Apr 06, 2018
A highly unhelpful guide to Round Three
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 Three.
Carlton vs Collingwood (MCG) 7:50 PM
The battle for 16th spot heats up as these longtime foes clash at the MCG in a match that is still more interesting than the Commonwealth Games.
Don’t get me wrong, belting Tonga in the lawn bowls is still great television.
It’s good to see two teams getting a prime-time slot based purely on the quality of football they play.
Both sets of fans will be approaching this with a sense of dread as a 0-3 start is not good unless you are the Sydney Swans.
Collingwood’s injury list is longer than Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and unlike a phoenix, I don’t see the Pies rising from the fire.
The Pies have had such bad luck with injury, why even Daniel Wells is injured at the moment.
If Brodie Grundy gets injured, we can pretty much stick a fork in Collingwood’s season because they will be done.
Carlton should get back Matthew Kreuzer but will want to improve on last week by not missing targets by several postcodes.
If the Blues can have their kicks go within five metres of a teammate, they will win.
That’s a big if but I think they can do it.
Port Adelaide vs Brisbane (AO) 1:45 PM
My mind is still adjusting to the fact Port Adelaide might be the real deal.
Let’s not get too carried away yet, but Power supporters would be pretty happy with how the season has started.
Everyone likes happy Power fans. It’s safer.
Tom Rockliff will face his old side and seems to be enjoying not having to get the entire team’s possessions every week. In fact, he’s enjoying it so much he barely had any last week.
Brisbane are much improved this season and probably should have beaten Melbourne last Saturday night.
It still feels weird seeing Luke Hodge in a Lions jumper though, like kissing your cousin, it feels weird no matter how much you try to get past it.
At least that’s what I’m told.
I’m tipping we see the phrase ‘gallant’ used a lot to describe Lions’ losses this year, which is a step up from ‘soul destroying’.
Port to win this.
Melbourne vs North Melbourne (MCG) 2:10 PM
North Melbourne have been pokies free for a decade and this week Melbourne announced they’d be joining them, making this the ‘War for the Moral High Ground’.
The Kangaroos and Demons may be willing to forgo the rivers of gold that are the pokies but not many other Victorian-based AFL clubs seem that keen to join them.
Hawthorn currently top the pokies ladder, making them the ‘Can’t Feed my Family” Club.
The AFL have taken a very strong stance on this issue over the years, by talking about it a bit, while also allowing it to happen.
Melbourne don’t really do ‘beating North Melbourne’, and Demon fans are all assuming the brace position as this game approaches.
North’s biggest problem is they played St Kilda last week, which means they were basically forced to play another sport. I’m not sure what sport it was, but it wasn’t Australian Rules.
It is a step up in class for the Roos, Melbourne will only not play for one quarter, not four like the Saints.
A detailed statistical analysis of these two teams show a slight trend in favour of North; they’ve won the last 17 games.
The last time the Demons beat North was in 2006.
That was the year Justin Timberlake brought sexy back. Unfortunately, not even Justin Timberlake can bring the Demons back.
I’m going to tip Melbourne for a laugh; surely you can’t lose to a team 17 times in a row? Can you? Please tell me you can’t! Please, I need this.
Gold Coast vs Fremantle (PS) 4:35 PM
This is a Suns home game, so naturally, it is being held in Perth.
Now, I’m the first to admit that I paid not enough attention in geography class, but I’m pretty confident Perth is some distance from the Gold Coast. It’s at least a few hours drive.
The Suns sold their home game, which makes sense if you don’t have any fans, why not sell it?
For a team that’s barely playing at home due to the Empire Games and is off to China for a home game later in the year, why wouldn’t you want a trip to Perth?
Travelling a lot is always good for sporting teams.
Stuart Dew must be wondering when the Suns are going to start being run like a proper AFL club at some point.
For Fremantle, I imagine they’d be happy to play all their away games at home, but they’re not Collingwood.
The Dockers had a good win against the Bombers last week, but Tom Lynch would be worrying them a bit given his eight goals last week,
It’s important to remember though that they came against Carlton.
Fremantle to win this.
Sydney vs Greater Western Sydney (SCG) 7:25 PM
Sydney will come to a standstill.
Not because of this game, but due to years of poor urban planning and investment in infrastructure.
Giants fans heading to the SCG will add one extra Tarago to the roads though.
This has to be arguably match of the round, with both these sides likely to feature in September.
Last week, the Swans lost at home to Port Adelaide, which was not ideal, but the Giants struggled against Collingwood, which is a worrying sign.
The Giants are known for having a lot of talent, but for much of the game against the Pies, it was hard to spot it.
Still, despite not playing their best, they’re 2-0, and a win here would make them the ones to catch.
I’m not sure what to make of the Swans performance last week, they seemed not to be switched on, and it’s always hard to match Port, now that Jack Watts has brought that hard edge to the Power.
I’m tipping the Giants.
St Kilda vs Adelaide (ES) 7:25 PM
Nick Riewoldt said this week that it’s too early to panic about the Saints, but I tend to think it’s too late to panic.
Panic early and often, that’s my motto.
In fact, low-level panic is the soundtrack to my life.
It is sad that St Kilda’s season is over in round two, but these things happen sometimes.
A few Saints fans have said to me, ‘Surely we can’t play that badly every week?’
You’d hope that would be true, but I’m worried their players may see it as a challenge.
Adelaide took care of Richmond last week, so this should be no problem.
The only danger is the Saints find some of the pride that was so lacking last week and play like they actually want to be in the AFL.
Adelaide have beaten St Kilda the last seven times they’ve played, and if St Kilda dish up what they served last week, it will be eight in a row. I’m tipping the Crows.
Richmond vs Hawthorn (MCG) 1:10 PM
The Tigers premiership defense is in tatters, as they now sit at 1-1. Obviously, time to play the kids and start studying the draft.
That Crows supporter pointed out to Damien Hardwick last week that the Tigers can’t play at the MCG every week, but they can play there a lot, and the Grand Final is conveniently played there.
I’m not sure why Hardwick got so angry, it seemed less a sledge and more just a statement of fact.
Perhaps Hawks fans could this week yell out things like ‘gravity is not a force, but a consequence of the curvature of space-time caused by the uneven distribution of mass.”
It should drive Hardwick crazy.
The Hawks played a classic last week but have a much shorter break than the Tigers.
The Hawks are worth watching just to see the obscene amount of possessions Tom Mitchell will get.
He is currently averaging 47 disposals a game, making him Steve Smith’s obvious replacement.
Tigers to win.
Western Bulldogs vs Essendon (ES) 3:20 PM
It’s been a difficult start to the year for Bulldogs fans, a group who have been used to success all their lives.
What’s gone wrong for the Bulldogs since their Premiership? Well, that’s easy, everything.
They don’t even seem a shell of their former selves. Not since Macaulay Culkin has something spiralled out of control so quickly.
This game will be notable due to Jake ‘Not the Full Package” Stringer facing his old side.
Stringer hasn’t exactly been the recruit of the year yet, but to our knowledge, he hasn’t done anything to make all his new teammates hate him, so baby steps.
Essendon are returning from Perth and will be looking forward to being able to have this light training drill and rest up.
Bombers to win.
West Coast vs Geelong (PS) 4:40 PM
The Eagles couldn’t believe their luck last week. They prepared to play the Western Bulldogs at home, but a substitution teacher showed up instead, and they had no idea what they were doing.
This week though the Cats are in town and they do know what they’re doing.
The Eagles found some gold with Liam Ryan and who doesn’t like a person with a surname that can also be a first name?
My favourite player ever with an interchangeable surname/first name combo is, of course, Robert DiPierdomenico.
Depending on the scenario, the Cats could have been 2-0 right now or 0-2, so 1-1 is probably a reasonable return.
It’s hard to shake off the idea that while the Cats have three superstars, they are about as deep as David Warner.
Still, they should have the midfield firepower against the Eagles here.
Titus will be performing at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the Sydney Comedy Festival.
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