Apr 23, 2021
A highly unhelpful guide to Round Six
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 Six.
Greater Western Sydney vs Western Bulldogs (MO) 7:50pm
The Giants’ win last week against showed they can beat a team in form, but the Bulldogs are travelling so well at the moment they’ve dropped three players despite being 5-0.
There’s an embarrassment of riches at the Bulldogs at the moment. Number one draft pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan isn’t even in the frame for a game at the moment, despite dominating in the VFL this week.
Bulldogs fans have probably not been this excited about their side since, well ever.
Even the 2016 side snuck up on everyone to win the premiership. Added to that, no one is really talking about the Doggies at the moment due to the collective shock that the Demons are still undefeated.
The Giants still have a host of injuries but showed last week they can still upset teams when they decide to really give winning a go, not always a sure thing with them.
The two sides have a great rivalry that goes back to that 2016 season, and last season 15 players received fines during their clash, match fines that allowed spirits to be free at the AFL Christmas party.
The Giants always target Marcus Bontempelli but thanks to some spectacular incompetence from the Collingwood Football Club, they also have to deal with Adam Treloar and a much deeper midfield.
Bulldogs to win.
Geelong vs West Coast (GMHBA) 1:45pm Fox
Geelong went all in during the offseason, grabbing the free agents they thought would push them over the top in 2021.
Five rounds in, this is looking like a bad bet, with the Cats struggling to not only win but have all their key players on the field at the same time.
Jeremy Cameron is almost over his hamstring injury, but immediately Patrick Dangerfield has surgery and is out indefinitely.
Dangerfield is a star midfield, and a handy forward if you don’t mind one that can’t kick straight.
His loss is huge for them and compounded by the fact he’s already missed games due to being suspended for murder.
This isn’t that surprising. Any aged care home has to deal with a lot of injuries.
The good news is they at least get to face the Eagles in Geelong.
The Eagles seem to have a great team on paper. Three key forwards most teams would kill for, a great midfield and strong defensive backs.
Yet there’s been something not quite right about them these last few years. Even against Collingwood, they were in control but hardly impressive, and Collingwood lost key players in that game.
It makes this a difficult one to pick, but the Eagles should win this. They have to if they are to be believed to be a real premiership contender.
Gold Coast vs Sydney (MS) 1:45pm Fox
Football sometimes surprises you. Like Lance Franklin getting injured. Franklin is obviously one of the all-time greats, but hiss body seems to hold up as well as mine does, and that’s bad.
His loss adds to the injury woes with Isaac Heeney also out, and the Swans forward line suddenly looks slightly less scary.
It’s lucky the Swans have a host of young players coming through, thanks to their academy, which is something I’m legally required to criticise given I live in Melbourne.
Technically, I’m not required to mention it if the Swans aren’t winning, but if they are I have to go in hard.
To be honest, I don’t know why. The AFL draft is so compromised, I’ve no idea how any team can really get on their high horse about it, especially a lot of the powerful Melbourne teams.
Between father-son picks, academies and the fact most clubs couldn’t do well in the draft even if they had every single pick, the AFL draft is more compromised than a public figure who has a Russian Kompromat file on them.
As for the Suns, what the hell is going on there? If they were important to anyone, questions would be asked about another season of being rubbish.
Stuart Dew described the first half against the Bulldogs as "unacceptable", and I would add ‘unwatchable’.
I tried to watch it, but I got bored and went and looked in the cupboard and found some chocolate coated honeycomb that I’d forgotten I had. Is there anything better than finding food you’d forgotten you had?
It’s right up there with getting free drinks or watching the European Super League explode.
Swans to win.
Carlton vs Brisbane (Marvel) 4:35pm Fox
Carlton is like the Royal family, talked about a lot but not really relevant to anything important.
Again, they appear to have turned out another side that is so average they make a trip to Subway seem exciting.
They’ll win enough games to appear to have turned the corner, only to find that corner leads to another dead end.
They now face a Brisbane side that seems to have found some form after stumbling out of the blocks.
Chris Fagan said criticism of Carlton’s early season form has been unfair, but that’s only because he’s playing them this week.
Criticism of the Blues this year has been entirely accurate. Carlton fans are well over the excuses, they’ve heard them all, some of them almost weekly.
Fagan though is understandably worried about the Lions not talking Carlton seriously. If they play as they did early on in the season, a 3-3 start is entirely possible.
I’m actually not against the Blues winning, mainly because I can’t sit through another Mark Maclure monologue about how the players are not performing, we know, we’ve all seen it.
Lions to win.
Melbourne vs Richmond (MCG) 7:25pm Seven/Fox
As Melbourne fans grapple with the idea that their team might actually be good, here comes a true challenge.
There’s no doubt the Dees are much improved, and no matter what happens on Saturday, they should do well.
But this is the real deal, a Richmond side that is still the benchmark for the league, despite a slow start.
A win here for the Dees would have that lid flying off into space.
The Demons should lack motivation, this is Nathan Jones 300th game. I’ve said all I can say about him here.
This won’t be easy. Richmond are relatively injury-free and got to shake off the rust against St Kilda.
The only risk I can see for the Tigers is attrition and players declining. I’m not seeing a lot of evidence of that yet.
I think the Tigers will win, but we’ll learn a lot about the Demons this week no matter what happens. For Melbourne, this is the opportunity to see just how close they really are.
Fremantle vs North Melbourne (OS) 8:15pm Fox
A game that matters to dozens of people, the Dockers face the best VFL side in the AFL.
North isn’t even spoken about in terms of wins this year, it is all about ‘effort’, a sure sign you’re struggling.
There’s nothing worse than supporting a side that has no hope whatsoever of playing finals or moving off the bottom of the ladder.
I’ve been there and it's soul-destroying, turning up every week just knowing you’re going to lose.
It’s weird we still do that. You wouldn’t watch a movie you know is going to be awful. Well, maybe you would, people watched the Zack Snyder Justice League cut.
Fremantle at least gets another win this week, which is much appreciated after they recover from a start to the season marred by injuries.
This was always a season in which they needed to build on the growth last year, and that’s still on track so far.
They’ve done enough to ensure they’re still the second-best team in Western Australia.
Dockers to win.
Hawthorn vs Adelaide (UTAS) 12:30pm Fox
For three quarters the Hawks stuck with Melbourne last week, only to implode in the final quarter in spectacular fashion.
At least they’re at home this week in Tasmania, Jeff Kennett will be thrilled.
I’m all for Jeff’s desire to move the Hawks to Tasmania, I’m assuming all Hawthorn supporters will be forced to relocate too? A Victoria free of Hawthorn fans, it’s a goal that could unite everyone at a time when people are divided.
The Crows managed to lose to Fremantle last week in Adelaide, showing they are about as stable as Uncle Keith after four hours on the booze and the conversation turning to politics.
The good news is that Tex Walker has overcome his calf injury and will play, and given he’s currently playing to a level that justifies how much the commentators talk about him, that’s a big in.
Crows to win.
Collingwood vs Essendon (MCG) 3:20pm Seven/Fox
Capacity is boosted to 85 per cent for the ANZAC Day clash.
It makes a lot of sense to me that 85 per cent is safe but not 100 per cent.
Plus, keeping everyone in the MCG in five separate sections is a sensible move to, because it’s not like everyone then exits the ground and mixes with each other on public transport and at pubs afterwards.
But Covid protocols have always had a fair bit of ‘it’s the look’ about them, except for the brute force measures like lockdowns.
Not that I’m sure why anyone would want to go see Collingwood play Essendon these days if it wasn’t for the ANZAC occasion.
Collingwood got fined $20,000 this week for Jordan De Goey and Jeremy Howe using their phones during a game. Apparently, the players
were calling their agents their families to update them on their injuries.
The Pies also gained a new President, Mark Korda, who has vowed to implement the recommendations of the infamous ‘Do Better’ report.
It’s a new broom, as unlike Eddie, Korda has only been on the board a mere 14 years, so it’s great to have a fresh start.
Collingwood fans are quite frankly just sick of it all. Like all fans, they don’t want anything too exciting, just for the club administration to stop stuffing everything up.
As for Essendon, they continue to live up to their fans’ expectations. There appears to be some good young talent there, but the Bombers have a habit of not really capitalising on that.
I do love the ANZAC Day clash though, partly because the build-up is so fun. When talking to Pies and Bombers supporters, question whether the two clubs are good enough to hold on to it.
Pies to win.
Port Adelaide vs St Kilda (AO) 6:40pm Fox
St Kilda’s mauling at the hands of Richmond last week certainly made any feeling the Saints might get things going this year on the backburner.
The ease at which the Tigers toyed with them doesn’t give you a lot of hope for this game either.
Port beat Richmond a few weeks ago.
Brett Ratten praised Jack Billings for playing last week after he tore his plantar fascia in the pre-match warm-up.
I’m wondering why you’d play someone who was so obviously not able to perform at their best and risk further injury. Obviously, I don’t understand the intricacies of AFL football.
Port has a few injury concerns, with Hamish Hartlett and Dan Houston both needing to prove their fitness.
The attrition of the AFL season is why you can never really predict what’s going to happen. It’s a long season.
So long in fact that it makes me tired just thinking about it, let alone having to play in it.
Winning seems to be the only thing that makes it go faster. Losing makes time slow down until it feels like it’s barely moving. Saints fans that are thirty, must feel like they’ve lived several lifetimes.
Port to win.
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