Round 4

Data to be added Thursday 19 April 2012

Round 4, 2012

NOTE: Rumours have it that Birchall will not play for the Hawks this weekend

Scores after round 3 for Longggey in Herald Sun Tipping comp 
Tips correct: 7 (28,743 out of 70,182 for the week) and cumulative:
21 winners and down to 17,824 out of 70,182 tipsters Streak:  tipped 2 of 2 certs correctly (current streak = 7)

50/50 tips: correct for the round (Suns had to get within 55 points of the Dons and did it easily), so now at 3 out of 3 = 100% for the 50/50 (anything over 50% is good!)

 Last Man Standing result: alive (Eagles did it easily!)

Early thoughts for R4
The Eagles are slight favourites over Hawthorn, but should really win this one quite well at home.  They will be picked as certs unless some bizarre team selections come up.
Pies and Crows appear certs while the Suns are outsiders with a chance.
Final selections after teams announced on Thursday


 Game                         Tip    By  Variance                Outsider is

STK V FREO STK  24 EXTREME FREO are a rough hope
CARL V ESS CARL 29 HIGH Dons a very rough hope only
COLL V PORT COLL  25  EXTREME  Port a rough chance only 
ADEL V GWS ADEL  86  HIGH GWS are no hope at all 
WCE V HAW WCE  39  MEDIUM Hawks are no hope 
BRIS V SUNS BRIS  15  HIGH Suns are some chance 
GEEL V RICH GEEL  32  HIGH Tigers a very rough chance 
SYD V NMFC SYD  15  HIGH North a some chance 
MELB V WBD WBD  EXTREME  Dees are a chance to cause an upset 


Variance: differs depending on unknown technical and fundamental issues – like possible injuries and tracking of form trend

Medium means the website is expected to be close to the mark

High means expect some likelihood of the website being several goals off the mark

Extreme means expect a possible wide variation from the website’s predictions


1. STK V FREO   

Saints favoured, but Ross Lyon knows their game well 


Last week Freo played the Lions, and Mark Harvey had some inside info on Freo.  The boot is on the other foot this week and this is the thing that gives Freo some hope.  Given this fact, and that the jury is still out on the merits of both teams, it makes this an extreme variance game.

Fyfe – will he play?

I am still not convinced by either team yet, but more convinced by the Saints at home on a Friday night at Etihad.


Maths (in points)

Ability:  STK + 6 points  (uncertain about this rating)

Home Ground: STK + 24     

Current Form: STK + 7

Team Changes:  STK + 1

Psychological: Freo + 12 (Lyon’s inside info)

Freshness:  Freo + 3

Injuries:  STK + 1

Total:  STK by 24 points

Post Match Review:  Saints were tipped by 24 points but the Dockers won by 13.  Analysis was not that flash.  And working out what went wrong is also tricky.  It was listed (correctly) as an EXTREME variance game.  The Saints looked likely to win it half way through the final quarter, but the better ball use by Freo plus a few tactical moves proved the difference.  Sorry!  Not a good way to begin the weekend



2 CARL V ESS        

Blues favoured


One thing only stops the Blues from being certs – the risk of complacency and a nice weekend off with rave reviews.  Almost everything else points to them winning BIG.  Their injury list is ever-shrinking, whereas the Dons keep getting hammies.

The Dons have a 4 day break after this game until they play ANZAC Day.  If they are down in 4Q, expect their best players to be benched.  This could cause a late margin blowout. 

The Dons really need to pinch one of the next 2 vs Blues and Pies to set up their season beautifully.  The ANZAC Day match looks the better chance for them since the new Pie injuries have been announced.  In rounds 6 – 10, they are likely to be favourites 4 out of 5 times.  The Dons have upgraded rookie Dell’Olio and named him to play.   Dempsey has been named but might be doubtful.


Blues by 29 points and almost, but not, certs


Maths (in points)

Ability:  CARL + 6 POINTS

Home Ground: Even   

Current Form: CARL + 12

Freshness:  CARL + 6

Team Changes:  ESS + 2

Pyschological:  Even

Injuries:  CARL + 7

Total:  Blues by  29 points


Post Match Review:  Blues were tipped by 29 points but the Dons won by 30.  Analysis was a long way off here.  The one saving grace was that the Blues were NOT tipped as certs.  Pretty much only Mad Dons and Englishmen (many of whom aren’t skilled tipsters) picked Essendon to win.  

Many people had the Blues as the certs of the week.  I refrained from doing so due to the complacency factor (see above and today changed to pink writing).  Like Icarus, the Blues seemed to believe the rumours that the Bombers were going to throw this game and concentrate on ANZAC Day.  The Blues, a la Icarus, flew too close to the Sun (basking in their premiership favourite status) and came crashing down to earth.  Of course, injuries to Carazzo and Laidler didn’t help either.  The Dons also lost Hurley and the Blues Yarran, but the game was almost won by then.




Pies to bounce back


This has been a shocker of a week for the Pies.  Not only has the gossip columns been going flat out, but they also lost Reid for a while and Ball for the season.  Then, just when Collingwood fans thought is was safe to pokes their heads up, they lose Shaw and Thomas for 2 matches with hammies.

Their tumultuous week combined with their 4 compulsory outs in the one week makes this an extreme variance game.


Nonetheless, they have a few positives.  The main one is the “embarrassed on Friday night” psychological factor (which works because they are talked down all Saturday and this fires them up for the next week).  Together with a superior rating and home ground advantage, they are the clear pick to win.  They could win by heaps, but they may also “slow down” (once they think the game is won) to ready themselves for ANZAC Day.


Port are still a bit difficult to rate.  They could be zip and 3 now, but they were “in” all 3 games against fair to good teams.  Gray will be improved by the run.  The technical analysis on last week’s game suggests that, had they been able to kick straight and hit the front in the third quarter, they may have gone on with it.  As it was, the missed opportunities sapped their confidence and they fell away against the Swans.


Pies by 25 points but not certs.  PS:  Cloke appeared to fall awkwardly on his shoulder in the last minute or two of the Blues game.


Maths (in points)

Ability:  COLL + 30

Home Ground: COLL + 18

Current Form: COLL + 1

Psychological: COLL + 4

Freshness:  COLL + 6

Team Changes:  PORT + 12

Injuries:  PORT + 22

Total:  Pies by 25 points


Post Match Review:  Pies were tipped by 29 points and they won by 24.  Analysis was very good here, although being so close was a fluke, given that the variance was EXTREME.  Basically, the Pies did what they had to do – kick away to an early lead and thereafter control the game (without totally convincing everyone until late in the game).  Port was not able to get within 3 goals from ¼ time onwards.



4 ADEL V GWS      

Crows are the certs of the round


The Crows had been “up” since R1 NAB Cup and showed they were due for a fall with a lacklustre win against the Dogs in R2.  It all came crashing down vs Hawks a week later.  The loss to the Hawks will be more motivational than flattening.

The Giants game has come at a perfect time to play them back into form. 


“Old” McDonald comes back from suspension for the Giants, but still no O’hAilpin.   The giants were shocking on the road their first time.  Expect similar dramas in Adelaide.  I have been expecting the Giants to outperform expectations most weeks.   This is one week where the experts (~90 points)have it about right.  So a 100+ margin is a possibility.


Crows by 86 points and the certs of the round


Maths (in points)

Ability:  ADEL + 42 POINTS

Home Ground: ADEL + 18  

Current Form: ADEL + 19

Psychological: ADEL + 13 (R3 loss will snap them back into form)

Freshness:  EVEN

Team Changes:  GWS + 2

Injuries:  GWS + 4

Total:  Crows by 86 points


Post Match Review:  Crows were tipped by 86 points and they won by 46.  Analysis was reasonable.  Neglected to check the forecasts this week and it rained almost everywhere!!!  Petrenko last only a short time in the game and was subbed out.   The Crows regularly were short on the bench as they attended to various (and mostly minor) injuries, but were too good in the end.  Falou played his best game so far for the Giants.   The Crows were, despite the margin not being as huge as many of us expected, correctly labelled as the certs of the week.



5 WCE V HAW      

Eagles are certs


The experts rate the Eagles as very slight favourites for this game.   The experts are wrong.  Almost everything suggests a comfortable Eagles win.

Firstly, let’s go for the positives for the Hawks.  They should be 3 and zip and are still trying to work out how they lost to the otherwise winless Cats.  They smashed the previously unbeaten Crows last week.  And, although the Eagles are unbeaten, they have played the Dogs, Dees and Giants – teams likely to be holding up the ladder in 2012. 

Now the plusses for the Eagles!  They come off an 8 and a 6 day break compared to the Hawks 2 x 6 day breaks.  2 x 6 day breaks are even worse when you have to go to Perth.  The Hawks easily beat the Crows, but it came at a cost – losing Bruest, while Birchall and Hale copped minor injuries after the game and may be in doubt to play.  Stephen Hill’s brother Bradley makes his debut for the Hawks.

Still no Hodge nor Puopolo for Hawthorn while Kerr may be a small doubt for the Eagles


Eagles by 39 points and certs


Maths (in points)

Ability:  HAW + 12 POINTS

Home Ground: WCE + 24   

Current Form: HAW + 1

Psychological: WCE + 6

Freshness:  WCE + 6

Team Changes:  WCE + 15 (allowing for big doubts on Hale and Birchall)

Injuries:  WCE + 1

Total:  Eagles by 39 points


Post Match Review:  Eagles were tipped by 39 points and they won by 5.  Well, the experts were right and I was wrong in this case.  One never wants a “cert” to win by less than a kick.  It is too stressful.  One reason for being so bullish on the Eagles was their height up forward.  And, although Darling was terrific in the final quarter, it was never a day for tall forwards (Buddy kicked 1:6).  The rain probably suited the Hawks more.  This was a terrific performance by the Hawks in view of their 2 x 6 day breaks.




Don’t like the game; Lions tipped without great confidence


The loss of Leuenberger makes this game interesting!  He would have given the Lions first use of the ball, but is now out for 6 weeks or so. 

Jonathan Brown will be improved by the run and benefited by (hopefully) a few more forward 50 entries than their ~20 last weekend in Perth.

Raines will be asked to tag Ablett (under 40 possessions would be a win!)

Black apparently passed a fitness test today and looks set to make a shock return. 

These two teams have been patchy and their respective form is difficult to line up.   The Lions have been going the better overall and are slightly higher rated; but they have to return from Perth.


The Lions by 15 points, but not certs.


Maths (in points)

Ability:  BRIS + 6 POINTS

Home Ground: EVEN

Current Form: BRIS + 8

Psychological:  BRIS + 7 (Suns may be flat after getting overrun by Dons)

Freshness:  SUNS + 3

Team Changes:  BRIS + 4

Injuries:  SUNS + 7

Total:  Lions by 15 points


Post Match Review:  Lions were tipped by 15 points and they won by 65.  Analysis was a long way off, but minimal harm done.  Go back to the Dons game and compare with this one.  The Suns played the Dons last week and outperformed expectations without winning.  It was “false form”, probably because the Dons were down a bit due to team changes and getting ready for Carlton and Collingwood.  Consequently, the Dons exceeded expectations this week by 70 points and the Suns went the other way – 45 points below the consensus.  They weren’t helped by Harbrow’s injury and Brown returning from an injury (too early?) and not doing much.




Cats to atone


The tigers began the year playing top teams but in weeks 3 & 4 they are playing teams below them on the ladder.  Yes, folks, the Tigers are 10th and the Cats 11th; and the winner may be 9th at the end of the round.

Butt seriously (as a goat once said), the Cats should get the job done.   To find the last Tiger win at KP, you have to go waaay back to…. Round 2 of the 2012 NAB Cup.  And they did it with the Doug Wade stand missing, so they have some clues on using the breeze.  The Tigers “regain” Deledio, Jackson and Conca who didn’t play that game.  The Cats “welcome back” Chapman, Christensen, Corey, Duncan, Enright, Josh Hunt, Johnson, Lonergan and Podsiadly.


The Tigers have fewer injuries than Geelong.


The Cats looked and played a bit flat last week vs an improved Roos team after coming from the clouds to beat the Hawks.  The word from Cam Mooney is that they are really savage at the lapse that caused them to lose by 17 points.  The last time the lost to the Roos was in early 2007.  The margin was 16 points and the next week they defeated Richmond by 157 points.

This time, a more modest victory is likely.  Steve Johnson copped a corkie against the Hawks and performed modestly vs North the next week.   The 7 day break for the Cats is a big bonus after a 6 day break between rounds 2 & 3 (unlike the Hawks who have 6 + 6).


Cats by 32 points and I’ll resist the temptation to label them certs due to their longer injury list, some doubt on Mackie’s fitness and the absence of suspended Scarlett.


Maths (in points)

Ability:  GEEL + 18 POINTS

Home Ground: GEEL + 6

Current Form: GEEL + 2

Psychological:  GEEL + 10

Freshness:  RICH + 6

Team Changes:  GEEL + 2

Injuries:  EVEN  (Cats have more, but it has been this way for several weeks, so no weighting needed)

Total:  Cats by 32 points


Post Match Review:  Lions were tipped by 15 points and they won by 65.  Analysis was okay without being great.  The plusses were tipping the winner and NOT labelling them as certs.  Richmond probably was helped by playing and training on KP in the new wind conditions.  The Cats were not called certs because they are just not travelling that well (despite their win over the Hawks).  Meanwhile, the Tigers look to have improved in 2012.  Enough to make the finals? They will need to win a few of the next 6 against Eagles (home), Port (away), Swans (home), Dons, Hawks and Saints.  Otherwise, they will be behind the 8 ball.





Swans narrowly


The problem with this match is rating North’s current status.  The Swans are the ever-reliable 5 – 8 team that just keeps on giving.  They have gathered together their best team (apart from Goodes, who is suspended, LRT and nick Smith; a small doubt on McGlynn) and look to be hitting form nicely.

The Roos have been trying to knock off a top 4 team for several years now (they did beat the Dogs in one year, but this seems to have been forgotten to make the story more interesting. 

So does the victory over Geelong represent a crashing through the barrier into great things?  Chris Scott seems to suggest “yes”.  Brad Scott isn’t so sure.  Their mother will be happy that Brad now has a win in the sibling rivalry.   The correct answer to this question will tell us what sort of chance the Roos are this weekend.  A “yes” gives them a huge chance.   A “no” means they are likely to fall short at the SCG.

And then there was this funny handball game they played vs the Cats.


I tend to lean towards the theory that the Roos still have a way to go.  But, with few injuries, they are still some chance at the SCG.


Swans by 15 points but not certs


Maths (in points)

Ability:  EVEN

Home Ground: SYD + 18

Current Form: ROOS + 4

Psychological:  SYD + 8

Freshness:  EVEN

Team Changes:  ROOS + 4

Injuries:  ROOS + 1

Total:  Swans by 15 points


Post Match Review:  Lions were tipped by 15 points and they won by 65.  Some fans who tipped the Swans may have been a bit anxious to find that Mumford was a withdrawal on Friday.   The Roos have plenty of tall timber.  My tip would not have changed, but the margin would have been reduced for the Swans.  A couple of things, however, helped Sydney.  Firstly, the low profile Seaby (85 SC points) and the much maligned White (74 SC), held their own against the highly rated ruck combo of McIntosh (81 SC) and Goldstein (40 SC and subbed off).  The rain helped as well.  When it began to come down heavier in the 3Q (after the Swans had already established a handy lead), the Roos were clearly too top-heavy.  They brought up an extra “small” in Greenwood and, in retrospect, should have played him.

From a technical viewpoint, the Roos are like a share that breaks above a critical value (the Roos had a great win over Geelong last weekend) which gets everyone excited – only to immediately retreat below that value (as if to indicate it doesn’t yet belong in the stratosphere).  The technical analysis summary is that the Roos are not serious challengers this year and the best they can hope for is a 5 – 8 finish (with a good draw) and promise of better things in 2013.



9.  MELB v WBD   

Dogs are the tip, but not excited about the game


My gut tells me that the Dogs will break through for Brendan McCartney’s first win as coach.  But bitter experience says to avoid calling poorly performed teams certs.

So the Dogs are the tip, but they are not doing much better than the Dees.


This is a Jim Stynes tribute match.  No idea how this will affect the result, except that it will be labelled as extreme variance.


I am inclined to think that the missing players in the Dees midfield will cause them to get beaten in the centre and, eventually, the Dogs will make use of their higher forward 50 entries and kick a winning score.   Moloney is back, but they are still missing  Gawn, Green, Grimes, Gysberts, Jetta, Jurrah, Martin, Strauss & Sylvia.  


The Dees may not win a game until Moloney and Sylvia are both in the team at once.


Avoid tipping in this game if you can.


Dogs by 8 points

Added midnight Saturday: Many may note that the Saints underperformed on Friday after thrashing the Dogs the week before.  The logical thought is that the Saints aren’t much good and, therefore, the Dogs must be dreadful.  I tend to explain it differently – that the Dogs vs Saints game was an anomaly as far as score and form trends go.   Based on that, I would now (if I could amend my margin, but I don’t do this – it gets too confusing) be tipping the Dogs by more – maybe about 20 points.   You will also note that the Dons vs Suns match last week was another anomaly.  Consequently, the Dons big win on Saturday afternoon would lead one (based on my theory) to assume that the Suns would do worse than the experts predicted.  Hey Presto, they go out and get flogged by the Lions.


Maths (in points)

Ability:  WBD + 6

Home Ground: EVEN

Current Form: WBD + 8

Psychological:  MELB + 1 (but who knows how they will go in THIS Jimmy Stynes tribute game – the Lions match was a sort of first tribute game)

Freshness:  EVEN

Team Changes:  MELB + 5

Injuries:  WBD + 1

Total:  Dogs by 8 points


Post Match Review:  Dogs were tipped by 8 points and they won by 21.  Analysis was okay here.  See red writing above written on Saturday night.  That was 1 point off the margin.

With both teams going so poorly and the Jim Stynes factor, it was truly a game to avoid as a tipster.  But the correct team was tipped in a game where quite a few went for the Dees.  In the end, the Dees had too many good players out to get over the line, as indicated above.


Best cert:  Crows (comfortable winners) , then Eagles (going conservatively on the certs for now)  (too close for comfort!!)


Best Outsider:  Not really a great week for outsiders, but some chance to the Suns and the Dees. (neither looked likely)


Best 50/50 (a segment which picks the game which the experts have wrongly rated):  Eagles to win by over a goal (missed it by that much!)


This is a week looks a little tricky, but I would advise sticking mainly to the favourites. (which was reasonable advice, given that one of the upsets was Essendon and almost nobody would have picked them.  The only “gettable” outsider was Freo)