Taber Talk returns! 2012 AFL Finals Series – Week No. 1
Posted by Vietnam Swans on September 6, 2012
He was the Hanoi Swans President from 2005/06. He was the first Swannies President to hold a trophy aloft. He is Daryl “Smooth/DT” Taber – as controversial as ever.
Who could forget his performance at the MCG last 28 December at the Swannies’ annual test cricket day? While 25 Swannies gathered in the MCC Members, Smooth headed off for the Great Southern Stand where he sat with a “mate” and presumably discussed the merits of land rights for gay whalers. Is there any truth to the rumour that his mate may have been the Swannies most controversial current player, Billy Cranger? Or might Billy, in fact, be his “Back on the rails” son?
Regardless, DT’s also hard hitting, opinionated and has a super computer of a footy nut that can digest all things football in nano seconds.
And that’s why Daryl Smooth Taber returns for the 2012 AFL Finals Series with his ever popular Taber Talk. He’s been doing it each year since 2007. Each week of the 2012 AFL Finals Series DT will deliver penetrating insight and, occasionally, one behind the ears.
They say that “some people make it happen, others watch it happen and others ask, ‘What happened?’ “. And then there’s DT, in a category all his own. He simply tells us what’s going to happen. Over to DT…
The Eight Contenders… How Do You Rate Them?
The school teacher in me wants to set you some homework.
Task: Assemble a few friends, a few beverages and assess each finals team on the five criteria below:
- Recent finals experience
- Powerful tall marking forwards supported by nippy goal sharks
- Strong, speedy midfield brigade
- Miserly defence that rebounds with punch
- The X Factor.
The drinks and discussions could be flowing until the Friday night blockbuster.
I’ve rated only Hawthorn and the Cats the full high five even though Guerra will be missed for the Hawks as will Stevie J. for the Cats. Both these teams just seem to get the job done without huge winning margins.
Hawthorn is playing great footy but only in patches. Consider the huge start they gave the Swans before reeling them in. Against West Coast, they started like Usain Bolt and then opted for cruise control.
Meanwhile, the Cats have had tight encounters against Sydney, West Coast, Hawthorn and Adelaide, losing only one of these, albeit in Perth. I pray the Hawks and Cats meet each other in September because their recent clashes have been classics! Is AFL a religion?
This could be the year where a team comes from below 4th to win the flag. I’ll make an early call and back in the Cats to make it four flags in 6 years!
This Friday night the Hawks meet a Collingwood team that is winged, unsettled because of a selfish full forward, and unsteady in defence. The Hawks should win the first final comfortably.
The Swans recent record against the Crows is two from 14 encounters since 2001. But I’ll take the odds and punt on them winning on the basis they have had a better preparation going into the finals with tough matches against Geelong, Hawthorn and Collingwood in the last month. Contrast that with Adelaide that has strolled in against Gold Coast and Melbourne by a combined total of 160 points! Has this been too soft a preparation? Or are they well conditioned and ready to fire? The Swans do need to re-discover their tackling and pressure game on the wide plains of AAMI Stadium to ruffle the Crows feathers.
On form, why wouldn’t you tip Freo against the Cats? They have won eight of their past nine matches and have the Pav and the Beanstalk, Sandilands, in great form. However, using the above criteria I set for your homework, the Cats are the complete package I believe. Freo’s defence has a huge task this week.
The Kangas had the best form of all finalists until they met Freo in Melb two weeks ago. Perhaps they peaked too early? I’ll go with the Eagles at home as they do have quality defenders to quell Petrie. Petrie needs to play a blinder if the Roos are to get up.
Let’s all hope for some tight, tough contests this month.
Enough from me. I’ll leave you to do your homework as well as one from Polldaddy below (beneath Friday night footy details).
Friday Night Footy tomorrow: Hawthorn Vs Collingwood. Action starts at 4.50pm. View all the action with the Swannies at the following Al Frescoe’s venues:
- Hanoi: Jaspas, 4th Floor, Hanoi Towers, 49 Hai Ba Trung Str
- Saigon: Spotted Cow, 111 Bui Vien Street