Thursday, July 28, 2011

AFL Preview Round 19

Last week 8/8 = 104/140 (74.3%)
Two perfect scores this season is worth crowing about I guess and maybe that’s because the unpredictability of form is becoming predictable. One thing you cannot predict is when and where an earthquake will happen and a couple of days ago I experienced another first in life, albeit one I would have been happy to miss, a cute 6.2 on the richter scale movement of the earth while I was lying in bed! For those readers that may have experienced such a frightening event first hand I apologise for recalling the terror. I had just retired to bed after walking along the beach at Subic Bay in the Philippines and it was about 1.00am. Firstly there was a rumbling sound which made me sit up quickly then the room in which I was staying at the Vista Marina resort started swaying and shaking. Being virginal in earthquake experience the mind takes a few seconds to grasp what is happening but there was soon no doubt as to what it was. To be quite frank it’s a terrifying experience and when all had settled down seismically it was a restless night. Apparently measurement of quakes goes on the scale of a 7.2 is 10 times the force of a 6.2. The mind boggles to think of what would have happened to the building if the tremors were 10 times that which occurred! The safest place is outside, away from buildings but if you are in bed and the building crumbles you really don’t have the chance to get out.
The earthquake won’t kill you – the falling rubble does. The epicentre was around Zambales not all that far away. There was no evidence of any damage in the city of Ongalapo and people I spoke to were pretty nonchalant about the whole thing…..plenty of earthquakes in the area.
Getting back to more natural forces such as those we have in the AFL strong enough to make coaches resign and weak teams knock off stronger ones, there are a couple of interesting games this weekend which could go either way and if you can consider it a relief then accept that fact that there are only 7 games to pick from! Good luck!
North Melbourne V Carlton at Etihad Friday night
It’s true that the Carlton machine hit a few speed bumps over the past 5 weeks but they were back to their pulverising best against the Bombers in their last game and I think North, while competitive, might find winning this game a bit beyond their capabilities. Any slacking off by the Blues against the Roos will be fatal. Carlton has the Eagles knocking on their 4th placed door and West Coast has a game up its sleeve. North is one of the teams in contention for that 8th spot so a stumble here can have dire consequences. Stakes are high so expect some vigour!
Carlton by 33
Western Bulldogs V West Coast Eagles at Etihad Saturday
For the Eagles to keep making Hawthorn and Carlton look over their shoulders they need to keep winning and this is a tough ask to beat the Bulldogs at Etihad, not a favourite place for West Coast. Last time they met West Coast handed the Western Bulldogs a thrashing. Can they do it again after a hard derby against Fremantle?
West Coast by 6
Geelong V Melbourne at Skilled Saturday
I’ll make this tip short. Melbourne playing Geelong on their tray of kitty litter in Corio Bay have no chance of winning this game. Demon fans who were hoping for their team to play in the finals this season will be aware that another loss here, inevitable, makes it that much harder. The Cats can afford to slip up between now and finals time but this won’t be one of those slips.
Geelong by 42
Gold Coast V St Kilda at Metricon Saturday
The Suns are doing okay as we know but even though the game is at home for them they are meeting a red hot Saints team hell bent on asserting their place in the top 8 permanently. While the absence of Reiwoldt hurts the Saints it really just makes a difference to the margin. Gold Coast has shown great endeavour and will push St Kilda for at least 2 and half quarters but that experience the Saints have will tell in the end.
St Kilda by 39
Fremantle V Hawthorn at Paterson Saturday
Gee this is an interesting game. We keep writing Freo off and they keep winning games we think they shouldn’t. Having said that I just can’t bring myself to tip the Dockers in this game against the Hawks. Freo has a difficult road home to finish the season and the return of Sandilands will be a big plus. A year of injuries has left them struggling to make the 8. Uf they had won against the Eagles in the derby last week they would have had some breathing space. Now, every match is vital. Hawthorn can shuffle between 3rd and 4th through their remaining games as their double chance position is not in danger.
Hawthorn by 15
Collingwood V Essendon at the MCG Sunday
Essendon was soundly put away by the Blues last week and considering the talent in the team they play this week they could be in for another one. Somehow Essendon always does well against the Pies and the contest will, as usual, be willing. The Bombers still won’t win though. Collingwood will finish either 1st or 2nd and along with Geelong they are flag favourites. Essendon has dropped away dramatically since their stellar start to the season and will probably not be good enough to finish in the 8.
Collingwood by 39
Adelaide V Port Adelaide at AAMI Sunday
As predicted the Crows bumped off Neil Craig as a reason for the pitiful performance of the players. Can Adelaide lift under the guidance of a new coach? The real question is – who cares? The two South Australian teams are having record poor seasons and to pick the winner of this game is almost impossible. Maybe an emotionally charged Adelaide can do it. Both teams are looking at what they can do next season.
Adelaide by 12

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