AFL

JT’s ‘Previews’: The AFL, Round 14

Thanks to /u/the__holy_cow

A strategy that every fan of every team can agree with.

BYES: Adelaide, Carlton, GWS, Gold Coast, North Melbourne, Richmond


THURSDAY

West Coast Eagles vs Essendon @ Optus Stadium, 6:10pm AWST

Ahead of the second biggest game at Optus Stadium this weekend, all the talk has been dominated by the shock inclusions of Nic Naitanui and Drew ‘The Dish’ Petrie.

Into West Coast’s WAFL team to take on East Fremantle.

Well, it was that, or how the Eagles’ social media team were a bit stupid, by exposing Nathan Vardy as a moron.

Distracting Andrew Gaff by saying “Andrew Brayshaw” is on-par with shouting “Neville Bruns” at Leigh Matthews, or “Shane Strempel” at Robert Walls.

Meanwhile, the Bombers’ typical second-half of the season push towards the finals is officially ON, after beating the hated Hawks and the Crab People in the same game on Friday Night.

On the downside, Tippa didn’t kick a goal, so it could be best described as a hollow victory.

This time last year, I went to the very memorable Round 14 clash between the Eagles & Bombers, and I marked the high point in the game with a photo, taken with the same camera used to film Bigfoot.

There are some moments in time you never forget.

That was one of them.

FRIDAY

Sydney Swans vs Hawthorn @ The SCG, 7:50pm AEST

The Swannies pulled up a deck chair during their Bye week, and joined everyone else in watching the fireworks explode dozens of fingers at Waverley.

It all started when the Hawks had a convincing loss to the Bombers on national television, as Ben Stratton was declared King of the Crab People, followed by his recreation of Romper Stomper on Shaun McKernan, and then there was Jeff Kennett with his “New Arrivals” gag, before the fun ended yesterday evening, when Stratton was rubbed out for both offences.

Usually you have to wait until New Years to get fireworks that good.

Personally, I think the lesson we can learn from the Stratton suspension(s) is that players should perform their pinching on a Saturday night at The Gabba, when nobody gives a crap.

Stratton’s actions are just a distraction for how emphatically below average this Hawks team is- they currently average a mere 78.3 points per game.

That’s the worst return by a Hawks team since the 2004 Hawks averaged 75.8 points per game.

For context, that team finished 4-18 and dodged the wooden spoon by one percent.

Without Stratts in the team, I just can’t see how the Hawks can pinch yet another win at the SCG.

SATURDAY

Melbourne vs Fremantle @ The MCG, 1:45pm AEST

An amazing spectacle awaits us on Saturday afternoon, as Melbourne and Fremantle battle for the Farmer-Hogan Cup, named after two legends of both clubs- Jeff ‘The Wizard’ Farmer, and Jesse ‘Hulk’ Hogan.

He used to walk on water.

Well, it’s either the Farmer-Hogan Cup, or the Brayshaw Bowl, given Angus & Andy will literally be charging head-on at each other.

Since their most recent loss on the Queen’s Birthday, Melbourne have decided to RADICALLY change their coaching set up, by flicking around their coaching set up, and trying to plug round pegs in round holes.

Surely it can’t be that complicated to at least ask your players to try and stop Michael Walters, because he’s the reason that the only beating Freo have suffered in the past month was the one Nathan Wilson copped on Saturday evening in Mandurah.

And with all this talk about gambling in the AFL, this is the perfect opportunity for me to mention that the Dockers are currently $2.05 with the TAB.

If I was an AFL player, I’d be getting my mate to plonk a few gorillas on that one under a false name.

St Kilda vs Brisbane Lions @ Marvel Stadium, 4:35pm AEST

Despite their best efforts to get Alan Richardson the sack, the Saints once again pulled off a 5 goal comeback against the Suns in Queensland.

The more you analyse the game, the experience of playing in Shanghai warmed the Saints up perfectly for what was to come in Townsville.

Oppressive conditions (In more ways than one), and an extremely low crowd who had no idea about the rules of the game.

See? That comeback was no fluke.

Meanwhile, Lord Fagan and the rest of the Lions disciples have spent the last fortnight brooding in their convent up in Brisvegas, after suffering the humiliation of blowing a 6 goal lead to Carlton.

If Carlton can come back from 6 goals down against the Lions, then St Kilda can probably win by 10 goals.

The AFL must be delighted that this is the only game at Marvel Stadium this weekend, because being a Saints game, there won’t be anyone there to kick out.

Port Adelaide vs Geelong @ The Adelaide Oval, 7:10pm ACST

Geelong may be sitting at 11-1 and comfortably on top the ladder, but on Saturday night, in Harry Taylor’s 250th game, they’ll face their mortal enemy.

A Finals Game Coming Off The Bye.

That little fella may seem harmless, like the Rabbit of Caerbannog, but he’s beaten Geelong in every season since 2012.

Coming Off The Bye poses with Paul Chapman

That fluffy little critter also mutilated Port Adelaide last Saturday against Freo, although that may have been more to do with Crazy Kenny Hinkley once again showing his tactical nous, by allowing Michael Walters to roam free, while Port were right in the game in the 1st Half.

Yep, made no difference come the end of the game.

Imagine what he’s got in store for his 150th game as Port’s coach on Saturday night.

SUNDAY

Western Bulldogs vs Collingwood @ Marvel Stadium, 3:20pm AEST

It really does speak volumes that putting three multis on games Collingwood were involved in, can be the second-stupidest decision that Jaidyn Stephenson has made this year.

That haircut is number one.

Photo: AAP

MATTINGLY, I THOUGHT I TOLD YOU TO TRIM THOSE SIDEBURNS!

On the flip side, the Bulldogs should be thanking young Jaidyn, because he’s provided them with the perfect distraction to the fact that they almost blew a 5-goal lead twice in the same game to Carlton.

And they’re still the only team to concede 100 points to Carlton in the past three years.

Will the Magpies struggle without Stephenson?

You bet.

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