Round 15 AFL Preview
Last Week 4/6 Season Total 81/120
At last, we reach the end of the bye rounds. This is the last one so the lack of games of footy will be gone until season end. Hooray! It wasn’t so bad though was it. I didn’t actually see a game of footy at all on the weekend. I was able to reconnect with my wife and family, who hadn’t seen me on a weekend for a few months and was able to catch up on some sleep during the day after spending the nights watching the 1st Ashes Test and the US Open Golf – Both of which ended in exciting scenes.
Turning our attention to this week’s games…
Geelong vs Melbourne Kardinia Park Thursday
I feel I was right about the Cats last
week. The crusty old Tom that patrols
the street may be wily but was no match for the speedy youth of Port
Adelaide. And now Dangerfield has broken
some ribs and punctured a lung. I did
something similar at a Bucks Party once (minus the punctured lung) but managed
to see out the drinking part of the night.
I don’t regret that, but I do regret getting on a 17-hour flight to
Saint Kilda vs
The Saints are continuing their undulating
WLWLWL record which kind of points to a win in this match. The game is at Marvel Stadium which will suit
the Saints more than it does
Fremantle vs Essendon
I think life would be hard if you were a
Fremantle supporter. The team were
starting to look good after notching a few wins and they even had me believing
they were bound for finals. Then a
couple of losses and one of them being so extraordinarily bad and you’d have to
wonder why you’re putting yourself through this pain again. It was a costly loss for Fremantle, giving up
the 4 points and the percentage, which really makes it tough for them. Given the teams around them all vying for those
last few spots in the top 8, they are going to need to win everything from here
I would think. Essendon were quite
ruthless against West Coast the last time they were in
The last time these two teams met, it was
the finish to the match that was much talked about. Thrilling, exciting and filled with joy if
you were a Collingwood supporter and disappointing and annoying if you are an
Gold Coast vs Hawthorn Heritage Bank Sunday Twilight
The Suns were unable to awaken from their
post-bye slumber and gave
The last of the bye rounds. A final opportunity to do a quick mid-season review of the teams.
It’s a season that
Somewhat of the surprise packet this year. They had a couple of bad losses at the start of the year but then strung together a big succession of wins. Statistically they are not as good as some of the teams around them. The reason for this is their home ground advantage. At home the average strength/rank of the teams they have played has been inside the 8 whereas away from home the average rank of the teams they have played has been well outside the eight. Additionally, with Gather round they get more games at home this year than most other teams. Based on this ranking, their run home is easier than their run up to the bye so it should be a top 2 finish for Port Adelaide. This means 2 home finals which just about gives them a free kick into the Grand Final. Then all they need to do is pinch one. Taking advantage of the unevenness of the competition and it could be a very happy year for Port Adelaide supporters. Will a premiership be enough to save Hinkley’s job? Only Kochie knows that.
The best from the West had a tough start to the year but were able to settle and then string together a number of wins before things got a little rocky for them in the lead up to the bye. They have a comfortable run home with the average rank of team they play being 9. They should beat all of the teams outside of the 8 they play and if they pinch a couple of those games against teams inside the 8 then they should be playing finals.
The Giants have taken a few good scalps this year but have also put up some performances they would like a mulligan on. Their run home is a difficult one and is much harder than their run up to the bye. They do play a bunch of teams that sit around them on the ladder and if they can get on top of those contests, expect them to fall just short of finals this year.
The Tigers had one of the tougher draws of the competition and a turbulent year which saw the departure of their long time, premiership coach meant that the start of the season put them in a position they would rather not be. Their run home is also a tough one but some renewed vigour under the tutelage of McQualter has them playing some good football that could see them finish just inside the 8.