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AFL Preview Round 16 Season of 2006

Last Week: 7 from 8 – Total 80/120 (66.6%)

Not a bad effort lat week but I must admit I am a bit savage about missing the 8 correct. It was either Fremantle or Collingwood that let me down and I’m thinkin’ Freo. They lose when you tip them to win and they win when you tip them to lose. A very inconsistent team. How did you all go? I made up one extra point on the leader who is 3 ahead with 7 rounds to go. Another point made up this week would make it interesting.

I can tell you one thing about the Eagles pardner

They’ll be playing this week without Mike Gardiner

And will the Brisbane Lions cop some flackers

Dropping loud mouth Jason Akers?

Was Ben Cousins in the running for the Brownlow again this year? If you bet on him you’d be a bit dark on the Eagles resting him this week against the Pies. A bit sore? Sheesh.

A couple of great coaches go head to head this week in charge of two very ordinary teams. Can the Bombers win and lose the Wooden Spoon or can the Blues lose and win the Wooden Spoon? So much interest in this game I have been barely able to sleep at night this week. Ho hum.

Another Melbourne – based team has been surreptitiously dispatched to the northern states on the premise that it will promote the game in Queensland but I know what all Kangaroo supporters are really thinking; Time to cash the super in and buy that condo on the Gold Coast I reckon.

It looks like a one horse race for the flag this year and those South Australian supporters who may have been fence sitting for most of the year have decided to take up that Crows membership offer and help take the team to 50,000 members providing a watertight excuse to down a few ales at the end of September and beyond thus assisting the state of churches to manufacture it’s own Oktoberfest this year.

And what about the Bulldogs? Another main player in Giansiracusa sidelined for a lengthy injury break. By the time the finals come around the Bullies will not be able to field a team or the team will be so weak they’ll get smashed in each final game resulting in such a huge loss of confidence that they will be affected to the extent of not being able to finish higher than 15th next season causing the AFL to shift them to the Northern Territory in 2008.

The Cats are off to London for their end of season bash along with Port Adelaide – it’s believed this venue was their 12th choice but neither team has played well enough to be awarded the trip to Broome which was first choice. I love this game. Some interesting tipping decisions to be made this week. If you’re 3 – 5 points down don’t panic. If you’re 10 points down don’t care. Good luck.

Adelaide V Kangaroos – AAMI Friday Night

If the game was at AAMI I’d give the Kangaroos a chance as they always play well there. Hey, it is at AAMI. Okay, just joking. Adelaide is due for a loss after winning 7 straight but it would take a mighty leap of faith to think that they will lose this one to the Kangaroos who are still smarting after a one point loss to Brisbane last week. Hands up all those who think the Crows will lose in front of their enormous band of 50,000 faithful. Thought so.

Adelaide by 44

Collingwood V West Coast – Telstra dome Saturday

The Pies always account for themselves well against the Eagles even when they are much further down the ladder. And in truth, if they play as well as they did against the Eagles at Subiaco they will be a chance. It can’t be nice for West Coast players playing the Magpies at the roof – closed Telstra dome with feral Collingwood supporters up close and uncomfortable as far as the eye can see. However, unless Rocca and Tarrant and Didak and Davis can fire after some pretty ordinary performances over the past few weeks then it will be three losses in a row for the much improved Pies. To be able to feed their forwards Collingwood will need to win convincingly through the centre and considering the opposition that is a hard ask. Cousins and Fletcher are out while Glass and Kerr are back in. Depth. Even if the Pies get 40 points up with 10 minutes to go the Eagles can still win. And they will. I hope I get this tip wrong.

West Coast by 21

Essendon V Carlton  – MCG Saturday

Not a true blockbuster of old but a blockbuster nevertheless. Pride is at stake, well, first draft pick anyway. Football comedians are referring to the game as the ‘Bryce Gibbs Cup’ as it’s likely that this lad will be the first draft pick prize this year. How would you like to be Bryce Gibbs though with the prospect of playing your first few seasons with one of these teams as your intro to AFL footy? Essendon have been playing well which accounts for their 14 consecutive losses while Carlton have been competitive which accounts for their 13 seasonal losses so far. It probably will be an interesting game to the coaches and families but it certainly isn’t going to attract a huge viewing crowd nor does the result impact a lot on the AFL ladder. Channels Fox, 9 and 10 have decided to give their telecast crew the day off and are sending no-one to the game. Score updates will be provided by a guy called Marty via his mobile phone to SBS for their late news. He will probably be excited because the game could end in a draw. For the extra 2 tipping points I’m tempted to score it that way but I think the Blues will prevail.

Carlton by 6

Brisbane V Hawthorn – Gabba Saturday night

How on earth do the Lions think they can without Akermanis? They can’t, not even at the Gabba.

Hawthorn by 18

Sydney V Richmond – SCG Saturday Night

Richmond lost to Melbourne last week while the Swans went agonizingly close in their game against the Eagles. But the Swans allowed a 5 goal lead be eaten away and eventually overtaken in their effort while the Tigers were pretty well beaten all day. I’ve not given the Tigers their due this year until they did the right thing by me against the Power in Adelaide so you would be foolish to discount them in this clash against the reigning premiers who are not looking all that flash. Tipsters, you’re going to have to be lucky on this one as it’s a chance to gain a point. However, safety first may force your hand and picking the home team is certainly that. I give the Tigers every chance but……

Sydney by 10

St Kilda V Port Adelaide – Aurora Stadium Sunday

Okay tipsters, here’s another gem of a game in which picking the winner may be determined by a simple toss of the coin. There is an extra degree of difficulty with the game being played in Tasmania. By the way, do the SA teams take a ferry through the Bight in these instances? Nothing like a cruise through white pointer and tuna country to relax the nerves I believe. I digress. The Saints have more to play for with a possible finish in the top four while the Power look like missing the finals for the first time in 5 seasons I think. AFL footy is a game played above the shoulders and maybe that’s enough to make me pick the Saints for this one – pure motivation. To win though they will need to improve on their game against the Bombers last week which the Saints almost lost.

St Kilda by 28

Geelong V Western Bulldogs – Telstra Dome Sunday 

There was only a point in it when these two teams last met which was in round 4 this season. I have a feeling that with the decimated ranks in the Bulldogs side that Geelong will push them to the limit in this game as well and maybe, just maybe, if you tipsters are brave enough, there is a point available if you pick the Cats. Oh for a disciplined Cameron Mooney is the cry from the Geelong coaching box. He is the only bit of mongrel in the Cats forward line. Dry conditions, which they always are at Telstra Dome will mean some fast footy from the Bulldogs who need to maintain the rage to keep their position in the 8. Motivation for the Cats is to keep alive their finals hopes and another loss will make it really tough. I like the Bulldogs at Telstra.

Western Bulldogs by 14

Fremantle V Melbourne – Subiaco Sunday

People from interstate reading this should note – on Sunday, in Perth, we have a predicted temperature of 23 degrees. Yep, middle of July, no rain to speak of all year and it’s going to be hot enough to take mum and the kids on a lovely picnic. It won’t be a picnic for the Dockers who have put two consecutive wins on the board in a rare show of consistency while the Demons have won something like 11 of their last 12 games in a better show of consistency and are looking like a reasonable premiership contender. It has to be said again, Freo at their best can win this game but who’s brave enough to sacrifice a tipping point here? Apart from Docker supporters of course who don’t know any better. Melbourne did lose to the Eagles at Subi. I know that if I tip Melbourne Freo will come close – maybe even win. If I tip Freo though I will see a quarter time scoreboard showing the demons 21 points ahead and I’ll be kicking myself. I’d love Freo to win but common sense and my second place in the tipping comp forces me to play safe.

Melbourne by 42

Article last changed on Thursday, July 20, 2006 - 1:53 PM EDT


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