AFL

The Weekend Forecast – Round 20

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A Dangerless Liaison

Surprisingly to most, the Cats chose not to risk losing Patrick Dangerfield for a second week if they rolled the dice and lost at the tribunal. The former Brownlow Medal favourite was rubbed out for a game following a tackle he made on Carlton ruckman Matthew Kreuzer.

The repercussions of the decision by both Geelong (not to challenge) and the Match Review Panel (MRP) (sanction offered to Dangerfield) has cast Brownlow Medal night into a different light.

Although the decision was correctly graded by the MRP, Dangerfield has to be applauded for putting the needs of his team before his own. It’s easy to get the feeling that the “contest” has now been taken out of the evening, with Dustin Martin becoming the punters overwhelming favourite – currently $1.22 to take Charlie home.

Had Dangerfield have remained eligible, he would be a short priced favourite himself, but at least the duel with Martin would have provided a contest.

What’s good for the Brownlow, isn’t necessarily good for the game it would appear. I’m sure on the night Patrick and his many followers will be lamenting what could have been.

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This week in Round 20, there is some cracking games to ponder in this edition of the Weekend Forecast.

Matches of the Round –  Geelong vs Sydney & Adelaide vs Port Adelaide

For the first time this year in the Weekend Forecast, I’ve featured two games of the round, which happens to be the first and last games of the weekends fixtures.

A pivotal game awaits on Friday night, with Geelong’s forward line set to take on a very different look without Daniel Menzel, Steven Motlop and Nakia Cockatoo.

SYDNEY SWANS

FB       Nick Smith, Heath Grundy, Jarrad McVeigh
HB      
Dane Rampe, Lewis Melican, Jake Lloyd
C          Callum Mills, Dan Hannebery, Zak Jones
HF      Isaac HeeneyLance Franklin, George Hewett
FF       Dean Towers, Callum Sinclair, Tom Papley
FOL    Kurt Tippett, Luke Parker, Kieren Jack
I/C      Will Hayward, Nic Newman, Sam Reid, Gary Rohan
Ins in BOLD.

GEELONG CATS

FB        Jed Bews, Tom Lonergan, Jake Kolodjashnij
HB       Tom Stewart, Lachie Henderson, Zach Tuohy
C           Andrew Mackie, Joel Selwood, Jordan Murdoch
HF       Sam Menegola, Harry Taylor, Scott Selwood
FF        Brandan Parfitt, Tom Hawkins, James Parsons
FOL     Zac Smith, Mitch Duncan, Cameron Guthrie
I/C       Wylie Buzza, Zach Guthrie, Sam Simpson, Jackson Thurlow
Ins in BOLD

Head To Head
Sydney          $ 1.82
Geelong        $ 2.00 (Source: Crownbet)

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PORT ADELAIDE POWER

FB       Jasper Pittard, Tom Clurey, Jack Hombsch
HB      
Darcy Byrne-Jones, Tom Jonas, Hamish Hartlett
C          Justin Westhoff, Ollie Wines, Jared Polec
HF      Sam GrayJackson Trengove, Robbie Gray
FF       Sam Powell-Pepper, Charlie Dixon, Aaron Young
FOL    Paddy Ryder, Brad Ebert, Travis Boak
Extended I/C     Angus Monfries, Karl Amon, Matthew White, Jarman Impey, Aidyn Johnson, Brendon Ah Chee, Dan Houston
Ins in BOLD.

ADELAIDE CROWS

FB       Rory Laird, Alex Keath, Jake Kelly
HB      David Mackay, Daniel Talia, Luke Brown
C          Rory Atkins, Rory Sloane, Brodie Smith
HF      Mitch McGovern, Taylor Walker, Riley Knight
FF       Charlie Cameron, Josh Jenkins, Tom Lynch
FOL    Sam Jacobs, Matt Crouch, Richard Douglas
Extended I/C    Brad Crouch, Jake Lever, Paul Seedsman, Eddie Betts, Hugh Greenwood, Wayne Milera, Andy Otten
Ins in BOLD.

Head To Head
Port Adelaide          $ 2.50
Adelaide                    $ 1.53  (Source: Crownbet)

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Who’s On Fire

When the Pies were down, and Scott Pendlebury succumbed to injury, Collingwood needed the troops to step up in his absence.

Taylor Adams answered the call, and is playing arguably his best footy this year. Three straight goals last week, 34 possessions and six tackles from only 66% time on ground, provided the impetus for the Magpies early surge last Sunday, before losing their lead.

If Adams can continue his top form, along with sound contributions from the rest of the midfield, the Pies stand to finish the season strongly.

Who’s Under Fire

Where to from here for Jobe Watson?

With Essendon falling to the resurgent Western Bulldogs last week, the spotlight has shone towards the 32 year old stalwart, albeit rather unfairly in my opinion.

Watson has generally contributed well in an improving Bombers team this year, despite an occasional off games – which happens to everyone.

The Bombers will sit down and make a decision on his future at the end of the season, with the veteran an unrestricted free agent.

Coach John Worsfold hosed down suggestions that the game has gone past the midfielder, saying in a recent presser, “From week to week, everyone changes their opinion. He’ll play a great game and everyone will say he has still got plenty of footy left and then he’ll have a quieter one and they’ll say it has gone past him.”

From my perspective, it will be hard for Jobe to maintain elite fitness and form for another gruelling season next year. Essendon will have to decide if a Watson travelling at 80-85-90% is better than a younger player going at 100%.
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Ladder Implications

54   Adelaide
50   Geelong
48   GWS
48   Richmond
44   Port Adelaide
40   Sydney
40   Melbourne
40   West Coast
40    Western Bulldogs
36    Essendon
36    St Kilda
34    Hawthorn
30    Collingwood
28    Fremantle
24    Gold Coast
20    Carlton
20    Nth Melbourne
16     Brisbane

A Hawthorn win, could officially set them in as a finals contender rather than a tightrope walker this week, with a win over Richmond. A loss is likely to see them duke it out with Collingwood for the team that almost made it.

If Sydney falls to the Cats for two straight losses, the Swans could struggle to stay in the eight, with West Coast, Essendon and the Bulldogs waiting to pounce.

The Run Home

Geelong
Geelong are almost within striking distance of top spot, should things go their way this week. With a pulse still left in Collingwood, the Cats have tough assignments in all four games, being at home for three of them.

Rnd 20 -Sydney (H)
Rnd 21 – Richmond (H)
Rnd 22 – Collingwood (A)
Rnd 23 – GWS (H)

Essendon
With the Bombers hovering around the eight for the most part, and “resting” James Kelly and Andrew McGrath this week, the Bombers have the finish line in sight. They will need three wins from these four games, and their percentage (107%) is healthy enough. I believe they are a fair chance to sneak into the finals.

Rnd 20 – Carlton (A)
Rnd 21 – Adelaide (H)
Rnd 22 – Gold Coast (A)
Rnd 23 – Fremantle (H)

Enjoy your weekend of footy, and may your team get up!

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