We bounced again properly this week, nailing 5 out of six and coming oh so near an ideal spherical (You let me down Gold Coast! I believed in you!).
Let’s hold it going for the final of the bye rounds.
Thursday 20th June
West Coast vs Essendon
eight.10pm at Optus Stadium
Two issues are true about West Coast in 2019. The primary is that statistically talking they aren’t a premiership contender.
They examine in at a particularly mediocre ninth in proportion, tenth in factors scored and seventh in factors conceded. Much more damning is their fourth worst inside 50 differential and second worst turnover differential.
The second factor concerning the Eagles is that regardless of all of the numbers indicating they’re not way more than a center of the highway aspect, they continue to be an excellent probability to complete within the prime 4.
With eight wins already within the financial institution, West Coast will play six extra video games at Optus Stadium (together with their solely two towards groups at the moment within the prime 4), the place they’re 5-1 to this point this season.
Of the opposite 4 video games away from residence, three shall be towards groups at the moment 12th or decrease on the ladder.
To translate that, the Eagles schedule is such that they need to have a reasonably clear roadmap to 15 or 16 wins by the tip of the 12 months.
Essendon, alternatively, want a ton of issues to go proper for them to even make the finals; successful this sport could be an enormous coup.
The Bombers did beat West Coast at this venue virtually precisely one 12 months in the past to the day, nevertheless this season’s version will function some key variations.
For starters, West Coast’s lynchpin forwards Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling missed final 12 months’s sport by means of harm however each are actually wholesome and inside the highest ten for targets kicked.
On the opposite finish of the spectrum, Jake Stringer kicked three targets within the first quarter and was instrumental in Essendon getting the bounce on the Eagles, however he gained’t play on Thursday night time after copping a leg harm final week.
These key personnel variations (West Coast can even deliver again Shannon Hurn and Elliot Yeo, their two greatest gamers this season, after they missed the loss towards Sydney earlier than the bye) plus the massive residence floor benefit issue ought to put the Eagles over.
The tip: West Coast
Friday 21st June
Sydney vs Hawthorn
7.50pm at SCG
Properly, on the very least we all know this one must be shut. The Hawks have had the proverbial wooden on the Swans lately, successful 4 of the previous 5 video games, with the common margin of the 5 being simply 6.eight factors.
On the constructive aspect for Sydney, they’ve began to show round their kind on the SCG, having gained two of their final three on the floor, with the one loss coming towards Collingwood by solely seven factors.
The potential returns of Josh Kennedy, Zak Jones and Will Hayward could be very helpful too.
In the meantime, right here are some things Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson has executed this 12 months: created a brand new euphemism for tanking by referring to his crew as being in an “exploration section”; publicly and unapologetically put Jarryd Roughead, top-of-the-line gamers of his tenure, out to pasture; acknowledging that the Hawks are “center of the highway” and speculated that “it may very well be ten years, it may very well be ten months” earlier than they’re a contender once more.
In fact, it was within the week instantly following Clarkson dropping Roughead and making these latter statements that the Hawks scored their largest win of the season, towards GWS – a contender.
To me, that match looms as one of the weird outcomes we’ll see this season, and was most likely extra of a crap-the-bed sport from the Giants moderately than a significant indicator of Hawthorn’s means.
As a substitute, I say let’s take Clarkson at his phrase. I watched them play this week, and guess what? They’re center of the highway!
Not that the Swans are way more than that both, however with residence floor and the very best participant on both crew (Buddy Franklin, wanting wholesome once more), let’s go along with Sydney in one other tight sport.
The tip: Sydney
Saturday 22nd June
Melbourne vs Fremantle
1.45pm at MCG
I’ve been fading Melbourne for quite a few weeks now due primarily to their comical ineptness in entrance of purpose, however this week I believe they’ll win regardless of that.
For the explanation why, let’s have a look at Fremantle’s numbers away from residence this 12 months.
On first look, it’s not too unhealthy: a 2-Three document with very spectacular victories towards prime three sides Collingwood and GWS.
Nevertheless, the Dockers are scoring a paltry 66 factors per sport (ppg) away from the pleasant confines of Optus Stadium, a quantity that may be second worst within the league over the complete season.
Whereas we’re on that matter, Melbourne’s full season common of 69.eight ppg is definitely second worst within the league.
Every thing about this match screams low-scoring and shut, so on the threat of being on the fallacious aspect of some Michael Walters magic but once more (it was a thrill having the ability to root for him whereas watching final week’s sport towards Port, he single handedly may change my thoughts on this one), I believe the Demons are the crew that comes out simply forward.
The tip: Melbourne
St Kilda vs Brisbane
four.35pm at Marvel Stadium
The Lions simply can’t appear to get a agency grip on the finals spot that has been sitting there for them since they began the season with a 5-2 document.
Since then, they’ve gone 2-Three with all three losses on the highway, together with two big missed alternatives towards non-finals certain groups (Bulldogs, Carlton).
Brisbane must be embarrassed after blowing a six-goal lead towards the Blues the week earlier than their bye, however they get an ideal probability for redemption on the similar venue this weekend towards the struggling St Kilda.
The Saints, in a phrase, are unhealthy. They’ve managed to scrape collectively a few wins from their final three matches, however these victories got here towards the literal backside two groups within the league. Rely me lower than impressed.
One thing else I don’t put a lot inventory into is the potential return of Dan Hannebery. This dude seemed completely cooked final 12 months and missed the primary half of this season as his physique seemingly failed in the course of the preseason.
I hope I’m fallacious, as a result of I liked watching him in his prime, however he appears much more more likely to be a legal responsibility than the three-time All Australian he was for Sydney.
To get again to the Lions, they need to be treating this as a borderline must-win, contemplating how robust the remainder of their away schedule is (Giants, Port Adelaide, Hawthorn in Tasmania, Richmond).
Reverse their current kind towards the Saints (they’ve dropped the final 4) and deal with enterprise on the Gabba, the place they’ve 5 extra matches this 12 months (4 towards non-finals groups, the final towards Geelong… we’ll write that one off), and Brisbane must be again within the finals.
The tip: Brisbane
Port Adelaide vs Geelong
7.40pm at Adelaide Oval
To paraphrase skilled wrestling legend/Quick and the Livid present stealer The Rock: Lastly, the Energy have come again to the Adelaide Oval.
Port Adelaide haven’t performed a match at their residence floor since Could 19th; since then they’ve gone 1-2, ceding ascendancy within the race for one of many final positions within the finals. However now, after travelling to China and each ends of Australia over the previous month, the Port gamers can take a break from racking up frequent flyer miles for the following 4 weeks.
Even higher for the Energy, it seems to be like they’re wholesome once more, with Ollie Wines, Brad Ebert and Charlie Dixon all possible starters this week.
Issues are beginning to flip round, proper? Properly, we would have to attend yet one more week for that, as a result of welcoming Port Adelaide residence are the all-conquering Cats. What extra can we are saying about Geelong at this level?
I laid out how dominant they’ve been in a number of key areas a few weeks in the past (kindly disregard the truth that I used to be tipping them to be upset that week), till additional discover I’ll be selecting them each week.
The tip: Geelong
Sunday 23rd June
Western Bulldogs vs Collingwood
Three.20pm at Marvel Stadium
Talking of 2019’s dominant squads, Collingwood ought to torch the Bulldogs defence this week. The Canines are leaking a league worst 1.81 factors per inside 50 conceded to this point this season.
To place that in perspective, GWS are at the moment scoring 1.83 factors per inside 50, second greatest within the comp.
So principally, when groups play towards the Bulldogs this 12 months, they turn out to be as offensively potent as a crew that employs Jeremy Cameron.
Not that the Pies want that a lot assist, they’re already prime 4 within the league at 1.67 factors per inside 50 on the season (shedding Jaidyn Stephenson does damage although, that man had been superior this 12 months). This might get ugly for the Canines.
The tip: Collingwood
Byes: Adelaide, Carlton, Gold Coast, GWS, North Melbourne, Richmond
Final week: 5-1
Total document: 71-40