Russell Barwick’s April 22-25 Sports Preview: Hot Pies To Blast Bombers On Anzac Day


The sports guy’s weekend what’s on?

You have to love this country. A week after getting two public holidays for something half of us don’t believe in, we get another public holiday.

Throw in a RDO or annual leave day and it’s another four-day weekend. 

However, this one is way more special in my opinion. We’ll get to Anzac Day shortly, but this weekend also allows for about four tonnes of footy and racing for us to enjoy.

What am I looking forward to...

How do Hawthorn, Sydney and Collingwood respond to the criticism coming from the AFL experts and is Penrith the great pretender of the NRL?

The Hawks, I’m sorry to say won’t be having a great weekend. I know their record against West Coast is good, but their record against everyone was good prior to this year.

I love the thoughts of Nathan Burke during the week who said Clarko won’t go anywhere. He'll instead just roll the sleeves up and say let’s have a fight and see who comes out the other side.

The problem he has is Clarko isn’t kicking the footy, or tackling. He’s in the coaches box telling others how to do it, and they’re not.

How do the Hawks match up with Gaff, Prids, Sam Mitchell?? Not very well.

Luke Hodge is your one man band and Tom Mitchell is missing blokes helping him get the ball.

I’d take Kennedy (pictured above) and Darling over Roughie, and Cyril needs a pearler for things to go Hawthorn's way. 

West Coast will tear them apart. Bold prediction: Eagles by 30 points +

Watch out GWS, Sydney are coming.

Not only are Sydney dirty on their start to the year, they’re filthy GWS are above them on the ladder. 

I don’t think they thought this would ever happen.

GWS are also getting their fair share of TV and radio time in Sydney, so poking the bear won’t help the Giants.

Sydney get Heaney back which is the key.

Buddy (pictured above) can kick it long, knowing that Reid isn’t his only target.

The Swans' defence will perform better with McVeigh back.

Bold prediction: If the Swans win the first quarter they win the match. 

Collingwood has a great record in the Anzac Day game and poo poo to anyone who thinks other teams should play in this annual event.

Sorry, it’s not about money, this is about tradition. I watch it and I wouldn’t watch the Tigers play the Cats on Anzac Day. 

It’s Anzac Day, Dawn service, Anzac march, cheering the diggers and servicemen and women, having a bit of lunch, a beer (early), two-up, then watching Collingwood and Essendon rip their heads off in the AFL, or Dragons and Roosters in the NRL.

Same same for me. Love them both and have two TV’s going at the same time.

So, having said my sermon, I think Nathan Buckley’s men are close, closer than Essendon to winning that is.

The Pies were really good against Sydney and their own worst enemy against St Kilda.

Darcy Moore is better off staying inside 50 and putting his big mitts on the footy rather than trying to be a lair.

Bold prediction: Pies to win in a classic Anzac Day belter.

The Penny Panthers were nearly everyone's tip to be the 'team to beat’ in 2017 and for the life of me, I don’t know why.

Sure they recruited well and got a couple of big name players, but they did that before and they got donuts.

The Panthers’ successful years were when they had workmanlike players who just had a go and tried their guts out.  Why they think ‘buying’ a premiership is gonna work is beyond me.

Take Ricky Stuart for example. He gets a few recycled players, puts a few of his own in the mix and all of a sudden they start playing great footy.

That sort of stuff is priceless and you can’t buy it.

Penrith this week are favourites (yet again) and I don’t know why.

They got lapped last week by Cronulla and in the last three weeks, they have averaged just two line breaks per game!!! Yuk.

Bold prediction: Parramatta to thump Penrith in every way, shape or form.

The Sydney Cup part 2 gets a run on Saturday in the final, final day of the really, really, really long Autumn carnival.

Who wins? I dunno, but the fact is the Sydney Cup is being run on a day when most of the horses running wouldn’t get into the Cessnock Cup.

That being said, something has to win and that something for me is hopefully going to be Tally (pictured above). 

Mornington Cup win was good and the Australian Cup run before that was also good.

How the run in the cancelled race effects them I don’t know, but he’s double figure odds and my trifecta is all about value.

Bold prediction: Tally, Polarisation, Boom Time.

What am I not looking forward to...

Saturday afternoon footy. Gee, what a dud bunch of games these are; Bulldogs v Brisbane and Suns v Adelaide.. pass.

NRL is not much better with Cows v Knights.

What I’d like to see...

Extra time in the match between Canberra and Manly Friday night.

The buffoons have allowed zero injury time, or extra time options, before the second Friday game gets underway at ANZ.

How funny to have Fox or Nine have to do the spilt screen for us to watch the two games. Maybe they can take a leaf out of Sky and send the boring game to Sky 2! 

What I won’t be seeing...

Phil Gould saying I was wrong, (ever). 

What I will be doing...

Going to Dawn service and saying thanks, to the men and women who gave us this great country (including public holidays).

Do it once, you will do it every year for the rest of your life.

What I won’t be doing..

Watching Cowboys v Knights

Rusty’s magnificent multi:

Port Adelaide -12.5 at qtr time (1.91), Canberra Raiders (1.26), Sydney Swans to lead at qtr time (2.20), Richmond to win 1-24 (3.45), NRL Dragons to win (2.30) @ 42.01

Good Luck!

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