AFL Preview Round 5
It must have really driven the rugby states of NSW and QLD out of their minds to see an AFL state like Victoria dominate their crazy rugby code. The Melbourne Storm won two premierships and were minor premiers over a 5 year period but the northern states finally got their own back and found that salary cap infringements were running wild within the Storm. Reason enough to strip them of their premierships and impose a $1.6 million fine on the Melbourne based team. That’ll fix ‘em. Show them that these Victorian upstarts can’t enter our beloved rugby competition and win premierships that easily. Hmmm. Question: is a player who gets $100k put into his salary account a better player than the one who gets $50k? Does $50K make you play better or does it just make sure you keep playing for that team? How does this compare to the Carlton salary cap fiasco of the 90’s?
When the AFL season started this year many thought that the games would be a lot closer than they have been between sides that we might call developing. Last week in what we predicted would be close games turned out to be bigger winning margins, some teams barely getting a sweat up as they cantered to the line half way through the last quarter. The margins were reflected in the point scores most tipsters got which was 6 – 8. An easy week of tipping you might say. The difficulty we have now is basing the weekly tips on form and then watching form reversals, or attitude changes, or decreased motivation by one team or the other. Of course injuries play a big part in whether teams can stay on the winning track because the team with the least injuries and the ability to field almost unchanged sides week in week out tend to perform more consistently. These are the philosophical tips being handed out to you this week tipsters. Look at injury lists and just who is injured. A Reiwoldt injury is far more serious to the team than an injury to a lesser player of course. Lots of injuries in a side restrict the team in how many they can pick from each week and does not keep the pressure on underperforming players in the side. So when tipping each week look out for ‘stuff’ happening inside the club and look at the weekly injury list provided by newspapers and websites. While there are a couple of tricky selections this week my gut feeling is that most are pretty straight forward……….good luck.
Western Bulldogs V Adelaide at Etihad Friday Night
Well both teams lost last week with the Bulldogs loss being a little more disappointing for a lot of tipsters me included. It was the only one I got wrong! Adelaide are really struggling and looking at their injury list they do have a couple of their better players out but that could hardly be used as an excuse for the large losing margins. The good thing about this game for Crows supporters is that the game is in Melbourne so they don’t have to sit at AAMI and watch their team get another hiding. Brad Johnson back for the Bullies and the Bulldog ball movement through the centre makes this game shape up to be a big win.
Western Bulldogs by 47
Sydney V West Coast at SCG Saturday
Naitanui is the name being bandied about in the papers over here. Not sure whether they have even heard of him in the east but this game will be an opportunity for the young guy to impress. He sure is electric to watch but then again so are the Swans this year. Lost the first game by 8 points, that was against the Saints, from then they have won games by reasonably big margins. Here is a statistic out there that says no existing West Coast player has won against the Swans at the SCG. That’s a trend that is likely to continue. Adam Goodes is playing some of his best football and if he keeps this up he will win another Brownlow he’s that sort of player. Hurn will be a welcome return for the Eagles but the team is just not performing to expectations. It looks like another long, hard, unsuccessful season for West Coast if they cannot be more consistent.
Sydney by 29
Melbourne V Brisbane Lions at the MCG Saturday
The Demons have been quite impressive in their last 3 games and that 1 point loss to the Pies might haunt them as the season rolls on, not to say that they would have made the 8 but just to be able to say that they beat Collingwood in their premiership year would have made a good story!!?? Beating Richmond with a one quarter burst last week doesn’t mean that that Melbourne will challenge the Lions to a hot contest this week. The young Demons’ players have a lot of talent but just who will they play on the Brown Fevola? Hopefully the score line will not be too embarrassing but I can see that Brisbane combination kicking at least 10 between them in this game. Being an away game for Brisbane will allow us to reduce the winning margin by 25 points.
Brisbane by 25 points
Port Adelaide V St Kilda
It is really hard to make a case for the Power to win this game. Even though the match is being played at AAMI Port have not been a team of late to take advantage of the home ground. A 95 point drubbing in a half of football last week against Geelong, the other grand finalist of 2009, doesn’t fill me with a lot of confidence that they can turn things around and beat the Saints this week. Let’s not labor the point.
St Kilda by 41
Collingwood V Essendon at the MCG Sunday
The 2010 Anzac Day blockbuster should bear no resemblance to the 2009 Anzac Day blockbuster. Collingwood will not let the Bombers get as close as three goals going into the last 5 minutes like they did last year. Both teams are almost at full strength being able to pick from their best 22 but the Pies do look a lot better this season while Essendon has not developed much consistency in their game when you look at their results so far. Anzac Day does bring out the best in these two teams and the Bombers certainly surprised the Blues when they unexpectedly won a couple of weeks ago. But not in my wildest dreams do I expect Collingwood to lose this one. Watch it all unfold in the 3rd quarter.
Collingwood by 33
Hawthorn V North Melbourne at Aurora Tasmania
First game of the year in Tassie for the Hawks and they really need to do something good to resurrect a season that might go nowhere for them. Hard to believe this team won a premiership against Geelong a couple of years ago. Injuries and suspensions have not helped their cause. In the North Melbourne corner we find a young inexperienced team who will find it very hard to sustain enough pressure to beat Hawthorn over 4 quarters. A bad North quarter means a loss for them. I am picking the second quarter as the one that will see Hawthorn power away to win the game.
Hawthorn by 51
Fremantle V Richmond at Subiaco Sunday
Let’s look at this game logically. The TIgers are travelling to the west to play. Freo is playing irresistible footy. Richmond is playing poor footy. Pav is on fire. Sandilands is killing them in the ruck and around the ground. What usually happens in these games is that the weaker team brings down the standard of the emerging team and the game can become a real drudge to watch. Expect every Freo supporter to come to this game because they expect their team to belt the Tigers. I think their trip to the ground will be rewarded….well.
Fremantle by 66
Carlton V Geelong at MCG Monday
Judd made a great return to the AFL last week and ably led the Blues to a big win over Adelaide. Geelong did the same to the other South Australian team, moidering Port by 95. Cameron Ling on Judd? Sure thing. Carlton have a few stars in their team outside of Judd but opposition backs are finding it a lot easier to blanket the current Carlton forwards than they did trying to hold Fev. Again, against a good team Carlton might be suspect in the forward line and the Cats have a dearth of goal kickers. Carlton supporters will tip their own but I find it hard to justify moving away from the premiers.
Geelong by 29