RICHMOND v CARLTON
a game this should be! The Tigers look in the best shape they’ve been in a
while and boast wins over Geelong and Hawthorn in the pre-season. The Blues
have a few injury concerns, and will be relying on their star studded midfield
to get the job done.
v KREUZER / HAMPSON
Tigers went hard for Maric and have been impressed with his physical presence
throughout the NAB cup. Both teams have a quality midfield, but if the Tigers
can get on top and get it forward, it will put some serious pressure on a
Carlton defence missing Jamison, Duigan and Laidler. It all starts with Maric.
HAWTHORN v COLLINGWOOD
replay of last years Preliminary final where the ‘Pies won by less than a kick.
While Collingwood have a few injury concerns leading into the game, the Hawks
have had a smooth pre season and are being tipped by many to take out the flag.
these two won’t be anywhere near each other on the night, whoever has the
biggest influence could be the key to the game. These are arguably the 2 best
key forwards in the league - Cloke the contested marking power forward, Buddy
the excitement machine who can do...well, almost anything!
MELBOURNE v BRISBANE
different this could have been with Jonathon Brown playing!?!?! As it stands,
Brisbane are unearthing some great talent with Rockliff and Redden close to the
‘Elite’ category. The Dees though are playing with the spirit of Jimmy and under
new coach Mark Neeld will be keen to start the season off well.
v MERRETT / MAGUIRE
lions will not want Clark to be the difference in his first game against his
old club. Usually you’d think Merrett would get the job, but in recent weeks he
has been effective up forward in the absence of Brown. Maguire is in great form
and may get first crack.
GOLD COAST v ADELAIDE
Crows are coming off a pre-season premiership and some excellent form. Although
the Suns are at home, I think the Crows will win well.
ABLETT v CROWS MIDFIELD
is probably unfair on quality midfields like Rischitelli, David Swallow and co
but Gary will need to do something extraordinary for the Suns to win. The Crows
midfield will give him plenty of attention to ensure that doesn’t happen!
FREMANTLE v GEELONG
a cracking game! If it was in Geelong I’d tip the cats comfortably, but the
Dockers are a different team at home. I expect the Dockers to make the 8, and
the Cats should continue on from last year and still be playing deep into
September. An absolute coin toss!
v STEPHENSON / WEST
the quality midfield of Geelong, Sandlilands will need to give his boys first
crack at it to get on top. On the other hand, Stephenson is debuting at 29 and
if he can break even with the Dockers great, he will give his team every chance
of winning. Trent West will get his shot to continue to develop into a quality
NORTH MELBOURNE v ESSENDON
game is huge for both teams to start their season well. Both teams would be
expecting to play finals this year, and although it’s early, this game could
make all the difference. Not only winning the four points, but preventing the
other team from doing so - a team that will be aiming to take the others’ place
in the top 8.
a great match up! The two skippers are hard in and under players who lead the
way with their attack on the footy. This battle will go along way to getting
their side the four points.
- NORTH MELBOURNE
WESTERN BULLDOGS v WEST COAST
the Eagles have some injury woes, with Nicoski, Kennedy and Le Cras all out, I
still think the Eagles will get the job done. Their defensive press will suit
Etihaad stadium and they will be extremely hard to score against.
Boyd is one of the best midfielders in the game. With Griffin out, and Cooney
still finding his fitness after knee surgery, the Dogs skipper will need a big
one to drive his team to victory. Scott Selwood will get the job on him, and is
an excellent tagger.
- WEST COAST
PORT ADELAIDE v ST KILDA
hard is this round! Port had some good pre season form while the Saints look to
be still learning the game plan under new coach Scott Watters. This game will
be a tight one.
Trengrove out, Carlile will need to keep a close eye on the Saints skipper.
Expect Riewoldt to have a big year with Watters’ structures sounding like he’ll
be helping his key forwards by allowing them more one on one time, rather than
fighting against 2 or 3 opponents. He could be the match winner.
- PORT ADELAIDE