Port Adelaide v Carlton (AO) 7.50pm all times AEST
What a treat it is to have Carlton back on Friday nights. Who doesn’t want to come home after the work week to watch living proof the AFL doesn’t have enough talent to stretch over 18 teams?
Dale Thomas has been left out of the side due to ‘soreness.’ I heard Brendon Bolton say Daisy certainly wasn’t dropped due to poor form, which was strange as the barista was just asked if he’d like sugar.
Port Adelaide will be happy to face the Blues after dropping their last two games; this is just what the doctor ordered.
It’s been a tough few weeks for the Power, what with their consecutive losses and the situation in North Korea threatening to derail their plans to conquer China.
Only the Melbourne media could find an AFL angle for a geopolitical crisis involving North Korea and the United States.
If hostilities do break out on the Korean peninsula, I’m sure you’d agree that the disruption to the Power v Suns game will be front and centre of global concerns. So far, the United Nations’ silence on this issue is frankly, criminal.
It would just be David Koch’s luck for a nuclear Armageddon to stifle his plans for world domination.
I’m tipping Port here due to the fact they’ve got Ryder back, and it’s Carlton.
Western Bulldogs v Brisbane (ES) 1.45pm
The Lions should sack Chris Fagan.
I don’t believe that, but I wanted to be the first to call for it. In this modern media landscape, it’s more important to be first than right. My problem is I’m never right and rarely first.
Somehow, the Bulldogs will need to figure out how to win without Travis Cloke. The jury’s out on whether they can have success without him.
They should be motivated though, as this is Bob Murphy’s 300th game. Murphy is a rare footballer, in that he can both write and speak in full sentences.
He also likes music that doesn’t get played in nightclubs, which makes him unique.
These days, the milestones of any major footballer gets played up to the hilt, with more merchandising than a WWE event. I think North Melbourne had to dump four cargo containers of ‘Boomer 427’ merch into the bay.
Murphy has genuinely been an amazing ambassador over a long career and deserves the praise. He is also a Saint and given football is my chosen religion, I take that seriously.
I think it’s wonderful the AFL have scheduled him to have a win on his big day. A nice touch.
Gold Coast v Adelaide(MS) 4.35pm
Things were looking up for the Suns when they beat Hawthorn a few weeks ago, but then we learnt that anyone could beat the Hawks.
They then defeated Carlton last week. Now Carlton isn't as bad as Hawthorn (I enjoyed writing that), but they’re not great either.
Therefore, this idea that the Suns have turned some corner is lacking a bit in hard evidence.
Playing the Crows should show us if the Suns really have figured things out or we’ll be back to ‘Gary Ablett is leaving’ stories by next week.
The Crows have been entertaining and ruthless in equal measure over the first month, and this would certainly be their year if Richmond hadn’t already won the premiership.
I can’t see them dropping this to the Suns, especially with Steven May missing for the Gold Coast.
Going in undermanned against Walker and Betts is what nightmares are made of, or at least what my nightmares are made of, that and the local fried chicken shop closing.*
*The latter, unfortunately, came true. I’m shattered of course but have also lost five kilos this week alone. Plus, some of my acne has gone.
Sydney v Greater Western Sydney (SCG) 7.25pm
Once the Swans dominated the Emerald city like only a team with a city to itself can. They were Sydney’s favourite AFL team, which is not really a thing.
Then the AFL decided Sydneysiders would be desperate for a second team in about fifty or so years from now, so they set up another club immediately, to ensure the limited interest up north could be spread across two teams.
This was all right when both teams were going well, but then the Swans suddenly had their worst start to a season since 1993.
Now we’ll see how interest up north goes when the premier side is struggling.
The Swans though do get a bunch of players back this week, and they’ll be hoping that was all the problem was. Unlike Hawthorn, people haven’t completely written off Sydney yet, but I’m sure a loss here would change that.
Can they beat the Giants? It’s theoretically possible. They will want to have an amazing turnaround in the quality of their skills.
GWS are just so quick, and if the Swans turnover the ball and make as many mistakes as they have so far this season, the Giants will put more points on the board than a couple having an argument.
Giants to win.
Fremantle v North Melbourne (DS) 7.40pm
Fremantle were terrible and are suddenly less terrible. I’m so confused. When a coach says they’re bring in youth and making tough selection calls, it usually means they’re cooked. It’s the step before the players and then finally the board gives their support to the coach.
It’s not meant to work. This has upset the space-time continuum, I’m sure of it.
It’s also a lot less funny when Ross Lyon’s side is going well. Oh, the jokes and memes that have been shelved. A lot of solid and not so solid work just wasted.
North Melbourne’s loss last week to the Doggies had to sting. If there’s one thing the Kangaroos have learnt to do in recent times, it’s not win.
At least they’re now not winning with younger players.
Braydon Preuss has made an impressive start to his career and shows this youth policy thing may work out. Preuss was a late convert to Aussie Rules, playing League until he was 16.
He’s surprised me that he could pick up the subtleties of AFL in that time; like using a knife and fork and words containing more than one syllable.
North won’t win here of course, but every Kangaroo fans has total confidence that Brad Scott knows what he’s doing.
St Kilda v Geelong (ES) 3.20pm
Trading draft picks is terrific. It creates greater interest in the game. For example, the Hawks are now every Saints fans’ second favourite team.
“Just keep doing what you’re doing” is the message from St Kilda members.
I was at the pub when it was announced Jaeger O’Meara was out again this week, and a Saints supporter shouted the bar.
This is a pain to tip as Geelong have been at times very good but have not been a model of consistency. This is at Etihad too, and the Saints always scare me at Etihad. That could be because I’m a Demons supporter, so everything scares me at Etihad.
The Cats are coming off the Easter Monday massacre of the Hawks, a performance so brutal that the replay on Fox Footy came with a ‘viewer discretion advised’ warning.
I’m tipping the Cats here, but this could be close.
Hawthorn v West Coast (MCG) 4.40pm
Unfortunately, one of the things on my bucket list, seeing Sam Mitchell knee one of his former teammates will not happen this week. Life is full of little disappointments.
Mitchell will miss this game due to an ankle injury, while for Hawthorn Jaeger O’Meara is out again with knee soreness.
It’s nothing to worry about, just someone the Hawks sold the farm for with a history of knee problems missing some games with sore knees. NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT.
Ty Vickery is an in for the Hawks though, which is no big deal, as last week the Hawks showed they can lose with or without him.
Trent Cotchin said this week that the online mockery of Ty Vickery must stop and I agree.
Keep your mocking offline people. Letters, perhaps a banner or skywriting? Get creative.
The Eagles at the G never fill me with confidence, and I keep waiting for the Hawks to come back, like when you think the alien is dead in Aliens but it hitches a ride back to the spaceship and Ripley then fights it in that mechanised suit.
That’s my gut feel about the Hawks. Also, I think Alastair Clarkson has acid for blood.
I’m tipping the Eagles still, Aliens concerns aside.
Richmond v Melbourne (MCG) 7.25pm
Nothing honours the ANZACs more than cashing in on their memory, and the AFL keeps doing more and more honouring each year.
Melbourne this week found out Jake Melksham has been fined $10,000 for misleading AFL investigators during an investigation into activity on his betting account. So, making poor decisions isn’t limited to on the field for Jake.
Last week, he turned the ball over so many times I suspected he must have had some money on the Dockers.
Melbourne are going to have their work cut out against the Premiers-elect.
Richmond have not lost a game yet. They haven’t played an AFL side yet either, but they are undefeated.
The Tigers must fancy their chances here of going 5-0. Melbourne capitulated so easily in the third quarter that even Tigers players must think they are mentally brittle.
The Dees at least get Jesse Hogan back who I think got suspended for smoking behind the shed during recess.
Melbourne fans will be hoping he can light up the MCG on Monday night (thanks, I worked on that for several days.
I’m more concerned he might light up on the eternal flame, which would be a bad look.
Tigers to win because the Dees burnt me last week. Again.
Essendon v Collingwood (MCG) 3.20pm
It turns out Daniel Wells was recruited as a player, not an ambassador as I’d previously thought. He’s going to play a game this week apparently, although Tuesday is still a long way away.
What I learnt in the past week is that Darcy Moore is apparently the source of all Collingwood’s problems. Who knew?
I just thought he was a talented young kid who’d been thrown into a not very good side and was suddenly expected to kick all their goals this season.
AFL fans are presented with a real conundrum in this game. On the one hand, Essendon winning would cause Collingwood to go all Chernobyl which would be amazing to watch, on the other, it’s Essendon.
I think the Pies will get up here. John Worsfold was right when he said his players had hit the wall. He tried to ‘clarify’ those comments later on, which is like what they do in politics when they say something that gets a bad reaction.
It’s hard to ‘clarify’ something that unambiguous and makes a clear point. Anyone that’s ever been in an argument with their partner knows that.
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