What are we looking forward to this weekend?

Eddie Langtree is back again with his unique look at the Round ahead.

A Pleasant Saturday Afternoon

I’d be looking forward to this more if I was in Melbourne this weekend. Saturday afternoon at the MCG, traditional rivals in a game that will be closer than the respective ladder positions would suggest .. and rain with a predicted maximum of 11 with a huge crowd.  Watch what could be a compelling contest, finish the game at a nice warm pub with a beer, some steamed dim sims and an open fire – or at least a heater. Don’t start without me, I’m on my way.  Winners here are the fans, hopefully.

Definitely one for the multi

Port Adelaide have a lot to play for this weekend. Only four points out of the eight, they are a real chance to go past Adelaide and Essendon, both of whom have complicated runs to the finals. None of these are certainties. Sydney have not been strong this year and sit 15th.  Port have gone in with an unchanged squad and a home game makes this a near certainty for the Power. For that reason only I will go with Sydney by a couple of goals.

The Pineapple Cup II

The second installment of the 2019 Pineapple Cup could lead Gold Coast to a bout of Mick Malthouse’s “Blockbuster Fatigue”. The preview for this game on whichever network drew the short straw and has to broadcast it should lead with a warning “this broadcast could contain content inappropriate for young viewers”. All the junior footballers who have to swap jumpers when the lead gets out to ten goals will look quizzically at dad when the three quarter time lead hits 80 – “why won’t they stop it dad?” Brisbane by plenty.

Western Pains

If there is something in the water in South Australia causing issues with the Adelaide teams, there is something of an epidemic a little less west of Melbourne.  Essendon have made six changes, five forced, to the team to take on the Bulldogs.  They do welcome back Dyson Heppell and Shaun McKernan.  The Bulldogs have only two outs but in Liberatore and Caleb Daniel, they lose one of their hardest and arguably their best ball user.  Essendon will provide plenty to think about for the Bulldogs defence with Jake Stringer and Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti in good form.  Conversely the Dogs have stuck with their growing key forwards in Naughton and Schache who are rewarding the faith shown in them.
This will be a cracker – the stakes are high.  Doggies by a couple of goals.

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Undivided Loyalties

For the first time in a long time Mrs Scott won’t have to go into a Geelong vs North Melbourne game assuring her sons that she’s going for both of them and that they are both her favourite – Chris is a successful AFL coach and Brad really needs to get a job and do something with his life.  A clear favourite here.  Unfortunately for Brad, the chairs that were looking like they would be empty are quickly filling and he might be left without a seat.  That could consign Brad to a media career unless Port Adelaide decide inconsistency is Ken’s fault.

Cats are on a roll, but it’s not one of those nice spongy jam rolls that you put out for afternoon tea at cricket – no this is a spinich and feta roll, the only thing left in the servo pie warmer at 3am. Save me.

North have been out grunting teams and have taken some huge scalps but the Cats need to arrest this slide.  West Coast and Brisbane are breathing down their necks.  At least if they slip to 3rd it will stop the talk of finals at the Cattery.   Roos here.

One in a Rowe

Sunday at 1:10pm the Saints will strut out on Marvel Stadium to take on the Dockers who are fresh off toppling the top of the table Cats.  Fremantle bring in Ballantyne, McCarthy, Nyhuis and Colyer which is just a whole lot of average.  Ballantyne is heading toward retirement and may be getting some send off games on the way out.  McCarthy kicked five in round 1 and we thought, maybe he’s back to the reasonably impressive handful of games he strung together at GWS. Instead he’s been plying his trade for Peel in the WAFL since then.

Saints have some big ins – Hannebery, Steven Acres, Bailey Rice, but none bigger than Sam Rowe who is listed as both new (this is his third debut this year), and his 100th game.  Rowe’s a good fella and without doubt the sheer emotion and confusion over a St Kilda stalwart debuting in his 100th game for the third time should be enough to get the Saints over the line.

A Pleasant Sunday Afternoon

This will be worth seeing for much the same reason as the Collingwood v Melbourne game on Saturday.  Two old rivals at the G in the afternoon on a cold Melbourne winter day with 80,000 fans split pretty much down the middle.  Territorial, noisy and fun.
These sides are twelve spots apart on the table but don’t go thinking this will be a flogging. This won’t be like the season openers we have been forced to endure between these sides for the last few years.  Carlton have been moving the ball well and even in losses have looked good.  Richmond will be ready and won’t take Carlton lightly or get jumped.  I’m looking forward to winding the clock back to the 80s and yelling loud at the TV even though I don’t support either of these teams.  Richmond here though.

Jenkins in Trouble

The round finishes with Adelaide flying to Optus Stadium to take on the second placed Eagles.  You’ve got to wonder what Josh Jenkins has done, he’s had his week off but hasn’t been able to make it back into the team.  Maybe he missed the bus – has it left already? Paul Seedsman made it back on the bus.  Even Sam Jacobs made on the bus, somehow managing to force in form big man Reilly O’Brien to the back seat.  Surely that’s a mistake – unless Don Pyke thinks both Jacobs and O’Reilly are required to take on journeyman Tom Hickey.

The Eagles get Jamie Cripps back, because they don’t have enough small forwards already, as well as run with Mark Hutchings who will do well because none of the Adelaide mids are very fast.  It’s hard to make a case for the Crows here.  As always when you look at the team on paper it’s a pretty good story but the form has been at best inconsistent.  This means they will probably win – but I can’t see it happening.  Eagles here, comfortably.

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