Kicking Balls: Round 19 AFL preview

9 08 2007

Kicking BallsWell, it’s coming right down to the business end of the season. A few sides have the finals destiny in their own hands, whilst others are at the mercy of the footy gods, praying for some more results like last weeks draw and Freo’s fantastic win against West Coast.

This weeks games see some more top of the table action, but there are a few danger games for top sides against strugglers.

Richmond vs Collingwood

Richmond have had their worst year in a very long time. It is highly conceivable they will win just the one game for the year with a tough run home, but they will not be without a modicum of confidence tomorrow night. The Pies form has dipped: they got away with a win in time-on last week, and look a shadow of the team we saw just a few rounds ago. One wonders how the Tigers would win though, it seems they live in the hope that Matty Richardson and Nathan Brown will break loose and kick bags of goals… yet without the delivery from the midfield, this is impossible.

At the other end, Travis Cloke is developing into a star Centre-Half Forward, and Anthony Rocca showed last week – even though the numbers flattered him – that he still can monster the less polished defences in the league. The pies will win: by 30 points or so… but again Collingwood fans will be left none the wiser as to the sides chances come September.

Hawthorn vs Brisbane

Saturday afternoon, MCG: blockbuster game. Anyone who saw the round 1 clash would have scoffed at the notion of this being the case after the Lions won a dull encounter. How things change. Hawthorn have stepped up a notch or 5 this year, with some great results. A young side with plenty of confidence and the talent to match – with Franklin, Roughead, Brown, Mitchell all in form. Brisbane too have performed above expectations, and are on an impressive winning run. Jonathon Brown is in fantastic form, and with the midfield of Lappin, Black, Power and Adcock winning clearances from Charman’s ruck work, it is easy to see why. History tells us the Lions have won 7 of the past 8 these sides have played, and that’s good enough for me. Lions by 18.

Port Adelaide vs Carlton

Port. Simple really. Carlton have been valiant in the past 2 weeks, but to go to AAMI Stadium against a Port side smarting after a derby loss and still fighting for top 4 is daunting to say the least. The Power should (and will) win this in a canter. Too many good players and too much to play for. Power by 40 points.

Melbourne vs Western Bulldogs

Last year this would have been a finals fixture. This year, both sides have failed to live up to expectations. The Bullies showed some fight last week to almost snatch a win and resurrect their finals charge. They are close to full strength, and if they want to take part in September they have to win here. Melbourne went through the motions last week. It seems the players are resigned to the fact they will finish bottom 2 and are just playing out the year. Having said that, I’m sure after last week a few would have been put on notice that continued performances like that will see them playing VFL next year, so expect an improved effort. Still, Dogs have too much class, and will win by 25 points.

Sydney vs St Kilda

HUGE game. Swans win and they keep pace for a top 4 finish, Saints win, they are back in the 8 and keep their top 4 chances alive. As they have done every year, the Swans are peaking at just the right time. A win here and a couple of results go their way and they are in the top 4 with the second best percentage in the comp. The Saints were written off a few weeks ago, but seem to be building nicely. Perhaps Ross Lyon learned this trick from Paul Roos while serving under him? A battle of the old Roy-boys will see Roosy’s men prevail in a close one. Swans by 12 points.

Kangaroos vs West Coast

Match of the round. Both sides will be smarting after losses last week. If the Kangaroos lose here they could slip as low as 6th with a group of teams gnashing at their heels. They have punched above their weight most of the year, and Dean Laidley has gone from being widely tipped as most likely to be sacked, to one of the coaches clubs are looking to poach. John Worsfold’s men are struggling… just don’t tell him. It was suggested they were suffering from the deadly “premiership hangover’, and Woosha let rip at the reporter, but the evidence is there for all to see. My heart is hoping that the Kangaroos can continue their fairytale season, but my head is telling me that a crack unit, hurting from yet another loss to their city rivals, are going to turn on the fireworks. Expect Kerr and Cox to combine beautifully to win the clearances and the much maligned Quinten Lynch to kick more goals than points for once. Eagles by 24.

Geelong vs Adelaide

The cats are running nicely. Minimal injuries. Players coming back fighting for spots. 13 wins on the trot. 3 games clear on top. Top 2 guaranteed and a percentage some 40 points higher than the next best in the league. Things in sleepy hollow couldn’t get much better – and whilst much has been made of the seasons of Jimmy Bartel, Gary Ablett and Joel Corey, a lot of the credit must go to Cam Mooney. Not only is he kicking goals and providing a target, he is maintaining his cool whilst not losing his trade-mark hardness at the ball. Adelaide kept themselves in the finals hunt with a gutsy win last week, but it’s going to find it’s horror run when injuries catch-up with them this week. Andrew McLeod and Simon Goodwin, as awesome as they have been at shouldering so much of the burden, won’t be able to carry the team over the line this time. Cats to win by 30 points.

Fremantle vs Essendon

Technically both sides are still a chance at finals, but realistically it would take a miracle for either to play in september. Freo were fantastic last week. Fans must be pulling their hair out wondering why they couldn’t reproduce that type of performance more often. Essendon got spanked last week, and it seems despite Matty Lloyds protestations to the contrary, that the rot has set in. Freo to win, 20 points should do it.

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7 responses

10 08 2007
The Crazy News Guy

All right! This is an exciting round. Looking forward to Hawks V Lions, then Saints V Swans on Saturday. A great little double header there.
This is the best pre-round analysis I’ve come across anywhere on the internet. Good stuff, hope all the tips are right!
And Go Freo!

10 08 2007
Cal

Second ‘The Crazy news Guy’ – great analysis.

Just out of curiosity, are you in any tipping comps and what’s your score? I might have to poach your tips… 🙂

Cheers.

10 08 2007
withmalice

[editor’s notes: we’ll keep track of how ISC does… I believe he’s in a footy competition at http://www.footytips.com.au]

10 08 2007
iscdaws

Yes, I am in 3 comps. My net tipping comps scores are not flash, a couple of weeks of not being online meant my tips suffered dearly. In an offline comp I am currently sitting on a healthy 90, at footytips I am on 83 and oztips 85.

10 08 2007
withmalice

Nice work – I’m on 93 at Yahoo, and 92 at NAB (you’d be well ahead if not for your offline mishap!)… in the footytips one I started Round 9 (so got the lowest scores for rounds 1-8), I’m on 78 there. Sucks to be me! 😉

10 08 2007
Cal

Nice scores really. I have Oztips – 94, lovemyfooty – 93, local golf store (strange I know) – 92.

12 08 2007
GT

Sydney with still another gear to go looked the GOODES.

Stick with ’em isc, they’ll see ya right.

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