Shady Punter Round 6 Preview
Laval Bombers v Montreal Demons
Sunday 26th July at 12.30pm
Game one on the menu this week is your classic case of shiny brand new vs rustic old charm.
The Demons have surprised me this year. Not in the way that finding a mouse in your bedroom may surprise you, but in the ‘walking past a Montreal construction site and seeing the workers actually doing something’ kind of way – pleasant, and completely unexpected.
The Bombers, on the other hand, have struggled - to the point where they resemble a one-armed man in a rock climbing competition. Yet, like that one armed man, they’re determined to not let their shortcomings stop them from achieving a goal.
Both outfits are coming off unconvincing games last start. The Demons were put in their place by a slick Wooders outfit, while the Bombers managed to only just overcome a Dockers team short on numbers and experience.
For me, this game will be won and lost in the midfield. The battle between Whyte and Fairbrother makes my mouth water, mmmmMMMM, that’s good ruckin’. Whyte should have the ascendency in the air, but Fairbrother’s footballing IQ should not be underestimated, though with the Demons having the luxury of being able to rotate Michelmore through the middle– the Bombers face a tough task in gifting their on-ballers first use of the pill.
Overall, the Demons pose too many weapons for the Bombers, who rely on Rotaru, Rogers squared and Fairthbrother to generate their attack. In contrast, the Demons’ even spread of contributors, including Whyte, Michelmore, Graham, O’Farrell, Ingersole and Carnevale, to name but a few, ensures that their depth will eventually drown a fading Bombers lineup.
The Dees should be too strong in this one, but don’t be surprised to see the Bombers giving a yelp in the first half.
Demons by 18.
Plateau Eagles v Carleton Warriors
Sunday 26th July at 2.00pm
Last time these two teams meet, the Warriors ran out comfortable 24 point winners but created almost 15 more scoring opportunities. The Warriors are currently sitting joint top of the 2015 Women’s ladder while the Eagles hold up the table with no wins from three. The Eagles also lost their last game by a season record 91 points. So this game is a formality ya?... I wouldn’t be so sure.
The Eagles have been recruiting well and so many times this season were playing with multiple new players. But this may not be the case this weekend. Even having played just one or two games in this league makes the world of difference and the Eagles will be hoping this is the case this weekend. They will go into this game with a much more settled side and will be welcoming back Belzie, Fenelon and Graham all of whom missed “that loss” as well as Captain and Team Canada gun, Elaine Gilmore.
The Warriors are too almost at full strength with the exception of Lisa Dalla Rossa who was unfortunate to injure herself playing footy out west. She is almost certainly out for the year and this is a massive blow to the Warriors as Dalla Rossa provides much needed experience and knowledge in the back line. In Nguyen and Costanza, they have the two in-form players of the competition (how these two players got drafted to the same team, I’ll never know), while Geci is proving a formidable player to come up against in defence. It’s actually quite difficult to find weaknesses in this team. A. Scott, Bartulovic and M. Scott have been delivering the goods all year for both the Warriors and the Swans.
For the Eagles to win they need their experienced players to step up and they need a big game from Gilmore on ball, however this may not even be enough. Costanza is having too much fun at the moment and is racking up possessions and scores it would seem for her own amusement. The Warriors also have too many good players in key positions who are consistently doing what they are supposed to do.
This game will be nowhere near as one sided as form would suggest it should be but I fully expect the Warriors to walk away with the four points.
High scoring, entertaining game, Warriors by 30.
NDG Giants v Rideau Shamrocks
Sunday 26th July at 3.15pm
The last time these two teams meet, the Shamrocks took all four points in an 11 point victory. All that separated the teams at half time was one point, but a dominant second half performance by Shamrocks saw them take the share of the spoils. The Shamrocks looked much fitter in that game and the winning margin could have been so much more had it not been for some wayward shooting from the Ottawa based ladies. Will the Shamrocks be able to run riot again in this game with a show of cardiovascular superiority? … Probably not.
The Shamrocks have a lot of injury concerns and and are also welcoming back players from injury that might not be 100% match fit. Some of those who may not play due to injury are key key players for the Shamrocks and include Shamrocks Best and Fairest so far this year, Kelly Cambridge. She too was a major factor why the Giants struggled last time these two teams meet. Whatever Geci does down back for the Warriors KC can do too! Without her, the Shamrocks are in trouble. The Shamrocks will however be delighted to have Stootsy back and with Childers, they provide a dominant on ball pairing but again they are without Smith in the midfield.
The Giants along with the Warriors have the most settled squad and will be flying high after that huge win over the Eagles in the last round and their nail bitingly close win over the Warriors in round two. In fact, it could be argued they are the form team. Moreau is quite obviously the dominant Giants player this year but she is only so due to the Trojan work ethic of Bureau in midfield who allows Moreau time and freedom to move forward at will.
And while we talk of Geci and KC in their respective teams defence, how about Frankie Benedetti, fast becoming one of the stars of the league. Along with Legault, the Giants have two defensive rocks which the best of teams will struggle to break down. And the emergence of Parrod in recent weeks has been nothing short of exciting. Robinson will be delighted to have unearthed a player of her quality who can play in a wide variety of positions.
All that been said, how do I see this top of the table clash going? If both sides were at full strength and taking recent form into consideration this would be an absolute classic. However with the Shamrocks somewhat depleted and with the Giants as a team and as individual players improving every week I can only see this game going one way.
Giants to redeem themselves for the corresponding round one fixture with a 30 point victory.
Old Montreal Dockers v West Island Wooders
Sunday 26th July at 4.30pm
The AFL Quebec season can at times feel like a war of attrition where the most resilient warrior still standing at the end of the day will be victorious. No one knows this better than the Old Port Dockers. Their aging side has been decimated over the recent rounds, battling fiercely yet coming up short. Never was it more apparent than in round 5 when the Dockers fielded a team with no interchange bench, yet matched a full strength Bombers for the vast majority of the game. However, as a reflection of the evenness of the competition this year, the Dockers remain in a three way tie for 2nd place and captain Steve McCammon will be rallying his troops for a strong run home down the stretch for a top two finals seed come September. Don’t expect any surprises from the Docker’s as they’ll be relying on their tried and tested back line of Ronan Shaugnessy and Guy Joel, steady hand Aaron Fellow through the mids, and old hands Randy Andrada and the newly reappeared specky machine Eddie Duff. Throw in the slight magician Dom Coogan, Andrew Mattern and previous player of the round Justin Leyva and you’ve got a very strong team on paper. Key to a Docker win will be how many of these guns will be receiving IV saline drips come the final whistle.
Then there are those other lads from the West Island standing down the opposite end of the field. Speaking of men down, the Wooders appear to have none. They’re a team humming right through the back straight of the season and apart from a slight hiccup versus the Demons early in the season they have been unbeaten. The usual suspects of Wil Houvion, Phil Manassa and Dan Robinson will be patrolling the midfield, Ken Boudreau and captain Matty Payne locking it up down back, PO Chemin being a pest all over the park and big Fabio Petrosa slotting majors up forward. The magic of the Wooders is their versatility and their ability to throw almost any of their players into any position and to excel. Far from the Saints their names suggest, expect to see heavy hitters Sam St Laurent and Marc St Germain leaving bodies across the field, the twins Marc-Antoine and Gab Lavoie to fall into tagging roles and round 5 returnee Thomas Core to create all round havoc and sneak a few 6 pointers with his rare mix of size and speed.
It’s difficult to pick against the Wooders in this one, but then again it is always difficult to pick against them. What Shady cannot predict though is an act of god and looking at the forecast there is a high chance of thunderstorms. The Wooders are predominantly a high flying finesse team, relying on long kicks and pinpoint passing. A few drops of rain could turn this game on its head. The Wooders have very little experience in the wet and the ratchet men from the Dockers will be able to make up a lot of the talent gap using their experience and hardness, something the pretty boys from the West may struggle with.
Wooders by 5 goals