Round 8

Data to be added Thursday 17 May 2012 

Scores after round 7 for Longggey in Herald Sun Tipping comp 
Tips correct: 5 and cumulative: 48 winners and improved to 10,065 out of 71,861 tipsters (it was a hard week) Streak:  tipped 3 of 4 certs correctly (current streak came crashing back to earth and now zero)

50/50 tips: correct for the round (Dons won by over 11 points), so now at 6 out of 7 = 86% for the 50/50 (anything over 50% is good!)

 Last Man Standing result: alive (Dons won easily)

Early thoughts for R8:  The Suns and Giants both had to fly and play a “Grand Final” in round 7 in cold Canberra.  They both fly north again this week to warmer climates to play and will have almost no hope to win.  Expect the Blues to bounce back and don’t totally write off the Cats.


Game                        Tip    By       Variance                   Outsider is 





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

Medium means the website is expected to be close to the mark

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

Extreme means expect a possible wide variation from the website’s predictions

Psychological:  includes teams about to peak or drop in form, players coming into form after injury, technical analysis observations, whether a team is really UP for the game or, alternatively, horribly flat; and other things not covered by the other categories.

Hardest game to pick – Cats just

The Pies have been looking forward to this game for quite a while and must hate all the talk of the Cats being gone.  The Pies will win if the Cats are gone, but are they?  The best comparison here is the Hawks in 1992.  They had won 3 flags in 1988/89/91 and almost pinched the 1991 flag after struggling for the early and mid season.  In 1992, they went to 2 and 3 after getting towelled up by the Bombers (who finished 8th that year).  The next week, they beat the Pies (5th that year) by 4 goals.  The moral of the story is that a seemingly struggling reigning premier often responds to such taunts.

Time to compare changes since grand final day:
Changes from Grand Final teams:
The numbers after players are average Supercoach points in the relevant year
Beams 98, Buckley 65, Clarke 82, Goldsack 63,  Keeffe 59, Sinclair  52
Ball (injured) 99, Leigh Brown (retired) 67, Davis (delisted) 102,  Johnson (injured) 79, Krakouer (injured) 76, Tarrant
(returning from injury and in 2s) 52
Better off fitness-wise: 
Maxwell, Reid, Shaw, Wellingham

In: Guthrie 45, Taylor Hunt 63, Motlop 70, Stephenson 16, Stringer 59
Christensen (injured) 68, Ling (retired) 84, Ottens (retired) 97, Varcoe (injured) 70, Wojcinski (suspended) 66

So both teams are currently “weaker” than last year.  The Pies are better off than the Cats, mainly due to Maxwell, Reid, Shaw and Wellingham being in better nick now than Grand Final day.  But the Pies have to make up 6 goals. 

Penny Dredfell points out that the Cats have been beaten in finals 2008 – 2010 by the Hawks, Saints and Pies – and have not lost to any team since.  They beat the Pies 3 times in 2011 and Saints twice in 2011 after losing to both teams in the 2010 finals series.  They lost to the Hawks in the 208 Grand Final and have now beaten the Hawks multiple time in a row – ask Jeff Kennett about the exact number.  How long can this trend continue?

Here is the final clincher that gets the Cats over the line: the Pies struggled to get over the Dogs 2 weeks ago when the Dogs had injuries on the day and ran out of puff late in the game.  Last week, the Lions also had troubles – losing Hanley (balanced by the Pies losing Brown) and then Banfield struggled due to a now known injury.  And the Lions were missing Hudson who had excelled the previous 3 weeks.

With both teams coming off a 6 day break after trips interstate, the Pies bringing back 4 from injury and the Cats 3 from injury, the variance is EXTREME and anything could happen.  Don’t try tipping a cert in this game, no matter how much you are tempted.

Maths (in points)

Ability:  COLL + 6 POINTS

Home Ground: Even   

Current Form: COLL + 4

Freshness:  COLL + 1

Team Changes:  Even

Pyschological:  GEEL + 14

Injuries:  COLL + 1

Total:  Cats by 2 points


Post Match Review:  Cats were tipped by 2 points but the Pies won by 12.  A tip here:  with a 2 point margin tipped and Scarlett a late withdrawal, the tip would have changed to the Pies by 4 points (with the withdrawal of a key experienced player worth about a goal).  But, to make it easy to follow, I do not change my Thursday night tip. Anyway, the analysis was close, but it hurts to tip the wrong team on a Friday night.  In the end, the Pies probably deserved to win because they controlled the game and only slowed down when Swan and Reid went off.  But, then again, the Cats virtually kicked themselves out of a win.  The Cats were correctly labelled a huge chance.



Roos should win, but no certs
The Roos urgently need to win this one to get their season back on track after last week’s upset loss to the Dogs.  And they should win.  But this is an EXTREME variance game for the following reasons:
Port is coming back from Perth and has made 5 changes (only 1 forced).

The jury is out on whether Port can resurrect their season and / or save their coaches career.
I expect, but am not sure, that the Roos will be totally on the ball this week.  If the Roos are really tuned in and Port is on a long downer, then North could win big.

Maths (in points)

Ability:  NMFC + 18 POINTS

Home Ground: PORT + 18  

Current Form: NMFC + 4

Freshness:  NMFC + 3

Team Changes:  PORT + 4  

Pyschological:  NMFC + 12 (but hard to work out Port right now)

Injuries:  PORT + 1 

Total:  Roos by 14 points

Post Match Review:  Roos were tipped by 14 points but Port won by 2.  The analysis was reasonable but, again, without tipping the winner.  The positive was that the Roos were not labelled certs.  The “ins” tell the story for Port:  Schulz kicked 7 straight; Pearce got leather poisoning, while Pfeiffer and Thomas were useful.  Rumour has it that North got flogged on the track and may have tired late in the game as a result.  Not sure if that is true, but the vocal locals got behind Port and they stormed home from 32 points down with under 11 minutes on the clock.


Hawks should win well
The Hawks will win this one and here is why:
A.  They are the better team
B.  Freo haven’t played in Launceston since 2010 and they rested most of their stars that day, so many won’t have ground experience
C.  Having lost to the Swans last time they played in Tassie, they are unlikely to be overconfident

The only hope that Freo have is that the Hawks had a cosy rest last weekend after easily beating the Dees and have been lulled into a false sense of security.  But this will be ignored in light of A, B and C above

Maths (in points)

Ability:  HAW + 30 POINTS (but both teams have a watch on them)

Home Ground: HAW + 24   

Current Form: HAW + 4

Freshness:  HAW + 1

Team Changes:  HAW + 3

Pyschological:  FREO + 12

Injuries:  HAW + 2
Total: Hawks by 52 points and certs

Post Match Review:  Dons were tipped by 52 points and they won by 56.  Analysis was close to perfect here.  I had held my belief (contrary to popular opinion) that the Hawks were a far better team than Freo.  Therefore, this fact, plus the home ground advantage, should ensure a comfortable win.  And so it proved.  The Hawks were correctly labelled certs.


Swans easily
Liam Jurrah made the news for the wrong reasons this week, then was surprisingly selected to play. 
At the Swans, the ruck duo of Seaby and White (beaten by the Mullet last week) have been sacked and replaced by Pyke and LRT.  Hannebery and Parker were both injured during the Tigers game last week and seemingly passed their fitness tests today and should play.
The Swans haven’t been great recently, but will pack too many guns at home for the Dees

Maths (in points)

Ability:  SYD + 30 POINTS

Home Ground: SYD + 18

Current Form: SYD + 9

Freshness:  MELB + 1

Team Changes: MELB + 4

Pyschological:  SYD + 3 (but hard to pick)
Injuries:  MELB + 7
Total:  Swans by 56 points and certs

Post Match Review:  Swans were tipped by 56 points and they won by 101.  Analysis was good enough here.  The experts had the Swans winning by 7 goals, and we had 9.  So we were closer, even though quite a way off and no harm done.  The Swans were correctly called certs.


Dons expected to win
The Bombers have been kind to this year and we are sticking with them this week.  Last week’s games for each club were a little hard to assess and both opponents were not at their best.
The Tigers were hoping to play Vickery this week, but it appears that he hasn’t come up.  They need to, somehow, counter the Dons’ big men (in the week when Hurley returns).  Maric is going it alone (well, with some help from Miller), but Angus Graham (who beat a kicking charge at the VFL this week) is an emergency.  There is a small chance that he could come in if the weather is fine. 
The match is a big drawcard, given the recent form of each team, but the Dons should win.  Due to the weakness of the Eagles’ list last week, they will not be tipped as certs.

Maths (in points)

Ability:  ESS + 18 POINTS

Home Ground: Even   

Current Form: ESS + 3

Freshness:  Even

Team Changes:  ESS + 4

Pyschological:  RICH + 6 (but hard to assess)
Injuries:  ESS + 6
Total:  Dons by 25 points

Post Match Review:  Dons were tipped by 25 points and they won by 19.  Analysis was pretty good here.  The temptation to label the Dons as certs was resisted.  Just as well, because we never want to see a cert behind in the final quarter.  In the end, the Dons were just a tad too cool in the crisis.  Wonderful game to watch and another where the underdog made a final quarter charge, but missed some chances.


Dogs comfortably
The Dogs have been much better recently and did well to beat the Roos.  They also found a forward in Dickson.  This week, they play in Darwin.  This is a significant advantage as most Suns haven’t been there.  Also, the Suns are travelling 2 weeks in a row.  They have made 6 changes, including dropping Brennan.  He got enough of the ball, so it is likely that he is not following instructions.   The Dogs should win big here.  But the only danger, as far as the margin foes, is that they have a Friday night match vs Geelong and they may rest key players late in the game if the game looks safe.

Maths (in points)

Ability:  WBD + 6 POINTS (but watching both teams re ability)

Home Ground: WBD + 12   

Current Form: WBD + 13

Freshness:  WBD + 12

Team Changes: WBD  + 1

Pyschological:  SUNS + 6
Injuries:  SUNS + 4
Total:  Dogs by 34 points and certs


Post Match Review:  Dogs were tipped by 34 points and they won by 38.  Analysis was excellent, but this sort of margin was tipped by most experts.  The Dogs weren’t really in any danger in the 2nd half and were correctly tipped as certs.

Lions by heaps and heaps
We thought the Lions may have rested Hudson and Lester in preparation for this week’s game.  The trend of team’s resting players in games in which they are significant outsiders should become more common in the future.  But Hudson is still nowhere to be seen!  This leaves Longer on his own against the all-conquering Giles.  This is a concern for Brisbane, but everything else is in their favour. 
The Lions play 2 weeks in a row at home, whereas the Giants are travelling for the second week (last week, they played a home game in cold Canberra).  Also, last week was a Grand Final (of sorts) for the Giants.  They will find it hard to come up again this week.   Furthermore, the Suns played injured or underdone players last week and the team ran out of puff in the final quarter. 
All this points to a big Brisbane win, which will get them to 3 and 5 – just hanging on to a mathematical possibility of finals!


Maths (in points)

Ability:  BRIS + 24 POINTS

Home Ground: BRIS + 18

Current Form: GWS + 7

Freshness:  BRIS + 12

Team Changes:  BRIS + 6
Pyschological:  BRIS + 6
Injuries:  BRIS + 1
Total:  Lions by 60 points and certs of the week

Post Match Review:  Lions were tipped by 60 points and they won by 92.  Analysis was very good here.  This is another case where the team won by a lot more than forecast, but the experts were tipping a 5 goal win compared to my 10 goal tip.  The Lions were correctly labelled as the certs of the week (with apologies to Sydney Swans) and were never in doubt.  The margin blew out due to 3 GWS inclusions (Buntine, Hoskin-Elliott and Tomlinson) finding very little of the ball.  Perhaps the round 7 win gave Sheeds more license to experiment.  

Blues to atone
The Crows were tremendous last weekend against the Cats.  At the same time, the Blues were terrible in certain aspects of their game. 
The Blues woes seem to be short term and nothing to be too worried about.  Waite may be doubtful, but Yarran comes back and they should be more mentally tuned in this week.   They have a 6 day break compared to the Crows 8 days, but this is not significant given that the Blues had a )too long) 9 day break immediately prior.
At this stage, the Blues are still higher ranked than Adelaide.  With the home ground advantage, they should bounce back.  The only danger is that the Crows (who had inside knowledge on the Cats last week) may be riding on a wave of confidence.  That is why the Blues are not tipped as certs.

Maths (in points)

Ability:  CARL + 18 POINTS (but the Crows are being reviewed re ability)

Home Ground: CARL + 18

Current Form: ADEL + 7

Freshness:  ADEL + 6

Team Changes:  CARL + 2
Pyschological:  CARL + 3
Injuries:  CARL + 1
Total:  Blues by 29 points

Post Match Review:  Blues were tipped by 29 points but the Crows won by 69.  Analysis was waaaay off here and a big SORRY!  The one redeeming feature was that the Blues were not tipped as certs.  It was expected that the Blues would be “red hot” this week, but played like they either lacked confidence or interest.   The Crows were fantastic for the second week in a row and their rating needs to be reviewed!


Eagles to atone
The Saints did a number on the Blues on Monday night.  They were impressive, but the Blues appeared flat, so the Saints win will be somewhat discounted.   The Eagles hit a low point in form vs the Bombers, but are back home now and Naitanui returns, along with Schofield.  The omissions (Brown, Lycett and Neates) may not be up to top AFL standard at present.  The Eagles loss last week was made to look worse via the early injury to Priddis. 
The Eagles team looks to be back from the brink of disaster and they should win well.  Cox and Naitanui will give them first use of the ball this week.

Maths (in points)

Ability:  WCE + 18 POINTS

Home Ground: WCE + 24

Current Form: STK + 1

Freshness:  WCE + 6

Team Changes: WCE + 6
Pyschological:  Even

Injuries:  STK + 1
Total:  Eagles by 52 points and CERTS

Post Match Review:  Eagles were tipped by 52 points and they won by 30.  Analysis was a tad off, but no great damage done.  The withdrawal of Priddis didn’t help the Eagles cause and the experts (tipping about a 3 goal win) were closer than me.  Still, a comfortable (albeit hard-fought) 30 point win is evidence that they were correctly labelled as certs



Best cert:  Lions (easy winners), then Swans (easy winners), Eagles (easy winners), Hawks (easy winners) and Dogs (easy winners) (being aggressive here as my “streak” is currently zero; you may drop the Dogs off if you are on a big streak now).   A great return with 2 outsiders saluting and the other 2 favourites not list here slugging out battling wins!!


Best Outsider:  Cats (went close but failed); if you need another, Port is some hope, but they can be very disappointing they stormed home to win


Best 50/50 (a segment which picks the game which the experts have wrongly rated):  Lions to win by over 33 points never in doubt!!


Happy tipping!  Unlike last week, this week is not a good week to be too outlandish.  Stick mainly to the favourites – EG In the Eurovision SNOG contest, tip this guy as the winner:  DOOP SNOGGY SNOG but those who were mildly outlandish with the Sa teams were richly rewarded!