April 25, 2007
AFL Tips Round Five
ESSENDON VS COLLINGWOOD @ MCG, WEDNESDAY 2:40PM
Outside of finals this is arguably the biggest match of the year, and contests between these two sides, irrespective of where they sit on the ladder are always close, and you would expect today to be no excpetion.
However, with doubts over the fitness of several key Magpies, Lucas and Lloyd forming the most potent forward combination in the AFL, and the fact that Collingwood will be backing up after playing in the wet against Port Adelaide at the MCG last Saturday, the contest is tipped in Essendon's favour.
The Bombers should have too much firepower and leg speed through the middle, and should get over the line in a tight contest. Bombers by 17 points.
PORT ADELAIDE v ST KILDA – AAMI Stadium, Friday @ 7:40pm
Port Adelaide have had the wood on St Kilda in recent times, having won nine of their past ten.
The return of Dean Brogan to partner Brendon Lade in the ruck against Matthew Clarke, coupled with their superior pace through the middle should see the Power get over the line in a hard-fought contest. Power by 17 points.
RICHMOND v WEST COAST - MCG, Saturday @ 2:10pm
Despite finding themselves winless after the first month of football, the Tigers have had their opportunities to secure the four points in all four matches.
West Coast thumped Richmond by 88 points the last time these two sides met, and while the margin won't be so great this time around, the Eagles have too much class and should record a relatively comfortable win. Eagles by 42 points.
CARLTON v BRISBANE LIONS - Telstra Dome, Saturday @ 7:10pm
Both sides head into the NAB Cup Grand Final replay in losing form, with the Blues outclassed by a more experienced West Coast outfit, while the Lions went down to a more committed Kangaroos unit at Carrara.
The loss of Stevens for the year is proving to be costly for Carlton, who were well and truly thumped in the middle by West Coast at Subiaco Oval, and with Jonathon Brown due for a bag after booting 1.5 against the Roos, Brisbane should get up in a tight affair. Lions 19 points.
SYDNEY v MELBOURNE - SCG, Saturday @ 7:10pm
Sydney head into Saturday night's clash with virtually a full list of players to choose from, while the Demons have been ravaged by injury which has led them to an 0-4 start to the season.
The Demons have a reasonable record against the Swans, having won their past two at the SCG, but without the likes of Neitz, Robertson and co., Melbourne lack the firepower to match Sydney. Swans by 36 points.
HAWTHORN v WESTERN BULLDOGS – MCG, Sunday @ 1:10pm
After two disappointing losses to Adelaide and St Kilda, the Bulldogs did enough to get over the line against Richmond, with the return to form of Luke Darcy, who booted four one of the more pleasing aspects of the 32-point victory.
The loss of forward Mark Williams and defender Danny Jacobs is a major blow for the Hawks, and tips the contest in the Bulldogs favour, who have won four of their past five at the home of football. Bulldogs 25 points.
GEELONG v KANGAROOS – Skilled Stadium, Sunday @ 2:10pm
The Kangaroos finally broke through for their first win of the season against Brisbane at the Gabba, after gallant performances in the opening three rounds.
The Roos will need to deliver a similar hard-nosed performance against a more potent Geelong outfit.
The Kangaroos have not won at Skilled Stadium since 2003, and expect that trend to continue with the Cats potent forward line of Mooney, Ablett, Hawkins and co. enough to get them over the line. Cats by 26 points.
FREMANTLE v ADELAIDE - Sunday, Subiaco @ 4:40pm
After a disappointing start to the season, the Dockers finally broke through against an injury ravaged Melbourne side.
The real test to see where the Dockers are at in 2007 will come against a well-drilled and disciplined Crows outfit, which has won three straight, and suffocated last year's grand finalists at AAMI Stadium last Saturday night.
The Dockers forward combination of Pavlich and Tarrant has been working brilliantly to date, and with Johnson to return down back for Fremantle, the Dockers have too much firepower and should get over the line in a tight struggle. Dockers by 13 points.
April 20, 2007
AFL Tips Round Four
RICHMOND v WESTERN BULLDOGS – MCG, Friday @ 7:40pm
The Bulldogs have been bitterly disappointing in the past forntnight against Adelaide and St Kilda, while the winless Tigers could have easily found themselves alongside West Coast as the only unbeaten team in the competition after leading in the final term against Carlton, Sydney and Collingwood last week.
If the Tigers are to open up their account in '07, Richardson, who has kicked 22 goals in his past five matches against the Dogs, needs to fire, and the Bulldogs run through the middle needs to be shut down, as the Crows and Saints have done in the past fortnight.
The Bulldogs appear to have too much run and class through the middle, which should limit the impact of the Tigers key forwards of Jay Schulz, Richardson and co. and allow the Bulldogs to snap a two game losing streak with a hard fought win. Bulldogs by 17 points.
COLLINGWOOD v PORT ADELAIDE - MCG, Saturday @ 2:10pm
The Magpies staged a stunning comeback after trailing by four goals at half-time against the Tigers last Friday night, and will head into this clash with plenty of confidence.
While Port had their fair share of the football in the Showdown, they failed to make the most of their opportunities, with poor kicking in front of goal costing them three straight wins to start the season.
This game will be won or lost in the middle, and the loss of ruckman Dean Brogan with an ankle injury evens the contest up. But with the likes of Danyle Pearce and the Burgoyne brothers in stellar form, Port should have too much run and end a three game losing streak against the Magpies. Port by 14 points.
ST KILDA v ESSENDON - Telstra Dome, Saturday @ 2:10pm
The Bombers were completely dominant for the first half against Carlton, before squandering a 48 point lead to an inspired Blues side led by spearhead Brendon Fevola.
While Essendon squandered a golden opportunity start their 2007 campaign with a 3-0 win-loss record, the Saints suffocated the Bulldogs run from the outset last Saturday night at the Dome en route to a comfortable 50-point win.
The loss of spearhead Fraser Gehrig through suspension will be costly for the Saints, making the likely match-up between Nick Riewoldt and Adam McPhee more crucial.
With Scott Lucas and Matthew Lloyd firing up forward, and the Saints minus key defenders Max Hudghton and Matt Maguire through injury, the Bombers appear to have too much firepower and should win an engrossing contest. Bombers by 26 points.
KANGAROOS v BRISBANE - Carrara, Saturday @ 7:15pm
The Kangaroos were a part of arguably the ugliest match of the season thus far, against Hawthorn last Sunday at the Dome.
The winless Roos, minus key forward Nathan Thompson continue to struggle to generate enough scoring opportunities to kick a winning score, and with Jonathon Brown firing at the other end for the Lions, Brisbane should win at their old home. Lions by 35 points.
ADELAIDE v SYDNEY – AAMI Stadium, Saturday @ 7:10pm
Adelaide have been Sydney's bogey team of late, having won their past three clashes against last year's grand finalists.
This shapes as being the match of the round between two sides in good form, but with Barry Hall and Michael O'Loughlin firing up forward, and the Swans clear edge in the ruck contests, Sydney should get over the line in a contest that will be tighter than most pundits predict. Swans by 29 points.
HAWTHORN v GEELONG – Aurora Stadium, Sunday @ 1:10pm
The Hawks have a good recent record against the resurgent Cats, having won their past two encounters by an average of 11 goals.
The big question marks going into Sunday's match will be whether or not the Tomahawk can build on his impressive start to his AFL career and how the Cats will cope with the bigger dimensions of Aurora Stadium.
Recent good form against the Cats, coupled with the home ground advantage tips the contest in the Hawks favour in what should be a close tussle. Hawks by 13 points.
MELBOURNE v FREMANTLE - Sunday, MCG @ 2:10pm
Both sides were touted as potential candidates for this year's premiership at the start of the season, but both find themsleves winless after the first three rounds.
The Demons have been hit hard by injuries to key players, with key forwards Russell Robertson and skipper David Neitz among the notable absentees, while the Dockers have paid the price for their lack of discipline on the field, with several key stars sidelined due to suspension.
Without Robertson and Neitz, the Demons are going to struggle to kick a winning score, and with Tarrant and Pavlich up the other end for the Dockers, Fremantle should have too much firepower and open their account in 2007 with a comfortable win. Dockers by 32 points.
WEST COAST v CARLTON – Subiaco, Sunday @ 2:40pm
The Blues will head into Sunday's clash against the reigning premiers full of confidence, after coming from 48 points down to upset the Bombers at the MCG last Saturday.
However, the loss of Nick Stevens for the rest of the year with a neck injury is a major blow for the Blues, especially against arguably the best midfield division in the competition.
The Eagles have won their past three against the Blues, all of which were at home. But expect this contest to be closer than expected, with Carlton dominating West Coast for the best part of three quarters in the corresponding match at Subiaco Oval last year, before going down by ten points.
West Coast's superior midfield should see them get over the line in a hard fought affair. Eagles by 19 points.
April 13, 2007
AFL Tips Round 3
COLLINGWOOD VS RICHMOND - MCG, Friday @ 7:40pm
This game will be won or lost in the air, with Troy Simmonds a suprise inclusion the Tigers appear to have a slight edge.
Richmond have won their past two clashes against Collingwood, and with the Magpies unveiling three youngsters tonight at the MCG, the Tigers should have too much run and experience and record their first win in 2007 in a hard fought contest. Richmond by 13 points.
CARLTON VS ESSENDON - MCG, Saturday @ 2:10pm
The Blues were brought back to earth by a resurgent Geelong side after five straight wins, while the Bombers, with the return of skipper Matthew Lloyd and the injection of Leroy Jetta and Aaron Davey in the middle, are a vastly different proposition to the side that endured its worst season since 1933 last year.
Carlton still relies heavily on Brendon Fevola to kick them to a winning score, and with Dustin Fletcher and Mal Michael down back, the Bombers should be able to contain the Blues spearhead who was held goalless against the Cats.
With Scott Lucas continuing his good form from last year with 12 goals in the opening two rounds, and Lloyd and Hird fit and firing and the Bombers lesser likes contributing, Essendon should have too much firepower and make it three straight wins to start season 2007. Bombers by 37 points.
PORT ADELAIDE VS ADELAIDE – AAMI Stadium, Saturday @ 2:40pm
Despite missing their three leading goalkickers from last season against the Western Bulldogs last weekend, the Crows somehow managed to find enough avenues to goal to kick a winning score.
With the likely return of Brett Burton, Adelaide look much more potent in front of goal.
While Port Adelaide, the second most attacking side in the competition in the first two rounds will welcome back their skipper Warren Tredrea, who kicked seven goals in the SANFL last weekend.
This game will be won and lost in the middle.
Can the Crows shut down Port's runners of Danyle Pearce, Peter and Shaun Burgoyne and Kane Cornes, all of whom were damaging against the Kangaroos in round two.
With Robert Shirley sidelined with a fractured hand, the Crows task of shutting down Port Adelaide's midfield guns becomes even tougher, and with Dean Brogan and Brendon Lade expected to dominate in the ruck, Port should get up in a fiery affair. Port by 19 points.
FREMANTLE VS WEST COAST - Subiaco, Saturday @ 5:40pm
Despite all the off-field controversy during the pre-season, the reigning premiers find themselves in the top four and unbeaten in the opening two rounds of the season.
Conversley, Fremantle have paid the price for their lack of discpline on the field with Heath Black, Michael Johnson and Jeff Farmer all suspended, while midfield young gun Brett Peake will miss at least eight weeks with a collarbone.
The loss of Johnson has been particularly costly for Fremantle, with the Dockers leaking 38 goals to Port Adelaide and Essendon in the opening two rounds of the season.
The Dockers have had the wood on their cross-town rivals, having won the past two Derbies, but with skipper Chris Judd and Daniel Kerr in stellar form, and the likely return of number one ruckman Dean Cox and key forward Ashley Hansen, the Eagles appear to have too much firepower for the undermanned Dockers. Eagles by 25 points.
ST KILDA VS WESTERN BULLDOGS – Telstra Dome, Saturday @ 7:10pm
Both sides were totally outclassed in round two after impressive first-up wins.
The Saints look vulnerable down back with no Max Hudghton (quad) and Matt Maguire (foot) and appear to have no obvious match-up for skipper Brad Johnson.
While the Dogs will welcome back key defender Brian Harris from suspension, and you would expect Harris to line-up on Saints spearhead Fraser Gehrig in what will be a crucial contest in determining the outcome of the match.
St Kilda has had the wood on the Bulldogs since 2003, having won five of their past six, with two of those victories being by 50 points or more.
However, the Bulldogs run through the middle is a concern for the Saints and should be enough to see them get over the line. Dogs by 16 points.
SYDNEY VS BRISBANE – SCG, Sunday @ 1:10pm
The Lions have won two straight, but now the real test comes to see whether they have really improved as much as everyone says they have.
Brisbane has lost their past five straight to the Swans by an average of over seven goals.
While the Lions young guns in Michael Rischitelli, Justin Sherman, Cheyenne Stiller and Cameron Wood, who was the round two Rising Star nomination have been very impressive, they will have their work cut out against a Swans ruck division of Darren Jolly and Peter Everitt that is only just starting to click.
Sydney with the home ground advantage, superior ruck division and more options up forward should record an easy win. Swans by 35 points.
MELBOURNE VS GEELONG - Sunday, MCG @ 2:10pm
Many experts have hailed Geelong's thumping 78 point win over Carlton as the most impressive performance to date, all be it against a side that has won the past two wooden spoons.
The real test for the Cats will come on Sunday at the MCG that everyone expects them to win.
The Demons are decimated by injury, with key forwards David Neitz and Russell Robertson expected to miss at least a month with knee injuries, while key defender Jared Rivers will miss with a hamstring injury.
Geelong, with a forward line comprising Cameron Mooney, Nathan Ablett and young star Tom Hawkins, who has been touted as the next Tony Lockett by Carlton coach Denis Pagan, is too potent and should dominate a severely weakened Melbourne outfit. Cats by 43 points.
KANGAROOS VS HAWTHORN – MCG, Sunday @ 5:10pm
The corresponding match between these two sides last year was an ugly affair, with the Kangaroos going down by 22 points after kicking four goals in four quarters of football at York Park.
The Kangaroos have been brave in both their losses this season, but the Hawks with their youngsters in Lance Franklin, Tim Boyle and co. starting to deliver on their potential have too much class and firepower for a Kangaroos outfit that still relies heavily on its more seasoned stars to get them over the line. Hawks by 39 points.
April 05, 2007
AFL Tips Round Two
BRISBANE VS ST KILDA - Gabba, Thursday @ 7:40pm
This shapes as being an intriguing contest between two sides who, on paper appear to be evenly matched, and will be full of confidence after recording first-up wins.
Again, the keys for both sides will be their power forwards.
Veteran defender Max Hudghton is likely to get the tough assignment of minding Jonathon Brown, while Daniel Merrett looks to be the obvious candidate for Saints spearhead Fraser Gehrig.
Gehrig was back to his imposing best against Melbourne in round one, and if it wasn't for some innacurate kicking, 4.3, he could have easily had a bag.
Despite having no Nick Riewoldt(hamstring), Matt Maguire (stress fractures) and doubts over midfielder Luke Ball, who missed the Saints flight to Brisbane yesterday, after sustaining a heavy knock in the 31-point win over the Demons and an ordinary record at the Gabba, St Kilda appears to have too much firepower up forward against a Lions side that is heavily reliant on Brown.
And with their new brand of accountable football under coach Ross Lyon, they should be able to quell the influence of Brisbane's star midfielders in Simon Black and Luke Power, who both had 30 plus possession games against Hawthorn, and make it two wins from two starts in '07. Saints by 16 points.
RICHMOND VS SYDNEY - MCG, Saturday @ 2:10pm
The Swans were very sloppy against West Coast, before rallying in the second half, piling on seven goals to one to again lose by the barest of margins, while the Tigers were impressive in patches and should have secured the four premiership points against Carlton after leading by 27 points in the third term.
Sydney appears to have a clear edge in the ruck, with Peter Everitt and Darren Jolly up against Adam Pattison and Graham Polak, and this could prove to be the difference between the two sides.
The Swans are the masters of shutting games of football down, and will look to do so at the G, in order to further exploit their dominance in the ruck.
The only hope the Tigers have of recording an upset win is to break the game open, and use their superior run through the midfield to good effect, and allow the likes of Matthew Richardson, Kayne Pettifer and Jay Schulz to run into space.
Sydney, with Everitt and Jolly in the middle, and the likes of Hall,O'Loughlin, Grundy and co. up forward, appear to have too much class and firepower and should record a relatively comfortable win. Swans by 29 points.
WEST COAST VS COLLINGWOOD - Subiaco, Saturday @ 5:40pm AWST
The Eagles put aside the off-field controversies that dogged them through the pre-season, and without five of their premiership stars, were able to record another thrilling win over Sydney by one point.
With skipper Chris Judd and Daniel Kerr in stellar form, and the return of Dean Cox to partner Mark Seaby, who outclassed Peter Everitt and Darren Jolly last weeekend, the Eagles appear to have too much class and run through the midfield and should celebrate the unfurling of last year's premiership flag with a comfortable win. Eagles by 38 points.
GEELONG VS CARLTON - Telstra Dome, Saturday @ 7:15pm
The Blues carried their impressive pre-season form into round one, with a gusty 17 point win over Richmond.
After trailing by as much as 27 points in the third term, Carlton, led by Nick Stevens was able to rally and run over the top of a dissapointing Richmond side.
While the Blues were impressive, Geelong failed to capitalise on their good pre-season form and take advantage of their tall forward line, going down to the Bulldogs by 20 points.
On paper, a forward line for Geelong boasting Ottens, Mooney, Nathan Ablett and debutant Tom Hawkins is potent, but they have yet to deliver on their potential on game day, and with Whitnall and Fevola yet to play their best football, the Blues should get over the line in a tight contest. Blues by 8 points.
PORT ADELAIDE VS KANGAROOS - AAMI STADIUM, Sunday @ 12:40pm
Port were very impressive in turning a 34-point deficit into an upset 16 point win over Fremantle at Subiaco in round one.
While the Kangaroos dominated Collingwood for three terms before going down by three points in a heartbreaking contest.
The Kangaroos have an impressive record against Port, having won 13 of their 16 contests to date, but the Power appear too have to much pace through the middle and more options up forward than the Roos that are capable of kicking a winning score. Port by 17 points.
ESSENDON VS FREMANTLE - TELSTRA DOME, Sunday @ 2:10pm
The Bombers recorded an upset 31 point over Adelaide at AAMI Stadium last Sunday, and with the return of skipper Matthew Lloyd and the emergence of several young stars, including Leroy Jetta and Alwyn Davey, who both made their debuts in round one, the Bombers look to have a new found confidence in '07.
While the Bombers were impressive, Fremantle failed to live up to expectations in round one, surrendering a 34 point lead to Port Adelaide at home.
The new look Bombers in ’07 are high on confidence, and with an unbeaten record against Fremantle at the Dome and a potent forward line boasting James Hird, Lucas, Lloyd and co. the Bombers should get up in an engrossing contest. Bombers by ten points.
WESTERN BULLDOGS VS ADELAIDE - MCG, Sunday @ 5:10pm
The Bulldogs, led by inspirational skipper Brad Johnson who bagged a career best haul of eight, confirmed why they are the most exciting team in the competition with an impressivr 20 point win over Geelong in round one.
While the Crows, minus several key players through injury, were lacklustre and paid the price, going down to the Bombers at home.
The Crows have been hit hard with injury and it’s hard to see where they will get goals from to beat one of the most attacking sides in the AFL. The Bulldogs impressive band of runners and potent forward line led by Johnson should see them record their second win in as many starts. Bulldogs by 28 points.
MELBOURNE VS HAWTHORN - MCG, Monday @ 2:10pm
Both sides were bitterly disappointing in round one and will be keen to avoid an 0-2 start to the season.
The Demons will sorely miss the hardness of young gun Brock McLean through the middle, but with their superior ruck division, and the fact that skipper David Neitz has a good recent record against the Hawks, Melbourne should get over the line in a tight contest. Demons by 15 points.