Round 7 AFL Preview

Last Week 7/9       Season Total 36/54

While the holiday was nice and the Eclipse was outstanding viewing, it is good to be back to the daily grind and shirking my responsibilities in order to get this preview out.  That being said, if anyone reading this has kids and has never been to Karijini to explore the gorges…book now.  What a wonderful natural playground we have in our own backyard.


St Kilda vs Port Adelaide              Marvel Stadium               Friday Night

What a great game to start the round off.  Port Adelaide have turned around a mini form slump to play some scintillating football and St Kilda just keep ticking all the boxes to lead the league.  But let’s get to the crux of this matchup.  This is a revenge game, a grudge match from a demolition job done at Jiangwan Stadium back in 2019.  St Kilda will be looking to avenge that loss as they were embarrassed in front of a puzzled crowd of 9412 people in a match that will echo through ages.  St Kilda only win against Port in one out of every three matches and after three losses in a row, a win is on the cards.  The time to strike is now.  The quick Marvel deck will provide the speed needed to cut through the Port Adelaide defense and exact revenge for the debacle in Jianwan (such a debacle that I believe the stadium has now been completely built over and removed from existence by a now defunct construction company).  What does all of this history mean in the scheme of this battle royale?  REVENGE for St Kilda. St Kilda by 19 points.


Brisbane vs Fremantle  Gabba   Saturday Afternoon

Where are Brisbane at?  Most of the experts will have them back in the mix for Premiership glory but when we look at their victories, they have faced two premiership fancies in Melbourne and Collingwood at their unbeatable home and then a couple of soft victories against some non-contenders.  I’m not so convinced of their credentials just yet.  What about Fremantle then?  At the start of the season, most experts had them in contention.  Forceful Phrenologists fancied Fremantle’s flag favouritism…for sure.  But they have been pretty poor, even though their losses have been against good teams, generally.  This spells danger for Fremantle.  A poor performing team against a team that is at least 6-goals better at home?  If Fremantle want to be taken seriously this season, they need to not only make a good showing, but need to win this.  A feat they have not achieved at the Gabba since 2016.  Fremantle need to work hard, but I don’t see them beating a Brisbane team who have survived the season almost injury free to date.  Brisbane by 44 points.


Sydney vs GWS                SCG               Saturday Afternoon

The Battle of the Bridge.  Sydney’s key injuries finally took their toll on Saturday with Geelong inflicting a similar result to the Grand Final to help them celebrate the flag unfurling.  And the injuries just seem to keep mounting for them.  I mean they’re not in the same injury league as West Coast, but their injuries are running deep.  GWS have looked solid in patches but have been a bit off the pace when against genuinely good sides.  They came up against Brisbane on the weekend but didn’t have the chairs or the whips required to tame them.  GWS will be a ho-hum side this year no doubt about that.  They won’t languish at the bottom, but they won’t impact the bona-fide teams.  This game may decide if Sydney is one of those bona-fide teams?  I like GWS in this one as injuries keep affecting Sydney.  GWS by 11 points.


W. Bulldogs vs Hawthorn             Marvel Stadium               Saturday Afternoon

Hawthorn came agonizingly close on the weekend and as they go through a painful rebuild, they will continue to have some of these painful moments.  This week against Footscray however, will not be painful.  It will be a swift and merciful death at the hands of a team which is now surging after a rocky start.  Footscrays ball movement has improved, and I even saw footage of Caleb Daniel out-bodying Sean Darcy which says a lot for confidence.  W. Bulldogs by 50 points.


Melbourne vs North Melbourne              MCG      Saturday Night

I liken this contest to an Imperial Tie Fighter being sent out to bring down Luke Skywalker. 

Stormtrooper 538764     “But, he’s the hero, Lord Vader.”

Darth Vader                        “Nah, it’s all good, you can do it buddy.”

Stormtrooper 538764     “But, he has the force with him”

Darth Vader                        “Force Smorsh, you got this.”

Hopefully, the cinematographer will do us viewers a favour and make it look like Stormtrooper 538794 has a chance before he is snuffed out.  I’m not predicting any dramatic effect here.  Melbourne by 67 points.


West Coast vs Carlton    Perth Stadium   Saturday Night

I mentioned earlier West Coasts injury issues and that they are in a league of their own.  I haven’t seen an injury toll this large since Agincourt, 1415.  And talk about bad timing.  Right at the beginning of a rebuild such that you have to use your “let’s not expose these guys to AFL level just yet” players.  I mean there is scraping the bottom of the barrel and then there is digging into the Earths mantle.  Things are so bad at West Coast that even their WAFL team is struggling to field a competitive team with an average score against of 26 goals.  But there’s always next week.  In this case next week is in the form of Carlton who will be reeling after a smashing from Adelaide and a whipping from Saint Kilda.  The fact that the match is in Perth will be helpful for West Coast, but not helpful enough.  Carlton by 35 points.


Essendon vs Geelong    MCG      Sunday Afternoon

This shapes as an interesting battle and the MCG will be humming with fans of both camps expecting a win.  Scott v Scott.  An exciting sideshow as the two brothers square off against each other.  Twins are always up to twinny shenanigans so don’t be surprised to find out years later that Chris really coached Essendon and Brad coached Geelong on this day…just for the sheer japery of it.  Essendon have played some good footy this year and will be bitterly disappointed after letting Collingwood over-run them in the final quarter of the ball-busting ANZAC Day match.  Before I left on holidays, Geelong were 0-3 and the wolves were circling with obituaries written and ready to be published.  Since then, Geelong are now 3-3 with an average winning margin of 12 goals.  Of course, the pundits have now changed their tune and Geelong have rocketed back into Premiership favouritism (seriously, Sportsbet have them at $5 favourites).  I think we should call for calm on this.  Geelong have beaten 17th, 18th, and seriously injury depleted 10th (at Kardinia).  But, in this age of weekly news cycles, we need beat ups and over reactions to generate clicks, don’t we? Click here if you agree.  I rate Essendon a chance in this one, but I think they will be undone by a 5-day break since their last match.  Geelong by 18 points.


Richmond vs Gold Coast               Marvel Stadium               Sunday Afternoon

Who would have predicted that Richmond would be 16th on the ladder with one and half wins at this point in the season?  Up against 14th placed Gold Coast makes this a battle of the teens.  This is one of those games where, as a previewer, you start reaching for positive things to tether your preview to.  I’ve found this difficult in this match.  To be honest, I’d prefer to be admiring my lawn.  While Richmond is struggling, we’d all admit they have played some pretty good sides.  If the teams weren’t in the 8, they soon will be.  Gold Coast has had a similar run with their defeats coming against teams in the 8 (except Freo) and their wins against North and the Cats, whose credentials I question.  So, who wins this match between teams vying for 9th?  It’s a toss of the coin but let’s weight the coin by the home ground (even if Hardwick finds it as pain in backside to get all the way down to Marvel).  Richmond by 12 points.


Adelaide vs Collingwood             Adelaide Oval   Sunday Twilight

The match between Hawthorn and Adelaide was a great contest.  Close all day and a clutch goal in the final minutes was enough to pinch it for the Crows.  Collingwood on the other hand launched one of their trademark comebacks to pinch the match from the Bombers.  Everywhere I go, everyone tells me how much they love The Pies.  Their football is exciting and there is lots of love amongst the players and trust and belief.  They have a dynastic family connection running with Peter Daicos getting more airtime than his boys when they do something special on the field and then Darcy Moore, son of Peter Moore comes out and delivers a perfect post-match speech that just makes everyone love the Pies even more.  I have a theory.  After Round 5, 2022, Collingwood were 2-3 and it looked like a ho-hum season, and everyone still hated Collingwood.  Then, before round 6, scientists turned on the newly upgraded Large Hadron Collider with it’s new 6.8TeV beam, thereby opening a black hole which we were all pulled into, and we are now all sitting in a parallel universe where Collingwood win more often, and everyone loves them.  Think about it, it all makes sense.  The LHC even did their big physics run at the same time Collingwood won 6-in-a-row by 7 points or less!  At Adelaide’s home ground and 5-day break for Collingwood, the favouritism rests squarely with Adelaide on this one, but a wise Scottie once said… “You Cannae change the laws of Physics, Jim!”  Collingwood by 7 points.



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