May 11, 2018
A highly unhelpful guide to Round Eight
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 Eight.
Hawthorn vs Sydney (MCG) 7:50 PM
Now, this is interesting. The first game to be played under the new ‘only tackle people the same size as you’ rules.
I’m not sure how this is going to work precisely, but the most sensible thing would be to fill a team with jockeys and have them run around untouched.
As a lifelong supporter of an AFL club, I’m used to the fairly regular servings of stupidity the AFL’s tribunal system delivers, but this week is right up there, to be honest.
Factoring in a player’s height and weight when deciding a penalty is so absurd I don’t even know where to begin. This is meant to be a professional sporting competition.
Although, I do think players can compute the size and weight of a person in a split second. I’ve seen AFL players do that in nightclubs for years.
Luckily for the Swans, Buddy Franklin is an out because he will never be able to tackle anyone again.
The Swans will be looking to bounce back after a frustrating performance against North Melbourne.
This will be close, Hawthorn are in good form and play the MCG well.
I’m tipping the Hawks.
Greater Western Sydney vs West Coast (SS) 1:45 PM
Jonathan Patton has been dropped following the disastrous performance down in Geelong.
Patton wasn’t alone in putting in the sort of display that leaves fans questioning why they follow sport at all.
The Giants woes mainly come from the fact they have so many injuries that it’s quicker to list who isn’t injured.
It makes this an interesting one to tip. Do we trust the Eagles yet? I guess I’d say I’m open to trusting them, but I’d like to see them win a game like this on the road.
I know they’ve been good so far, but the question marks around them on the road still linger.
A win here would have Eagles fans feeling very good, especially as they’ve already had a fun week of Fremantle falling apart.
I’m tipping the Eagles here.
Carlton vs Essendon (MCG) 2:10 PM
This is going to be horrendous.
Even thinking about this is making me sad. Like that sadness when your chest hurts, and you think nothing good is ever going to happen to you again.
You know, how Carlton fans always feel.
Both these sides have invented new ways to be awful this season, and it says a lot about the Bombers slide when this is Carlton’s best chance of getting a win.
Essendon’s season continued to get worse during the week, with Joe Daniher to miss quite a few weeks through injury.
A loss here and the Essendon fans’ anger will make them seem chilled during the whole drugs saga.
Carlton are celebrating the 50thanniversary of their 1968 premiership. That wasn’t their last premiership, it just feels like that.
I’m tipping Essendon, but I have less confidence than a political leader announcing all their members of parliament are Australian citizens.
Gold Coast vs Melbourne (G) 4:35 PM
In a rare treat, the Suns get to play in their home state before a quick jaunt over to China next week.
In some good news for the Suns, they’ll get Steven May back, and he’ll certainly help, even if the Gold Coast are still without Lynch.
Last week, they were competitive against the Bulldogs, but it was the Bulldogs.
Melbourne are ridiculously strong favourites in this, which considering their turnaround in recent weeks has been against Essendon and St Kilda, is kind of surprising.
Of course, the Demons should be favourites, but in one of the most important rules in physics, when Melbourne are favourites, they can no longer be considered favourites.
Despite this, I’m still tipping the Demons, because this is what I do, regularly set myself up for heartbreak.
Port Adelaide vs Adelaide (AO) 4:40 PM
It’s Showdown time in South Australia, and I’ve done the sums and Adelaide should have enough players that aren’t injured to field a side. But only just.
News of Rory Sloane’s Lisfranc ligament strain have shocked Crows fans, but only as much as the claim, he’ll only be out a couple of weeks.
Still, playing without Sloane is arguably good practice for the Crows for next year.
Port, on the other hand, are getting players back with Tom Rockliff, Chad Wingard and nightclub enthusiast Sam Powell-Pepper.
Perhaps most exciting about this match is seeing what crazy antics the fans get up to.
Recent fisticuffs at Adelaide Oval have led authorities to remind everyone to keep that nonsense for the Ramsgate Hotel.
I still think the Crows can win, but this will be close.
Western Bulldogs vs Brisbane (ES) 7:25 PM
After seeing the Bulldogs play the Suns last week, I can’t say I’ve got a lot of faith in them playing finals this year.
I can, however, see them beat Brisbane here, who despite a good showing last week against the Pies, have still not managed to win a game this season.
The Lions might be the best side not to win a game this year, only because the other side is Carlton.
Marcus Bontempelli is back for the Dogs, which is certainly a big plus, but Tim English is an out. Apparently, he briefly walked into sunlight during the week and is still recovering.
Brisbane’s worst start to a season ever was in 1991, when they lost nine in a row.
They’re on track but have shown enough competency at times to suggest they could break through.
I can’t see them doing it this week though.
Fremantle vs St Kilda (OS) 8:10 PM
It’s sad to think people aren’t respecting the sanctity of hush money payments anymore.
One of the AFL’s proudest traditions was to be able to pay your way out of any situation.
Now Fremantle have had two incidents referred to the AFL’s Integrity Unit regarding Ross Lyon.
On top of that, Bradley Hill was involved in an incident with police over the weekend.
Facing his old club, Lyon must be looking back fondly at those scandal-free days at the Saints where they never had cultural problems.
As I write this, Lyon is still coach but by the time you read this, who knows?
St Kilda’s problems these days are all on the field. Saints fans might not think that’s an improvement.
A good team could knock off a club in as much crisis as Fremantle. St Kilda are not a good team.
Fremantle to win.
North Melbourne vs Richmond (ES) 1:10 PM
Interesting. North were meant to be terrible but are OK. In fact, at times they have looked much better than OK.
Last week’s win against the Swans was very impressive and if they can beat the reigning premiers, let’s just all agree to pretend we all said they Kangaroos would be good this year.
Beating Richmond at the moment is no mean feat. While the rest of the competition seems to be spending more time either managing injuries or fighting lawsuits, the Tigers are ticking along beautifully.
While North are much better than we thought, the Tigers are currently so ruthless, I find it hard to see them getting past them.
Richmond can match the Roos defensively and manage their pressure.
I’m tipping the Tigers.
Collingwood vs Geelong (MCG) 3:20 PM
Gary Ablett and Harry Taylor are back for the Cats, which is good news for Geelong fans and people who’d like Collingwood’s good run of form to come to an end, so almost everyone.
Amazingly, this actually shapes up as a good game, with Collingwood’s improvement no longer making them a team you go out of your way to avoid watching.
They also get Scott Pendlebury back and Daniel Wells. Imagine a Pies side without heaps of injuries. It’s not easy to do, but their injury list is the shortest it’s been in a long time.
The Pies have also matched up well in recent years against the Cats, making this a nightmare to predict.
That said, the Pies are coming back from Brisbane, and the Cats should be well rested after mauling the Giants last Friday.
I’m tipping the Cats, but the big question is which injury-prone veteran will go off first, Ablett or Wells?
I have two new dates to announce for my show A Thoroughly Unhelpful History of Australian Sport. Exciting!
The first is 7.00pm Wednesday 6 June The Comic’s Lounge in Melbourne.
The second is 8.00pm Thu 7 June Arkaba Hotel Adelaide.
The last ten shows at the Melbourne Comedy Festival sold out so get in early.
Tickets for both shows available here:frontiercomedy.com/titusoreily
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