Round 5 AFL Preview

 Last Week           9/9          Season Total      28/39 

Well, Well, Well, didn’t South Australia turn it on for us all?  It was an exciting round with some exciting finishes and some unexpected performances.  I’ll admit, I was a bit harsh on the matches scheduled for Mount Barker, but both were entertaining.  Yes, that’s right, I was actually able to stop and watch a few…or at least listen to them as I beavered away in the yard and garage.  And geez, I think there is much to talk about for individual teams so let’s dispense with the pre-amble this week and get into the matches for Round 5…the 6th Round.  I managed to snag 9 winners last week (along with most other punters) and I was within 2 goals of the margin in 6 of those matches so I feel like I might know what I’m doing.  Of course, a new round of tipping is a perfect way to ventilate the smoke I’ve just blown so eloquently up my own…

Melbourne vs Brisbane                MCG      Thursday Night

Brisbane finally dug themselves out of their hole.  A hole which has now been transferred to Adelaide.  Although Brisbane’s hole has the potential to swallow them back up with a run of tough games in their immediate future.  The first of course being this one against Melbourne.  Is the great WhatsApp scandal behind them?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  It seems I’ve read that there is no problem from Footy Managers, footy staff and even player partners, but not from the players as yet.  It’s the kind of story they don’t want dogging them when they have big, important games like this coming up.  Melbourne had a wonderful little trip to Adelaide, knocking off Adelaide and Port Adelaide in consecutive weeks.  Their off-season woes behind them and everything is looking rosy.  Except for Pickett.  He needs to take some dance lessons.  Any dancer worth their salt knows that the Funky Chicken dance is a dance move completed with your feet pressed firmly on the ground.  You need to ensure your flapping space is free from debris, chins and throats.  Historians among you may recall that in the same fixture last year, Brisbane got out to a sizable lead before Melbourne stormed home to win by a single point.  These things tend to happen in pairs.  Melbourne by 4 points.

Footscray vs Essendon  Marvel Stadium               Friday Night

We turn our attention to the fast deck of Marvel Stadium.  Last week, Essendon showed how bad they can be at chasing quality midfielders as Rozee ran riot seemingly unchecked.  They got a lesson there and it is one they will need to heed against the fleet footed Footscray fellows.  Perhaps another brand meeting with marketing as the messaging is not getting through.  First it was be aggressive, then it was be lazy, what will they interpret from marketing this week?  Footscray themselves were rather plucky against the Cats last week and were downed by under a goal.  I expect another lesson for Essendon this week.  Footscray by 22.

GWS vs Saint Kilda         Manuka Oval     Saturday Afternoon

I will keep repeating it, GWS will win the flag this year.  Gold Coast held on for a while but were eventually brushed aside by the dominant GWS team at the picturesque surrounds of the Adelaide Hills.  Things were a little different down in Norwood last week as Disney swooped in to get the film rights to the greatest science fiction story ever told.  According to Ross Lyon, a UFO was ushered into the change rooms at half time and the entire team was loaded onboard while an entire Alien team disembarked.  It is uncertain if the skins were exchanged so they looked the same and this will be interesting to see how Disney translates that.  Some of the players were even Unicorns according to Ross so there is scope for Disney to do a plethora of spin-offs which we can all be charged a fortune for.  The question is, which skin-walking lizard people will be playing this week, and does it even matter against GWS?  Could GWS be just the thing governments have been looking for to rid the planet of lizard people?  Or is it all just another conspiracy?  GWS by 34 points. Bring your tinfoil hat if attending the match live.

Carlton vs Adelaide        Marvel Stadium               Saturday Afternoon

How does Carlton do it?  They keep pipping Fremantle by a measly few points and also keep getting the ‘rub of the green’ in umpiring decisions.  It all started in the 1979 Grand Final when Harmes knocked the ball back in from Jolimont station but there no umpires close enough to the train line to make the call.  Then Carlton started to target Fremantle to be their bunny, first with a Jack Newnes kick after the siren, when it wasn’t even his kick and now a ball bouncing off Aish’s shoulder followed by a dubious dissent call and a loss is turned into a win.  When will the AFL come to realise that the last thing we need as a collective supporter base is smug Carlton Supporters?

On the other side of the match is Adelaide who are now in command of the hole that is flipping from team to team this year.  A team that promised so much based on last year’s attacking style, this year can’t seem to move the ball.  So, what happens when you have a team hanging around the edge of a hole so that their backs are against the wall versus a team full of smugness.  On this fast track, I’m going to go for an upset here.  Adelaide by 4 points.

Gold Coast vs Hawthorn               Carrara Saturday Night

It’s true we have all fallen in love with Gold Coast (yeah right).  They’re 2 and 2 and we think they are going ok.  But now I have entered all the data into my statistical leviathan, and it turns out they’re not all they crack up to be.  After adjustment they only have one win and that was against the 15th most powerful team, their losses (except GWS) have also been against lowly ranked teams so that actually makes them worse than West Coast!  The statistical leviathan (which I should also point out said Adelaide were going to be unstoppable) actually places Gold Coast as the 17th ranked team in power rating.  There is only one team worse than them…Hawthorn.  It was great to see the Ginnivan theatre unfold with the obligatory high tackle and cheeky goal.  If there is one thing I love in AFL it is the side story.  Hawthorn almost pinched it on the weekend but the team they were playing are certainly not at their best.  Given it’s at Carrara and Gold Coast are marginally better than Hawthorn…Gold Coast by 21 points.

Port Adelaide vs Fremantle        Adelaide Oval   Saturday Night

Jeremy Finlayson has been a bad boy.  A lot has been said this week about the inequities and comparisons with Clarkson etc.  A penalty had to be metered out, and one should have been metered out to Clarkson so here the AFL corrected a past mistake.  I like to take these happenings as learning points.  I talk to my son about the words used, whether it was what Jeremy Finlayson said or what that idiot yelled to Eddie Betts kids and see what we can learn from it going forward.  Anyway, Jeremy will take a bit of break and have a think.  Fremantle was a bit of a surprise packet.  I didn’t rate them against Carlton, but they showed their game plan looked pretty solid.  If not for some umpiring decisions that could only be described as ‘Carltonesque’ then they may have pinched that one.  In my great Auskick coaching career, I had a saying…’don’t make a game so close that the result could be influenced by an umpiring decision.’  Of course, in Auskick, I was often the umpire too and they were all intraclub matches with no scoring so to be honest, the issue never really arose, but I’m still claiming it as sage advice.

So, who wins this one?  Port Adelaide have looked good but have just bullied a few lowly ranked teams.  This will be a test for both teams, but Freo’s record against Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval is probably the thing that speaks the most.  Fremantle have NEVER beaten Port at that ground, and I see no reason to think there will be a change.  Port Adelaide by 33 points.

Geelong vs North Melbourne    Kardinia Park     Sunday Afternoon

It’s clear that Noth Melbourne still have a lot of work to do.  With all of their stable of young colts they still look a ways off the mark.  It’s not going to get any easier for them this week with a trip down the Princes Freeway to that half-an-oval-shaped ground we call Kardinia Park, aka GMHBA Stadium.  But to be fair, they have had a tough start to the season with 3 of their 4 matches against teams who played Preliminary Finals last year.  We wouldn’t expect them to be in that league just yet.  Geelong is also travelling nicely but that fact may hide some issues as they haven’t really played any of the power sides of the competition yet.  But no matter how we try and spin it, North Melbourne will not beat Geelong at Kardinia Park.  Geelong by 48 points.

West Coast vs Richmond              Perth Stadium   Sunday Afternoon

Sometimes you get to witness greatness.  Remarkably, West Coast actually led the match at half time, despite their undermannedness.  Harley Reid continues to grow into his role and the real battle for West Coast will be providing Harley with a vision of the future that includes a premiership otherwise he might finish up after his contract and take one of the 17 other offers that will come his way.  I would suggest Ayahuasca or Peyote to induce a strong enough vision.  But then he will appear on the team sheet as ‘Managed’, and they can’t afford to play without him for a game.  Hats off to West Coast though as they had a 145 point turnaround since their last meeting with Sydney, which may just be a record.

Richmond started well but were eventually overrun by skin-walking Lizard people aliens and Unicorns.  A lot of the early talk in this matchup is the potential to see Dusty and Reid have a ‘fend-off’ off.  Can Dusty fend off a hard tackling Reid or can Reid fend off a hard tackling Dusty?  Or vice versa, or ipso facto or QED.  Wait, strike that, reverse it.  What happens if they both try to fend off each other at the same time?  Some believe a new particle will be discovered, while others believe the current false vacuum will decay and all existence will end at the speed of light!  The latter might be welcomed by West Coast as they avoid another L in the Win/Loss column.  Richmond by 13 points.

Byes: Collingwood, Sydney


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