Round 1 of the great game begins today and runs over a long Easter Weekend. I have no idea who might or might not be playing. Especially on Monday afternoon. How do I do my ‘fantasy’ team?
But – it’s all a stab in the dark until we get known form. My thoughts on the first round are below.
Carlton vs Richmond
For me, Carlton midfield a bit too good for the Tiges, but Richmond might have the advantage up front. Promises then to be a fairly even tussle, Carlton by 17pt.
Port vs Geelong
Port at home seeking revenge, indicators that Tredrea is fight and raring to go. Geelong, no N.Ablett, no S.King. And still no M.Egan. And apparently Ottens is out. How about a first up boil over, Port by 15pts.
Collingwood vs Freo
I reckon the loss of Clement will entirely unsettle the Collingwood backline. I think the Pies over achieved last year, while Freo under achieved. In fine weather Freo will be steeled to make an early season statement. Coll just by 5 pts.
West Coast Eagles vs Brisbane
Brissie could be back in town this year should Bradshaw and Brown stand up week by week. However, I feel WCE (minus Judd and Cousins) will be the first to settle down, at home. However, is Kerr still out with a finger? WCE by 22.
St Kilda vs Sydney Swans
The Saints to defend fortress Telstra Dome. The Saints look the team most likely to be the right group of players in the right squad at the right time. Saints by 28 pts.
Western Bulldogs vs Adelaide
The doggies all fired up, with a forward line too! Scott Welsh to bag 6 against his old team, Doggies by 25.
Hawthorn vs Melbourne
Melb have had an ordinary pre season – Hawthorn will be raring to go to make up for last years finals disappointment against North. However, with a good number of players ‘sidelined’ via the tribunal – the ability to whitewash the Dees may be lacking, Hawks by 19 holding off an ‘honest’ Melb last qtr comeback.
North Melbourne vs Essendon
The match of the round.
McIntosh the key in a vital duel with Hille. Laycock and Hale for the back up rucking honours. Promises an old fashioned finely match contest. Will Michael pick up Thompson, will Petrie go forward to stretch the Ess defence and free up Edwards to take the 3rd tall defender?
How will the midfields match up – will Peverill run with Harvey or Simpson. Will Wells fire? Will Rawlings run with Stanton? Or will it be an old fashioned shoot out.
The Roos are probably most vulnerable up back – still lacking solid tall defenders. The ability of Firitto and Gibson perhaps on Lloyd and Lucas might be critical to the outcome.
North by 3 pts in a classic.