With Red Cards, Depression, Concussion, Extortion all being the weeks buzz topics in the footy news, its been a hectic seven days.
An intriguing match between the Dogs and the Crows on Friday night, with the games two most tagged players Rory Sloane and Jason Johannisen head to head.
What will the game plan be? Will there be a double-tag from each side, or a temporary truce, to finally get a normal output from its beleaguered stars.
We look ahead to the next slate of matches in this weeks Weekend Forecast.
Last-start winners collide at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night, as St Kilda meet Richmond which could prove to be the tightest game, and certainly will be the game that shapes the top eight.
It’s the game dubbed “Maddie’s Match” in honour of St Kilda captain Nick Riewoldt‘s late sister Madeleine, and will feature St Kilda’s red substituted for purple as a one-off gesture. The Tigers will also work some purple into their strip.
Match Of The Round – St Kilda vs Richmond
FB Jayden Short, Alex Rance, Dylan Grimes
HB Brandon Ellis, David Astbury, Kamdyn McIntosh
C Shane Edwards, Trent Cotchin, Shaun Grigg
HF Kane Lambert, Sam Lloyd, Jason Castagna
FF Daniel Rioli, Jack Riewoldt, Dan Butler
FOL Toby Nankervis, Dustin Martin, Dion Prestia
I/C Josh Caddy, Connor Menadue, Tyson Stengle, Taylor Hunt
Ins in BOLD.
ST KILDA SAINTS
FB Jarryn Geary, Nathan J. Brown, Dylan Roberton
HB Jack Newnes, Jake Carlisle, Sam Gilbert
C Leigh Montagna, Koby Stevens, Jack Billings
HF Jack Sinclair, Nick Riewoldt, Jack Lonie
FF Jade Gresham, Josh Bruce, Tim Membrey
FOL Billy Longer, Sebastian Ross, Jack Steven
I/C Shane Savage, Jack Steele, Ben Long, Daniel McKenzie
Ins in BOLD.
Head To Head
St Kilda $ 2.30
Richmond $ 1.65 (Source: Sportsbet)
Will the taggers come looking for Trent Cotchin and Jack Steven? The last few weeks have seen a fair drop in Jack Steven’s numbers, will be interesting to see who goes to these two ball-winners. Anthony Miles overlooked once again in favour of Taylor Hunt.
There were rumours circulating that Miles was in talks with Sydney. I really wouldn’t blame him for looking around, there appears to be no apparent reason for him being on the outer when his form says otherwise.
Tom Hickey edges closer to usurping Billy Longer for the ruck spot. Longer must impress this week.
Leaders Of The Riewoldt
Jack and Nick Riewoldt square off once more, in an intriguing battle at Etihad, with Nick Riewoldt fairing the better in recent times. Here’s how they have fared on the last two Maddie’s Matches.
2015 – Round 16
Nick Riewoldt – 16 Disposals, 9 Marks, 1 Goal-3
Jack Riewoldt – 15 Disposals, 6 Marks, 2 Goals-4
2016 – Round 22
Nick Riewoldt – 21 Disposals, 10 Marks, 1 Goal -2
Jack Riewoldt – 9 Disposals, 5 Marks, 1 Goal-1
Who’s On Fire
The penny seems to have dropped for pocket rocket Michael Walters of late. Just before the bye, Walters cracked a ton, and hasn’t looked back since. Sure, he missed a goal on the siren to bury the Cats, but as a fantasy owner of the 26-year-old Docker star, you would be impressed by what your seeing, as he sees more time in the middle of the ground.
Triple Figure Docker – Michael Walters’s Last Month Of Fantasy Points
Round 11 – 59
Round 12 – 111
Round 14 – 122
Round 15 – 145
Who’s Under Fire
The Melbourne leadership group.
Aside from injured captains Jack Viney and Nathan Jones, the six-man leadership group including Max Gawn, Jordan Lewis, key defender Tom McDonald and Bernie Vince must deliver a strong message to the playing group and steady the ship, in what’s been one of the more tumultuous weeks in recent memory for the Dees.
Tom Bugg‘s brain snap, along with some casual drinkers among the playing group, has the microscope firmly set on Melbourne this week. Undiciplined acts on and off the field threaten to derail the Demons long awaited finals chances. They must bounce back this week and let the footy do the talking against Carlton.
Head to Head
32 Port Adelaide
32 West Coast
32 St Kilda
24 Western Bulldogs
24 Gold Coast
16 Nth Melbourne
The top 4 is now finally clear cut, thanks to Tom Hawkins and his after the siren minor score in Sydney last week.
Richmond continue to surprise and the Swans can smell the eight.
If the Saints can get over the line in the pivotal game this week against the Tigers, then the pressure could turn to the West Coast to stay in the eight, otherwise St Kilda and/or the Swans can topple them.
Melbourne can use the result of the Saints Tigers game to leapfrog the loser if they can beat the Blues. The Dees would barrack for the Saints and Port to win to lift them over teams with weaker percentage on the 36 competition point mark. They would assume 5th spot.
Fremantle at $2.55 represents tremendous value with Stephen Hill returning, and a host of outs for North Melbourne. Put some coin down on the Dockers.
As always, enjoy your weekend of footy, and may your team get up !