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Friday, July 15, 2011

AFL Preview Round 17

AFL Preview Round 17
Last week 5/7 = 93/124 (75%)
Last week, on the Sunday, a group of us boarded the train in Daqing and took the journey to Harbin about an hour and a half’s journey due east. Harbin is the capital of the Heilongjiang Province so with just over 9 million people it is more than a village! Travelling by train is an adventure as well and it’s from the Chinese train stations that the term “if push came to shove” originated I’m sure. It’s pointless being polite because you will never get on your train in time. Also there are no announcements telling you that your train is about to depart, nor what platform from which it is leaving. Seats are all numbered and you sit where your ticket states you can sit and you have to ask sneaky Chinese travellers who boarded without a ticket to vacate your seat if they have squatted there in the hope that the space will be empty. Fat chance of that I thought because every train going anywhere is full. It was an express train and it was a very smooth journey apart from us noisy foreign revellers heading to the big city for a drink. The Harbin hotel we booked cost 100Yuan for the night and for that price it was far from being a dive but also far from being more than 2 star.
We tossed our backpacks into our rooms, bought a beer at the shop next to the hotel and walked across the road where a guy had set up a Chinese version of an Aussie BBQ on the footpath in the centre of a road junction!! Can you imagine that happening in one of our cities? Like setting up a BBQ in the middle of St Kilda junction or the roundabout on the Perth Causeway! He had tables and chairs, well stools more like, and we were a welcome sight for him as we tried to fill our bellies before hitting the nightspots. Harbin is mighty close to Vladivostok so the city is usually full of Russians. The Harbin taxi drivers hate the Russians and anybody that is not Chinese is Russian so hailing a taxi was a nightmare at times. We drank at the Box club then onto the Fox Dox club and I thought for sure the next one would be the Fox in Sox Dr Seuss club. It wasn’t. The last stop for us was the Russian club….of course. A small highlight of the trip was when I went shopping on the Monday in a little market store that sold T-shirts and sleeveless sports shirts I came across a Hawthorn Football Club shirt complete with the tag that said it was official AFL clothing!! A big highlight was coming across a cannabis / marijuhana crop growing right in the middle of the city. The plants were well tended and thriving because they were being watered and fertilised. We were the only people paying this lovely garden any attention.
With regard to the AFL games this weekend….well there are a couple of tricky ones and to win your tipping comp you will need to score at least two 7’s and maybe even an 8 before the season is over. On a more sombre note – RIP Allan Jeans, great man, great coach.
Adelaide V Essendon at AAMI Friday night
Don’t laugh but I think Adelaide can win this game. The fragile Bombers might be just what the Crows have ordered to give them a late win in the season. The fact that it is a home game certainly helps and if you can ignore that bye Adelaide just had then maybe they can continue with their winning streak against Essendon.
Adelaide by 17
Richmond V Gold Coast Suns at Cazaly Stadium Cairns Saturday
The Tigers gave one of these crazy venue games away when they played Port Adelaide in Darwin. Let’s hope they don’t suffer the same fate when playing in a Cazaly venue.
Richmond by 50
Carlton V Collingwood at the MCG Saturday
No doubt that this will be a sell out game and the Carlton supporters will be hoping for a miracle win against the rampant Pies. The Blues have been beaten by the Bulldogs and the Eagles in between a massive win against the Tigers so it’s hard to judge where their form is. Form aside Carlton still does not possess the firepower across all positions to worry Collingwood seriously.
Collingwood by 33
St Kilda V West Coast Eagles at Etihad Saturday night
It’s hard to go past West Coast after their last few weeks during which they have knocked off Carlton and Geelong, one an away win and one a home win. The Saints are making a comeback but Etihad suits the Eagles style and if they close the roof if it’s a wet day then my money is on West Coast. If the Eagles win and Carlton lose they will be in 4th position on the ladder!!
West Coast by 22
Melbourne V Port Adelaide at TIO Stadium Darwin Saturday night
Can the Power pull off another win in Darwin after a surprise win against the Tigers here a few weeks ago? Melbourne continues to disappoint but they should account for the Power in this match if they really want to get back into the finals race.
Melbourne by 6
Sydney V Fremantle at the SCG Sunday
This should be a close game with both teams pretty even in form during the year. Fremantle is in a precarious position on the ladder and they can ill afford a loss so the desperation will be there. To beat the Swans at home might prove difficult for the Dockers and Sydney murdered the Suns last week so their confidence should be high.
Sydney by 11
Brisbane Lions V Geelong at the Gabba Sunday
Two losses in a row to the Cats will have them on the prowl in this game against the Lions which they should win reasonably easily. If the Lions can match Geelong in the early stages of the game the finish might be a bit tighter than most would expect but you would think that the experience and talent of Geelong should prevail.
Geelong by 39
North Melbourne V Western Bulldogs at Etihad Sunday
This is another tough game to pick although these teams had mixed fortunes last week when the Bulldogs surprised Carlton and North was smashed by Collingwood. That loss would not be leaving a lot of North Melbourne players brimming with confidence and conversely the confidence within the Bulldogs will be high. Expect a closer game than last week but also expect a Bulldog’s win.
Western Bulldogs by 29

2 comments:

smithy said...

mate absoloutly loving this blog..week in week out u never fail to dissapoint.

keep up the hard work

Tony Curl said...

Thanks to footy.com.au ....just follow the link on the image.