Round 9, 2015

Round 9, 2015

SuperTipping results for R8: 6 winners for a total of 49 + 2 bonus pts = 51 and and ranking improved from 2,356 to 2,014 out of 46,304 tipsters (top 4% – very good) Streak: 2 out of 2 (Cats and Pies both doing it easily).  Streak back up to 6. Ranking improved from 7,566 to 5944 and in top 30% (just fair –  but quite a few streaks went down the gurgler when Port and the Dogs lost on Sunday)

50/50 tips: 1 out of 2 for the week (With the Pies winng by heaps, but the Roos did not get close enough to Freo) and 8 out of 22 for the year = a result of a poor 36% (anything above 50% is good).

The AFL has a tipping comp at
Remember that they also have “the gauntlet” from R5 (where you have to pick 1 only cert per week, but you cannot pick the same team twice) and “pick 5” from R11 (where you pick 5 winners per week and get eliminated if one of your 5 tips loses).

From now on, those still in the comp can refer to the “certs” notes below week to week

Here is the Gantlet guide:
To find the Gauntlet (which is cleverly hidden), go to the AFL tipping website, move the mouse to “tipping” and a drop down menu for Gauntlet will appear.

Early thoughts for R9: the week begins with a couple of hot favourites in the Swans and Hawks; they should get the choccies, then it gets a bit tougher after that; this looks like another week where upsets are likely; the best upset chances appear to be the Pies, Dogs and Crows

Round 9, 2015








Outsider is








No hope








No hope




Alice Spr




Some hope








Tipped to win








No real outsider here








Some chance








A definite chance








No real outsider here








A small hope

Variance: differs depending on unknown technical and fundamental issues – like possible injuries and tracking of form trend

Medium (rarely used) means the website’s tip is expected to be close to the mark

High means expect some likelihood of the website’s tip being several goals off the mark

Extreme means expect a possible wide variation from the website’s predictions or wild momentum swings are expected






1 SYD vs CARL   SCG  Fri, 29 May 7:50 pm

Weather: shower or 2 which should have cleared by game time; moderate breeze

The Swans are certs

The Blues have sold a million newspapers this week and it raises the question of whether to tip a team after they sack a coach.  Hysteria suggests that it is generally only a small advantage.

In the case of the Blues, it is difficult to know what will happen.  Some of the players were very fond of Mick, but the decision could relieve a lot of tension at the club.  For players in this tense situation the workplace can become a place one dreads attending.

The main problem with tipping the Blues (away against a flag hopeful) is that they would have to overachieve by about 10 goals to win.  The Swans have a much shorter injury list, are higher rated and have better form.  Despite the Blues getting back Lachie Henderson, Andrew Carrazzo and Andrew Walker, they lose Bryce Gibbs, Chris Judd and Marc Murphy (ugh), while Michael Jamison is still out.

Furthermore, the Swans should be ready for any Blue bravado.

You should also be aware that a few tipsters are going to fall into tipping the Blues.  Since their real chances of winning are about 1%, don’t be one of these people who gravitates towards tipping them like a bug drawn to an Insect-O-Cutor.

Swans by 61 points and certs

Post Match Review: Swans were tipped by 61 points and they won by 60.  Analysis was pretty good; despite the big win, the Swans were actually favoured to win by more.  And it looked likely at 3QT, but the Blues won a quarter for the first time since 2Q in R6 vs Brisbane.

The analysis came up with two positives here:
A: the Swans were listed as total certs and the idea of “winning after the coach was sacked” was put into perspective; and
B: it predicted a margin less than the experts suggested (this was probably more due to the Swans easing off a bit then)

Slightly helping the Blues was the late withdrawal of Heath Grundy.


2 HAW vs   GCS  Aurora Stadium   Sat, 30 May 1:45 pm

Weather: Shower or two; windy

The Hawks are the certs of the round

Hawthorn has been on a roller coaster this year – winning well and then losing narrowly.   Because they still look pretty potent, nobody is waving the red flag at this stage.  But the teams that they have lost to are sitting 3rd, 4th, 9th and 13th.  They still have to face the Crows away, Freo at home, Sydney away, Eagles away with late season games against the Cats and Port.

One reason why no one is too concerned is that the Hawks play the injured Suns and then the Saints prior to their bye.  Everyone expects them to be 6 and 4 at the break.

One thing in their favour right now is that they are playing the most injury-depleted team in the AFL.

The Suns are facing the Hawks gun midfield without Gazza, Jaeger O’Meara, David Swallow and, now Dion Prestia – arguably their best 4 midfielders.  A small positive is that they get back Jack Martin and Steven May.

The Hawks have dropped Matthew Suckling and William Langford.  This would have been considered sacrilege last year.  Some Hawk fans see definite weaknesses in Suckling’s game, but Langford is the bigger surprise.  This could be a move to shake the team out of their inconsistency.  There are very small doubts on Cyril Rioli and Brian Lake,

The Hawks won’t be too flattened by last week’s game.  Hawks by 74 points and certs of the week.

Post Match Review: Hawks were tipped by 74 points and they won by 53.  Analysis was fair.  It is of interest that both the Swans and Hawks underperformed this week (but both still won easily against lower rated opposition).

Not helping the Hawks were the late withdrawals of Jordan Lewis (significant) and Ryan Schoenmakers (not so important) – replaced by Angus Litherland and Matt Suckling.

Charlie Dixon’s poor game and Jack Martin’s early injury didn’t help the Suns, but then again, Jarryd Roughead also produced low numbers.

All in all, it was probably the fact that the game was an “easy kill” after the GF replay that caused the Hawks to slightly underperform.


3 MELB vs PORT  TIO Traegar Park (Alice Springs) Sat, 30 May 1:40 pm (2.10pm eastern)

Weather: dry; moderate breeze and a top of 26

Port is the tip – without great confidence

Please note that this game is in Alice Springs, NT and not in Melbourne.  On SEN Thursday noon (a great show), Glenn Luff reckons that Port showed signs of turning the corner last weekend against Richmond – in that they had the ball in their forward half a lot more.  David King reckons that the game will be determined by the speed.  Port wins when they can have the game at a lightning pace.  Teams beat Port when they slow in down and play tempo footy – and that’s what the Dees have done a lot under Paul Roos.

From a technical viewpoint, it is noted that Port tends to go through slumps each season.  Last year, they went from R15 to R20 and lost every game except for a home 3 point win over the Dees in R18 when they were 7 goal favourites.  They were beaten favourites in four games around that match – losing to the Crows, Bombers at home, Richmond away and Collingwood away.  Then they had a respectable home loss to the Swans before they had an away narrow win to an “out of puff” Suns team.

In 2013, they lost R6-10 – losing to North away, Tigers at home, Carlton away (yes, really), Geelong at home and then Dogs away.  They were beaten favourites against the Tigers and Dogs.  They snapped out of their slump by having a R11 bye and then scored 12:7 to 1:5 in the first half against the Giants away and then they hit their straps.

Taking a lead from the 2013 season, the most likely thing is a narrow, unimpressive win over the Dees.  But it is hard to get too enthusiastic about them.

The Dees had a big win over a disappointing Dogs outfit.  It was a relief to see them perform well after the hammering in R7.  But there is some question over this win.  The Dogs looked awfully flat after their R7 narrow loss to Freo.  So, perhaps the Dees win last weekend may provide a false lead.

Because of this uncertainty – and Port being under a ?, this will be marked as an EXTREME variance game.

Port by 17 points, but not certs

Post Match Review: Port was tipped by 17 points and they won by 61 points.  The analysis was a long way off in terms of the margin.  It seems that the win over the Dogs last weekend (see above in green – colour added after game) was definitely a false lead.

The positive in the analysis (apart from tipping the winner) was labelling the game as an EXTREME variance game.  This was certainly true.  The Dees went from about 4 goals up to eventually lose by over 10 goals.

The game was interesting from a technical viewpoint.  The most crucial goal of all was the Chad Wingard goal in 3Q.  There had been a goal drought after HT – which was broken at the 15 minute mark by Matt Jones for the Dees. This put them 8 points behind.  In share trading terms, it was a “dead cat bounce”.  The Wingard goal came a minute later and then the Dees were cooked.  Had the Dees been able to kick 2 in a row – or, at least, stop Port from getting a quick reply, they may have been able to make a real fight of it.

Not helping the Dees was that the inclusions (Neville Jetta and Jack Viney – both back from injuries) were not able to contribute much between them (a total of 49 SC points with Jetta being subbed off for Viney).


4 WBD vs GWS   Docklands   Sat, 30 May 4:35 pm

The Dogs in an upset

Please refer to Penny’s comments on this game at:

According to the AFL website, “The FIRED-UP Western Bulldogs midfielder Mitch Wallis says he ‘pencilled in’ Saturday’s clash against Greater Western Sydney at the start of the season.  Wallis said the disappointing finish to the 2014 season still burns the group.

This has prompted Penny to review lower level teams who have a last round shocker.  The article provides enough ammunition for the Dogs to be the tip here.

But hasn’t Wallis just told the whole world about the team’s plan and, thereby, nullified it? Not quite.  Remember that the Hawks knew the Swans were coming for them, but it didn’t stop the Swans being up 6 goals to zip at QT last weekend.

Purely on recent form, however, the Giants deserve to be the favourites.  The Dogs really stank it up last weekend against the Dees and looked listless or incompetent at times.

Maybe the loss can be explained by Wallis’ comments above.  They had a huge go at Freo in R8 and they knew that they were going to also be really “UP” for the Giants.  In between, they had an “easy game” against Melbourne.  It looks like they got a bit ahead of themselves last weekend.

So expect them to be really “UP” again this weekend.  Marcus Bontempelli will create interest.  He was ordinary after being tagged by Bernie Vince “shears a sheep”.

Lin Jong has produced low numbers since coming back from injury and has been dropped – along with 3 others + Brett Goodes & Stewart Crameri out injured.  Six changes is on the limit as far as team cohesion goes. Any more than that and it would be hard to pick them.

The Dogs obviously wanted to play Will Minson this week against the big unit in Shane Mumford and managed to get him off his umpire contact charge.  The ability of Mumford to give his classy mids first use of the ball will go a long way to determining the outcome of the game.

Minson has the size (unlike the omitted Ayce “Ventura” Cordy).  The Dogs would be aiming to break even in clearances and win elsewhere.

The Giants have been up for a while now and are probably due for a downer.

Dogs by 7 points in an upset

Post Match Review: Dogs were tipped by 7 points and they won by 45.  All credit here goes to Penny for providing the connection between the last round last year and the Bulldogs’ mindset coming into this game.  Her insight also had a big bearing in the scoring patterns of the game.  The Dogs jumped out to a big early lead

Will Minson had many fewer hot-outs than Shane Mumford, but scored more SC points; and the Dogs won the clearances.

Lin Jong was slightly better this week after being a late replacement for Jake Stringer.  Ex Giant Tom Boyd, who was poor last week, improved markedly whereas, up the other end, Cam McCarthy had the clamps put on him by Lukas Webb.

The Giants were expected to fight back a bit better than they did in the final three terms.

Good news for Wallis is that he was the one that told the entire world and he backed it up with 153 SC points.  Bontempelli was better before being subbed off in 4Q after a adductor strain.

It is always very positive to correctly tip an outsider!


5 RICH vs ESS     MCG Sat, 30 May 7:25 pm

Weather: dry; breezy

The Tigers probably

This is 40yo Dustin Fletcher’s 400th game, but he won’t be wheeled out with a rug over his knee. That will be saved for his 4,000th.  He is only the third one to join the 400 club – with Brent Harvey hot on his heels.

The “no change” for Essendon means that David Zaharakis is still not back.  There is a slight risk on Paul Chapman and the 400 game man – but both are expected to play.

This is a really tough game to pick.  Are the Dons really back to top form?  There is some concern that the Lions were very ordinary last weekend – unable to reproduce their R7 form which saw them topple Port at home.  Apart from that win and their away win over Carlton, the Lions have been below average in 2015.  And the gloss was taken off the Dons close loss to the Roos in R7 when North got totally flogged by Freo a week later.

Last year in this game, the Bombers flew out of the blocks after coming off the bye and were 4:4 to 0:1 at QT.  The Tigers never really got back into it.  No doubt they will be keen not to blow 1Q this time.

There are different concerns about Richmond.  Experts from outside and the club internally reckons that the absorption of pressure in 3Q last week (when Port was really pushing hard) was the best produced by the club in a long time.

This is a positive, of course.  But it can be difficult for a team to “come up” again after such a performance. What does help the Tigers to get themselves back up (with a 6 day break after travelling) is that this is a huge game.  It would be more dangerous for the Tigers had they been in a game where they were clear favourites.

Despite the teams being so evenly matched, the doubts on both teams makes this an EXTREME variance game.

Tigers by 2 points in a very tough game to pick

Post Match Review: Tigers were tipped by 2 points and they won by 13.  Analysis was fair.

Chappy scored 58 SC points and Fletch 49 before being subbed off and will miss next week.  Jobe Watson also struggled with injury and only scored 72 SC.

So the Dons did okay – given their problems.  Would Fletch have been rested if it had not been a milestone game?  Maybe!

Possibly the Tigers could have taken advantage of Bomber injuries – but, then again, they could have been a little flat after the huge effort against the Power last weekend.

The game did NOT play out like an EXTREME variance game.  As it turned out, the concerns on each side almost evened out.  Of interest was that the Tigers won well in 1Q this time after being blown out of the water in this game last year (but note that they played at the “G” in round 20 between the Dreamtime games)


6 ADEL vs FREO            ADEL Oval        Sat, 30 May 7:10 pm (7.40pm eastern)

Weather: chance of a shower or 2; breezy

The Dockers have to be tipped in their current form

The Dockers were expected to struggle a little against an undermanned North midfield last weekend; but they blew them off the park.  Given the form of both Freo and the Crows recently, this looks to be an easy one for Freo.

But there are a few factors which make this a risky tip.  Firstly, the Roos were depleted in midfield and then Todd Goldstein copped a knock in 3Q and had his worst game for the year.

Then we consider that the Crows had a few players with knocks injuries last weekend against the Giants.  Two of those, Rory Laird and Luke Brown, may have to pass fitness tests before playing.  Brodie Smith still isn’t back yet after colliding with Saint Nick Riewoldt 2 weeks ago.

Given the Crows longer injury list than that of Freo, the Dockers would probably have to be off their game a bit and “due for a loss” to lose this one.  They appeared to be heading that way after R7, but the big R8 win over North may have bucked the trend.

The big R8 win by Freo has created enough uncertainty to make this an EXTREME variance game.

Dockers by 13 points

Post Match Review: Dockers were tipped by 13 points and they won by 11.  Analysis was very close in terms of margin, but the EXTREME variance pattern did not emerge. The EXTREME call was made on the back of the huge R8 win by Freo – which called into question whether they are due for a loss or not – and also the doubts on Crows Laird and Brown.

As it turned out, Laird was excellent and Brown competent.  As for Freo, they are in a “finding a way to way” pattern more so than a “slowing down late and due for a loss”.

“Work rate and hardness down at half time”, said Ross Lyon. But he was pleased with 2H and especially 4Q.  This indicates that the Dockers have been “up for a long time” and are struggling a little to maintain top effort every week, but were still good enough to win.  With an injury quotient of 10 to the Crows 22, they possibly should have won by more; but the Crows probably played with more intensity – but not ENOUGH more to register a win.


7 BRIS vs STK     Gabba         Sun, 31 May 1:10 pm

Weather: light winds; slight chance of a shower; humidity moderate

The Lions, without great confidence

Neither side is setting the world on fire this year, but the Lions look to have a slight edge on the Saints.

They have the home ground advantage and slightly better form.  However, their injury list is longer and the Saints do get back a few good players this week – headlined by Nick Riewoldt.

James Aish produced low numbers last weekend after looking to have turned the corner the previous week.

These sides last played in Wellington NZ when the Lions hung on grimly for a narrow win.  Perhaps the Saints may be desperate for revenge (and, at least, not to be jumped in 1Q), but the Lions are still slightly favoured.

History teaches us, however, not to get too excited about tipping teams as lowly rated as Brisbane.

Lions by 12 points, but not keen on the game

Post Match Review: Lions were tipped by 12 points but the Saints won by 22.  Analysis was better than it looked.  The scoring trend was definitely an EXTREME variance trend, but it could be one that put down to in game injuries.

But before the game, the Lions lost Darcy Gardiner.  Although not a superstar, this was important – because the Lions were already short on talls.  They already were missing the following 190cm + players: Michael Close, Jonathan Freeman, Matt Maguire, Luke McGuane, Daniel McStay, Daniel Merrett, Jackson Paine, Brent Staker & Trent West.

So when Riewoldt comes back from concussion and stars, it hurts the Lions even more.  Brisbane were 29 points up in 1Q, but injuries to Rohan Bewick, Ryan Harwood (concussion), Jed Adcock (calf), Claye Beams (knee), Tom Rockliff (ribs) and James Aish brought their momentum undone.  Only Aish and Rockliff were able to get close to their normal output – the others really struggled.

“With a patched up team, we were able to compete to the end”, said coach Justin Leppitsch.

The Saints deserve a big tick for quickly reeling in Brisbane in 2Q, but probably should have drawn away to win by more in the end.

Would the Lions have been able to win with a full 22 on the park?  The guess is “probably”, but one will never really know.


8 COLL vs NMFC         MCG Sun, 31 May 3:20 pm

Weather: a few showers and breezy

The Roos just

The Andrew Swallow has been named in the 7 man bench and is expected to be declared fit on the weekend.  Ben Brown may also be in some doubt, but has been named in the 18.  He is such a critical player for the Roos.  If he can perform at a high level, they would be tipped with a bit of confidence.  And Swallow would be a bonus.

The Pies looked good last weekend, but it was against a substandard Suns team with many stars missing.  The Suns were a rotation short late in the game and dropped off badly.

The Roos were awful last weekend (playing like a flu affected team) after doing okay against Essendon the previous Friday.

Both teams have fairly sizeable injury lists and need to get players back soon to be finals threats.

The uncertainty lies more with the Roos than the Pies.  If they can bounce back strongly from the shocker against Freo last week, then they should be favoured.  And, while there is no guarantee that they can do that, they have been pretty good in matches recently a week after an awful performance.

This is an EXTREME variance game – and one to avoid if you can.

Roos by 2 points

Post Match Review: Roos were tipped by 2 points but the Pies won by 17.  Analysis was reasonably good – despite tipping a loss.  Firstly, given the fact that the Roos are down on quality in the midfield due to injuries, Swallow NOT coming upward a significant negative.  Then Brown (mentioned above) only contributed 42 SC points.  This suggests that he was NQR.

It is possible that the Pies were somewhat lulled into a false sense of security after playing an undermanned Suns team the previous week.  And the Roos were really good early.  Here is a list of players who produce little after half time for the Roos in terms of DT points: Michael Firrito 8 DT points, Robbie Nahas 26, Jamie McMillan 16, Brent Harvey 27 and Ryan Bastinac 17.

“As disgusting a performance I have been involved with, since I have been at North Melbourne”, said coach Brad Scott. “We’ll be doing something about it – don’t worry about that”.   Now he goes under the knife and won’t coach for a month or so.

PS: when the tip is so close, the logical thing to do would be to think about changing your tip (as can be done in – when a key player is a late withdrawal.  Some people do it when they pick a team by over a goal.  This is rarely a good idea.  The general guide is to think about changing your tip when you the a team by less than 4 points and the player is significant (not the 20th player going out to allow the 23rd player to come in)


9 WCE vs GEEL Subi  Sun, 31 May 2:40 pm (4.40pm eastern)

Weather: dry; light winds

The Eagles to do it

Both teams are going pretty well in recent weeks.  The Eagles are really on a roll since losing the Derby, while the Cats have won 3 of 4 with a hiccup against Sydney up north.  And both have managed various injury issues okay.

We might have the pleasure of Selwood vs Selwood this weekend.  The Cats have been better of late as their less famous players have stepped up – especially Mark Blicavs playing as a tall midfielder.

Form and home ground advantage means that the Eagles will be tipped with some degree of confidence.  There is the concern that Geelong has a 9 day break after a relatively soft-ish game against Carlton. This is not really ideal.

The Eagles have had 2 easy kills (Suns at home, Saints away) following a famous win away over Port.  So they also have not been really challenged in the past week or two.

Eagles by 17 points but not certs.

Post Match Review: Eagles were tipped by 17 points and they won by 56.  Analysis was so-so.  The fact that the Cats had a nice rest after an easy win over the Blues probably, in hindsight, should have been more weight. The Cats weren’t in the game after a promising start.  They were close for most of the first 3Q, but poor kicking by the Eagles kept the Cats in it.

The injuries to Geelong talls had a significant impact – not in the result – but in the margin.  The Eagles were always going to win, but they have a lack of tall defenders.  The Cats were a chance to stretch them in this area, but Mitch Clark had to play some time in the ruck when Rhys Stanley was injured; then Clark himself went off injured.  Shane Kersten needed to stand up in the forward line under these circumstances, but produced low numbers.

The Eagles have exceeded almost everyone’s expectations this season.  Very few had them in the top 8





Best cert: the Hawks (never in doubt), then the Swans (never in doubt); others are tempting, but that will do it for this week

Best Outsider:  the Dogs stand out as the best outsider of the week (they won)

Best 50/50 (a segment which picks the game which the experts have wrongly rated): The Dogs to win – or to lose by less than 10 points (the win looked safe all game)

Happy tipping!  This is yet another a tricky week with 3-4 games that are truly hard to tip in with much confidence (but with only 1 genuine outsider winning – the Saints)