Of course I have to do a write up for the Semi finals.
Slamtown Flatball Club (1) v Dojo Mojo (4)
The form team of this season against the form team of the last few years. I have been thinking for a few days about how I see this game playing out. To be honest it is hard to see the dojo getting up over what is an formidable GC team. So lets start by looking at each team.
While no Mayor on field for slammers has little effect on the team. If anything it probably adds a bit more mobility to a handling line that is already hard to stop. Abra, Al and Boo will continue working as a solid unit, controlling the disc and looking for the easy hucking options. Obviously the Chris K factor is a big problem for the Dojo, who do you sacrifice to mark him? For me it is probably a ryan black or walls match up as pete is needed else where and most of the other players are too slow. Cola would be handy so I assume Sensei has had the cement truck park out the front of cola's place to help him harden up for the game.
Slamtown have shown us that they can compete against zone and man D's. If anything I would say they are a little more likely to turn the disc against a zone. However if you have some mobile talls like dojo does (sort of) might like to play straight up to give some chances to get some swill hucks to pull down.
Players to watch will be Gref as always will be making a duckface as he gets horizontal just in case someone happens to be taking a photo. Al would make anyone think this game was easy. The smoothest thrower in brisbane if not Australia, he finds a way to make hucking 50 meters look like a dump pass. Kalin is the slamtown hustler. If he live on the coast I can imagine him set up in the mall, card table ready to hustle to gullible tourist out of some multi-coloured Australian monopoly money. If Kalin isn't in his mans pocket, he will probably poach off to steal something from the fridge. Chris K "nexgen" is one for the young guys to watch. I have had the pleasure of chasing him around the field. I say chasing as he is too fast and smart to shutdown easily. Eventually you lapse in concentration and he pounces.
Dojo's strength for many seasons has been their zone defence. Why teams have struggle in the still and humid brisbane night time conditions I don't know. It is safe to say that BPL has reached the point where teams need start looking at using more man defence and less zone with stronger throwers and deeper teams shredding weak zones. Dojo however will win or loss this game in the warm up. Yes big call, but the good Dojo used to show up at 7:15 throw a couple of discs and a few more heckles then take the field. Now they think they are some sort of elite team and run a warm up. Many of Dojo's players will be ready to set up camp and rest walking from their cars so lets not make them run anymore than they have to.
Offensively Dojo are almost completely reliant on the holy trinity of Pete, Fatty and Coops. The other will fill in but pete and fatty will start things off 9/10 and get some flow going. Coops has some of the best fakes in the league and has plenty of throws in the kit bag to get the disc to his key men down field. I would recommend the slammers to make the Dojo run as much as they can early in the game. This will pay off in the second half as the fatigue sets in and the lack of fitness takes its toll.
Players to watch. Wallsy is still an excellent receiver and if you are lucky he may pull something out of the kit bag. His best days are probably behind him, but he still has a shoulder height lay out in him. He just doesn't bounce like he used to. Mr Bionic Watson has spent plenty of time mucking around with a disc and thus has one of the best thumbers (excluding Bmc) in brisbane ultimate. May not be the best option but it is a scoring option and seriously who thinks of marking the thumber. Pete Allen "the boy who didn't" will be at his usual tall best. However if Dojo are to get up he will need to find another gear for this game. It will be a good test of his temperament as he will need to get some turns for Dojo to make up for the number of turns the Dojo offence is likely to have. I am also keen to see Pete v Gref, I remember the Pete v Mike match up and the number of massive aerial battles that could go either way. Lets hope both sides get us some floaters and they can have a ding dong battle.
Jangles Prediction: I see this one getting away from the Dojo. Slamtown can adapt better than any team in the league and the distribution of responsibility on the slamtown line relieves much of the individual pressure. Slamtown by 4.
Bugs v Cobras to follow.
PS. Anyone who complains about the grammar will be shot on site as I haven't had a chance to edit this yet.