2021 Rounds 9 – 16

Round 9

St KildavGeelongDocklandsMay 14 (Fri 7:50pm)
SydneyvCollingwoodSCGMay 15 (Sat 1:45pm)
HawthornvNorth MelbourneLaunceston StadiumMay 15 (Sat 2:10pm)
Gold CoastvBrisbane LionsGold Coast StadiumMay 15 (Sat 4:35pm)
RichmondvGWS GiantsDocklandsMay 15 (Sat 7:25pm)
Port AdelaidevWestern BulldogsAdel OvalMay 15 (Sat 7:40pm)
EssendonvFremantleDocklandsMay 16 (Sun 1:10pm)
MelbournevCarltonMCGMay 16 (Sun 3:20pm)
West CoastvAdelaidePerth StadiumMay 16 (Sun 4:40pm)

Tips (added Wednesday)
Geelong to defeat St Kilda by 7 points, EXTREME variance and a danger game
It seems obvious that anyone who beats the reigning premier by over 10 goals should be tipped the following week. And I have. But I am wary of a letdown for the Cats after a huge win and a restful weekend.

Seb Roos should be back for the Saints after missing last week for his baby’s birth. The Cats will lose Sam Simpson and maybe Esava Ratugolea. The Saints can win by being that little bit sharper and winning in the ruck.

It’s also possible that the Cats continue the momentum and win big; don’t like the game

Sydney Swans to defeat Collingwood by 1 point, EXTREME variance and a danger game
The Swans are huge favourites here and the obvious tip; but the Pies have just snapped a 5 game losing streak with an unimpressive win against the likely wooden spooner. It’s the perfect scenario for the Pies to start like a rocket and never be headed as outsiders.

Of concern, however, is that they will lose Jordan Roughead and Nathan Murphy; and they may still be in “trouble at the club” mode. In that case, the Swans could win huge! Another game to avoid!

Hawthorn to defeat North Melbourne by 28 points, certs just and the Gauntlet tip.
One could argue that there are better Gauntlet tips this week and I wouldn’t argue too much; there’s the Eagles, Lions and some would also add in the Dees. But you need to pick every team (or at least 16 -17) to win, and what better chance to tick the box for the Hawks who are spluttering through a difficult year. Two x #1 draft picks gone, long term injuries and a sort of rebuild.

But they play the Roos who have a monstrous injury list – Jaidyn Stephenson and Aiden Bonar now added to it – and it’s hard to see them winning until a few come back.

The Hawks looked at times last week like they were trying to limit the damage (mind you – against a another team with a long injury list). I think they’ll be more up and about this week and on the attack.

Brisbane Lions to defeat Gold Coast Suns by 33 points and certs
Yeah, I know that this is a grand final of sorts for the Suns and they should be up for it, but they just lost Touk Miller to suspension and Nick Holman to concussion; the higher rated Lions should be able to win comfortably.

It’ll be feeling nice for the Lions – they play 4 in a row in Qld – with the away games being against the Suns down the road and they just played an away game vs Freo at the Gabba

Richmond to defeat GWS Giants by 18 points
The Tigers are running a bit thin and their fill-ins aren’t as good as in previous years. That helped explain last week’s loss to an extent. But they play the Giants who are even more injured than Richmond. With the game at the MCG, I like the Tigers to bounce back with a win. But I won’t go as far as labelling them certs.

Western Bulldogs to defeat Port by 3 points
Port lost Scott Lycett to suspension for several weeks, so Peter Ladhams or Sam Hayes will come in. How they go will have a big impact on the game. It’s a true 50/50 game. My tip assumes Tim English will be back and firing for the Dogs.

Last week, the Dogs played a bit like the loss to Richmond knocked them a bit, but then they realised how good they were and stormed home to roll over the Blues.

Don’t let me dissuade you if you have a strong leaning to Port.

Essendon to defeat Fremantle by 27 points & EXTREME variance
I think the Bombers are underrated in this contest. The Dockers are on the road for the second week running and have a slightly longer injury list than the Bombers.

The temptation is there to label them as certs, but my streak is at 10 at the time or writing and I don’t want to risk it on a team like Essendon which has had some big form swings. And maybe the Dockers might find something – having bombed against a higher rated team AWAY (which should have been a home game) and now playing a similarly rated team away which was meant to be away anyway.

Melbourne to defeat Carlton by 21 points
The Dees are playing like a top team that has bee up for too long and is heading towards a loss. They face the Blues, then Crows away before a Docklands game against the Dogs.

On form, they should roll into the Dogs game undefeated. But small signs are appearing that they are a bit shaky now. It’s not a concern overall, but it just means it may not be a time to be too bullish on the Dees

West Coast Eagles to defeat Adelaide Crows by 44 points and certs
The Eagles finally won one in Vic this year and will account for the Crows at home this weekend. Not much more to add here and don’t think too log on this one.

In summary, there are a lot of firm favourites this week with Port / Dogs and Dons / Dockers the only game with a favourite of less than 2 goals.

Leaving those tow games aside, there are a few upset possibilities which make the round a bit tougher than it looks.
The Pies and Saints look like the best upset hopes, with small chances given to the Blues and Giants.

I will go for 2 of the following 3 to occur:
Pies and or Saints to win
Hawks to win by over 4 goals
Lions to win by over 5 goals

Round 9 Review

St Kilda5.17-47lost toGeelong10.8-68
Hawthorn12.8-80lost toNorth Melbourne13.9-87
Gold Coast7.9-51lost toBrisbane Lions19.1-124
Richmond13.9-87dftdGWS Giants12.11-83
Port Adelaide12.5-77lost toWestern Bulldogs15.6-96
West Coast16.1-106dftdAdelaide11.1-76

Well, I tipped 9 in round 8 and 8 (or perhaps 7) in round 9, but round 9 was not good! MY cert and Gauntlet tip Hawthorn bit the dust after being waaay in front. Sorry if you followed that tip and if you tipped North in the Gauntlet, you are an absolute star. It’s courage like that which can lead you to the 1K prize!

I tipped 3 games as EXTREME variance:
Saints / Cats
Swans / Pies; and
Bombers / Dockers
none of these were EXTREME variance games

And the ones I didn’t tip as EXTREME variance, but which were, were
Hawks / Roos
Suns / Lions

Tigers / Giants was a borderline case.

I was happy to tip the Saints as a good outsider chance, but they kicked themselves out of it and didn’t get the rub of the green generally.

The Collingwood result covered both of my possibilities in a way. I mentioned that teams which break a longish losing streak can often start well the following week and lead all the way. Well, they started that way – 18 points up at QT. Then, I think, the “trouble at the club” set in and they kicked 1:10 to 9:10 after that. I’m expecting them to underperform in the next few weeks.

The Hawks played as if they had the game won and were preparing for the Blues in round 10; not sure if that is really true, but what a huge win for the Roos! Good on them (I’d be happier had they not put me out of the Gauntlet)

I was bullish about the Lions, but they even exceeded my expectations.

The Tigers are just going and were lucky to win. An injury of 2 to GWS cost them the game

I tipped the Dogs early on the basis of Tim English returning and actually changed my tip in my main comp after team announcement. A bit surprised that the Dogs won so well, but maybe Port really misses Scott Lycett.

The Sunday games were all about as expected.

Round 10

Brisbane LionsvRichmondGabbaMay 21 (Fri 7:50pm)
CarltonvHawthornMCGMay 22 (Sat 1:45pm)
GeelongvGold CoastKardinia ParkMay 22 (Sat 2:10pm)
AdelaidevMelbourneAdel OvalMay 22 (Sat 4:35pm)
Western BulldogsvSt KildaDocklandsMay 22 (Sat 7:25pm)
FremantlevSydneyPerth StadiumMay 22 (Sat 7:40pm)
GWS GiantsvWest CoastSydney Showground StadiumMay 23 (Sun 1:10pm)
CollingwoodvPort AdelaideMCGMay 23 (Sun 3:20pm)
EssendonvNorth MelbourneDocklandsMay 23 (Sun 4:40pm)

Early tips: Brisbane, Carlton, Geelong (certs), Dees, Swans (but a tough one to pick – let’s see the teams which are all out Thursday night, we are told), Dogs, Eagles, Port and Bombers (certs).

More detail below after teams are announced

Brisbane to defeat Richmond by 10 points
The Tigers got out of jail last week against the Giants and the reigning champ is struggling at present due to injuries. That’s why I favour the Lions. But Brisbane also has a few injuries – headed by Lachie Neale. The Lions won their previous encounter at this ground in the 2020 qualifying final and would be looking to go back to back to take the scalp of the reigning premier.

Carlton to defeat Hawthorn by 19 points & EXTREME variance
The Blues and Hawks have both lost 4 of the last 5, but Carlton’s losses have been better – to four of the top 5 teams and were competitive to a degree in all of them. And they overran the Bombers.

The Hawks lost to the previous winless Roos, been thrashed by the Saints and fell across the line against the Crows.

It all points to a Blue victory and that’s what I’ll be tipping. But beware.
The way the Hawks lost last week was like they got far enough in front and started thinking about the following week (eg Eagles vs Saints in round 4; Cats vs Swans in round 7). Both the Eagles and the Cats over-achieved the following week – dominating the final 3Q after trailing at QT. The same scenario is possible; but I have also seen teams throw away big leads and then have a big Q1 and lead all the way the following week.

Of course, one cannot compare the Hawks in 2021 to the Eagles or Cats in terms of quality. That’s why I am not too hot on the Hawks being able to rebound. It’s a small chance only. but a big enough chance to warn people away from jumping on the Blues as certs this week.

Geelong to defeat Gold Coast Suns by 33 points & certs
The suns hit rock bottom last week in the Q clash and that will hurt big time. And maybe it’ll be a bit hard for the Cats to come up after back to back Friday night games. Cannot see them losing, but it would surprise me if the Suns are very good early.

Melbourne to defeat Adelaide by 26 points
The Dees play the Dogs in a top of the table clash next week. My likely scenario here is that Melbourne tries to put the game away early and then coasts a little late in the game. Q by Q leads of 20, 20, 15 and 0 – something like that. This isn’t guaranteed, however, so I’m not too bullish about it. In fact, they could be so focussed on the Dogs game that they start slowly in Adelaide. That’s why I’m not tipping them as certs.

Western Bulldogs to defeat St Kilda by 13 points
The Saints have been better recently, but their uptick in form has coincided with both Rowan Marshall and Paddy Ryder being in the team. That happened in rounds 7 (big win over the Hawks), 8 (solid win away versus the Suns) and 9 (could’ve almost, nearly beat the Cats, but didn’t). But now Marshall is out injured again. Tim English still isn’t back, but with Marshall out, it’s the Dogs for me – but not certs by any means.

Sydney Swans to defeat Fremantle by 7 points & EXTREME variance
Freo coach Justin Longmuir mentioned that they have a few sore boys as a result of training at various venues during the sojourn in the east. Andrew Brayshaw is out injured and so I’m leaning towards the Swans.

The Swans generally do okay in Perth. But uncertainty about the Dockers means that this will be an EXTREME variance prediction

West Coast Eagles to defeat GWS Giants by 8 points
A new word – the Giants are the injured-est team in the AFL – having now lost Toby Greene and Harry Perryman

Port Adelaide to defeat Collingwood by 32 points & certs
Port were very disappointing against the Dogs in Adelaide last weekend. This match came after the Showdown where the AFL banned them from wearing the prison bars jumper (which they put on after the game prior to singing the club song. I wouldn’t have thought that this event would cause them to have a downer the following week – I’m mainly putting it down to good form from the Dogs.

But who is the villain in the eyes of Port? Eddie, specifically, and Collingwood generally. How to vent all this anger? Via a huge win against the Pies.

Meanwhile, back at the Pies, all is in turmoil (except that Taylor Adams comes back – he was named as 1-2 weeks on Wednesday – but he is only in the extended squad at this stage; maybe a Saturday test awaits). There are “trouble at the club” signs everywhere. Port will win this by plenty. There is an EXTREME variance possibility one way only here in my opinion – that Port could win by over 52 points.

Essendon to defeat North Melbourne by 26 points & certs
What a stunning win by the Roos last week. I was beginning to wonder if they would win at all this season.

I tend to think that this was a blip on the radar more so than a return to form. See above comments on the Hawthorn game. I note that underdogs coming from a fair way behind in 2H to win can tend to underperform the following week (especially in Q2).

Teams such as the Roos who win their first game after round 6 often start poorly the following week; and they usually only win if playing a bottom rated team; I rate the Bombers as middle

There is an EXTREME variance possibility one way only here in my opinion – that Essendon could win by over 58 points.

Gauntlet: I’m out and so I have no idea which teams all of you will have tipped. Well done those who are still in (8,569 of 43,617). Best choices are Geelong, Essendon and Port (if available for you); I’m steering away from the Dees because they play the Crows just before the top of the table clash with the Dogs. And there’ll be plenty of good weeks to tips the Dees coming up.

In summary:
I expect at least 2 of the following 3 to occur (all 3 are considered less than 50% chance of occurrence by the experts):
One of Hawthorn or St Kilda to have an upset win (incorrect)
Port to win by over 4 goals (incorrect)
Bombers to win Q1 by over 2 goals (correct)
1 out of 3 aint good!

Round 10 review

Brisbane Lions15.12-102dftdRichmond11.8-74
Geelong14.7-91dftdGold Coast8.9-57
Western Bulldogs21.18-144dftdSt Kilda5.3-33
GWS Giants13.15-93dftdWest Coast11.11-77
Collingwood8.1-58lost toPort Adelaide8.11-59
Essendon22.9-141dftdNorth Melbourne10.9-69

I tipped 6/9 (just fair) – missing on the Crows, Dockers and Giants.

I went worse in the EXTREME variance tips – picking two games which weren’t – Blues / Hawks and Dockers / Swans.

But there were EXTREME variance games I failed to tip – notably the Dogs and Dons big wins which put them into the EXTREME category.

The good news is that I was one of few who DIDN’T tip the Dees as certs. The bad news was that I tipped Port as certs and they fell over the line by a point; yes, my winning run of certs is still intact, but I don’t want to give myself (or you) that much stress.

On the Hawks – they started a bit slowly just like Eagles and Cats (see above preview) but, because they are Hawthorn and in the bottom four, they couldn’t translate that into a win

Round 11

Western BulldogsvMelbourneDocklandsMay 28 (Fri 7:50pm)
CollingwoodvGeelongMCGMay 29 (Sat 1:45pm)
Brisbane LionsvGWS GiantsGabbaMay 29 (Sat 2:10pm)
St KildavNorth MelbourneDocklandsMay 29 (Sat 4:35pm)
Gold Coast vHawthorn Darwin to SCGMay 29 (Sat 7:40pm)
West CoastvEssendonPerth StadiumMay 29 (Sat 7:40pm)
RichmondvAdelaideMCG to Sydney ShowgroundsMay 30 (Sun 2:10pm)
SydneyvCarltonSCGMay 30 (Sun 3:20pm)
Port AdelaidevFremantleAdel OvalMay 30 (Sun 5:20pm)

We have a covid outbreak in Vic and this has caused the postponement of the Suns versus Hawks game in Darwin. Note that the Hawks and Suns both have a bye in round 12. Hopefully no more games will be affected this week and following.

Early tips: There are 7 easy games and the top of the table clash.
The Dogs and Dees – I’m tipping Dogs by a point but want to see the teams. I’ll go for all the favourites in the rest – Cats, Lions, Saints, Eagles, Tigers, Blues & Port. The real challenge is to work out which are certs and which are not.

Thursday update – note that changes above in bold (subject to further change) to venues and times; no crowds for the 3 games in Victoria this weekend.

Very late preview (sorry)
Western Bulldogs to defeat Melbourne by 3 points & EXTREME variance.
I am concerned that the Dees had their preparation interrupted by a covid scare; so that’s why I’m tipping the Dogs; else it would have been a flip of the coin.

Also, as mentioned before, when teams have a huge Friday night game, they can drop off late in the previous game (as the Dees did last week vs the Crows and lost). In such cases, they often start slowly the following week and then excel after QT.

That’s why I am not too sure about the game.

Geelong to defeat Collingwood by 23 points
The Cats are going better and I was tempted to make them certs; but Mitch Duncan comes out and there is some doubt on Cam Guthrie; offsetting that is Taylor Adams being injured again. The Pies can often trouble Geelong as underdogs and they were leading Port for a long time last week.

Brisbane to defeat GWS Giants by 33 points and certs
GWS did well to defeat the Eagles at home last week, but I feel that the result was a false lead and the long injury list at GWS is going to hurt them now as they travel. Their injury quotient (higher is worse) sits at 24 versus 14 for Brisbane.

St Kilda to defeat North Melbourne by 24 points & EXTREME variance
I don’t trust either team here and both had absolute shockers last weekend. I sort of have a feeling that the Saints might have the capacity to improve more than North. But, then again, the Saints are no certs to improve dramatically; leave me out and not a good game for the Gauntlet tipsters in a round where lots of other favourites look good.

Gold Coast Suns to defeat Hawthorn by 3 points & EXTREME variance
This game was on and then off and at different venues; now it’s at the SCG. It won’t be remembered by many, but the Hawks totally flogged the Suns in the final round of the season; it looked like the suns had packed up a week early for their holidays. Maybe they might want to really come out flying to atone?? not sure; if so, look for them to get a great start. But nothing is certain in this game; leave me out.

West Coast Eagles to defeat Essendon by 32 points & certs
The Eagles were average at best last week and the Dons very good; but I already mentioned that the Eagles game have have been a false lead; expect them to be ruthless on their home ground. The Bombers travelled on Wednesday to get out of the state (wish I had done the same!) and this may be a slight negative.

Richmond to defeat Adelaide by 31 points & certs
The Tigers get back some premiership players for this gamer and the Crows caught the Dees on a good week last week; it’s enough to make me tip the Tigers as certs

Late addendum (12.40 Sunday) I am a little concerned about the changes for the Tigers:
IN: Cotchin, Caddy, Bolton, Coleman-Jones, Prestia, Chol
OUT: Rioli, Ross (both omitted), Pickett (suspended), Lynch, Naish, Astbury (all injured)
David Astbury is the new injury not previously on the radar; it is a lot of changes, even though the INS are very good. I suspect that the Crows (with NO changes at all at this stage) may be likely to start well, but get overrun. I’ll stick with the Tigers as certs (my personal long list of certs has been torpedoed with the Eagles losing), but I would be wary had I still been on a long run of certs.

Sydney Swans to defeat Carlton by 11 points
The Swans and Blues are about the same; so I’m going for home ground advantage here. It’s not a game I have a great feel for and definitely one to avoid for Gauntlet tipsters.

Port Adelaide to defeat Fremantle by 35 points & certs
Port fell over the line last week – as did the Dockers; but I expect Port to improve markedly this time; maybe they were flat after the loss to the Dogs and so only just got over the line against the Pies. Port and certs.

Gauntlet: lots of options this week for most; go for Tigers, Eagles, Port or Brisbane.

I summary, lots of hot favourites this week, but they might not all win.

I expect at least 3 of the following 5 to occur (all somewhat unlikely, according to the experts):
The margin in the Dogs / Dees game to be over 5 goals (incorrect)
The margin in the Suns / Hawks game to be over 5 goals (correct)
Lions to win by over 7 goals (correct)
Tigers to win by over 6 goals (incorrect)
Port to win by over 7 goals (correct)

Round 11 Review

Western Bulldogs8.11-59lost toMelbourne13.9-87
Collingwood6.15-51lost toGeelong8.13-61
Brisbane Lions19.15-129dftdGWS Giants10.5-65
St Kilda12.16-88dftdNorth Melbourne10.8-68
Gold Coast17.11-113dftdHawthorn11.1-76
West Coast11.5-71lost toEssendon12.15-87
Port Adelaide18.7-115dftdFremantle9.15-69

A mixed bag in terms of my analysis: 7 out o 9 winners was so-so;
The games I labelled as EXTREME variance
Dees / Dogs was borderline
other two – Suns / Hawks and Saints / Roos – incorrect call

The Eagles / Bombers match was EXTREME variance and I failed to pick it.
Also, I labelled the Eagles certs and came unstuck; I regret not making anything of the return of Elliott Yeo; he was clearly underdone ad I knew it; but thought the Eagles would get away with it; Tim Kelly got injured in Q2 – as did the underrated Oscar Allen – and the Bombers overran them. Fortune certainly favoured the Dons in their win, but I’m still annoyed that I didn’t reconsider tipping the Eagles as certs.

The Tigers / Crows game was another borderline EXTREME variance game, but I think I covered things pretty well with my late comments on Richmond’s team changes.

Hope that anyone alive in the Gauntlet before the weekend avoided my lead on the Eagles. 7,183 of 43,617 left in the comp; it starts getting tough for players now in the bye weeks.

Round 12 is up in the air in terms of venues and times due to the Vic Covid situation, so I won’t publish a R12 fixture yet, but teams scheduled to meet are:
Essendon vs Richmond
Melbourne vs Brisbane
St Kilda vs Sydney Swans
Carlton vs West Coast
Adelaide vs Collingwood
Fremantle vs Western Bulldogs
Byes: Geelong, Gold Coast, GWS, Hawthorn, North Melbourne, Port Adelaide
(I note that these above teams in the week before their bye – GWS had an awful Q1 – 1:0 to 6:4; and Port had a great Q1: 7:5 to 0:7)

Official fixture (added Wednesday night and assume no further changes)

Friday June 4
Melbourne v Brisbane Lions, Sydney Showgrounds -Giants Stadium (7:50pm)
Saturday June 5
Sydney Swans v St Kilda, SCG (1:45pm)
Adelaide v Collingwood, Adelaide Oval (4:35pm)
Essendon v Richmond, Perth Stadium (7:40pm)
Sunday June 6
Carlton v West Coast Eagles, SCG (3:20pm)
Fremantle v Western Bulldogs, Perth Stadium (6:40pm)

Early tips:
Brisbane (just)
Sydney Swans
Pies (just)
Tigers (just)
Eagles (just)

Note changes below to early tips above!!!
Friday June 4
Melbourne to defeat Brisbane Lions by 3 points
I’ve swapped because Lachie Neale is back for the Lions; of course, he is the reigning Brownlow medallist, but he may be underdone – and other players may unwittingly ease off a bit because he’s back. But it’s a close call and I’m not very bullish one way or the other

Saturday June 5
Sydney Swans to defeat St Kilda by 20 points
The Swans might be a good pick in the Gauntlet if you haven’t used them yet. When I did my early Gauntlet tips, I had the Tigers as my Gauntlet pick for this round (the Bombers weren’t that great several weeks ago) and the Swans weren’t in consideration because this game was supposed to be at the Docklands (which would’ve made it close to a 50/50 contest).
With Tom hickey back in, it makes me a little more sure about the Swans.

Collingwood to defeat Adelaide by 2 points & EXTREME variance
Not sure about this game; don’t trust either team. They both had some positive points last week; the Crows started well, but never looked like winning once the Tigers had their Q3 blitz; the Pies scored their first goal in Q3 last week if you don’t mind, but finished well to lose by 10 points (without ever looking a winning chance, it must be added). The Pies lose Brodie Grundy for the game, but they might lift to show they can win without him. Then again, they could be awful after having to spend time in a hotel before flying over and there’s still that “trouble at the club” tag hanging over them.

Richmond to defeat Essendon by 15 points
I was impressed (and annoyed, they ruined my tips) by the Bombers last week. But now I find that the Eagles have 5 OUTS all injured this week; that takes the gloss off the come-from-behind win by Essendon last week.

The Bombers have the advantage of already being settled in W.A,, but I still think the Tigers will roll them; they had a few good players come back last week who will be better for the run.

Sunday June 6
Carlton to defeat West Coast Eagles by 10 point s & EXTREME variance
I changed here not only due to the 5 outs through injury for the Eagles, but they also have others injured already and Elliot Yeo underdone as well. The Eagles have reached the tipping point of a high injury quotient; I’m tipping the Blues, but I don’t fully trust them either. Otherwise, I would be more confident. With the Eagles’ wings so clipped, they are likely to come out all guns blazing early on; there is a risk that they could break the game open and then the Blues would be struggling to catch up.

Western Bulldogs to defeat Fremantle by 17 points
The Dockers have been doing okay at home, but this might be too hard for them – being lower rated and slightly more injured than the Dogs.

In summary: only 6 games and not any certs officially by my reckoning; I will tip the Swans, Tigers and Blues as certs in my “certs” comp, but I’m not risking anything; if you are on a long run of certs and can sit out the round, might be a good move. Those 3 teams are my Gauntlet tip if you are still going. The bye rounds usually finish off most who are still in it. Well done to you if you get through these 3 weeks.

I expect at least 2 of the following 4 things to occur (all individually considered somewhat unlikely):
Swans to win by over 5 goals (incorrect)
The winning margin in the Crows / Pies game to be over 5 goals (incorrect)
Tigers to win by over 4 goals (correct)
Blues to win by over 4 goals (incorrect)

Round 12 review

Melbourne14.13-97dftdBrisbane Lions11.9-75
Sydney13.14-92dftdSt Kilda12.11-83
Adelaide10.13-73lost toCollingwood12.6-78
Essendon12.12-84lost toRichmond19.9-123
Carlton10.13-73lost toWest Coast14.11-95
Fremantle9.11-65lost toWestern Bulldogs13.15-93

I tipped 5/6 (fairly good – tipping the Pies a big plus), but the Blues let me down.

I tipped the Crows / Pies ad Blues / Eagles games as EXTREME variance and both games were borderline EXTREME, so I’m okay with that.
The Dees / Lions game WAS EXTREME variance (Dees down by 20 at HT and won by 22) and the Dons / Tigers game was also borderline EXTREME

I only got 1/4 right in the summary section.

The Blues began the week as outsiders but ended up 12 point favourites on the back of the Eagles having five forced OUTS for the game. But the Blues still couldn’t win. I (rightly) mentioned in my preview that I don’t trust the Blues and that the Eagles might start well; they did! But when Carlton was 3:6 to 4:1 at QT and dominating statistically, I expected them to overrun the Eagles; given the injuries to West Coast, the result was a shocker for the Blues.

Amazingly, the Bombers led by 3 points in Q4 but the Tigers kicked the last 7 to win by 39 points. I suspect that the Bombers dropped their bundle late as they were heading for the bye.

Please note that there were supposed to be 6 teams having a bye each week for rounds 12, 13 and 14. But the Eagles / Tigers game has been moved from round 14 to 13 and so there will be 4 teams with byes in round 13 and 8 in round 14 (as it currently stands)

Round 13 (subject to change)

Port AdelaidevGeelongAdel OvalJun 10 (Thu 7:40pm)
SydneyvHawthornSCGJun 11 (Fri 7:50pm)
FremantlevGold CoastPerth StadiumJun 12 (Sat 4:15pm)
St KildavAdelaideCairnsJun 12 (Sat 7:25pm)
North MelbournevGWS GiantsHobartJun 13 (Sun 3:20pm)
West CoastvRichmondPerth StadiumJun 13 (Sun 7:20pm)
MelbournevCollingwoodSCGJun 14 (Mon 3:20pm)

Early tips:
Cats (just)
Tigers (just)

Geelong to defeat Port Adelaide by 2 points
Patrick Dangerfield returns for Geelong, but Cam Guthrie doesn’t; that’s a bit of a concern. Mitch Duncan is the other IN of note and Rhys Stanley is again omitted now that Mark Blicavs is back.

My reason for tipping the Cats is that Scott Lycett is still out suspended for Port. But it’s a line-ball call, obviously, when such a small margin is tipped.

Sydney Swans to defeat Hawthorn by 19 points
Rain early in Sydney should clear before game time.
I’m about 2 goals less bullish than most on the Swans; having said that, it’s a little hard to get enthused about the Hawks. But let me hark back to the Suns / Hawks game. The Suns were humiliated by Hawthorn in the final round last season and the round 11 clash was their revenge game; they stitched the Hawks up good and proper; then the Hawks had a bye. I expect the Hawks to be stung by that and to show something this week. Probably not enough to get a win, but it’s enough to steer clear of tipping the Swans as certs

Fremantle to defeat Gold Coast Suns by 5 points & EXTREME variance
Early showers should clear by game time.
This game has got tight due to the Freo injury list. Ad the fact that the Suns are going the other way – less injuries than in recent times. Notably, Matthew Rowell is back for the first time since an early exit in round 1. He’s not an official superstar yet, but has a great record in any game he has managed to complete. Perhaps his team mates will ease off slightly now that he is back. I like tipping against lower ranked teams when a star player first returns from a long injury break.
So I’m tipping the Dockers. Trouble is, the Freo injury list has me wondering is this is a smart play or not. All these uncertainties – plus the Suns coming off the bye and Freo going to the bye – make this an EXTREME variance game

St Kilda to defeat Adelaide Crows by 8 points & EXTREME variance
A top of 28 degrees Saturday in Cairns and an overnight low of 21 with humidity around 80%.
This preview is done prior to team announcements – thanks to the AFL being inconsiderate and scheduling Thursday night games. But the Saints website tends to suggest Seb Ross and Tim Membrey will be in Melbourne this weekend due to baby issues.

They may also lose Max King, Jarryn Geary and Mason Wood from last week’s loss to the Swans. And the Saints are on the road for the second week in a row now.

All this would suggest that one should tip Adelaide. But I don’t trust the Crows all that much. The Crows’ form line – loss, loss, win over Melbourne!!!, loss, loss. The issues over both teams make this an EXTREME variance game.

I may be tempted to switch my pick after team selection time but, for now, it’s St Kilda.

GWS Giants to defeat North Melbourne by 29 points and certs
Wet, wet, wet – that’s the forecast for Hobart this weekend.
The Giants appeal to me as the best cert pick of the round and I hope that Gauntlet tipsters have GWS available this weekend.
Matthew de Boer, Phil Davis and Tom Greene are all good chances to return and the Giants are going pretty well, apart from their 10-goal loss to the Lions prior to the bye. The return of some players takes them out of the “critical injury quotient” rating and should cash in against a lower ranked opponent (who have injury problems themselves).

The Roos expect Jaidyn Stephenson back, which is a plus. but not enough for me to give the Roos a hope.

Richmond to defeat West Coast Eagles by 3 points
This was going to be a round 14 game, but moved to round 13 due to logistical reasons. And then both teams go to the bye.
The Eagles had a meritorious win against the odds (injury-wise) against the Blues last week in Sydney. And they may get a couple back – notably Oscar Allen and Josh Kennedy. But I feel that the win said more about the Blues than the Eagles.

But I still favour the Tigers – who probably lose Dion Prestia but regain Kane Lambert. How well the Tigers manage their stay in the west might determine the outcome of the game. But I rate them pretty highly in this regard

Melbourne to defeat Collingwood by 19 points
This traditional Queens Birthday game has been moved from the MCG to the SCG. A change of just 1 letter! It’s Bucks’ last game as coach and then assistant Robert Harvey will step in for the rest of 2021.

I already pencilled this in as Collingwood’s “grand final” for 2021, so I sort of expect the Pies to be up for the challenge. But it’s highly unlikely that they will catch the Dees unaware. Melbourne will be looking to go to the bye with a win and thereby virtually sew up a top 2 spot. They should do this, but I won’t label them as certs.

In summary – only 7 matches, but a tough round and anyone who tips all 7 has done very well.

Gauntlet – GWS best, then Dees, then Swans if you really have to.

I expect at least 2 of the following 4 to occur (each line would be a probability of 25 – 40 %)
Hawks to win or lose by less than 20 points (correct)
The margin in the Dockers / Suns game to be over 5 goals (incorrect)
The margin in the Saints / Crows game to be over 5 goals (incorrect)
The Giants to win by over 5 goals (incorrect)

Round 13 review:

Port Adelaide14.7-91lost toGeelong17.1-112
Sydney7.9-51lost toHawthorn14.5-89
Fremantle11.1-76dftdGold Coast6.13-49
St Kilda8.12-60lost toAdelaide9.12-66
North Melbourne14.1-94drewGWS Giants14.1-94
West Coast13.7-85dftdRichmond12.9-81
Melbourne9.9-63lost toCollingwood11.14-80

A bizarre week of results and I fared poorly on most fronts.
The EXTREME variance games were:
Swans vs Hawks (didn’t tip it)
Saints vs Crows (tipped it)
Roos vs Giants (didn’t tip it)
Dees vs Pies (didn’t tip it)

I tipped Freo vs Suns as EXTREME, but it wasn’t; the other 2 games had results that were borderline EXTREME.

Looking back, I shouldn’t have been so bullish on the Giants; the Roos were coming off a bye and this often suits lowly teams