AFL Round 13: Will the real top four contenders please stand up?

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    There are three games of significance on this final bye weekend, all with a common theme: does anyone want one of the very available top-four spots?

    Both Richmond and Geelong had rock solid chances to build or maintain a spot in the double chance slot against flaky opponents in Round 13. Both failed to do so.

    In the process, the top eight was thrown further into chaos, with the third and fourth seeds open to any one of the five teams currently sitting between third and seventh.

    The Cats and Tigers sit in fourth and sixth place respectively on my strength of schedule adjusted percentage ladder. However, there’s not a lot in it.

    From second through to ninth – we’ll get to Sydney in due course – there’s only 20 percentage points difference. Meanwhile, 12 teams have a percentage of greater than 100, and a 13th, St Kilda, sits on 99.7 per cent.

    Things are getting mighty tight. Tighter than they were just a week ago when, for example, it looked like West Coast might be slipping and Geelong might be separating from the peloton. But Thursday night’s game between the two sides, both process and outcome, suggested there is still a lot of water to travel under the bridge.

    Geelong were favoured pre-game, and rightly so given the form lines of the respective teams. West Coast started the game as home underdogs for the first time since their 2015 qualifying final against the Hawthorn Hawks. It didn’t take long for that to look like an overreaction.

    The Eagles had all of the play in the first quarter, getting the ball inside 50 at a 14-10 advantage and putting up seven scoring shots to two. Geelong scored first through Nakia Cockatoo, who left the ground not long after with a high hamstring strain, but after that didn’t hit the scoreboard until the 25-minute mark of the term.

    West Coast never really looked back, mixing it with Geelong’s gritty inside midfield group and coming out on top. It was a most un-2017 West Coast-like performance from the Eagles, the home team showing a desire to get their hands dirty in tight and use the wide expanses of Subiaco Oval at every opportunity.

    A dominant second quarter put the game beyond doubt and raised the spectre of Geelong’s inability to translate the strength of Patrick Dangerfield and Joel Selwood into quality scoring opportunities – the latter tagged into a largely ineffective 19 possession game.

    The Cats booted just 2.3.15 on the half, their forward line limp and lifeless. It underscored the importance of Tom Hawkins’ marking prowess, and the need for Chris Scott to find some medium-sized forwards with teeth.

    The final margin absolutely flattered Geelong in the end, West Coast warding off an early midfield-led challenge in the final quarter with some keepy-off football powered by a strong half-back line and hard-working forward group. The Cats kicked two junktime goals, salvaging what could have been a percentage-sapping loss.

    West Coast Eagles AFL 2017

    (AAP Image/Tony McDonough)

    West Coast leapt back into the top eight with the victory, confident their best is still good enough within the confines of Subiaco Oval and with the knowledge they play six of their final ten games there. First up on the list is Melbourne, who put a languid Western Bulldogs to the proverbial sword on Sunday afternoon.

    We all know the Dogs are in a funk. Their swarming, scrambling midfield has lost the pep that carried it to a premiership in last year’s finals series, its forward line looking summarily pedestrian and its backline struggling under the weight of opposition inside 50 entries.

    These problems all bubbled to the surface once again, Footscray never really troubling the rising Demons as they went down by 57 points.

    The Dogs have now lost four of their past five, losing margins growing larger by the round. First, it was a meritorious eight-point loss to the Eagles in Perth, followed by a pedestrian 23-point loss to Geelong at Simmonds Stadium. A win against the Saints afforded a temporary reprieve heading into the bye.

    Their past two outings have been more noteworthy: a 46-point loss to Sydney, and Sunday’s 57-point loss to Melbourne.

    Is it a premiership hangover? It was a question vapidly asked by many over the weekend. The more interesting question is what was an appropriate benchmark for these Dogs? In the pre-season, I pondered whether Footscray was a young team that finished in seventh that could expect to make a leap to something greater.

    The Western Bulldogs are being held to a standard which belies the underlying fundamentals. Premiership team is a moniker that brings with it expectation, yes, but any rational person can see the Dogs were a good team that caught fire and won two favourable match-ups on their way to a preliminary final.

    That sounds like a criticism but it isn’t; perhaps we had grown so accustomed to the idea of Hawthorn, Sydney and Geelong winning all of the flags that we forgot what a more egalitarian competition looked like.

    Still, the Dogs have problems. A lot of it would appear to be form-related – the swarm of last year looks more blow fly than ravenous locust. A large swathe of the youngsters – Toby McLean, Caleb Daniel, Bailey Dale, Bailey Williams, Josh Dunkley – have done what young players tend to do: drift in and out of form, and in and out of the team.

    Just nine Dogs have played all dozen games this season, through a combination of injury and magnet-spinning by coach Luke Beveridge.

    They aren’t out of the race. The Dogs themselves showed last year that football can throw up some fanciful outcomes, and if it happened last year when the state of things actually made sense then it is almost certain to happen this year. Saturday night against North Melbourne, whose season is on life support after another loss, looms as good an opportunity as any to reboot.

    Jesse Hogan Melbourne Demons AFL 2016

    (AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy)

    For the victors, the Melbourne Demons, great things await. It was not more than a month ago we were lamenting Melbourne as the biggest what if of 2017. Their 3-4 record has evolved into 7-5 since, their percentage lifting from 106 to 115, their team looking every bit as complete as any of the four teams above them on the ladder.

    Melbourne are beating teams up around the ball, scoring with impunity when they win it, and stuffing opposition forward thrusts like sticky putty. One indicator I check after every round is adjusted contested possession differential (contested possessions less contested marks and free kicks against – a proxy measure for contests won on the ground). Melbourne are +9.5 per game on the year, second only to the GWS Giants (+11.9 per game).

    Since Round 7, Melbourne are obliterating the competition with a differential of +13.4 per game.

    However, the tough stuff begins now for the Dees. They travel west to play West Coast on a consecutive six-day break, host the Swans the week after on another six-day break, host Carlton, notionally host Adelaide (in Darwin) then host Port Adelaide.

    It’s a difficult five-week stretch, but on current form and with recent history taken into account, Melbourne should acquit themselves well. Top-four spots are available – the Dees, not assured a spot in the eight but clearly one of the eight best teams in the competition, should take one.

    Richmond remain in that frame, but as the close losses continue to mount another elimination final spot looks to have their name scribbled on it. The Tigers coughed up another five-goal lead – their third on the year – in losing to the Swans. Not even Jedi Knight Alex Rance could save Richmond from themselves.

    The real story out of this game was the continued resurgence of the Sydney Swans, who now find themselves just one win out of eighth spot on the ladder. As a reminder, Sydney sat 0-6 after six rounds, albeit with a close loss to the Pies in Round 3. They have since won five of their six games, doing so with a percentage of 146.3 per cent, which would put them above the ladder-leading Adelaide Crows.

    A word of caution before we end with a bang: Sydney have played Brisbane, North Melbourne and Hawthorn, the three worst teams in the competition, in this stretch (although they lost to the Hawks). They have also played St Kilda and the Western Bulldogs, who for now are more or less in their peer group on the full season ladder.

    Even when you include the Tigers, the Swans have played the second-weakest slate of games from Round 7 to Round 13 – worth about 11 points per week.

    Still, they have played it well, and put themselves into the conversation for finals. A lot still has to go right for the Swans, but right now they look to be edging their way into contention by the week. And as football statistician @SirSwampThing (who I only know by Twitter handle sadly) has been informing us all, every win puts the Swans on a slightly more rosy side of history.

    Sydney becoming the first team to go 0-6 and make the finals would be a fitting capstone to this mad home-and-away season. Odds remain against it, but wouldn’t it be something.

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    The Crowd Says (64)

    • Roar Pro

      June 19th 2017 @ 12:11pm
      anon said | June 19th 2017 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

      To me, Western’s success in the finals was as much about playing the right teams at the right team as it was about umpiring. GWS get their 50m penalty in the dying seconds of the prelim they are premiers.

      Western had a staggering free kick advantage of 17-4 early in the fourth quarter of the Grand Final.

      Sydney received ONE FREE KICK from the 13th minute of the first quarter to early in the fourth quarter.

      Staggering. Contested possession count was practically even all day.

      Adelaide’s the only real genuine “good” team.

      Didn’t everyone go into meltdown when they lost by a measly 20-odd points at the Cats fortress while on a 6-day break.

      GWS have still only beaten a top 8 side interstate once in their history and that in the second half of last year when North Melbourne had fallen off the cliff.

      Sydney starting 0-6 is irrelevant at this point. They’re a better chance of making the finals than the other 5-7 teams.

      Richmond were never a premiership chance. Built their win/loss ratio on the back of an easy draw.

      • Roar Guru

        June 19th 2017 @ 12:19pm
        AdelaideDocker said | June 19th 2017 @ 12:19pm | ! Report

        Copy ‘n paste, some of that. The free kick crap, especially.

        I do agree with you on Sydney, though. They’re looking nothing like a 0-6 team, but in this season I’m not at all surprised they’ve come back this strongly. They’d be a smokey for finals, surely – although there’s probably half a dozen teams you could suggest are potential finalists.

        I’m ambivalent on Richmond as well – I just cannot tell if they’re good enough or not. The close losses were funny at first, but they’re a concern now.

        • Roar Pro

          June 19th 2017 @ 12:22pm
          anon said | June 19th 2017 @ 12:22pm | ! Report

          Richmond are not good. They are a flaky mid-table team.

          It’s really hard to win outside the top 4 for an interstate team. They’ll be travelling 3 or 4 consecutive weeks. You wouldn’t want to play Sydney still.

      • Roar Guru

        June 19th 2017 @ 12:26pm
        Paul D said | June 19th 2017 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

        Adelaide aren’t a good side, they lose too many games against opposition they should be putting away. Haven’t made it to a preliminary final in years.

        • Roar Pro

          June 19th 2017 @ 12:32pm
          anon said | June 19th 2017 @ 12:32pm | ! Report

          GWS couldn’t put away Carlton.

          GWS couldn’t put away the Saints.

          Cats couldn’t put away West Coast.

        • June 19th 2017 @ 12:41pm
          sammy said | June 19th 2017 @ 12:41pm | ! Report

          @ Paul LOL..that is the funniest comment I have read on here for months

          • Roar Guru

            June 19th 2017 @ 1:06pm
            Paul D said | June 19th 2017 @ 1:06pm | ! Report

            Made a prelim in 2012, didn’t make finals 2013/14, got annihilated by the Hawks in 2015 and dispatched by Sydney in 2016 in the semi finals both years. If they get a home qualifier and win it they’re every chance of making it to the grand final which they’d almost certainly lose

            • June 19th 2017 @ 1:17pm
              sammy said | June 19th 2017 @ 1:17pm | ! Report

              Hold on there a minute..lets pick apart your comment for what it is.

              ‘Adelaide aren’t a good side, they lose too many games against opposition they should be putting away’….

              Define good side then. is it one that has beaten 75% of the teams it has played this, or one that sits atop the, or one that has the best % in the league by a or one that has flogged its nearest competitor by 10 goals, 4 placed team in the away showdown, 6th placed team by 13 goals or 8th placed team by 11 The team that leads the league in contested possessions, contested marks inside 50, second in contested marks, 3rd in clearances…no. Go on then champ..tell us all what a good team is.

              ‘Haven’t made it to a preliminary final in years”

              2012 (that is well within this decade) made a prelim and lost by under a kick. 2015 & 2016 won a final each year and made the semi’s..

              ‘ If they get a home qualifier and win it they’re every chance of making it to the grand final which they’d almost certainly lose’

              Certainly lose could you have any idea what is likely to happen if they make the GF. Considering their record in GF’s is 100% success so far

              Like I said, your comments were comedy gold as they bear no resemblance to reality

              • Roar Guru

                June 19th 2017 @ 1:56pm
                Paul D said | June 19th 2017 @ 1:56pm | ! Report

                one eyed Crows fan disagrees with me – stop the presses

                I don’t care man, I just don’t subscribe to the Adelaide are going to win it camp. Glad I gave you a chortle

              • June 19th 2017 @ 2:03pm
                sammy said | June 19th 2017 @ 2:03pm | ! Report

                a chortle alright..I nearly fell over laughing. But nothing one-eyed about it as the facts this year speak loudly for themselves

              • June 19th 2017 @ 6:14pm
                Mattician6x6 said | June 19th 2017 @ 6:14pm | ! Report

                Over rating your list again hey Sammy

              • Roar Guru

                June 19th 2017 @ 2:16pm
                Cat said | June 19th 2017 @ 2:16pm | ! Report

                Just better hope someone else eliminates your bogey side, then you might have a chance.

              • June 19th 2017 @ 2:25pm
                sammy said | June 19th 2017 @ 2:25pm | ! Report

                maybe Cat, but the law of averages has to work in the clubs favor at some point and there is a game coming up soon Adelaide between the 2 teams..hopefully Pyke has now learnt his lessons and can make the obvious adjustments. But another thing that works for the crows is their MCG record is pretty good and if they finish in the top 2 (they are well placed but no lock on it as yet), they may only need to play at Adelaide oval and then the MCG

              • Roar Guru

                June 19th 2017 @ 5:14pm
                Cat said | June 19th 2017 @ 5:14pm | ! Report

                I dunno about the law of averages helping you out any. Hasn’t helped the Dogs who have dropped 11 straight to the Cats or Richmond who have dropped 12 straight to the Cats. At 5 losses in a row to the Cats, Adelaide has a way to go :p
                I’d have thought Pyke would have learned lessons after getting toweled up in Adelaide last year, but it was the same story later that year in Geelong and again this year in Geelong. May very well be your worst 3 loses in the last two years. Maybe he is just a slow learner?

              • June 19th 2017 @ 6:02pm
                Sammy said | June 19th 2017 @ 6:02pm | ! Report

                He may be..but the formula to beating the cats is there for anyone to see..west coast did it and they have not even been playing that well recently. Pyke has to acknowledge heneeds to play a hard tag and the team have to turn up with a frenzied tackling mindset..they are yet to do that in both games last year nor down in geelong this year

              • Roar Guru

                June 19th 2017 @ 6:10pm
                Cat said | June 19th 2017 @ 6:10pm | ! Report

                Cats have the formula and the track record of doing it to shut down the Crows. Cats have held Adelaide’s ‘high powered offense’ to 72, 55 and 74 in the last 3 meetings. No rebound, no Adelaide.

              • Roar Pro

                June 19th 2017 @ 6:14pm
                anon said | June 19th 2017 @ 6:14pm | ! Report

                Two of those meetings were in Geelong.

                What’s Geelong’s record at home over the past decade?

              • June 19th 2017 @ 8:11pm
                sammy said | June 19th 2017 @ 8:11pm | ! Report

                They certainly have. I maintain it is a workrate issue and the need for a hard tag to overcome it and finally get one over on Geelong. The team is certainly good enough, but they need to put it into practice

              • June 20th 2017 @ 1:06am
                Powerboy said | June 20th 2017 @ 1:06am | ! Report

                Please, please, please Sammy!!!!
                That missed it by a kick in ’12 lament is so lame. Get over it. Power fans just love hearing that.

              • June 20th 2017 @ 8:15am
                Sammy said | June 20th 2017 @ 8:15am | ! Report

                I was pointing out to paul how wrong his statement was. Ok powerboy..but remind the power fans to trim it each time they raise the ‘port only just lost the prelim in 2014 by a kick’ as well☺

              • Roar Guru

                June 23rd 2017 @ 9:33am
                Paul D said | June 23rd 2017 @ 9:33am | ! Report

                Sammy – great result against the 17th placed team on the ladder at home, hey champ

        • June 19th 2017 @ 6:08pm
          schaefer said | June 19th 2017 @ 6:08pm | ! Report

          Adelaide aren’t a good side Paul D? Top of the ladder with a percentage of 141.8%! Does the D stand for Dummy, Drongo or Don’t know anything about football?

          • Roar Guru

            June 20th 2017 @ 3:08pm
            Paul D said | June 20th 2017 @ 3:08pm | ! Report

            No-one cares who wins the McLelland trophy anymore mate. My quibble is with your ability to bring it in September. A couple of big hammerings to genuine contenders in recent years at the semi final stage isn’t a ringing endorsement.

        • June 20th 2017 @ 2:54pm
          Redbacks fan said | June 20th 2017 @ 2:54pm | ! Report

          It’s fine to not rate Adelaide as a good side but not by that reasoning. Adelaide’s biggest strength last year was their constancy of performance. The games that they lost were to North (who they probably should have beaten but it was in round 1 when north were playing very well), Hawks who finished the home-and-away season in third place, Western Bulldogs who went on to become premiers, twice to Geelong who finished second, West Coast who finished sixth and Sydney who finished first.

          This year Adelaide have lost games that they should have won against North and Melbourne (who are now fifth and look like a pretty handy side). They have also lost to Geelong in Geelong which is no disgrace.

          Over the past 18 months Adelaide have probably been the best side in the comp at winning the games that they should be winning.

          • June 20th 2017 @ 6:35pm
            Mattician6x6 said | June 20th 2017 @ 6:35pm | ! Report

            No one can disagree with that but the crows ability to finish top 4 and not reach the grand final since 98 is very worrying, besides Suns & gws Adelaide is the only non Vic team to not reach a grand final in the 2000s not a successful finals performer imo.

      • Roar Guru

        June 20th 2017 @ 12:33pm
        Steve J said | June 20th 2017 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

        Are you ok anon?

        You forgot to bag Ross Lyon

    • Roar Guru

      June 19th 2017 @ 12:11pm
      AdelaideDocker said | June 19th 2017 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

      Okay, I’m going to be that guy: can somebody, as simply as possible, explain to me that ladder graph Ryan used. I’m honestly not comprehending all that “schedule-adjusted” percentage stuff.

      Maths is, uh, not my strong point.

      • Roar Pro

        June 19th 2017 @ 12:19pm
        anon said | June 19th 2017 @ 12:19pm | ! Report

        Basically gives a weighting based on the strength of your opposition you won or lost to.

        If you beat bad teams like Richmond and have a 5-0 record, then you’re results are given a lower weighting.

        Also, there’s a ladder Ryan uses were he gives ladder position a weighting based on luck in close games.

        So Freo have been exceptionally lucky winning 4/4 close games. Over the long run you’ll win 50% of close games, so he handicaps Freo giving them 2/4 wins.

      • Roar Guru

        June 19th 2017 @ 1:29pm
        Rick Disnick said | June 19th 2017 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

        No idea, but as soon as I saw Port in 2nd…I stopped reading.

        • June 19th 2017 @ 11:44pm
          Powerboy said | June 19th 2017 @ 11:44pm | ! Report

          Hilarious Rick! Either that or a low attention span. Say what you like, but the Power didn’t even get a mention in the text. It’s a close season and the draw is what will sort the contenders from the dross. Comments all over this thread are all about one’s bias and one’s particular team.
          I really like Ryan’s dispassionate statistical vantage point and agree with his contention that numbers don’t lie.
          This year is one of the best examples of how percentage and the draw are vital to positions on the ladder.

    • June 19th 2017 @ 12:23pm
      J. Abbott said | June 19th 2017 @ 12:23pm | ! Report

      Crazy season.

      The positive out of Tipping Richmond, is the absolute comedy gold to be enjoyed when they lose these close games.

      …I mean Mundy kicking a winner after siren, again!? You cant write that type of stuff.

      Cheers Ryan.

    • June 19th 2017 @ 12:37pm
      Roger of Sydney said | June 19th 2017 @ 12:37pm | ! Report

      The only thing better than seeing Port lose is seeing Richmond lose, but having said that they are a far improved side on last year so I was surprised to see how they played Saturday, but lets not forget the Swans missed set shots in the first quarter and kicking to our new full forward in a Richmond jumper the whole last quarter.

      I think the Swans will keep on their merry way, still no where near 100% but maybe 85% now but when it comes to playing finals they have an extra gear. Do the Crows or the Cats, not sure and GWS are a bit of a mystery at the moment. The big question for me that may be answered this week is the Bombers, are they the real deal, if they roll the Swans at home they may be the bulldogs of 2017.

      • June 19th 2017 @ 1:57pm
        GoSwans said | June 19th 2017 @ 1:57pm | ! Report

        Swans face Essendon this Friday with them returning from a bye. I strongly believe teams coming back from the bye should play each other but in this instance I’m happy if it gives us an edge which I suspect it will.

        The following Friday Swans play Melbourne who have 3 six day breaks and returning from Perth coming into that game.

        Win both of those and then beat the teams outside the eight:
        Round 16 vs Gold Coast (SCG)
        Round 18 vs St Kilda (SCG)
        Round 19 vs Hawthorn (MCG)
        Round 21 vs Fremantle (SCG)
        Round 23 vs Carlton (SCG)

        and lose:
        Round 17 vs GWS (Spotless)
        Round 20 vs Geelong (Simonds)
        Round 22 vs Adelaide (AO)

        the Swans will have twelve wins and should make the eight. Drop another game and eleven wins could still make the finals.

        • June 19th 2017 @ 11:47pm
          Powerboy said | June 19th 2017 @ 11:47pm | ! Report

          Ya dreamin’…. I told ya.

    • June 19th 2017 @ 1:17pm
      Macca said | June 19th 2017 @ 1:17pm | ! Report

      Imagine what will be going through Tigers supporters heads if the blues get past them this weekend – it would complete the trifecta for blues supporters having already claimed Collingwood and Essendon’s scalps.

      • Roar Guru

        June 19th 2017 @ 1:38pm
        AdelaideDocker said | June 19th 2017 @ 1:38pm | ! Report

        I’ll be barracking hard for the Blues.

        • Roar Rookie

          June 19th 2017 @ 1:43pm
          FreoFan said | June 19th 2017 @ 1:43pm | ! Report

          Right there with you AD!

          • Roar Guru

            June 19th 2017 @ 1:45pm
            AdelaideDocker said | June 19th 2017 @ 1:45pm | ! Report

            What are you thinking about our game this week, FF?

            I’m … not super confident.

            We could surprise, though.

            • Roar Guru

              June 19th 2017 @ 1:52pm
              Dalgety Carrington said | June 19th 2017 @ 1:52pm | ! Report

              It’s pretty well stacked against them, coming off the bye, playing the equivalent of a morning slot on their body clock, shot form. Happy recent memories from SS but and hopeful of seeing some reinvigorated play.

            • June 19th 2017 @ 2:58pm
              dontknowmuchaboutfootball said | June 19th 2017 @ 2:58pm | ! Report

              I would’ve said no chance, but Cockatoo and Selwood the Lesser are out with hammies, and Selwood the Not So Lesser is under an MRP cloud. If he loses a week, then maybe, just maybe, Freo can … no… still very likely to lose.

              • Roar Guru

                June 19th 2017 @ 5:06pm
                Cat said | June 19th 2017 @ 5:06pm | ! Report

                Joel will play.

                Joel Selwood has been offered a fine by the MRP after being reported for rough conduct on West Coast’s Sam Mitchell.

                Selwood was fined $1500 but can have the penalty reduced to $1000 with an early guilty plea.

              • Roar Guru

                June 19th 2017 @ 6:22pm
                AdelaideDocker said | June 19th 2017 @ 6:22pm | ! Report

                Joel will play?

                Eeeek. Optimistically, Freo’s a 80/20 percent chance. Realistically, probably a 90/10% chance to win. Or more.

                Don will tell me I’m being extraordinarily pessimistic, though. No doubt.

              • June 19th 2017 @ 6:29pm
                Mattician6x6 said | June 19th 2017 @ 6:29pm | ! Report

                With the right tactics in play AD you never know.
                Logic says cats but then again peoples logic last round said cats and we all know what happened.

              • Roar Guru

                June 19th 2017 @ 6:33pm
                AdelaideDocker said | June 19th 2017 @ 6:33pm | ! Report

                Totally true, Mattican.

                I’m certainly hoping the bye would allow the team to get refreshed. Geelong has probably come at the right time – to get a measure on the team. I don’t want to call it a ‘wake up call’ – the Brisbane loss was definitely that – but it’ll be good to see what the team is capable off – and can they respond after the trio of dreadful performances.

              • Roar Guru

                June 20th 2017 @ 12:38pm
                Steve J said | June 20th 2017 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

                Kersten knows the ground like the back of his hand, he’ll kick a bag …. *cough*

                Sandi comes back in for Griff which means Smith and Stanley won’t influence the stoppages, Grey out for DeLuca maybe, or more likely Langdon. I would hope than Sheridan is out for Logue or Nyhuis but expect Ross to make few changes from the debacle in BrisVegas

                But Hawkins is back fro Geelong, and that makes their forward line look a bit better than the one that stumbled against WC

              • June 20th 2017 @ 3:46pm
                Mattician6x6 said | June 20th 2017 @ 3:46pm | ! Report

                Steve J I’ve got a good feeling your boys are going to put in a great showing when I look at the possible matchups.

              • June 20th 2017 @ 5:08pm
                dontknowmuchaboutfootball said | June 20th 2017 @ 5:08pm | ! Report

                Barring Fremantle back v Geelong forward, the match ups will matter far less than effort and physicality around the ball, I would have thought.

              • June 20th 2017 @ 6:00pm
                Mattician6x6 said | June 20th 2017 @ 6:00pm | ! Report

                Effort & physicality should be non negotiable each week. If freo bring it and the possible match ups negate Geelong then freo are in with a shot.

    • June 19th 2017 @ 2:32pm
      Barnburners said | June 19th 2017 @ 2:32pm | ! Report

      I believe that 2018 and 2019 will be the years that definitely present the window of opportunity for Adelaide. They are possibly one class midfielder short, with Thompson who will retire this year and only Douglas 30 years age or over on the list. All it is needed is one big free agent midfielder signing.
      The only set back this year is that they have not pumped games into the untried although the season is half way through. Galluci, and Beech have played one game each with Greenwood 4 games the only other who looks to have grabbed the opportunity. On the injury front past and for the future it looks pretty stable as the Crows have turned over 28 players to date.

      Can they win the flag in the raffle year, yes maybe, however, the next two years will be theirs to lose.

      • Roar Guru

        June 19th 2017 @ 5:07pm
        Cat said | June 19th 2017 @ 5:07pm | ! Report

        They also pumped no games into anyone last year after using a league low number of players through the year. Could be a big issue if the injury bug starts biting.

        • June 19th 2017 @ 5:20pm
          Deladi said | June 19th 2017 @ 5:20pm | ! Report

          I hate to agree with you here but it’s true. Right now we’ve thankfully got Scott Thompson still good enough to play if injuries really start biting and Greenwood’s shown up to be a solid player. That being said Thompson’s on the way out and we’re not really developing any spare’s to fill injury gaps, a spree of them like what GWS could kill Adelaide for a few games unfortunately.

          • Roar Rookie

            June 20th 2017 @ 5:24pm
            Lamby said | June 20th 2017 @ 5:24pm | ! Report

            That is not correct. In the last 2 years we will have got almost 50 games into a bunch of guys to get them to that 50-100 game mark including:
            5 Midfielders (Crouchx2; Atkins; Milera; Knight)
            2 Forwards (Cameron; McGovern)
            4 defenders (Lever; Laird; Hartigan; Kelly)
            That is 1/2 a team that had 0-50 games 2 years ago. What more do you want?

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