AFL Preview Round 23
Meanwhile back at the AFL: So it was farewell to Brett Ratten as Carlton coach but the use of the coach as a scapegoat for a team’s performance can seem to be a bit unfair. However, in this case, I don’t think he was the right man for that job but then the Carlton football team also lacks a few key players. Is Mick Malthouse the answer? Well if he still has the passion it would be worth it for Carlton to sound him out but don’t expect a premiership next season. And Cloke to go to Carlton too? He needs to lift his game or nobody will want him.
Hawthorn V West Coast at the MCG Friday night
A final before a final. West Coast needs to win to ensure a top 4 finish and a home final so they will be desperate against this strong Hawthorn team. There are good match ups in the centre and really, across the ground the teams are pretty even. If the game was in Perth the tip would be the Eagles but at the MCG I favour the Hawks.
Hawthorn by 18
Geelong V Sydney at Simonds Stadium Saturday
Another match that has two finalists playing each other before the finals week. The worst that can happen to Sydney should they lose is a drop from 2nd to 3rd. Does that mean a home final? A win will keep them 2nd or if the Hawks lose they can steal top spot. A Geelong win can advance them to 5th above Collingwood. So with regard to the double chance nothing changes for either team apart from playing well as a good rehearsal for the finals.
Geelong by 6
Adelaide V Gold Coast at AAMI Saturday
A terrific win for the Suns last week against Carlton but it would be too much to think that they can do it again against the Crows in Adelaide. There would have to be a 10 goal margin in this game as a minimum. Adelaide needs a strong showing to prepare for the finals but the Suns could finish the season with some confidence if they ensure the final margin is about 7 or 8 goals.
Adelaide by 59
GWS Giants V North Melbourne at Skoda Saturday
The last time these two played North murdered the Giants and after last week’s loss to Fremantle North Melbourne will want to murder again. But, they might rest players too because North can finish 7th or 8th – that’s it. The Giants, to celebrate the re-signing of Sheedy, need to make sure the result is an improvement on the last effort against North.
North Melbourne by 77
Essendon V Collingwood at the MCG Saturday
This was a 1 point game last time they played but things have changed for both teams since then. Collingwood must win to give them a chance to slip back into the top 4 should the Eagles lose while with Essendon nothing matters any more as they will be playing their last game for the season Saturday night. One team motivated another team decimated.
Collingwood by 43
Fremantle V Melbourne at Paterson Saturday night
The only interest in this game is whether Pavlich will be allowed to play so he can win the Coleman medal? That would be another feather in a decorated cap for Pav who must be wondering at times why he stayed at Freo. Melbourne’s season was a shocker and with nothing to lose the Dockers better be careful they don’t let this game slip. What combination of Eagles win / loss and Freo win / loss gives us an elimination final in Perth? Wouldn’t that be something?
Fremantle by 39
Carlton V St Kilda at Etihad Sunday
At the time of writing this it’s not official that Ratten will no longer coach Carlton. If that’s the case then one can assume that he will be allowed to coach this last time. The rumours are strong enough to suggest that he will be sacked not given an extension. With the turmoil surrounding the club is it a good idea to tip them to beat the Saints?
Late mail: Ratten was sacked!
St Kilda by 11
Richmond V Port Adelaide at the MCG Sunday
The Tigers can finish a disappointing but potential season with a blast and beat the Power convincingly. The Coleman medal for Reiwoldt is also a possibility especially if Pavlich is deemed unfit to play. Port has had a tough season during which they lost a coach and we all know Richmond’s close losses.
Richmond by 49
Brisbane V Western Bulldogs at the Gabba Sunday
The Lions did okay this season – unexpectedly so. 10 wins after they beat the Bulldogs is a reasonable result considering expectations by the experts. The Bulldogs have been the opposite with expectations far exceeding their results. Not a great intro to AFL coaching for the new Western Bulldogs coach who might as well start all over next season. Brisbane has a good base to work off but they are a couple of seasons and a couple of players off making the finals.
Brisbane by 22