Round 10 AFL Preview

Last Week 7/9     Season Total 59/81

Before we get into the AFL stuff this week, one clever number cruncher noted that my tipping score was wrong.  Looks like I forgot to carry the one (well, actually, I did carry it…twice).  This tipping caper is so much easier when you just make up your own numbers, but fair is fair…I guess I’ll put it back to where it should be.  Thanks John.

This week is Sir Doug Nicholls Round, which is the annual round where we celebrate the contribution of indigenous players and staff at footy clubs and in the community.  I would hate to think what our game would be like if we didn’t have any indigenous players running around so get out there and enjoy them!

In other news, it looks like the Tassie team has the wobbles already.  I get where they’re coming from.  It does seem a bit decadent to spend $715M on a stadium when there are so many other problems around at the minute.  Coupled with the fact that $715M will probably end up being $1.5B and Gillon rubbing it in saying “you don’t get one without the other,” it has turned into a bit of a tinderbox subject.  I say lean into it.  If the government can spend $100B+ on a few submarines they should plough $5B into Hobart and turn Macquarie Point into a ‘Precinct’.  Mixed use, stadium, housing, offices, shops, eateries, pubs and bars, medical facilities.  There’s not that much room there, but with $5B you could reclaim some of the ocean and even make some nifty parking bays for all those subs so the sailors can come and watch some sport.  Anyway…that’s my take on it, but there are some very good reasons why I’m not a politician, not the least being my attitude towards fiscal responsibilities.

The other big news for the week was the dacking of a Giants player by a Collingwood player.  I’ve heard much commentary on the subject and the takeaway for me from the experts is that we are ok with dacking, but booing is not on.  In my day, a good dacking was a classic schoolyard prank, but I understand times have changed.  I guess the writing was on the wall even in my day, as I was told the girls didn’t really want to see my willy, so I was heavily encouraged to stop dacking myself.

Yartapuulti vs Narrm      Adelaide Oval   Friday Night

For those not up with the indigenous renaming for the week this is Port Adelaide vs Melbourne.  Finally, we will see a test for Yartapuulti who have captured all the headlines as a bolter of the past weeks and firmed into some premiership fancies.  But their run of wins has been against 14th, 6th, 17th, 5th, 10th, and 16th.  There’s a lot of low-ranked teams in there and they get the good teams at home.  This is no exception with them meeting Narrm on home soil whose own run of wins come against 13th, 16th, 11th, and 18th.  So maybe the real test here is for Narrm rather than Yartapuulti.  But Narrm have had the wood over Yartapuulti for the last few meetings and they have had comfortable wins, even in Adelaide.  On that basis I’m going to go with Narrm on this one.  Narrm by 16 points.

North Melbourne vs Sydney      Marvel Stadium               Saturday Afternoon

The pressure has been heaped on Sydney this week after a poor showing against Fremantle.  The retirement date of the Champion Buddy has been squarely in focus this week and an uncharacteristic lack of effort from the rest of the team has all but sunk their season.  The pressure on North Melbourne has all been in the off field with a war of words opening between Clarkson and the current Hawthorn administration.  It now threatens to tarnish a Hawthorn golden era and most importantly for North Melbourne, off-field dramas invariably translate to on-field performance issues.  Those issues will be too much to overcome, and it will be Sydney by 38 points.

Footscray vs Adelaide   Mars Stadium    Saturday Afternoon

Last week Adelaide smashed the Saints, but this game will be a bit different.  That’s because this game is being played at Mars Stadium.  I didn’t think SpaceX was able to yet, but there we go…there is Life on Mars and by all accounts this game will be a God-awful small affair.  Let me know in the comments if you get that reference.  These two teams have played at this ground a few times and it is Footscray who usually take the chocolates although Adelaide scraped out a 1 point win in the last meeting here.  I’m still not sold on Adelaide.  They have a lot of spirit and a lot of talent, but I think they are at an inconsistent stage of development.  I think Footscray will be standing atop Olympus Mons at the final siren.  Footscray by 21 points.

Walyalup vs Geelong     Perth Stadium   Saturday Afternoon

It was a circuit-breaker that was much needed for Walyalup (Fremantle) last week against Sydney.  They dominated that contest around the ball and made the Swans look second-rate.  Have they found their mojo?  Geelong were shown up by a slick Richmond and their own credentials are under question with victories over 18th, 17th, 14th, 10th, and 8th.  Not a lot of single figures in that lot and with the bulk of their talent sidelined with injury, this trip to Perth may not be as pleasant as their last few.  The statistical data all points to Geelong, but Fremantle’s gameplan is starting to gel and Geelong’s cattle are stuck in the vet’s office.  A little part of me can’t help but think I’ll be kicking myself on Saturday night, but…Fremantle by 12 points.

Brisbane vs Gold Coast Gabba   Saturday Night

Brisbane has been beating up on teams left, right and centre.  But again, a lot of these have been lowly ranked teams with them just getting the good teams at home.  All this makes it hard to get a good line on them.  Gold Coast had a big victory over the West Coast Witches Hats, but this is apparently not great preparation for subsequent matches if Carlton is anything to go by.  By all accounts it was nice to have Gold Coast over in the West and a friend took advantage and was able to have Matt Rowell over for dinner and get their lawn mown at the same time.  Seriously, Jim’s Mowing need to get a PR contract to him pronto.  A traditional Q-Qualash between two sides who I can’t be certain of.  The only thing I can be certain of is the game is at the Gabba where the turf is tough and tasteless so it’s Brisbane by 36 points.

Essendon vs Richmond MCG      Saturday Night

The pinnacle match in Sir Doug Nicholls Round is Dreamtime at the G and I’ll be keenly watching this, mostly for the pre-game show, but also these two teams’ form seems to be about equal at the same time, so I expect to see fireworks on the field.  Trying to find a case for Essendon in a match they have not won since 2014 is made a little easier in that they seem to have a bit more pep in their step this year.  Richmond have turned an ugly start into a salvageable season in the last two weeks and both teams will be up for this. Davey, McDonald-Tipungwuti, Rioli(s), Bolton and Pickett is a list of great talent to watch on a night made for them.  Strap yourself in and enjoy the match, but if you want a winner predicted, toss a coin…I did, it came up Richmond by 17 points.

Hawthorn vs West Coast              UTAS Stadium   Sunday Afternoon

Yep.  This is the big battle.  It’s the biggest tank battle since the Shermans vs Panzers in WWII.  The spoil of victory in this one is Harley Reid.  It makes it difficult to make a selection.  The game is in Launceston which puts it in Hawthorn’s favour but what will they be willing to give up to snaffle Reid?  I’m really confused.  The winner will be the winner and the loser will be the winner.  I think the winner will be Hawthorn. You decide what I mean by that.

Carlton vs Collingwood MCG      Sunday Afternoon

They say rivalries don’t get much bigger than this.  With the exception of Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan, I’d tend to agree.  Even China and Taiwan don’t compare.  Every Collingwood supporter has some distant memory of pain inflicted by Carlton and every Carlton supporter has a memory of some pain inflicted by Collingwood.  And for both supporter groups that memory may not even have been in their lifetime.  Like the time Wayne Harmes sunk the Pies in 1979 or the time Collingwood pipped Carlton in the 1910 Grand Final.  Or maybe it’s the time Collingwood got Carlton to waste a trade on Mick McGuane who only played 3 matches for them.  Or that time Carlton got Heath Scotland in a trade and Collingwood used the pick they got to get Brent Hall who played just one game.  Even Fitzroy, whose suburb separates the two, was forced out of the league.  “Anything to get away from these jerks,” they said.  Last week Collingwood had Beau McCreery’s mum in to rev them up.  She joins illustrious people such as Norman Schwazkopf, who was brought in to inspire the Pies against The Blues once. 

What does all this history mean for the two clubs?  Carlton have been copping a pizzling this week and this is just the kind of priming they need for a backs-against-the-wall victory.  Motivation is the Pies knocking them out of the finals race at the final hurdle last year.  The Pies would just like to keep this buzz going.  Who could they possibly get to rev them up prior to this one?  I’m thinking Tonya Harding, but she won’t overcome the desperation of Carlton to return to the winners list.  Revenge of sorts for The Blues this week.  Carlton by 3 points.

Greater Western Sydney vs St Kilda       GIANTS Stadium              Sunday Twilight

Saint Kilda get, what Lyon referred to as, a Mulligan this weekend.  This is golfing parlance for being able to have another go at it without penalty.  I don’t buy it.  They’ve already paid the penalty…not getting 4 points for starters and I can just hear the condescending tone in Ross’s voice that they probably had to put up with all week.  No penalty indeed.  And if you’ve ever played golf with anyone remotely competitive, Mulligans are not in their vocabulary.  Any chance they get to inflict more difficulty on you in what is already a really tough game, they take it and amplify it.  On the other side of this match, GWS will be keen to atone after having their pants pulled by Collingwood (couldn’t resist).  They will welcome Toby Greene back and be a very tough challenge for Saint Kilda having another go at it.  I’m not sure which way to go on this one and history tells me the Saints haven’t had much success at this ground, although did win their last encounter here 2 years ago.  I’m willing to throw my lot in with Saint Kilda on this one, but this is the last Mulligan they get.  Saint Kilda by 9 points.


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