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The Roar's AFL expert tips and predictions: Round 6

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23rd April, 2019
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Anzac Day means an unusually early start to Round 6 – and what great news that is.

Starting tonight, it’s five straight days of AFL football to salivate over, with the traditional Anzac Day clash, a Sydney derby and a Sunday twilight blockbuster the main events.

On the tipping front, we saw some respectable scores from our expert panel last week, with myself and AdelaideDocker (six points each) leading the charge and Daniel Jeffrey chipping in with five.

Marnie Cohen, unfortunately, had a mare – scoring just three.

With the season taking shape more and more each week, let’s hope we can all put good scores on the board.

Stirling Coates
Richmond, Collingwood, Port Adelaide, Brisbane, St Kilda, GWS, Fremantle, Hawthorn, West Coast

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Richmond against Melbourne on Anzac Eve has become a welcome addition to the regular fixtures list over the last five years. Even if the sides have been at opposite ends of the ladder, they’ve played an exciting brand of football that makes for great viewing.

For the Demons, 2019 is very quickly going down the drain. They need a complete reversal of fortunes quick smart or they could suffer one of the most ignominious finals misses this decade.

Even a two-goal or less loss to the Tigers tonight would be something of a win for Simon Goodwin’s embattled charges although, unfortunately, I don’t think they’ll get close. Tigers in a canter.

The Anzac Day classic itself is shaping up to be one of the most entertaining in recent memory.

Both Collingwood and Essendon find themselves in rich form. You’re entitled to feel how you feel about the ‘big’ clubs doing well, but you have to admit they put on an incredible Anzac Day show.

The Magpies look like a top side firing on close to all cylinders for me. I think we’re in for one of the all-time greats, with Nathan Buckley’s side to pinch a classic win.

Essendon Bombers AFL ANZAC Day 2017

Anzac Day should be a ripper. (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

The other mouth-watering clash of the week is the round closer between Geelong and West Coast at Kardinia. Everyone wants to know how the Eagles will respond after their diabolical effort against the Power on Friday.

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They go into Sunday’s clash as rightful underdogs, but I’m backing them to dig deep after that shocker and turn it around massively with a famous road win.

The other Round 6 clashes may not have the same spectacle, but that doesn’t make them particularly straightforward to tip.

Port Adelaide are more than capable of following up their demolition job in Perth with a shock loss to North Melbourne on Friday night. Given they’re playing in the comforts of Adelaide Oval, however, they should have enough to get the job done.

Saturday’s quartet of matches features four favourites, who all have asterisks of some kind – none moreso than Brisbane who, despite fears the wheels have fallen off, should rebound from a tough fortnight with a good win over the Suns.

St Kilda still don’t feel like favourites against anyone, but should see off the Crows at home. Sydney just don’t look capable of getting close to the Giants, even if GWS did drop four points against Freo, while those Dockers should account for the Bulldogs in WA.

Carlton and Hawthorn may be trending in different directions at present, but a win in Launceston is probably asking too much of the Blues.

The Shoe-In of the Week is proving to be a most unreliable segment and, for that, I apologise.

That out of the way, I’m backing Fremantle to put more pressure on Luke Beveridge and the Dogs.

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Marnie Cohen
Richmond, Collingwood, Port Adelaide, Brisbane, St Kilda, GWS, Fremantle, Hawthorn, Geelong

I had a blunder last week.

Thankfully, we have a one day turn around to Round 6 so I can swiftly sweep that under the rug and move on.

This year’s ANZAC Day clash is a mouthwatering one and I couldn’t tip either side with confidence simply because they are both playing their best football.

I think last week’s win against the Lions was a turning point for the Pies and here’s why; in the same fixture last season, Collingwood beat the Lions but not convincingly. This year, faced a stronger Lions outfit and had the game wrapped up by half time. It was a dominant performance.

Essendon, though, have found their mojo after a horrific start to 2019. This could go either way and I am looking forward to it.

Can’t say the same about the games on either side of the fixture. North Melbourne and Melbourne have been the most disappointing sides of the season and, while you’d expect both to attempt a rebound of some sort, Richmond and Port will be full of confidence after great wins last weekend.

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St Kilda are looking sharp and should get the job done against Adelaide, even without fearless leader Jaryn Geary.

Dean Kent

The Saints have had a stunning start to the season, can they keep it up? (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos/Getty Images)

Freo will honour club legend David Mundy appropriately in his 300th game with a win over the Dogs. This season, the Dockers have learned how to score just as the Bulldogs have forgotten.

Ross Lyon’s side boasts more mature bookends and ruckmen, which is where the game should be won.

I’m only tipping Hawthorn because the game is in Tasmania, because after Carlton’s performance on the weekend, I wouldn’t put a second consecutive victory past them.

GWS should regain some form in the Derby, as should the Lions in the Q Clash. The Cats could be too strong at home against the reigning premiers but, if they win, it won’t be by much.

Daniel Jeffrey
Richmond, Essendon, Port Adelaide, Brisbane, St Kilda, GWS, Fremantle, Hawthorn, Geelong

Hardly having a day to breathe since a round full of upsets is far from the worst thing, but I am concerned that a few of these games look relatively straightforward. That bodes poorly given how unpredictable this season has been.

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I’m happy to bank on Melbourne losing once again. They’ve been woeful this season, while Richmond are looking better as each week goes by.

I’ll take Essendon in a narrow upset over the Pies. The midfield battle in this one will be something to behold – Dylan Shiel is starting to show why he was such a highly touted acquisition, while Collingwood were lethal against Brisbane last week. The Magpies are entirely capable of blowing this one open, but I’ve just got a gut feeling the Bombers might spring a surprise.

Port should have no trouble accounting for a poor North Melbourne side, and while this should be the highest quality Q Clash we’ve seen for a long time (ever?) Gold Coast still provide the Lions with the perfect opponent for a bounceback win. Brisbane by a few goals.

St Kilda have been one of the few consistent sides this year, while Adelaide have been rocks or diamonds and nothing in between. I’ll take the Saints and their much-improved ball movement and inside presence to get the job done at home.

As a Swans fan, I would like to say precisely nothing more about Sydney’s chances in the Derby. GWS by plenty.

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The Bulldogs are due for a win – and you’d think Freo will have to start sliding down the ladder soon – but their poor skill level, particularly in front of goal, inspires precisely zero confidence. The Dockers should make it two in a row.

Carlton’s win over the aforementioned Dogs was a proper feel-good moment, but it’d be nigh-on impossible to see them stringing consecutive wins together given they’re coming up against a Hawthorn side needing a win. Hawks in a comfortable win.

Geelong have proven themselves to be the most consistent side in the comp, and easily the most well-rounded. West Coast showed they’re vulnerable to speed through the middle of the ground, and while the Cats don’t quite have Port Adelaide’s pace, they’ve got enough of it to get the win at home.

AdelaideDocker
Richmond, Collingwood, Port Adelaide, Brisbane, Adelaide, GWS, Fremantle, Carlton, Geelong

Pretty decent six outta nine for me last week, with West Coast, GWS and the Bulldogs letting me down. It’s a tougher week this week, though, with several big games that could go either way.

We start off tonight, as Richmond battle Melbourne on Anzac Eve. Richmond got into some nice form last round and, with some big players returning to the side, they’ll start favourites. Melbourne looked to jumpstart their season with a win two weeks back, but were utterly hopeless against the Saints on Saturday.

Richmond looked reminiscent of their premiership year last week, and I think they should win this one. Close, comfortably – who knows. But they’ll win.

Thursday brings us Collingwood and Essendon in the Anzac Day clash – and this should be a beauty. Both are in good stead, and it should be a battle between two strong midfields. Expect it to be close, but I’ll tip Collingwood to win.

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Friday’s is easy. Port to win, and very comfortably.

Saturday sees a full suite of games, and it begins with the Q Clash. Both Queensland sides were thrashed last round and are stumbling into this one. Generally, though, that matters for nought, and you’d expect this to be no different. I’m going to back the Lions to eke out a victory.

St Kilda host the Crows a little later on Saturday afternoon, and this is a big game for both teams – both of whom had big wins last week. The Saints are a tip done by my heart, the Crows by my head. My head wins out.

The Sydney Derby’s up next, and GWS should pummel a lacklustre Swans side. My own side, Freo, should also win against the Bulldogs (but given this is Freo it’s far from a guarantee).

Matt Taberner

Fremantle will want to back their stunning upset win up. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Hawthorn and Carlton is a very intriguing clash. The Blues had a breakthrough win last week, but the Hawks have a particularly strong record down in Tassie.

Alastair Clarkson is still playing with a makeshift squad, given the team’s injury troubles, while Brendon Bolton’s side will be fired up. It’s my risky tip of the week – but Carlton will win.

Geelong and West Coast close out the round, and my god it’s a tough one to tip. West Coast lose a defensive bastion in Tom Barrass, while Geelong are coming off a strong win. I’ll have to tip Geelong – especially at GMBHA Stadium.

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Round 6 Stirling Marnie Daniel AdelaideDocker The Crowd
RCH vs MEL RCH RCH RCH RCH RCH
ESS vs COL COL COL ESS COL COL
PA vs NM PA PA PA PA PA
GCS vs BL BL BL BL BL BL
STK vs ADE STK STK STK ADE ADE
SYD vs GWS GWS GWS GWS GWS GWS
FRE vs WB FRE FRE FRE FRE FRE
HAW vs CAR HAW HAW HAW CAR HAW
GEE vs WCE WCE GEE GEE GEE GEE
Last week 6 3 5 6 6
Total score 24 19 20 25 23