Round 9 AFL Preview

Last Week           6/9           Season Total      48/73 

I love stats, as you well know.  And I love the way people interpret them.  I watched with amusement, one of the footy programs during the week and the journalist was pressing this issue in the game that there have been 73 less free kicks for holding the ball to this time than last year.  He posed this head scratcher to Ross Lyon and framed it as “The Game is in Crisis.”  Ross Lyon simply said, “what’s that, 1 free kick per game?  I wouldn’t think that’s statistically significant.”  Loved it!  Unperturbed, the journalist pushed on still remarking the game is in crisis.  Afterall, it’s a better story than statistically insignificant.

This weekend is Mother’s Day.  So, make sure you do something special.  The AFL has done something special by arranging for the top four teams to play the next four teams in the top eight to make for an exciting weekend where we can ignore our mother’s and watch a scintillating clash.  Although admittedly the Sunday games might not be much chop so it’s an opportunity to chill with your Mum.

Carlton vs Melbourne   MCG      Thursday Night

How many teams have felt the wrath of a Daicos boot?  I did watch the Rivalry clash last Friday at it was a pulsating affair.  Carlton is now on the edge of the top eight after a few losses in the last four weeks.  Melbourne took on the role of giant killer last weekend and squeaked home against the lossless Cats after a Freak Fritsch Foot Foray Forward resulted in a most remarkable goal.  Carlton needs to straighten the ship, but Melbourne has the weapons to nullify Carlton.  Lever and May can perhaps dictate to McKay and Curnow, and Gawn can more than handle Pittonet.  The midfield battle of Oliver, Petracca, Viney against the likes of Cripps, Cerra and Walsh will make compelling viewing.  I’m a little undecided on this one, but I think I have outlined the reasons just now.  Melbourne by 14 points.

Geelong vs Port Adelaide            Kardinia Park     Friday Night

Rozee’s are Red, like cheeks of embarrassment.  Hinkley admitted to an error in playing Rozee on the weekend which would no doubt have sent Kochie into a rage.  I get it, we all make mistakes.  Some mistakes are bigger than others.  It might cost them a spot in the eight.  Geelong will lick their wounds after losing to Melbourne last week but return to the Cattery where the wings aren’t as wide and can restore order with a thumping, confidence building victory.  This game will be nothing short of that.  Geelong by 41 points.

Fremantle vs Sydney     Perth Stadium   Friday Night

As far as games go, this will be a doozy.  Fremantle had a much needed win after I gave them a clip about being “non-threatening.”  Not only that but they started to manhandle and scuffle in the final quarter in a very threatening manner and may have just started a Rivalry!?  Is this a new Fremantle?  Brutal and unforgiving?  Sydney rolled through my premiership fancy like they were a speedhump made of blancmange.  Their midfield group is looking quite formidable and maybe they need a bit more respect than I have been giving them.  As always with Fremantle there is doubt about their ability to kick a winning score or at least put a margin in the game that is insurmountable.  If you keep Sydney in the game for long enough, they’ll run you down eventually.  But, if Amiss and Treacy can keep that effort up they have every chance of an upset.  I’m gonna stick with the ladder leaders on this one though. Albeit not with a lot of confidence.  Sydney by 24 points.

Hawthorn vs Saint Kilda               York Park             Saturday Afternoon

The Hawks upset my tipping last week (or was it Footscray’s fault)?  In any event, they were bound to win one at some point.  Saint Kilda also returned to the winners circle after a succession of three losses.  This match is a bit of a head-scratcher.  If it wasn’t at York Park, I’d definitely be on the Saints in this one, but that venue throws up some questions.  I actually thought Saint Kilda were banned from playing there after they pretended not to hear the siren against Fremantle and claimed a short-lived win.  They have a mixed record at York Park, but I think they are a better side than Hawthorn.  Saint Kilda by 19 points.

Essendon vs GWS            Marvel Stadium               Saturday Twilight

GWS were beaten by Sydney last week.  They put up some early resistance but like any well-made blancmange, once the spoon penetrates the surface, the structure kind of falls apart.  Essendon were mostly in control of the match against West Coast, but a late charge from the Eagles almost saw them pinch it.  GWS will be reeling from their performance last week and despite Essendon being such a good clearance team, the heavy contested work of GWS will win out in this one.  GWS by 28 points.

Richmond vs Footscray MCG      Saturday Night

The only coach having a worse time of it than Yze would have to Beveridge.  The Bulldogs don’t look competitive enough and the media sharks are circling as they sniff their first kill of the season.  Even players from other clubs are taking pot-shots at Bevo.  A chance for him to restore some order this week as Richmond just don’t have the cattle.  But if Footscray were to lose this one, the sharks would stop circling and start charging.  Footscray by 35 points.

Gold Coast vs North Melbourne                               TIO Stadium       Saturday Night

The Suns really let it slip last week.  Brisbane only had about 3 fit players for most of that match but those three were good enough to inflict some misery.  Speaking of misery…North Melbourne.

It’s hard to make a case for North Melbourne up in Darwin.  But it will be a nice festival for the locals there.  Especially if they’re Suns Supporters.  Gold Coast by 42 points.

Collingwood vs West Coast         Marvel Stadium               Sunday Afternoon

The AFL have scheduled this match at Marvel Stadium.  No MCG game on Sunday.  This could be a good thing for West Coast who beat Collingwood the last time they played here.  If I recall, West Coast had a team half of which were WAFL players, and the other half were “the old-guys” rushed back from injury as a win was desperately needed.  They got their win but lost all their old-guys for long periods and that started the rot.  How the wheel turns, and redemption could be on the cards.  West Coast announced some key injuries with Waterman and Yeo sitting this one out, but not to be out-done, Collingwood announced there will be no Mihocek, Hill, McCreery, Elliott or Shultz.  Effectively their starting forward half from last week).  With the exception of McCreery, all of those players ran out last week’s game so is Collingwood disrespecting West Coast and resting players?  West Coast are not the percentage boosters that they used to be and given the match is not at the MCG, Collingwood should be wary about playing games.  Collingwood by 11 points.

Adelaide vs Brisbane     Adelaide Oval   Sunday Twilight

It was a remarkable win by Brisbane on the weekend, but now their injury list has more knees than a Tarantula.  Adelaide did their usual job on Port at the Showdown and have now built some much needed confidence to take a weakened Brisbane to school on that plush Adelaide Oval.  By the time this game is on, perhaps you will be cooking your Mum a hearty roast or packing away the dishes after polishing off that last drizzle of gravy.  Adelaide by 29 points

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mum’s out there.


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