AFL Preview Round 7
Last week 5/7. Total 33/45 (73.3%)
Apologies for the bad tip I gave you last week of Swans beating Carlton. It almost happened but the tip was probably a long shot in the context of current form. The surprise result for most last week was the win by the Adelaide Crows against the Saints.
Again this week there are some difficult games from which to make selections of confidence as the form of a few teams is a bit up and down. Bit like the weather in Northern China, highly unpredictable. Or the driving – totally unpredictable! This country is the only one I know where a pedestrian can suffer acute road rage. You can be hit by a car on a zebra crossing (because the local drivers will only make way for zebras I think). You can be hit by a car walking on the correct side of the road. You can be hit by a car walking on the footpath because vehicles have access to and use the sidewalks when driving.You can be hit by a car crossing an intersection when you have the green walking man. You can be hit by a car walking in the shopping centre car park. You can be hit by a car while standing on an upraised, concrete median strip. You are never safe when you walk anywhere here. You can maintain a reasonable level of fitness just dodging traffic in China. I’ve dropped 5 kilos but I am a nervous wreck. There’s always a downside to keeping fit I think!
One of the definites I can offer you this week is that Collingwood will remain undefeated. Good luck.
Port Adelaide V Hawthorn at AAMI Stadium Friday Night
There are some funny things happening at AAMI this season but the hilarity of the situation would be lost on the Hawks if they lost this one. The Crows beat Hawthorn here in the 1st round and Port beat Adelaide at this venue later on. Surely not? No. Rioli hasn’t passed a fitness test so that’s a bit of a loss for Hawthorn. How many goals will Franklin kick in this game? Six or seven.
Hawthorn by 33
Western Bulldogs V Sydney in Canberra Saturday
This game is most difficult from which to pick a winner with any certainty. The Bulldogs got a thumping by Collingwood last week albeit in a 15 minute burst and the Bullies did have a few players out. The Swans were beaten by Carlton. Toss of a coin says Western Bulldogs. No reason. But I guess with Jacks out for the Swans and Hudson back for the Dogs the balance teeters in their favour. Not a lot in it though.
Western Bulldogs by 12
Geelong V North Melbourne at Skilled Saturday
It’s hard to see the unbeaten Cats give up their run in this game although North won convincingly last week. The problem with that win was that the opposition was only Port Adelaide. They will give Geelong a scare early but won’t be able to sustain the pace and skill. It’s rather a unique situation in the coaching boxes with the Scott twins against each other. Are all those studies they did with twins and the way in which they can mentally communicate with each other have any basis in fact? It would be a bit eerie to see Chris Scott make a strategic on field change for the Cats and have Brad counter the move almost immediately because he knew what his twin was thinking. There’s a great scientific opportunity going begging here and the AFL should go with it. I mean if there’s a quid in it of course.
Geelong by 31
Richmond V Fremantle at the MCG Saturday night
Here’s another game that can go either way. Every time I pick Freo to lose they win. When I picked them to win they lost against Geelong. Coming off a bye should help but the experts are saying the players switch off mentally the week after a bye???? The young Tigers can win this one at home. Dustin Martin is having a great impact in the centre of the ground for the Tigers and along with Foley they could take away the advantage that Freo’s Sandilands has in the hit outs. Pavlich, Fyfe and Mundy are playing well for Fremantle too so the midfield stats should be interesting. The Dockers wanted more playing time at the MCG so here’s there chance to get used to the ground.
Richmond by 11
Gold Coast V Brisbane Lions at the Gabba Saturday Night
Now we have a Queensland Derby which will go the way of other inaugural derbies with the older team usually winning. I can’t see a change to that scenario. Brisbane will climb off the bottom of the ladder and Gold Coast will go return to the bottom. Don’t expect them to be thrashed by over 100 points though. Mercenaries for the Suns, Brennan and Rischetelli, need to play well again as does Ablett for the Gold Coast to make a reasonable game of this. AFL is a mercenary game these days and players need to make the most of their time in the industry so it will be interesting to see if Western Sydney can make mercenaries of a few more Brisbane players like Simon Black and Jonathon Brown!!
Brisbane by 54
Essendon V West Coast Eagles at Etihad Sunday
The Bombers come off a huge win against the Suns last week and the Eagles were pretty convincing against the Demons as well so this should be an interesting match. Neither team will have it as easy as last week and this far into the season they are both in the top 8 with 3 wins apiece – good starts to the season for two teams that played so poorly last year. I think the Bombers have improved more than West Coast. The Hird factor is proving all it was touted to be and the pressure by the Essendon board to get James Hird as their coach is paying immediate dividends. The game is a good test for West Coast too who came close to rolling the Hawks in Tassie a couple of weeks ago.
Essendon by 15
Melbourne V Adelaide at the MCG Sunday
Two totally unpredictable form teams playing off to determine their levels of inconsistency!? The Demons really need to stand up this week at home for their members because these same members are already crying for some coach blood letting. Pitiful one week, powerful the next. The Crows have beaten Hawthorn and St Kilda, good scalps if you don’t look at who has beaten them….like the Power. It’s a home team call. While I wouldn’t call it one of the Wonders of the World you have to ask why Melbourne continues to struggle with all those premium draft picks playing for them and that’s something that certainly has us all wondering.
Melbourne by 16
St Kilda V Carlton at Etihad on Monday
Why is this game on Monday? I forget. Carlton is showing far more consistent form than the Saints who seem to be in some dreadful post Grand Final year slump. Quite inexplicable. I tipped against the Blues last week, dare I do it again? No, but it could go either way if the Saints can do something about their weak attack. The loss of Lenny Hayes has not helped St Kilda this year but then again the loss of Reiwoldt for most of last season didn’t seem to halt their march towards the grand final. There is something else wrong at St Kilda and Carlton will take advantage of that.
Carlton by 19