1 – TOM LYNCH WAS RECRUITED TO BRING A FLAG TO TIGERLAND AND IT JUST MIGHT WORK.
Early in the year, many were questioning the Lynch/Riewoldt combination. When Riewoldt went down, it was then Lynch on his own, and while he regularly hit the scoreboard, the former Suns captain rarely got more than 10 possessions. Just like his team, Lynch has been building to better form as his five goal haul and 16 possessions on Friday night indicate. Riewoldt for the moment seems content to play second banana after a long time on the sidelines, but come September with more games under his belt, and what seems to be a new found understanding between these two spearheads, things look ominous for their opponents. A flag is a real prospect, which would make whatever the price tag paid to land the big fish in Lynch well worth it.
2 – THE BRISBANE LIONS HAVE THE WOOD ON THE HAWKS.
Is it any coincidence that since Chris Fagan and Luke Hodge teamed up that Brisbane have not lost against the Hawks? And we all know how difficult it is to leave Launceston with four points, yet the Lions have done it two years in a row despite winning only five games in 2018. It’s now four from four since Hodge decided to play on up North, so one can only imagine that the inside knowledge of the opposing tactics and playing list has had some part to play in all this.
3 – DON PYKE WILL SURELY NOT BE COACHING ADELAIDE NEXT YEAR.
I don’t just believe the Adelaide coach has lost his players. I think he’s lost his mind! Dropping Eddie Betts when playing against his former club? Leaving Hugh Greenwood out who would’ve been the man to tag a rampant Patrick Cripps? They gave up plenty to get Bryce Gibbs to the club, and this year he’s languishing in the SANFL. Apparently Don Pyke gave them their hardest training session for the year to send a message during the week. In Round 19 no less! How did that work for you Don? His effort this year is the closest I’ve seen to a meltdown by any coach. He needs to go. The playing list is aging, but it’s still better than what they’re producing. And don’t get me started on Tex…
4 – JOSH KENNEDY IS NOT DONE YET.
At 31 years of age, a body that sometimes lets him down, and being slightly overshadowed by a very good teammate in Jack Darling, many were of the opinion this could’ve been JK’s final year. Why not? He’s got the premiership, Coleman medals, and who knows if the Eagles can take it out again this year? It’s not the worst time to bow out gracefully. That is, of course, until you play a blinder and kick seven goals by 3/4 time. One more year for Josh I’d say. At least.
5 – RATTEN IS ALL BUT CERTAIN TO COACH THE SAINTS IN 2020.
Only fools didn’t raise their eyebrows when Ratten was brought in to St Kilda as a “senior assistant” at the start of the season. The football world knew that Alan Richardson would not coach beyond this year if the Saints missed finals. Anyone could see the succession plan in place, and so it has come to be, albeit not formally yet. But based on the two performances we’ve seen under the interim coach, it’s already apparent the players have renewed vigour. It seems a formality to me that Brett gets the gig. It might even happen sooner than you think. If St Kilda beat the Crows this week in Adelaide, and we all know how they’re travelling, the deal may get done. Watch this space.
6 – IT’S POSSIBLE NEITHER SOUTH AUSTRALIAN TEAM WILL PLAY FINALS THIS YEAR.
You could potentially put down Port Adelaide’s inconsistency this year to the fact they have a fairly young list. However, both coaches throughout the year have made some strange selection decisions dropping senior players regularly – trying to send strong messages that nobody is safe. From the outside looking in, it appears the message is just creating discontent as well as throwing some players in the side who might not be up to the required standard just yet. It will be very hard for Port to find three wins in their next four games, let alone four. So I’d say they’re pretty much done. The Crows might only need two wins, but that’s not guaranteed either. It might be time to put Eddie and Bryce back in.
7 – DALE MORRIS MAY HAVE PLAYED HIS LAST GAME.
From all reports, Dale has done his ACL. Apparently the injury earlier this year was not a “complete” tear, so he’s basically returned to the top level with a ligament hanging by a thread. At 36, it’s understandable. But sadly, if the reports are correct, then his dream of playing on one more year must surely be dashed. A brilliant player who was durable and consistent throughout his great career, and a premiership medallion to show for it will mean he can look back knowing he gave it all. Well done Dale!
8 – THE CATS WON THEIR GAME, BUT THEY’RE STILL OFF THE PACE.
Geelong ventured up to Sydney to take on the Swans and it took them a while before they finally kicked in to gear after a slow start. In the second half they proved too good for a struggling Sydney, but the Swans were still in touch early in the last quarter. It’s still obvious the Cats are far from playing their best footy for the year, so it will need to improve to stop them being overrun by the Tigers and Eagles. Perhaps a return to form from Tom Hawkins might be the catalyst to getting them back to their early season form.
9 – THE SUNS SHOWED WHY THEY SHOULDN’T GET A PRIORITY PICK.
I took the time to watch this game. I was at the Carlton v Suns game last week, and from what I saw in the second half, my gut feeling was they might trouble the Bombers at Metricon Stadium. And trouble them they did! With a minute and ten seconds remaining, they actually had the lead until Cale Hooker and Jake Stringer broke their hearts yet again. The Suns, put simply, are not that bad. An extra high draft pick won’t help their cause. A couple of old heads in the side on Sunday would’ve seen them hold onto that lead. That should be their priority, and they also need to figure out a way to retain players. Here’s hoping this improved form of the last fortnight continues.
10 – THE TEAM WHO FINISHES 8TH WILL MOST LIKELY DO SO WITH 11 WINS…
I was ridiculed when I suggested this may happen a few weeks ago, yet here we are after all teams have played 18 games, and Adelaide sit in 8th spot with nine wins and nine losses. Both Adelaide and Footscray will do very well to win more than two games in the run home, so I’m sticking with my prediction for now.