Harsh predictions for the first week of AFL finals

6 Have your say

    The first week of the AFL finals is upon us, so let’s take a harsh, but fair, look at the draw.

    More AFL Finals
    » Finals forecast: Adelaide vs GWS
    » Expert tips and predictions
    » Adelaide vs GWS preview
    » Crystal Ball predictions from the team

    Adelaide Crows versus Greater Western Sydney Giants
    Rory Sloane’s removed appendix has been the talk of Adelaide over the past fortnight and anyone who has ever visited the South Australian capital will understand why a redundant component of human biology could generate such intense interest.

    Still, the game will be the most exciting thing to happen in the City of Churches since Sir Donald Bradman’s public memorial service.

    It will be sad if Steve Johnson doesn’t play as he definitely seems capable of committing at least one more act of on-field lunacy before retiring. Should Stevie J fail to make the side Toby Greene can take up the slack and see if this year he, instead of the former Geelong star, can cost the Giants a chance at playing in their first grand final.

    Even if Sloane doesn’t play the Crows should account for the Giants who this year have too many young players who still appear to sleep with the light on.

    Prediction: Crows by five goals.

    Geelong Cats versus Richmond Tigers
    The most eagerly anticipated match of the weekend – well at least for Victorians, the AFL, the MCC, Cameron Ling and Matthew Richardson – is between Geelong and Richmond.

    The game will not be played in Geelong and under normal circumstances this would be an enormous disadvantage to the Cats. Luckily, they are playing Richmond, a side that is essentially allergic to September.

    Just in case anyone in Tigerland had forgotten that Richmond haven’t won a final since 2001, Mick Malthouse this week took it upon himself to remind everyone. And why not? Who better to highlight a famous club’s appalling lack of achievement and ability to choke like Greg Norman than a member of its last premiership team.

    This type of conduct has seen Damien Hardwick physically threaten journalists in the past, but a more settled and mature Richmond coach will probably just follow Malthouse into the toilets on Jack Dyer Medal night and deal with him where there are no witnesses.

    Dustin Martin’s re-signing will be an enormous boost for the Tigers and they should beat a Geelong side that, while in form, is not very good. Selwood with one good ankle is still a better player than 18 of those who will line up next to him on Friday night.

    Prediction: The Tigers should win this one by at least three goals, which means they probably won’t.

    Lance Franklin Brendon Goddard Sydney Swans Essendon Bombers AFL 2017

    (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

    Sydney Swans versus Essendon Bombers
    As much as the sadistic voyeur in me would love nothing more than to see James Hird present Jobe Watson with the Norm Smith Medal on grand final day this year, there’s more chance of Chris Mayne marrying Nathan Buckley.

    Essendon fans are good people, when they’re not on Twitter, and they are entitled to feel proud of their club’s achievements this year. I’m sure the rest of the football community joins me in hoping the Bombers thoroughly enjoy the three hours they will spend being thrashed in this year’s finals series.

    Don’t be swayed by the romance of the redemption story, the Swans will beat the Bombers more impressively than Glenn Archer can beat a bespectacled boundary umpire, even with Kurt Tippett in the side.

    September is usually when Buddy Franklin starts to wind things down for the year, but this year I expect him to continue his blistering form right up until grand final day when he may finally remove the brown and gold chip from his shoulder.

    Prediction: Swans by plenty.

    West Coast Eagles versus Port Adelaide Power
    During cricket season the Adelaide Oval is often referred to as a ‘flat track’, so this is probably why the Eagles perform well there.

    That Lewis Jetta and Jack Darling both had their best performances for West Coast in the nerve-tingling fourth quarter against Adelaide in Round 23 augurs well for a Port victory, as neither will be due to perform at a high standard again until 2019.

    Still, any side with Sam Mitchell in it remains a chance, but in this case ‘chance’ only refers to a chance of not being completely embarrassed.

    In my irrational opinion Port are the dark horses of this year’s competition and with All-Australian ruckman Paddy Ryder getting first use of the ball, Port’s little men will create havoc against a West Coast side who have been as inconsistent in 2017 as the Bulldogs, St Kilda and Melbourne, all of whom failed to make the finals.

    This match remains the only one of the weekend with tickets available so may be the best of the four matches.

    Prediction: I still think Port will win by seven goals.

    The Club Roar Awards have been run and won! Olympic Gold Medallist and all-round legend Steven Bradbury has announced who's getting a share in $10,000! Check out the winners HERE!