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TomC

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Joined July 2011

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Good article.

Witherden needs to develop some more weapons. Right now it’s hard to identify anything substantial he brings to Brisbane’s team, or even anything he could bring to any team.

The changes to the kick-in rule took away his most obvious strength; his ability to precisely control the trajectory and direction of his kicking from a static position. It’s just not that big a deal anymore when full-backs can run 10 metres into either pocket before returning the ball into play.

So I would suggest his career is best served going to the club that’s prepared to be patient with him, and invest in him.

Witherden's dilemma

Every result in the finals for every team, bar st kildas narrow win over Western.

H&A form has been a very poor predictor of finals form this year, at least in that sense

Lambert's last-quarter strikes put Tigers into the decider

I must say I’m genuinely excited for this game. I find myself counting the hours.

Both teams have had extraordinary seasons, and can be immensely proud of their achievements. Normally I’d be a little sad about either team’s year coming to an end, but frankly I’m fed up with the Tigers. So go Port.

Preliminary final forecast: Port Adelaide vs Richmond

Shove over so I can get on.

Preliminary final forecast: Port Adelaide vs Richmond

I think that might have been true for Port a couple of months ago, but right now I just don’t see the evidence for it.

There seem to be many more people calling them underrated than those who don’t rate them.

Preliminary final forecast: Port Adelaide vs Richmond

I agree, and it makes it a very different game to Brisbane-Richmond. The Lions’ gameplan that night was specifically about shutting down the Tigers’ attacking options. I don’t think Port will be prepared to sacrifice their own offence for that purpose.

Preliminary final forecast: Port Adelaide vs Richmond

I think we can probably stop talking about Port being underrated. I don’t know who Marnie is referring to when she says there are plenty of critics out there, but they don’t seem to be very prominent.

They’re effectively joint favourite for the flag at most bookies. They’re narrow favourites to knock off the reigning premiers tonight, and from my quick scan they have a solid majority of the tips in the media. That all seems fair to me. If anything I think their performance against the Cats has been slightly overrated, although that’s just a personal opinion.

Port completely dominated the Tigers last time, but it didn’t really show on the scoreboard. They’ll need to be ruthless tonight, and make the most of their chances, because Richmond are so adept at scoring from turnovers.

Really, I can’t settle on a tip for this game. I think Port have the ability to dominate clearances and score heavily from them. But then I also think the Tigers have the ability to hold out and do enough damage on the counterattack.

Preliminary final forecast: Port Adelaide vs Richmond

Yes, similar to the Cats. Didn’t get to play finals at their home ground.

And similar to the Cats, it didn’t seem to make much difference.

The Roar's AFL expert tips and predictions: Preliminary finals

I think Docklands was their home ground, wasn’t it? They were the designated home team that day.

The Roar's AFL expert tips and predictions: Preliminary finals

Brisbane lost to Melbourne at the Gabba in round 14 2002.
Neitz went bezerk that day.

The Roar's AFL expert tips and predictions: Preliminary finals

That’s an interesting question, actually. When was the last time a team went an entire season – finals included – undefeated at their home ground?

The Roar's AFL expert tips and predictions: Preliminary finals

Very even looking contests, and very hard to read much from the form.

Every remaining side has a 2-2 record this season against the other remaining side. But then five of the six finals so far were won by the team who lost the corresponding H&A matchup, so history doesn’t seem to mean much anyway.

There’s even quite a bit of uncertainty around what we’ve seen in the finals series, and what it really means.

Geelong’s pretty ordinary performance against Port contrasted sharply with their ruthlessness against Collingwood.

Richmond looked great for three of the four quarters against Brisbane, and comfortably disposed of the Saints. But possibly no one could live up to the lofty expectations held for them at the beginning of the finals series.

Port and Brisbane are both essentially playing their first preliminary finals as a team, and having to adjust to a 15 day break after a frenetic, short season. I honestly have no idea if it’s a good or bad thing. I guess it’s both a risk and an opportunity.

As a rule of thumb I back the home team when in doubt, but then I’d also back experience over youth. In both games those two clash directly, and in both games I’m going back and forth on who I think will win.

Right now I’m giving a slight edge to Port, just because I have this nagging feeling that the disrupted season might have taken a little more of a toll on Richmond than it appears. They didn’t cope very well when things got tough against Brisbane and maybe that’s a sign.

And I’m also giving an edge to Geelong. Maybe you can’t read too much into previous matchups, but the way Dangerfield, Selwood and Menegola sliced through the Lions in round 6 definitely lingers in the memory. I think Brisbane are capable of containing the Cats’ main weapons, but I think there are too many to be truly confident about it.

The Roar's AFL expert tips and predictions: Preliminary finals

I think this is old-school thinking from Josh Elliott, from an era before free agency when draft picks had to be the main way to build a list.

This line…

‘But the reality is that drafting provides better value over the long term than trades…’

…just isn’t right. You can add free agents every year without having to use any of your limited draft pick resources. Free agents don’t require any investment to get them up to AFL speed.

The Geelong Cats are at a crossroads – again

‘Conversely, The Hawks, once again, just escaped with a win against Port in their prelim. No one gave them a chance in the GF against Sydney. No one, except of course me.’

Speak for yourself. The greatest moment in my (very short) sports betting history was taking Hawthorn by 60+ to win that game.

The Geelong Cats are at a crossroads – again

Maybe it’s time for The Roar to stop allowing people to reply to this article.

Five talking points from the AFL semi-finals

Truthfully I’d be very disappointed if the Lions got this far only to fall one step short of a home Grand Final, something that wouldn’t be possible any other year.

But looking at it more broadly I think all footy fans have to be excited about any of the possible matchups we might get in the finale.

I’m glad Brisbane play second, and I can enjoy Friday’s game one way or the other.

Cream rises to the top for prelims

I remember last time Brisbane and Geelong played at the Gabba, Peter, you were adamant the Cats would win comfortably.

Fortunately the Lions got up that day by a point. Hopefully for Brisbane fans its the same result, but hopefully for my heart its a different margin.

In all seriousness though I’d be surprised if it was a blowout. The Lions appear to have made some big strides this season. Between Selwood, Dangerfield and Hawkins the Cats certainly have players capable of cracking the game open, but I think Brisbane have the capacity to blunt Geelong’s strengths as they did to Richmond.

Cream rises to the top for prelims

It’s remarkable how even the season appears at this late point between the top four. I’m pretty confident we’ll get three excellent games from here.

One interesting point: each of the remaining teams has a 2-2 record against the other remaining teams.

Cream rises to the top for prelims

Fascinating to see the premiership odds today. In some cases all four teams within a dollar of each other. I doubt it’s ever seemed this even at this stage

Five talking points from the AFL semi-finals

And you should apologise to actual realists.

Is Tom Lynch in strife for kneeing Saints opponent?

I’m a little surprised Cotchin didn’t get any kind of sanction, but only a little.

A fine is right for Lynch, but it doesn’t seem to deter him. Maybe one option would be to link the amount to the individual player’s salary.

Is Tom Lynch in strife for kneeing Saints opponent?

Hell no I wouldn’t say it to Lynch’s face!

He’d wait until I was on the ground and kick me in the ribs.

Is Tom Lynch in strife for kneeing Saints opponent?

He won’t get suspended for this incident. He’ll get another fine.

We had a discussion on this site earlier in the year about what a bouchedag Lynch is, with everyone agreeing that punching guys in the gut, or getting stuck into opponents when they’re on the ground, was poor form. Except for a handful of Richmond fans, who were incensed at that idea.

Lynch isn’t a ‘competitive beast’. He isn’t ‘pushing the envelope’. There’s nothing ‘hard and tough’ about his behaviour. He’s just a stickhead.

Is Tom Lynch in strife for kneeing Saints opponent?

I thought it was the right call.

Score review strikes again as another controversial call gobsmacks commentators

Boy, Realist does *not* like it when Richmond lose.

AFL semi-final forecast: Richmond vs St Kilda