Two state derbies are on the fixture list this week with Sunday’s 46th installment of the Western Derby as Fremantle and West Coast lock horns, with a chance to knock on the door for the top eight.
Spotless Stadium is the scene for another exciting Battle Of The Bridge (a term coined in the early days by Kevin Sheedy) between competition favourites GWS and the form team of the competition in Sydney.
This brings us to our Match Of The Round, and so begins our Weekend Forecast.
Match Of The Round – Sydney Swans vs GWS Giants
As the Giants continue to rise, it is only adding to the rivalry between the two clubs in the non-AFL state. Crowds are surging, and there have been some terrific contests in recent years. The Giants are proving to be the among the few remaining hoodoo teams for the Swans, coming up short in the past three games by 40 points or thereabouts each time.
Contested possessions, time in possession and clearances have proven to be the method to upset the Swans, while there has been commentary around closing the wings and running lanes as the key to beating the Giants.
FB Nic Newman, Heath Grundy, Nick Smith
HB Jake Lloyd, Dane Rampe, Zak Jones
C Isaac Heeney, Josh P. Kennedy, Callum Mills
HF Gary Rohan, Lance Franklin, George Hewett
FF Dean Towers, Sam Reid, Kieren Jack
FOL Sam Naismith, Dan Hannebery, Luke Parker
I/C Jarrad McVeigh, Lewis Melican, Tom Papley, Daniel Robinson
Ins in BOLD.
FB Nathan Wilson, Aidan Corr, Nick Haynes
HB Adam Tomlinson, Phil Davis, Heath Shaw
C Lachie Whitfield, Callan Ward, Matt de Boer
HF Devon Smith, Rory Lobb, Jeremy Cameron
FF Dylan Shiel, Jonathon Patton, Steve Johnson
FOL Shane Mumford, Matthew Kennedy, Tom Scully
I/C Toby Greene, Harry Perryman, Josh Kelly, Zac Williams
Ins in BOLD.
Head To Head
Sydney $ 1.98
GWS $ 1.83 (Source: Crownbet)
Demonstrating the importance this game has for both clubs, they are throwing the kitchen sink at this one with 3 huge ins for the Giants, plus captain Kennedy returning for Sydney.
Who’s On Fire
Matthew Kruezer has tonned up seven weeks running, with his domination in the ruck along with his influence around has assisted the Carlton mids (Marc Murphy and Bryce Gibbs in particular) achieve great numbers working directly off him. Carlton look a lot more competitive with Kruezer in-form and Levi Casboult has also been a great 2nd man assistant in some solid form of his own.
A dominant ruckman makes the players around him better, Matty Kruezer has done exactly that, he smashed Max Gawn last week.
Kruezing Along – Fantasy Points
Rnd 9 v Freo 119
Rnd 10 v North 132
Rnd 12 v GWS 149
Rnd 13 v GC 112
Rnd 14 v Rich 101
Rnd 15 v Adel 122
Rnd 16 v Melb 118
Who’s Under Fire
Nathan Buckley at least has some clarity on his tenure at Collingwood, and has 7 weeks to show management what he can do with the playing group.
Collingwood’s season has no doubt been underwhelming from a win-loss sense, but expectations for this club is always going to be slighly higher than the rest given that they are the nations biggest footy club, it’s par for the course.
There will also be plenty of scrutiny on the players, and rightly so, but there’s no doubt that Bucks has the toughest job in footy. There are fierce opponents of his that are making statements with each Collingwood loss, unfortunately there’s been 10 so far. Collingwood have belted the Suns in recent meetings. Here’s hoping the Pies can end the season well.
36 Port Adelaide
36 St Kilda
32 St Kilda
32 West Coast
28 Western Bulldogs
24 Gold Coast
16 Nth Melbourne
Well who would’ve thought a second draw in a row involving the same team. The last time a VFL/AFL team had consecutive draws was in 1921 when Carlton had two-straight draws in rounds four and five. The Blues lost the Grand Final that year.
Only fitting that such an unlikely event happens on this season where anything is possible. GWS despite this, still have their share of the lead.
Adelaide appear to be under the biggest pressure of the top four teams, with a trip to the NT to meet Melbourne, who have all the momentum, accounting for the Crows in Round 8 in Adelaide, confidence will be sky high.
Bernie Vince could re-tag Rory Sloane, if not Jake Melksham is capable of the duty. With the warmer northern weather, look for the smaller running types to have big games.
A loss by the Crows could send them down to third if GWS and Geelong get up. Don Pyke cannot go in with a “see how it goes” approach with Sloane’s tag.
Head To Head
Outstanding value for the Dees in this game.
You can be rest assured Tom Mitchell will cop the hard tag this week, with Scott Selwood the likely man for the go-to role. Chris Scott has already been interpreted as saying that he will not be running around un-opposed. Proceed with caution if you are a DFS or fantasy footy player. $1.10 says he will get 30+ disposals. Your money could be best spent elsewhere.
Enjoy your weekend of footy, and may your team get the cash this week !