The news of the sad passing of legendary Collingwood player and media identity Lou Richards, has set this weeks reflective agenda around the league. Lou will be honoured next week with a state funeral.
The league also has its mind on expansion this week as the historical (and at times comical) event, Gold Coast vs Port Adelaide is unveiled in a smoggy Shanghai, exposing many thousands of new viewers to the game of AFL.
The Suns have their red guernseys firmly tucked into the suitcases, and should prove to be a terrific clash between two sides who have enjoyed reasonable starts to their 2017 campaigns. Here’s hoping some of the locals catch on to what the buzz term of “Insufficient Intent” is all about.
Now the focus turns to this week’s slate of exciting fixtures, in the Round 8 edition of The Weekend Forecast.
Match Of The Round – Western Bulldogs vs West Coast
FB Matthew Boyd, Marcus Adams, Jason Johannisen
HB Easton Wood, Fletcher Roberts, Bailey Williams
C Lachie Hunter, Luke Dahlhaus, Jack Macrae
HF Caleb Daniel, Zaine Cordy, Clay Smith
FF Lin Jong, Jack Redpath, Liam Picken
FOL Tom Boyd, Marcus Bontempelli, Tom Liberatore
I/C Matthew Suckling, Toby McLean, Lukas Webb, Bailey Dale
WEST COAST EAGLES
FB Sam Butler, Tom Barrass, Elliot Yeo
HB Shannon Hurn, Jeremy McGovern, Brad Sheppard
C Jack Redden, Sam Mitchell, Chris Masten
HF Andrew Gaff, Jack Darling, Mark LeCras
FF Fraser McInnes, Josh.J.Kennedy, Kurt Mutimer
FOL Nathan Vardy, Matt Priddis, Luke Shuey
I/C Dom Sheed, Sharrod Wellingham, Liam Duggan, Josh Hill
Ins in BOLD.
Jack Redpath makes his season debut, and Fraser McInnes gives some height and could also assist Nathan Vardy. The Eagles are keen to atone for their capitulation in last years finals, at the hands of a Dogs side who had a few reinforcements back after the final bye. Coach Simpson has downplayed this motive, but you can be assured behind closed doors in the Eagles rooms, reminders will be ringing in the players ears.
West Coast $1.50
Western Bulldogs $2.60 (Source: Sportsbet)
The Port clash with Gold Coast will be an intriguing one. From a DFS, player betting or regular fantasy league stand point, be very wary of picking Port or Suns mids, or nominating them players as captains this week, the fact is the air quality in Shanghai is not the best, in addition to this the mercury could get up to 31 degrees. This will almost certainly pose problems for your hard running mids and two-way running players. Travis Boak, perhaps Ollie Wines, Gary Ablett or Aaron Hall etc, the players that rack up the kilometres on the GPS’s on a regular basis, could find the going tough on production.
I might be wrong, but why risk them if you don’t have to.
Gold Coast $3.05
Port Adelaide $1.39
Gold Coast a great deal at $3.05, get onboard. Robbie Gray doubtful and a neutral ground, the Suns are in good enough form to trouble the Power.
Who’s On Fire
Brad Hill scorched the Bombers on Sunday afternoon, on a balmy Perth day more suited to the beach instead of footy, the former Hawk amassed 37 possessions, 16 marks, 1.1 goal in a dominant display. Hill lifted the workrate when Essendon were threatening and the game was on the line. Lets see if he can get on a roll this week against the Tiges.
Who’s Under Fire
Controversial but important recruit Chris Mayne has continued to frustrate Collingwood fans. Mayne’s performances have waned for quite some time at Fremantle to a point where he became a fringe player at best. When he’s on-song, not too many medium sized forwards can produce tackle numbers to lock the ball inside 50 and kick crucial goals like Chris Mayne. Collingwood saw the need to improve in this area, and offered a lifeline to the struggling forward. He’s played 3 games and produced worse numbers than when he was a Docker.
The highly paid VFL player, must show some ticker and repay the faith shown in him by a team desperate to find a successful combination within the forward six. Having a confident and firing Mayne as a regular in the forward line would take the pressure off Darcy Moore and Alex Fasolo who are struggling to find the footy and are crying out for the support Mayne could provide.
2017 – 11 disp, 3 marks, 5 tackles , 0.4 goals
2016 – 14 disp, 5 marks, 5.4 tackles, 0.57 goals
20 West Coast
20 Western Bulldogs
16 Port Adelaide
16 St Kilda
12 Gold Coast
8 Nth Melb
Adelaide are most certainly the side you do not want to be playing this week. Melbourne have the unenviable task of shutting down the Crows in Adelaide after a copping a flogging last week, good luck with that. Now, with a win by North Melbourne over the lowly Swans, and an expected big win from Adelaide over the Dees, North could get very close to 11th spot this week.
Enjoy your Round 8 weekend of footy.