Men's Round 5 / Women's Round 3 Previews

Hi faithful readers! Welcome back to the fold of the Shady Punter.

This week brings Round 5 of AFL Quebec’s 2014 season, we’re half way there people!

West Island Wooders vs. Montreal Demons
The Wood’s literally got their asses kicked last week and are coming off their only loss for the season against the unpredictable Bombers. Can they come back from pits of despair from losing their only game so far this year? My bet is they probably can, given the unpredictable nature of the season so far anything is possible.

Statistically, the Wooders have the most amount of player’s to put their boots on week in week out. They have notched up seven players who have played all four rounds this season and currently have a few of the top leader goal scorers for the league, namely Fabio Petosa (11) and Daniel Robinson (10). If they can get back Wilfried Houvion who was out last week and add to their three man dominance down the middle, Robinson, Pierre-Olivier Chemin and Houvion,they are very difficult to stop. Some notable tactics they have used in previous games is putting Robinson occasionally in the Ruck leaving Thomas Core to roam free. Their biggest challenge this week will be against Morgan Whyte in the ruck from the Dee’s.

The stats from the Demon’s, they have five players who have played all four games and two out of these five are Aussies. Australian Morgan Whyte whose great form through the season continues to rise given that he still relatively new to the game. It does help when you’re 6’5’’ and grew up playing basketball however! Rumour has it that Whyte is suffering an injury from moonlighting with the Ottawa Swans last weekend so there are doubts he might suit up tomorrow. Nicolas Pouessel, the Frenchman, is back again and will no doubt be an annoyance to the Wooders. Pouessel plays the tagging role well (i.e some how he seems to get away with holding the jersey’s of opposition players pretty regularly). Does anyone really like a tagger anyway? Generally they have a pretty bad wrap in most leagues.

Will the Demon’s win and potentially sing ‘It’s a Grand Old Flag” (note even if they do, they probably don’t know the words for it…) “We won, we won, we won” IS NOT a song guys, seriously, you need to work on that... or will the Wooders get up yet again against the Dee’s and add more to their stats for the season? It will be a close game, however I’m with the Wooders to bring it home by 5 points with a final goal in the last few minutes of the game.

NDG Devils v Plateau Eagles

The Devils have been absolutely on fire since the start of the year as their 400 percentage shows you. They have been dominating in every single aspect of the game and the Eagles haven’t had an answer in the first two games. Coach Fairbrother has taken a leave of absence from the team (rumour has it that his is on thin ice with the club owners) and has handed down the reins to first time coach Bogdan Rotaru. Hopefully, this change will inject some much needed energy into the Eagles who are, only 2 matches into the home and away season, playing their most important game of the year.

Notable absences from the Eagles camp are perennial stars Lindsey Belzie and Jane Fenelon who are both nursing some nagging injuries and were unavailable for selection. The Eagles have a formidable midfield with Gilmore, Bender and Jacques who will be looking to utilize their speed in order to run circles around the Devils. The addition of the Williams, the Ottawa native mercenary, who has now has had a taste of AFL Quebec footy and will know what to expect is sure to play an even better game than in Round 2. Coach Bogdan had this to say: “We must win”, very few words from a very inexperienced manager.

While the Eagles are missing players, the Devils keep adding them. Young gun Alicia Falardeau is set to make her AFL Quebec debut and will slot right into this fast paced and talented side. Expect the Legaults to be great teachers for her on and off the field. After two easy wins, the most important thing for the Devils is to continue to follow the game plan and not get sucked into personal glory. Dan Robinson had this to say: “Complacency is the key word this Round. We must make sure we don’t get complacent otherwise we risk destroying what we have built in the first two rounds”. Expect the Devils to come out strong (unlike in round 2 where they kicked 5 behinds in the first quarter), and look to put the game away fast. You never want to give a shark a taste of blood, maybe in this case an Eagle?

Devils by 2 goals in very contested affair.

Old Montreal Dockers v Laval Bombers

If the last time these two teams met was anything to go by, I’m calling this the “Game of the Round”. A single point decided the game with the undermanned Dockers holding off a surging 4th quarter Bomber outfit. Fast forward 6 weeks and the field is set for an absolute cracker!

Having comprehensively handed the ladder leaders the “Wooders” to their 1st loss of the season Bombers Coach Fairbrother is that confident in his charges this week that he has decided to “take his talents to South Beach” in the hope of securing a lucrative beer sponsor for his Grand Final Party.

The Bombers are also set to miss a club stalwart in Auger who was unfortunately suspended by the AFL Quebec Tribunal. This is a big loss for the Bombers who will surely miss his defensive ability and run off half back. The Shady Punter’s Player of the Round for Round 4 in Wienand will have his defensive skills put to the test and the Shady Punter is intrigued as to who on the Dockers list the elite tagger will shut down next. Perhaps the Bombers newest recruit in Chia will be able to play a pivotal role for the bombers with his supreme fitness and attacking prowess.

The Bomber’s attack has been granted some extra WMDs in the form of Rogers and Rogers. These two larrikins have caused some excitement in the Bombers camp and judging from their performance last round will make the Bombers title defense a whole lot easier.

The Dockers are shaking their heads at the disbelief of their last quarter fade against the Demons last week. The Shady Punter believes the lack of fresh legs and personnel contributed to their demise. If they can get a full squad of soldiers to turn up they are a team to be reckoned with.
Word out of the Dockers camp is that irreplaceable ruckmen Koch is battling a hammy and will be a game time decision pending a fitness test. However the midfield smarts of Shaughnessy, Andrada and Joel will be able to counteract the Bombers centre bounce tactics and this is where the game will be won.
Much like the last time these two teams met the Docker defense led by Kozikowski will be able to handle whatever comes their way and they must employ the same “psyche out” tactics previously used in Round 2 to force the Bomber forwards off their game.
There are a few notable outs with McCammon still attempting to get invited into the PGA tour along with Faranda, Priess and Duff.

Names like Guterman, Kavaney and Charbonneau epitomizes the Dockers fighting spirit and if all the Dockers turn up and play then the fans and spectators alike will have be in for a good show.

With the monkey off their back for 2014, the Bombers will be looking for more Ws. If they can convert their inaccuracies in front of the goal then they’ll be well and truly on their way.
However if the Dockers can apply countless pressure and have the same ‘never say die’ attitude from Round 2 then this game will surely be one yours truly won’t miss!
Bombers by 3 goals.


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