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Rounds 17-23, 2018

Round 16 review & round 17 comments – by Penny Dredfell (added 12 July 2018 before team announcements)
My picks last week: very good work on the Dogs / Hawks match (although not a not of help to many); you saw both aspects of what I was talking about – the Dogs off to a good start but not enough to get a decisive lead; then falling away terribly after that; a similar story on the Crows, they had the first multiple inside 50s for 1:3 to nil, but then they were gone soon after; I was spot on re the Lions; they won huge against the Blues; although it should be noted that the Blues lost Kade Simpson before the game and had injury troubles as well; I was wrong on the Swans, they did lead at QT, but not by enough.

This week is a tough week coming up and I don’t have much confidence in tipping; the most important games for tipsters are, in order: Roos / Swans; Crows / Cats; GWS / Tigers and Pies / Eagles; I rate Roos and Swans as a tie before the teams come out; would like to leave that game alone; Crows and Cats I want to mainly avoid as well; not sure how the Crows will be after their blip at the start and then being thrashed by the Tigers; likewise, the Cats had a good win last week but the Swans had injury troubles; just looking at teams that lose a game with an errant kick after the siren and then exceed expectations the following week (Cats rounds 15 and 16) and then how they do the week after that… the stats are all over the place with no clear pattern from a smallish sample size; BUT all 5 that I could fins won Q3; it did not help them win the game necessarily; I will go for the Cats to win Q3; on to more genuine tipping predictions: I have little confidence in the Tigers and Pies this week; I expect at least one of them to lose; they play the Giants and Eagles respectively; watch if you can for late changes and team selections – especially the Eagles and GWS; the Tigers have been vulnerable away and the Giants might get some players back; the Tigers have multiple changes due to injury (but with some talent returning); the Giants won 4 in a row and then lost to the Eagles away; it was an honourable loss by a small margin and in line with expectations; teams in this situation can often exceed expectations the following week;  the Eagles are looking to get at least 1 key forward back and the Collingwood injury list is growing; I feel that the Magpie winning run of 7 is teetering on the brink; after this, they play the Roos, Tigers and Swans – key games for  grabbing a top 4 spot;  my BIG tip is to steer clear of being too confident on the Pies and Tigers and – another wimpy tip in a way – at least 1 of them will lose; happy tipping

Added 19 July 2018 before team selections
Finals – who can win it and how is your team going:  okay, I might be a bit brutal here so look away now if you suspect your team might be in the gun.
I’ll start at the bottom:
Carlton – their last big positive move was in the 1980s; that was when teams bought premierships and bought players. The Blues got Stephen Kernaghan and Craig Bradley plus a few others; it snared them the 1987 flag as well as helping win the 1995 premiership.  The Blues are still, to a degree, in that era.  They aren’t as good as other teams as developing talent from scratch; and now the plethora of players they get from other clubs (esp. GWS) are no longer of the Kernaghan / Bradley quality.  They need to fix this problem to improve.

Gold Coast Suns – most tipped them for 17th or 18th and 17th looks likely now; I will give them a tick, because they have had the hardest travel schedule of any team in the history of the AFL.  Plus they have had injuries as well. Judge them on their 2019 performance

Brisbane – looking good at present with 3 wins in a row; need to keep building next year

Saints – awful early but better recently, including a good win over the Dees; their rucks were injured in the pre-season and they never recovered from this; even so, they have been a disappointment

Dogs – surprisingly for some, they almost look like they are on a mini-rebuild; have had terrible injury troubles and never been able to get a settled side in 2018

Dockers – admitted they are on a massive rebuild; patience is required

Bombers – 2017 was a huge year from their – coming out of the wilderness; 2018 was always going to be a tough follow-up year; again, judge them more on their 2019 efforts

Crows – too injured to challenge for the flag this year; Sam Jacobs looks to be playing injured; expect them to play finals in 2019

Hawthorn and North – bracketed together and are 10th and 9th – not good enough to play finals, but injuries to other teams have put them in the mix; good improvement from both teams compared to 2017; especially the Roos who were tipped for the spoon by many; Longggey tipped them for 15th and many considered that too high!

Geelong and GWS – both are teetering on the brink due to a run of injuries; the Giants look the more potent of the two at present, but not expecting either to challenge for the flag

Melbourne – have struggled in big games and / or after long breaks between games; their best is good enough, but I want to see them fire more regularly against quality opposition – next few weeks will be interesting, with them playing Cats away, Crows away, Suns, Swans, Eagles away and then Giants

Port – awful loss last weekend away versus Dockers; would have won bar for injuries, I reckon; some chance for the flag if Paddy Ryder comes good quickly; their current injury list looks long, but includes a fair few fringe players in it

Swans – some chance for the flag if they can avoid injuries from here on in; but I reckon they are just short of being able to win a prelim or GF on the MCG

Collingwood – as 0-2, many pies fans wanted Bucks sacked; now he might be the messiah; the Pies had 2018 earmarked for some years now; they have exceeded all expectations; but I reckon that long term injuries to the following will prevent them from being a flag chance: Tim Broomhead, Lynden Dunn, Tyson Goldsack, Adam Treloar (hopefully back for finals) and Daniel Wells

West Coast Eagles – almost everyone east of Ceduna tipped them to miss the finals; Nicnat is gone for another 12 months (brought his coach to tears – good to see the heart side of footy), but the rest of the list is healthy and they are a huge chance

Richmond – certs to play GF day; but they have the technical charts against them; teams that win big in a GF and also make it the next year tend to get outscored after half time.  those to lose the second half in these circumstances are Roos in the 1976 GF; Hawks 1984 & 1987 & 1989; Bombers 2001; Lions 2004; Cats 2008;  Pies 2011; 7 of these 8 lost the GF, with the Hawks in 1989 falling over the line; the one exception was Hawthorn in 2015; they won the GF in 2014 by 63 points (in my opinion, that game was the best they played in their 4 flag era of 2008 to 2015); then backed it up by outscoring the Eagles by 15 points in the second half in 2015; to summarise, in the past approx 50 years 7 out of 9 teams to have a huge GF win and then make the GF the next year lost; the Tigers seem to be the best team and they are a chance to have a full list to pick from come finals time; I like them as flag favourites from that viewpoint, but the technical charts say BEWARE!!!  If they do make the GF and lose, who will beat them?  I reckon the Eagles (with Sam Mitchell in the coaching group) look the most likely.

Eagles for the flag!!

Round 17 review & round 18 comments – by Penny Dredfell (added 20 July 2018)
My picks last week: very good except for a stupid speculative tip on the Cats winning Q3; really pleased about the Richmond and Collingwood games; last week there were things that stood out clearly to me; this week it’s a little murkier; when an outsider travels interstate and does what the Eagles did last week – look out of it in Q1 (but the Pies didn’t nail it on the scoreboard); fight back in Q2 to be approx level; then draw away in the second half…. both teams usually slightly underperform the following week; but there’s a catch; the Eagles lost Nicnat to an ACL and this may also affect their output; maybe up, maybe down; and they play the Dogs in a lop-sided looking affair; I wouldn’t be surprised if the Dogs lose by less than the 6-7 goals tipped, but I’m leaving this game alone; on to the Pies; they would normally be expected to underperform this week after last week’s technical lead; but they play the Roos and the Roos had a shoot-out with the Swans last Sunday – maybe both teams could be a bit flat this week; again, murky; if the Roos perform poorly, I would expect the Swans could underperform as well, but they play the Suns – who are still trying to get over injuries and the insane travel situation; murky, murky!  The Tigers and Giants played an absolute ripper game which went down to the wire; again, maybe both teams could underperform; the Tigers are expected to win by 5-6 goals tonight; so if the lose or win by under 5 goals, I would be more confident in tipping Port. Now on to my actual tip.  The Bombers are an EXTREME variance team, so I normally wouldn’t do this; but I reckon they are well placed here; the Dockers beat Port in the west last week, but only due to Port injuries and the fact that Port were on the road for the second week; they lose 2 players, Aaron Sandilands is not back as hoped; and the Bombers’ team looks stronger after a rebound win over the Suns; the Bombers are tipped by most to win by 6 goals; I say they will win by 7 plus goals and maybe a bit more.