The Big Five Answers | Round 19

Yet again the Roar were more than a match for the Mariners, while Wellington won in such an ugly fashion they would have made Brad Gilbert proud.

Brisbane Roar v Central Coast Mariners: Will the Mariners inflict some pain? We asked would the Mariners inflict some pain? The answer was yes, but it was more a pain for their fans and coach Graham Arnold as time and time again they invited the Roar in on a Suncorp pitch that resembled Bluetongue Stadium circa 2011/12.

The Mariners have been brought undone so often by Besart Berisha in recent times that we have lost count of the times he has pulled their pants down in public and this time it happened to Zac Anderson, adding him to the long list of Central Coast centre backs to fall prey to his wily ways.

Thankfully for the Mariners they fought back to gain a point, but it was the Roar who enjoyed facing a familiar foe and there were glimpses of the Roar of old throughout the 90 minutes, which actually does raise the question. Can Brisbane finally raise a yelp?

We're sure they aren't firing on all cylinders so to speak but they have sparked just a little bit and the inclusion of Dutchman Stef Nijland has them looking extra sharp. In just 20 minutes he gave them a spark they have not had all season and actually made Thomas Broich appear interested.

Wellington Phoenix v Perth Glory: Should both teams go back to what they do best? Phoenix did, Perth didn-t. The result? Not a very pretty game but one that proved that winning ugly is almost always preferable to losing pretty, Just ask former ATP Pro Brad Gilbert, he wrote a book about it.

Not to say that Wellington weren-t without their charms. Ricki Herbert-s side were still able to move the ball around well, they were just a bit more direct than in previous weeks and not so ashamed to get it into the channels before knocking it into the box.

Glory, on the other hand, appear to have put all their mojo on one basket - the same one as Shane Smeltz is hiding in, and with the Kiwi suffering his worst season to date, Ian Ferguson-s side have been left looking utterly toothless. It-s a shame to see such a good team bottom of the table but that-s what happens if you can-t score goals.

Newcastle Jets v Sydney FC: Can Sydney-s firepower save their season? It almost did - but the Sky Blues- ability to shoot themselves in the foot knows no end. Twice in front, and both times unable to keep hold of it.

The second instance, with the clock ticking down on three points, was perhaps the most hurtful. Captain Terry McFlynn handballs on the line, gets a red and his team concede a second penalty to draw the game. Ouch.

Newcastle were good for the point though, putting more than double the number of balls into the box. A young side, with a few old heads, the future surely holds good things for the Jets but Gary van Egmond needs to invest his team with a better defined style and philosophy. Too often they get in the right place but fail with the final ball.

But there wasn-t much to separate the two and this battle could rage until the end of the season, with both desperate for a place in the finals to justify an otherwise underwhelming season.

Melbourne Victory v Melbourne Heart: Will Heart step up - again? They tried, Godammit, they certainly tried. But Ange Postecoglou-s Victory side are killers - ruthless, dead-eyed killers.

It hasn-t been a bad debut senior coaching season for John Aloisi; much like a young player, the right signs are there, he-s just searching for that consistency to get his team performing week-in, week-out.

Victory are the benchmark and they-re looking better and better as the end of the season draws closer. That interchangeable front three just offers so many options, so much ability on the ball, and so many attacking threats.

Marcos Flores was perhaps the most withdrawn against Heart but also the most influential. It was the Argentine that popped the ball over the top for Archie Thompson-s opener, and it was him hanging back in the box that caused the Heart defence to panic and hand over a penalty.

Heart definitely didn-t lie down but Victory just had too much upfront, as everyone expected.

Adelaide United v Western Sydney Wanderers: Will the Reds bounce back? Let me think about this, will the Reds bounce back? A resounding no.

Eugene Galekovic was irate in goal and justifiably so, thanks to what was some of the loosest marking the league has seen this season. Mark Bridge and Yousouff Hersi were the two who were given the most room as Adelaide floundered in defence and in the wide areas.

Conversely the Wanderers kept Evan Kostopoulos and Iain Ramsay under a tight guard and didn-t let the speedsters or even Marcelo Carrusca or Dario Vidosic impact the game.

We wondered if Michael Valkanis would ring the changes and to an extent he did by playing previously disposed former captain Jon McKain in a defensive midfield role and while he picked pockets occasionally in the first half, he along with the rest of the defence was found out pretty easily, it wasn-t until Bruce Djite came into the fold that the Reds found their feet.

As for the Wanderers, it-s getting less difficult to believe that they are a premiership threat, they just keep on winning and winning. The only negative, they won-t see the Reds, who they have banged 10 goals past until the finals.