Old Dog, New Dog
The AFL’s oldest and arguably best coach, comes up against the newest full time appointment when North Melbourne hosts Hawthorn at Marvellous Stadium. You could be forgiven for thinking North Melbourne were locked into finals with all the hype since Rhyce Shaw was appointed. No one is talking about Hawthorn despite them sitting three spots above the Roos. These sides are pretty easily matched. This will be won in the box. Will the (relatively) young kid have some tricks up his sleeve or does Clarkson have too much experience to fall for anything that Shaw can come up with?
Hawks by < 10. Will be a good Friday night swapping channels with the Ashes.
Something in the Water
There is something weird happening in the City of Churches, and it won’t be fixed by the National Redress Scheme. Port Adelaide have been as consistent as a ten year old flouro tube. The good players get dropped, get a couple of kicks in the SANFL and then get brought back in because someone who didn’t get dropped has been playing a little bit more shit than the guy who just got dropped. I can’t make it sound sensible. Is “omitted” the new “managed”? Explain the Ryder and Lycett thing to me.
Essendon get Fantasia and McKenna back – class and speed. For Fantasia, this could be an audition for the upcoming trade period with rumours he wants to head back to SA. Maybe give it some time and see how it plays out before committing Orazio – the water isn’t the only thing in SA that smells funny.
Bombers by plenty
The “Not quite as cool as Melbourne” Cup
Clearly battling for a name for this trophy. I mean anything would be better than “the Battle of the Bridges”. What about the Two Girls (and a) Cup?
Sydney picked a bad week to lose their captain and best backman in Dane Rampe. There might be better forward pairings in the AFL currently but Jeremy Cameron, Harry Himmelberg and Jeremy Findlayson are the most threatening trio, all in form and will be too much for Sydney.
The Dockers have been something of a bogey side for Geelong over the years. Geelong hasn’t been going so well since the break and in what seems to be a rare trip away from the Cattery this actually presents a danger game for them and it’s not inconceivable that Geelong will lose top spot this weekend.
There are a couple of huge duels in this game. Fyfe vs Dangerfield were they to go head to head would be worth the price of admission alone. Don’t look away though, the key position match up of Michael Walters (centre half forward) against Zac Tuohy will bring back memories of those classic Carey, Jakovich duels of the 90s or even McClure and Picken in the late 70s.
I’m going the Dockers here by 22 because I’m not very good at this.
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Did we talk about there being something in the water in Adelaide? The good players get dropped, get a couple of kicks in the SANFL and then get brought back in because someone who didn’t get dropped has been playing a little bit more shit than the guy who just got dropped. I can’t make it sound sensible. Is “omitted” the new “managed”?
I’m having a deja vu.
Don Pyke is clearly on something, or off something. The Adelaide selection policy is like one of those revolving glass doors that I keep getting stuck in. The problem for Adelaide is no one is getting stuck in there. Betts and Gibbs come back in. Jenkins goes (back) out and Seedsman, the only thing they’ve got that resembles a quick midfielder goes back to the magoos.
It’s hard to make a case for Adelaide on form. On paper they should win and I think the triumphant, emotional return of Eddie Betts from 168 hours in the football wilderness will be enough to get them over the line. If not now, then never.
Someone has Araldited the wheels back on the Tigers bandwagon, and after a quiet start to the season, Richmond’s supporters are peeking out through gaps in the fence like bears waking from hibernation. Only electric cars are quieter than Richmond supporters when their boys aren’t winning. Now they are warming up and louder than an SS Commodore at one of those bogan baby sex reveal events. There’s no better time for Josh Caddy to come back.
Conversely, the Dees aren’t going so well. It’s hard to believe these sides were both preliminary finalists last year. Now despite a torrid run of injuries, which isn’t stopping (Cotchin misses this week with a hamstring), this looks like a percentage booster for the Tigers. Simply cannot make a case for the Demons here.
A danger game for Collingwood – who’d have thought that six weeks ago? It’s not even that Gold Coast are any better than they were when Adelaide edged past them three weeks ago. If Collingwood lose this, there is a real chance they will miss finals.
This goes two ways – either Collingwood stand up and have something of a confidence building win to stop the slide, or they lose and slide keeps going. Not a lot else to talk about. Tyler Brown, the other son of Gavin, may make his debut. He goes OK from all reports.
Having already tipped top of the table Cats to lose to the Dockers, I’m tipping the Teague train to keep rolling and the blues to topple 2nd placed West Coast. The Eagles were good last week, knocking off an in form North Melbourne by 49 points so there’s no justification for this. The Eagles have three big talls and key backs that read the ball beautifully and rebound to a running midfield. No team reads their own press better than the Eagles though. Carlton’s form is good enough that they will not take anyone by surprise if they play well so they Eagles won’t get jumped.
It will be interesting to see if former Booragoon JFC players Patrick Cripps and Elliot Yeo go head to head. They are both bulls, big bodies and hard at the ball.
I’m going Blues by < 10.
This is the best game of the round. If you want to see the state of Australian football make sure you have a look at this. These teams have exciting youth to burn. There are big kids, fast kids and tough kids. There are also two of the clearer thinking coaches going around – both former Clarkson understudies which is a comment in itself. Brisbane should win on current form.