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The Roar's AFL expert tips and predictions: Round 8

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8th May, 2019
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We’re officially two months into the 2019 season. The tipping is getting a little bit easier, but still not as easy as many of us would like.

Round 8 sees a number of ancient rivalries play out, none bigger than Carlton-Collingwood at the MCG and Port versus the Crows on Saturday night.

As far as four-person expert tipping rivalries go, AdelaideDocker is opening up a healthy lead atop the table after an impressive seven saw him climb to 40 and open up a four-point lead over myself after I only managed five.

Back-to-back eight-pointers from Marnie Cohen sees her rocket up into third with 35, while Daniel Jeffrey has some work to do at 33.

The crowd are doing a superb job this season, putting seven points on the board as well to sit in second with 39.

Let’s hope Round 8 is full of high scores.

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Stirling Coates
Essendon, Collingwood, Brisbane, Melbourne, West Coast, Adelaide, Geelong, GWS, Richmond

Round 8 begins with what looks to be a one-sided affair at the SCG. Sydney and Essendon have a habit of producing very entertaining encounters, so this game could be a bit closer than many expect.

There was the Gary Rohan game in 2017, an incredible 41-point comeback in Round 1 2015 and four games in a row decided by nine points or fewer a couple of years before that.

The SCG isn’t a happy hunting ground for Essendon – they’ve not won there since 2009 – but if the Bombers are serious in 2019, they’ll collect a three-goal win.

Saturday sees the oldest rivalry in football take centre stage but, as has been the case for most of this millennium, it’s hard to see the game living up to the occasion – Pies by plenty.

Again, the AFL has insisted on scheduling two games at the same time, with the second match being an intriguing encounter between the Bulldogs and Lions in Ballarat.

No team has been as wildly inconsistent as Luke Beveridge’s men, who’ve mixed in a dominant win over Richmond and a very gallant loss to the Pies with goose eggs against Carlton and Gold Coast. Their best is enough to see off the Lions, but I just can’t trust them to actually bring it. Brisbane, narrowly.

Luke Beveridge

How good are the Bulldogs, really? (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

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Saturday’s twilight match is also far more interesting than it looked in February, with the overwhelming wooden spoon favourites and warm premiership favourites all of a sudden very evenly matched.

Gold Coast did look good for stretches of their loss in Perth last weekend and, really, Melbourne haven’t earned anyone’s trust, but my gut is screaming ‘Demons’ to me, so they get my tip.

Saturday night has its fair share of puzzlers too, with the slumping Saints clashing with a similarly unimpressive Eagles team alongside one of the more interesting Showdowns in recent years too.

Are St Kilda out of gas after their surprising start? We’ll get a good idea on the weekend I suspect. A loss under four goals would probably suggest they’re still on track for a surprise September appearance, and I think that’s what will happen.

Over in South Australia, it looks like the Crows have really turned the corner over the last three weeks. Port will give them everything, but I’m backing Adelaide to make it four on the trot.

Sunday starts off with two relatively straightforward games. Geelong should have no trouble accounting for North Melbourne in the Scott Brothers cup, while – even at the MCG – I can’t see the depleted Hawks taking the four points over Greater Western Sydney.

Sunday twilight is a bit more difficult, with Fremantle looking a good chance of knocking off an injury-hit Richmond side still licking their wounds.

I feel like we heard this narrative a few weeks ago, when everyone jumped on the Port bandwagon for their clash with the ‘wounded’ Tigers. That didn’t turn out well, and I don’t like making the same mistake twice. Richmond in a classic.

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As unreliable as my Shoe-In of the Week has been, I’m supremely confident that my pick of Collingwood to do a number on Carlton will ring true. In fact, I’m making this Shoe-In of the Week my Shoe-In of the Week of the Season.

Marnie Cohen
Essendon, Collingwood, Bulldogs, Melbourne, West Coast, Adelaide, Geelong, GWS, Fremantle

I don’t mean to brag (yes I do) but, in the last fortnight of footy, I have tipped 16 of a possible 18 games correctly.

I am confident I won’t be bringing in numbers like that again, so wanted to celebrate it while it lasts.

We are finally ready for the first Showdown of the year. The Crows have finally hit that winning form we all expected from them during the preseason and they’ll be full of confidence walking into Saturday night’s game.

Eddie Betts just keeps doing wonderful Eddie Betts things and he’ll play a big role in what will be a win for the Crows. I wouldn’t discount Port, because you’d be a fool to discount either side in a Showdown, but they’ve got some big outs that may prove costly. I can’t wait for the game.

Let’s backtrack to another game I can’t wait for; Friday night. Essendon have had a forgettable two weeks, but have a chance to redeem themselves against the last place Swans. They’ll win, but I don’t think it’ll come easy.

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Dyson Heppell

It’s now or never for Dyson Heppell and the Bombers. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Buddy is a chance to return and Dan Menzel could make his debut for Sydney – those are some big ins, but right now I just can’t see them getting the job done. If Essendon is serious this season, these are the games they need to win. My heart says Sydney but head says Essendon. I hope they don’t mess with my head.

Speaking of, West Coast seem to have a lot of people confused – except me. They won by 23 points on Saturday night against the Suns despite being 50-odd points up at one point. I watched the game (no, I don’t know why I did that either) and not once did I think they would lose.

Few teams could turn up for five minutes after half time and still walk away victorious. They should put in a four-quarter effort this weekend and win… again.

The Bulldogs will defeat the Lions on MARS this weekend (I don’t know what’s so wrong with Earth that they have to play on another planet) but I’m not confident. Same goes for Fremantle and that incredible defence – I can’t wait to see Alex Pearce touch up Tom Lynch in his 150th game.

I’ve tipped Geelong and GWS for Sunday’s other games. Melbourne should have enough confidence to fly over to the Coast and defeat the Suns.

Finally, in my only confident tip all weekend, I’m backing Collingwood to beat Carlton and beat them comfortably.

Daniel Jeffrey
Essendon, Collingwood, Brisbane, Gold Coast, West Coast, Port Adelaide, Geelong, GWS, Richmond

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Even though I had few expectations for the Swans heading into this season, they’ve still managed to be the most disappointing team so far, bar Melbourne. Essendon have emerged as the decent but unspectacular side many predicted after a slow start, and they should get a comfortable road win in Sydney.

Tipped by many as favourites last week, Carlton instead did what they’ve done best for some time now by getting blown off the park. Collingwood are in ominous form and will touch up the Blues.

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The Bulldogs might be the trickiest team to get a handle on this season. When their skills are on they’re a good side, but Brisbane have a touch more class about them and should get the win on Saturday afternoon.

I’ll also take Gold Coast to get the job done over Melbourne. The Suns were far from embarrassed against the Eagles last week, and they’ll enjoy being back on their home paddock.

Both Saturday night games could go either way. St Kilda probably don’t have enough pace to throw the Eagles off their game, while Port are just about due for a strong win after a couple of less impressive outings the last few weeks.

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The first two Sunday games seem straightforward enough. Geelong will deal with North Melbourne without much hassle, and GWS too should be far too strong for the Hawks.

Fremantle versus Richmond is far tougher to call, but I’ll side with the Tigers to get a bounce-back win in what will be a tight, low-scoring affair.

AdelaideDocker
Essendon, Collingwood, Bulldogs, Melbourne, West Coast, Adelaide, Geelong, GWS, Fremantle

Decent week for myself last week, but I’m hedging my bets that tipping will be a little tougher as we head into Round 8.

We begin in Sydney, as a struggling Swans outfit host Essendon. Essendon appeared for a moment to be getting themselves into some decent form, but their loss to Geelong last week saw some of that hope dissipate.

Sydney, for their part, have just been plain bad. The Bombers have thrived among lower placed teams this year, so the Swans’ positioning helps them. Despite being played in at the SCG, I’m backing the Dons.

Plenty of footy to be played on Saturday. The Western Bulldogs host Brisbane to start us off, as footy heads to Ballarat. Brisbane celebrated a long-awaited victory against Sydney last week, but the Bulldogs dominated Richmond (to my definite surprise).

The Lions have never played at the ground, while the home side’s victory last week is yet to be determined as an aberration or the start of a good streak. Hard tip. I’ll go the Bulldogs, just.

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The Suns are also hosting the Demons at Metricon that same day. Melbourne finally won last week, while Gold Coast put in a spirited effort in WA against the premiers. Again, super hard to predict, as this game could go either way depending on which versions of the teams turn up. I’ll back Melbourne because surely last week’s victory will inspire them to get their season back on track – but it’s a super dubious tip.

Braydon Preuss

Are Melbourne finally on track? (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

The Saints host West Coast in the first of Saturday night’s games. The Saints have faltered in the past fortnight – against admittedly strong opposition – but the Eagles – while winning – have looked vulnerable. St Kilda are dark horses here, but the sensible tip is to back in the Eagles for the victory.

The Showdown is also on that night, seeing sixth-placed Adelaide battle seventh-placed Port Adelaide. While this originally looked to be a fifty-fifty game, Port have been decimated by key injuries this week, and the Crows are in arguably better form. I’ll go with Don Pyke’s side to salute victory.

Hawthorn host an in-form GWS side at the MCG on Sunday, in what’ll be a key test of the visitors’ credentials – their record at the home of footy is pretty terrible.

Hawthorn will be fuming after their close-run loss to the Demons last Saturday, whilst the Giants will be pleased with their win against the Saints. The Hawks have a very clear home advantage but, while I expect it to be close, GWS should win this one.

Freo and Richmond do battle next at Optus Stadium. The Dockers lost a dour clash against Adelaide last week, while the Tigers were embarrassed by the Bulldogs. Fremantle, back in the comfortable surrounds of their home fans, should aim to pummel Richmond’s injury-hit back six with a high-scoring effort. But Richmond, being Richmond, should challenge the inconsistent Dockers. Expect the home team to win though.

Expect to see Collingwood pummel Carlton, probably by 60-plus points, while North will struggle against a dominant Geelong, who’ll win by plenty.

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Round 8 Stirling Marnie Daniel AdelaideDocker The Crowd
SYD vs ESS ESS ESS ESS ESS ESS
CAR vs COL COL COL COL COL COL
WB vs BL BL WB BL WB WB
GCS vs MEL MEL MEL GCS MEL MEL
STK vs WCE WCE WCE WCE WCE WCE
PA vs ADE ADE ADE PA ADE ADE
NM vs GEE GEE GEE GEE GEE GEE
HAW vs GWS GWS GWS GWS GWS GWS
FRE vs RCH RCH FRE RCH FRE FRE
Last week 5 8 6 7 7
Total score 36 35 33 40 39