Battle to avoid the Spoon heats up
Andrew Phillips and Jeremy Cameron of the Giants in front of a disappointing crowd (AFL Media)
- Port Adelaide Power news
- Melbourne Demons news
- AFL news
- AFL Premiership news
- Gold Coast Suns news
- GWS Giants news
A few weeks ago, we had a round that most were calling the best of the season. All top eight teams were playing each other, and there were some cracking games that looked set to not only shape the top eight, but the top four.
What we got from the hype was actually something of a letdown.
The Crows hammered the Eagles, Geelong battered the Bombers, Hawthorn underpinned a massive Collingwood collapse and Sydney stifled a plucky Saint Kilda outfit.
Not really what we want as a football community is it? Four epic games resulting in epic beltings. Mind you, Sydney only just beat the Saints by 29 points which, compared to the other three games, is barely even a win.
Really, I blame hype over the disappointment that followed this round. Rather than admiring the power of the Crows, Swans, Cats and Hawks, we were lamenting the lack of the tight and heavily contested round we all wanted.
And ultimately we were left disappointed.
That same hype is not evident this round, but it should be.
We have potentially two of the best games of the year ahead of ourselves this weekend, and I for one am more excited for Mondays fallout that I was two weeks ago.
And here’s why.
On Saturday, old friends become foes for the first ever game between the GWS Giants and Port Adelaide Power, as Chad Cornes, Dean Brogan, Jonathon Giles and Mark Williams battle it out against their old club.
All of these men have a reason to want to beat their old team. Brogan and Cornes, after being told they were no longer required by the Power after stellar careers, first retired, and then used as bargaining chips by the Power when they revealed they were to join GWS.
Imagine being forced to retire, then being told you were still required, just so the mob retiring you could use you as trade bait. Yeah, nice send off Port.
And these two warriors will remember that.
Giles has spent the last year proving to the AFL world he has, and always has had, what it takes to compete. He’s been demonstrating this to his former coach who never gave him a run, even at a time in the clubs history when ruckmen were thin on the ground. Now he gets to show the old firm who sacked him.
He comes up against a much younger, much leaner ruck brigade, and will no doubt dominate the centre circle come Saturday.
Williams’ relationship with the Power is much more complicated: he brought the club their first and only premiership, and therefore will always hold a special place in their history.
Now, however, he is hell-bent on building a new piece of AFL history, and will use all of his inside knowledge and cunning to dismantle the club he built.
All of these factors, combined with Port’s lack of current form and distracting discussions over the futures of key players like Boak and Chaplin, could conspire to be the most costly boil over of the season.
Just imagine the ramifications for the power coaching staff, let alone the playing list, if the Giants get up. I would not want to be a fly on the wall at Alberton come Monday.
Even if the Giants lose, expect a thrilling contest, with all the history and side issues that make for an enthralling AFL match.
On Sunday, we head to the G where Melbourne takes on the travelling Suns.
I know, a clash of the titans, right?
Well, actually, this weekend, yes, it is.
Melbourne is once again surrounded by the ugly tanking controversy, thanks to former player Broc McLean admitting he left the club because of the issue.
Since McLean’s interview on Monday night, commentators have once again resumed their campaign for a change in drafting rules, as well as reheated the old issue over Melbourne’s credibility as a club and its culture.
Now I don’t care about the old clichés, I’m sure footballers have at least some idea of what is being said about them, and I’m certain they don’t always like it. Expect the Demons to respond this weekend.
That might not be all that easy with a plucky Suns team in the way.
Now, the Gold Coast was smashed last week by Sydney. Demoralised, even. That alone can often be inspiring for some players, especially the older ones.
But couple that with some strong performances over the last month against Richmond in Cairns and Brisbane at home, and the Suns will use last week’s game as an impetus to recreate that good form.
All this and I haven’t even mentioned the battle to avoid the wooden spoon!
So I say bring on round 19, and let the clash of the titans begin!
The Roar is giving you the chance to win 1 of 19 prize packs to Australian Open 2014! Each lucky winner will receive four evening tickets to Rod Laver Arena, plus access to 3 hours in the Heineken VIP Bar. Enter here.