Apr 28, 2023
A highly unhelpful guide to Round Seven
The only guide to the round that admits it’s completely unhelpful. What it lacks in insight, it makes up for with wild theories and detours onto unrelated topics.
It’s your unhelpful guide to Round Seven.
St Kilda vs. Port Adelaide (Marvel) 7:50pm Seven/Fox
A shortened week with Round Seven only finishing on Tuesday, meaning there hasn’t been a lot of time for teams and players to say and do silly things; it’s why I’m glad James Sicily exists.
That means in this week’s column, I could focus on the tactical matches up and likely lineups, or I could just make a series of unhinged and ludicrous statements that barely connect with reality.
Of course, I’m going to do the latter, but I’m not sure that will differ much from most AFL media coverage.
Not to get anyone’s hopes up too high, but it’s St Kilda’s premiership to lose this season.
In fact, it’s hard to see them losing another game.
That’s the thing about St Kilda; they never let you down.
If I know Saints fans, they’ll be sitting back with a cup of tea, feeling relaxed and wondering where to put the premiership tattoo.
Port are coming off the ceremonial Eagles handing over four points, so this is a fair step up.
Charlie Dixon is returning, which will be welcomed, as St Kilda are more defensive than your partner when you ask who ate the last Magnum in the freezer.
I mean, I know it wasn’t me, and I know no one else ate it and it didn’t just disappear into thin air, but go ahead, try to convince me it wasn’t you, and don’t think I don’t know that you ate that chocolate I put in the cupboard.
Saints to win.
Brisbane vs. Fremantle (G) 1:45pm Fox Footy
Look Freo, I’m not angry, just disappointed.
After last season, the Dockers were meant to be a team going somewhere, full of hope and optimism for the future.
Now they are more like someone who has felt the full force of life and just wants to go have a lie down.
The worst thing for a fan is when you start the season quietly confident that you’re at least going to be competitive and then the wheels come off almost immediately.
Like when you’re playing Mario Kart and you just keep getting hit with banana skins and the green shell, then that squid squirts you with oil and you get hit again by a green shell and now you’re last and it’s completely unfair and now I’ve just hit another banana skin, I give up this is rigged.
Brisbane have no such Mario Kart style problems. They took care of the Giants last week, had a bye against North and beat the Pies before that.
At the Gabba this shouldn’t be a problem, I’m tipping the Lions.
Sydney vs. Greater Western Sydney (SCG) 2:10pm Fox Footy
Things are not going to script this year for the Swans, who last week turned in a performance so poor it hurt my eyes to watch.
It was incredibly un-Swans like, with their midfield being basically uncompetitive.
Add to that a backline that has so many injuries that if you bring your boots to this and are more the six feet tall, you could get a game.
Losing in Geelong is one thing but surely the Swans must respond here against their cross-town rival.
I was in Sydney this week and the build-up was huge.
I was chatting to one person and asked if they were excited about the Swans- Giants clash and they said, “Is that a computer game thing?”
“No, it’s the Sydney Swans taking on the Greater Western Sydney Giants in the AFL.”
“Oh. I’ve heard of the Swans, isn’t that who Jesinta Franklin’s partner plays for?”
While the Swans are struggling, the Giants just aren’t good. They’ve only beaten the Hawks in recent memory and that was by two points.
That’s like being able to lift something only slightly heavier than a four-year-old.
I’m tipping the Swans.
Western Bulldogs vs. Hawthorn (Marvel) 4:35pm Fox Footy
There was good news on multiple fronts this week for Tasmania.
Firstly, it seems increasingly likely they will be getting an AFL team, and secondly, James Sicily has ruled himself out of living there.
Two big wins right there.
James got in a bit of trouble for saying “there's not much happening down there,” forcing the Hawthorn top brass to have to pretend there is a lot happening down there.
I haven't heard the phrase “there's not much happening down there,” so much outside of my private life.
It’s a tough one to argue with, given Tasmania advertises itself as a place to ‘Come Down For Air’ and ‘a place to take a break from the everyday stress and routine.’
That all said, I’m not sure James is right about not being able to attract players. The Gold Coast is the opposite of Tasmania, with heaps going on, and they can’t retain players at all.
For the Bulldogs, this will be a celebration with Marcus Bontempelli, playing his 200th game.
And what a 200 games. Bontempelli terrifies me when we play him, and I really like him as a player. That rarely happens.
Usually, the opposition players I like are the ones that have no right being on a footy field and turn the ball over so often they might as well be playing for my team.
If anything, Bontempelli is underrated.
I’m tipping the Bulldogs.
Melbourne vs. North Melbourne (MCG) 7:25pm Seven/Fox
I will be one of the seven people going to this, and what a Saturday night of footy, this game and Carlton taking on West Coast.
These matches are so bad, I almost wouldn’t care if I had a dinner party or some other similar horrific event that prevented me from going.
Alas, I have no social life so I will be there, and it should be fun, everyone gets a stand to themselves.
North have struggled in recent week, and this week appears no better with Luke Davies-Uniacke having to withdraw due to injury.
You take him out and North is just a lot of players running around who’s names you haven’t heard before.
Of course, when your team plays a game you expect to win, your mind spends the week coming up with all the ways you could lose.
I swear, imagine if you devoted all the emotional energy you give to football to something else, how your life would be?
I always think about that, but then I think ‘what would I devote it to?’
Work? Relationships? Helping other people. No thank you. I’ll stick with football thanks.
Dees to win.
West Coast vs. Carlton (OS) 7:30pm Fox Footy
Look, we’d all like to see Carlton lose this just for the LoLs but it’s not going to happen.
The Eagles are proof that adding a nineteenth side to the competition is going to really test the talent pool.
That’s not to say I wouldn’t love a Tasmanian team, they deserve one, but if you have too many teams, you get a bunch of players running around that have no real business being in the league.
They just all happen to play at West Coast now. I remember a long time when they were all at Melbourne.
Carlton has what appears to be a different problem, seemingly good players who constantly manage to underachieve.
Trust me, I can spot an underachiever when I see one.
The Blues needed this game desperately, as it avoids them losing three in a row.
A nice percentage boosting win here will go a long way to restoring the false confidence they’ve lost over the past fortnight.
Blues to win.
Essendon vs. Geelong (MCG) 1:10pm Fox Footy
Essendon fans are still having nightmares about what Collingwood did to them at this very venue earlier this week, and now they face a Geelong team that seems to have gotten it’s act together.
The Cats famously started so badly it almost had more humour in it than a Tom and Greg Succession scene.
Since then the Cats have appeared to have steadied, although they have beaten Hawthorn, West Coast, and then a Swans outfit who have a few mental scars when it comes to Geelong.
This is a real test.
Even though the Bombers fell apart like a suit I once bought in Vietnam against the Pies, they have been much improved this season and should learn from that.
In Sam Draper and Andrew Phillips, the Bombers have a ruck pairing that can take them places.
Draper even has an interesting haircut and there’s nothing the AFL media love more than an interesting haircut. It’s like catnip for them.
They instantly start attaching ‘cult hero’ or ‘beloved’ or ‘fan favourite’ to your name if you have a haircut that most baristas have.
If Geelong win this we’ll know they’re really back, if it’s Essendon we can shift them into the ‘real deal’ category.
I’m tipping the Bombers.
Richmond vs. Gold Coast (Marvel) 3:20pm Seven/Fox
Damien Hardwick has already started talking about how the lessons learnt in the early weeks of the season will help the Tigers in the second half of the year.
That’s a bit like when I say the not doing any exercise this week has really motivated me to do some next week.
The Tigers look a fair bit off doing much this year.
And they really need to win this one, against the Suns and on their home turf of Marvel Stadium.
The Suns are very well placed, with my statistical analysis revealing Gold Coast have won twice as many games this season than Richmond.
That’s an enormous difference.
If that trend continues, the Suns could get as high as eight wins this season.
I’m tipping the Tigers though in this one. They just know the ground better and are set up for it.
Adelaide vs. Collingwood (AO) 4:40pm Fox Footy
Collingwood travel to Adelaide for what I like to call a ‘mini gather round’.
This looks like a fun game.
The Crows have won four games in a row, and while this is a bit of a step up, they are at least playing with a lot of energy this season.
Collingwood though have so much energy it’s hard to contain. You can’t sleep on them at any point.
They can be thirty points down at three quarter time and you’re surprised if they don’t win it.
If I were the Crows, I’d be aiming to be about 200 points up at the final change.
Collingwood have so much young talent, guys like Josh Daicos.
Imagine being as good at football as Josh Daicos and you’re not even the best player in your family. That’s amazing.
He may not even be top two.
I’ve never been good at anything, but if I was, I’d hope I’d be at least the best out of my siblings.
I’m tipping the Pies.
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