end of the season.

    This allows the chance of a languorous, lovely goodbye – and that’s something we haven’t gotten the chance to do with Cyril Rioli.

    The little Hawks legend stepped out of the game this week at the young age of 28, but with four premierships, three All Australian guernseys and a Norm Smith medal under his belt.

    Because of the player being who he was and the circumstances being what they were there’s been plenty who’ve paid tribute to him over the course of the week and I won’t spend too much time trying to do what many others have already done better.

    Suffice to say that Cyril was the kind of player who, in an era where footy could sometimes be unsociable or lethargic, was never anything less than the exact opposite.

    I will say this, too: I reckon that if there is something that would put a smile on Cyril Rioli’s face as he leaves the game, it’s that his family name will live on for plenty of time to come. Certainly puts one on mine.

    He was not the first Rioli to grace our great game, after all, and certainly won’t be the last.

    We’ve all seen how good Daniel Rioli is. Already a premiership player. Outside of Richmond’s ‘big four’ he might be the best to watch at the Tigers.

    And then on Sunday night we got to see a bit of what a nifty little talent Willie Rioli – who debuted just four months ago – is.

    Two goals, including a crucial one late to give the Eagles a seven-point buffer, was a vital performance in a win that has kept West Coast in the top four another week.

    Keep an eye out too in the next couple of years for Maurice Rioli junior – eligible for the 2020 draft, and a potential father-son at Richmond or Fremantle, or could even choose to go to Essendon as an academy player (by way of the Tiwi islands).

    Cyril, what a player. Rioli, what a name. We’ll miss the first one, but we’ve got plenty more to look forward to from the latter.

    Willie Rioli

    (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

    Injury crisis can’t derail Collingwood, Bombers finals hopes all but blown
    At the start of the year Collingwood’s lack of tall players looked like the biggest flaw in their list – so if you’d told me that all of Ben Reid, Darcy Moore and Lynden Dunn would be lost to longterm injury at some point or another, I’d have assumed their season was over.

    For Adam Treloar to pull the incredibly rare double-hamstring is just rotten luck on top of that, while Daniel Wells being ruled out for the season due to a foot injury is as sad as it was predictable.

    But in the wake of all these injuries… Collingwood have done fine, just fine, and continued to do so on Sunday at the MCG.

    A revitalised Essendon surely did give them much more of a challenge than when the two clubs last met on Anzac Day earlier this year.

    The Dons held the lead for most of the third quarter and partway into the last, but in the end the Magpies pulled away for a win that will keep them in the top two at the end of the round.

    While they got the win, Collingwood should probably be a little wary of the fact that they conceded five goals to the Shaun McKernan-Mitch Brown pairing.

    In the next three weeks they’ll have to contend with the likes of Ben Brown, Jack Riewoldt, and perhaps Josh J Kennedy – and can’t afford to let them run amok.

    Meanwhile, for Essendon, it now appears that finals is probably going to be just a bit too much to ask for.

    They’re not going to make up the massive percentage gap they have with the top eight before the end of the year so they probably need to make up about three wins on the likes of Hawthorn and North Melbourne to be any kind of chance.

    That’s not to say that it can’t be done, but it’s just not very likely – which is kind of a shame really, as they’ve been quite good in recent weeks, and might’ve been exciting to watch in September.

    Steele Sidebottom

    (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

    Sydney’s midfield could really use a Tom Mitchell
    Sydney went into Thursday night’s clash at the SCG as the nominal favourites, but ultimately were a bit lucky not to come away from the match being thoroughly embarrassed.

    Geelong’s inaccuracy in front of goal is something we’ll talk about more later, but what’s notable is that while the scoreboard was ultimately close, the Cats decisively won the midfield battle.

    They finished the game +11 in contested possessions, +2 in the clearances, +31 in disposals – perhaps not huge differentials, but it equated to +13 inside 50s and +6 marks inside 50.

    Over the years Sydney have managed to consistently have one of the best midfields in the competition, usually without having one of the very best individual midfielders in the game.

    Josh P Kennedy, Dan Hannebery and Luke Parker have all flirted with absolute superstardom somewhere along the road, but none has ever taken a season by the horns the way we’ve see Nat Fyfe, Patrick Dangerfield or Dustin Martin do.

    Instead Sydney’s midfield success has been built on strong contribution across the board – but in 2018, they aren’t quite carrying the load they once did.

    Neither Kennedy or Parker is having an especially good or bad year, but Hannebery in particular is the one who has Swans fans scratching their heads.

    He has played 11 games this year and cracked the 20-disposal mark less than half of them and hasn’t kicked a goal (or even a behind) all season.

    He was out early with a calf strain on Thursday night and is expected to miss about three weeks – fingers crossed it will allow him to refocus himself and return to his best footy in what’s left of the year.

    The improvement of Isaac Heeney this year has most covered for the drop-off of Sydney’s other midfield talent, but without him on Thursday night they were exposed.

    And it got me thinking: gee, wouldn’t they love to have a player like Tom Mitchell in the side right now?

    I’m sure there’s a wide variety of reasons why Mitchell left but from a perspective outside the four walls it always just seemed like he wasn’t one of John Longmire’s most loved.

    Longmire has a lot to hang his hat on in his coaching career – no other coach in the league can match his perfect record of playing finals every year – but the fact Tom Mitchell never reached his full potential in red and white is a mark against him.

    Maybe if Mitchell still was with the Swans he could be the difference between them seeming to be thereabouts, and being at the very top. Maybe, maybe not.

    Tom Mitchell Hawthorn Hawks AFL 2017

    (AAP Image/Joe Castro)

    North needs more from small forwards
    North Melbourne only had a single win in the last month coming into Sunday’s game, so fans aren’t going to be too upset with a 37-point victory over Gold Coast.

    The win has put North back level on points with the lower section of the top eight, held out only by a slim percentage margin.

    The disappointing aspect of the game though was that the Roos failed to make up that percentage gap by picking up the big-margin win that was there for the taking.

    North had +90 disposals and +26 inside 50s and really should have taken the opportunity to bank a ten-goal win.

    What it exposed is that without multiple tall forward options to kick to, North’s forwardline just doesn’t have enough players who can impact the scoreboard.

    Jarrad Waite and Mason Wood are both sitting on the sidelines due to injury, and Brad Scott opted to play Ben Brown as the sole tall target in a smaller lineup.

    Nick Larkey, who has been a dominant goalkicker at VFL level for the last year and a half, must surely be wondering what more he could do.

    Richmond of course are well known for the fact that they run a one-tall forward line and it seems to work for them.

    Crucial to that is the fact that they have a number of dangerous small forwards who can put the pressure on but also know how to hit the scoreboard.

    North’s smaller types in the forward line – Kayne Turner, Nathan Hrovat, Shaun Atley – just aren’t kicking goals the way they need to.

    The short-term answer for North is to get another tall target in. Hopefully Waite or Wood or both is able to return soon.

    The longer-term answer – given that their appeals to Jordan De Goey have fallen short – might be to target some moneyball smalls in the offseason.

    Jamie Elliott and Jeff Garlett seem like the kind of players who would be gettable at Arthur Daley Clearance House style prices – why not make a call?

    They could add a new dimension to the forward line and help the ‘Roos take another step forward.

    Ben Brown North Melbourne Kangaroos AFL 2017

    (AAP Image/Rob Blakers)

    Wooden performance leaves Carlton holding the spoon
    In their past two matches before this weeks we saw the Carlton Blues return to playing a more defensive sort of game, looking to frustrate their opponents and prevent blowout losses.

    Against Collingwood, Carlton conceded 53 inside 50s but only allowed 11 goals. Against Port Adelaide they conceded 64 inside 50s, but only 13 goals.

    These were sides that the Blues, realistically, were never expected to beat. Going on the defensive against them kept Carlton in the match but arguably never really put them in a position to win.

    Still, it can be good fun to keep the good teams nervous, as the Blues certainly did in these matches, and every now and then you crack through for a victory.

    Against the Brisbane Lions on the other hand Brendon Bolton smelled a win and couldn’t resist flicking the switch and telling his boys to attack.

    It went… poorly. Carlton actually came out on top in the inside 50 count, but seemed to give up all their defensive intent to do so.

    While the Blues did ultimately lay nine more tackles than their opponents, they had 145 less disposals, the vast majority of them uncontested.

    The Blues simply weren’t putting in enough defensive effort to win the ball back off Brisbane and the Lions, free to do as they pleased, torched them for it.

    Brisbane ran on eighteen goals from 49 inside 50s, by far Carlton’s worst defensive performance in the past three weeks.

    The Blues could only manage seven goals from 51 and really it continues to baffle that they don’t feel they have room in the team for Harry McKay.

    The end result is that Carlton will almost certainly finish the year having collected the wooden spoon for the fifth time in 17 seasons.

    To put things in perspective, no other side in the league has finished on the bottom of the ladder more than twice in that same period of time.

    If the Blues were to knock off St Kilda and Gold Coast in the next couple of weeks there might be some hope of avoiding the cutlery, but it seems unlikely on the back of a performance like this one.

    A bit ironic really that there happened to be no less than five players on the field who were No.1 draft picks themselves – Luke Hodge, Marc Murphy, Matthew Kreuzer, Jacob Weitering and Cam Rayner.

    It looks like the Blues will be the ones tasked with choosing just who the best prospect in this year’s draft class is.

    Most see it as boiling down to a race in two: South Australian key forward Jack Lukosius, or Victorian midfielder Sam Walsh.

    Walsh by all reports is exactly the kind of player you’d want to bring into your club on basis of personality and commitment. He could be a future captain and the kind of guy whose loyalties you’ll never have to question. And very, very good at playing footy, of course.

    Lukosius, on the other hand, is considered by some to be the best key forward prospect we’ve seen in a long time – but you can be that if an interstate side drafts him, Port Adelaide and Adelaide will be watching like a hawk (or, more aptly, a Crow) from day one.

    Patrick Cripps

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

    Cats, Demons miss chance to boost percentage
    I’m sure that if you had gone around in the middle of the week and offered Geelong fans a 12-point win and Melbourne fans a nine-goal win then both groups would’ve snapped it up in seconds.

    In the end though at the end of the round it’s hard not to look back on the respective scorelines and feel like – despite getting the four points – both clubs missed an opportunity.

    Geelong put up a head-scratching 8.23, Melbourne 13.24. The Cats can at least take some solace from the fact that six of their minor scores were rushed – only one of Melbourne’s was.

    As things stand, both of these clubs find themselves inside the top eight, but the line by which they’re making the cut is not very comfortable.

    They’ve both got a percentage advantage on both Hawthorn and North Melbourne right now, and that’s why they find themselves in sixth and seventh rather than eighth and ninth.

    Melbourne actually have the second-best percentage in the league, Geelong the third – but they missed a chance this week to really put some distance between themselves and the rest.

    Will either club be left to regret it? We’ll know in seven weeks’ time – but Melbourne in particular should be aware of just how painful missing out on percentage can be.

    Simon Goodwin Melbourne Demons AFL 2017

    (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

    Quick and nasty
    – The Brisbane Lions may have only won three games this year, but their average winning margin is more than 58 points (comfortably the highest in the league). Probably don’t read too much into it, but a sign of what they’re capable of.

    – Hard to believe that North Melbourne were set to drop Paul Ahern two weeks ago only for him to be saved by a late change. Only five games at AFL level but makes a strong case to be recognised as the club’s best young talent.

    – Richmond vs Adelaide at the MCG really did feel a fair bit like a carbon copy of last year’s grand final, albeit with Jayden Short filling in the role of Bachar Houli. Can’t be good for the mental state of the Crows.

    – Luke Hodge has clearly had an influence at the Brisbane Lions, and Gary Ablett has played some good ones for Geelong, but Devon Smith – 31 disposals and 13 tackles on Sunday in a losing effort – is recruit of the year, not a doubt about it.

    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 (115)

    • Roar Guru

      July 8th 2018 @ 7:25pm
      Peter the Scribe said | July 8th 2018 @ 7:25pm | ! Report

      Yes Josh but just wait for the first goose to chip in that the Pies only beat the 12th side and still haven’t beaten anyone. Who cares, they keep saying it and despite our shocking injury run we simply keep winning,

      • Roar Rookie

        July 8th 2018 @ 8:07pm
        Sachit Dassanayake said | July 8th 2018 @ 8:07pm | ! Report

        Why do people plead for others approval on a football team they support?
        If you think they are going well, isn’t that enough?
        Oh and by the way, you’ve beaten 1 current top 8 team, so yes, you haven’t really beaten anyone of significance, and in terms of your injury list, only Dunn, Treloar and Wells are big outs.
        The rest? Yeah, not so much

        • July 8th 2018 @ 8:41pm
          Pelican said | July 8th 2018 @ 8:41pm | ! Report

          They do it for the same reason others plead for sympathy over poor umpiring. They are seeking afirmation.

        • July 9th 2018 @ 9:18am
          truetigerfan said | July 9th 2018 @ 9:18am | ! Report

          Very well said, Sachit. Particularly when you consider his on-going commentary about Richmond being certainties for the flag. What a goose! Your perception of Collingwood’s injury list is spot on. A lot of exaggerated carry on going down on that subject.

        • Roar Guru

          July 9th 2018 @ 10:58am
          Peter the Scribe said | July 9th 2018 @ 10:58am | ! Report

          Sachit, these are the players who will have missed significant weeks from the Pies team this year.

          Moore, Wells, Aish, Treloar, Dunn, Greenwood, Jamie Elliott, Fasolo, Varcoe, Goldsack, Reid, Kirby, J Smith

          Out of those if you follow the Pies you would know that Moore, Wells, Aish, Dunn, Treloar, Jamie Elliott, Reid, Varcoe and Goldsack would be in our starting 22. That’s 9 players who, by the end of round 23 will have missed significant time put and now we have lost Appleby and Hoskin-Elliott which makes 50% of our starting 22 missing for huge chunks of the year. Despite all of that the club currently sits 2nd. Now that may change as we are hitting a tipping point with injuries and play some good sides coming up. Regardless as some in the media are now finally admitting, Nathan Buckley must be the current coach of the year which is not bad considering all the experts and Roar posters who wanted him sacked last year.

          • July 10th 2018 @ 9:39am
            Scorching said | July 10th 2018 @ 9:39am | ! Report

            Collingwood supporters seem to think that they are doing so well now with injuries that they will be shoeins for the GF when everyone becomes fit.

            The problem is when you mention these players is that it is not just bad luck keeping them out.

            Some of these names like Reid Wells Elliot Aish and Kirby are perennially injured and will seemingly always have question marks over them. There are no guarantees that your injury list will get better anytime soon

            Compare that to a team like West Coast who have JK Darling Barrass and Lecras all out at the moment who are players they can bank on (fingers crossed) to come back towards the business end of the season and stay fit.

      • July 8th 2018 @ 8:29pm
        Pelican said | July 8th 2018 @ 8:29pm | ! Report

        Peter the only way it will stop is when the Pies take the next step and beat the teams in the eight. As a Port fan I heard it all last year. We have beaten Richmond The Crows Sydney Melbourne and the Roos this year and the chatter has slowed. I am looking forward to the up coming Pies Vs Port it should be a cracker.

        • Roar Guru

          July 8th 2018 @ 11:23pm
          Peter the Scribe said | July 8th 2018 @ 11:23pm | ! Report

          Every week is tough unless you’re playing Gold Coast or Carlton. Those two you should win. Fact is the Pies started 0-2 and have gone 11-2 past 13 weeks losing to only Richmond and the Cats. We have only really played our best against Melbourne and the Crows. There is still a lot of improvement left. WCE, Port, Sydney and Tigers to come will all be tough. Port are a powerful side timing their run beautifully and have probably gone past Sydney to be up there with WCE as the main challengers, with Pies, Swans and Cats after them.

      • July 8th 2018 @ 10:20pm
        Peter said | July 8th 2018 @ 10:20pm | ! Report

        All eyes on the mcg next week! Pies should win and in doing so would silence the critics and prove their legitimacy. No excuses for a loss though

        • July 8th 2018 @ 11:57pm
          Doctor Rotcod said | July 8th 2018 @ 11:57pm | ! Report

          Don’t you believe it! According to Simpson the Eagles could have Kennedy,Darling,LeCras,Barrass and Sheed back next week. Will that be enough for an Eagles win?

          • Roar Guru

            July 9th 2018 @ 7:55am
            Peter the Scribe said | July 9th 2018 @ 7:55am | ! Report

            We wont have enough defensive talls to cover that lot.

    • Roar Rookie

      July 8th 2018 @ 7:39pm
      Sachit Dassanayake said | July 8th 2018 @ 7:39pm | ! Report

      2 things from the Essendon v Collingwood game:
      1. Full credit to the Pies for getting the job done in the end. That last quarter from them was quite brilliant.
      2. Although Essendon are now very unlikely to get into finals, I am proud of how they fought back mid season to get where they are now. Even during the game, I could see their effort was markedly improved from earlier on in the season.
      P.S. Anyone care to tell me what’s up with free kicks and Essendon? I mean seriously, they can’t take a trick! (yes, there were terrible calls for both sides, but fair to say Collingwood got the majority of the ‘rub of the green’ and there were plenty of non-calls for Essendon)

      • Roar Guru

        July 8th 2018 @ 10:29pm
        Cat said | July 8th 2018 @ 10:29pm | ! Report

        Umpiring was so lopsided the AFL even swapped out an umpire at half time

        • Roar Guru

          July 9th 2018 @ 7:58am
          Peter the Scribe said | July 9th 2018 @ 7:58am | ! Report

          The umpiring was deplorable. Even as Pies fans, myself and my sons were actually laughing at how bad it was and how much we were getting as it rarely happens. Bombers fans had every right to be furious as it gave us a big advantage first half. Second half it was just deplorable again but both sides copping it. The Goddard 50 was a turning point and I have no idea what that was for. You can never know if it was so bad it won us the game but it certainly helped.

          • July 9th 2018 @ 9:34am
            JR said | July 9th 2018 @ 9:34am | ! Report

            As an Essendon fan, my initial reaction was to blame the umpires. (Which were woeful) but after I calmed down I looked at the last quarter again and really, Pendlebry was the difference. The Goddard 50 was dissapointing as you could just see the energy deflate out of the Essendon team and that lack of energy cost us the next goal on the back of an amazing Collingwood clearance. Itd games like this though where as fans you wouldn’t mind seeing the umpire report cards afterwards to see if they were really as bad as it felt.

            • July 9th 2018 @ 10:53am
              Aransan said | July 9th 2018 @ 10:53am | ! Report

              The injury to Ambrose was significant, it meant taking Guelfi out of the midfield and reducing rotations. Stringer had a tight calf in the second half and Myers was restricted after receiving a kick on his leg. That all goes to explain why Essendon faded in the last quarter. Collingwood played well and they certainly have their share of elite players, Essendon missed Fantasia.
              Collingwood do have a problem countering tall forwards, McKernan and Brown are makeshift talls in the forward line, other teams forward lines will be much harder to counter.

            • Roar Guru

              July 9th 2018 @ 11:02am
              Peter the Scribe said | July 9th 2018 @ 11:02am | ! Report

              The umpires should be dropped for that performance, let’s see if they are.

          • July 9th 2018 @ 10:44am
            Aransan said | July 9th 2018 @ 10:44am | ! Report

            The Goddard 50 was for taking a player out of the play and was correct.

            • July 9th 2018 @ 1:36pm
              James Robinson said | July 9th 2018 @ 1:36pm | ! Report

              How is it different to a player being knocked over late after they kick it/dispose of it? They are no longer able to be part of the play but the penalty is at worst a downfield free quick. Not saying you are wrong but just don’t understand the difference between them.

              • July 9th 2018 @ 3:18pm
                Kris said | July 9th 2018 @ 3:18pm | ! Report

                The scenario of a guy being dumped after he kicks can see the ball down the ground. So that is good.

                What about if someone has a mark, and every opposition player behind the ball grabs his opponent to prevent them from running forward? Imagine a guy shooting from goal from 40m, and every teammate behind him is being held. What can the umps do? They can’t pay down the ground – so they pay 50m.

                4.6.1 50 Metre Penalties Spirit of the Law:

                Where a player has been awarded a mark or free kick and another player of the same team is unlawfully prevented from running past the spot of the mark or free kick, award a 50-metre penalty to the player originally awarded the mark or free kick

              • Roar Guru

                July 9th 2018 @ 4:55pm
                JamesH said | July 9th 2018 @ 4:55pm | ! Report

                Kris, I’m not sure that the rule you’ve cited is the applicable one.

                I think they brought a rule in a few years ago to stop professional free kicks where player A passes the ball to player B, then an opponent holds player A to stop them from continuing past player B to get a handball receive. In this scenario there doesn’t have to be a free kick or a mark first – it’s a direct 50m penalty.

                My problem is that (a) Sidebottom probably wasn’t going to get the ball back anyway and (b) the umps never pay this.

    • July 8th 2018 @ 7:42pm
      Kurt said | July 8th 2018 @ 7:42pm | ! Report

      That’s a really interesting stat about the Lions having the biggest winning margin in the comp. Probably more of a statistical anomaly given the small sample size, but still interesting.

      • Roar Guru

        July 8th 2018 @ 9:12pm
        Paul Dawson said | July 8th 2018 @ 9:12pm | ! Report

        I think it’s in part because we win so few games, when we are in front we keep the foot right down and keep on going.

        Also we have a devil may care attitude towards footy atm, we are not playing finals this year so let’s go hell for leather and if we go down, let’s go down in flames screaming, not timidly into the night

        We have absolutely obliterated Hawthorn, Fremantle and now Carlton this year. If we can back things up with another takedown of Hawthorn next week and go 3 in a row, I will be ecstatic. Doesn’t have to be by 58 points tho, I’ll settle for 5.

        • Roar Guru

          July 9th 2018 @ 12:24am
          AdelaideDocker said | July 9th 2018 @ 12:24am | ! Report

          Hawthorn next week will be no easy feat – a domination seems super unlikely, a narrow win would be awesome though.

          It’s Adelaide in a fortnight’s time, a Saturday night game at the Gabba. Now that’s where I’d be properly aiming to see another obliteration. If the Crows lose to Geelong this week, they’ll have zero hope of finals so the Gabba game could be a high scoring, hell for leather affair.

          Hell – is there anyone crazy enough to ever whisper a prediction that the Lions could go 4 in a row?

          • Roar Guru

            July 9th 2018 @ 7:49am
            Rick Disnick said | July 9th 2018 @ 7:49am | ! Report

            No, and I’m one of the few who tipped the Lions against the Hawks. It won’t happen again this coming round.

            The Hawks played some of the finest footy I’ve seen this year on Saturday evening . Just beautiful to watch.

            If they make the finals (and I really hope they don’t), they’ll be tough on any team, especially other Melbourne clubs. It may be the only thing that stops Richmond in their tracks, but I’m not sure I could handle another 22 players running around the boundary, in those hideous baby$!2t brown guernseys, drinking cheap champagne out of the Premership Cup as they wave to their obnoxious feral fans.

            I’d much prefer an obnoxious Rick Disnick watching on as the Cats thrash Richmond on their home turf to be honest.

            • Roar Guru

              July 9th 2018 @ 8:27am
              Paul Dawson said | July 9th 2018 @ 8:27am | ! Report

              Richmond always had Hawthorn’s measure even during their premiership years. You’re safe Rick.

              Unfortunately for you Richmond now have Geelong’s measure too.

              • July 9th 2018 @ 9:21am
                truetigerfan said | July 9th 2018 @ 9:21am | ! Report

                The FigMan is never wrong!

              • Roar Guru

                July 9th 2018 @ 11:37am
                Rick Disnick said | July 9th 2018 @ 11:37am | ! Report

                Closettigerfan, I said I’d be disappointed if I ever agreed with you. I’m disappointed!

                Very true, Paul. I’m not so sure they’ll have the measure of a full strength Pies team though. However, we’ll have to listen to the likes of PTS if they win.

                In a nutshell: I’m the best of a bad bunch when it comes to gloating on this site. Or it could be the other way around; I’m not entirely sure myself.

              • Roar Guru

                July 9th 2018 @ 12:10pm
                Paul Dawson said | July 9th 2018 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

                I could handle a Pies premiership, they’re always so pathetically grateful about it, it’s kinda heartwarming

              • Roar Guru

                July 9th 2018 @ 12:39pm
                Peter the Scribe said | July 9th 2018 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

                Yes Rick I will be relentless if we do win. Firstly, we need to make top 4 and there are no guarantees of that with Eagles, Nth, Sydney, Tigers and Port on run home.

              • Roar Guru

                July 9th 2018 @ 1:30pm
                Rick Disnick said | July 9th 2018 @ 1:30pm | ! Report

                Confidence boy, confidence!

                Top spot is what you want. None of this top 4 rubbish.

          • Roar Guru

            July 9th 2018 @ 7:59am
            Peter the Scribe said | July 9th 2018 @ 7:59am | ! Report

            Would love to see it AD and would give them real hope for improvement in 2019. You need to sell hope to your fans and the Lions are but the Blues aren’t. The Blues desperately need an aggressive off season in draft, free agency and other trading.

    • Roar Guru

      July 8th 2018 @ 7:44pm
      DingoGray said | July 8th 2018 @ 7:44pm | ! Report

      Love my Lions, but just loved Cyril!

      What a player! Not sure a guy who would get between 10-15 touches a game has had a bigger impact on the game.

      On McKay, my Carlton loving mate who I had the Great Pleasure of sticking the boot into this afternoon tells me he’s heard a rumour that McKay hasn’t taken some criticism from Bolts real well and thrown the toys out of the cot in the last couple of weeks.

      Collingwood- I hate you!!! But have to give you credit. No matter the circumstances, no matter how many out, you stil manage to find away. Don’t think you can win it but huge Credit to Buckley for what he’s achieved this year.

      GWS might stuffed one up lettering Ahearn go! Coming from a long way back but other than Smith thinks he’s looking like one they may just regret losing.

      On recruit of the year, Smith been brilliant but Bombers certainly paid for it (contract length value and picks)…. Hodgey would have to take value for money hands down though.. his last month have been fantastic… I reckon the pre season took plenty out of him…

    • July 8th 2018 @ 7:54pm
      Macca said | July 8th 2018 @ 7:54pm | ! Report

      I think the blues will either take Walsh at 1 or trade pick 1 for multiple first round picks or my preferred option trade 1 for someone like Shiels (hopefully the Giants are happier to trade for pick 1 than risk losing him for much less as a free agent and of course they can convince him to come)

      On McKay I would have picked him but in reality he has played just 1 decent game in the 2’s since he got dropped and has missed a recent game through illness and now has had 2 byes in about a month. Obviously losing Phillips early was the last thing we needed.

      • July 8th 2018 @ 8:21pm
        Macca said | July 8th 2018 @ 8:21pm | ! Report

        Just for the record McKay played his last AFL game on the 26th of May, played VFL on the2nd of June (3 marks no goals) missed the next 2 weeks, played the 24 th of June (1 goal and 4 marks) and then again last week (7 marks and 1 goal) before having the bye this week.

      • Roar Guru

        July 8th 2018 @ 9:14pm
        Paul Dawson said | July 8th 2018 @ 9:14pm | ! Report

        Taking Walsh at pick 1 will get you nowhere without some experience to help him out. I think you should trade it personally, depending on what is available for it. But if you can get an A grader or 2 B+ players I say go for it.

        • July 9th 2018 @ 10:41am
          Macca said | July 9th 2018 @ 10:41am | ! Report

          If we land Gaff or even Sloane (although given his age he is far from my preferred option) as a free agent then Walsh would be a great pick up but I agree trading it for an A grade mid would have the bigger impact.

          • Roar Guru

            July 9th 2018 @ 4:59pm
            JamesH said | July 9th 2018 @ 4:59pm | ! Report

            Try to get McVeigh down from Sydney for 12-24 months in a Hodge-style deal. Then you can just go for Walsh.

          • July 9th 2018 @ 7:44pm
            Don Freo said | July 9th 2018 @ 7:44pm | ! Report

            How about Gibbs? Or Betts?

    • July 8th 2018 @ 7:55pm
      Doctor Rotcod said | July 8th 2018 @ 7:55pm | ! Report

      Andrew Gaff probably played his best game of the year,McGovern and Lycett maybe not, but it makes the whole free agency thing with the Eagles even more interesting. Would Gaff do a de Goey and settle for less money if he knows that he’s with a contender? Vardy was serviceable, so Scotty might go to the Cats,welcome back Tim Kelly and the GWS’s Kelly is out of contract in 2019. Two Kellys at the Eagles.
      High adrenaline levels for the GWS/West Coast game,just watching but the lack of marking forwards for each side meant the Eagles superior midfield won it for them, in the end…

      • July 9th 2018 @ 11:43am
        Mr X said | July 9th 2018 @ 11:43am | ! Report

        My Eagle trade ideas
        Callum Ah Chee might be at West Coast Eagles
        What about Aliir Aliir???
        He’d be great at the eagles.
        Daniel Rich would be good.
        I know there going to go after Coniglio.
        Jeff Garlett would be good.
        If we lose Gaffy then Aaron Hall would be good.
        Travis Colyer?
        How’s he been going.
        Zac Smith would be a good trade target for Eagles.
        Zac Smith, Quinton Narkle, Tim Kelly for two second round picks, Scott Lycett, Jackson Nelson and Kurt Mutimer.
        Darcy Cameron? Why in the hell isn’t he getting a game he was meant to play round one for Sydney?

        • July 9th 2018 @ 6:24pm
          Mr X said | July 9th 2018 @ 6:24pm | ! Report

          Parfitt Eagles?