Will the real Essendon, Power, Melbourne, Eagles stand up?
Some interesting and unexpected results from these teams last week. Port and their fans will be hoping this is the real Port Adelaide. Essendon, Melbourne and the Eagles will all be hoping last week was an aberration. Essendon was awful, a side predicted by many to surge into the eight was well down against GWS and all of a sudden John Worsfold is under pressure. Not sure who he is under pressure from, it might just be a rumour started by Mark Neeld.
The Dees weren’t great either, more on that below.
Sitting with two Eagles supporters as the up and comer Brisbane ran away with last Saturday night’s proceedings was nowhere as much fun as I thought it would be – they turn on their own when things are going pear shaped.
Cats vs Dees
Game of the day – two of the more fancied teams for the eight this year with Melbourne widely tipped to go top four while the general consensus (guess) is that Geelong will cling to the bottom. Last week’s results went against that line of thinking with the Cats taking the sardines in a scrappy affair against the Pies and Port turning around a slow start to beat the Dees.
Both good sides in their day, the Dees have the edge in class here, their midfield is deeper than Geelong’s but with less star power. Will Geelong harass Max? Brad Scott says “no” but you could see his pupils dilate when he said that. Stanley did a fine job against Grundy last week but Max is a different animal and he will be out bodied here.
Also will be interesting to see Steven May for the first time in a Melbourne jumper – a tough opponent in Hawkins. This looks to be a good match up.
Harsh calling St Kilda underachievers when they won last week but a one point win against the side most predict will finish bottom was hardly convincing. A different decision from Peter Wright could easily have seen that game turned around in the dying seconds. It’s not an inspiring list from the Saints but when your two biggest buys in Carlisle and Hannebery can’t get on the park along with your #1 pick in McCartin, there’s a lack of star power. Essendon will be grumpy after their no show against GWS so expect to see a more switched on unit. This was the worst we have seen from Essendon since that season.
By the end of this the blowtorch will move back toward Alan Richardson unless the Saints can cause an upset, then Worsfold will wish he was back among friends in Perth.
Have you been to the revamped Adelaide Oval? By all reports it is a spectacular place to watch football. Close to the game, sunsets, grandstand walks, easy access to Adelaide’s rollicking night life. Imagine what it would be like without all those Port Adelaide and Adelaide supporters (probably empty but the queue for a nice crisp white would be much shorter). User mjw1 on Trip Advisor commented ” I only went here for the Sheffield Shield cricket match between South Australia and Tasmania. It was my first time here and I enjoyed it”. With reviews like that how the rest of Australia hasn’t flocked to the venue is beyond me. Anyway, Port Adelaide take on the Blues on Saturday and Port Adelaide should win.
Saturday Night’s All Right
Took me a while to get to this – it has been a long time since 1st vs 16th looked like such a good game. Eagles were woeful last week. Kicked away to a 27 point lead and put the queue in the rack. Job done boys, cheers, blue Powerade for me thanks. What the Eagles hadn’t anticipated is the frenetic incessant run from Brisbane after quarter time. Brisbane ran them ragged and the Eagles midfield will need to be a lot better this weekend.
GWS conversely could not have been more impressive against the Dons and despite some big outs looked as good as the finalist they were last year, and some.The Eagles have three ins this week, Optus Oval is the big one as they play their home deck for the first time this Season. Josh Kennedy back is a huge in and takes some pressure of Darling. Together they are important and make the Eagles forward line a far more daunting prosepct.
Josh Smith is also an interesting in – coming from Collingwood and straight off the Eagles rookie list. GWS get Buntine and Haynes back but lose Perryman and Toby Greene (again/already).Special mention to Eagles skipper Shannon Hurn playing his 250th. A rock of a man and a solid citizen and who doesn’t love a bloke who can bang a drop punt 70m? Eagles to win this.