Mar 25, 2021
A highly unhelpful guide to Round Two
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 Two.
Carlton vs Collingwood (MCG) 7:20pm Seven, Fox
With capacity increased to 75 per cent in Victoria, a large crowd is expected for this game. The MCC also announced you’ll need to scan a QR code upon entry, and that you should therefore get there early.
Essentially, to make the opening bounce, it would be great if you could get there last month.
A positive out of this game is one of these teams will be 0-2 to start the season.
I keep seeing this referred to as a blockbuster, which is odd. It’s like calling a Nintendo 64 a ‘state of the art’ video console. Both were true, but back in the 90s.
Probably the most interesting news of the week in relation to this game was that Nick Daicos, son of Peter Daicos, is a Carlton supporter.
I mean, how did that happen? Apparently, the Silvagni family converted him, but how was that even allowed?
I waited on the phone for six hours to report this to the Department of Human Services, but they didn’t think this was a priority for them, another sign government in this country is broken.
Outdoor semi-nudist Steele Sidebottom returns for the Pies, but their real concern is their forward line which functions about as well as the Suez Canal at the moment. At least the Suez will be fixed in the next few weeks.
Zac Williams and Jack Martin return for Carlton, giving me the confidence to tip the Blues, but it’s the same confidence I have that this is the year I’m going to get fit.
Geelong vs Brisbane (GMHBA) 7:20pm Seven, Fox
Convicted murderer Patrick Dangerfield will miss this game, after his lawyer, Siri, failed to clear him at the tribunal.
Dangerfield seemed very bitter about the whole thing, despite mounting a defence that made less sense than a Zack Snyder movie.
His argument that this week was like being on trial was tone-deaf and offensive to anyone who has stood trial for murder. He owes them all an apology.
It seems, for the first time, the AFL’s rhetoric of ‘the head is sacrosanct’ will actually be backed up by actions. It shows if you live long enough you see everything. Perhaps someone at AFL House finally got around to googling what sacrosanct means.
No Dangerfield is hardly ideal for a team that somehow managed to lose to the Crows last week, in a game that made it seem like Siri was also coaching the team.
Brisbane was just as surprising against the Swans when they forgot to play defence.
The Lions were lethargic against Sydney, they brought the energy of someone dragged along to a dinner party with their partner’s friends.
The idea that either of these teams could start the season 0-2 is amazing, and I’ve got no idea who to tip.
I’m going to say the Lions, but I already regret writing that.
Sydney vs Adelaide (SCG) 1:45pm Fox
Both these teams surprised everyone in Round One, including themselves, so who knows what will happen this week.
Buddy Franklin returns for the first time since Round 23 2019. So much has changed since then.
Back then we hadn’t heard of Covid 19, Parliament House wasn’t known to be the most dangerous place in Australia for women and if you wore a facemask into a bank the police would be called.
The Swans young brigade were impressive last week and if they keep that up, I’m going to be forced to learn their names. Fingers crossed the Channel Seven commentary team decide to do the same.
The Crows really deserved their win last week, they showed that the improvement towards the end of last season wasn’t a mirage.
Like the Swans, I’m still getting across all their players. I did some research this week but accidentally typed ‘Adelaide Cows’ into Google and it was several hours before I realised what I’d done.
I don’t have time to fix my mistake, so in this game, look for Shorthorn and Shorthorn Crossbreeds to play a big role, they are compact, thick and early to mature, perfect for a midfield role.
I expect the Droughtmaster cattle breed to struggle though, given all the rain in Sydney.
I’m tipping the Swans, mainly due to the slow pace of Australia's cattle herd rebuild, as high prices continue to entice producers to sell.
Longer-term, I do expect the switch from a La Nina pattern to the dry El Nino will have a significant impact on herd sizes over the next four years.
Port Adelaide vs Essendon (AO) 4:35pm Fox
What fresh hell this week Essendon supporters?
You know things are tough at your club when the question of whether your coach should coach from the bench or the box is debated in the media like that’s the problem.
Ben Rutten could have coached from the moon and I don’t think it would make any difference.
Even from the bench, Rutten should have been able to notice the subtle signs that his team was falling apart faster than a pie with a soggy bottom.
The problem was, he didn’t seem to know what to do about it. The game that is, a pie falling apart just requires you to eat faster, ignoring the burning of your mouth and fingers.
Port was one of the few premiership favourites who played like one last week. Now Orazio Fantasia will take on his old side, no doubt thrilled to have made the move, after seeing the Bombers put in less effort in the second half than I put into this column.
Matthew Lloyd, who also raised the coaching bench issue, called on the club not to be nice to Fantasia, like Collingwood players were to Adam Treloar last week.
I’m not sure it will make any difference.
Why focus on the coach’s visual viewpoint and being how to treat an ex-player, when there are so many things on the field to worry about, like tackling, hitting targets or trying.
Port to win.
St Kilda vs Melbourne (Marvel) 7:25pm Seven, Fox
I’ve been a bit surprised with the amount of Melbourne supporters talking positively about the Dees this week.
The collective amnesia over recent decades is surprising to me. I’ve always found the best strategy as a Melbourne supporter is to assume that even when things are going well, they will break bad.
In fact, it’s a lot like the show, just more intense and with a more unhappy ending.
That said, I’m desperate for a Melbourne team to prove me wrong. Never has being so consistently right been so deflating.
I dream of being wrong; of having my words shoved down my throat.
Could this be the year? A win here would give me a bit more confidence.
The Saints have some key injuries and if the Dees want to prove this season is not going to be a waste of time, winning at Marvel against a quality side would go a long way.
St Kilda get some players back, with Max King likely to return after being hit by a golf ball in the preseason.
Melbourne’s backline has been coached to yell ‘fore’ whenever he goes near the ball.
St Kilda showed last week they are a side willing to fight and I’m tipping them here.
Gold Coast vs North Melbourne (MS) 8:10pm Fox
The last time these two played, North Melbourne was held to just 28 points, a score that is probably a stretch target this year.
North got more bad news this week with Robbie Tarrant having surgery to remove a mass on his kidney this week. Fingers crossed that all works out well.
The Suns didn’t have great news either, with Matt Rowell confirmed to miss the first half of the season.
I hate injuries. Why isn’t the AFL banning them? Surely, instead of spending all their money on executives, they could build replacement knees, that could be just swapped out.
I’m no doctor but I can’t see this being too difficult.
North fans will be hoping their team can show them something in this game. The Suns are away from home, and just did a trip to Perth.
The main thing this will tell us is how long the road back from North is going to be.
Suns to win.
Hawthorn vs Richmond (MCG) 1:10pm Fox
To quote the bible ‘you can’t play Essendon every week’ and alas, that is all too true for Hawthorn.
Richmond got rid of all their self-destructing tendencies a few years ago, so the Hawks will have to play well for an entire game, which is exhausting.
Facing 2021 Brownlow Medallist Dustin Martin is never easy and last week he looked like he’s only got better, which should be illegal.
He looks like a guy who needs another league above the AFL to challenge him.
Hawthorn youth policy probably went a bit far this week, naming Buddy Franklin’s new-born son in the side.
I understand their desire to get ahead of the Suns but I’ve long been against new-borns playing AFL, they need time to develop.
As always, the AFL are asleep at the wheel, with no clear policy on that.
It’s not that I don’t think Buddy’s days-old baby won’t have an impact but thinking long term it would be far better to bring him in through the VFL.
Richmond to win.
Western Bulldogs vs West Coast (Marvel) 3:20pm Seven, Fox
Huge news for the Bulldogs, with Collingwood cheer squad super fan Joffa Corfe revealing on Twitter he was swapping teams to the Western Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs don’t really need a new famous fan, they have Chris Hemsworth, who is not only a Hemsworth but the best Hemsworth.
I’m not sure how, but can a club reject someone as a fan? Can Border Force be called in? What legislation covers such a thing?
Terrible news for Eagles fans this week, Champion Data statistics showing he could have his best-ever year.
There’s no surer sign you’ll struggle than Champion Data predicting a great season.
A sign the Bulldogs are travelling well is that No.1 draft pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan won’t play this week, despite booting five goals in the VFL last week.
There’s a lot of clubs who would have panic picked him in a heartbeat, but Luke Beveridge says he’s not ready for AFL.
Imagine that, taking a careful long-term approach to developing a player. How odd. It will never catch on.
Bulldogs to win.
Fremantle vs Greater Western Sydney (OS) 6:10pm Fox
Fremantle’s injury list is longer than the credits for a Marvel movie, except there are no bonus scenes to break it up.
You know it’s bad when fans are asked to ‘bring their boots’.
The Giants’ list injury list isn’t as long but is still impressive. Lachie Whitfield has the most relatable injury after 2020, a bruised liver.
Jesse Hogan will also miss the game against his old team. After a 19-game career with the Dockers, it would have been hard for Freo fans to see him pull on the OH&S orange.
While good news on the field may be a while away for the Dockers, off the field Matt Taberner extended his contract for three more years.
Collingwood would do well to consider a similar ‘keep good players’ approach.
This game is almost too close to call, but with the weight of injuries, I’m tipping the Giants. You’re welcome Freo fans.
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