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AFL Preview Round 14 Season 2006

 Last Week: 5 from 8 – Total 67/104 (64.4%)

 What mental aberration caused me to select Hawthorn last week against the Saints? Probably the same mental speed hump that made me dismiss the Tigers against the Pies. That was one upset while the other was the Bulldogs’ great win against the Eagles at Subiaco. Should have scored 6 but that bit of stupidity has allowed the tipping leader to sneak away another point further ahead. With only 9 rounds to go the chances of making up more than 5 – 6 points is very difficult although there is still time to make those unexpected selections based on unexpected results.

What is happening in this past week of football where a bit of television viewing sanity returns after the Socceroos’ loss last week? Craig has been given an extra 3 years as coach at Adelaide as has Whoosha at the Eagles. Both those decisions were a given. Not so secure is the position of Connolly at Fremantle but the fact that the Fremantle coaching job is under pressure all year round with scrutiny rather pointed at the half way mark of the season is an annual event and hardly warrants any sort of headline. Will Bluey McKenna coach the Dorks next year or will Harvey be promoted? Like who cares actually. Freo supporters and the footy public in general would be happy with some consistent performances from a team of reasonably good players.

James Hird has broken down again which is a shame but he’s at the age where retirement looms as a distinct possibility.

The race for the finals remains interesting with maybe the top 6 teams probably safe while the usual battle rages for the 7th and 8th places. Loss of form by top teams would make it pretty tight by round 22 although the argument that is no doubt being put by South Australian residents is just which team will beat the Crows for the flag? d*mn fine argument that too.

There are a few tricky selections to mull over again this week so best of luck. Tip of the week: if the previewer is decidedly undecided pick the opposite way.

 Fremantle V Essendon – Subiaco Friday Night

 Heaven help the Freo coach if they lose this game to the Bombers who are staring down the barrel of 13 consecutive losses. It’s good weather expected in Perth so the Dockers should provide their supporters with evidence of their silky skills and give them a bit of heart with an easy win over Essendon. Hmmm – something makes me think that the Dockers will probably win but it won’t be a walkover. Sheeds should be back in time to coach the seniors after he travels all over the countryside head hunting a few teenagers he will need at the draft this year to build up his stocks. If he can find a few wannabe’s that will wear the black and red – good on him.

 Fremantle by 45

Carlton V Geelong – Telstra Dome Saturday Arvo

 This is the sort of game you would expect the Cats to win by 75 points, especially after their hiding last week by the Crows. Okay.

 Geelong by 75

 Hawthorn V West Coast – MCG Saturday arvo

 The Hawks have been subjected to dawn beach patrols, towing buses around the Waverley car park, looking at Jeff Kennett’s coat without sunnies, playing without Williams up forward and having to listen to Mal Brown wax on lyrical about his boy Campbell. But will it be enough punishment to put them in the right frame of mind to help them beat the West Coast Eagles who have lost their last two games after two miraculous recoveries so their form is questionable? Dunno but it sure is lucky the Eagles promoted Gardiner back into the team just in time to take over from Cox whose injury will keep him out for a few weeks. Also lucky for Seaby who was overlooked for Gardiner and will be even luckier coming up against Spider Everitt who returns from injury for his 250th game. Judd will be better for his run last week as well. The Eagles will find this tough but their overall skill level should prevail. Anyway, after last week I’m certainly not tipping Hawthorn to provide upsets.

West Coast by 29

Melbourne V Brisbane – Gabba Saturday night

I would be inclined to give the nod to the Lions if they were playing a middle of the road team but Melbourne have shown that they’re not easybeats playing away (even though this is a home game for them). Even with a fit Jonathon Brown I would not tip them in this game. The Demons look the right thing this season and will be there at the sharp end so I doubt whether they will allow Brisbane any opportunity to sneak the four points. Melbourne has a lot to play for with their fourth position on the ladder so don’t bet on any slip ups against weaker teams. Akermanis may give us all a handstand to show that he is better than the guy who streaked at Wimbledon and gave the lady players a cockeyed view of his typical Pommy footwear of black sox and runners.

Melbourne by 33

Port Adelaide V Richmond – AAMI Stadium Saturday

A most difficult game! Port lost last week and the Tigers played terrific football to smash the Magpies. Richo may return for Richmond but still complaining of a sore wrist and Tredrea may return for the Power. It’s hard to see Richmond winning at AAMI but Port’s record there this season hasn’t been anything to ‘crow’ about. I have tipped against the Tigers to my detriment this year but at a win loss standing of 7 to 6 means the result hasn’t been too bad. The Power were awesome against the Eagles but they have been as hot and cold as….as….as…well, the Tigers. Okay, bite the bullet.

Richmond by 1

Sydney V Adelaide – SCG Sunday

Gee it would be nice to see a team give the Crows a bit of a scare and match it with them for a game. Sydney has that style of football that can choke a team and they will have to adopt tactics, let’s call them tigerian, to work out a way to not allow the Crows to kick a winning score yet kick enough goals themselves to win the game. Hey, I just described a game of AFL footy. Idiot! The Swans will have to play a darn site better than they did last week against the Dockers though and Adelaide just has to play the status quo. It would not surprise me to see the Swans come really close in this game and for tipsters looking for a 1 point break you can be forgiven for picking them. Not me though.

Adelaide by 21

St Kilda V Collingwood – Telstra Dome Sunday Arvo

We all know that Collingwood will come out all guns blazing after their insipid display against the Tigers last weekend. St Kilda on the other hand had a walk in the park against the Hawks who beat the Tigers the week before. Go figure. The Saints have looked a little fragile a few times this year but have a pretty potent forward set up with Gehrig, Milne and Reiwoldt which, when firing, will win a game. Ditto the Pies with Tarrant, Didak, Rocca and Davis if the latter is fit to play. The match is at Telstra so weather will play no part in the result which should please Collingwood who were nonplussed with a drop of rain last week. Clement should hold Reiwoldt, Presti should hold Gehrig and Johnson is far too good for Milne. Dunno who will do the same job for the Saints in the Pies forward line. Based on that scientific bit of analysis the decision is easy but not necessarily right.

Collingwood by 6

Western Bulldogs V Kangaroos – MCG Sunday

Hands up those of you who give the Kangaroos a chance here. Thought so. The Bulldogs are playing inspirational football and the win against the Eagles at Subiaco will be a hard act to follow. However, they will be coming up against a trying but less skilled Kangaroos team who have won their last two games but these wins were against the Blues and Essendon who have won just three games between them. The Bullies are flying high and it’s hard to believe that they will surrender a top four position with to a loss to the Kangaroos. They won’t.

Western Bulldogs by 38

Article last changed on Saturday, July 08, 2006 - 5:47 PM EDT

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