Last week saw the competition come down with upset-itis once again, with this weekend’s of matches looking to be some of the hardest tips all season.
Round 13 has seen easily the most disagreement amongst The Roar’s expert AFL tipping panel this season, with only one match seeing a unanimous pick. Every member of the panel has picked a minimum of two games differently to another.
That’s even before you, the crowd, have had their say!
Threes (almost) across the board saw little change in the overall standings, with our audience still enjoying a three-point overall lead and AdelaideDocker enjoying a three-point lead over the rest of the panel.
I’m in second, although Marnie is threatening just one point behind. Daniel’s score of two last week has, however, seen him fall three points behind the pack.
This week could see a seismic shift the standings though, so who knows where we’ll end up?
Adelaide, Hawthorn, St Kilda, Fremantle, Western Bulldogs, North Melbourne
Adelaide hosting Richmond probably looked to be the match of the round at the start of the season, but it’s the only one we can seem to agree on this week.
The Tigers have done an extraordinary job to stay competitive with their injury list but the likely losses of captain Trent Cotchin and the criminally underrated Shane Edwards tip the scales too far out of their favour.
That, coupled with their poor record against the Crows in South Australia, has me confidently picking Don Pyke’s side to get the job done.
Friday night sees traditional rivals Essendon and Hawthorn do battle at Marvel Stadium. The Bombers will get some massive injury relief in the form of Dylan Shiel’s return and will fancy their chances of downing the inconsistent Hawks.
However, their recent record against Alastair Clarkson’s side is atrocious – just two wins (one by under a kick) in their last 11 meetings. Neither side is setting the world on fire, but Hawthorn have been yo-yoing since Round 6 and are due for a win.
Gold Coast and St Kilda is another intriguing clash, with both sides desperately out of form after promising starts to the season.
The temptation to go the Suns is definitely there, but I seem to recall almost this exact scenario taking place last season and the Saints walked away comfortable winners. I still maintain they’re better than recent form suggests (although the extent to which they are better is decreasing weekly), so I’m backing St Kilda to win.
Fremantle versus Port Adelaide is an intriguing clash. The Power impressed in their last visit to Perth – carving up the Eagles, but get this.
For whatever reason, Port just like playing West Coast in WA way more than they do the Dockers. Under Ken Hinkley, the Power have won three of their four Western clashes with Eagles, against just one of their six meetings with Freo.
The Dockers have been in good enough form to suggest this trend can continue on Saturday.
Carlton would be backing themselves in to do the double on the Doggies on Saturday night, especially with the new coach wind at their sails, but I think the Dogs can get revenge.
Luke Beveridge’s side are fresh off the bye and, although they lost three straight prior to that, two of those games were away to the Cats and Eagles and the other was against an emotional North Melbourne. They’re in better form than you think.
Sunday is another hard matchup, with North hosting the Giants in Hobart. GWS were pretty unlucky at stages against Adelaide and it’s hard to see them being below their best twice in succession, but the Kangaroos are very, very good in Tasmania and are in season-best form – they should make it four in a row.
The prospect of Richmond being on the wrong end of a Shoe-In the Week still seems somewhat incredulous, but given they’re sending their VFL side to South Australia tonight, Adelaide become the best candidate.
Adelaide, Hawthorn, Gold coast, Port Adelaide, Western Bulldogs, North Melbourne
Why is it about the bye rounds and producing the most even matchups of the season? Once again, I feel like most games could go either way.
It’s time for the Suns to win a game. They lost by just one point to St Kilda in the opening round of the season and, if they can play four quarters of football, they’re a great chance to take the four points.
The thing for Gold Coast is they only decide to show up a quarter or two in the game or knock off early. Find the perfect balance and I’d say they’re a big chance.
Adelaide looked superior at home against the Giants last week, so I’m backing them to repeat those efforts against Richmond tonight.
North Melbourne play the Giants in Tasmania which should be quite an interesting game. There’s something about North Melbourne under Rhyce Shaw that I’m enjoying and I think that, despite missing Shaun Higgins, they can get the job done.
GWS on the rebound scare me a little, but North can definitely win this and I’m backing them in.
Despite Carlton’s win over the Dogs in round four and emotion-charged victory last weekend, I don’t see them winning two in a row.
It’s exciting for Blues fans but it’s baby steps towards success and no doubt the Dogs will be seeking revenge for last time.
Hawthorn and Port Adelaide should claim wins in Round 13’s other matches.
Adelaide, Essendon, Gold Coast, Fremantle, Carlton, GWS
After last week’s poor effort, I’m none too confident of rectifying my tipping in what looks a tricky (and dour, to boot) round.
With Trent Cotchin ruled out for Richmond, it’s hard to go past the Crows on their home track, particularly with Adelaide coming off a strong win against the Giants.
Injuries will have the opposite effect on Friday night, when a host of returning Bombers have Essendon in the box seat for a welcome win over the Hawks.
The next two games are toss-a-coin-type fixtures. St Kilda and Gold Coast both have formlines which inspire precisely zero confidence. At home, and showing a bit more ticker a bit more frequently than the Saints, I’ll back the Suns.
Out west, there’s very little to separate the Dockers and Power. Rory Lobb’s injury is a blow, but I’ll again side with the home side in a match which could go either way.
Against one of the two sides they’ve already beaten last year, and riding high after Patrick Cripps’ victory over the Lions last week, Carlton should back themselves to beat a Bulldogs side which surely has to attract more criticism soon.
North Melbourne have found form in the past few rounds, but the Giants are the best side they’ve faced in more than a month. GWS to push back into the top two with a win here.
Adelaide, Essendon, St Kilda, Port Adelaide, Carlton, GWS
We’ll begin with a Thursday night clash between Richmond and Adelaide. The South Australians were sensational in overcoming a dogged Giants’, whilst injury-struck Richmond were rather poor in their clash against the Cats. Adelaide’s the easy pick with this one, and easy picks are what I need at the moment.
Friday night sees middle-of-the-road Victorians Essendon and Hawthorn play at the ‘G. Tough one to pick, particularly given both are coming off a bye. Both have been inconsistent and, for mine, this is a flip-of-the-coin clash. Let’s go Essendon.
Gold Coast and St Kilda play in Townsville in Saturday’s early game, and while I do reckon it’ll be a close one, I’m going to back in the Saints. They’d have recovered from their China clash, and they’re in slightly better form than the Suns.
Two more games on Saturday – Freo host Port Adelaide at Optus Stadium, and Carlton host the Western Bulldogs in the Saturday night game. The first, as a Freo fan, has me incredibly nervous. Both teams are coming off strong wins – Port’s in China – but Fremantle’s injuries have me worried. I don’t expect it to be a blowout, but Port have won well in Perth already this season, and you’d expect them to do it again.
Blues versus the Dogs is a tougher clash – Carlton won the last one already this season, and they won again last week. The Dogs have been in rubbish form for a long while now, and I’m going to back the Blues in for their third win of the season.
North and GWS finish off the round down in Tassie. North’s had a fine few weeks under new coach Rhys Shaw, but GWS is a much better team (and they’ll be fuming after last week’s loss) so I’m going to back in the New South Welshmen.
|Round 13||Stirling||Marnie||Daniel||ADocker||The Crowd|
|ADE vs RCH||ADE||ADE||ADE||ADE||ADE|
|ESS vs HAW||HAW||HAW||ESS||ESS||ESS|
|GCS vs STK||STK||GCS||GCS||STK||STK|
|FRE vs PA||FRE||PA||FRE||PA||FRE|
|CAR vs WB||WB||WB||CAR||CAR||WB|
|NM vs GWS||NM||NM||GWS||GWS||GWS|
|Byes: Brisbane, Collingwood, Geelong, Melbourne, Sydney, West Coast|