Written by AFL Online on 18th Jul 2008
Wonderfully woefull again last week and happy to be the provider of so many belly laughs on AFLO. Imagine picking teams as carp as West Coast and the Power!
That will be something I won’t be replicating anytime soon believe me. I’m going so badly in recent weeks I can now only faintly see Habib’s dust as he gallops away from me in the AFLO tipping comp. The good news is that the finals are not too far away and my mob will be there..the bad news is this week’s round doesn’t get any easier so if you can select which four I’ve got wrong here then eight is on the way. Sometimes the hopeless can only provide a good bad example.
Collingwood vs. North Melbourne Telstra Dome
Friday night football returns to the Dome this week and for a change we have an interesting match up to view while we sip our POETS Day bevvies. The Pies and the Roos often have closely contested matches and this one will be no exception despite the fact that the Roos are wobbly and the Pies have changed up a gear. The Roos have dropped veteran Nathan Thompson but recall two others in Corey Jones and Shannon Grants (hic!). The Pies will feel they have a score to settle here and with that gun small forward line and the suddenly imposing presence of Travis Cloke look to have the weapons to avenge the loss to the Roos that hinged on the bounce of the ball.
Collingwood by 12 points
Geelong vs. Bulldogs Cat Park
What a clash this should be, one that both sides and the football world in general has looked forward to. Of course the AFL had no idea of the giant 5hitburger this year’s draw would turn out to be with the three top sides only meeting each other once but this match won’t be one that disappoints. The Cat fan in me says ‘bugger the Dogs, play it at home’ but in fairness this match should have been moved to accomodate more football fans. I have stated in the matchday thread that the winner of this game will the team that starts the better and consigns the other side into playing catch up football. With Ablett and Ling out and Welsh and Griffen being back in for the Pups I see the side that starts off slowly in this one as Geelong. In what will prove to be a preview of the Grand Final it will be the Dogs who will be barking in this game.
Western Bulldogs by 7 points
Richmond vs. Essendon MCG
What a round this is. Another top game this time between two sides who are slowly gathering momentum in the Tigers and the Bombers. Plenty of people are gung-ho about the Tiges at the moment but I think back to their lamentable effort against the Blues and I can see it happening here as the Bombers will put a lot more pressure on the Tigers runners than West Coast did at Subi last week. The ruck duel between in form David Hille and Tiger Troy Simmonds will be pivotal. I believe that Essendon has the edge up forward and look to be more capable of kicking a winning score. I’m still not convinced that Richmond can dispose of the ball properly under pressure and this theory was simply not tested last week. For this reason I’m putting my kiss of death on the Bombers.
Essendon by 23 points
Brisbane vs. West Coast Gabba
After watching West Coast last week I reckon I could get a gig with them. As slow as I am I’d still at least chase the opposition, something the Eagles simply didn’t bother with last round. The winged Eagles head east with a couple of blokes ending their year under the knife and with Daniel Kerr suspended after sooking about suddenly being forced to play in a losing team (What a wuss). The Lions recent form, while better than West Coast’s has been ordinary to say the least. Last week the backline leaked like a sieve and they have had trouble turning the form switch back to ‘on’ after they turned down the gas for the match against Melbourne and were duly punished for it. The Lions have more to play for and nothing to play against and will snaffle four precious points against this year’s most disappointing combination. Little wonder we haven’t seen too much of Reigny this year….and who could blame him!
Brisbane by 69 points
St Kilda vs. Hawthorn Telstra Dome
Here they come again these Saints, win a few games against ordinary opposition and all of a sudden people are expected to rate them again. St Kilda is one of those sides that does well against ordinary opposition and last week’s win against Carlton who maybe played 20 minutes of football last week was nothing to write home about. This week against third ranked Hawthorn things get considerably tougher. The Hawks shook off a bogey last week against the Sydney Swines and this week they get the chance to defeat a side that often does well against them. Last week I made the mistake of underestimating the Hawks and I won’t be doing that again this week. With Buddy and Roughead hauling down grabs and Mark Williams and Junior Boy snaffling goals the Hawks appear to have the Saints covered, even on St Kilda’s favourite ground.
Hawthorn by 31 points
Carlton vs. Sydney Telstra Dome
In years gone by Sydney routinely came down to Melbourne to bully the Blues but Carlton would be liking their chances here with the Swannies looking slightly off the boil at the moment and distracted by disciplinary issues on and off the field. The Blues went within a whisker of ending their Saint exile and would love to knock off the Swans to keep alive their finals hopes. As much as they’d love to, I just don’t see them doing it this year. The Swans coming off of two losses in a row and suddenly really struggling to score are due to kick a few and I’m yet to be convinced about the strength of Carlton’s defence. I expect O’Keefee and O’Loughlin to be productive in this match while at the other end Fev to have plenty of company. One of the highlights of this game will be Goodes and Judd on the same field and unlike previous seasons, it won’t be a 12 goal blow out. However, the result will remain the same – a Sydney victory, keeping them in the top four for another week.
Sydney by 17 points
Port vs. Adelaide AAMI Stadium
Adelaide’s season has gone pear-shaped in the last four weeks and really needs its twice annual showdown victory over arch rivals Port to resurrect their ailing side. The Power have been nothing short of pathetic this season but expect them to lift a notch against the Crows. They have already come out and said that ‘this is our grand final’ and if the Crows were to be beaten it could be this match that causes them to miss the eight. I think the Crows can maintain thier edge over the Power because as much as it would like to win Port have simply forgotten how to. If the game gets close in the last quarter their will be more ghosts than an episode of Scooby Doo in the minds of the Power boys. Yes, the Crows will go in without Porplyzia and Burton but it is easier to prepare for a match knowing blokes are out rather than covering for them when they go down during a match. Adelaide has more clues and should hang on for another week.
Adelaide by 10 points
Fremantle vs. Melbourne Subiaco
In another intriguing match up the Dockers will be as pumped for any team outside of a derby for the return match against last placed Melbourne. If ever you thought the Dockers couldn’t go any lower, a loss to the Demons at home would surely take them there. Melbourne are slowly improving and getting games into young players but will face some extreme heat from a Freo side that has been getting kicked all season long. They have to show something sometime and I reckon it will be this week when it happens.
Fremantle by 41 points