After two complete capitulations over the weekend, it looks like it’ll be another year of no finals football in South Australia.
The AFL has unleashed a cunning strategy in 2015 of scheduling teams who finished near the top last year to do battle in the opening two rounds, while teams that finished near the foot of the table are doing battle among themselves.
For that reason, as much as it is easy to think that the early form means something, there is a lot of grey among the tipping black and white.
Speaking of black and white…
Collingwood (what a segue!) versus St Kilda
Helpful hHint: St Kilda has not beaten Collingwood in the six matches between the two clubs since the 2010 grand final draw.
Helpful hint?: Collingwood has so far in 2015 gone win, loss. St Kilda has so far in 2015 gone loss, win.
John’s margin forecast: 55 points is Collingwood’s average winning margin over St Kilda the past two years, and yes, fine night forecast, so could be a big one.
Carlton versus Essendon
Helpful hint: Both sides have won both their first quarters so far in 2015, yet both sides have lost both their last quarters so far in 2015.
Helpful hint?: Carlton and Essendon have been involved in three draws since 2006.
Adelaide versus Melbourne
Helpful hint: Despite winning just 24 per cent of their matches since 2010, Melbourne boast a 50 per cent winning record against Adelaide in that same period.
Helpful hint?: The last time that Melbourne travelled interstate on consecutive weeks was back in 2013, on that occasion they lost consecutively to GWS first and Gold Coast second.
Sydney versus Greater Western Sydney
Helpful hint: GWS has not lost an AFL premiership season or finals match since August 23,2014; Sydney has lost twice in that same time frame.
Helpful hint?: This is the first time in Battle of the Bridge history that their first encounter of the season has not occurred in Round 1.
North Melbourne versus Port Adelaide
Helpful hint: Port Adelaide has never beaten North Melbourne in a premiership season match at Etihad Stadium.
Helpful hint?: Just like this year, last year these two teams met in Round 3 at Etihad Stadium with North Melbourne winning that match 14.13.97 to 13.12.90.
Brisbane versus Richmond
Helpful hint: Richmond is currently on a seven-game winning streak against Brisbane, with the points margins of those matches being 25, 43, 23, 48, 31, 26, 21.
Helpful hint?: Richmond captain Trent Cotchin has never lost against Brisbane in eight matches against them, polling eight Brownlow votes in those eight games.
Hawthorn versus Western Bulldogs
Helpful hint: Since 2005 Hawthorn has only lost once in Round 3.
Helpful hint?: Sorry Western Bulldogs fans, but remember that in 2014 St Kilda won their first two games before going on to win the wooden spoon.
Geelong versus Gold Coast
Helpful hint: Since 2011 Gold Coast has gone 1-11, winning eight per cent of games, without Gary Ablett in their team.
Helpful hint?: Since 2011 Geelong has gone 73-26, winning 74 per cent of games, without Gary Ablett in their team.
West Coast versus Fremantle
Helpful hint: Josh Kennedy kicked 10 goals last week, but has managed just 10 goals in his last five games against the Dockers.
Helpful hint?: The last time that Ryan Crowley and Hayden Ballantyne both missed a derby was 2005, and Fremantle holds a 5-14 edge since that game.