Round 17 AFL Preview

 Last Week           5/9           Season Total      86/135

Once again, the footy proved difficult to pick.  I was busy the whole weekend so didn’t watch a second of it.  Thankfully the stuff I was doing permitted me to listen to almost every second of it on the shortwave radio.  Well, I was streaming it on my phone so, I think it goes like this…the shortwave of the radio at about 90m in length gets converted to electrons at a base station and then converted to a 5G wave which is about 70mm in length.  It is then processed by my router where it is converted to electrons again and then back into electro-magnetic waves and re-distributed to my phone at my wi-fi wavelength which is around 45m, where it is then converted to electrons and then back into sound waves and broadcast as normal sound at varying wavelengths which my ear converts to electrons and gets interpreted by my brain and somehow separated from the deafening roar of my tinnitus.  The upshot is, after about 16kg of carbon gets added to the atmosphere, I get to listen to a cacophony of sounds that equate to an entire round of footy.  The world is indeed a complicated and fascinating place if you want it to be.

The best thing about listening to the footy and not watching it was apparently the St. Kilda vs Port Adelaide game.  The radio announcers said that we were lucky we weren’t watching it and the only people luckier than us listeners were those who left the ground early as the match itself could only be placed in some category of atrocia.

Anyway, an Australian won the golf.  Cam Davis snuck home with 4 well played rounds and was nearly chased down by a storming Min Woo Lee, but an Aussie double was not on the cards.  Last week was also some kind of festival called State of Origin, but I don’t know much about that.  By choice.

Let’s see if we can snag a few winners this week.

Collingwood vs Essendon            MCG      Friday Night

Both these teams will need to bounce back from a loss last week.  To further support my other data, Gold Coast had one of their highest rated games against, you guessed it, Collingwood who were outsmarted and thwarted in their normal comeback attempts.  Lots of chat during the week as Fly implored his players to stop waiting until the last minute to turn up.  Essendon were thwarted by the umpires who made a series of questionable calls.  It’s not often that you can chalk up a win for the umpires when the margin was 6 goals, and the questionable calls were during the third quarter but here we are.  This win puts the umpires knocking on the verge of the top 4 and a double chance, given the closeness of the season.  Essendon need a win to steady the rumblings that have dogged them about not playing anyone good enough and that their position in the top 8 is temporary at best.  Collingwood need a win to solidify their position in the 8 for another week.  Their returned injured players will be better for a run a last week.  Collingwood by 21 points.

North Melbourne vs Gold Coast                               Marvel Stadium               Saturday Afternoon

As suspected, a few weeks of up ‘n’ about footy by North Melbourne had to put some wear and tear on their young bodies and they fell away last week against the Dogs.  Gold Coast played one of their best games of the season in their ‘finals-like’ match to snag another home win.  This game is a real chance for a rare away win and North will also eye this as possible win given Gold Coasts troubles on the road.  It’s a bit of a coin toss and this week we’ll go with regular coins.  Gold Coast by 18 points.

Port Adelaide vs Western Bulldogs         Adelaide Oval   Saturday Afternoon

After a week of intense scrutiny, Port Adelaide came out and won a game, but in doing so showed the world a game style that gives no confidence that they are any good at all.  Meanwhile, Footscray kept their awesome run going with a relatively easy beat-down of North.  This game will be a bit different though as, at home, Port are no Easybeats.  But they’re not The Beatles either so how do we tip this one?  The stats model points marginally to a Footscray win but the pace of Port’s midfield may worry them on the long grass of Adelaide Oval.  With zero confidence…Footscray by 6 points.

Geelong vs Hawthorn   Kardinia Park     Saturday Twilight

The Cats got a much-needed victory, but it’s hard to get a line on them after that one given the umpires did most of the work and their opposition was very Essendon-like.  Hawthorn is very much in the same boat, landing a big win, but on West Coast which might not give you a form line.  The Hawks look good, but this match is down on that cigar they call an Oval in Geelong.  Not that they’ve been that good there.  Geelong by 24 points.

GWS vs Carlton                                Showgrounds    Saturday Night

The Blues look like the team to beat other than Sydney and the frustrating thing about trying to tip this one is that GWS are a much better team (in this writers opinion, anyway).  They’ve got the ammunition and the defenses to counter Carlton’s weapons and home ground advantage.  If GWS don’t win this one, the season is just about lost.  Carlton by 1 point.

Fremantle vs Richmond                                Perth Stadium   Saturday Night

What can we say about Fremantle that hasn’t already been said?  We could say something like, “I can’t see any scenario where Fremantle beats Sydney at the SCG.” But that just sounds like the desperate words of a fool and a madman (in my defence I did say I’ve been wrong before).  Meanwhile, Richmond is in the ‘try a few things out’ mode while expertly using the time between matches to plan an epic end of season trip.  Funny how the season turns out and after Fremantle won last week, we see a match between the only two teams who have beaten Sydney this year.  Perhaps they can compare notes and snigger at Sydney’s ineptitude while frolicking on the wide open expanses of Perth Stadium.  Perhaps not.  Fremantle by 36 points.

Melbourne vs West Coast           MCG      Sunday Afternoon

While the Demons lost last week, many were quick to give them a resounding pat on the back for a job well done in a game they weren’t supposed to win.  In reality they had that game in the bag and should have locked away the 4 points in the final quarter but just couldn’t hold back the tide as wave after wave of Brisbane players washed up on the steps of their defensive 50.  They need a more robust seawall.  West Coast were beaten so badly that West Australians started calling for Simmo’s head again.  They are an impatient lot.  A few wins on the board this season and some kid named Harley Reid and expectations were suddenly cranked up to maximum and it seems that anything short of a Premiership this year simply won’t do.  A stiff chardonnay should sort them out and they’ll need it this week as Melbourne give them a lesson in revenge on the MCG.  It’s a dish best served cold and usually pairs well with a chardonnay, so long as the MCC haven’t drunk it all.  Melbourne by 31 points.

Saint Kilda vs Sydney     Marvel Stadium               Sunday Afternoon

There’s blood in the water.  And a lot of it this week.  There is Sydney’s blood which was spilled by 22 anchors last week proving that the beast is vulnerable.  Then there is also Saint Kilda’s blood which stains them badly after they participated in what was described as a complete waste of 3 hours against Port Adelaide.  The pressure that Hinkley was under the week prior is now affixed proportionally on the shoulders of Lyon and Max King and friends. This could be a risky move, but I can’t see any scenario where St. Kilda beats Sydney at the Marvel Stadium.  Sydney by 29 points.

Brisbane vs Adelaide     Gabba   Sunday Twilight

Don’t look now but Brisbane is in the 8!  How did this happen?  They won none of their first 3 matches at which time the experts said that’s it, end of an era and now they are practically in prime position for a tilt at Premiership glory.  Meanwhile Adelaide beat their Adelaide Oval nemesis (which is normally Collingwood but can also be GWS) to keep their slender finals chances alive for another week.  A meeting at the Gabba could snuff those chances out and they’ll need something to play for.  This week is the 6-year anniversary of their last win at The Gabba.  In traditional times, the 6th anniversary was the Iron anniversary, so I suggest they try to shackle Brisbane’s ball carriers.  But then we are in modern times and that symbolises a Wood anniversary.  Is it something to do with Eric Hipwood?  Or will they just get the chop?  I don’t see a future in this relationship, and I expect Brisbane to just whittle away at Adelaide.  Ahhh, puns.  The cornerstone of any great comedy.  Brisbane by 27 points.


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