Round 6 AFL Preview

Still on an outback adventure, this week I’ll be parking the family in line to view the total solar eclipse and hopefully produce some nice enough exposures fit for sale.  When I say exposures fit for sale, I’m talking about some pictures of an occluded Sun or some nice Solar Prominences, not the Ginnivan or Crisp types of exposures.  That’s the kind of exposure no-one wants.


Fremantle vs W. Bulldogs Perth Stadium   Friday Night

This is the annual Len Hall game in Perth.  Fremantle usually put on a great and respectful show to celebrate the life of Len Hall and all the servicemen and women who have served our great country so well.  This match is the day after the solar eclipse.  Will there be some kind of trickery as a result?  Was this eclipse factored into the horoscopes of each of the Fremantle players or will Mars retrograde motion unleash hell on the Bulldogs?  The Footscray Faithful finally feel free for forward flings flummoxing Fremantle’s frenetic physical form…Phew!  The tarot cards say W. Bulldogs by 21 points.


Port Adelaide vs West Coast      Adelaide Oval   Saturday Afternoon

I know Fremantle were staying in Adelaide for the week prior to Gather Round.  Will West Coast be staying afterwards to avoid the excessive travel.  They could take a field trip out along the Nullarbor.  I’ve heard it’s nice this time of year.  Play a few holes of the longest golf course in the world perhaps?  Go to Ceduna and enjoy the…the…the…basking shark skeleton (my google search did not turn up much).  West Coast, being one of the most travelled sides in the competition, might enjoy staying in Adelaide and doing some team bonding activities (although best not to consult Adelaide on that).  Port Adelaide will be too strong for the injury depleted Eagles.  Port Adelaide by 52 points.


Greater Western Sydney vs Brisbane     Manuka Oval     Saturday Afternoon

Canberra has given us many pleasures in this world.  One of them is snow during a footy game.  Another is a beautifully laid out city that was the subject of a thesis I wrote in university.  One of the notable examples of a planned Garden City.  If you’re attending this match, take some time to meander through the streets and wonder at its layout, and what that provides.  I expect this will be a great match with both GWS and Brisbane fairly evenly matched when I scan through each of their lines.  I’ll be making my way back home from my vacation and will have the car tuned to the footy the whole way (if the family allow it).  Brisbane will be turning the heat on as they push for finals so for me it’s Brisbane by 11 points.


Geelong vs Sydney         Kardinia Park     Saturday Night

I bet Geelong were chuffed when the fixture came out and they saw they had a stand-alone Saturday night fixture as their first at Kardinia Park where they can unfurl the flag.  Unfortunately, it will be a pressure match and the tension in the crowd will be palpable as the Cats will no doubt be 2 and 3 and trying not to go 2 and 4 for the season start.  Sydney has a reasonable recent record against the Cats at Kardinia too so don’t think this will be some kind of cream-puff contest.  I think Sydney will want some Grand Final revenge and the premiership flag flying over the pocket will only enhance their vigour.  Sydney by 12 points.


Hawthorn vs Adelaide  University of Tasmania  Sunday Afternoon

Adelaide has been building nicely into the season, but Hawthorn seems to be a different side when they are down at UTAS in Launceston.  I’ve been there before, not for the footy but my job used to take me around a bit.  It was a long-standing joke about Tasmanian’s and their two heads and after visiting there, I can see why you’d want a second head.  The vistas are so beautiful in Tasmania that you need one head to look at them while the other keeps an eye on the road ahead.  If you’ve never been to Tasmania, I suggest you investigate that as a great option.  I look forward to the entry of a Tasmanian team and the prospect that our annual boy’s footy trip may just take that in one season.  Anyway, on the footy front, Adelaide will be too strong for Hawthorn here.  Adelaide by 26 points.


Carlton vs St Kilda           Marvel Stadium               Sunday Afternoon

Both of these teams should be up near the top of the ladder still by the time this match rolls around.  And by this time, I will have spent a night back in my own comfortable bed and will be lucky to be awake in time to see this one.  Truth be told, I’m sure the kids will be awake by 5am, which means I’ll be awake by 5:02am and, in any event, I’ll need be tending to an overgrown garden by 7am at the latest.  When you’re a kid and you see your dad working in the garden all weekend, every weekend, you think he’s a sucker.  Then you get older yourself and grow an unhealthy relationship with perfectly manicured lawn.  Honestly, it’s like my 3rd child (and I probably spend more money on it).  Carlton by 14 points.


Gold Coast vs North Melbourne                               Carrara Sunday Afternoon

You see, the beauty of doing all that work to perfect the lawn is the Sunday Afternoon.  You give that lawn a slight caress, it gives you a knowing look back and you go and crack a beer, sit near it on the back patio and watch the TV through the back window or listen to the game on the wireless.  It’s absolutely the best part of the weekend.  Even the kids give you a few minutes in peace.  And this week’s Gold Coast vs North Melbourne match is the perfect vessel to share your moment with your lawn.  Uniacke vs Rowley in the middle will be just as hard fought a battle as you vs garden slugs.  The parallels are endless.  Gold Coast will win this one though.  Gold Coast by 29 points.


Melbourne vs Richmond              MCG      Monday Night

Melbourne and Richmond will face off in their now traditional Anzac Eve match.  Like before, if you ever get the chance to make the trip to Melbourne to take in this and then the Anzac Day match the next day, you should do it.  The night atmosphere of silent reflection for those who gave their service is something to behold, followed by a clash of titans.  I think the Melbourne centres will be too efficient at getting the ball forward and they will stifle Richmond’s transition from the back.  Melbourne by 33 points.


Collingwood vs Essendon            MCG      Tuesday Afternoon

The Final match of the round will see Collingwood play against Essendon in their traditional fixture.  Since the draw in 1995’s first installment, this match, more often than not serves up a great visual feast.  From the ceremonies at the start, the chill of the last post and the iconic statement of 90,000 people standing silent in reflection to the on-field machinations that usually turn out a close finish, I can say this is not a bad place to be on Anzac Day.  Collingwood will have benefitted from a couple of >7-day rests in a row, which, after watching them against Brisbane, it looks like they needed after such a hot start to the season.  Essendon will be coming off a tough match against Melbourne in the Adelaide Hills and were hopefully able to remain focused enough to skip the Steins and Sausages on the way down the hill before the trip home.  It should be a close match and an exciting feast of fast flowing and free footy.  But Collingwood will have just a touch too much class.  Collingwood by 8 points.


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