Monday, September 26, 2011

New York Giants - v Philadelphia Eagles - RD3- REVIEW

The Giants entered this game on a 6 game losing streak to the Eagles including a playoff game. Two long range touchdowns to Eli Manning in the 1st quarter set up a healthy 14 point lead but the Eagles bounced back scoring the next 16 giving them a 2 point lead heading into the 4th quarter. Manning threw another pair of touchdowns and including a 2 point conversion gave the Giants a 29 - 16 win. Let's look at how they did it:

Air Attack

Eli Manning threw for 4 touchdowns for the 6th time in his career and completed 16 of 23 passes for 254 yards and thank goodness no interceptions. Not even a fumble!! Manning's passer rating of 145.7 is his highest ever in a game where he took most of the offensive snaps. Manning connected for 2 TD's to Victor Cruz for 78 and 28 yards. The 78 yarder being his 4th longest. A 92 and 85 yarder to  Mario Manningham (Inactive for this game) and a 78 yarder to Plaxico Buress. Manning also threw TD catches to running backs Brandon Jacobs (40 yards) and Ahmad Bradshaw (18 yards).  On a side note Brandon Stokley caught his first pass as a Giant receiver (8 yarder) making him one of only 2 people to catch a Peyton and Eli Manning pass, Jim Finn being the other.
Rating 9 / 10

Ground Force

Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw combined for 105 yards on 22 carries. Apart from Ahmad's 37 yarder and a couple of 3rd and shorts converted the running game was best described as serviceable.
Rating: 7.5 / 10

Rushing D

The combined yards conceded by the G-Force rush stoppers was 194 so 177 today seems a lot. However I would assume that the defence was going to focus on stopping the potent air attack with Vick et al being dangerous on any given play. Take that into account and the impressive play of RB LeSean McCoy and QB Michael Vick is just as dangerous as a runner as he is passing.

The Eagles rushed for 13 first downs but only scored 1 touchdown on 5 trips into the red zone and were denied both times Goal To Go. The defense as a whole also kept the Eagles offence out of the end zone for the whole 2nd half when the game was there to be won.

Rating: 8 / 10

Secondary Support

Crucified by injuries and giving up way too many big plays in the first 2 games you be ok in assuming that Vick was going to tear them a new one? Well a knew one was torn and it's bleeding/broken and whinging on the TV about the Ref's not protecting him. Silly me thought it was Vick's O'Line that was meant to do that. Vick eventually left the game with a broken hand but not before he was sacked twice by Jason Pierre-Paul and picked off by maligned Aaron Ross. Ross was actually benched last week but has redeemed himself with 2 interceptions (He also picked off Vick's replacement Mike Kafka (Not the famous writer!)). Safety Kenny Phillips also joined the fun intercepting Kafka on their drive as well as forcing a Vick fumble. The Giants secondary had conceded 300+ yards in 4 straight games. However they seem to be more stout and the largest play they gave up in the air was a 24 yarder. They also kept the Eagles to 199 nett yards.

Rating: 8  / 10

Special Teams

ST wasn't really an issue today. No Field Goals, no punt returns and a sole 33 yard kick off return.

Rating:  N/A

A Redskins win over the Cowboys tomorrow will mean the Giants are equal leaders of the NFC East with Redskins and Eagles on 2 -1 going into the clash against the Arizona Cardinals next week.
Until then hail to the awesome foursome!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Notre Dame beats Pittsburgh Panthers - 2nd Straight Win!

Although Pitt aren't a Top 25 ranked team (Either are ND ATM) they came into the game win a 2-1 record and the sole loss last week came after after a 21 point 4th quarter capitulation against Iowa.

The Pitt defence pushed Notre Dame around for 3 quarters and would have them scoreless if not for RB Jonas Gray scoring his career touchdown ripping off a 79 yard run down the sideline in the 2nd quarter.

The last quarter started with a 12-7 lead for the Panthers but QB Tommy Rees had other ideas. Relatively ineffectual for 3 quarters he started to find his rhythm culminating with an extremely impressive 8 for 8 record on the game winning drive including 4 to WR Tyler Eifert including the score. Rees finished with average numbers of 24 for 41 for 216 yard and a touchdown and interception. ND offence continued it's turnover conundrum with another 2 for the game. Record holder WR Michael Floyd was held to 4 receptions but the running game more than picked up the slack.

RB Cierre Wood kept the offence rumbling with 96 yards from 23 carries and Jonas Gray had 84 yards from 3 carries including his long touchdown run.

Pitt QB Tino Suneri was very accurate but occasionally held onto the ball to long going down for 5 sacks including 2 on the final drive ending any hopes of a Pitt come from behind win. Suneri went 22 from 30 but couldn't find any targets down throwing for only 165 yards and the longest being only 18 yards.

In the end ND did enough to resurrect their season taking their record to 2-2 with an important game against Purdue next week. The 2-2 record is all the more impressive when you look at the 2 losses. The 1st loss was an upset to Florida State by 3 points and the 2nd was to #22 ranked Michigan Wolverines in a shock last minute score in a game the Fighting Irish should have won!

Until then hail to the Grayman!

Friday, September 23, 2011

North Melbourne Kangaroos - Drew Petrie - All-Australian

Congratulations Dish!

During the week Drew Petrie was named on the interchange bench for the All-Australian team for the first time in his career.

I'm going to look at how the 2nd round draft pick from Ballarat recovered from 3 separate broken foot injuries in 2010 to reach career best form.

During the early 00's under Coach Dean Laidley, Petrie was literally Mr Fix It and roamed from forward to defence to the ruck and back again as the team needed him. This was great for plugging up holes but it gave Petrie no continuity in 1 position and also disguised how well he was doing. He would get 10+ hit outs, 2 goals and several telling marks in defence. If he had played the same position for the game his dominance would have been easier to see however it was diluted around the ground like a weak coffee.

So under 2nd year coach Brad Scott, Petrie has been given the focal forward position as his for the midfield to target on their inside 50's. Petrie was always going to take time finding his feet (pun intended) and missing the 1st game of the season against the Eagles to a dubious suspension didn't help.

The Roos were smashed the following week by Collingwood so it's no surprise the supply to the forward line was limited and so was Petrie's influence. It was 2 weeks later against Richmond that Petrie gave us a glimpse of what he was capable of being the main forward target. He kicked 6 goals from 17 kicks, 8 marks, 4 hit outs and an impressive 4 inside 50's. Although the Roos lost it wasn't due to lack of effort and output for Petrie. Petrie showed that when the supply was quality he is a hard man to match up on and this made most of the teams double up or even triple up making Petries 48 goals for the year all the more impressive.

Petries season just simmered along nicely with him kicking 3 or more goals in 9 out of 24 games (Over a 3rd) including 5 agianst the Bulldogs in arguably the Roos best win of the year and 4 in the last game of the year again against the Tigers. Petrie kicked 5 goals 5 in the Bulldogs game and probably should have kicked 7-8 goals but there's no denying he able to get his hands on the ball. In 5 separate games he registered 20 or more possessions and in 9 games he pulled down 8 or more marks in a game.

Speaking of getting his hands on the ball Petrie was able to use his 197cm/103kg frame to pull down several hangers and if he wasn't in a position to take the mark he invariably busted the pack open bringing the ball to ground allowing the other North forwards the chance to score. I'm not sure if it's a record but Petrie was nominated for the Hungry Jack's Mark of the Year on 6 separate occasions. Yep that's over a quarter of the games Petrie played for the season. This also includes 3 of the last 5 games he played.

One interesting fact I stumbled upon was that in the 5 games Petrie kicked 4 or more goals they won 4 only losing the game to the Tigers in round 5 in the last minute. And in the 9 games Petrie kicked 3+ goals they won 6 losing 3. The losses include a 1 point shock loss to the Swans, the Tigers loss and a Geelong pumping where Petrie was almost a lone force for the whole game.

Massive bucket of win for Petrie, well done!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New York Giants - v St Louis Rams - RD2- REVIEW

U G L Y we ain't got no alibi it was ugly.

However a win is a win and a 1-1 record is much better than a 0 - 2 start.

A shock loss to the Redskins in the opening round and this being a National Monday Night Football game the Giants needed to set the tone and show the league what they are capable of. Although Eli Manning came off to the very slow start the offence was opportunistic and got enough points on the board to never really give the Rams a sniff. The defensive line did their part and special teams came up with several key plays. I'm going to break the game into 5 sections for clarity from now on so we can focus on each group. So let's start with the pass attack.

Air Attack

Eli Manning was woefully slow to get momentum and again threw a crucial interception on along drive. He went 3 for 11 with an interception to start the game but ended it 15 for 18 and 2 touchdown for redemption. So while 200 yards and 2 TD 1 INT is an average game it was enough pull out the win and looking at the start he had quite a game to end it. For the Giants to beat the Eagles next week Eli will need to start the game like he ended this one, crisp and precise.

Rating 7 / 10

Ground Force

While some people look at 50-60 yards a game as average, for the Giants they need to take into account that 2 running backs share the load and although either will be unlikely to be named to the Pro-Bowl while they are doing this it is their shared contribution that the Giants will be looking at. Overall they combined for 109 yards and touchdown. While their 3.51 average is suspect they do include a lot of 3 and short ad 4 and 1's. Steady would be an apt description to the output for Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw but they did keep several drives alive and all behind a new o-line that is still finding its feet. Bradshaw also caught a 23 yard screen pass on 3rd and 18 to keep a drive alive for Jacobs to score a touchdown on the next play. This wasn't a super game on the ground but again was enough to get the W.

Rating: 7.5 / 10

Rushing D

It's fair to say the Giants ability to stop the run kept them in the game against the Redskins (74 yards) and they did it again against the Rams. The secondary was porous however the against the run stout would be a better adjective. They kept them to 59yards. They also kept them out of the end zone 3 of 4 entries into the Red Zone, the only touchdown being in the air.  They places them 3rd in the league for run defence. LB Michael Boley also used nous in picking up a seemingly dead ball for a fumble and rumbled 68 yards for a score. This is also his 2nd fumble recovery in 2 games. Notre Dame alum Justin Tuck returned to his bruising best with 1.5 sacks and 5 tackles. Antrel Rolle led the team with 9 tackles.

Rating: 9 / 10

Secondary Support

It has been widely acknowledged that the corner backs for the Giants have fared about as well as swimmers at Amity Beach. Take into account #1 Corner Terrell Thomas has a season ending knee injury, #3 corner Bruce Johnson is out and 1st round draft pick Prince Amukamara is currently out with an injury. So it's no surprise secondary again gave up 300+ yards in the air making it 4 in a row (1st two games this year and last 2 games 2010). Even if the concussed Michael Vick doesn't play next week the secondary will need to tighten up given the aerial weapons the Philadelphia Eagles have it could get ugly.

Rating: 2 / 10

Special Teams

The special teams was a mix of good and bad. Bad being a 29 yard punt return. Good being a Dave Tollefson muffed punt recovery at the Rams 38.

Rating: 6 / 10

Bring on the Eagles next week, I'll be getting at 3am to watch the game.

Until then hail to the air attack!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Notre Dame beats Michigan State Spartans

Notre Dame have taken until the 3rd round to notch up their first victory and it was an upset 31 - 13 win over the #15 Michigan State Spartans.

After the shock loss to the Michigan Wolverines in the last seconds last weeks loss, not many pundits would have given the Fighting Irish a chance against heavily favoured Michigan State in South Bend.

Notre Dame took ascendancy in the first quarter scoring 2 touchdowns to a field goal and never looked back after that.

The Notre Dame defence gave up 329 yards in the air but the Spartans could only get in the endzone once with 2 more field goals. And although the offence wasn't potent in raw yardage they were efficient and uncharacteristically held onto the ball with the sole turnover being an interception.

QB Tommy Rees was methodical in leading the offence for 3 touchdowns, 2 on the ground to Cierre Wood and 1 in the air to TJ Jones. Wood and RB Jonas ray wore down the defence running for a combined 138 yards off 26 carries for a healthy 5.3 average. Michael Floyd caught 6 passes for 84 yards and was always a threat. Tommy Rees only threw for 161 yards but that was all that was needed in the 31 to 13 win. His completion 61.5% ensured that there were more than enough long drives to keep the Spartans offence off the field.

The special team also held up their share of the bargain including a 89 yard kick off return by George Atkinson III. And possibly the most impressive stat was the 29 yards net rushing from 23 attempts.

Notre Dame play Pittsburgh at Pittsburgh next week with hopes of squaring the ledger with a 2-2 record.

Until then hail to the Bend!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Boston Red Sox Slump Officially Over

Well sure it's only 1 win but coupled with the resulting Rays loss and the Yankees losing. The Sox are now 3.5 games behind division leader Yankees and a whole 4 games ahead of the Rays for the Wildcard spot. All this with only 11 games to go and an all important 3 games series against the Yankees.

I'm not going to call the Sox definites for the finals but after today's win I sure am optimistic!

Until then hail to the resulting loss!

Boston Red Sox Slump

Ever since I blogged about the Red Sox making the finals and their rivalry with the Yankees they have been in a massive slump.

That was on the 31st of August an September hasn't been kind.

The Sox have been pushed around by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Texas Rangers and Toronto BlueJays and are 3 - 11 this month.

They are currently battling off again with the Rays and with only 13 games left (including todays) and a meagre 3 game lead over the Rays for the Wild Card spot, every win is important.

With games against the Rays, Yankees and Orioles, all division rivals remaining it will be an interesting race to the finals.

EDIT: Damn the Rays lead off the 1st with 2!

Until then hail to the closer!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New York Giants sign WR Brandon Stokley


The Giants passed on a proven match winner in Plaxico Burress but after the fall out with slot receiver Steve Smith and the average performances by Domenik Hixon and Victor Cruz the Giants have signed journeyman Stokley.

I understand with the looming injury to #1 receiver Hakeem Nicks and the defections of both WR Steve Smith and TE Kevin Boss that the Giants needed to sure up the position, I'm just not sure if signing a guy who caught 31 receptions for ZERO touchdowns is the man for the job.

Stokley played his first 4 seasons with the Baltimore Ravens including the 2000 Superbowl win over said Giants. In those 4 seasons he never recorded more than 24 receptions or 2 touchdowns in a season. He then spent the next 4 years with the Indianapolis Colts. Here Brandon had more success particularly with Giants QB Eli Manning's brother Peyton tossing him the pigskin. His one breakout year was in 2004 where he had 1077 yards from 68 receptions for 10 touchdowns. He production then tailed off and he spent 3 seasons with the Denver Broncos and last year with the Seattle Seahawks.

I believe Coach Coughlin will/should give Cruz and Hixon another chance.  Cruz may have hurt his chances with a deplorable dropped catch that would have been a 1st down halting the Giants opening drive.

No matter how the slot receiver goes for the Giants to succeed Eli Manning will need to share the ball around but focus on Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham.

Until then hail to GMEN!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

New York Giants - Rd1 Redskins - Review

Welcome to season 2011.

Let's hope it improves.

I do it to myself every team, every sport. I went into this game almost expecting a win. What I got was a bucket load of disappointment.

Don't get me wrong Rex Grossman played a good game and the Redskins played a smart game but the Giants didn't help themselves either.

Yeah Yeah I'm aware that the defence was decimated (or worse) but there were also some stupid errors and lacklustre efforts.

Ok where do I start? Injuries or stats?

Defensive injuries: We went into the season opener without our #1 and #3 cornerback and #1 defensive player/lineman Justin Tuck.

So I guess it's no wonder they gave up 305 yards and 2 touchdowns in the air. And 3 offensive touchdowns in total. On a good note Jason Pierre-Paul continued his good form with 6 tackles, 2 sacks and a forced fumble. The Giants D accounted for 4 sacks and 74 nett yards rushing. However too many 3rd downs were converted and things need to tighten up quickly!

The is news about that the only bright light for the New York Offence Hakeem Nicks has some knee issues and is being tested as we speak. He pulled in 7 receptions for 122 yards including a 68 yarder in the first quarter to the 1 leading to Eli Manning's 1 yard rushing touchdown to give the Giants the first score on the board. Let's hope he's ok!

Eli continued on from last year with a silly interception that resulted in a Touchdown for the Redskin defence. The Giants also lost the penalty count 8 for 63 yards against 3 for 25.

The Giants will be trying to kick start a winning streak this Monday Night verses the St Louis Rams.

The most intriguing battle would be the running back one. Last year Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs worked well together with Bradshaw piling up 1200+ yards and Jacobs keeping an impressive 5.6 average. Bradshaw looked like he was hitting the line at half pace at times but still had 13 carries to Jacobs' 6. I'd personally like to see Jacobs carrying at least 10-15 times a game.

Until then hail to the Capital!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Red Hot Chili Peppers - I'm With You - Review

I purchased this on iTunes the day it was available in Australia but needed time to get to know the songs better before I judged them. It's like meeting someone for the first time. To judge them on the first opinion they make or the colour of their hair would be remiss. I like to get to know somebody a little before I judge them, whisper behind their back and ridicule them from the safety of my laptop.

So the vibe of this album is a lot cruisier than previous Chili albums but is peppered with little gems and even a few tracks that are slow burners. (They didn't jump at me on first or second listens but have forced their way into my subconscious like that tasty jingle - Costanza!)

Monarchy of Roses

A very worthy 1st track. This is the Chili Peppers at their rock best. The lyrics are pretty tight, Chad holds his on the drums and Josh is given the freedom to stamp his name on the albums. I like it! 8/10

Factory of Faith

I don't mind this but it doesn't ring RHCP's to me. It seems like an early 80's homage. Certain parts of the song are actually quite good but the way Kiedis barks 'Factory' out and it's 40+ times just it's my kind of .... 7/10

Brendan's Death Song

This is my favourite song on the album and given time will probably settle into the top ten all-time RHCP songs. At my funeral this, Venice Queen and Gravedigger by Dave Matthews will be the 3 songs I want played! Sure it's about a real person, Brendan Mullins who had been known to the Peppers for an age but it's just a beautiful song born out of a jam after hearing the news of his passing and it permeates into every lyric and beat. I love this song, although mot in love with the title. 10/10


I do like this song but there's something holding me back from really liking it. This could be a slow-burner that will take a little longer till I get it. 7.5/10

Annie Wants a Baby

I pre-judged this on title and was wrong. I really like this also. It's smooth and melodic with tidy little beats to it. 8/10

Look Around

I can't put my finger on it but I really dig the feel of this track. Chorus is too simple and a little annoying but still a strong effort! 7.5/10

The Adventures of Raindance Maggie

This was the first single for a reason. It's a bloody good song. The lyrics are good to sing along to but the hero of this is the bass playing by Flea. I'm not a musician by any stretch but I can appreciate what is being done here. My head starts bopping at the start of the song and doesn't stop till it's over. 9/10

Did I Let You Know

This song has surprised in that I didn't really notice it first time around but it's slowly becoming one of my favourites. Couple of cool little solos including Flea on the trumpet too. This I know!!! 8/10

Goodbye Hooray

It has a catchy chorus if repetitive but otherwise not my favourite track on the album. 7/10

Happiness Loves Company

It sure does! Chad Smith sets the tone for this bopper and Kiedis just manages to hold on. Not a special track but I wouldn't skip it either! 7.5/10

Police Station

Subtle and tight would be the two words I'd use to describe this. This is the sort of great song the Peppers make when they're not trying to sound like the Peppers. Everyone brings something to this. 8.5/10

Even You Brutus?

I like this because of the clever Julius Caeser inspired lyrics and it's also music to my ears. Well layered and tempered. Another case of the song being better than the moniker.8/10

Meet Me At The Corner

This is an unassuming track that has a catchy hook and haunting lyrics from evergreen Anthony Kiedis. 7.5/10

Dance, Dance, Dance

This is the last track on the album and sends it off with bop and optimism. There's no standout winning element but it works and it's fun. 7.5/10

After almost 2 weeks to be acquainted with this album I'm happy to recommend it to people but more than 1 hearing is required to get a handle on it! I'd give the album 8.5/10

Until then hail to the Masque!

North Melbourne Kangaroos - Round 24 Review - Season Finale

Unfortunately this was going to be the season finale before the game had started. The Roos blew any chance of playing into September with yet another disappointing loss the week before against the Saints.

Round 24 v Richmond Tigers @Etihad Stadium

Richmond Tigers 3.2 9.7 10.10 13.13 91
North Melbourne Kangaroos 5.3 7.7 12.11 15.14 104

The Kangaroos blew a good chance at getting their first win in Round 5 against the Tigers but capitulated in the last quarter and fell to a 0-4 record. Losses like this were the story of the Roos year and I'm sure plenty of the boys in Royal Blue saw this as a chance for redemption regardless of the ladder positions.

The Tigers, Kangaroos and Demons were seen as similar team at the start of the season in the sense they were coming out of a rebuilding phase with a core group of quality young players. A win for the Tigers would also have seen bragging rights go to the Yellow and Black on the ladder and a 9th placed finish.

A strong start to the Roos saw a 2 goal lead however they again gave the opposition a sniff with a patented burst of goals in a short period in the 2nd quarter. Instead it was the Tigers who were in the lead by 2 goals at half-time.

Whatever it was that Brad Scott said in the dressing rooms it needs to be said again next year. The spirit and hunger for the ball was evident fro the first hitout and it showed on the scoreboard with a 5 goal to 1 quarter. There were also several chances for the Ross for exted the lead including 4 points for the quarter.

The Roos did enough in the last quarter to finish of this season horribilis with a win by 13 points.

Drew Petrie continued his fine form in front of goal with 4 and yet another contender for mark of the year in the goal square with 2 minutes to go. For a guy who had 3 separate broken foot injuries the previous year, to kick 48 goals is a fantastic achievement. However I would say his conversion wasn't as tight as it could have been kicking 41 behinds meaning Petrie really should have kicked 50+ even close to 60 wouldn't have been out of the question.

Boomer Harvey seemed to run around the paddock without the burden of the captaincy or result on his way to an evergreen 31 possies, 8 marks, 2 goals with 4 goal contributed and 7 inside 50's. With Andrew Swallo steppin up his output this season, a changeover for him into the top leader role seems perfect. Boomer hasn't lost any pace or hunger so barring a debilitating soft tissue injury could easily play on for 2-3 more seasons and just enjoy his footy.

Brady Rawlings honourably retired earlier and finished his career on a high note both for the season and his last game. He was again pivotal throughout the year and collected plenty of possessions including 27 in his last year.

Todd Goldstein registered 29 hitouts finishing the season in 2nd overall for the all-time hit outs in a season list. It's no surprise he has been selected in the All-Australian squad of 40 along with teammates, Daniel Wells, Andrew Swallow and Drew Petrie. Considering top 8 Essendon didn't have a single player selected this is quite a tale of how well the Roos played despite their win-loss record.

Lindsay Thomas also played arguably his best all-round game for the season with 20 possies, 5 marks, 2 goals 2, 8 tackles and an impressive 11 inside 50's.

Although he Roos failed to make a real impact when playing top 8 teams despite several close losses, they will take some pride in the finish to year win.

As they say int he biz, there is always next year!

Until then hail to the 4 squad!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Matthew Gordon Lindsay

I've been a little slack lately it's all because of new little bundle of joy.

On Thursday 1st September my amazing wife gave me the greatest gift of all, for a second time. A healthy beautiful boy.

The birth of my first son was an emergency caesaerian due to the size of the little (sic) lad and it didn't go smoothly from there. He came out not breathing and needed a tube to be put into his throat to finally breath and this affected his feeding and in turn took time to get him to settle into the world. As it stands he's an extremely healthy little man weighing at about 14+kgs and 92cm and he's not even 2 yet.

So for son #2 we (sic) booked in for a regular Caesarean and I finally had the pleasure of meeting my child at the time of entry into the world and I even cut cut the cord.

Matthew was booked in 2 weeks early at 38 weeks and was an average 8lb or 3.63kgs and 49.5cm in length. He seems to be feeding better and sleeps a whole lot more than older brother Ben.

Today marks the milestone of 1 week and I'm thankful for every second so far and the many more to come.

Thank you all for your well wishes!

Until then hail to the Gift from God!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

North Melbourne Kangaroos - Todd Goldstein - #2 Hit Out All-Time Record

The North Melbourne Kangaroos and Todd Goldstein have both finished the season with bitter sweet records. The Kangas beat middle of the road rival Richmond Tigers in the last game of the season to finish top of the bottom 8. And Todd Goldstein recorded 29 hitouts to finish outright 2nd on the All-Time hit out charts with 741 for the year. I had my doubts on Goldstein making the allocated 27 when former All-Australian Hamish McIntosh was named for his 1st game of the year, giving the Roos 2 legitimate ruckmen. This proved unfounded as Goldstein further pushes his case for all-australian contention and will be bitterly unlucky not to make the team (He's a lock to make the squad of 40 but may miss out of the 22 on the basis they may only pick 1 specialist ruckman).

Hopefully Goldstein can use an uninterrupted pre-season to further build his fitness base and prove 2011 was not a figment of my imagination. The kangaroos were one of the youngest teams in the league in this year and will be collectively looking at a vast improvement over the summer and will need an on the ball (sic) Goldstein to be feeding his hungry young joeys the ball at any given opportunity for them to make the transition into the top echelon of teams.

But as it stands the 2011 season is over for the Roos and Goldstein has recorded the most hit outs in a single season second only to the phenomenal performance by another Rooboy Gary Dempsey in 1982 with the seemingly insurmountable 878.

Home and away hit-out tallies

878 - Gary Dempsey - 1982 (North Melbourne)
741 - Todd Goldstein - 2011 (North Melbourne)*
738 - Gary Dempsey - 1983 (North Melbourne)
711 - Mark Lee - 1984 (Richmond)
703 - Simon Madden - 1983 (Essendon)
688 - Gary Dempsey - 1981 (North Melbourne)
686 - Aaron Sandilands - 2010 (Fremantle)
682 - Darren Jolly - 2009 (Sydney)
659 - Aaron Sandilands - 2009 (Fremantle)
649 - Mark Lee - 1983 (Richmond)
646 - Aaron Sandilands - 2008 (Fremantle)
643 - Mark Jamar - 2010 (Melbourne)
628 - Peter Everitt - 2004 (Hawthorn)
623 - Rod Blake - 1980 (Geelong)
619 - Justin Madden - 1982 (Essendon)
611 - Mark Lee - 1981 (Richmond)
611 - Simon Madden - 1984 (Essendon)
607 - Matthew Allan - 1999 (Carlton)

Until then hail to the trifecta!