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Sliding Doors: round 18

Damian Barrett  July 21, 2017 4:18 PM

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IF the Swans hadn’t allowed Tom Mitchell to leave ... THEN

If

a schoolkid getting a game was last week's feel-good yarn of the week ...

then ... going into round 18, without doubt, it is ex-cricketer Alex Keath making his AFL debut. A great story of perseverance and willpower.



If

the team which has conceded the most points plays the team which has scored the least points ...

then ... who wins? Absolutely no idea whatsoever. But Fages is hoping it is the former.

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If

we've said it a few times before ...

then ... we'll say it again: No point in including Harry McKay in an extended bench if you have no intention of letting him make the final cut. It would be mental torture to do it one more time.

If

one team has nothing to lose this weekend ...

then ... it is the Pies without Pendles, at home against the flat-trackers. Capable of winning.



If

you go back two weeks ...

then ... we were worried that the Bombers had blown their entire season after brain freezes in consecutive matches against the Swans and Lions. Guaranteed to win a third straight game this week to further enhance an already likely finals berth.

If we are to use horse racing parlance to describe the form of Cam McCarthy in 2017 ... then ... he's going to be far better for the run in 2018. A serious talent who just needs time.



If we were a betting man, and we are, in small amounts, and always responsibly, well, usually responsibly ... then ... we're having small wagers on Danger (a) playing tonight, (b) starting at full-forward, (c) kicking six goals, (d) co-hosting the post-match Roaming Brian segment (even if the Crows win), (e) driving the team bus back to its hotel, (f) flying the team plane back to Melbourne, (g) having a surf at Moggs Creek by 11am, Saturday, (h) preparing a five-course dinner for Mardi that night and (i) bathing, feeding and nappy-changing young George in between those dinner courses. Nothing this man can't do. 



If your former captain and one of your current co-captains are both unavailable with injury at a time you desperately need wins to help your own coaching cause ... then ... Rodney Eade is entitled to think the footy gods have conspired against him.

If Coniglio breaks down again ... then ... the Giants can't win the flag. Really hope he's not being rushed back.



If you keep wanting to question Isaac Smith ... then ... stop it. He's a gun. And he didn't do much wrong in that final play last week.

If

there's a name we never thought we'd see again in a Demons team ...

then ... it was Jack Trengove. Love the fact he's fought his way back.



If anyone predicted a No.73 pick in last year's national draft would be the "in" when Goldstein was an axed "out" ... then ... you are a true genius. Goldy terribly out of form, currency dropping by the week.

If

you're a regular reader ...

then ... you've long known of our love of Chad. Didn't think it could increase, but it has, on the back of the new string to his bow, that of gun midfielder.



If you have 10 wins already and we figure you need 13 to be assured of a finals berth ... then ... no major problem, yet, even if you lose to GWS. But we know you're not just thinking finals, but top four. We'll all know what's realistic by 4.45pm, Sunday.

If

we got so pumped about schoolkid Josh Battle making his debut last week ...

then ... we're choosing to stay pumped this week for another Saint first-gamer. Battle axed for Rowan Marshall.

Rowan Marshall during the 2014 NAB AFL Draft Combine. Picture: AFL Photos
 

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If the Swans hadn't allowed Tom Mitchell to leave ... then ... would they be sitting atop the ladder right now? We're going to say yes!

If

the Eagles get past the Pies this week, the Lions next week, and the Saints in round 20 ...

then ... do they unleash Nic Nat for the home game against Carlton in round 21, with the Giants and Crows to follow? Almost certainly. And wouldn't that add an intriguing storyline to this already fascinating AFL season?



If Danger managed 11 shots at goal last week ... then ... we reckon Bont has got a dozen in him this week. If he starts and stays forward against the May-less Suns backline, look out.


And by popular request ...

If

we're dealing with intelligent adults, if it's not illegal, if it's consensual, and if it was known internally before media outlets made it public ...

then

... we still don't condone the actions but we also still don't – seven days later – fully understand why there were resignations. And we know we never will.

Follow Damian Barrett on Twitter: @barrettdamian