The First Bye Weekend
I’ll tell you what I’m not looking forward to, it’s a Sunday with one game, at 3:20pm A few years ago this was a marquee fixture. Sydney and West Coast made sub ten point results a common occurrence. Sydney circa 2019 is a different beast.
The good news for Sydney though is that the Eagles, away from Optus Stadium and with a bit of pressure on is a different beast to the one that put the Western Bulldogs to the sword last week. If John Longmire can whip his boys into a frenzy of front half pressure and his undermanned backline can somehow break even with Kennedy, Darling, Cripps and friends, and it all becomes a dirty scrap a la Ross Lyon … well the Swans might just have a chance.
On their Auskick sized ground with a hostile if fickle home crowd – I may just have convinced myself to change my tip.
OK – if Buddy kicks > 10, Swans win.
The Tiger Washup
A lot of this will be played out on Saturday but in the absence of anything to do on Sunday, Damian Hardwick and his Tigers will be under heavy scrutiny for the inept performance against the Cats. Last week’s loss to North Melbourne could easily be put in the “that was just one of those games” basket. These things happen when you take on a team with a mid season coach adjustment.
Now however there are two games in the basket, an increasing body of evidence that the Tigers sans Rance, Riewoldt and now Nankervis, are a long way off the pace. Now they have a six day break before they take on the Crows at Adelaide Oval – their second consecutive game there. This looks a tall order for Richmond.
On the flip side, how good are the Cats? I certainly didn’t think they would stand out like they have, but I don’t know a lot about football, so there is an out for me there. Seriously though, how good are the cats
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New Coach Reviews
There are a few coaches to watch this weekend for different reasons and we will know more on Sunday. Rhys Shaw is looking to extend his undefeated run at North Melbourne but they head up to the Gold Coast to take on Stuart Dew’s Suns.
Dew was highly rated before his appointment in the City of Theme parks. So how will his game plan stand up against Shaw’s. There’s a gap in talent here in favour of the Roos but Shaw must not let his guard down. Gold Coast has show glimpses and has plenty of raw talent. Dew may be able to harness this against his new opponent and cobble together a narrow win.
Carlton are playing $2.85 to beat the Lions but apparently no-one told the bookies that they have a new coach so really the Blues should be paying $1.01. How does Teague go with his new squad given his team are now favourites to roll the smooth moving Lions? Can he coach? Well that won’t be answered this week
Big Freeze at the G
As mentioned earlier there is only one game on Sunday so I will look forward to Monday, otherwise I won’t get a fourth thing. The is the Freeze MND game where a bunch of celebrities career down a slide into a pool of iced water because it’s fun. It’s not fun for them though, it’s fun for us.
Among the celebrities will be Dane Swan – presumably because someone told him there is ice in the pool.
As I put the finishing touches on Collingwood’s mid season report, the pattern here is that the Pies are not that good. They’ve played three or four games where they played one quarter and managed to win. They planned to do that against Fremantle last weekend. Alas when they put the foot down they suffered the sort of turbo lag I get in my 1.2l Skoda Yeti, and nothing actually happened.
Fortunately for Collingwood, Melbourne aren’t that good either and will be smarting after being overrun by the Crows in Darwin last week. Melbourne also have to travel back to Victoria, which isn’t a big deal in Australia but if this was in Europe on a train they’d need a EU Rail Pass and about nine different visas. That’s just putting some perspective on travel in Australia.
This should be a good game. At least we will get to prevaricate about the best ruckman in the competition.