With a new set of 9 games awaiting us, we take a look yet again at The Weekend Forecast for all the clues and tidbits to guide you through Round 3.
Match Of The Round – Port Adelaide vs Adelaide (Showdown 42)
It’s a super Saturday this week with the arrival of the 42nd Showdown between the unbeaten Adelaide Crows and Port Power.
This event captures the imagination of the state of South Australia, and with the clubs sitting 1st and 2nd, it promises to be on for young and old. Historically, Port have a one game edge over the Crows, and lead the series 21-20. Adelaide have won 4 of the last 5. Hamish Hartlett returns for the Power to add some dash off half back. While for the Crows, Josh Jenkins failed a fitness test from a collision to the ribs last week, Jake Lever comes in at his expense.
Port Adelaide Power
B: Darcy Byrne-Jones, Tom Clurey, Dan Houston
HB: Matthew Broadbent, Tom Jonas, Hamish Hartlett
C: Brad Ebert, Ollie Wines, Jared Polec
HF: Sam Powell-Pepper, Justin Westhoff, Chad Wingard
F: Jackson Trengove, Charlie Dixon, Aaron Young
Foll: Paddy Ryder, Travis Boak, Robbie Gray
Int: Karl Amon, Jarman Impey, Brett Eddy, Sam Gray
B: Andy Otten, Kyle Hartigan, Rory Laird
HB: Brodie Smith, Daniel Talia, Luke Brown
C: Richard Douglas, Rory Atkins, Rory Sloane
HF: Tom Lynch, Mitch McGovern, Riley Knight
F: Charlie Cameron, Taylor Walker, Eddie Betts
Foll: Sam Jacobs, Curtly Hampton, Matt Crouch
Int: Jake Lever, Jake Kelly, David Mackay, Wayne Milera
Port Adelaide $2.65
Over 202.5 Total Points Scored $1.90 (Source: Sportsbet)
A sunny Adelaide Oval showdown looks a good prospect for a high scoring game.
Adelaide have averaged 13o total points.
Port have averaged 127.5 total points.
Last year I produced a piece with a bold prediction that there would be no mid-season coaching fatalities in 2016 ( See here Calmer Waters Ahead For Coaches ). This turned out to be correct.
This year I will make another, that there will be at least one sacking in 2017, which could happen as early as mid year. There are eerie similarities from Mick Malthouse’s last days at Carlton, to Ross Lyon‘s start to 2017 at Freo. Put simply, the players are just not buying into his game plan, or another way of looking at it is, Lyon’s game plan does not suit the group they have currently. Now the Dockers have dug themselves into a hole, and Steve Rosich has already extended Lyon’s contract until 2020. So Lyon’s future appears to be more secure than some. That being said, I’m getting a strong feeling that some ‘line-in-the-sand’ scenarios are already being played out in footy club boardrooms throughout the land, and a few ‘feelers’ are being sent out. Rodney Eade, Nathan Buckley and ( if Richmond’s season ends up heading South) Damian Hardwick appear most likely early on.
The level of pressure a coach is under can easily be seen in their demeanour in post match pressers.
Swans’ Horror Run Ahead
In some rather unfortunate scheduling by the AFL, the struggling 0-2 Sydney Swans face Collingwood on Friday night before heading off to Perth for a Thursday meeting with West Coast, with a fair degree of inexperience with McVeigh, Heeney, Tippett, Rohan and Rampe all unavailable. Then they face the premiership favourites the GWS Giants in a battle of the bridge the very next week, making it 3 huge games in 15 days (April 7-22).
We all expect Sydney to bounce back with some wins, but they are still very vulnerable against the Eagles and Giants in particular. This will be their toughest stretch for the year, and definately worth keeping in mind if you’re a punter or tipper.
Rarely has there been so much heat on an under-performing player early in a season than the little master Gary Ablett is facing, from fans, media commentators and former players alike. Gold Coast looked disinterested against GWS. Time to lift, and Ablett to drop the pained facial expressions, and lead from the front.
If you had have said before the season that Port Adelaide would be leading the competition after the first two rounds, I would have laughed along with many other people.
With the past mantra that this group ‘Never Ever Gives Up’, which last season sounded like a line they borrowed from Rick Astley, Port have shown early on that they are serious about contending for finals this year.
Sure, they’re expected to falter a fair bit during the season, but it looks like the effort is here to stay.
Ken Hinkley has this side pumping, and he’s getting the best out of the group. Charlie Dixon is finally kicking goals, Sam “The Sultan” Powell-Pepper has been a sensation, and there appears to be no ill-effect with some of the off-season banter with David Koch and others. Who knows if they will knock off Adelaide this week, but they will have a red hot crack either way.
Port Adelaide 8
West Coast 8
Western Bulldogs 8
GWS Giants 4
North Melbourne 0
St Kilda 0
Gold Coast 0
- GWS (122.4%) should move into, or close to, the Top 4 this week with a potential sizeable win over North.
- Adelaide or Port will lose, and Richmond could slip, which could mean West Coast or GWS come in.
- Collingwood (11th) and North Melbourne (12th) could be the week’s sliders, with both having ordinary percentages, along with an expected bounce back from St Kilda(Riewoldt IN), Sydney and Hawthorn directly below them.
Enjoy your weekend of footy, and be sure to check back in next week with another Weekend Forecast