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Sliding Doors: IF Stratton tries his pinchy-pinchy stuff on De Goey ... THEN

Sliding Doors: IF Stratton tries his pinchy-pinchy stuff on De Goey ... THEN - AFL,Adelaide Crows,Brisbane Lions,Carlton Blues,Collingwood Magpies,Essendon Bombers,Fremantle Dockers,Geelong Cats,GWS Giants,Gold Coast Suns,Hawthorn Hawks,Port Adelaide Power,Richmond Tigers,Melbourne Demons,North Melbourne Kangaroos,Sydney Swans,St Kilda Saints,Western Bulldogs,West Coast Eagles,Sliding Doors,column
Sliding Doors: IF Stratton tries his pinchy-pinchy stuff on De Goey ... THEN

If

the multi-layered, axed-four-times Bryce Gibbs mystery can be summarised in a sentence ...

then

the Crows feel he is not adequately accountable when playing as a midfielder, and could run a whole lot harder when the ball is going to the opposition goals.

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If

Hipwood maintains the form he displayed last week ...

then

top four is back on. The Lions' X-factor.

 

If

you're one of those people who rush to advocate retirement or sacking of older players in order to blood youth ...

then

you're delusional, and wrong. Take note of who kicked the last two goals last week in a stunning win in Perth. 

If

you flew into town last Saturday with no idea of what had happened this season, watched Pies v Roos, listened to Bucks on Saturday night and caught up with all the outside opinions offered in the days thereafter ...

then

you'd fall off your chair if you today glanced at the ladder for the first time and noticed the Pies were second. The glass is half full, for one more week at least.

If

footy has a way of providing opportunity when it is least expected ...

then

Zac Clarke is presented with that moment on Saturday at the MCG. Bellcho's injury is his bonus, and he comes up against a team also without its main big man.

If

I thought that losing to both Gold Coast and Carlton in the same season was enough to write the year off ...

then

unleashing big Sandi for his first game in 55 weeks and just 27th since 2015 will keep that thought on hold. Love the fact he's hung in there, at 36 in his 17th season. 

If

Gary Rohan was a "lock", according to the club on Wednesday, to come back into the team only to be officially named as an emergency ...

then

there's every chance, yet again, of a late change to the Cats' 22, against the Bulldogs. If Danger is the out, it becomes a danger game. 

If

there were a lot of angry words directed Tom Lynch's way after he told Suns teammates he was leaving last year ...

then

that's fine. But keen to see actions at Metricon Stadium on Saturday when those players come up against him for the first time. 

If

you want to be taken seriously as a premiership contender ...

then

you easily dispatch the Lions on Sunday. Serious questions have emerged, with the season-loss number already hitting five.   

If

Stratton, in his return game after Tribunal suspension for pinching and stomping, tries his pinchy-pinchy stuff on De Goey ...

then

he will miss a couple more matches, but not necessarily because of Tribunal suspension.   

If

the Dees lose to the Blues on Sunday ...

then

they'll slump to 17th on the ladder. If they lose really badly, and the Suns have a win against the Tigers, then they'll crash to 18th. Remember, at one stage of the pre-season, they were flag favourites. 

If

Ben Brown rediscovers his radar ... 

then

he may yet make a race of the Coleman Medal. Had plenty of opportunities against the Pies last week, but was woeful in front of goal. Up against a very good player, but a very match-unfit one, in Carlisle this week.   

If

the Power revert to type ...

then

they'll be all pumped up for the Showdown and put on a great show. It's what they do, get all emotionally fired up when it's obvious to do so. Clearly, they couldn’t be properly bothered last week against the Dogs.    

If

I tried to make out I knew something about the Tigers' inclusion for Saturday's Gold Coast game ...

then

I'd be lying. Had never heard of Derek Eggmolesse-Smith. But on the back of some quick research, love his back story, and hope he kicks three. 

If

things appear calm right now ... 

then

fast forward a couple months. The Saints will be player and coach shopping. They've got money to burn, and they've got Gubby to tell them how.  

If

the rucks are a combination of Reid-Aliir-McCartin ...

then

good luck. But I reckon that trio will get the job done and somehow keep alive the most unlikely of finals possibiities.    

If

the just-exited Brady Rawlings had managed to convince Tim Kelly to go to the Eagles next year, and had co-ordinated every aspect attached to that project ...

then

the Eagles had better find someone to take over that task NOW. As crucial as getting Kennedy properly fit for the remainder of 2019.  

 

If

round 14 against the Pies was OK ... 

then

round 15 versus Port was very, very good. We'll know by Saturday night if the Dogs are genuine, after they host the Cats at Marvel Stadium

If

the intrigue levels returned to high after watching round 15's set of matches ...

then

there's every chance those intrigue levels will hit Spinal Tap's 11 when this weekend's games are done. Big storylines spin off every match. Pies need to steady, Woosha needs another win, Lynch v Suns, Adelaide Showdown, Perth Derby, Dogs may not be done with just yet, Dees could fall below Blues on ladder, Shaw v Richo, sputtering Giants v surging Lions. Phew.   

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs