Another weekly post where I explore the boundaries of WordPress titles – at this stage, we’re going to be ending up with accents and the weirdest Unicode I can find.
And because the AFL insists on such close rounds, I have to write this post quickly.
Port Adelaide v Carlton
Nobody on the Internet had any clue why Carlton got the Friday night match. After watching it, their position was vindicated. A team that kicks two goals in three quarters is not a team that deserves prime time fixtures. Full credit to Port Adelaide, in particular Robbie Gray, who kicked five goals to be best on ground. Casboult kicked four of six. Pt Adelaide 20.17 (137) d Carlton 6.11 (47)
W Bulldogs v Brisbane
In what was part of ‘Robert Murphy Appreciation Round’, this game was a match of two halves. The first half had Brisbane on top, with the Bulldogs kicking at 13% efficiency and the Lions kicking nine goals without missing. The second half had the Bulldogs fight back (Twitter suggesting with the help of the umpires), kicking eight goals in the final term. W Bulldogs 17.20 (122) d Brisbane 14.6 (90)
Gold Coast v Adelaide
Adelaide won, comfortably, to get to 5-0 for the first time in club history, but it was bookended by hamstring injuries to two players at opposite ends of the match. Daniel Talia injured his hamstring in the opening minute, and Riley Knight his in the final quarter. Eddie Betts kicked three goals, and you’d think would be a decent Coleman Medal chance. Adelaide 23.15 (153) d Gold Coast 13.8 (86)
Sydney v GWS Giants
The Giants have won at the SCG for the first time, and Sydney are 0-5 for the first time in 24 years. It’s not all bad news for the Swans – Lance Franklin kicked his 800th career goal (eleventh of all time) and the Swans kicked the first four. They didn’t kick another for the rest of the first half, but still, positives. GWS Giants 15.15 (105) d Sydney 9.9 (63)
Fremantle v N Melbourne
North Melbourne really had a chance this time. At one point in the third quarter, they had kicked seven goals to two, and even with two minutes to go, they had a lead. They didn’t win. Fremantle kicked six of the next seven goals, and Shane Kersten kicked a winner with a minute to go. The first time North’s 0-5 since 1972. Fremantle 9.13 (67) d N Melbourne 9.8 (62)
St Kilda v Geelong Cats
St Kilda certainly weren’t terrible against Geelong – indeed, they held a lead right up into the last quarter. However, Geelong (or should I say Dangerwood) shone through, with seventy four touches, thirteen tackles, and three goals between them. Jack Steven and Darren Minchington were good for St Kilda, while George Horlin-Smith (hyphens, yes!) and Darcy Lang were other top players from Geelong. Geelong 19.12 (126) d St Kilda 13.10 (88)
Hawthorn v West Coast
In the biggest upset of the season so far (full marks to my cousin Jay for tipping it), Hawthorn not only beat West Coast, but beat them comfortably, only being behind for one minute in the first quarter. A six goal second quarter gave the Hawks a comfortable lead that they would only build on. A Mitchell (Tom) was Hawthorn’s best player. Hawthorn 19.11 (125) d West Coast 11.9 (75)
Richmond v Melbourne
This win is one of Richmond’s best in the last few years. Kicking five goals to none in the last quarter meant that the Tigers were able to achieve their best three quarter time comeback in twenty-five years. Four Melbourne players were injured, which makes their lead throughout the match more impressive. Jack Riewoldt kicked six goals, including two in the last. Richmond 12.16 (88) d Melbourne 11.9 (75)
Essendon v Collingwood
Essendon got their first ANZAC Day win since 2013 in a closely contested match over the Pies. The Bombers got the jump after kicking the first three goals, but Collingwood fought back in the third quarter to actually gain a lead at one point. The Bombers fought back to win by three goals. Daniher won the ANZAC Medal; renewed pressure on Buckley. Essendon 15.10 (100) d Collingwood 11.16 (82)
I got seven right, meaning I’m on a total of 30. I’m actually on 31 in my family tipping competition, but that’s because I tip the Bulldogs every week, whether I think they’ll win or not.
GWS Giants v W Bulldogs
The rematch of one of the games of last year getting the Friday night isn’t unusual. The fact it’s in Canberra is. Yes, these two teams are right next to each other on the ladder, but there are a lot of differences between them. GWS has beaten Pt Adelaide, while the Bulldogs have beaten nobody higher than thirteenth. Easy win for GWS. GWS Giants by 23.
Hawthorn v St Kilda
This should be interesting. St Kilda haven’t played well throughout this year, yet Hawthorn were even worse – at least until their comfortable upset win over West Coast. If that form wasn’t enough to give them the upper hand, the Hawks haven’t lost to St Kilda since 2009, or lost in Launceston since 2012, having won their past nineteen. Weird as it sounds, Hawthorn by 14.
Carlton v Sydney
At the start of the season, this would have been not pencilled, but permanent markered in as a win for Sydney. Yet with Sydney on the bottom of the ladder for the first time since 1994, Carlton will consider themselves with slightly more of a chance then earlier. It’s probably not going to be enough, given Sydney’s recent form over the Blues. Sydney by 20.
Brisbane v Pt Adelaide
Pt Adelaide were able to arrest a worrying slump of form by creaming Carlton last week, while Brisbane would have gone home happy with their first half against the Bulldogs, but disappointed by the second half. This should be a comfortable win to Port Adelaide, and a high scoring one – they average 111 points for per game, and Brisbane concedes the same. Pt Adelaide by 44.
N Melbourne v Gold Coast
Having led every match this season at some point outside of the first quarter, North Melbourne’s 0-5 is probably an underestimate of where they’re at. However, they’ve faded out near the end of each match, which means that Gold Coast, who have two wins for the year, could be in with a chance. Indeed, they’ve been playing pretty good throughout this season. Gold Coast by 8.
West Coast v Fremantle
My Twitter buddy Josh Pinn said Fremantle ‘could easily finish bottom two’ after their first two weeks. Since then, they’ve won three in a row over mostly quality opposition, meaning that they are suddenly in with a chance in the Derby. While it’s true West Coast were outplayed by Hawthorn last week, that was in Melbourne, and this is at their fortress. West Coast by 22.
Essendon v Melbourne
Neither team’s had the longest turnaround (six days for Melbourne, five for Essendon). The Demons started the season well, with wins over St Kilda and Carlton, but have lost their last three – a trend that I see continuing. Essendon’s only played one quality opponent, who they lost to by a large margin, but Melbourne are not quality opponents. Essendon should beat them. Essendon by 18.
Geelong v Collingwood
There’s a lot of pressure on Nathan Buckley as coach of Collingwood. Is it unmerited? That’s for you to decide. However, they’re playing second of the ladder, top of the line opposition in Geelong. While they may be a tad over-reliant on Dangerwood, you can’t deny they’re an effective midfield team, and Geelong has plenty of other good mids to win with. Geelong by 35.
Adelaide v Richmond
Who would have tipped *this* as a clash between two undefeated teams at the start of the year? The general perception is that this could be the game Richmond goes crashing down in. I agree with the general perception – Adelaide has beaten Port, GWS, and in general have looked more dominant than the Tigers. Fair game to Richmond, but the streak ends. Adelaide by 22.
The Bulldogs finally got a decent score, which puts them into the top half offensively, and restricting an opponent to less than ten goals achieved the same for Fremantle defensively.
That low scoring match did knock the ratings of both the Dockers and Kangaroos down a bit, but the biggest change is West Coast. Conceding 125 points to the worst offensive team in the competition will damage your rating by a lot.
FADR got seven right, meaning it now has a total of twenty eight, apparently. I might have made a mistake or lost count at some point in the season, so take that with a pinch of salt.
It disagrees with me on Hawthorn v St Kilda, N Melbourne v Gold Coast, and Essendon v Melbourne. It’s also tipped the Derby to be a lot closer than I did. We’ll see how it goes.