Some goals on Thursday night.
While last weeks ‘bore draw’ between Collingwood and Richmond resolved all manner of insomnia problems across the country it has prompted some other less positive outcomes. In response to the spectacle this week, Eddie McGuire stopped short of suggesting the Sherrin be replaced with a Rugby League ball to resolve handling problems. So that this can be placed in the ‘whacky ideas to be quickly forgotten’ draw, lets hope that Richmond and Hawthorn can put on a much more appealing contest this week.
Some Bulldog bite.
After a remarkable run to qualify for last season’s finals, the Western Bulldogs had no answer to a concerted physical challenge from the GWS. Accused of displaying a soft underbelly, they have been unable to prove the critics wrong when challenged in their two fixtures since. With their season lurching towards disaster, it makes this Friday night’s clash with the Giants must see viewing. Will they be able to show a harder edge against the team that embarrassed them last season or will their soft underbelly be on full show once again?
Rhyce’s Roo Revival Continuing?
One of the biggest stories of Round Two was North Melbourne’s upset victory over GWS in Sydney. It saw the club’s record under Rhyce Shaw improve to 9-5 since he took over from Brad Scott last season. In doing so, a team that was mostly overlooked or ignored by the football world is getting a lot more focus. Are they a team on the rise or one that caught the Giants by surprise? They will carry the pressure of favouritism this weekend for the first time this year against a team that will be no easy beats. Can they back up last weeks heroics and win when they should or will they fold under the weight of expectation?
Finding out more about the Saints.
There is a sense of optimism at Moorabbin after the Saints impressive Round Two victory over the Bulldogs. Powered in large part by their bevy of off-season recruits, they dismantled their more fancied opponents in a clinical display. In Round Three a sterner test lies in wait in the form of Collingwood. Already deserved favourites, the Magpies will be eager to wipe away memories of their performance in last week’s bore draw with an effort nearer their best footy. It should mean that by the end of this encounter we will have a clearer picture of just what is happening at Moorabbin.
Is there trouble in (Surfers) Paradise?
The West Coast Eagles have been very vocal over the last week or so about their desire to leave the Gold Coast as soon as possible. After their performance last week it is easy to understand why. If what they dished up against the Suns is the best they can manage the next three weeks might leave a massive hub size hole in their hopes of a Top Four and perhaps even Top Eight finish in 2020.
We are expecting to see Carlton dialled up to eleven at the opening bounce in Geelong on Saturday night. They have produced some solid footy after meek openings to their first two matches but after being all but beaten after the first quarters of their Rounds One and Two matches, they need to respond strongly this week. We aren’t silly enough to suggest that they will leave GMHBA Stadium with a win but we do expect to see them take it right up to the Cats.
How the Suns deal with favouritism.
The Gold Coast Suns will start their Round Three clash with Adelaide in the rare position of favourites. They were simply outstanding against the Eagles last weekend and will be desperate to prove it was no fluke. As good as the Suns were, the Crows were equally deplorable against Port Adelaide. If they can’t get themselves up for a match against their biggest rivals, what will they produce this weekend? It all points to a follow up victory for the Suns but after performing when it wasn’t expected, will they be able to do so again when it is?
The uncertainty that comes when Essendon plays Melbourne.
Over the last decade, favouritism has been an welcome crown when Essendon and Melbourne has met. Only once in this time has the team wearing it won the four premiership points. This combined with the well established flakiness of both sides makes this game one of the more intriguing of the round.
Fremantle calling Metricon home.
In a season full of quirks resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, we will see another pan out on Sunday when the Dockers host the Power at Metricon Stadium. We like the entire football world are extremely grateful that the 2020 season could restart as a result of the sacrifices made by the WA and SA teams. If we are to be a little cheeky though, a home game game against neutral opposition without a crowd isn’t so bad when compared to the Suns having to host the Dockers at Optus Stadium in 2018.