Friday, July 22, 2011

AFL Preview Round 18

Last week 3/8 = 96/132 (72.7%)
It took 17 rounds to register an abysmal score and for a while as the season progressed I thought we might avoid it. However, results did not go my way so now the pressure is on to score more than 6 each round. Not easy as teams vie for those few remaining places in the 8.
When living in Australia you can usually decide to take a holiday overnight and make a booking and head off. I thought you could do the same in China forgetting that it was the main break and 110 million people had the same idea! Can’t get a train as they are all booked and you have to be quick to catch any remaining flights. Having finally achieved getting a flight out of here you then have to work out a place to visit that maybe only a million Chinese holiday makers will go to so you can avoid the crowds!! Living inland and in a cold area the beach is a major attraction to us residents of north east China and to Aussies that love he ocean so places like Dalian and Henan are the best beach resorts. Problem is you have to book 32 years in advance to get a place to stay. If you go to these beaches on spec you will be fighting for your 1 square metre of sand and running into the water to do a head first dive into a wave is an impossibility. I wonder if all those people bathing in the water jumped up and down at the same time they would cause a tsunami???

AFL. Some tough games to pick from and I will try to catch as many as I can as I get into Beijing on Saturday and maybe Shanghai and a couple of other places as the week progresses. Any further transportation problems will see me head overseas. Good luck.
St Kilda V Adelaide at Etihad Stadium Friday night
It’s hard seeing St Kilda being beaten by a poor performing Adelaide team who have not won at this ground for so long even the supporters can’t remember when. The Saints are on a bit of a roll and I won’t be tipping the Crows to win against any teams other than Port and the Gold Coast and not even those without a bit of thought.
St Kilda by 35
North Melbourne V Brisbane Lions at Etihad Stadium Saturday
North certainly surprised the Bulldogs last week but if they win this game it shouldn’t be a surprise. Jonathon Brown is now out for the season for the Lions after that collision in a pack last week so that doesn’t help their cause. North is one of those teams that could push for a spot in the 8 because they have a generously easy run home. Brisbane is one of those teams that will finish in the bottom 3.
North Melbourne by 28
Sydney V Western Bulldogs at the SCG Saturday
The current form of these two teams suggests that the game might be a draw. During the week Barry Hall announced his retirement at the end of the season. Whichever team is on song on the day will win the game. The Bulldogs capitulated in the last 20 minutes of the game against North allowing them to kick 6 of the last 7 goals. If their defence plays like that this week they will be beaten. And the result might just come from defence and the Swans have a stout defence.
Sydney by 6
Gold Coast V Collingwood at Metricon Saturday night
If we look back in sporting history at major upsets you will find some amazing stuff. Should the Suns somehow win this game it will go to the top of the list of AFL upsets. The Pies might like a break on the Gold Coast as well to put behind them the Malthouse coaching drama and the inexplicably hardsh penalty imposed on Heath Shaw for a piddly little bet. The Suns need to ensure that the Pies don’t kill them in the first half leaving no hope in the second half.
Collingwood by 88
Essendon V Carlton at the MCG Saturday night
Two blockbusters in a row for Carlton with a big crowd expected at the MCG. Can the Blues put that close loss to Collingwood behind them and stop this Essendon mini run? Or, can the Bombers continue on their winning way and give Carlton 4 losses from their last 5 games? The Bombers knocked off Geelong and came from 6 goals behind against Adelaide to win that game. I just don’t think they have the talent to match the Blues. But do they have enough heart? Possibly.
Carlton by 22
Geelong V Richmond at Etihad Stadium Sunday
Hardwicke reckons the Tigers have lost their mojo. I suggest they send out a search party to see if it can be located because no mojo in this game against the Cats will mean another big loss. Actually if they found the missing mojo before the game the Tigers would still lose.
Geelong by 42
Melbourne V Hawthorn at the MCG Sunday
The Demons put away Port last weekend in Darwin and got themselves back on track a little but they will have to show a bit more spirit and skill to beat the Hawks. Hawthorn will hope that the BB (ByeBug) doesn’t get them but they should be good enough to win this game.
Hawthorn by 25
Fremantle V West Coast at Paterson Subiaco
The two WA teams have identical form from the last 5 weeks going into this traditional derby game – 3 wins, a loss and a bye. Based on that closeness of form we could get a draw. In the last derby earlier this year the Eagles put the Dockers to the sword so it will be interesting to see whether they have the wood on Fremantle this year. No home ground advantage for the Dockers, just a home crowd advantage. It helps.
West Coast by 11

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