May 24, 2019
A highly unhelpful guide to Round Ten
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 Ten.
Sydney vs Collingwood (SCG) Seven & Fox 7:50pm
Best friends the Pies and the Swans meet up on Friday night, in a game that will feature the return of Daniel Wells, who I thought had retired several years ago.
It turns out he’s been injured, which came as a surprise to me, having always thought of him as an incredibly durable player.
The good news for Wells is Newspoll have projected he’ll make it through all four quarters.
Wells’ inclusion is offset significantly by Jordan De Goey being out for a second week with shin soreness. I had shin soreness once after drunkenly banging them on the steps of the Victorian Parliament after launching a late night ‘coup’ that actually came alarmingly close to working.
Only after several hours of negotiations and the promise of more whiskey did I abort my grasp for power.
Sydney get their forward line back this week with Lance Franklin returning from injury.
They’ve won two games in a row and could be a sneaky upset here. I’m tipping the Swans.
Hawthorn vs Port Adelaide (UTS) Fox 1:45pm
Robbie Gray returns for Port Adelaide in a match they need to win to keep their top eight hopes on track.
Given it’s a key game, I instantly have my doubts the Power can win it.
Say what you like about Port Adelaide, but you can always rely on them to let you down.
Facing the Hawks in Tasmania is never easy, even with the Hawks sitting 11thon the ladder, which is technically a crisis for them.
I spoke to a Hawks supporter this week and asked how they were holding up. They said it was tough with only a lifetime of happy memories to draw on.
Hawthorn wasn’t great last week but against the Giants the week before showed they can still defeat the best sides.
Port isn’t the best of sides so they should be worried. Hawks to win.
Western Bulldogs vs North Melbourne (MS) Fox 2:10pm
I guess some people will be interested in this game, but I do worry I’m wasting my time writing this as no one will read it, instead skipping over this entirely.
That would be a real shame as… well who am I kidding, the only interesting bit about this for neutral fans will be watching Brad Scott’s facial reactions if the Kangaroos are getting smashed.
Brad should send a basket of fruit with a nice card to Brendon Bolton to say thanks for distracting everyone from the true masterpiece of a disaster he is curating this season.
Only by Carlton standards could this not be judged an abject failure.
Luckily Brad isn’t one for excuses, except this week when he said, ‘Certainly in hindsight if I could go back, I'd change the 6-6-6 (rule) because it's killed North Melbourne.’
If only he knew it was coming. It’s strange he didn’t see that given he sits on the competition committee that approved it.
The Bulldogs are pretty average this season but off the field they are way ahead if your judge them on ‘feuding with Damian Barrett’.
Luke Beveridge seems a bit obsessed with this. I’m not sure why, feuding with someone who commentates on the game, and I include myself in this, would be like pulling the car over to argue with a group of kids because they were swearing.
It entertains the kids and makes them feel powerful, while it takes time out of your day when you should be focusing on important things, like how did your team fall apart so spectacularly after winning a premiership?
Bulldogs to win this.
Adelaide vs West Coast (AO) Fox 4:35pm
A big game for two of the biggest clubs in the competition so naturally it’s buried in the Saturday twilight slot.
Both of these sides fall into the ‘good not great’ category so far this season.
West Coast did everything to lose to Melbourne last week but just couldn’t pull it off, Melbourne’s experience in losing coming to the fore.
The Crows lost in heartbreaking fashion to the Lions, heartbreaking in they left everything to the last minute before pulling their finger out. It spoke to me.
A win here would see that set of supporters feel a lot better about things while the losing fans will spin into a pit of despair so deep, only the airwaves of talkback radio will do it justice.
The Eagles actually terrify me this year; they have been playing very poorly and still sit in sixth position. Imagine if they pull things together like last year.
I don’t worry about the Crows pulling things together for the same reason I don’t worry about meeting ghosts.
Eagles to win.
Gold Coast vs Geelong (MS) Fox 7:25pm
It’s 1stplaying 16thin this one. I think the AFL’s proposed ‘wildcard round’ would see the 16thrank team make the finals.
If there was enough money in it, the AFL would have all 18 teams in the finals and the AFLX teams too. There were banking executives at the Royal Commission who were less interested in money than the AFL.
The Suns have defied expectations this year if you can say that about a team that has lost five games in a row.
The Cats have defied expectations too, being the best side in the entire competition by some margin, when most would have predicted them to be a bottom of the top eight side.
The Cats already have impressive wins over the Pies, Adelaide, West Coast and the AFL Tribunal system (twice).
Patrick Dangerfield will sit this one out due to injury, but they don’t need him for this anyway.
Cats to win.
Richmond vs Essendon (MCG) Seven & Fox 7:25pm
It’s Dreamtime at the ‘G, one of my favourite themed games of the year, despite the involvement of Essendon and Richmond.
Both sides have terrific Indigenous players, and I think that’s what I love about the night; it’s a celebration of all that’s good about our game.
While our game is far from perfect, it has its nice moments.
Both sides have had their share of injury woes this season. Richmond doesn’t have any players healthy, and Essendon lost Joe Daniher for the entire season this week.
In many ways, that’s a huge blow, but it’s important to remember that the Bombers have shown they can’t make finals with or without Daniher. They’re versatile like that.
While Essendon can lose even with a full list, the Tigers are holding their season together despite their walking wounded.
The Tigers could be in the top four after this round and to think, they could have just thrown in the towel and blamed injuries and the introduction of the 6-6-6 rule.
Richmond to win this.
Melbourne vs Greater Western Sydney (MCG) Fox 1:10pm
The Giants’ record at the MCG is about as good as Labor’s in Queensland, but they’re in with a really good shot this week.
The good news about playing Melbourne is their delivery into their own forward line does the job of your defence for them.
Just hang back, wait for the ball to come in high and sweep it out, or they’ll often just kick it directly to you.
The Giants biggest problem is they may be a bit rusty after not playing last week and that they’ve only won twice at the ‘G out of 16 attempts.
Why do the Giants keep losing there? It could be the fact there’s a crowd, but that won’t be a problem this week.
Giants to win.
St Kilda vs Carlton (MS) Seven & Fox 3:20pm
A danger game for both sides. Another big loss to the Blues and Brendon Bolton’s career will be in as much trouble as his team is.
If St Kilda lose to Carlton, and I don’t want to overreact here, they might as well shut up shop and wipe all traces of their history.
It would be literally the end of the world for them.
Could it happen?
Possibly. It’s unlikely the Blues are going to turn in as poor a performance as last week, ‘performance’ being generous.
The good news for Carlton fans is they’ve been having ‘tough conversations’ this week at Princes Park.
That should sort everything out. Watching them last week I thought, gee, some ‘tough conversations’ is all they need to fix their inability to get within kilometres of the ball.
Saints to win this.
Fremantle vs Brisbane (OS) Fox 5:20pm
I’ve spent a lot of time this year railing against Ross Lyon’s game style, mainly because I’m one of the few people who isn’t a Dockers fan that actually watches them.
If I didn’t have to as part of my ‘job’ I would avoid them like the plague or reality TV shows.
Unfortunately, that’s not an option, which is why I’m considering putting in a worker’s compensation claim for the pain and suffering Dockers’ games have caused me in recent years.
At least at home, Fremantle can occasionally throw up a score that doesn’t make them seem like they are playing Rugby League.
Brisbane have been exciting at times this year but struggle away from home.
Lachie Neale returns to play his old side, and Ross has shown his usual grace by stating he hopes Neale gets a “rough” reception from the crowd.
That’s nice, isn’t it? I wonder why Neale wanted to leave.
I’m tipping the Lions.
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