Apr 20, 2018
A highly unhelpful guide to Round Five
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 Five.
Sydney vs Adelaide (SCG) 7:50 PM All times AEST
Here’s a round that stretches from Friday until next Wednesday in what may be the AFL’s finest bit of scheduling ever.
Perhaps the most amazing thing about this round is not that it almost goes a week, but that two non-Victorian teams get to play each other on a Friday night. It’s on television and everything!
It must have been an oversight by the AFL to not slot in a Carlton game here.
Everyone loves to watch Carlton, except Blues fans.
Of course, two interstate teams on a Friday night can only really happen because the two blockbuster slots around ANZAC Day feature four Melbourne based teams.
Adelaide spent last Friday night being belted by Collingwood, a rare and I can tell you from personal experience, rather unpleasant thing to go through.
The Crows have suffered through humiliating defeats before and bounced back, last year they phoned in two shockers against North Melbourne and Melbourne in round seven and eight, only to bounce back and be in a position to phone it in at the Grand Final.
Despite this, if you can’t beat Collingwood at home, beating Sydney at the SCG seems a big ask. Especially with Rory Sloane under an injury cloud and unlikely to play.
Sydney are once again travelling along well. They are probably the most consistent thing in the world at the moment, what with the tennis on Nine and the cricket on Seven.
Death, taxes and the Sydney Swans travelling along well. Time to ban them trading again.
Swans to win here.
St Kilda vs Greater Western Sydney (ES) 1:45 PM
The Greater Western Sydney brains trust have issued a reminder that they want to use the ‘Greater Western’ bit less and would like people to also write their nickname in CAPS AT ALL TIMES LIKE A PSYCHOPATH.
The SUNS are also pursuing this frankly painful attempt to mimic something middle aged marketers think the kids do.
Seriously. It’s like they want us to always be yelling it. The only time all caps are appropriate is NEVER.
The only people who should use caps all the time are people sending ransom demands and elderly relatives who don’t know how to turn them off.
I’M SORRY I’M WRITING LIKE THIS BUT MY KEYBOARD IS BROKEN.
Have you tried turning off caps lock?
SORRY I CAN’T HEAR YOU BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT WRITING IN CAPS
I can understand the Giants wanting to drop the ‘Greater Western’ bit.
Like all Sydneysiders, the desire to move further east is perfectly normal, but the capital letters decree is hardly signalling they’re moving away from the perception they are a marketing concept more than a team.
Anyway, they’ll win here.
Also, St Kilda are playing in this game, but the less said about that, the better.
Carlton vs West Coast (MCG) 4:35 PM
This is a twilight game, which is where a Carlton game should be hidden. In fact, all Blues games should be twilight Sunday night games and not televised.
Where did it all go wrong for Stephen Silvagni?
He built a great side at the Giants, by only using the thousands of first-round draft picks they had lying around but seems to be having more trouble at Carlton. Strange.
Carlton have been good in patches but struggle to defend, score, kick, handball, mark, tackle and get the footy.
They also have the worst shorts in history, something we previously thought couldn’t be stuffed up, but there you go. Congrats for beating Hawthorn to the punch there.
This game sees the Eagles face off against their traditional rival, the MCG.
The Eagles have been good this year, but if they can’t beat Carlton on the MCG, they may as well put a line through any hope of winning a Grand Final there.
West Coast to win.
Port Adelaide vs Geelong (AO) 7:40 PM
The big question for Port, is that with Tom Rockliff out, how will they replace the 12 possessions he’s been averaging with them?
They’ll need to, as Port have won a solitary game in their last 14 games against Geelong.
The other big issue in Adelaide at the moment is Adelaide Oval going to court to try to expand their liquor license.
This is not being met with enthusiasm by the denizens of North Adelaide.
The idea of more drunk Port Adelaide fans roaming through their suburb is filling them with dread.
“I didn’t work hard and inherit all this money to spend Saturday nights with drunk Port fans,” a resident told me this week.
“Also, I’m keen to spend a lot of time discussing the redevelopment of the Le Cornu site if you have a few hours.”
This is a game of the two ‘are they good or pretenders’ teams.
Geelong have hardly been impressive this year, but they have done that a bit in recent years, and then you suddenly notice they’re in a prelim.
The Cats have a good record in Adelaide, and I think they can win here.
Fremantle vs Western Bulldogs(PS) 8:10 PM
Tom Boyd is back in after booting five goals in the VFL and dispelling rumours he retired after the 2016 Grand Final.
Bulldogs fans are still celebrating their team showing up for two weeks in a row, so much so that after the game against Sydney, I had to check a few times to confirm that the Doggies actually lost.
The Bulldogs accuracy has been so bad this year; I have real concerns about whether they’ll even arrive in Perth. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear they’ve landed in Broome.
Their goal kicking accuracy is 37.6 percent. Now, I’m no mathematical genius, but I believe that’s out of 100 and therefore not good.
Fremantle are the very definition of ‘OK’ this season. It’s an improvement on ‘unwatchable’ but Dockers fans would like to see this rebuild pick up the pace.
The Dockers have certainly had a lot of success against the Bulldogs in recent years, and I can’t see that changing here.
North Melbourne vs Hawthorn (ES) 3:20 PM
Isn’t it great to see Hawthorn back up and about after two whole years in the wilderness?
I know it’s been a dark time for Hawks supporters and their resilience under difficult circumstance has been inspiring.
My constant fear that Alastair Clarkson knows what he’s doing has once again been realised, and a Hawthorn Premiership is now a clear and present danger.
We got careless people. I thought we had at least another year or two before having to worry about this. Vigilance needs to be eternal.
No one is worried about a North Melbourne premiership, but they have certainly proven some of the doubters wrong this season by not being the worst team in the league.
In fact, they might even be just an average side, a significant step up on where people had them at the start of the year.
Hawks to win this.
Brisbane vs Gold Coast (G) 4:40 PM
This will be uglier than the Banking Royal Commission. It may also be the moment Queensland gives up on Australian Rules altogether.
The Lions should at least be well rested, after turning in a performance last week so devoid of enthusiasm it could work in a call centre.
I’m not saying 17 points can’t get the job done against the Suns, but it is unlikely.
The Gold Coast have finally returned back to Queensland after two weeks of living in Western Australia.
They’re back in Queensland for a week before going to Adelaide, then Ballarat. They are less AFL team and more grey nomads.
Throw in a trip to China, and it’s possible to argue the AFL have already moved the Suns off the Gold Coast but just haven’t told anyone.
Suns to win this.
Melbourne vs Richmond (MCG) 7:25 PM
The now traditional ANZAC Day Eve clash. It can’t be long before we have every club playing on ANZAC Day, there’s just the awkward fact that ANZAC Day is not actually about football.
A bit of research reveals it’s actually about commemorating the lives of Australians, and New Zealanders lost in war and not a footy carnival as I previously thought.
When it comes to making everything about them, the AFL are in Michael Clarke’s league.
Melbourne have still only kicked one goal after quarter time, despite several more days passing and I worry that will continue throughout this game.
Let’s not forget, the Tigers kept Brisbane to 17 points. Now Melbourne aren’t Brisbane, but they do a good impression at times.
Richmond are tough to play, and unlike a preseason training camp, you can’t call in the AFL Players Association to get you out of it.
Tigers to win this.
Collingwood vs Essendon (MCG) 3:20 PM
Premiership favourites Collingwood, take on Essendon in the traditional ANZAC Day clash, and for the first time in a while, this might not be completely awful.
I didn’t say it would be good though.
My favourite part of the day is, of course, when a commentator will make the point that sport and war are not comparable, right before comparing the two.
Collingwood shocked the footballing world last Friday by winning and winning in Adelaide.
Has the Pies’ six-year plan to unnecessarily break up a premiership side and rebuild for no reason been vindicated by a single victory against the Crows? I think so.
The Bombers bounced back last week but have been pretty disappointing so far.
Playing everyone out of position worked poorly it has to be said and putting them all back in the right place seemed to work well despite its counterintuitive nature.
I think Essendon can win here but who really knows with these two.
Titus will be performing at the Sydney Comedy Festival.
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