Dave Cardamone takes a look at what to expect around the league on the eve of Round 4.
Hawks lost will to hunt
Traditionally, matchups against the Cats have produced epic battles between the two rivals, however this weekend could just turn out to be an all mighty flop. The Hawks are missing outside run with the departure of Brad Hill having more of an impact than expected; Isaac Smith is significantly down on form; and age seems to be catching up with their premiership superstars. The Suns exposed significant problems at the weekend and they’re about to be played out on the big stage on Monday afternoon at the MCG – an 80-point loss to a team that lost by 100-points the week before. I’m cringing already at the thought of Monday’s result.
$9 million dollars for 9-years!? North Melbourne, you’ve shot yourselves in the foot and gone too hard too soon. If Josh Kelly’s form continues, the 22-year-old will be commanding his own price tag. Averaging 28 disposals and a goal a game, a new generation of AFL class is dawning and has been building for some time but the lid is well and truly off. Everyone will continue to watch and take note of Josh Kelly’s performances from here on out.
Elliott in contention
Jamie Elliott’s return is much awaited after missing the entirety of the 2016 season due to a significant back injury that required surgery. So you won’t be seeing things if the #5 runs out for Collingwood on Sunday afternoon. Returning through the VFL on the weekend, the lively forward showed no signs of his ankle injury that ruled him out of the first three rounds of the season – finishing with a commanding 5-goal display.
It was the year 1982. The Sydney Swans’ first year in the competition after relocating from South Melbourne. Italy won the Soccer World Cup, Prince William was born, “Physical” by Olivia Newton John was the most popular song of the year and the first ever CD player was sold in Japan. How far we have come! Where does Richmond fit in you may be asking? Tiger fans take note: a big win against the Lions on the weekend and Richmond could find themselves on top of the ladder after Round 4 for the first time since 1982. That’s something to roar about.
The difference a week makes
So far this season with the sample size still relatively small, there have been a number of performances both horrifically poor and supremely powerful that have caught the eye of football pundits. In round 1, Greater Western Sydney received the kick up the bum they needed, traveling to Adelaide Oval with everyone talking about their premiership favouritism. A 56-point loss was to follow. In round 2, Fremantle were humiliated by Port Adelaide to the tune of 91-points and what a difference a week makes. Both sides the following week have recorded emphatic victories, with the Giants crushing the Suns and Fremantle on the weekend defeating the reigning premiers. So despite a brave performance, North Melbourne on the weekend ran out of run against the Giants losing by 42-points but let’s not forget the Hawks either. Just you wait and see the difference this week.