Friday, July 1, 2011

AFL Preview

Last week 6/8 = 83/109 (76.1%)
If the weather forecast is a possibility of rain why don’t they close the roof at Etihad before the game? I believe there is some sort of rule that does not allow them to do it during a game. Unlike tennis. I heard the commentators talking about it during the West Coast and Carlton game. Did it actually rain during that match?
When it rains in China it’s diabolical. Apart from disastrous flooding in the south of China and currently in Beijing the rain in the north east provinces creates some interesting observations. Many of the roads are really badly built and even in the case of the latest freeways there has been no allowance for drainage. When they built the roads it seems drainage was not part of the plans so there are no outlets for water from the roadway and in the event of a few mm’s of rain huge puddles and pools form in whatever area of the road there is a dip, an incorrect camber or just bad levelling. On some roads they have actually put in drains but the levelling is so bad that only after rainfalls of 125mm that some of the water finds its way into the drain opening.
The rest of the water just pools around the area. When the rain stops all these Chinese workers appear with pieces of plywood about 2 feet square attached to a long handle and push the water into the drain openings. Using labour like this obviously worked out cheaper than using engineers and surveyors to set up correct levels. These workers are probably the same ones that sweep 500 km stretches of highways with brooms made of shredded paper and plastic attached also to long poles! When you are driving anywhere you have the added danger of hitting these sweepers as they sweep the gutters on the roads.
We are at the pointy end of the season now with the top 3 or 4 teams reasonably established although losses to Carlton and a possible loss to Hawthorn this weekend will open a door or two to teams lying 5th and 6th if they’re good enough. It’s safe to say that Geelong and Collingwood will finish 1 and 2 and probably play off in a Grand Final….or two. The middle teams are still providing tipsters with some frustrations due to inconsistent form but then again, that’s why they are middle of the road right? The early form of Essendon has gone (chuckle from Knights as he reads this) but the early form of the Eagles has been maintained much to everybody’s surprise, probably even West Coast supporters. Speaking of unexpected form we can look at St Kilda and the Western Bulldogs as well. The Saints might make the 8 but the Doggies are really struggling and might not make the 8. There’s still time but opportunities are going begging at the moment.
All this makes for some tricky tipping this week. Can the Demons maintain the rage? Can the Bulldogs gain some? Can Richmond get back on the winning list and beat a better team? Can Adelaide provide the coach and the supporters with some shred of hope for next season and beat the Swans? Can the Hawks beat the Pies and put a smile on the face of all Collingwood haters and be considered a flag chance? Can North win 5 in a row and be a final 8 contender? Tip wisely. Good luck.
Western Bulldogs V Melbourne at Etihad Friday Night
Things are grim in the kennel and the fact that the Bulldogs are playing the Demons is a bit like ‘give the poor dog a bone’. There’s a chance that the Doggies might chew a bit on it but there’s also a chance that they might just leave tooth marks. Melbourne has lobbed into the top 8 and winning this game will help consolidation which might be enough of a motive for the team to beat the Bulldogs.
Melbourne by 21
Richmond V Carlton at the MCG Saturday
The Tigers let another one slip against the Demons last week but then so did the Blues when they lost to West Coast. The Tigers are much improved but not that much that they can beat Carlton coming off an unexpected loss. At their best the Tigers could challenge and if they catch the Blues napping and still wondering about what happened last week the game could be really close.
Carlton by 31
Fremantle V Gold Coast Suns at Paterson stadium Saturday
It’s not always the case that playing the Suns allows you a bit of breathing space so the Dockers will take this lightly at their own risk. Gold Coast was very competitive against the Eagles here a few weeks ago so travelling to Perth again should hold no fears. Freo won a hard fought game against the other QLD team last week and their injury problems just keep mounting. This is a danger game for Fremantle who love to frustrate their supporters by losing these games. Beware of an upset.
Fremantle by 11
Essendon V Geelong at Etihad Saturday night
Problems for the Bombers will continue and this should be their 6th consecutive loss to an unstoppable Geelong who has yet to lose a game. The Cats will stay on top and the Bombers will keep falling as if they had been shot from the sky.
Geelong by 46
Adelaide V Sydney at AAMI Saturday night
The Swans almost beat Collingwood last week so one would think that they will deal with Adelaide even playing at AAMI. Then again…..The Crows have a concentration problem that sees them fade out badly in the latter stages of a game, a time when Sydney usually applies the screws. It will be closer than the Swans would like but they should hold on to win, particularly if it’s tight.
Sydney by 17
Brisbane Lions V Port Adelaide at the Gabba Sunday
This match is between two teams that currently sit pretty well at rock bottom and neither team will play finals. They are blooding new players and trying to get a few games under their belts. As the game is at the Gabba you would have to say that the Lions should win the game. It’s not guaranteed considering the form of these two teams but you have to pick one of them. The lesser of two evils.
Brisbane by 29
Collingwood V Hawthorn at the MCG Sunday
This is the big game of the weekend with 2nd playing 3rd. Tall man injuries during the season for the Hawks plus the suspension of Lewis helps the Magpie tipping case assuming they needed one, which, they didn’t. Collingwood and Geelong remain the two standout teams so it will be interesting to see where Hawthorn actually sits in the pecking order. They beat the Pies in the last game of the year in 2010 but it made little difference to the ultimate outcome. The Hawks say that Buddy might play in the centre of the ground. Well that would suit the Magpies because the Collingwood backs are more than good enough to hold an inexperienced Hawthorn forward line.
Collingwood by 36

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