Boy, here’s something I didn’t miss.
Posting the preview on a Wednesday.
BYES: Brisbane, Collingwood, Geelong, Melbourne, Sydney, West Coast
Adelaide vs Richmond @ The Adelaide Oval, 7:10pm ACST
After rubbing out that win against GWS and entrenching themselves in the Top 8, the Crows now find themselves in a PTSD inducing situation.
Going into a game against Richmond with the expectation of winning.
Of course, the Crows last experienced this against the Tiges in the famous 2017 Grand Final…
REMATCH, in Round 2 of last season, which they won.
As for the Tiges, they should be thankful that Brisbane exist and lost to Carlton, because they would’ve been the biggest laughing stock of Round 12, with that effort against Geelong.
Imagine holding the best team in footy to one goal in the opening and final quarters… and then conceding 15 in the middle two.
Obviously now the Tigers’ chances of winning on Thursday have apparently taken a hit, with skipper Trent Cotchin ruled out through injury, but if you ask me, that’s a positive.
The Tigers are 1-4 with him in the team this year, and 5-1 without him.
The last time the Tigers had a Premiership captain that dragged the team down that much, they stuck Bruce Monteath on the bench for the 1980 Grand Final.
Last year when the Crows & Tigers played at the AO, Josh Jenkins beat up Alex Rance and kicked 5 goals, and somehow didn’t get a Brownlow vote.
If Don Pyke makes the bold call of playing a key forward as a key forward, Jenkins could be the All-Australian full-forward after tomorrow evening.
Essendon vs Hawthorn @ Marvel Stadium, 7:50pm AEST
I remember when Essendon vs Hawthorn used to really excite me, because there was a good chance that a massive Donnybrook would break out for next to no reason (Line In The Sand), or someone would get sniped off the ball (Lloyd and Sewell, Lloyd and Thurgood), starting a Donnybrook.
Now, it’s just “Meh, we’re playing Essendon”.
Did you know that last week was my favourite round of the year, for the simple reason that I knew that the Hawks wouldn’t frustrate the hell out of me.
Although, this week could be different, because the Hawks have some freaky of winning record coming off the bye- By my count, the only time they’ve lost coming off a bye in eight seasons was against Port in 2014.
We’re like the Anti-Geelong Off The Bye.
Prior to the bye, the Bombers were cemented in history as the team to get Brendan Bolton sacked, when they beat Carlton by 41 points.
Getting an opposition coach sacked could be the Dons’ greatest achievement as a club since the 2004 Elimination Final.
It was particularly notable for second gamer Dylan Clarke smashing Patrick Cripps, with Clarke racking up 23 disposals… and Cripps had 11 disposals and no impact.
After watching Crippa drop a log on the Lions last Saturday, Clarke’s performance on him in could go down as an individual effort on par with Boony’s 52 cans on the flight to London.
Conveniently, the Hawks broke the leg of ‘our’ closest player to Crippa in January, so Clarke will be pretty much useless without someone important to tag.
5D chess from Clarko.
Gold Coast vs St Kilda @ Riverway Stadium, Townsville, 1:45pm AEST
St Kilda once again find themselves playing a game in a strange land, in front of a four-digit crowd that knows eight-fifteenths of stuff all about the laws of Australian Rules Football.
See, that trip to Shanghai was worth the experience, once you take out the fact that they got smashed and Jarryn Geary broke his leg.
As for the Suns, this is their annual game in Katter Country, and they’re playing it in Townsville instead of Cairns, which is a bold move, especially after last year’s perfect conditions.
I’d still say that surface is safer than Optus Stadium.
After being subjected to the Saints and Suns, the folk of Townsville will be clawing at their eyeballs, praying for the Cowboys’ next home game… which isn’t until July 20th.
Ho ho ho.
Fremantle vs Port Adelaide @ Optus Stadium, 2:35pm AWST
It appears The Bye branched out this year and played Freo, and smacked them sideways.
Rory Lobb is pretty much finished for 2019 with a stress fracture in his foot, and if that wasn’t bad enough, Alex Pearce fractured his ankle in the Collingwood win, and as a result, the bloke who was almost a lock for the All-Australian Fullback with Rance’s injury, is also gone for the year.
As a result, Fremantle have joined West Coast and stopped training on Optus, and with all the talls on their injury list, the board may as well change the team’s colour to blue and rename the team the Smurfs.
As for Port, well, they lost to The Bye in the sense that the Crows jumped them on the ladder.
That’s as good as a loss.
But going back to the Shanghai game, the Power finally kicked 100 points in a game in front of their home fans, smashed the Saints by 70 points, and they were so good that they took an injured Tom Rockliff all the way to Shanghai, just to do a fitness test… that he failed.
With all this talk about gambling in the AFL, I’d imagine the Dockers will be keen to wrap this up before Willy Pike runs in the last over the road at Belmont in the middle of the 4th Quarter.
Carlton vs Western Bulldogs @ Marvel Stadium, 7:25pm AEST
What an epic turnaround this has been from Carlton.
They got rid of Brendan Bolton and inserted David Teague, and then Patrick Cripps turned into a dragon and led the Blues back from 37 points down against the Lions.
And now, they get to score 100 points against the Bulldogs for the second time this season, and to top it all off, Steven Silvangi apparently wants to leave on his own accord at the end of the season.
Simply put, there hasn’t been this much optimism on Lygon Street since September 1995.
As for the Bulldogs… For a week, I’d forgotten they existed.
It’s also Daisy Thomas’ 250th game this weekend, and after the Blues coast to yet another win, the entire team will go out for a glass of wine or three, and celebrate dropping Adelaide to the No.2 Pick.
SHAW BOWL 2019
North Melbourne vs GWS @ Blundstone Arena, Hobart, 3:20pm AEST
With Brad Scott departing the Roos, we were robbed of the annual Scott Bowl, but fortunately, with Rhyce ‘Supercoach’ Shaw now in as coach, the loss of one brotherly bowl involving North has been replaced with another.
For the first time since Round 21, 2015, we’ve got ourselves a SHAW BOWL- RHYCE VS HEATH!
Funnily enough, the last time someone coached a team with their brother playing for the opposition, North were involved.
In Round 16, 2009, Jade Rawlings was the caretaker of Richmond, and coached against brother Brady, playing for the Roos.
It ended in a draw.
Back to the present, and the Roos have reeled off three wins in a row, and Tarryn Thomas earned the Round 12 Rising Star nominee, which means the Roos have now had three nominations this season (Cam Zurhaar and Bailey Scott)- The same amount as they had in the previous eight seasons.
I suppose that three in eight years was because North thought a youth policy involved recruiting anyone that was at least 30 years old.
Ben Cunnington also celebrates his 200th game this weekend, and I’ve got exclusive news on the present that his Roos teammates have bought Cunners for his big day- A big bag of contested disposals.
Well, it’s not quite the gift of All-Australian contention that he wanted.
On the flip side, the Giants lost Lachie Whitfield and Toby Greene before they ran the Crows close for most of the night, in a performance that was a microcosm of the injury-riddled, yet still very talented GWS team that we’ve come to know since 2017.
As a result, they suffered a massive tumble from 2nd to 3rd on the ladder.
There’s only one Shaw thing this weekend, and it’s that a son of Ray Shaw will win the Shaw Bowl.
And lastly, a massive milestone, as the People’s Prince lines up for his 300th game this weekend.
Well done to you, Razor Ray Chamberlain.