Mar 28, 2019
A highly unhelpful guide to the 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.
Richmond vs Collingwood (MCG) Seven & Fox 7:20pm all times AEDST
It’s important to remember that you can’t overreact to Round One.
Losing to Geelong means the Pies season is effectively over and losing Alex Rance means Richmond’s is too.
In fact, based on Round One, I firmly believe the only teams still in the hunt for the Premiership are Brisbane, Bulldogs and Port.
I’m not ruling the Giants or the Dockers out yet but coming off byes I want to see them play a game.
Hawthorn are also in the race because they always are, like herpes they never really go away, they just flare up in moments of great stress.
Covering Rance will be hard; many commentators rate him as the best defender who ever played the game. Some people have short memories though. Did we all just forget Zac Dawson, did we?
Uncharacteristically, Collingwood got through last week’s game without any injuries. Perhaps that’s why they lost. It seemed last year every injury just made them stronger.
Last time these two played was a Preliminary Final, where Collingwood smashed the Tigers in a manner so brutal it would not be seen again until the next day when the Eagles played Melbourne.
Collingwood to win this.
Sydney vs Adelaide (SCG) Seven & Fox 7:50pm
Two non-Victorian sides on a Friday night? Surely this is some sort of scheduling mistake by the AFL?
Maybe they were so distracted enforcing intellectual property rights they forgot to insert one of the Victorian clubs that were big in the 90s?
If you’re not aware, the AFL cracked down on a company League Tees, who had made a T-shirt featuring an artistic design of the Taylor Harris kick and were donating the proceeds to charity.
I always find it jarring when the words ‘Intellectual Property’ and AFL are in the same sentence.
Apparently, raising just over a thousand dollars for charity could not be tolerated by the tax-exempt community organisation that made a $50 million profit last year.
Both these teams were disappointing last week; the Swans looked underdone, Buddy especially and the Crows were just the Crows.
It hasn’t been a great start to the year for Adelaide, with Richard Douglas now out for two months after ankle surgery and Tom Doedee suffering an ACL.
Actually, it hasn’t been that great since the 2017 Grand Final for the Crows. Last year was so bad they were still talking about their preseason camp in round 23.
Based on Adelaide’s form in Round One they didn’t do a preseason at all this year.
The consensus was that the Swans had a few too many underdone players last week, but it could be that the Bulldogs Thor jumper was so awful the Sydney players didn’t want to touch it. That would explain why they let the Bulldogs midfield waltz all over them.
Luckily, the Crows have not gone in for such a gimmick. They’re too proud to do such crass commercialization. Well, except for that time their song featured the lyric ‘Here we go, Here we go Camry Crows.’ I believe Lennon and McCartney wrote that one.
Swans to win.
Essendon vs St Kilda (MS) Fox 4:35pm
The quality of the surface will match the quality of the teams in this game.
The Channel Seven commentary team got in trouble last week from the AFL for referring to Marvel Stadium as Docklands during their coverage.
Seven say there was no directive to do that, which is strange as it seems weird the commentators just all individually decided to do that on the same day.
Still, I thought they showed great restraint not calling it by its traditional name ‘the worst place on Earth’.
You can paint it up in Marvel colours, but that doesn’t hide the fact its surface is as patchy as a DC movie.
Essendon wasn’t even a DC movie last week, they were straight to Netflix, and not one that anyone would watch.
Surely the Bombers can’t repeat such a disastrous performance two weeks in a row? We can hope but they probably won’t.
To say they phoned it in against the Giants would be praising them too much. They faxed it in.
Perhaps James Hird signing on to Triple M this week will give them all a bit of a spark. Hird, Carey and BT. Triple M sure can pick ‘em.
I think it’s a good move for Hird. An illicit drug program is more a perk of the job at Triple M rather than something that can get you in trouble.
As long as Hird doesn’t raise childbirth, he should have a job for life.
St Kilda had their famous victory of the year narrowly downing the Gold Coast Suns in a struggle that left Saints fans feeling relieved they won’t have to invest any hope at all into this season. Always good to get that out of the way in round one.
This week the Saints quickly moved on from the victory to focus on expressing their buyer’s remorse over signing Dan Hannebery for $800,000 per season across four years with a trigger for a fifth.
If only they knew what everyone else in the World knew back when they offered him that deal.
Alan Richardson said the club would effectively have to "rebuild" Hannebery. They’ll probably be as good at that as they have been a building premiership teams.
Essendon to win.
Port Adelaide vs Carlton (AO) Fox 5:10pm
Port Adelaide put away Melbourne last week with relative ease. Trust me; I watched the whole abomination with my own eyes.
Seriously, I’ve seen more contested possessions at the Boxing Day sales than what Melbourne offered.
It makes it a bit hard to judge how good the Power are as we don’t know how much that was Melbourne being awful and how much it was Port being rather impressive.
We’ll know the answer in Round 3 when Port play the Lions but, in the meantime, they’re playing Carlton.
The Blues were not completely horrible last week; they even had two reasonably decent quarters, two more than all of last season.
There are some promising signs at Carlton, green shoots even. But they’re coming off a very low base, so small things are grabbed on to and cherished, even though the overall picture is still grim.
I’ve been there. I remember when my club celebrated Shannon Byrnes kicking five first-half goals in Melbourne intraclub. AN INTRACLUB MATCH. HE DID IT AGAINST OUR OWN DEFENCE!
Power to win.
Geelong vs Melbourne (GMHBA) Seven & Fox 7:25pm
I can tell you I’m not looking forward to this. Melbourne have had some success down at Kardinia Park in recent times, but they’ve also been massacred down there, to the point I still see two therapists. Daily.
The Dees have probably reflected on last week loss, and the analysis of the tape shows they just need to do every single thing differently and they should be alright.
Geelong got the season off to a feel-good start for all of us by defeating the Pies, but it was a slog, and they’ll hope that hit out will see an improvement in skills.
The Cats will remember losing the elimination final to Melbourne last year, which I don’t because I celebrated it like it was a Grand Final. I even broke into Mark Knight’s house and forced him to draw me a poster. The case was settled out of court last month.
While this game isn’t an elimination final, I’ve read in the media that if you go 0-2, you basically might as well pack it in and start training for next year, so for the Dees it an elimination final.
I’m tipping the Cats.
West Coast vs Greater Western Sydney (OS) Fox 8:10pm
This is 1stversus 16thon the ladder, so it should be completely one-sided. Except it is only Round Two, something we all forget when we tip this round and act like Round One form is some iron law that will hold the entire season.
Greater Western Sydney embarrassed Essendon last week, making it the first time a lot of Victorians were thrilled the Giants were invented. Who knew they could bring us such joy!
The big benefit of that victory is they should be fresh, which is handy when you have to travel to Perth.
The Eagles, on the other hand, lost to the Lions, instantly taking away all joy from their premiership last season. At least that’s how Perth talkback came across.
West Coast lost their opening game last year to the Swans, and that was a disaster too apparently. But as the Marathon runners say, ‘this is a marathon, not a sprint’.
The Eagles also get Josh Kennedy back which is always nice.
West Coast to win.
North Melbourne vs Brisbane (MS) Fox 1:10pm
Like my year nine camp, the Kangaroos would do well to never speak of their trip to Perth last week ever again.
Obviously, Brad Scott was feeling left out when he wasn’t included in some of those ‘which coach is in the hot seat’ articles that come out before the season.
He certainly fixed that, and it only took him one round. He’s a miracle worker.
Scott called out his team’s dysfunctional forward line after the loss which must have made them feel great. To single one area out as dysfunctional would be ignoring the rest of the team, there was plenty of dysfunction to go around.
If only the Roos had some sort of ‘head coach’, who could be held responsible for the forward line being dysfunctional.
The lid is off in Brisbane, and the club didn’t even know they owned a lid, let alone one that could be removed.
They belted the Eagles in a performance that means anything less than premiership glory is a massive failure.
It’s been a long time coming, but the Lions fans haven’t been this excited since Greg Swann floated the idea of releasing a live lion on the ground before games.
The killjoys stopped that proposal on the flimsy grounds it was cruel to the lion. What nonsense. If you’ve ever watched a lion chase a bunch of Auskick kids, you know the lion is having the time of his life.
Instead, the Gabba crowd (we may be able to call them that again) will just have to settle for a talented, exciting young team.
Lions to win.
Hawthorn vs Western Bulldogs (MCG) Seven & Fox 3:20pm
The Hawks delivered a devastatingly competent display of football last week, and they still don’t have Tom Scully or Chad Wingard.
Wingard is a chance to play, but the Hawks did well enough last week without him.
While Hawthorn surprised many by winning in Adelaide, perhaps most surprising is we’ve got this far into the season without James Sicily doing something silly. If he can get through this week, it will be a new record for him.
The Bulldogs were impressive against the Swans, but they’ll be challenged away from Marvel Stadium, what with the MCG’s wide spaces and grass.
The Doggies will roll out their rather tasteful ‘Married at First Sight’ away jumpers this week as the club continues to raise money to work out what the hell happened after winning that premiership.
Hawks to win.
Gold Coast vs Fremantle (Metricon) Fox 4:40pm
Poor Dockers fans. Their season doesn’t really begin until round three, but at least they can watch open training again with Fox Footy agreeing to broadcast it.
Titus will be performing at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival from 27 March to 21 April.
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