Round 23 AFL Preview
Last Week 6/9 Season Total 132/189
Like many people on Saturday, I sat down
and watched the Matilda’s pulsating penalty shootout to reach the Semi Finals
before I settled in to watch the
There’s even been some talk about declaring
a public holiday if the Matilda’s win.
Albanese channeling a bit of Bob Hawke there in an attempt to win some
status points. Given we didn’t actually
have one for the Americas Cup, I’m pretty sure we won’t have one for the
Matilda’s. Where would it end? Having a public holiday for any team that
achieves something they haven’t for a while.
With all this talk of the World Cup though, lets spare a thought for the greatest game in the world, Australian Rules Football. It’s the greatest sport because it’s the only sport (that I know of) that is played on an oval shaped field where teams scoring zones are at opposite ends. What this means is that if you want to get the ball out of defence, you get to move it from the narrow to the widest part of the ground where there is plenty of space so going from defence to the neutral area is easy. Then, when you want to go into attack, the ground narrows and there’s very little space to work in which makes this a very hard thing to do. How deliciously dastardly!
What about this week’s matches?
Collingwood vs Brisbane Marvel Stadium Friday Night
The Pies finish the season with three
Friday night blockbusters, and this is the second of those. A return to form last week saw them overcome
the Cats, overcome a lack of Moore, overcome only having half of the required
number of Daicii, and overcoming umpires not understanding what a boundary line
is. In the meantime,
For some teams the season was still alive
last week, albeit just.
Gold Coast vs
The Suns looked like world beaters when
they took down
Essendon are fast slipping out of contention for a finals spot, although they do sit just above GWS. A classic purgatory match with the loser likely to finish 9th which is the worst of all spots. Essendon have had two wins the last two weeks but shaky wins they were, just scraping past the bottom two sides. GWS were beating all-comers until all-comers were suddenly pretty good. At home for the Giants against an Essendon who look a bit underdone…GWS by 33 points.
Saint Kilda vs
This is going to be a tough match to pick. Saint Kilda have performed better in recent
weeks although this has been against lesser opponents.
Footscray vs West Coast Marvel Stadium Sunday Afternoon
Statistically the Western Bulldogs are the 6th best side in the competition. But alphabetically, they are the lowest ranked team so that’s a bit of a mystery. It’s music to West Coast’s ears as at least they can say they are ranked higher than someone in something! Last week was a bit of a disaster for both of these sides. Footscray let slip a match that, for a while at least, they seemed to be in control of. Was this West Coast’s lowest ebb? Do they have any lower they can fall? Nic Nat doesn’t have another pre-season in him, and he will bow out with the incredible distinction of being the only player ever suspended for being bigger and heavier than his opponent. At least he keeps the one-retirement-per-week average up. A 100-point drubbing at the hands of the mortal enemy will not sit well with supporters and powermongers alike. Those heads not already rolling will roll as soon as the press conference is done after round 24. Can West Coast take past momentum at Marvel into a match against the Mutts? There will be some fight after last week’s insipid display, but maybe not enough to overcome a team clinging to the eight. Footscray by 20 points. Tim English to never take a kick-in again.
I listened with a bit of gob-smackedness to
the post-match interviews when Caleb Marchbank may have indicated that he
didn’t really touch it. And so, with one
soft call by a goal umpire,
Fremantle vs Port
When you beat your cross-town rivals twice
in a year, you have a lot of reasons to smile.
Obviously, I’m not talking about Port Adelaide there. Fremantle had a huge win which included a
14-consecutive-goal run while dodging some yellow and blue witches’ hats. That impromptu training session has them in
cherry ripe condition for Port Adelaide.
The Power found some of that previous form that seemed to desert them in
recent weeks, but we can always be skeptical when it’s at home. The big news at Alberton Oval is that Kochie
has put the knives away and confirmed Hinkley for a few more years. He’ll be steering the ship while first
officer Josh Carr learns the ropes until Ken can take a back seat while Josh
drives. It’s not a succession
though. Another tricky one to pick but
we’ll go with Port