Round 1 AFL Preview
Carlton vs Richmond @ The MCG - 19:20
The first game of the season kicks off with last season's top team (Richmond) playing last season's bottom team (Carlton). Don't get me wrong, I'm excited to have the AFL season back, but how about getting things going with a match between Richmond and Collingwood or Essendon v Melbourne? While Carlton did get a win in a JLT game, and a couple of handy recruits, you would think the Tigers are going to be up the top of the ladder after Round 1.
I'm expecting Richmond to blow off the cobwebs and get the win.
Richmond by 30
Collingwood vs Geelong @ The MCG - 19:50
Collingwood made last season's Grand Final, narrowly going down to West Coast, and Geelong got another year older...
While for the Cats, Dangerfield is looking super sharp, and GAblett will be dangerous up forward, I think the Pies should have too much class around the ground, especially in the midfield, to let the Cats chalk up a win in their first outing.
Collingwood by 21
Melbourne vs Port Adelaide @ The MCG - 13:45
Steven May's appeal got chucked out, and the new Demon is set to miss this game, not the way to make friends at your new club! Port Adelaide have a new ruckman, in Scott Lycett from West Coast, which will enable Ryder to spend more time forward, a role he played well when at Essendon. With May out, who at Melbourne will be able to negate Ryder? On the other side of the coin, Melbourne's midfield is looking very strong for 2019!
I have to say that I am not sure who is going to be kicking their goals, but I can't go past the Demons.
Melbourne by 27
Adelaide vs Hawthorn @ Adelaide Oval - 16:35
I'm sure the Hawks coach won't be impressed by his side's capitulation to Richmond in their second JLT game in Tassie, going down after leading by 40 points at half-time. On the other side of the coin, the Crows have had a great pre-season hitout and look to be very much up-to-speed.
If the game was at the MCG, I might think differently, but over at Adelaide, Frawley won't be able to give as many hugs and the Crows will ride their home crowd to victory!
With pointers from the Crow's AFLW team, it will be
Adelaide by 25
Western Bulldogs vs Sydney @ Marvel Stadium - 19:25
Both teams like small grounds. The Doggies probably prefer a dry, fast surface. Sydney are the defensive specialists while the Bulldogs play their best when running, running and running some more.
While I am not overly inspired by the Swans this year, the Bulldogs are without Tom Boyd and Jason Johannisen, making getting past the Sydney-siders that bit harder.
And for the all-important question... Will the Bulldogs need to wear capes to go with their 'Thor' tops?
Sydney by 13
Brisbane vs West Coast @ The Gabba - 20:20
The reigning Premiers travel across our great wide land to play the Lions in Brisbane, and while the Lion cubs are likely to be moving up the ladder over the next few years, their first game of 2019 won't be the start of their climb.
Over the off-season the Eagles have lost Lycett, but have grabbed Tom Hickey from the Saints to balance out their list, and while they don't perform as well away from home, the long flight shouldn't be enough to put the brakes on a victory. Well, unless they partake of too many free beverages on the way over.
West Coast by 34
St. Kilda vs Gold Coast @ Marvel Stadium - 13:10
It will be interesting to see how this game plays out... St Kilda have been pretty horrible for a couple of seasons now, and while Gold Coast has some talented players, they have had their team gutted over the off-season; Tom Lynch and Steven May say a big "hi" from Victoria.
I'm hoping it is an open game with lots of attacking play, and not a mess created by players down on confidence and skill.
I'm going to keep the coin in my pocket and go with the home team.
St Kilda by 16
GWS Giants vs Essendon @ Sydney Showgrounds - 15:20
Most footy 'experts' have GWS in the top few, and Essendon making inroads into the Top 8, and while it is early in the season, both teams will want to get off to a good start and have their fans excited while building some momentum. With Daniher suffering another injury, and out for around 5 weeks, and GWS having a pretty full list, it is hard to go past the home team.
GWS will need to keep an eye on the zippy Bombers to get the win but
GWS Giants by 20
Fremantle vs North Melbourne @ Optus Stadium - 18:20
Fremantle has added some size, strength and experience to their list with Rory Lobb, Jesse Hogan and Reece Conca but they have lost the talented Lachie Neale to Brisbane. North Melbourne also has added some experienced additions with Aaron Hall, Jarred Polec and Jasper Pittard (did they throw a party for the Port team and then start shoving nearby players in a cupboard?). IMO both teams are stronger for the off-season and with Fyfe back to fitness and form, this could be a good game to watch.
At the end of the day I need to pick a team, so here goes...
North Melbourne by 10