Mar 29, 2018
A highly unhelpful guide to Round Two
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 Two.
Adelaide vs Richmond (AO) 7:50 PM AEDT
So Adelaide players have had an interesting offseason.
Apparently, several players were separated from the group during training camp and played the Richmond theme song over and over again.
I hope it was at least the old version.
Now, I know they weren’t that good in the Grand Final, but a crime has to fit the punishment, and this is excessive.
You do that to me and I’d confess to anything, it’s certainly in breach of the Geneva convention.
I wouldn’t be surprised that as the Richmond theme song gets played before the game, a few Crows players will now start twitching and having flashbacks.
Even the Melbourne training camp that got the AFL Players’ Association (AFLPA) involved, didn’t have anything so cruel planned.
Forget the AFLPA, the Crows players should call the police.
Adelaide get Taylor Walker back and they’ll be hopeful to bounce back after last week’s loss.
Once, a trip to Adelaide would be a great time to remind Tigers fans of their previous problems they had playing there, but right now the Tiger army can feel no pain.
In fact, once known for his trouble with judging atmospheric conditions, Trent Cotchin now enters his 200th game a Brownlow medalist and Premiership captain. Not a bad little turnaround in just a few years.
I’m picking the Tigers.
North Melbourne vs St Kilda (ES) 4:20 PM AEDT
I have to admit, even North Melbourne and St Kilda is better than no footy on Good Friday.
Once, no footy on the day meant you had to spend time with your family on Good Friday.
I remember one footyless Good Friday a few years ago, when a friend of mine was forced to talk to his dad all day and they got a lot of stuff off their chest, developed a shared understanding of a lot of the painful issues between them and repaired their previously broken relationship. They’ve been really close ever since.
Thankfully, moments like this can no longer happen.
St Kilda only just managed to beat Brisbane last week, so playing a waterlogged North Melbourne is probably a welcomed development.
North will be excited to play somewhere that’s not underwater and where there’s less chance of finding a bull shark in the forward pocket.
After playing in Cairns, the AFL decided a six-day turnaround would be great for North. I’m sure they know best.
Saints to win this.
Carlton vs Gold Coast (ES) 1:45 PM AEDT
Carlton came so close to winning the premiership last week. A little bit of research though and I’ve since discovered that you actually can’t win the premiership in round one.
In fact, they didn’t even win that game, although it was hard to tell reading the match reports.
So perhaps we may need to temper our expectations of Carlton.
Still, after coming off a very low base, it’s understandable that Blues fans are getting excited about basic competency.
They now have some young players who seem familiar with the sport of Australian Rules, which is a new and exciting approach for the club.
The Gold Coast Suns are currently homeless due to the Commonwealth Games being held up there. Bumping the AFL for the Commonwealth Games is like moving a Bruce Springsteen concert for a primary school recorder recital.
I guess it will give the people of the Gold Coast a chance to not turn up to a whole range of different sports.
It’s highly doubtful the people of the Gold Coast will even notice the Suns are gone, so this is the perfect time to relocate them to Tasmania.
I’m tipping Carlton.
Collingwood vs Greater Western Sydney (MCG) 4:35 PM AEDT
If last weekend’s performance wasn’t funny enough, Nathan Buckley spent the week explaining why we are all idiots to think Tom Mitchell’s 54 possessions may have been a bit of a problem.
But knowing Collingwood, they’re just as likely to turn around and, if not win this, be very competitive.
That’s the Collingwood way under Buckley, never bottoming out despite everyone predicting it.
Not since the Queen Mum has someone hung on for so long against expectations.
Greater Western Sydney made the Bulldogs look ordinary last week and they should be fine here, given this isn’t a Preliminary Final.
Toby Greene (the David Warner of the AFL) and Jeremey Cameron were very good against the Dogs, they should cause the Pies all sorts of problems.
Giants to win.
Brisbane vs Melbourne (G) 7:25 PM AEDT
Why do I feel a danger game coming on? Every Melbourne fan looks at this easy win on paper and gets chest pains.
After losing last week in inventive fashion, to then drop this and go 0-2, would be very Melbourne.
Perhaps the Demons will finally take last week’s performance as the lesson that not defending for long periods of the game can be a bad idea.
The thing to watch for here is who will snipe who first, Hodge or Lewis? It’s two masters of the craft of ‘going right up to the line’ meeting. ‘Right up to the line’ of course actually means ‘going way past the line.’
Brisbane fans would have been heartened by their first-round performance, but honorable losses are like any food or drink with ‘diet’ in the title, they leave a bad aftertaste.
Melbourne should be able to get the job done here, but if they don’t they better pray the Australian cricket team do something silly again.
Fremantle vs Essendon (PS) 7:40 PM AEDT
Can Ross Lyon teach his players the basic skills of Australian Rules in a week? That appeared to be the job ahead of him after his team lost by 50 points to the Power last week.
Many of the Dockers players kicked the ball like a European backpacker who has never touched a Sherrin before. I may even be being a bit harsh on European backpackers there.
At least the Dockers are playing in their new home ground, ‘Buddy Franklin Stadium’ and will be hoping to get a win there before the Eagles do.
Essendon though performed well against Adelaide, running over the top of the Crows in impressive fashion.
They also extended John Worsfold’s contract this week. In fact, the Bombers have rebounded from the recent unpleasantness to become one of the more stable teams in the league.
I hope our Cricket teams can do the same, but they’ll need to sack a few people first.
The Bombers have not done well in Perth for a while and this would have to be their best chance.
I’m tipping the Bombers.
Western Bulldogs vs West Coast (ES) 3:20 PM AEST
It would be hard for the Doggies to recreate their performance in Round One, were they looked like a group of people being forced to do something against their will.
If the humiliation of their performance doesn’t spur them on this week, you’d have to wonder what’s wrong at the club.
Injuries have certainly played their part in the Doggies decline and losing Tom Liberatore for the season is a cruel blow you wish no player or club ever had to go through.
Playing West Coast in Melbourne is often a good way to play yourself back into form.
The Eagles have injuries to manage as well.
Nic Naitanui got through last week in his return, with some impressive patches but Josh Kennedy is still out.
Kennedy’s return has been delayed more times than a Sydney train. Without him, the Eagles look as non-threatening as a mid-90s boyband.
I’m tipping the Dogs to bounce back.
Sydney vs Port Adelaide (SCG) 4:40 PM AEST
A good Sunday twilight game! This may be a first.
Sydney were strong last week, beating the Eagles in Perth and even having Buddy take marks that involved lifting his arms above his head.
Port’s recruits performed very well last week, but now they must face an AFL side, so it will be interesting to see how they go at that level.
Paddy Ryder being out is a huge loss for Port, they tend to have struggled in the past without him.
The Power did beat the Swans at the SCG last year, but it was during those first six months when everyone did. I mean, Collingwood even beat them.
I can’t see it being as easy this time and am tipping the Swans.
Geelong vs Hawthorn (MCG) 3:20 PM AEST
Great to see two big Victorian clubs finally get a blockbuster game.
At least these two have put on exciting matches in recent years, unlike Collingwood and dare I say it, my own beloved Demons.
It will be interesting to see if Chris Scott adopts the ‘let Tom Mitchell just have the ball all the time’ strategy Collingwood employed last week.
I’m tipping they won’t, although Tom’s ability to get the ball is bordering on the supernatural. It’s like he’s seen the game he’s playing in before and therefore knows where the ball is going to go every time.
Jeff Kennett spent the week giving interviews about ‘The Kennett Curse’, proving he’s keen for publicity even if it’s about something negative. He also said, “I’ve won a Premiership.” That’s odd, I don’t remember him playing in one, but I have blocked the 1988 Grand Final from my memory.
Only Michael Clarke is better at making something all about himself than Jeff, but it’s a close race.
Geelong would have lost last week if they had been playing any team but Melbourne.
That’s not to say they didn’t have patches of very good play, but the ease with which the Demons came back in the third and fourth quarter would be worrying.
There’s still a fair bit of uncertainty about Dangerfield’s availability, I wonder what the odds are that with injuries, the holy trinity never play together?
I think the Cats should get the job done here though, there were more than a few moments last week were Hawthorn showed concerning signs and only their opponent covered them up.
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