Round 4 stuff

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Post by Booney on Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:21 pm

There’s some form lines developing and you can start to pick who you can trust and who you can’t for the season ahead. Sydney, Hawthorn, North, Adelaide and the Bulldogs will give you and honest effort every week. Essendon will torment their fans, Collingwood and Richmond will extend their coaches contracts, the rest need to sort themselves out.

West Coast v Richmond –

The Eagles got the better of their cross town rivals last weekend, not overly convincing in doing so but they get to 2-1,the Dockers put up a fight though and that was expected. The Tigers gave another limp showing against the rampaging Crows and then shut up shop, “No TV, no radio, no interviews” in the Tigers rooms afterwards and nobody got in. Pity they aren’t that committed and organised on the field.

Priddis was at his Brownlow best as he racked up 31 disposals ( 18 contested ), 8 tackles and 4 I50s. He knows how to rack up big numbers and he loves the contested ball. Should he be rated more highly in the AFL community? Hello, Darling had one of his more even 4 quarter performances with 3 majors, 8 marks ( 4 I50 ) and with just 20 goals scored on the night was a major contributor. Shuey was solid in the middle, Hurn marshalled his troops at the back end and Nic Nat broke big Sandi in the process of taking a specky. That really would hurt. Lewis Jetta showed his value to the side with 2 goals and 5 I50’s. Could prove to be a handy pick up as he adds outside run to lots of inside grunt.

Tiger. Land. Tiger. Land. What do you make, of it? Really rate themselves internally, still think they’ll make the 8 if you ask Hardwick and they just might, but will it be worth it? There’s no denying they can and will play patches and perhaps full matches of football that can challenge the top teams but it’s all reliant on too few. You’ve got some blokes who can be admired, Brandon Ellis busts his guts week in week out, Martin the same. Houli runs the back half with Rance and Hapmson, despite looking hampered by injury is playing above himself, other than that.....who knew Short, Astbury, Vlastuin and Lennon were out there? Worst part, the coach bought into the media criticism of his captain. Why bother?

The Tigers do enjoy going to the West, winning there over the Eagles in ’14 and ’13 and bursting Freo’s bubble last year and while anything can happen with the Tigers I don’t see a win in Perth for them on Friday night, the Eagles by 36 points.

Essendon v Geelong –

Good luck to those Bomber faithful who are set to tune in or wander down to watch the Bombers this year, it will be excruciating at times, like listening to Taylor Swift talk about Taylor Swift. First home game for the Catters and a big win over the hapless Lions, 11 goals to the good and the midfield duo being best(s) on.

It was a willing Essendon who came over to Adelaide, just not a capable one. Old Cat Kelly, old Dog Cooney and old Saint Goddard are doing their best to show the younger lads the type of endeavour needed to succeed, even to survive, at this level. They’ll get in the way of teams from time to time, they’ll even open you up and score the odd major if they get it near Daniher in a one-on-one but outside of that this is going to be a long, long year for all involved at Windy Hill.

Selwood to Dangerfield, Dangerfield to Selwood, get used to that one. Also get used to Duncan being in the best players, he’s becoming pretty reliable in his efforts and ball usage and works both ends of the ground as well as the midfield. Good player. Hawkins, not surprisingly on the under sized Lions backs, bagged himself 4 majors, Geelong local lad Tom Ruggles had a pretty solid debut, nice way to start at home against a side with little star power or hope on the day.

With a trip to the G the Cats will take it to 3-1 with a win over the Bombers, could get ugly as the Cats midfield will make the most of the space and lack of opposition around the contest, by 60+ points.

Hawthorn v St Kilda –

The reigning champ took on and shook up, struggled with, got back on top of, struggled with again and then finished off with style over one of the clubs mounting a challenge to their title as the Saints went about dismantling the flimsy Collingwood defence with 2 men down to give the football world something to chuckle about. Thanks, ‘Ainters!

Anyone who tuned into last week’s Hawks / Dogs match would have been happy they did. Cracking start by the champs as they got 5 goals up early only for the Dogs to take the middle two quarters by kicking 10 goals to 5 in the second and third. 3 goals down at ¾ time, no problems for the Hawks as they slam on 3 goals in 8 minutes to draw back level. Across the back Birchall and Stratton took over from the closely guarded Gibson ( keep one busy two others pop up ) and up front Sicily knows how to pluck one and also how to nail one. He looks like a cool customer and one who has had to wait his turn in the Hawks system. Wouldn’t mind the luxury of a Burgoyne to go and put out the spot fires either.....

With the Saints pushing Port, it was Port under the microscope, the Bulldogs made a meal of them before they beat the Pies with men down. Lots of men down. With 7 wins last year and a scalp of note ( not Collingwood, but Collingwood AND the injuries ) they might surprise a few sides over the journey this year, perhaps not surprise, but make them earn it more than first thought. We know the prime movers, we know the main targets, we know they like to use speed and space in the F50, we don’t know though how good Hickey is going to end up. He’s got plenty of good footy in front of him. Unlike Collingwood.

They’ll take the odd scalp here and there but they won’t have the reach to take the top off the team at the top. Hawthorn by 30 points in Taswegia.

Brisbane v Gold Coast –

Q Clash time, there’ll be small pockets of Brisbane that almost come to a stop for this one. The Lions enter it on the back of 3 losses, all of them substantial and the Gold Coast lads come in on the back of 3 wins, in itself substantial for them and their development.

Brisbane are already hurting, 0-3 and key players sidelined, throw in a clash with the much improved cross town rivals and it isn’t looking better any time soon. With the Bulldogs, Sydney and Port to come it’s not going to be a great first couple of months for the good old Bears. I bang on about Stef Martin, but that’s because I think he’s not rated as high as he should be around the competition. Busts his guts every week and rarely gets beaten in a side that rarely wins.

Rare air for the Suns at the moment. 3-0 with the Bears, North, Geelong and Melbourne could see them 6-2 or 7-1 in a few weeks time, if they can be thereabouts then a maiden finals series for the young club beacons. Lynch is proving too big and strong for some of his opponents and too mobile for others while Martin is making his ample frame felt around the contests, he’s got pace and size, dangerous combination.

One sided is all that I can see this one being, 4-0 for the Sunnyboys in a comfortable 40 point win.

Carlton v Western Bulldogs -

Another pretty listless performance by the Blues up on the Gold Coast, made it 0-3 and it’s a long season ahead for these boys....a real football tragedy across at the Bulldogs, pushed the Hawks to less than a kick and in the last contest of the match lost spiritual and on field leader Bob Murphy to a season ( and perhaps career ) ending ACL. Was horrible to watch.

We’ll see some moments of solid football from the team working to the new Bolton structure but few as solid as #1 draft pick Jacob Weitering. I know #1 picks often come in and make an impact, some don’t, this guy has and I think he’s an absolute ripper. Looking like he’s walked out of a WWI black and white still shot the jug headed teen looks like he’s been here before. He’s cool under pressure, get used to it in the back half at Carlton lad, uses it with top shelf foot skills and reads the play. He might be there best #1 pick yet? At least they’ve got something right this year.

The football world stood up and took notice of the Dogs, despite the Hawks being men down the football world took this examination of the Bulldogs as a thorough one, while they didn’t take the points away they gained plenty of respect. We now have a better idea of how genuine these boys are. The loss off Murphy may well be telling, on field as the player who sets up so much and off field where the collective psyche of group might be damaged goods. So while on field they seem set to keep rolling the mental challenge posed by the loss of their skipper is one test they didn’t, or wouldn’t, have wanted to face.

While the Dogs will be sad group around the kennel this week they’ll soon turn their attention to the Blues, probably already have. Not good news for the Blues, a smarting Dogs side coming at them. Can see this one being a chance for the Dogs to run riot, by 60+ points.

Adelaide v Sydney -

Match of the round - The Crowbots no more, off the leash, running, creating, insert another superlative in the mildly repulsive Adelaide media reports here. A win over the Tigers and it’s all looking up for Adelaide, with some good reason too. With another Battle-of-the-Bridge win (do they get a miniature bridge to keep?) the Swans make it 3 zip and look to be setting up for another tilt at a flag.

It’s all about run and carry here, all about the men in the much questioned back half giving the Crows reason to, well, Crow. Smith, Seedsman, Laird, Brown all working off Talia and Lever and creating run..blah, blah, blah. A couple of kids are making big impressions, Lever we’ve spoken about, Milera isn’t getting huge numbers just yet but when he does get it he uses it with class, looks like a cool customer at this level. For you folks who have given up on society and friends and do Supercoach instead, have you got him in your side? Jacobs has been circumspect in his performances this year, not overly dominant in any of the three games he’s played this year. Just a little down on input, he’ll need a lift against the Tippett/Sinclair duo this weekend. Highest scoring team in the comp to date without the ruckman dominating.

With just 12 points less this season and the third highest scoring team to date the Swans come to Adelaide with King Kurt for the first time and in top form. Parker has topped up the already dominant midfield, Tippett has most certainly made himself at home leading the ruck division and drifting forward, plenty of people questioned his worth over time, he’s proving to be worth every bit of it at the moment. Bud is sneaking a lazy 4 here and there and Jake Lloyd just adds another forward option. Like they need one. The deepest midfield in the competition with strong bodies in close. A real test for Adelaides midfield.

Couple of stats to look at – Adelaide haven’t scored over 100 points against Sydney in the last 10 match ups. Sydney have won the last 4 by 52,63,77 and 29 since Adelaide last beat them in 2012 by 5 points. Adelaide’s bogey side. I think it will stay that way with Sydney victors by 24 points.

GWS v Port –

Building a nice little resume are the Giants this year, the loss to Melbourne early they will rue, win over Geelong and then made the Swans earn it so take away round 1 and they’re a side on the most certain up curve. One the not so up curve is Port, 2 wins and a big loss and plenty of question marks over the top 4 touted Port side that needs to keep building towards their best form.

The Giants have got some belief in each other for the first time in their short history and guys like Shaw,Scully and Davis do much of the heavy lifting after being targeted by the recruiting team to lead the kids around the park. Scully especially is relishing in the new interchange rotation cap by run, run, running all day long. He’s a machine who is running more than one opponent into the ground most weeks. Big Patton is on the park, for how long who knows, for the Giants let’s hope it’s long term. Joel Patfull after a stint on Port’s rookie list and time in Brisbane notches up 200 AFL games this weekend. Good effort from the Norwood lad.

Port did as it had to against the Bombers last week with a 10 goal win and it didn’t really do much to make the Port faithful breathe easy as it was less than convincing, but a wins a wins a win so you take them. Leading the way again was Robbie Gray, the leading contested possession winner in the competition ( 58 ) ahead of Priddis, Parker and Fyfe in that category. He’s clearly as fit as he has ever been, his lateral movement, strength through the hips in tackles and ability to hit the scoreboard rightly has him being compared to the best in the league. But he can’t do it alone. The likely hood of Hartlett and Wingard returning adds to Ports midfield and forward strength.

Mumford will have a big say in this one as he should be too strong for Lobbe in the ruck and around the ground, GWS however are struggling averaging just 78 ppg to Ports 110. My heart says Port, my head says GWS in a close one. Port have won the last 4 between these two sides....I think GWS might have too much run and carry from Mumfords ruck dominance. GWS by 12 points.

Collingwood v Melbourne –

Not sure which way this one will go...the ‘Pies were dead set rotten last weekend losing to the Saints despite the extra rotations for the second half and the Dee’s played right out of their skins to take it right up to the Roos on a blustery Hobart afternoon.

What do the Pies have to do? Perhaps get Pendles up around the ball and not sitting across half back getting his “Cotchin possies”. Collingwoods best midfielder sitting at the back waiting for the inevitable attackes from the opposition, is that a sign Bucks knew it was coming? Just 49 I50’s for the match shows the midfield was lacking and the forward weren’t presenting, much to do for Bucks this week to turn that around. This really might be a matter of system and not personnel, most would agree the nucleus is there and there’s enough depth across the park to be competitive against most side middle of the table. Do the players not believe in the process?

Poor old Melbourne fans, lose to the Bombers one week and push the Kangas all the way the next, play anyone else (almost) last Sunday and that performance takes the 4 points. Big Max Gawn wanted a big scalp, he said he was coming after Goledstein as the best big man in the comp and he’s on track. 18 touches, 63 hit outs, 5 marks, 2 don’t get a more complete performance from a ruckman than that and he’ll be licking his lips at taking on the Pies ruck battery this weekend. His performance will be telling.

Bernie Vince missing doesn’t help the Demons, he’s a bit of cream on top of the Viney, Jones, Bugg midfield. Massive week for the ‘Pies from the coach to the bloke who just extended his contract. I think Collingwood are the better side, can they show it? I think they might rise for this one and win in a tight one by 8 points. ( PS - $1.46 Collingwood - $2.75 Melbourne )

North v Fremantle –

North held on to pip the Demons in a thrilling see-sawing affair in Tassie as the wind ensured one scoring end was in play and they finished against it. One of 3 sides 3-0. The shocking Dockers, another loss and a heap more questions are sitting on Roscos desk.

North will be lost one day in the late 2020’s when 57 year old Brent Harvey decides to retire after his 523rd game. He’s simply unstoppable, still, when he’s around the goal face and 6 straight on the weekend helped the Roos over the line, didn’t hurt that big Goldy bagged 5 and Waite another 4 as they keep scoring heavily, 16, 17 and 21 goals in their three games this year. Again the damage was done in close as Cunnington and Ziebell, along with Goldstein and Wells, had 25 clearances between them. Shaping as another genuine contender in season ’16.

The Dockers...where to for the Dockers? Sandilands got absolutely crunched by Nic Nat, popped a rib and busted a lung, man that’s got to hurt, the big bloke had surgery to put some pins and plates in his rib cage, how badly busted up were they? I bet he’s not up for a cough, laugh or fart just yet. Just 8 goals last week from the team who told us to “hold on” as they changed the game plan. Barely above Carlton ( 191 ) Essendon ( 195 ) for points scored, the Dockers with 197. All the while bleeding at the back, Brisbane (408), Collingwood (338) and the Dockers (321) the worst defensive units in the league.

The Kangas will make it 4-0 for them and 0-4 and consign the Dockers to their first season without a finals appearance since 2011 when Mark Harvey was a***holed for Lyon. Kangas by 40 points.

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Round 4 stuff Empty Re: Round 4 stuff

Post by Paul on Thu Apr 14, 2016 7:40 pm

Good write up as usual.

I'm struggling this year (6,3,6 so far)

West Coast
Gold Coast
Western Bulldogs
Ade err Syd err Ad make it Sydney
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North Melbourne

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