AFL 2019: Nine things to look forward to on the weekend – Round 16

Eddie Langtree is back with his unique take on what we have to look forward to in Round 16

1. It’s just a Rucking Game

The Friday night game between Collingwood and Hawthorn will feature two of the premier rucks in the AFL in Brodie Grundy and Ben McEvoy. On Saturday Essendon, sans Tom Bellchambers take on Sydney who are without Callum Sinclair. So this game will feature rookie listed former Docker Zac Clarke against medium Sydney key forward Sam Reid. Watchable for all the wrong reasons. I can’t wait.

2. Karmichael Hunt

I just love saying that name to my Tiger friends. Even in the premiership year the mere mention of that name would send shivers down any Richmond fan’s spine. You’ll get a similar reaction if you sneak up behind John Worsfold and whisper “Andrew Tranquilli”.
Anyway the only reason Richmond have a hope in this game against 18th placed Gold Coast is because the game is not being played in Cairns. This travesty, making Gold Coast play at home, is what happens to fringe clubs. Plus we lose the opporuntity to see Richmond lose against the under acheiver of the expansion teams.

3. Show up or show down?

These are two of the more exciting teams in the AFL at the moment but certainly two of the least consistent. Adelaide’s good run was halted by first placed Geelong last round. That’s the same Geelong that Port Adelaide beat the previous week before forgetting to turn up last week and losing to a determined but under powered Western Bulldogs. How anyone is supposed to intelligently predict the outcome of these games is beyond me.
I’m looking forward to both teams being at their best on Saturday because if only one, or worse neither team, is on, this could be awful.

4. Big Pups

I’ve been talking these boys up all year but they say talls are harder to get than mids. The Doggies need to keep these boys together – Tim English, Josh Schache and Aaron Naughton. Each one of these boys has shown great signs but has also been handed a lesson. Hopefully those lessons stick, because these three are enough to build a future around.
On another note, I wish the AFL would, just once, insist that players play at least the first quarter in the position they are named in. I’m sure tagger Jed Bews would love to have a crack at full forward, Tom Hawkins would be thrilling on a half forward flank and we’d love to see Rising Star, Gryan Miers have his defensive skills tested against Tory Dickson in a back pocket. Srsly Geelong?

5. Eagles’ Planets Align

Well haven’t the Eagles got all their ducks in a row. As they head down the road to Optus Stadium to take on neigbours the Dockers, the Eagles welcome back Jeremy McGovern back from suspension after a bar room fight where he hit Richard Guelfi over the head with a chair (or so the MRO would have you believe). The missing link here is the underrated Tom Barrass who returns to complete a beautifully balanced back line. Now the Eagles injury list is empty, bar the boot studder who has a bit of sniffle and might “site this one out”. This is not a good sign for the Dockers. Unless they can win the midfield battle and get the ball forward and on the ground for Walters and Matera (their two leading goal scorers), this could get right out of hand.

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6. Who can out underachieve the other?

On paper this could be a cracking game with the teams only one rung apart on the ladder. Alas it’s 16th vs 17th. Carlton were widely predicted to sit about where they are on the ladder. Melbourne conversely were widely tipped to finish top four and are clearly outperforming Carlton in the underachieving stakes, particularly given Carlton’s unlikely win over the Dockers in Perth last week. I can’t think of a good reason to watch this, unless there are only Adam Sandler movies on every other channel.

7. Sam Rowe is back

Sam Rowe returns to play his 100th game this weekend – a good return from the hard working former Blue. He is listed as “new” on the team sheet which is odd for two reasons, first he was “new” a couple of weeks back, plus how can he be new if he has already played 99 games? Nathan Brown also returns to fill out St Kilda’s journeyman backline.
Ben Cunnington will get 60+ this week, unless Alan Richardson watched last week’s game vs Collingwood and decides that giving Cunnington an opponent might go some way to restricting his output.

8. Glamour off Broadway

The round finishes with two of the glamour sides of the competition as Brisbane heads to the Sydney Showgrounds at the home of Australian football in NSW to take on GWS. Management at the Giants should really have taken a leaf out of Geelong’s book and made a stadium that will not seat everyone who wants a to go thereby creating something of a false urgency for tickets. As it stands the GWS fans can drive into the ground and park around the oval beeping their horns madly after each goal. This would also create a real need for the NRMA to come and jump start all the flat batteries from punters leaving the demisters on.
Anyway, this is game of the round. If these sides are allowed to run like they can the ball movement will be manic and exciting. For GWS, Mummy has been playing like the mummies that chased around Scooby Doo and co, and despite also having a Sam Reid, GWS have opted for Adam Tomlinson in the ruck. Stefan Martin will give the Brisbane mids first use which is a really bad idea..

9. Coaching Ambitions

If you were to plot Rhys Shaw and Alan Richardson’s chances of being reappointed on a line graph, they would be passing each other like the proverbial ships in the night. Shaw more popular than a Barty Party and Richardson, like Aerosmith’s Love in an Elevator on the way down. Sunday afternoon sees the former Collingwood backmen going head to head. I know who I’d have backed in a fight on a football field – this could be a different outcome.

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