AFL Preview Round 22
Well here we are dear tipsters. The end of another season. This is it. The final preview. It has been a difficult season and most competition winners are well down on their final totals from previous seasons. Although this is not a good time to remind you – I told you so. Those middle range teams played with such inconsistent form from one week to another that it was almost impossible to pick good scores of 6 and above. Even looking at the experts who tip in the newspapers it was only a week ago that the majority broke 100 points. I blame myself for the previews that were sometimes written under duress and with not enough ‘inside’ information to enable you to tip with confidence. Last night I was aboard the Spirit of Tasmania on a secret mission to confirm the difference between those of us on the mainland compared to Tasmanians. I was under instructions to carry out my observations surreptitiously and without causing undue alarm. I was able to confirm that to live in Tassie you need two heads! Why? Because the scenery here is so spectacular you need 2 heads with 2 sets of eyes to be able to see it all! Okay, okay. Beautiful countryside here.
I watched the Ben Cousins special last night and can only hope that there is something more revealing in episode 2 that will make me agree with all the hyperbola that has accompanied the proposed screening of this program’. The guy is articulate, good looking, great physique and a very good footballer. Why would you take drugs? I have only one question: How did he get away with not being detected for so many years?
On the subject of Football. Yes the same teams finished in the top 4 as last year and they seem to be at different levels of readiness for the finals. The grand final will be played between either St Kilda against Collingwood, St Kilda against Geelong, Geelong against Collingwood. But as they say the finals is like a whole new season and all 8 teams get the opportunity to have a crack.
Trust you all enjoyed the previews, as unhelpful as they were AND the reviews this season. May the best team win and that would be? Go Pies.
Fremantle V Carlton at Subiaco Friday Night
Well the Dockers will make the finals but due to injuries they are just a shadow of their early season self. This is a must win game for both teams to determine who plays where and who plays who. It’s so hard to pick Freo after last week but what the heck. The Dockers have made 10 changes to the team from last week but that was expected after a 116 point defeat! There has been a bit of argie bargie between the coaches as well with Ratten finally admitting that he might have done the same thing as Harvey given similar circumstances. The early glory of the Fremantle story has faded a bit as the season progressed and the Docker injuries really started to bite but with the team they have picked and with their record against the Blues, plus the fact that the game is in Perth may be just enough for them to win the game.
Fremantle by 11
Geelong V West Coast at Skilled on Saturday
This match could get ugly for West Coast. Not as bad as Freo last week against the Hawks but the margin will be in that range unless the Cats take it easy. Eagles players and coaches put their reputation on the line before mad Monday. Not a lot can be said about this game. The Pods copped his 2 weeks as forecast and Hunt surprisingly got a week as well but these exclusions didn’t really faze the Cats who replaced these two with two others from their bottomless pit of players.
Geelong by 100
Hawthorn V Collingwood at the MCG Saturday
This will give Hawthorn supporters a better idea of where their team sits in the big picture of a chance in the finals. The Pies will want to forget last week and Hawthorn is playing a better team than last week. Hawks might want this more but tipsters will stick with class. Speaking of class both teams lost their best left footers in Hodge for the Hawks and Didak for Collingwood. The Pies will want to go into the finals on a winning note and their kicking for goal is starting to give the fans the yips as well. Should be a good game.
Collingwood by 22
Adelaide V St Kilda at AAMI Saturday
The Crows will give a good account of themselves in a game that will see an emotional pre-match send off for some real stars – McLeod, Goodwin, Burton, Edwards and Hentschel. But all that emotion won’t help them beat the Saints. Kosi is hitting form and captain Nick is also looking rather formidable. Neither team has a lot to play for so maybe the closeness of the scores will provide the spectators with a bit of intensity.
St Kilda by 33
Western Bulldogs V Essendon at Etihad Saturday night
The Bombers cannot win this game even with a few outs for the Bullies with injuries. Knights will stay at Essendon. The Bombers just need some better players and those with injuries to come back next year. Coaches should not be picked by the supporters. Barry Hall to kick 7. Essendon has successfully res-signed a few of their players and that might provide a settling affect but tipsters will be looking for a complete form reversal to help them pick the Bombers to win. The question being asked now is just how far the Western Bulldogs can go this year with the injuries and form loss. They will play Collingwood in the first semi in two weeks’ time and will need to improve significantly.
Western Bulldogs by 44
Brisbane Lions V Sydney at the Gabba Saturday night
A feast of footy this Saturday with 5 games. Brisbane has found a bit of form but nowhere near as good as that of the Sydney Swans who are back to early season form and should win this one to ensure they are in the mix for a home final. It will be close. The Swans need to hold Brown and the Lions need to hold Goodes and lately Kieran Jack.
Sydney by 11
Richmond V Port Adelaide at Etihad Sunday
Last game for Ben Cousins who has overcome a hamstring strain and an opportunity for Power’s Primus to tighten his hold on the coaching job. Both teams are playing okay considering their ladder positions but the Tigers need to round off a reasonably good season with a win. Richmond has signed Jack Riewoldt and Dustin Martin for a few years into the future and a win in this game is important for the Tigers. That might be enough incentive for them to win the game. The loss of young Ebert with a knee injury might affect Port more than they would like to say.
Richmond by 6
Melbourne V North Melbourne at MCG Sunday
North seems to be the best team outside the 8 and this is an opportunity for them to show us why. The Demons have fallen away a bit but this will be a close game won or lost in the last quarter. Jurrah has come down from the clouds after his wonderful mark last week and the Demon young guns are starting to look a little tired after a pretty good season. A few injury problems at North and the retirement of Jones will have a mixed affect so North will have to be right on their game to win. It will be interesting to see what motivation the players have in this game.
North Melbourne by 22