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We’ve got 122 players in the Crikey footy tipping comp this year and our footy experts Jackson Capper and Edna Richards have filed this preview of round three.

The Twerp Derby. Sheeds will be keen to stick it up Big Jack this week following the latter’s “Twerp” remark earlier in the season. Given the Bombers’ form thus far in the season proper and Carlton’s inept effort against the Hawks last week, we see no reason why the Bombers won’t romp it in. Sorry Barbs, Essendon too good in this one.

Richmond v Brisbane, Heritage Listing Pending Cricket Ground

The Tigers were obviously rattled by the Western Scraggers’ rough-house tactics last week, so expect to see them targeted again this week. The Roys are all class and look set to roar (just like in ’44) this year. Tigers had everything in their favour last week – fine weather, tall forwards against a short defence – yet couldn’t get the job done. The only question mark over the Roys is their ability away from home (witness their Round 1 loss to Port), but should have too much class in this contest.

Western Bulldogs v Collingwood, Collo’s Desert Lodge

Libba is a disgrace and should get out of the game immediately. Not sure how high up the chain the orders are coming from for Libba to impugn the good name of Aussie Rules, but coach Wallace at least should be held accountable and Smorgon is in a position of enough influence to be able to ensure that this doesn’t go on any longer. Perhaps a new Crikey list could be devoted to the sins of Edward Libbahands and friends – the Paul Kelly mauling a few years ago, the Knights mauling last week, the Michael Gardiner roughing up before the bounce a few years back, the verbal job on Fraser Gehrig last year, the not infrequent stories circulating about pressure being applied to the “inner thigh” region (otherwise known in the rugby codes as the “squirrel grip”). The list goes on and on. Having said that, there are some class players in the Bullies’ line-up and they should ensure that they get over Nathan’s one man band pretty comfortably.

Kangaroos v Sydney, Boo a Roo Stadium

When you talk about conflicts of interest in footy – and there are plenty – none are more alarming than that of Richard Colless, who is Chairman of the Swans and also sits as Chairman of the NSW AFL Commission, the body overseeing the development of the code in NSW. How does Tricky Dicky resolve this apparent conflict? By advocating one team in Sydney – no prizes for guessing which one that is – at the expense of admitting another team (the cash-strapped Roos) into the AFL’s biggest (potential) market. The Swans have marketed this game to its Sydney members by calling on them to “Boo a Roo” and show that Sydney is a one-team town. That’s great for the future of the code in Sydney, Dicky. No Carey, No North – Swans easily but don’t be deceived by their first two wins. They are yet to prove themselves against quality opposition. (Sorry MJP, the Eagles no longer count as quality opposition.)

Adelaide v Port Adelaide, Ah Satan Stadium

The Mullet Derby. Gary Ayres must be feeling that goldfish bowl sensation growing by the week. And he won’t get any relief this week. Expect the rotten eggs, unsolicited pizza deliveries, and heavy breathing anonymous phone calls to commence shortly, Conan. The jury is still out as to whether Puddadelay are the real deal this year, but they’ll have no trouble against the Crows this week. What are we up to now, Showdown VIII? Anyone outside of the City of Churches probably couldn’t give a rat’s tossbag, but no doubt all the local rags – oh sorry, there is only one – and electronic media are hyping it to the hilt. And whose bandwagon will our Natty jump on for her local derby? Our guess is that she’ll sit on the fence and “put it to the Democrats’ membership to decide”. There’s been plenty of that in her first few days at the helm. Expect to see a front page shot on the Tizer of Natty holding both a Crows and Power scarf.

St Kilda v West Coast, Collo’s Desert Lodge

How’s the turf looking three weeks into the season, Collo? Sure, the Commonwealth Bank Stadium had a rigourous pre-season of activity, but the turf is looking an absolute carpet. Just ask Channel Rex’s Boundary Rider, Dipper, who beautifully sang the party tune last week with gushing appraisals of the state of the turf at Collo-nial. Thank Libba for other controversies last week which distracted the press from reporting on the parlous state of Collo-nial’s playing surface. We give it another week before Virgil Tracy-sized eyebrows start getting raised. St Kilda to win against the hapless Eagles. They really are a rabble this year – Ken Judge to go mid-season.

Fremantle v Hawthorn, Subiaco

Not the easiest tip of the round, this one. Have to go for the Hawks, but Fremantle at home will threaten. Hard to think of anything to say about this game – we doubt that even our favourite journo and Dockers tragic Matt Price would be able to invent anything interesting to say about this one.

Melbourne v Geelong, Heritage Listing Pending Cricket Ground

Some important questions may be answered in Melbourne’s Eastern suburbs this weekend – like, “Do I book at the ski lodge over winter, or do I invest in a new tweed jacket, rug and thermos flask for the footy season?” We’ll answer it for you – start peeling that annoying little red and blue sticker off the back of the Volvo now and dust off the skis. The Demons are a shadow of the side they were last year after a disappointing loss first up to the Tigers and just falling over the line against the insipid Crows. Geelong too good in this one.

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Peter Fray

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