The match between Gold Coast and North Melbourne on Saturday will be only the 12th contest between the two teams, with North Melbourne holding a one game advantage at present.
With two wins in the last two weeks, North Melbourne are again an outside chance to play finals this year, so it is unlikely they will let the chance slip this weekend, particularly as it is their inspiring skipper Jack Ziebell’s 200th game.
Ziebell will join current Swans coach John Longmire on that number of games for the Kangaroos and become an elite top 30 game player for the club.
Scott Thompson wore the number 37 jumper for North Melbourne for six games in 2008, before being presented with the no.16 jumper in 2009. For that reason, it has taken him until this weekend’s game to catch former North Melbourne champion Stephen McCann as the equal-greatest wearer of the no.16 jumper at the club and the equal fifth-greatest wearer of the jumper in the AFL.
In games played for the club, Todd Goldstein will equal Andrew Swallow.
Another two clubs who have only met 11 times are Adelaide and Greater Western Sydney, who meet in the Saturday night game. Greater Western Sydney showed last week they are a contender this year, so should be able to account for Adelaide, even away.
The Giants increasing maturity will be highlighted as two of their former elite (Dylan Shiel and Tom Scully) are equalled by two of their current elite: Phil Davis and Heath Shaw.
For Adelaide, Brad Crouch will equal former teammate and now Lion Charlie Cameron, while the unlucky Paul Seedsman will eventually get some traction, drawing level with James Thiessen, Andrew Crowell, Hayden Skipworth and Kyle Cheney.
Sydney has had the wood over West Coast Eagles, winning 58 per cent of their previous 50 encounters, but it is hard to see the Eagles being beaten, even in Sydney. For Sydney, Luke Parker will equal the game tally of Arthur Hiskins. ‘Poddy’ played in the Swans’ 1909 Premiership.
Dane Rampe will play his 150th game and Sam Reid will continue his climb up the ladder, equalling Brad Seymour and Luke Ablett.
At the Eagles, the reliable Brad Sheppard will join Sam Butler in 34th position on the Eagles all time yop 100 game players and Elliott Yeo will equal Peter Wilson. Luke Shuey will have worn no.13 as many times as Carlton’s Mil Hanna, and they will share seventh place on the list.
The traditional Queen’s Birthday clash will see Collingwood start as favourites against the Demons in the 237th match between the two teams. Once again, Collingwood will start as favourite, having won 62 per cent of the games played so far.
Ben Reid, like his brother Sam at Sydney, will match two former elite players in Jack Beveridge, a member of all four-peat premiership teams, and Fred Froude, a half back flanker in the Magpies premierships of 1935 and 1936 and the best Collingwood player in the losing grand final of 1937.