The Roar
The Roar

AFL
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

The Roar's AFL expert tips and predictions: Round 16

Autoplay in... 6 (Cancel)
Up Next No more videos! Playlist is empty -
Replay
Cancel
Next
Editor
4th July, 2019
62
6130 Reads

Upsets galore last week saw the finals plot thicken in a big way. With plenty of juicy matches on the menu this week, it’s set to be a crucial week both on the field and on the tipping table.

Port Adelaide and Fremantle both threw away golden opportunities to consolidate their spots in the top eight, allowing Brisbane and Richmond fans to breathe a little easier and widen the eyes of Bombers, Swans, Kangaroos, Bulldogs and Saints fans.

After a (supposedly) simple round turned out to be anything but, a number of very tricky fixtures here make tipping difficult.

Marnie Cohen’s bold decision to pick North on Saturday paid off, allowing here to top the round on six points. The Crowd suffered a rare slip-up with four points, but they still enjoy a five-point lead over the rest of the panel, who all got five.

It’s getting harder to see any big shake-up on the tipping ladder as the weeks wind down, but with several virtual elimination finals down the track, anything could happen…

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

Advertisement
Advertisement

Friday night’s opener between Hawthorn and Collingwood looks like one hell of a danger game, in no small part due to last week’s wildly contrasting efforts. The Hawks were desperately unlucky not to get the four points against the Eagles, while the Pies would have no doubt burned the tape of their loss to North as soon as possible.

Alastair Clarkson’s side enjoys an imperious run of form over the Magpies, with 11 wins from their previous 12 encounters, but the last of those victories was in Round 1, 2018. It’s safe to say the fortunes of both clubs have altered significantly since then, so I’m backing Collingwood to get back on the winner’s list here.

Saturday begins with a virtual elimination final between Essendon and Sydney at the MCG. It’s the first time these sides have clashed at the ‘G since 2004, a venue Sydney have never defeated the Bombers at in eight attempts.

In fact, the only time the Swans have never knocked off the Dons at home of football was as South Melbourne in a 1923 semi-final. Ted Johnson, who funnily enough wore jumper no.23, kicked seven goals in a 17-point win. Back to the present day, the absence of a proper ruck option hurts the Swans, as does their lack of midfield pace on the wide open ‘G. Essendon by three goals.

The Showdown looms as one of the most hotly contested in recent seasons, with a Crows loss potentially dragging them right back into the congested finals pack and a Power loss potentially putting them too far off the pace.

We should be in for a ripping clash, but Adelaide’s recent dominance over their cross-town rivals means they get the nod here.

The theme of dominance over cross-town rivals continues into Saturday night, with Fremantle suddenly in desperate need of a win against the West Coast Eagles. A horror fortnight for the Dockers has turned what could’ve been a top four berth into a 50-50 shot at even playing in September.

As woeful as their previous fortnight has been, I don’t see them getting blown off the park against the reigning premiers. Their horrid recent run of form against them (eight straight losses), however, makes it too hard to pick them for the upset.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Ross Lyon

Fremantle are at the crossroads after a horror fortnight – and it doesn’t get any easier this week. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Saturday night’s other game should see Geelong take care of business against the Western Bulldogs, but expect the Doggies to put up one hell of a fight now that they’ve got a glimmer of finals hope.

Carlton’s incredible win in Perth last week was one of the upsets of the decade, but Melbourne’s form has been reasonable post-bye and, with the element of surprise well and truly lost, I expect the Dees to salute. North Melbourne’s superb form of late should see them register a commanding win over St Kilda in Hobart.

Brisbane are growing from week to week and have looked especially smart over the last fortnight. I think they’re a very real chance of giving the Giants an almighty fright at Olympic Park, but they get GWS at a bad time – smarting off a tight loss – and will end up going down.

I’m not going to waste any time explaining why Richmond will beat Gold Coast. I will, however, make them my Shoe-In of the Week.

Marnie Cohen
Collingwood, Essendon, Richmond, Adelaide, Geelong, West Coast, Melbourne, North Melbourne, GWS

Round 16 is a big one for multiple clubs who will be out to prove themselves as genuine finals contenders heading towards September.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Collingwood must respond after what has been a very poor five weeks. They’ve put in one good performance (against Melbourne on Queen’s Birthday) and three incredibly ordinary ones, resulting in losses at the hands of Fremantle and North Melbourne. There’s still plenty of time to get themselves right in time for finals, but now would be a good time to start. Should get the job done against Hawthorn.

Port Adelaide, too, must respond – not just after a poor performance last weekend, but for their poor performance in the last Showdown. The final margin was just 20 points but it flattered the Power, who trailed by 44 points early in the last.

You’d expect more from Showdown 47 and we know their best is pretty good but, on the flip side, Adelaide have been playing more consistent football, which is why I’m backing the Crows in.

There’s the Dees, who, despite a gallant effort in Brisbane still fell at the hands of an Eric Hipwood five-goal blitz. Despite Carlton’s hot form of late, I still think Melbourne will prevail.

Sports opinion delivered daily 

   

Advertisement
Advertisement

And then Freo. They’ve had a few last gasp moments in the sun this season, but against Carlton is was not to be. I expect a big response in the Derby but I still can’t see them defeating the Eagles.

North Melbourne have been all the rage over the past five weeks under Rhyce Shaw (finally, the people can see what I see!) and now it’s time to win their first game in Tasmania for 2019. They cannot afford to drop a third one and I don’t think they will.

I’m tipping Essendon over Sydney, just, in what should be the most intriguing clash of the round as both sides think they are better than where they’re placed on the ladder. We’ll find that out on the weekend.

Going with Geelong, Richmond and the Giants to round out the round.

Daniel Jeffrey
Collingwood, Essendon, Richmond, Adelaide, Geelong, West Coast, Melbourne, North Melbourne, GWS

With two months left to play, I’d put my chances of getting anything out of this comp around about on par with St Kilda’s of making the eight. Which, you know, are great.

If Hawthorn were in any kind of form they’d be a great chance of knocking off the Pies, but a spirited loss against the Eagles isn’t enough to indicate a win is on the way for Alastair Clarkson’s men. Collingwood to put in a good performance for the first time in weeks.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Essendon and Sydney could go either way. The Swans got the better of this fixture earlier in the year but were touched up when they faced the Dons in Melbourne last year. With Callum Sinclair out and still no Lance Franklin, the Bombers should complete a two-week sweep of the Sydney sides.

Richmond will have no trouble with the Suns, but the Showdown is a far trickier match. Port have made a habit of bouncing back from losses with strong wins, but I’ll go with Adelaide – the Crows have offered far more consistency in recent weeks than their rivals.

Taylor Walker

Taylor Walker and the Crows should get up in the Showdown. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

The Bulldogs have only won consecutive games twice all year. A third occurrence isn’t going to come against the Cats, nor can I see the Dockers getting the better of West Coast after last week’s debacle.

Carlton and Melbourne are tough to split for all the wrong reasons. Form says the Blues, but I’ve a sneaking suspicion it’ll be the Dees with the win.

North Melbourne have been in great form under Rhyce Shaw and should have no problem handling the Saints, and with Lachie Whitfield set to return for GWS, I’ll take the Giants to top the Lions in Brisbane.

AdelaideDocker
Collingwood, Essendon, Richmond, Adelaide, Geelong, West Coast, Carlton, North Melbourne, GWS

A simple round turned into a nightmare tipping round last week, not at all helped by some awful performances from favourites. Par for course, this round has me nervous, too.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Friday night begins with the Hawks hosting Collingwood. While neither team won last week, it’s the Hawks who were genuinely impressive in pushing the Eagles all the way. Collingwood were rubbish, but in this clash, I’ll back the Pies to win. They simply have to.

Saturday’s got the full five matches, but only one is a sure thing: Richmond will comfortably beat the Suns. The evening’s Western Derby is close to a lock, but has just enough doubt to make a sure thing rocky to proclaim: still, I’ll back West Coast to make it nine straight against my Dockers. Geelong face the Doggies at the same time, and despite the latter’s excellent upset win last round, I suspect the Cats will win this one.

The team the Bulldogs defeated, Port, do battle with their South Australian counterparts in the Crows. The Crows also didn’t win – losing to Geelong (a team Port defeated two weeks back). Thus, this is a tricky tip; Port’s inconsistency combined with the higher ladder placing of Adelaide have me leaning the latter’s way. Let’s go Adelaide.

Essendon and Sydney also do battle on Saturday; this is a super difficult tip for mine, but I’ll say the hosts will make it two on the trot.

Sunday has three very interesting matches. Carlton host the Dees in the early clash – Carlton coming off that hot win against Freo, the Demons losing to Brisbane (whilst also beating Freo the week before). Tipping Carlton to win in consecutive weeks is always a risk, but, screw it: the Blues to add a fourth win to their yearly tally. North will account for the Saints in the free-to-air clash, while GWS host an ‘almost-locked-for-finals’ Brisbane in the round’s final contest. I’ll tip GWS, purely because it’s in Sydney. But this has a bit of an upset factor to it…

Round 16 Stirling Marnie Daniel ADocker The Crowd
HAW vs COL COL COL COL COL COL
ESS vs SYD ESS ESS ESS ESS ESS
GCS vs RCH RCH RCH RCH RCH RCH
ADE vs PA ADE ADE ADE ADE ADE
WB vs GEE GEE GEE GEE GEE GEE
FRE vs WCE WCE WCE WCE WCE WCE
CAR vs MEL MEL MEL MEL CAR MEL
NM vs STK NM NM NM NM NM
GWS vs BL GWS GWS GWS GWS GWS
Last week 5 6 5 5 4
Total score 77 75 72 80 85
Advertisement
Advertisement