Jul 01, 2021
A highly unhelpful guide to Round Sixteen
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 Sixteen.
Gold Coast vs Richmond (MS) 7:20pm Seven/Fox
Just a caveat to this round’s Unhelpful Guide, it will possibly be more unhelpful than usual.
How is that possible? Well, who knows where some of these games will be played?
Thanks to the continually evolving shambles that is Australia’s Covid response another season is in doubt, ironically, all the teams are now in the safe harbour of Victoria.
It makes sense too, if there’s one place known to be able to handle Covid outbreaks without shutting everything down, it’s Victoria.
You get the feeling this season is in real danger, given the vaccine rollout seems to be expensive, while also delivering few results.
This brings us to the Gold Coast, who once again are proving nothing grows in the sporting landscape that is the Gold Coast.
If you could sum up the Suns, it would be the scene in The Dark Knight where the Joker sets fire to an enormous pile of money.
The Suns get some help this week due to Richmond having more injuries than a kids trampolining centre.
The Tigers will be missing Noah Balta, Nathan Broad, Dion Prestia and Kane Lambert. They’re the sort of players that could help you win a premiership.
Richmond do get Tom Lynch back, a player that fled the Suns. How he’ll be regretting that move now.
Tigers to win.
Geelong vs Essendon (GMHBA) 7:50pm Seven/Fox
The Cats copped a reality check last week at the hands of the Lions, who beat them so easily it made Geelong wish all their remaining games could be at home, a wish they look like getting.
If I was Chris Scott, I’d tell my team to not do what they did against Brisbane again and to play more like they did in the games they won.
I assume coaching is that easy, but then I’ve got no idea how to coach a team, given I can barely manage my own life.
Why last week it took me two hours to make a coffee because I went down a rabbit hole of 1990s music videos on YouTube.
Essendon’s loss to Melbourne last week was of course the umpires’ fault, but the problem is there are umpires in every single game.
The Bombers other problem last week is they kept kicking it to May and Lever like that was the plan. There were a few times they hit Lever up like he was their forward on a lead.
Deliver the ball forward like that again and it won’t matter what the umpires do. If I was an Essendon midfielder, I’d try to kick it to someone else in red and black.
Sorry, I said ‘kick’, I should have said ‘deliver by foot’ because that’s what people say now because people are idiots.
Cats to win.
Melbourne vs Greater Western Sydney (MCG) 1:45pm Fox
The Giants managed to lose to Hawthorn last week, which is kind of the Giants thing these days, they are more inconsistent than vaccine advice.
That hardly makes them easy beats here, they can still beat the top sides, it just depends on which team shows up.
Any chance of playing finals means they need to keep winning, and they need to make finals, you can only rest on the laurels that you’re not the Suns for so long.
Melbourne looked very rusty after the bye last week, Essendon were good, but the Dees mangled a lot of opportunities.
But I’m not panicking, we Dees fans are an optimistic lot, always confident that things will turn out for the best.
One reason I’m confident the Dees could go all the way this season is that this season could fall over. It would be just my luck for the season my team could go all the way it gets cancelled.
Dees to win.
Adelaide vs Brisbane (No idea) 4:35pm Fox
This is meant to be Adelaide Oval but could be played in Victoria given the situation in South Australia.
Having a heap of games in Victoria in the next few weeks could be a real boon for the sport.
It’s a chance to win over the three Victorians that don’t follow AFL.
I’m also glad the AFL can spend a few weeks focused on Victoria, something they so rarely do.
Is it possible the AFL engineered this virus to get all teams to come to Victoria and bring back the VFL?
It wouldn’t be the worst thing they’ve ever done, but the problem with any big conspiracy is the fact people are hopeless at two things, keeping their mouths shut and organising complicated things.
Adelaide’s season didn’t need an exodos from their home state, it needed about ten better players, but life in the time of Covid isn’t getting what you want, it’s having your hopes and dreams crushed in exciting new ways every few weeks.
Brisbane should be able to handle them here, the Lions looked excellent last week and that was against a good side.
Fremantle vs Carlton (MCG) 7:40pm Fox
This will now be played at the MCG straight after the Melbourne-Giants game, a doubleheader!
Unfortunately, the crowd from that game will have to leave before this game starts. Such a shame, who wouldn’t want to watch the Dockers play Carlton?
Fremantle playing a home game at the MCG is a blow for the club, only offset by the fact it’s against Carlton.
This was potentially going to be played in Tasmania, but the Tasmanian government said no, due to Perth’s lockdown.
And Tasmanians say they want AFL, but not at the expense of introducing a novel coronavirus into their state? Weird right?
Carlton managed to not lose to Adelaide last week, ending a three-game losing streak and giving them a bit of a break before their next losing streak.
That losing streak will probably start here, and we’re all excited to see how long it goes for.
Hawthorn vs Port Adelaide (Marvel) 7:40pm Seven/Fox
Shaun Burgoyne plays his 400th game in just another highlight of his ridiculously successful career.
I mean, it is ridiculously good when you consider everything he’s done.
He’s one of only five players to reach the 400-game mark, (Kevin Bartlett, Michael Tuck, Dustin Fletcher and Brent Harvey being the others).
Thirty-five of those 400 games were finals matches, which is the second most behind Hawthorn legend Michael Tuck who played in 39.
Then you add he’s won four premierships and been a big game player and you have a career everyone dreams of.
And at 38 he’s still going. See, ridiculous.
And in his 400th game, he takes on his old team Port Adelaide.
Not that they’ll be keen to help him celebrate this with a win.
Despite Hawthorn’s mild resurgence, I can’t see them winning here, but Shaun Burgoyne might have something to say about that.
Sydney vs West Coast (GMHBA) 1:10pm Fox
As someone who has gone through more lockdowns than is healthy, I feel for everyone in NSW and Western Australia, and everywhere else going through it at the moment.
I love a good bit of interstate rivalry when it comes to footy teams, but lockdowns suck so much I wouldn’t wish them on anyone.
Really, it shows that we’re all at the mercy of this virus and our various governments ability to stuff up. We’ve got more in common than not.
Not to mention this is hitting us all where it hurts most, it’s disrupting sport, which should never be allowed.
Yet the good news is because of the Victorian hub these teams get a trip to Geelong, so it’s not all bad. Both these teams have a chance to visit Geelong’s Town Hall, Victoria's oldest surviving wooden building. What a thrill.
West Coast were terrible last week, and the idea they won’t be able to play at home for a few weeks would be worrying them.
It won’t be worrying their fans, not having to sit through last week’s game was a blessing, missing any more of that would be welcomed.
I’ve got no idea who is going to win this. The Swans are a bit all over the place currently, and the Eagles have been rather horrifying.
I’m tipping the Swans because heads came up when I flipped the coin.
Collingwood vs St Kilda (MCG) 3:20pm Seven/Fox
I’m still trying to figure out what happened last Friday when the Saints held Richmond to two goals.
It’s just weird, right? Like the footy gods were just playing with our minds. And our tips.
I mean, surely a tanking probe needs to be launched into Richmond? Or into St Kilda’s season up to that game.
Could it be that St Kilda just needed 14 rounds to warm up?
Collingwood’s search for a new coach continues while they play out the season.
Apparently, they’re casting the net wide, which they’ll need to given they’re not good at hitting targets.
I’m tipping the Saints.
Western Bulldogs vs North Melbourne (Marvel) 4:40pm Fox
North are coming off a win, which I’ve only been able to write twice this year, so that’s fun.
They added to the Gold Coast misery last week in the ‘loser goes to Tasmania’ match.
Now they face the Dogs who took apart the Eagles last week. It’s not all smooth sailing for the Doggies, however.
Adam Treloar could miss the rest of the season after ‘complications’ following his ankle surgery.
I think it’s a bit cruel the AFL listed him on Collingwood’s injury list.
The Doggies should have no trouble winning here, their only worry is Melbourne doesn’t go into lockdown in the next few days. But what are the odds of that?
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