AFL finals predictions: Dockers to win the flag

Sean Mortell Roar Guru

By Sean Mortell, Sean Mortell is a Roar Guru

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    As 23 amazing, controversial and emotional weeks of AFL football have ended, and the top eight teams have been finally set in stone, although in the most uncertain of ways.

    Essendon’s controversial booting out of the finals throwing the other teams into a tailspin as Carlton scraped their way past Port Adelaide by a point to put themselves into finals.

    With the finals starting in only a matter of days, I preview and predict all of the upcoming finals games, and with my predictions I attempt to decide who might just win the 2013 AFL Premiership.

    As with my attempt at the 2013 All-Australian Team, it is just my opinion and you can have yours by commenting.

    QF 1: Hawks v Swans
    After last week’s spectacular match, with the Hawks just coming up trumps by 12 points, the Swans are given another shot at the minor premiers.

    With a list of Sydney’s stars out in that match, like Adam Goodes, Lewis Jetta, Kurt Tippet and Lewis Roberts-Thomson, the young Swans team grinded the game out well before the well-oiled Hawthorn outfit rolled over the top of them.

    With a possibility of some of the Swans stars to come back, with Tippet certainly playing, and with the suspension of Franklin for a week after his high hit on Malceski, the Swans come in with a fair bit of confidence.

    But you can’t keep a good team down, and the Hawks will show why they are the minor premiers, winning by 9 points in a close match, with Roughead and Mitchell proving the difference.
    TIP: Hawks by 9.

    QF 2: Cats v Dockers
    Yet again Geelong has finished in the upper echelon of the ladder, and they have gained a home final for the first time at Simonds Stadium.

    In a controversial decision, the Cats chances of winning straight into a preliminary final have risen as they have only lost one match at that venue since late 2007.

    With Geelong only just creeping past the defiant Lions because of a controversial umpiring decision late in the game, they go into next week’s game with a little spot of worry, with the Cats playing against the best defence by far in the league in the purple haze of Fremantle.

    But the Dockers succumbed to the charged up Saints, who won their last game of the year to farewell three champions.

    That loss came with twelve players being rested though, so the Dockers will run onto the Geelong field with a possibility, considering the Cats only won by a point at the same ground against a team outside the eight the previous week.

    I still think that the Cats will win though, but they will only just scrape past the defensive Fremantle outfit, with the Cats and Hawks looking set to clash in a mouth-watering grand final.
    TIP: Cats by 11.

    EF 1: Tigers v Blues
    Since 2001, the Tiger fans have not witnessed a finals match. But now their long wait is over as Richmond hasn’t finished ninth again.

    After an impressive season, they finished at fifth spot, with their resurgence stirring the Tigers cauldron up, with Jeep ads about their finals playoff for the first time in twelve years annoying everybody who isn’t a Tigers fan.

    On the other hand, the Blues have just crept into the finals, with their thrilling comeback against the Power last week sending supporters into heart attacks, as the savage attack of Mick Malthouse was held back for a year, or maybe just a week.

    I expect that 90,000 will see an epic match, with the Tigers winning by under a goal in a heart-stopping high scoring match that ends in an Aaron Edwards goal with under a minute to go.

    That’s what elimination finals are meant to be like. That’s my imagination.
    TIP: Richmond by 3.

    EF 2: Magpies v Power
    With the Pies up and down season finally ending with a finish at sixth spot, they’ll rue missed opportunities but look forward to what could be an exciting finals series.

    A win against the brilliant Port Adelaide will see them win a semi-final against the Dockers.

    I sense that Reid and Cloke will loom large as even the magic of Boak and Wingard won’t be able to hinder Pendlebury, Beams and Swan.

    I say the Pies run out winners after a fast start by the resurgent Power, with Hinkley ready to win coach of the year. And Kochie can win an award too. Just as long as the Pies win.
    TIP: Pies by 29.

    SF 1: Swans v Tigers
    With even more Jeep ads showing the Tigers win with an Edwards’s goal in the last minute, the whole football public will be sick of the ads, and desperately hope that the Swans end their misery.

    With the Swans being mightily impressive twice against Hawthorn in two weeks, I expect the Swans to come out at ANZ Stadium and burn the Tigers off, goal by goal.

    Even with some Jake King magic, the Swans will run home winners by 37 points in the end, with a Brandon Jack goal finishing the belligerent Tigers.
    TIP: Swans by 37.

    SF 2: Dockers v Magpies
    My eyes cast back to 2007 for this one. In 2007 Collingwood toppled West Coast in extra time at Paterson’s Stadium to book a preliminary final spot against the Cats, who went on to win the flag.

    This match could pan out just the same, with the defensive Dockers being outran by the Pies at the final stages, with a goal at the end sealing it for the Dockers.

    This match will be known as one of the greats and the Pies will be left to rue miss chances again.

    Watch out teams for 2014 when Collingwood come back fierce and sharp, ready to play like they did in 2010.

    For Freo, they get to play Hawthorn. Game on.
    TIP: Freo by 2.

    PF 1: Hawks v Dockers
    Hawthorn will be up and ready, with Franklin back and the Dockers tired and sore after a bruising encounter against the Pies.

    But that won’t stop the Dockers, who will come out firing just like Adelaide did to Hawthorn last year. Except this time the defensive pressure of the Dockers will outlast the Hawks, who miss several shots at the end to go down in heartbreaking fashion.

    The Dockers make their first grand final, but will their tired bodies be ready to win a first Premiership under Ross Lyon?
    TIP: Fremantle by 7.

    PF 2L: Cats v Swans
    No Simonds Stadium final will be granted to Geelong this time, who face the impressive Swans, who somehow have all of their players in.

    But that doesn’t stop Geelong, who races out early before a gutsy third quarter effort pulls the Swans back into the game.

    In a grandstand finish in the Saturday afternoon rain at the ‘G, the Cats get a toe poke goal through Motlop, who is the finals hero for the Cats as they get two late goals to sink the impressive Swans.

    It’s a Fremantle v Geelong grand final.
    TIP: Cats by 15.

    GF: Dockers v Cats
    With the Cats grand final record still staying strong, the Dockers come out on a warm day with their tired players, ready to end the Cats glory run.

    The Cats start off well though, and the Dockers are left to reign in an early margin, with the Dockers behind by only a goal at the main break.

    But in the second half they come out and kill the Cats, whom despite a late charge in the dying minutes, can’t get past the unbreakable wall that is Fremantle’s defensive unit.

    The Dockers win their first flag and Michael Barlow wins a Norm Smith Medal, winning by a vote ahead of Fyffe.

    Ross Lyon finally has a Premiership cup and Geelong sink down the ladder again, losing their Premiership chances in an exhilarating grand final.
    TIP: Freo by 21.

    Norm Smith Medal: Michael Barlow (Fremantle)
    Coach: Ken Hinkley (Port Adelaide)
    Brownlow Medal: Gary Ablett Junior and Scott Pendlebury (GC and Collingwood)
    Coleman Medal: Jarryd Roughead (Hawthorn)

    My opinions were a bit far-fetched, but don’t be too harsh. Express your opinions in the comments. Thanks for reading.

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    The Crowd Says (39)

    • September 5th 2013 @ 2:57am
      Jamie said | September 5th 2013 @ 2:57am | ! Report

      Works for me!

    • September 5th 2013 @ 3:28am
      Jesse said | September 5th 2013 @ 3:28am | ! Report

      First week:
      Hawks win vs Swans
      Dockers win vs Cats
      Collingwood win vs Port
      Richmond win vs Carlton

      Second week:
      Swans win vs Richmond
      Cats win vs Collingwood

      Third week:
      Dockers win vs Swans
      Cats win vs Hawks

      GF:
      Dockers win vs Cats

      • September 5th 2013 @ 2:19pm
        Connor said | September 5th 2013 @ 2:19pm | ! Report

        fremantle supporter

    • September 5th 2013 @ 5:10am
      Black Serenade said | September 5th 2013 @ 5:10am | ! Report

      This is fun! Here’s mine:

      hawks def swans by 36
      cats def dockers by 26
      power def pies by 3
      blues def tigers by 12

      swans def blues by 55
      dockers def power by 44

      cats def swans by 33
      hawks def dockers by 5 (after-the-siren miss by ballantyne)

      cats vs hawks result? my gut says cats continue the streak, but murphys law and brain says hawks are due to win.

      either way, the margin will be 11.

      brownlow – gablett by 4 votes.
      norm smith – jimmy “james” bartel

    • September 5th 2013 @ 6:04am
      Berrlins said | September 5th 2013 @ 6:04am | ! Report

      Can’t go past port to beat magpies I think they Are due to shock everyone. Although a dockers/cats GF would be cool nothing would beat a cats/hawks stand off. And I ll go Griffen as an outsider to win the brownlow.

    • September 5th 2013 @ 7:46am
      Connor said | September 5th 2013 @ 7:46am | ! Report

      Yes, they can win anywhere.thats what the team has said. But really? Theyre going to lose to geelong 1st week, beat Hawthon (who i dont think freo can beat) at the MCG, then beat geelong at the MCG. Theyre ALSO going to be carrying sore bodies into the last 2 away finals, but they will somehow come up with consecutive wins? Clearly been written by a fremantle or non- finals team supporter.

      • September 5th 2013 @ 8:39am
        Sean Mortell said | September 5th 2013 @ 8:39am | ! Report

        I actually go for Collingwood, but the best defensive side wins, that seems right for me.

        • Roar Guru

          September 5th 2013 @ 11:34am
          Cat said | September 5th 2013 @ 11:34am | ! Report

          May be best defensive side based on the entire H&A season, but do the math against the top 8 or top 4 and suddenly Freo looks very exposed.

        • September 5th 2013 @ 4:20pm
          Mitch said | September 5th 2013 @ 4:20pm | ! Report

          The whole ‘best defensive side wins’ mentality is dumb. The best side wins, and that’s a combination of defence and attack. Just look at the past GF’s:

          2012 – More defensive side won
          2011- More attacking side won
          2010 – Attacking side won (Pies defence was probably as good if not better than St Kilda’s defence anyway)
          2009 – Attacking side won
          2007-08 – Geelong were far and away the best attacking and defensive side, even despite their 08 loss
          2006 – Attacking side won
          2005 – Defensive side won
          2004 – Defensive side won

          I don’t doubt that Freo could beat Geelong and/or Hawthorn, but I do doubt they could beat both in Vic without losing to one. If they’re to win the Premership then they pretty much need to win this week or else having to travel to Vic 4 out of 5 weeks (with the match in Perth being against a Swans team that is fine with traveling) is too much an ask.

          Hawks vs Cats final still has to be the favourite. Things aren’t going quite right for the Swans with injuries and I just can’t see Freo beating Geelong in Geelong or then going on to beat (likely) Hawthorn and Geelong in Vic in back to back matches.

    • September 5th 2013 @ 8:05am
      AFL Finals said | September 5th 2013 @ 8:05am | ! Report

      Sydney to be strong and win by 10
      Geelong to have to much class and win by 22
      Collingwood to thrash port by 56
      Richmond to show their potentional and win by 27

      Week 2
      Hawthorn to be challenged by the tigers however their experience will shine and win by 20
      The dockers to win a thriller against collingwood by a point

      Week 3
      The swans to win by 8
      The hawks to win by 11 and set up a grand final rematch

      Grand Final
      Hawks to do what they didn’t do last year and win by 13

      Norm Smith Medalist: Sam Mitchell
      Brownlow Medalist: Gary Ablett JR by a vote over Joel Selwood and Scott pendlebury
      Coach of the year: Ross Lyon

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