Carlton’s year began as always with a loss to the Tigers, followed by a loss to the Magpies.
The split round is upon us again, with the top eight a long way from settled. I’ll preview the round’s big matches and give my tips.
Who wins in a good Friday night contest?
Carlton and North Melbourne have gone on completely separate journeys this year, after being in different spots last year. This time last year when these two teams clashed, Carlton were probing just outside the eight, waiting for a finals spot to open up.
North Melbourne was close to out of finals contemplation after some poor finishes. The game proved to be a cracker, which Carlton one by a point after storming back to win late. Now North Melbourne are entrenched in the top eight and are pushing for a top-four spot, while Carlton are towards the bottom of the ladder after a poor year.
That won’t dampen their spirit though, as they come out firing and hoping to fire a few parting shots at the inconsistent North Melbourne side. An interesting contest awaits, but I feel that Carlton’s challenge will be held off by a Kangaroos outfit hell bent on going far this season. Roos by 20.
The underdogs against the flying Dons
The Bulldogs have really turned their season around after a poor first half. An upset win against Collingwood turned their season around after a loss to Brisbane the week before. Since then they haven’t looked back and have reaped the rewards, as they have beaten Melbourne and Gold Coast since. Now they look to upset one of the form teams of the AFL in Essendon.
As the drug scandal as died down, the Bombers form has gotten better as they are in the top eight. A superb thrashing of a horrible Collingwood last week made a huge statement, as they start to recapture their early season form. The Bulldogs will challenge for a good three quarters, but Essendon are too classy and will prevail as they are desperate to defy everyone and reach the finals. Bombers by 33.
North by 20
Freo by 67
Geelong by 44
Port by 11
Bombers by 33