Don't forget that this round starts on Thursday evening.
The last time I drove across the Nullabor there was over 900 miles of dirt. These days you don’t even have to pack an esky because there are roadhouses, or travel stops they call them, every 200 kilometres or less and of course the whole trip can be done on bitumen. 3000 kilometres with a small white dog as the passenger is as big a challenge as Melbourne will face against St Kilda on Sunday. An interesting observation when you travel from one side of the country to the other is the changing of allegiances from WA based teams to SA based teams then to Victorian teams. Arguments, or shall we say uninformed debate, at places like Border Village, Port Augusta and Border Town regarding AFL teams and their likelihood or otherwise of success while drinking Tasmanian and Queensland beer makes for an interesting social experiment – none of which is worth repeating here!
As a tipster I am still getting over the split round not occurring until round 13 rather than round 11 because we had to suffer another two weeks of inexplicable form reversals none of which assisted our tipping scores. It seems my previews have provided a reasonable, if not a leading, score in tipping comps but they have lacked vision, bravery, foresight and sadly, correctness.
So now, residing back in Victoria after a 40 year self imposed exile, reading the daily musings of many AFL experts in the local rag, experts who discuss teams other than West Coast and Fremantle, it is fervently hopes that the information supplied to you, the tipster, will carry a little more accuracy.
Carlton V Brisbane Lions played at Etihad Thursday nightBoth teams are playing poorly so it is a matter of which team plays the least poorly on the night. If Fevola could have kicked 8 for the Lions they might have come close. Dream on because the whole Brown Fevola duo are injured. Where are the goals going to come from? Time to recall Bradshaw! Oops, he’s with Sydney. The Brisbane game plan has come completely off the rails and continued derailment is expected.
Carlton by 29
Hawthorn V Western Bulldogs at the MCG Friday nightUsually Friday night is a poor start to the weekend’s tipping so this tip should be taken lightly. The Hawks are going for 7 in a row. Impossible. Although the same word was used as Buddy streamed down the wing bouncing the ball and slotting a goal from the wrong side for a left footer while being hotly, but not speedily, pursued by an Essendon opponent. Not once but twice!! Those who watched were privy to possibly the two best goals of the season. All that aside, this week the Hawks meet the Bulldogs and opportunities for Buddy to be doing that sort of show will be somewhat less. Also, the Hawks need to counter Barry Hall at the other end. The game will be a great test for both teams but the early form of Hawthorn should not be ignored. The Doggies need to consolidate.
Western Bulldogs by 31
Fremantle V Port Adelaide at Subiaco SaturdayHere’s a great chance for the Dockers to consolidate ladder position. The Power tends to rise to the challenge in games like this so they will take it up to the Dockers early but the purple haze will prevail eventually. When the Power plays woefully they lose by heaps. This could be one of those days. However, if the Dockers play woefully they will be beaten. As you can see there is a fine line between levels of consistency but everybody, apart from the idiot Port supporters at Border Village, will hope for a Freo victory. It’s safe.
Fremantle by 28
Collingwood V West Coast Eagles at Etihad Saturday nightIf the Eagles can come within 10 goals of the Pies in this game then they can be well satisfied with their effort. Down on confidence, down in good players, going down, in the basement you will find West Coast. The Eagles are not quite in Wooden Spoon position but this game will have them well placed to take it out! Another thing about being in Vic is the number of Collingwood supporters you have the privilege of chatting to. Not a Malthouse lover amongst them! Do the West Coast supporters know this? All Magpie folk are hoping that Josh Fraser gets to play his 200th. All Magpie folk are hoping that their team kicks a little more accurately.
Collingwood by 77
Adelaide V Essendon at AAMI on Saturday nightThis is one of the tougher games to pick this round and if the Bombers had been able to notch just one win in the last 3 games some temptation would be there to pick them. On form it’s the Crows. Since when has Essendon worried about form? For the tipster the main concern is which Adelaide team will turn up on the day? And 2 games in a row at AAMI? The Bombers gave not won at this ground for some 3 years so they will have to bring their best game to win Saturday night. Is a Bomber win a prediction based on vision, expertise or just plain stupidity? We’ll see.
Essendon by 11
Geelong V North Melbourne at Skilled on SundayThe Cats will come out licking their wounds after their loss against the Saints and North will be standing in their way – but not for long. North has been playing well but this game is way out of their class. It seems Chapman will be back but the Cats lose Johnson and Moonie, both suspended after the ‘blood bath’ against the Saints last week. How many of you saw Geelong held goal less in a half of football last week? How many of you saw North beat Carlton and Port in the last two weeks? While Geelong cannot take the game easy they should account for North.
Geelong by 68
Richmond V Sydney at the MCG SundayThe Tigers have been doing well of late but one would think that the Swans will be far too good for a building Richmond even with the game at the ‘G’. Roos was not happy with his Sydney team losing to Collingwood again last round. This week should have him smiling again.
Sydney by 38
St Kilda V Melbourne at Etihad Sunday NightIn the event of wet weather the roof will be closed so no slippery ball to help even the odds a bit. St Kilda will be on the bit if they win this by less than 12 goals. Whether they are still reeling after the Baker incident last week is debatable but if they can win regularly without Reiwoldt then winning without Baker shouldn’t prove too hard. 9 weeks was a bit harsh and it will be interesting to see what changes teams make to the instructions they give to their taggers. Even more interesting will be the instructions given to umpires. “Open your eyes” might be a good start.
St Kilda by 75