AFL 2019 Round Three: What are we Looking Forward to Sunday?

Bozza is excited about Sunday’s slate of matches, read the five reasons he will be perched in front of the box.

Alex Sexton

He’s a surprise leader in the Coleman Medal after two rounds and will be hoping to add to his tally against the Bulldogs this week. It has been no fortnight-long fluke either, with the owner of one of the best moustaches in the AFL also top three for goals since round 18 last year. Having gone about his business quietly and anonymously to date, how will the 25-year-old perform under the bright lights of media attention.

How the Bulldogs deal with favouritism

The Bulldogs have accounted for more fancied opponents in the first two rounds and will start their contest with the Suns worthy favourites. Since their magical September in 2016, they have struggled to win games like these when logic suggests they should.

The Suns will be no easy kill either and will take it right up to the home team. It will mean the Bulldogs will need to produce their very best if they are to start 3-0 for the first time since 2009.

What will Sicily do?

A player that likes to push the line to breaking point, James Sicily is a frequent visitor to the wrong side of controversial decisions. Famously against Carlton in 2017 he conceded seven free kicks as the Blues targeted him and his questionable self-restraint. Against the Bulldogs last week he again found himself at the heart of a contentious incident.

Despite many questioning the decision, it was a clear indication from the AFL that niggling tactics are in the gun in 2019. How will a player who enjoys playing the game in this space respond to a new world in which it is being actively penalised?

Will North Melbourne stand up?

One of the surprise packets of 2018, many expected North Melbourne to challenge for a finals berth this year. With two games against bottom five opposition to start the season, the Kangaroos would have been short odds to be undefeated at Round Three.

In fact, after an embarrassing round one capitulation and a fade out a week later, the opposite situation is true and Brad Scott’s men are face with the real possibility of falling to 0-3. With Adelaide, Essendon and Port Adelaide to follow in Rounds four through six, if they don’t stand up soon their season could be over before it even begins.

Fyfe v Steele

Sydney 2005 Premiership Coach Paul Roos voiced a belief this week that Nat Fyfe’s defensive running was at ‘the bottom end of AFL standard’. A player that has enjoyed playing the Saints in recent times he was always likely to be a factor in this week but is doubly so now he has a point to prove.

It is highly likely that he will spend much of Sunday afternoon with Jack Steele in close proximity to him. The young Saint has quietly become one of the better run-with midfielders in the competition since taking on the role last season against the Gold Coast Suns. By no means an old fashioned stopper, Steele keeps his opponents honest by his ability to hurt them going the other way too.

It makes Steele the perfect opponent for Fyfe to prove the fallacy of Roos statement than an afternoon opposed to Jack Steele. Will he take the opportunity or will Steele continue his ascension amidst the ranks of the competitions best taggers.

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