Round 7 already....

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Round 7 already....

Post by Booney on Thu May 05, 2016 11:01 am

Some scribes are already talking about the top 8 being set for season 2016. It might be, it might not be, but it’s hard to make a case for those outside the 8 to come in and if there is anyone it’s perhaps only the undermanned and frustrating Port Adelaide that could mount a case. If the 8 is set there’s some jostling to be done and it might be the year we see a side outside the top 4 take the cup at the end of the year.


Richmond v Hawthorn –

FNF has normal transmission resume, Richmond under lights on the big stage. Won’t be many Tiggers fans there though, just 27,000 last week in the loss to Port at the G, they’ve given it up already. With good reason, they smell. The Hawks took a hit from the Giants like they haven’t seen since they were going to merge with the Dee’s, no #freekickhawthorn last week. Wouldn’t have helped.

The Tigers have come out and told their fans how it is. Brendan Gale on Talking Footy noted they’re in the need of a list make over, but still maintains the coach is the man for the job and has all the skills to be a premiership coach. Unlikely to be at AFL level I’d say, but he might coach a premiership one day. Might. Mature age spuds clog the list, they maintain the Suns/GWS entry made it hard for bottom side to take the draft route and that Richmond fans would not have accepted an 8 year rebuild. That’s nice, they better get ready for one now! Cotchin and hard nut Lambert, two regular contributors missing this week.

The Hawks well publicised run of 3 wins by 3 points got ripped apart on Saturday in Canberra, a 75 point mauling from the very much improved Giants line up. The Hawks were beaten from go to whoa and from head to toe, front to back. -100 touches, -18 clearances, -22 tackles. -75 points. Not often this proud group gets beaten like this. You can’t call it a changing of the guard after one game, but you can see cracks developing in the Hawthorn armour. Hodge out for 4-6 with a knee further challenges the list to stand up.

No need to work hard on this one. Proud team with their pants down against a mob with their pants off and touching their toes. The Hawks eeeeeasy. 44 points.



Collingwood v Carlton –

Another “Blockbuster”* brought to you by AFL house. The ‘Pies were never going to go west and beat the flat track specialists, they gave a bit of a yelp and then were over powered as the Blues went back-to-back with wins over Freo and Essendon.

The Pies were thrilled with the Tigers performance last week, took the heat off them for a few days. The big Yank backed up his ANZAC Day game with another 10 touches and 2 goals, he isn’t going to be a world beater but he’s a better option than Cloke at the moment. Bit tough on Cloke, the midfield doesn’t hold the ball in and give the forward repeat entries. Midfield defence, team defence as it’s now called from the Pies isn’t a thing at all. It isn’t even a work in progress, it’s completely missing and they need to get on top of that quickly. Pendles and Treloar the only other two to really stand up.

Bolton is showing why he was held in high regard at Hawthorn and why the Blues had no hesitation in taking him on. The Blues aren’t ahead of any schedule, they’re just showing glimpses of some structure down back that limits the bleeding, no fault of #1 pick Weitering who, despite missing the next 2-3 with a shoulder would already have the NAB Rising Star prize money invested. They can not only build a defence around him they can use him on the way out in their process, uses the ball well does the boy.

Could you pick Carlton to win 3 in a row with confidence or, could you pick Collingwood at all with confidence? Fair dinkum toss of the coin, with perhaps some blue-tak on the Navy Blues side to add a little weight to their cause. However, I think the Blues will miss Weitering down back too much, Collingwood score around 3 goals per week more than Carlton. Collingwood by 11 points. But, like David Bowie, this one could go either way.



Geelong v West Coast –

The Catters handed the Suns a 120 shellacking last week, only 14 points up at ¼ time the Cats piled on 20 goals to 4 thereafter. Again Pat the Cat was B.O.G. Again Guthrie, Caddy and Duncan get a mention. Building depth again. The Eagles did what they do when they’re at home, beat the visiting team up a bit. Lazy 10 goals over the Pies.

Geelong are reaping the rewards of their off season recruiting sting. Obviously Danger is the pick of them but they’ve been able to release Blicavs to play as a huge mid, they’re got Smith as the big body and they can rotate Vardy or Stanley around him. With Hawkins up front doing the bulk work up there, Taylor keeping in on defence with Henderson ( 21 touches, 11 marks and 4R50 ) having the best game in his blue hoops they’ve got some balance down back again. Shaping as a genuine contender? On their day, yes, they are. Richmond recruiters look and learn.

Got the chance to prove people calling them flat track bullies wrong this week. A real test for them. They’ve lost two games, Sydney and Hawthorn away which in itself isn’t the end of the world, more with how it’s happened. Going to Cat land has been a test for a long time, it’s one of the toughest trips on the calendar for teams who go there and no exception here. Le Cras, Shuey and Priddis led the way last week, a bit easier to run rings around Collingwoods midfield than it is Geelongs though.


Long road trip this one, the Cats in form and play well at home and have the mids to match/beat the Eagles. Geelong by 16 points.




Sydney v Essendon –


While the Lions showed some fight last week and the Swans are a professional unit, might be worth considering the Swannies weren’t exactly 100% switched on for that one. Essendon lost. That is all.

Why you dirty rat. So, you think you can call out the stretcher, ey? While we’re 3 points down, in our forward line, ‘ey? Then, then you despicable creature, you low life yella bellied son of a bitch, you get up and runs off the grounds then, ey? Dirty tactics by the Swans or a genuine player welfare matter? It got them 18 behind the ball and kept the Lions from scoring and got the Swans the win. Not really playing fair, not really not either. Usual suspects with Buddy stamping his authority on the game and the competition. Tell me, is he back to his very best? Can’t be far of it. 23 goals 14 in 6 matches, 6 shots on goal per game. No wonder with that midfield.

Can’t do or say much, again. Dempsey was good in defence and Goddard went ape **** at another team mate. See if I mention that again.

Pretty sure the Swans won’t go in less than prepared, if my summation of their efforts last week are correct. Big day fur Bud coming up. Swans by 50+.




Gold Coast v Melbourne -


Ouch, still feeling the burn from last week would the Suns would be. Ha! Suns, burn. Nice. Rocket would have sent the proverbial up the lads. The Dees did their standard disappearing act when heading to Etihad, 1 win in their last 23 trips there. They do know where it is, yes?

The lads up on the Goldy had themselves a good old honesty session on Monday morning. Marcus Ashcroft said “From Gary Ablett down to our newest recruit we all had the chance to give some and take some.” Give and take some what, honesty? Don’t see the good of one of these, other than airing of grievances at around Festivus no good can come of this. I reckon the last thing you need after losing by 20 goals is to take the lid off and dip each other in the ****. Finger pointing and back stabbing are of no use, better off getting behind each other and shaking that one off. Will be interesting to see the response.

Melbourne went in to last week with some confidence, 2 wins and taking on the Saints. Two teams in a similar position for the last few years but it’s St Kilda owning the Demons. Big zero from the last 12 meetings for the Demons against the Saints. They were a couple of goals up at ¼ time, Jesse Hogan has a couple en route to 7 and they get out scored 17 goals to 10 from there on. The sign still much work is to be done and a sign that they might, perhaps, have got a head of themselves? Unlikely, the latter.

Both sides 3-3, both sides thinking, wanting to be the next side to slip into the bottom bit of the 8. On last weeks form neither of them will. Probably just go the Suns at home who will want to show something after last weeks effort. Suns, not with any confidence, by 12 points.



Bulldogs v Adelaide –

Not sure if it was the Dogs closing things up last week or the Roos, either way the Dogs were kept to just 6 goals under the roof in a loss to the Kangas, while Adelaide spent some time getting past the Dockers who put in a typically stubborn Ross Lyon led performance. Understand Adelaide have a slightly “down” week, they’ve been up for a while now.

The loss of the running men across half back was felt by the Dogs last week, they struggled to go forward with any real meaning and while the Kangas have a functioning midfield and back line the Dogs still managed to create 56 I50’s to the Kangas 46. The difference? Going the other way. The Dogs were unable to curb the influence of the Roos tall forwards.....I think Adelaide have a few of them, don’t they? So the challenge this week is for the Dogs to go forward with purpose and curtail Jenkins, Lynch and Walker. They need to turn a couple of things around.

Adelaide were well served by Betts with 4 majors, they were also well served by the Dockers kicking 2.11 to half time. Not all of that was Adelaides pressure and again Adelaide gave up as many I50’s as they created, 52. While Adelaide run out from the back half and score, you can get them open at times and score by going deep into their defence. Kind of suits the Dogs. What doesn’t suit the Dogs is the Lynch/Jenkins/Walker combo and the defenders at Whitten Oval won’t stop this, the mids have to stop this supply. Can they? If they don’t, Adelaide’s forwards will have the (Easton) wood on the Dogs defence.

Bookies have Adelaide fav’s, I think they should be too. Bit of feeling in this one after last year’s elimination final, the Dogs will remember that one. Match of the round. I think Adelaide by around 10 points with the big men the difference.


Fremantle v GWS –

A much better yet fruitless effort by the Dockers in Adelaide last week, many predicted a hiding and they made Adelaide earn the 5 goal win. Purple pride. The Giants flexed their considerable muscle last week and staked a case for a maiden finals berth in ’16 by belting the Hawkers.

Still to kick off 2016 the Dockers at least made Adelaide earn it last week. Lachie Neale went into the 40 possession world, Hill gave them some run outside, Walters bagged 3 and made the most of every touch and Alex Pearce kept the Adelaide skipper without a major. When you look at the spread of good players on the day it’s hard to work out how they kept Adelaide so quiet? They did it by their better players having a say in it. Neale, Barlow, Hill and the Pav had better outings and the side worked hard off the ball tackling and blocking space for Adelaides forwards. Better effort indeed. Cutting down the space for Adelaide across the middle was important.

Has the monster awoken? Plenty was made of the concessions the Giants got upon their entry and they look like they’ve finally got it all together. They’ve made Canberra an unhappy hunting ground by beating Geelong, smashing Port and Hawthorn there and they have made one very savvy of season move. Stevie J. Not only capable of still turning it on and scoring he looks like he’s setting them up forward of the ball and his on field coaching is helping the likes of Shaw down back and Mumford/Scully in the middle. Here they come? I think so.

It is a tough road trip, the 4 times these teams have met they have all been in Perth (Huh?). All 4 to the Dockers, two of them near 100 points, that was a long time ago though. The Giants to get their first win over the Dockers by 22 points.



St Kilda v North –


What to make of the Saints? They have some decent form but can’t really put the wins on the board to reflect that. North are the pace setter and look like they’ll remain that way for a while yet.

Saint Kilda basically own the Demons, the last 13 over them and last week continued that run going. St Nick was at his very best, covering ground, taking marks and kicking goals. What they wouldn’t do to have another 19 year old Reiwoldt coming through with this next group of kids. A couple of new lads put their hand up to help Steve, Armitage and Montagna. Acres and Ross. Sounds like a real estate firm. They aren’t. I checked. Ross, the cousin of Jobe Watson, in his 5th year at the club had a break out game and Blake Acres got the Rising Star nomination with 28 touches and 2 goals. Starting to get some back up on ball and up foward with Bruce and Membrey taking 13 marks between them, 7 of them I50.

Ladder leaders, scoring at will, well, up until last week anyway. Don’t know what to make of last week for the Dogs or the Roos. Expected it to be free flowing but only 9 goals to the Kangas was surprising. 4 to Waite, well that wasn’t. He’s loving the Petrie/Brown combo around him and no longer having to carry 2 or 3 defenders as he did at Carlton. His body is right, his head is right ( we all recall the loose cannon he once was and I’m sure it’s still there ) and he’s playing the best footy of his career. When only 15 are kicked on the night his 4 was truly the difference.

Class above the Kangas at the moment, they’ll go 7-0 by 40 points.




Port v Brisbane –

I see Ports won, that’s a good thing. No much opposition, beating Richmond is like creating an “I hate Kanye” website and being surprised by the number of hits it gets. Pretty easy work, as Richmond were. The surprise of the round was the Lions taking it up to the Swans. I guess a real Lion and a real Swan wouldn’t be quite as surprising, but the footy was.

Port finally showed some grunt off the ball and it helped when they had the ball. I’ll preface this by saying Richmond are rank, rotten, but at least Port showed up with the mindset to take the game on and defend when they weren’t. A 6 goal win and 99 tackles with 62 I50’s. So the midfield began to work, the back line held up and the forwards took some marks. Westhoff with 8 grabs the pick of the tall forwards on the night in a scrappy affair. Ports prime movers, Wines, Boak and Harlett got some form and look like they have taken a step in the right direction. Dixon with 2 more and a couple of ins for Port this week.

Where did that Brisvegas performance come from? With the one win for the year over the Suns and the Swans looking at a top 4 berth ( again ) the Lions would not have had many, if any, admirers last week. With good reason. They just looked outgunned, in the big man department anyway. But they do have a deeper midfield in 2016. Zorko, Rockliff, Robinson, Hanley, Bell, Rich, Bastinac all working at the feet of Stef Martin. Things are actually looking brighter and it isn’t just the warmer Qld weather doing it.

Thing is, they don’t travel very well. Stef Martin will be looking forward to this one and if can give the mids some supply it could be a close one. Mothers Day. 4pm. Could it be a worse draw card for a crowd? No. The home side should salute here, I think the Port backline will be important. Port by 25 points.
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Booney

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Re: Round 7 already....

Post by Gingernuts on Thu May 05, 2016 12:57 pm

Your comment about the top 8 being set is on point I reckon. While there are not necessarily any 'easy' games this year, the average form of the current top 8 teams over the first 6 rounds has been far better than those currently sitting outside the 8.

If it was to change from here it would be more about a side currently in the 8 having a bad injury run or something, rather than a side improving enough to get in.
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Gingernuts

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