AFL Anzac Week preview

mastermind5991 Roar Guru

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    It will be another massive night and day of action when Melbourne and Richmond, and Collingwood and Essendon, contest the Anzac Eve and Day matches to finish round five of the 2018 AFL season.

    2018 marks the fourth year of the Anzac Eve match between the Dees and Tigers, which, following the success of the inaugural match in 2015, has started to become a regular fixture on the AFL calendar.

    We start by previewing the rare Tuesday night clash between the Dees and Tigers, which will be the first time in recent history that a match has been scheduled for this timeslot (notwithstanding the Essendon vs St Kilda clash in 1996 which had to be completed in this timeslot due to a lighting failure).

    Despite Melbourne’s dismal loss to Hawthorn last Sunday, its biggest home crowd outside of Queen’s Birthday in a very long time is expected for their clash against the reigning premiers, who are again shaping as the team to beat following their 93-point thrashing of the Brisbane Lions last week.

    Again it was Dustin Martin who was at the forefront of the Tigers’ victory as he attempts to become the first man since Robert Harvey in 1997-98 to win back-to-back Brownlow Medals.

    This gives them a 3-1 record after four rounds, with the only loss coming against the Adelaide Crows at the Oval in round two, in which they faded badly in the final quarter to lose by 36 points.

    Therefore, the signs are good for the defending premiers as they attempt to avoid the same fate as the Western Bulldogs last year, who after winning the flag in 2016 failed to even make the finals.

    The Dees, on the other hand, started well against the Hawks, kicking five goals in the first quarter, but could only manage one more for the remainder of the match as they crashed to a 67-point defeat – its worst loss under second-year coach Simon Goodwin.

    Their cause has not been helped by the continued absences of Jack Viney and Tom McDonald due to injuries, while Jordan Lewis has been ruled out for at least a fortnight after suffering a hand injury against his former club.

    And despite a recent good record against the Tigers, winning three of their last four matches against the yellow-and-black, the Dees could risk having their season record drop into the red.

    We now preview the Collingwood vs Essendon match, which regularly attracts the largest crowd of the home-and-away season, regardless of how both teams are faring at this point in a season.

    Essendon Bombers Collingwood Magpies Anzac Day AFL 2015

    (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

    After dropping their first two matches, albeit to quality opposition in Hawthorn and the GWS Giants, the Pies have picked up in the past fortnight, defeating Carlton and the Adelaide Crows to level their season record at 2-all.

    Their win over the Crows on the road was the most impressive of the two, with the pressure already starting to be lifted off the shoulders of coach Nathan Buckley, who last September received a two-year contract extension despite his side missing the finals for four consecutive seasons.

    They have also had Sam Murray and Jaidyn Stephenson nominated for the AFL Rising Star in the past two rounds, an indication that despite some rumblings within the club, that the future is actually bright.

    Like the Pies, the Bombers are also even with a 2-2 record, with wins over both the South Australian clubs at home sandwiching disappointing losses to Fremantle and the Western Bulldogs.

    John Worsfold’s men responded to their dismal loss to the Dogs by handing Port Adelaide their first defeat of the season, showing their fans that they are capable of taking the next step up in 2018.

    The former West Coast Eagles premiership coach was rewarded for his side’s improvement with a contract extension that will see him remain at Windy Hill until at least the end of the 2020 season.

    After a first season that proved to be understandably difficult as, with half of his best side out due to doping suspensions, the club finished with the wooden spoon, the Bombers surged up the ladder in 2017, finishing seventh before losing to the Sydney Swans in an elimination final at the SCG.

    Now, the club will be aiming to win consecutive Anzac Day clashes for the first time since 2004-5; prior to its win last year, they hadn’t saluted in the clash since 2013.

    It’s set to be a massive 24 hours for four clubs, as Round 5 comes to a close.

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    The Crowd Says (19)

    • April 23rd 2018 @ 6:55am
      Basil (the original) said | April 23rd 2018 @ 6:55am | ! Report

      I really don’t like what the AFL has done with the ANZAC round. It’s commercialism gone too far. Any link from the Anzac’s to AFL footballers is all a bit rich and smacks of vulgar self promotion on the part of an organisation that has stolen the national game of Aussie Rules from the people and claimed it as there own as they do with it whatever they please.

      • April 23rd 2018 @ 7:37am
        marron said | April 23rd 2018 @ 7:37am | ! Report

        “AFL ANZAC week”, “ANZAC Day Eve”, good god.

      • April 23rd 2018 @ 4:04pm
        I ate pies said | April 23rd 2018 @ 4:04pm | ! Report

        Bang on Basil. ANZAC day isn’t about footy, but the AFL has made it that way.

    • April 23rd 2018 @ 10:05am
      interstater said | April 23rd 2018 @ 10:05am | ! Report

      Get around yourself Victoria!

      • April 23rd 2018 @ 11:32am
        truetigerfan said | April 23rd 2018 @ 11:32am | ! Report

        Feeling left out? Victoria is a great place to be! The home of Footy! Feel free to pop over for an experience you’ve only ever dreamed of.

    • Roar Guru

      April 23rd 2018 @ 10:18am
      Peter the Scribe said | April 23rd 2018 @ 10:18am | ! Report

      It looks like Fantasia will miss which I’m glad of. Will the Pies rush back Daniel Wells? Will Fasolo be picked? Tay Adams? What a huge game in this season for both clubs. If the Pies get up, then 3-2 is a decent launch pad with some stars to come back.

      • April 23rd 2018 @ 11:21am
        Aransan said | April 23rd 2018 @ 11:21am | ! Report

        It is hard to see Wells and Fasolo being selected after playing in the VFL on Saturday. It will be interesting to see how Richmond, Melbourne, Collingwood and Essendon rotate their players with the quick turn around this week.

    • April 23rd 2018 @ 11:06am
      Gyfox said | April 23rd 2018 @ 11:06am | ! Report

      Oh, Basil, you have an odd definition of commercialisation.

      I presume you don’t go to any games. FYI all games this weekend had ANZAC commemorations. All were moving & sincere. In the case of Port Adel & Freo they honoured their former players killed in action…….despite the AFL only listing VFL players in the Record.

      A friend of mine gave the Ode at one game & was honoured to do it. Past & present service men & women that I know are pleased to be acknowleged before Australia’s largest sporting crowds. Thanks to the AFL there is now more awareness amongst the young. And it all goes back to Sheedy & Ruxton – & that 1st game in 1995.

      • April 23rd 2018 @ 1:18pm
        Aransan said | April 23rd 2018 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

        Very well said. An important day kept going with a modern interpretation. If only we could replace wars with sport.

      • April 23rd 2018 @ 3:48pm
        Joe B said | April 23rd 2018 @ 3:48pm | ! Report

        “Thanks to the AFL there is now more awareness amongst the young. And it all goes back to Sheedy & Ruxton – & that 1st game in 1995.” Seriously? Awareness of what? The vulgar OWNERSHIP of this marquee event will probably have young people thinking that ANZAC day is the day collingwood plays essendon. There is absolutely no thought of fairness in this fixturing. Above all else, this is commercial exploitation designed to promote the BRANDS of collingwood, essendon, the mcg, and the AFL. If the AFL were to demonstrate a slither of fairness, fairness – that dirty word which the AFL thinks means less money, they would reward the fixture to the 2 highest ranking melb teams from previous season. The AFL abuses it power to favour the same small group of Melbourne clubs, every season, how ANZAC spirit of them.

    • April 23rd 2018 @ 11:32am
      Harsh Truth Harry said | April 23rd 2018 @ 11:32am | ! Report

      Bombers to win easy, 65 points easing up.

      • April 23rd 2018 @ 1:18pm
        Aransan said | April 23rd 2018 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

        I am hoping for a margin at half time.

      • April 23rd 2018 @ 1:30pm
        truetigerfan said | April 23rd 2018 @ 1:30pm | ! Report

        Flat chat with that Sociology 101 assignment, hey Harry! No time to explain your Harsh Truth in detail.

      • April 25th 2018 @ 6:19pm
        Kane said | April 25th 2018 @ 6:19pm | ! Report

        Essendon should be relegated to the VFL after the crap they displayed today. No doubt we won’t hear from you until Hirdy and the Injectors win again.

    • April 24th 2018 @ 10:49am
      Johnno said | April 24th 2018 @ 10:49am | ! Report

      The ANZAC week is a great event by the AFL…it really is done well and raises awareness and respect for the ANZACs.

      However I think that Collingwood and Essendon get a great advantage form this over other clubs…particularly non-Victorian. As do Melbourne & Richmond but to a lesser extent.

      Exposure of their club, players exposure to big games/crowds (especially in the MCG), financial gain. the 2 clubs get a lot.

      Instead of changing it….I would like to see all clubs have a game on a day when only they play, so they can get the exposure and the benefits that come from that. Yes we have the Derby, but that is just another game played with a lot of other games on the same day. Freo’s Purple Haze day is an example. Make that a promotion for Freo, with only Freo playing on that day.

      • Roar Guru

        April 24th 2018 @ 11:15am
        Dalgety Carrington said | April 24th 2018 @ 11:15am | ! Report

        It was a shame that the Len Hall game was lost in the mix this year. Freo have been pioneers in setting a standard for commemorating ANZAC Day right up there with the Collingwood-Essendon clash. The “ANZAC Eve” fixture really does crowd Freo out of the picture and disregards their history in commemorating the day.

        • April 24th 2018 @ 7:23pm
          Joe B said | April 24th 2018 @ 7:23pm | ! Report

          Yeah…. the AFL seems keen to own ANZAC day. Has there been anything as crass as profiting from the ANZAC legacy by the promotion of an ANZAC eve clash… thank F it involves two vic teams.

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