We’ve hit double digits on the round number this week, a tragic reminder at just how quickly the AFL season can fly by.
While a double-digit tipping score is impossible (until Gil and co. add North Queensland and Antarctica to the competition in a few years time), it was refreshing to see the tipping panel get pretty close to that feat over the weekend.
Sevens for myself and Daniel Jeffrey saw us both move within three points behind the tipster ahead of us. Panel leader AdelaideDocker and third-placed Marnie Cohen both managed six.
But it was the crowd who stole the show, once again, putting eight points on the board to take a one-point overall lead. Give yourselves a huge round of applause.
It’s the Sir Doug Nicholls Indigenous Round this weekend, one of my favourite events of the year. On that topic, just about every team has knocked it out of the park with their Indigenous jumpers this year. Seriously, check them out.
Collingwood, Hawthorn, Bulldogs, Adelaide, Geelong, Richmond, Melbourne, St Kilda, Brisbane
Indigenous Round gets underway at the SCG with Sydney tackling Collingwood. Swans fans would be mighty pleased with a fortnight of winning form at their backs, but two five-point wins over non-finalists isn’t enough to earn them favouritism here. Pies by four goals.
Saturday throws up the usual mix of intriguing clashes, with the hardest perhaps being Hawthorn and Port Adelaide in Launceston.
I’ve got the Power finishing in the eight and the Hawks missing, but the location of this match and Port’s worrying injury list have me leaning towards the home side.
The other blinder on Saturday is Adelaide hosting West Coast. The Eagles do boast an impressive Adelaide Oval record, but five wins of that 7-2 record are against the other South Australian team – they’re only 2-2 against the Crows.
Last week’s nail-biting loss aside, Don Pyke’s team looks the goods and I’m backing them to get back on track.
Skipping ahead to Sunday and we’ve got a trio of troublesome fixtures to ponder.
GWS are in vastly superior form to Melbourne, but their MCG record just horrific. They may have not got the win on Friday, but the Demons are doing just enough to keep the pulse in 2019 and I think they’ll suprise with a win here.
People are jumping off the St Kilda bandwagon faster than a disgraced celebrity – but not me. The likelihood of sneaking into the eight is tumbling, but they’re still more than capable of putting the Blues away.
Later in the day, the surging Brisbane Lions – who scored a comfortable win over Freo at the same venue last year – will rub Lachie Neale’s return in the faces of his old faithful with a win.
Backtracking to the rest of Saturday’s more straightforward tips; the Bulldogs should outlast North Melbourne, Richmond will make it nine straight over the Bombers, while Geelong will comfortably account for Gold Coast in the Shoe-In of the Week.
This is one of those matches that has the potential to be a blowout of biblical proportions. As often happens in these circumstances, however, it’ll probably end up being a tick under 30 points.
Sydney, Hawthorn, Bulldogs, West Coast, Geelong, Richmond, GWS, Carlton, Brisbane
Crikey. I thought last week was hard.
This week is tricky and I don’t have too much justification for many of these decisions but I’ll try my best.
Indigenous Round is highlighted by Essendon and Richmond’s Dreamtime at the G’. Honestly, I’ll be surprised if either side can field 22 men with the number of injuries they’ve been dealt with.
Richmond keeps proving they are a genuinely good side with depth and have had a few impressive wins over the last few weeks. Despite Essendon’s victory last weekend, it was barely convincing against an ordinary Fremantle outfit. I’m going with the Tiges.
North Melbourne and the Bulldogs have met four times over the last two seasons; of them, the biggest margin was just seven points. It has the potential to reach the thrilling heights of their recent encounters but on current form, you’d have to suggest the Dogs will be running away winners.
There’s some good news for Carlton fans. The first time they were disgraced in season 2019, they bounced back with a spirited performance the following week. In more good news, the one game I have tipped Carlton this year, they’ve won. I’m going for them against St Kilda.
They have been playing reasonable football and the penny will have to drop every so often for them this season. Think this week could be one of those.
I was tempted to tip Fremantle but, after making that mistake last week I refrained from it. The Lachie Neale cup will be an interesting one and I think the former Docker may edge out his old side on the weekend.
I was also tempted to tip Adelaide in the game of the round, but West Coast have a love affair with Adelaide Oval that’s too hard to ignore.
They’ve won five of their last six games there and I think they are slowly starting to build some momentum into the year. Still, should be a cracking game.
The clash in Sydney is an interesting one because now the Swans have found some form, they could upset the Pies who, like Richmond and Essendon are suffering a few major injuries. I’m tipping an upset, simply because the Swans are not a side to go down without a fight.
Sure, they face a much higher quality opposition this week than they have in the previous fortnight, but they should regain Josh Kennedy and potentially Buddy. Promises to be a big one.
Rounding out the weekend, I think Geelong and GWS will deliver more wins and Hawthorn to regain some confidence with a win in front of a home crowd in Tasmania.
Collingwood, Hawthorn, Western Bulldogs, West Coast, Geelong, Richmond, GWS, St Kilda, Brisbane
Having spent the last three weeks not knowing all that much about what’s been going on in the world of footy thanks to a cocktail of painkillers, it’s a bit of a shock to see where I’ve slipped to in tipping. Time for a comeback!
Sydney are a much-improved outfit compared to what we saw earlier in the year, but their youngsters won’t be able to match it with the Magpies over four quarters.
Hawthorn and Port Adelaide are two of the harder teams to get a handle on this season. The Hawks will enjoy playing this one in Tasmania, and the ‘home’ ground advantage is enough for me to side their way.
The Bulldogs should deal with the Kangaroos on Saturday – just about any team should, mind you – while West Coast versus Adelaide is looming as a cracker. The Eagles usually handle the Adelaide Oval quite well, so I’ll take them to get the job done over the Crows.
The two Saturday night games appear straightforward. Geelong should hammer the Suns, while Richmond’s current form doesn’t bode well for the Bombers.
The Giants’ abysmal record at the MCG is almost enough to tempt me into tipping an upset. Almost. But the talent and form gap is significant, and GWS will be desperate to show they can win at the G.
As for the final two games of the round, St Kilda should notch a convincing win over the Blues, while Brisbane are more than capable of overcoming a trip to Perth to defeat the Dockers.
Collingwood, Port Adelaide, Bulldogs, Adelaide, Geelong, Richmond, GWS, St Kilda, Fremantle
Six out of nine for me last week. Not bad, but not the best. I’m off to Perth this week, so I’ll get to see Freo probably capitulate live and in person.
But before Freo play, there’s plenty of action to get through. Sydney and Collingwood start us off, in what might be a bit of a sleeper classic on Friday night.
These two habitually play in close-fought clashes, and I’m foolish to believe this will be anything but. Both teams are coming off wins, but it’s the home team under more pressure to garner a string of victories.
The Swans persevered against a dogged North last week, but Collingwood look the stronger side, so I’ll back the visitors to win. Expect it to be typically close though.
The Hawks and Port Adelaide do battle in Tassie at the same time the Bulldogs and North clash in Victoria. The first is a hard one to pick. Neither side is in brilliant form, with Hawthorn arguably coming into the clash under a cloud after last week’s loss to the Tigers.
Port Adelaide has bounced back from a Showdown disappointment with a comfortable-(ish) win over Gold Coast. The Hawks’ ruck woes are concerning, and they have a superb Launceston record, but I’m going to back the Power.
If they’re seriously challenging for finals, they’ll beat Hawthorn.
Saturday’s easiest game is Gold Coast versus Geelong, which will see the ladder leaders romp a brave Suns side.
West Coast taking on Adelaide will be one of the matches of the round, coupled with Dreamtime at the ‘G featuring Richmond and Essendon.
In the former, I’m backing Adelaide to beat a not particularly convincing West Coast, given the game is in South Australia, and the latter should see Richmond defeat an additionally not at all convincing Essendon side – although both games feature a significant go-either-way potential.
Sunday’s three games are also hard to pick. I’ll start with the easiest, St Kilda hosting Carlton.
Carlton were horrifically bad last week, but the Saints have had a tough few weeks and the inconsistent Blues will fancy their chances of an upset. I cannot see that happening.
Melbourne and GWS play each other a little earlier in the day and, despite Melbourne gaining some confidence back and GWS having a crappy MCG record, I’ll expect the visitors to pull away late.
Fremantle and Brisbane take each other on in the Sunday twilight clash which I shall proclaim as the Lachie Neale Cup. This is the game I’m seeing live, which usually means Freo will lose – I’m serious, they’ve lost six of the seven times I’ve watched them live.
Nevermind that dubious record though, I’m going to back the Dockers. They’re under pressure, tend to perform better in Perth and will have an impatient home crowd behind them.
Brisbane’s also been very good lately, too, so expect them to provide a great challenge, but I’ll back the home side to come away with a very nervy win.
|SYD vs COL||COL||SYD||COL||COL||COL|
|HAW vs PA||HAW||HAW||HAW||PA||HAW|
|WB vs NM||WB||WB||WB||WB||WB|
|ADE vs WCE||ADE||WCE||WCE||ADE||ADE|
|GCS vs GEE||GEE||GEE||GEE||GEE||GEE|
|RCH vs ESS||RCH||RCH||RCH||RCH||RCH|
|MEL vs GWS||MEL||GWS||GWS||GWS||GWS|
|STK vs CAR||STK||CAR||STK||STK||STK|
|FRE vs BL||BL||BL||BL||FRE||FRE|