5 out of 5 last week heading down the home stretch but then my nag hit the skids and that was all she wrote. Normally Sunday has been a good tipping day for me but the Docks failed to fire a shot against the spooners, the Power finally found some consistency by being crap for two weeks in a row and Essendon pulled off one of the year’s biggest upsets knocking off the ‘unbeatable’ Swan Kilda side. Top eight and top four spots are very much up for grabs this week with the Bulldogs and the Bombers looking to shut the door on the chasing pack. The Blues have one eye on the prize up against the Demons while the mob ahead of them has to play the Cats who are slowly getting their best players back on the park. So I present to you the penultimate rubbish….
Western Bulldogs vs. Geelong – St Kildome
The Dogs will be up for this one and are busy telling everyone how unlucky they were to lose by less than a kick against Geelong last time around. However, last time around the Cats were missing Cam Mooney who, for all his faults, straightens up Geelong and hauls down telling marks. Mooney is the type of player that the Bulldogs struggle to contain and this will be a problem especially with Tom Williams sidelined yet again with injury. The Cats fitness, or lack of has been a talking point for many weeks and once again the Cats are unsettled with Varcoe, Harley and Stevie J all sidelined for the match. However, the Cats look well sorted for replacements this time around. Wojinski, Milburn, Gamble and Chapman are handy ins and a close look at the Doggie line-up will reveal that they too are copping a few injuries. The loss of Cross and Williams is a real problem for the Dogs and even though they welcome back Shaun Higgins and Daniel Giansiracusa for this game I reckon this match will be yet another of those losses to top sides that have become all too familiar for Dogs fans this season. Geelong by 15 points.
Carlton vs. Melbourne – St Kildome
It’s all falling into place for Carlton at the moment. A top four spot has opened up like Paris Hilton’s legs and with the Dogs fighting off the Cats and Pies the Blues have the much easier task of taking on Melbourne this week. The Dees aren’t exactly the hungriest side going around and they will be too satisfied with their win over the powder-puff Dockers. This one will prove to be a training drill for the Bluebaggers and all of you coaches who have Brendan Fevola lining up in your SuperCoach side for the Prelims this week should be licking your lips, or better still…someone else’s. Carlton by 56 points.
Adelaide vs. West Coast – Football Park
The Eagles have had plenty of success against the Blackbirds over the years but this week I reckon Adelaide just have too much to play for and should salute at home. The Crows shrugged off a sluggish start against the *chuckle* premiers last week before powering home on the unlikely heroics of Trent Hentschell. Hentschell’s bag was a real plus for the Crows who lost Brett Burton who has now missed 19 of Adelaide’s last 12 games. Both teams have some exciting talent coming through but Adelaide has the better experienced players and the Eagles on the road will struggle to cover the loss of Masten (It’s Marsten BT you idiot!) and Mitch Brown on top of guns Kerr and Cox as well. Adelaide by 23 points.
Brisbane vs. Port – Gabbatoir
Despite sitting comfortably inside the eight, Brisbane are not all that they are cracked up to be but Port cracked up years ago. The Power have never recovered from beating Geelong at Cat Park back in 2007 and the goosestepping and bowing antics in the Prelim against the Roos a few weeks later. This club has been ahead of itself ever since then and has taken the decision that the same coach and the same players will somehow resolve the situation. Port’s non contact style of Football has convinced Adelaide mothers that Johnny shouldn’t play Soccer after all but unfortunately for Port fans these skilled youngsters are 12 years away from making their debut and the club could be broke by then. News from the Gabbatoir has it that Vossy has insured Jonathon Brown’s back for a trillion dollars seeing as he has to carry the whole side. This too much to too few approach is the reason why these Lions don’t roar against the good sides. But Port aren’t a good side so Brisbane will win this. The end. Brisbane by 39 points with a Brown bag coming up.
Richmond vs. Hawthorn – The G
If Richmond weren’t the same old Richmond we could say that Hawthorn is the new Richmond. If you are confused, think of how confused Alistair Clarkson is. Last year his team was the unsolvable puzzle for opponents but now his team is the unsolvable puzzle for him. He’s now like the kid at primary school who has to pick between the last three kids and realises that they are all duds but he has to play two of them. Last year the Tigers’ famously defeated the Hawks but this year I don’t see that happening because you can’t plan against a rabble. The Tigers plotted a counter strategy against the cluster but if Clarko doesn’t know what is going down this weekend then Rawlings has no chance. Congrats to Graham Polak who this week makes a remarkable comeback after his ill advised attempt at tackling a Tram. This week it will be Hawthorn who get back on track to put the heat on the Bombers. Hawthorn by 33 points.
St Kilda vs. North Melbourne – St Kildome
The Saints will be wondering how they managed to fall so far behind the Bombers last week and while they are wondering that they might ponder the fact that they couldn’t catch the Bombers even though the Bombers had no bench in the last quarter. Hmmm..on second thoughts the Saints must look forward because they have much to look forward to. Surely the Saints will clean up the tired old (and young) Roos who have endured their worst season for many years. The Brad Scott appointment will have lifted everyone at the club so like their last game you can expect a spirited opening from the North boys but St Kilda smarting after the loss they arguably had to have will be far too good. St Kilda by 51 points.
Collingwood vs. Sydney – The G
Like Carlton, Collingwood are very much a team ‘of the moment’. Sydney have shown plenty of heart over the last few weeks but aren’t quite getting the job done against the top sides of which Collingwood is now one. Even when Collingwood were dropping games to strugglers they still managed to own the Swans so unless Roos comes up with something completely un-Sydney like, then Collingwood can expect to continue their domination over his side. This loss will put the kibosh on the Swannies once and for all and maybe some of the 5-8 sides will be pretty thankful for that given their performances against St Kilda and Geelong in recent weeks. Collingwood on a roll will kick plenty of Sausage Rolls in this one. Collingwood by 45 points.
Fremantle vs. Essendon – Subiaco
Why oh why do I continue to tip the Dockers? And I’m going to do so again this week! : o The Bombers spent plenty of coin against the Saints last week and the injuries to Fletcher and Ryder are huge. It was only a few weeks ago that the Bombers went West and went back to Melbourne with their tails between their legs. While I believe that the Eagles are going a bit better than the Dockers at the moment the Bombers are absolutely racked with injuries at the moment and I don’t think they can get up away from home as a result. Normally when the Dockers put in an insipid effort on the road they come out the next week with a much more spirited performance and I think they can do exactly that this weekend. Sandilands monsters the better ruckmen in the game and he will be appear 311cm tall against a battling Bellchambers who will really earn his pay this week. If the Bombers can win this one they deserve to be in the finals end of story. I reckon Essendon will have to wait another week though and that the Dockers can record a face saving victory. Fremantle by 25 points.
If these results come in that would be bad news for Western Bulldogs and Essendon. Both sides have some important outs at the moment at the worst possible time. If either of these sides win this week the coaches will be well satisfied. I reckon the last spot in the eight will be decided in the Essendon v Hawthorn match in Round 22 and that the Blueboys will scam a spot in the top four at the expense of the Bullies.