Greetings viewers. Managed to salvage a little credibility last week with a respectable six that doesn’t help me all that much when seven was the par for the last round. Normally I’m quite fired up at this stage of the season but when you are 10 games ahead of fourth and you’re playing the 18th ranked side it might time for me to have a night out. Either way though that does not absolve me of the responsibility to provide the comic relief on this forum with my truly abysmal footy tipping efforts. Hey it’s what I do!
Melbourne vs. Geelong MCG
The AFL have done the Demons no favours here with an early start to accommodate the opening ceremony of some minor festival that is going on for the next couple of weeks at a time that is meant to commemorate the glorious sesqueinstoh…er…150th birthday of our great game. Surely this match at the G should have occurred in the first encounter between the sides. The Cats cruelly bring back Gary Ablett for a light training run at the G but lose Milburn for his dodgy tackle on Shane Edwards last week. Watching the Dees last week I noticed that they tried to spot up midget forwards with long kicks. If they try that against the Cats this match will get ugly….Cameron Ling ugly. The Cats have the edge all over the park and should run out comfortable winners in a match that will attract about as many ratings at the test pattern as fat ar5ed TV viewers across the land head out to Coles to buy two weeks worth of Pringles, Freddo Frogs and Coke.
Geelong by 68 points
Carlton vs. Port Telstra Dome
I have NO confidence in either of these football teams and I’ve been getting them wrong nearly all year. I rated Port for too long and didn’t rate Carlton quickly enough and when I reversed the situation so did the teams DOH. Looking at recent clashes, Port are a side that Carlton seems to do well against. They had a good win at AAMI Stadium earlier in the year against a Port side that looks a lot stronger than the side that will run out at the Dome on Saturday. Losing players the caliber of Tredrea, Salopek and Chad Cornes in particular leaves Port looking very light on despite some improved form of the side as youngsters try to make an impression on the coaching panel. The Blues have been a little off the boil in recent weeks despite a heroic effort against the Bulldogs but they should be able to account for the Power this week. Yep, I’ve convinced myself. Carlton to get up.
Carlton by 19 points
Hawthorn vs. Brisbane Aurora Stadium
Hey stuff you Brisbane Lions, yeah, you. Not happy with the way you’ve stuffed up both my tipping AND my dream team. Ever heard of bloke called James MacDonald? Huh? HUH?!! OK, that’s enough of that. Now I hate being wrong online because FFS it happens all the time. Earlier on in the year I started a thread called ‘Are Brisbane Crap’ and of course the Lion Lemmings on this site had a good old time when Brisbane fired up and made me devour about my 9000th serving of Humble Pie. But you know what? Brisbane ARE crap. They’ve got bugger all goalkickers for a start. Hawthorn might rely on a two pronged attack for half of its goals as well but they’ve got other scoring options like Rioli and Williams but the Lions have got Bubkus. Corrie, the third highest goalscorer for the Lions will be running around in the Magoos this week and Rhan Hooper remains consistently inconsistent. Simon Black has OP and is laboring. Brisbane is using a forward as a pinch hitting ruckman. Add to that the fact that the Lions have NEVER played in Tassie before. Their balls will shrivel up and turn into innies as the Hawks fire up for Crawford’s 300th game and deliver a win.
Hawthorn by 38 points
Collingwood vs. St Kilda MCG
What a game this will be. Collingwood are off the pi55 now and as such should be in a great position to get into the drivers’ seat in this crucial clash with the Saints. The Pies have been shocking in recent weeks but perhaps the omission of the pots will create a bit of an X Factor in the Pies line up which makes them a little less prediddlyictable. In some games this year Heath Shaw has been tagged out of it and this has almost entirely shut down Collingwood’s run. In other matches it is fair to say that the small forwards have been almost getting in each other’s way. In Lidak’s absence, I’d expect Medhurst and Davis to have an improved showing this week and I think Collingwood fans can also look forward to a bit of speed being injected into the stumbling line up in the form of John McCarthy who apparently has a bit of toe. In the St Kilda camp, they have lost Luke Ball and that is one of the last players that Ross Lyon would want to be without. The Sainters don’t have too many grunt blokes with Baker and Ball out. This puts a heavy workload on Hayes and I’d expect him to have plenty of attention. Collingwood always seem to be a better proposition when written off and not for the first time Mick Malthouse has the task of conjuring a win with a young squad. It is a task that is not beyond them against a St Kilda side that has been hardly impressive in recent weeks.
Collingwood by 10 points
Sydney vs. Fremantle SCG
The Swans won’t get a better chance to break their recent run of outs than against Freo at home this Saturday night. Sydney turned the corner a bit last week, winning three of four quarters against a Bulldogs side that has only dropped three games all year. Barry Hall got some confidence back and midfielder Jared McVeigh has been in career best form in recent weeks and has been bagging goals to help out the undermanned forward line. The Swannies welcome back key defender Leo Barry and midfield gun Adam Goodes but you have wonder how fit the dual Brownose Medalist will be. Freo are also stringing together some decent football in recent times but you have to remember that this was against the bottom three teams in the competition. Sydney will have more to play for and should stay in the top four for another week.
Sydney by 27 points
North Melbourne vs. Western Bulldogs Telstra Dome
North Melbourne faces a tough test against a Bulldogs’ side that is somehow still searching for respect. It is a problem that both clubs often face for it only takes one poor performance to take away the respect that took 6-8 weeks to establish. The Roos have a reasonable record against the Bulldogs at the Dome and often the Bullies struggle with the Roos because they have a multitude of tall options available. Since Hamish McIntosh went down the Roos have benefited by being a little less top heavy and as a result have played improved football. However, this will work in reverse against the Bulldogs because the Roos will go in small against the master of teams that go in small. If there is one team that the Roos need all of their tall options available it is the Bulldogs. Plenty of punters will be keen to write off the Bullies but like Sydney, they started to get their mojo happening again and I think they’ll catch the Roos on the hop and avenge the narrow loss earlier in the season.
Western Bulldogs by 15 points
Adelaide vs. Richmond AAMI Stadium
I sledged the Crows unmercifully last week and promptly backed the Blues but the Blackbirds got their revenge. I think that Adelaide can build on last week’s win with a victory for Andrew McLeod’s 300th match. The Crowies will be up for this match. The Tiges welcome back goalsneak Nathan Brown but the Tivendale theory comes into play this week (i.e. don’t pick the Tiges when Tivendale is on the teamsheet). It’s a successful theory that helps me out when trying to work out what this highly unpredictable unit might achieve. The Tigers have been pretty good on the road this year and badly need to defeat Adelaide or Hawthorn or perhaps both to make the eight but deep down I don’t think this unit believes it is a finals combination yet. Adelaide does and that self belief might prove decisive when it gets tight in the end….er….you know what I mean. Richmond will continue to have a high clanger count and this will count them out for this season while Adelaide will march on into September.
Adelaide by 13 points
West Coast vs. Essendon Subiaco
Essendon are on fire at the moment and expect Matty Lloyd to have another huge match against an undersized defence in this game. The large ground will allow the speedy Bombers to run the Eagles off their feet, with perhaps the odd man out Watson taking Fletcher or Priddis for the Eagles. The battle between Cox and Hille might prove decisive in the AA selection stakes with Sandilands a fair chance to be also given the nod. After a relatively poor match against the Demon pairing of Jamar and Johnson Hille will relish the chance to get stuck into Cox. The Bombers are on a roll and probably need to win all four of their remaining matches as their percentage is terrible and I can’t see the West Coast being the team to end the Bomber dream.
Essendon by 33 points