May 04, 2018
A highly unhelpful guide to Round Seven
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 Seven.
Geelong vs Greater Western Sydney (GMHBA) 7:50 PM
Cats fans are still trying to comprehend their team losing at home, and now they face the Giants, who despite getting nowhere near top gear are 4-1.
Geelong will have to do it without Gary Ablett too, who looks to be out for another week and the fact the Cats wouldn’t know a centre clearance if they ran into one is a concern.
It wasn’t meant to be like this; the Cats were meant to have a great midfield. Instead, it resembles Bitcoin, hyped, expensive but serving no discernable purpose.
In good news for the Cats, the Giants seem to have everyone injured at the moment.
If you just randomly turn up to GWS training, you’ve got a good chance to get a game. I believe the same goes for St Kilda but for different reasons.
I’m tipping Geelong but only because the Giants are about half a side.
Western Bulldogs vs Gold Coast (Mars) 1:45 PM
The Suns travel to tropical Ballarat to face the Bulldogs in a game probably worth avoiding if you can.
We heard a lot about how congestion is ruining the game this week, but surely the fact a lot of players couldn’t hit a target if their jobs depended on it (which it seems it doesn’t) is a more significant problem.
The only reason the high-pressure game works so well is that a lot of players can’t even hit a target when not under pressure, let alone with several players bearing down on them.
This is why the annual panic of the ‘game is in dire shape and about to die’ and the inevitable suggestion of zones, makes me scream so loud I wake up all my household staff.
The Suns have both Tom Lynch and Steven May out this week, so their entire team.
It means the Bulldogs can win this if they just deliver something vaguely resembling their best, not always a sure thing this season.
Essendon vs Hawthorn (MCG) 2:10 PM
The traditional rivals meet again, although this season, the Bombers biggest rivals seem to be their own skills.
Still, it’s nice to see the Bombers just involved in a normal footy crisis. It’s more relaxed on Twitter when Bombers supporters are just annoyed at their team.
Essendon have also been distracted this week with the news about Bomber Thompson’s legal troubles. It’s important to remind people not to judge too early.
Those digital scales and small plastic bags could be the sign of someone who is running a thriving potpourri business.
Hawthorn are annoyingly sitting in fourth position and seem to be getting stronger. How do they keep doing it?
I suppose not constantly telling everyone you’re rebuilding helps. There’s no ‘we’ll be good in five years’ talk at Hawthorn. Saying that could get you killed down there.
A five-year rebuild to be competitive? You shouldn’t go five years between premierships.
The Hawks should win this.
West Coast vs Port Adelaide (OS) 4:35 PM
A few Eagles fans have complained to me in recent weeks that I haven’t written about them much recently.
This is usually a good thing, so I’m not sure what they're complaining about.
People usually complain when I do write about their club, usually in the form of words spelt out using letters cut out of magazines.
Plus, I live in Melbourne, it’s pretty much illegal to talk about teams that aren’t based in Victoria. Every time I do I get a stern letter from
VFL AFL House.
The Eagles are sitting in second and are going along very nicely. However, all their wins are from teams currently outside the eight.
This should be a good test for them as Port will get back Paddy Ryder, which should go some way to negating the Eagles dominant rucks.
Power fans will remember fondly last year’s elimination final when they were knocked out by the Eagles with an after-the-siren score.
Winning in round seven should more than make up for that.
I’m tipping the Eagles.
Sydney vs North Melbourne (SCG) 7:25 PM
The Kangaroos travel up to Sydney to take on Josh Kennedy in what could be an interesting match or one so bad that it makes you consider switching over to watch Adelaide-Carlton.
It all depends on which North team shows up, the one that made Hawthorn look like a fourth-rate side or the one that struggled against the Power last week.
The matchup between Dane Rampe and Ben Brown is worth the price of admission alone. It’s almost like football is still fun, just don’t tell the media though.
The Kangaroos are a difficult side. They put in the effort, and while they might not have the talent of the top sides, they will rarely die wondering.
I need to have a lie-down, that’s two columns in a row I’ve said nice things about North. I’m going through a tough time at the moment and am not myself.
The Swans are without Buddy and Dan Hannebery again which should make this close, but I think the Swans should get up.
Adelaide vs Carlton (AO) 7:40 PM
The Crows’ feeder team travel to Adelaide Oval to take on their old teammate Bryce Gibbs.
Gibbs must currently feel like Harrison Ford in The Fugitive when he leaps clear from the train just as it leaves the tracks.
Adelaide’s biggest challenge in this game is to avoid picking up any more hamstring injuries. Did Collingwood’s medical staff head to Adelaide in the offseason?
Charlie Curnow will miss this week through injury, in further proof that things can always get worse for Carlton.
I blame Carlton for this current concern about the state of the game. If they’d been buried in the Sunday twilight spot like they should have, people might not think the game is one of the worst things ever invented, which it is when Carlton are involved.
Crows to win.
Richmond vs Fremantle (MCG) 1:10 PM
The terrifying reality of Richmond being the best side in the competition continues and with no end in sight.
I actually think the Tigers fans are handling all this success pretty well, after all, they’re not built for this and the fact they haven’t all exploded with joy is impressive.
It’s still odd to chat to Richmond fans; they find themselves starting off talking like they’re downtrodden before it dawns on them that they no longer need to speak like that anymore.
I imagine it would be a hard shift to get used to, like discovering people suddenly like you. At least, I can only imagine that’s what it’s like, on both counts.
Fremantle have actually got a good record against the Tigers at the MCG, another strange stat that exists just to ruin our tipping.
The Dockers have been improved this year but sides that have trouble scoring don’t tend to fair that well against Richmond.
To be fair, the Dockers scoring is up, along with hush money payments, but not enough.
I’m tipping the Tigers.
St Kilda vs Melbourne (ES) 3:20 PM
I wonder if this can reach the heights of Essendon-Melbourne last week? I certainly hope not because another week of intensive counselling would be expensive.
The Saints’ start to the year has been humorous for many but abject torture for St Kilda supporters.
Talk to a Saints supporter, and they’ll just repeat the phrase ‘I didn’t think it would be this bad’, over and over again while rocking.
You’d think it would have to change at some point, is it possible they’re this bad? I guess it is.
Although, if there’s one team that you can get to mentally, it’s Melbourne, who are yet to shake off the belief they are mentally soft, mainly because they fairly regularly are mentally soft.
This has danger game all over it for Melbourne, but they should be able to get it done, you can always rely on St Kilda’s wayward goalkicking to keep you in a game.
Brisbane vs Collingwood (G) 4:40 PM
I watched Brisbane play live last week, and it’s not something I’d want to do again in a hurry.
The effort is there in patches, but they are far off the pace from the majority of the competition.
Collingwood though are flying, coming off that fantastic 43-point loss to Richmond.
Sitting at 3-3, the Pies have impressed people by not being quite as awful as everyone expected.
It’s feedback I often get from people after they meet me.
If the Pies are as improved as everyone seems to think, then this is a must win.
Brisbane average 63 points a game this season, so no team should lose to them and so far, no one has. I expect this to continue this week.
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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