Sweet 16

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Sweet 16

Post by Booney on Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:40 am

North v Essendon -

FNF and the up and down Roos host the more down than up Bombers. Golden Jim has fallen from his bike during the week, I’m not sure if it was propaganda that got him or karma. Might have been a combination of the two. Anyway I hope he’s ok, if he isn’t I’m sure he let us know. Last week the Roos kept their final 8 hopes alive with another win over the Cats in 2015 while the Bombers got the better of Melbournes kicking. The Dees nailing more behinds than Julian Clarey at the Mardi Gras.

The Roos have gone WLWLW over the last 5 weeks while the Bombers have just the one win in that time. Big Goldstein gets the ball moving for the Roos in the very first instance, the Kangas are third for hitouts behind only the two Perth sides led by Sandy and Nic Nat. From this though they’ve not made the most of it though, they are 12th for clearances. In their favour is the Bombers being bottom 3 for both stats. They can’t get first hand on it and then they can’t get second hand on it either. Pretty much all the numbers say these two sides are currently middle of the road, they are.

The Roos dropped Lindsay Thomas ( can you imagine him falling on the floor in Brad Scott’s office when he got told? ) and gave Boomer the subs vest, might be a nice little pre-curser to Boomer being “rested” in the next fortnight to ensure his 400th isn’t played at the Gabba in front of 400 people. Fair enough to, it’s a remarkable achievement and he should get the chance to play it in front of family and friends.

The Bombers managed to kick 10 goals from only 45 I50’s last week as they persist in looking for goal posts on the wings, 6 of them in a quarter and 5 of the 10 from Joe “The Moe” Daniher. 10 goals won’t beat the good Roos side, but the good Roos side might not get off the bus Friday night. Kangaroos should win this, if they are finals bound they will have to. Kangas by 39 points.


Geelong v Bulldogs –

The Cats have dropped two in a row while the Bulldogs have snuck a game clear in the 8 on the back of 4 wins on the trot, but it’s been Brisbane, St Kilda, Carlton and the Gold Coast that they’ve rolled in that time but you can only beat who you are playing. They can only be described as a little lucky to get over the line last week, 10 goals to 2 in the last quarter and they win by 22 points, the Suns clearly had a few blokes lacking a run and they came to a grinding halt. With the bye, the cancelled Adelaide match and last week’s loss the Cats haven’t tasted victory since the Friday night win over Port in mid June. At 6-7 they’ve got not long to get the season back on track to look at finals footy.

With the skipper having his wings clipped by the MRP for a chicken wing incident the Cats midfield is under even more pressure to perform. They are last for clearances, a long way last, 17th on that list ( Essendon ) has 500 clearances for the year, the Cats have 458....they don’t get many hitouts either, they hold inglorious 18th in that stat too. So, without Selwood how will they get the ball moving forward with enough purpose against the young Bulldogs mids? Give it to Jimmy Bartel if they can. Massive effort from the champ, 7 weeks out and comes back with 41 touches and 6 marks. Universally liked this bloke, with good reason.

This is a good test for the Doggies, while the Cats aren’t top 4 material this year they are far from easy beats at home and will give the Dogs a run this week. This one is a case of more old heads in the Cats side trying to outsmart the young minds of the Bulldogs midfield. So the numbers say the Cats won’t want lots of stoppages, they’ll get towelled up there if they do, so will they try and open the Doggies up and run on the outside? That’s not how Geelong play on the narrow confines of Cat Park. This one I think will come down to who uses it best when they’ve got a chance. I’ve got a feeling it might be the class of the Geelong side that will hold sway here. In an upset, of sorts, the Cats by 18 points.


Gold Coast v GWS –

The Gold Coast return home from Cairns after a terrible last 30 minutes where they bled 10 goals, they host a GWS side that held the Saints out last week despite a goal less third quarter. Gold Coast have had some good ‘ins’ over the last few weeks and last week showed that some were short of a run, they’ve got another one under their belts. GWS sit in the 8 half a game clear of Adelaide and a game clear of North, who should win tonight. Big game for GWS if they have finals hopes.

All the numbers point to a GWS win, so does the form line. They use the ball better, get more of it, get more clearances and kick more goals. GWS lose young gun Dylan Shiel to a knee injury but that’s not as painful as the Suns losing Tape, Dixon and Swallow with a full leg complaint. One hammy, one knee, one ankle. Old Harley Bennell spends another week in the NEAFL for getting snapped with some lines in front of him, not bad, 3 weeks off, that’s what Gibbs got for a rough tackle. Seems legit. The ash cloud over Bali, was that anything to do with the Suns being in Cairns last week? Coincidence? Hmm....

Don’t think the Suns can win without big Charlie Dixon to aim at, he was in good nick before rolling an ankle, but, they will have the edge over the Giants in the big man department with Nicholls, Lynch, Smith and May likely to control the air. Might be closer than most expect here, but I think GWS by 15 points and won’t be surprised by a Suns win.


Collingwood v West Coast

It’s been heart breaking watching Collingwood compete so well over the last few weeks and lose all three games. Hasn’t it? I’ve hardly been able to deal with it. This week they face the red hot Weagles who are not only winning games but they are winning games big. The second best attack and third best defence. They are strangling sides with their zone and then when the opposition cough it up they blitz down the other end and score, heavily.

The Eagles are second best for ball use in the competition, it’s because they’ve got it going their way while the opposition are still running the other way. Albeit in an extraordinary match up against Adelaide last week they showed in the second quarter that they are at the top of their game. 8 goals 7 in a quarter doesn’t happen often, that’s total dominance. The Pies on the other hand have dried up in front of goal, mind you two of the last three opponents have been Fremantle and Hawthorn, but 9,12 and 11 goals in the last 3 weeks isn’t a great return. Cloke and White have contributed just 3 of their last 32 majors, not a great patch of form for the big Pies forwards. To be honest, we don’t expect much more from White anyway. So the Pies have slipped from a top 4 contender to two games behind 4th and one game in the 8. Another loss this week and GWS, North and maybe Adelaide could knock them out of the 8.


West Coast will make life very difficult for the already out of form Collingwood forward half and I expect the Weagles to fly East and take the points West. Eagles by 39 points.



Sydney v Hawthorn

Match of the round. 3rd v 4th. Last year’s Grand finalists. Only drawback, ANZ bloody stadium. The patchwork quilt gets another big Sydney home game and it’ll be slip’n’slide again on the dodgy surface. Why can’t they get it right, nobody plays there, they’ve got weeks to prepare it everytime?

How do you go about picking this one? No point looking at numbers, they’ll both be at the top of all the stats. No point looking at personnel, it doesn’t really matter with either side as system and process seems to outweigh the cattle used at both clubs. Both clubs cover for injuries seemingly seamlessly and big name inclusion of Richards, Bird and Jack for Sydney are countered by the return of big Roughy who well all have in our thoughts, I’m sure. Good luck to the very likable big Hawk.

So form? I can’t remember when Hawthorn last lost and the Swans only recent slip up against the Tigers about a month ago. Can barely split them.

Hawthorn looked ominous at worst last weekend when they dismantled the Dockers in Tassie while the Swans were workmanlike at best just doing what they had to in beating the Bears. But don’t be fooled by a soft showing by the Swannies, they knows how and when to turn it on.

The only thing I can splitting these sides is the Hawthorn back half holding Buddy, Tippett and Goodes to under 3 goals each, forcing the Swans mids to contribute on the scoreboard, which they certainly can do.

Good luck getting this one right.....I think the Hawks, on form, by 16 points.



Fremantle v Carlton

Uh oh. 1st v 16th. Carlton head West to take on the Dockers after they got pumped last week....Ross swings the axe and Duffield, Mzungu, Clancy Pearce and Clarke feel it. Looks like they’ve brought in the South African middle order with Griffin, Taberner, Sutcliffe and Crozier replacing them. Cartlon have made a few changes with the ever, ever so unlucky Gibbs tearing a pectoral. Unlucky, pal. While Wood gets chopped and Armfield has an arm. Well, he has two, one must be buggered.

Top sides don’t like losing, top sides certainly don’t like losing by 12 goals and the Dockers will be keen to atone for a crappy showing in Tassie. The Blues had a little mini revival of sorts when Barker took over but he’s steadied the ship and has Carlton playing like Carlton again. 5 goals and 7 goals in the last two weeks and now a Dockers side keen to win and back home. I think they are home. It is a long way from Taswegia to Perth and Bali was out of the question with the ash cloud over it.

So can you make any case for a Carlton win? Not really, they’ve dropped Wood so that helps, but it won’t be enough to get over the top side who will be keen to keep a one game gap between them and their cross town rivals. Freo to bump up the percentage, by 73 points.



Melbourne v Brisbane

Don’t get too excited about this one. No, seriously, don’t get excited. 15th and 18th at the G on a Sunday at lunch time. I feel for the kids seeling the Pies and Hot Dogs, half of them will get no pocket money this week, ”Stay home *insert some shitty modern name/word here* we won’t need you this week”.

In essence you can’t see anything but a Demons win here. Although they got rolled by the Bombers last week they’ve at least shown their supporters that they can be competitive and with some belief and another year in the likes of Brayshaw, Hogan, Gawn, McDonald, Stretch and co and they look ready to take the next step from competitive to believing they can win. And they’ll believe that this week. The Lions look to welcome back in form big man and former Demon Stefan Martin to help out the big Leunenberger and bring in Mitch Robinson. Not that he has a clue what is going on.

The Lions at least have a spine again with Merrett back down back and McStay and Staker up front with a resting big man. Things are looking a little on the up, but not enough to head South and beat the Demons.

I think the Dees might open the Lions up on the expanses of the G and win easily. Demons by 50 points.



Port Adelaide v Adelaide

In the last public display of admiration to the late Phillip Walsh the Power and Crows outfits will run through a joint banner before Sundays and game and the Showdown 39 medal will be called the Phil Walsh medal for just this one Showdown.

It’s been great to hear players from both sides say that they are looking forwards to moving on after this final show of respect and the first ball up will be a trigger for all of them to do what Phil would want. Get in there ,get on with it and get the job done.

It’s still hard to tell how the Crows will handle this one. The first time back in their rooms where the Walsh memories will flow for the first time, the first time back out on Adelaide Oval, the first time their fasn will get the chance to sing the song before the game. Again, plenty of emotion for the players this week and if they can harness that, get their heads and hearts in the game then this one shapes to be a belter.

It won’t be a belter in terms of pure football, both these sides cough it up on a regular basis and are bottom 4 for disposal efficiency. So expect plenty of turn overs and expect to see the likes of Gray, Wingard, Betts and Cameron get some “cheap” ones out the back as a result.

Port have got a little bit of form, a close loss in Sydney then a win over the Pies in Adelaide last week as the Crows dealt with the loss of Walsh and a pantsing in Perth. Not that I think last week counts for much in Adelaides sense, the Eagles are spanking everyone and Adelaide were hardly going to be in the head space to challenge a premiership contender after the week they had.

By the numbers :

Port have picked up in the midfield, 3rd for hitouts ( Adelaide 14th ) 2nd for clearances ( Adelaide 11th ) 1st for tackles ( Adelaide 16th ) 5th for contested possession ( Adelaide 13th ). You’d think from that this will be one sided, but it won’t be, because for all the good work Port do in the middle and around the ball the usage going forward has been shocking at times and worse when things have been really bad.

Goals from turnovers, goals FROM TURNOVERS!!!!

Both sides are guilty of it, Port average 46 points per week conceded from turnovers, Adelaide 52. On the slip side Adelaide manage 50 points per week from opposition blunders while Port manage just 40. It shows, when Port turn it over they get scored against but then they get a turnover they don’t take advantage of it like Adelaide do. Eddie Betts has scored 110 points from opposition turnovers this year, the 5th best in the league. When you cough it up to Adelaide, Betts is the man sneaking into position to take advantage of it.

In the match earlier in the year Port had some big performers pull some big numbers. 5 goals to Schulz, 3 to Ryder in perhaps his best outing for the club and Gray, Boak and Ebert were stand outs. Adelaide had Betts bag 5 ( 4 from turnovers! ) and Walker and Jenkins two each.

Port have finally got a ruck combination to match Jacobs who looked to be as flat as any Crow last week and he’s had a pretty lean month or so. He usually towels up Lobbe, but with back up from Ryder, Westhoff and Trengove the Power look to have a little edge over Jacobs and Jenkins. Big weekend ahead for the big Sauce, he’ll show up ready though.

So who makes the difference? Gray, Boak, Ebert, Hartlett with Thompson, Dangerfield, Douglas and Smith. It’s an even bunch there.Small forwards Wingard and Betts lead the way for both clubs, they’re both in good nick, Wingard is in very good touch especially. Big men at both clubs have been struggling. Walker and Jenkins have had a lean month, Schulz and Westhoff the same.

So, it’ll be who can turn it over less and when the opposition cough it up who can make the most of having it on the bounce.

Complete bias here, but with a little bit of back up from recent form. Port by 29 points.


St Kilda v Richmond

Another emotion charged Sunday fixture with both clubs banding together to support the Fight like Maddie Foundation, supporting fundraising for the research into Aplastic anaemia, a condition that took the life of Nick Reiwoldts sister in February this year.

The Tigers are flying, 5th spot with a big fortnight ahead. Fremantle and Hawthorn after the Sainters.

The Saints dropped off last week, they had more of the ball, more inside 50s and more tackles than the Giants, they just burnt it and were down by as much as 48 points in the second quarter. They kept the Giants goalless in the third and bagged 3 to even it up but ultimately the loss of St Nick with a twinged baby cow gave them one less option to kick to and the Giants were home.

The Tigers played in an absolute stinker on FNF last week, Carlton dragged them down to their level and the Tigers were happy to revisit seasons past and play like ****.

Not much can be said for the Sainters here, I’d expect the emotion to go out of the game and the Tigers to win comfortably with their big men the key under the roof. Richmond by 33.
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Booney

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Re: Sweet 16

Post by Paul on Fri Jul 17, 2015 6:55 pm

North Melbourne
Geelong
GWS
Collingwood
Hawthorn
Fremantle
Melbourne
Adelaide
Richmond

Only certainty is Fremantle.
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Paul

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