It’s semi-super Saturday. Only three AFL games today, a disappointment for those AFL aficcionados and connoisseurs of fine AFL culture and football. It’s still a marathon viewing session – from 1.45pm up until the final siren at around 10.20pm – but no switching between games, as there’s no overlap in the game times.
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AFL Culture Preview Game 3: Gold Coast v West Coast
Surfers unite! There is nothing better than the battle of the coasts. East meets west, or to be more specific, West meets Gold. This could be a danger game for West Coast. They’ve lost their spearhead, Josh Kennedy (no, not the Josh Kennedy that plays for Sydney, or Josh Kennedy that plays for Melbourne City and the Socceroos) has injured his leg, and they’re a team that doesn’t travel well.
The word to describe Gold Coast is ‘enigmatic’. Since they joined the AFL in 2011, they’ve promised much, but failed to deliver. They gave Geelong a toweling in Round 7, but haven’t won a game since. Gold Coast are actually an impressive team but something is playing with their minds. They were up by 30 points against Melbourne last weekend, but then fell away to lose by six goals. Don’t they realise that 30 points is a lead that can evaporate easily in modern day football?
West Coast have similar psychological issues or, as we like to say in the football business, an issue that’s between the ears. Get onto a plane, and they’re likely to lose the game, as can be seen by their poor record in Melbourne. But even their home ground house of pain is losing its lustre, where they suffered their first defeat of the year to Greater Western Sydney.
Gold Coast should win this game. Something’s not right with West Coast this year, and Gold Coast play well at their home ground in Robina. They’ll win the game, and add some more pressure onto the coach of West Coast, Adam Simpson. #AFLSunsEagles
- Eddy Jay – Gold Coast, 24 points.
- Lintang Enam – Gold Coast, 37 points.
AFL Culture Preview Game 4: Greater Western Sydney v Essendon
If Greater Western Sydney win this match, they’ll be sitting on top of the AFL ladder for the first time ever. That’s something to celebrate. They had one of their best victories last weekend against West Coast, ending a goal-for-goal final quarter in front by eight points. They look like a real AFL team now, and should be able to edge ahead of Essendon.
The match is being played in western Sydney (that’s if you can call the Sydney Showgrounds the real western Sydney) and Greater Western Sydney is looking good. Essendon are an exciting team to watch, but their inexperience will work against them. That’s an odd statement to make, because they’re exactly the same words that we were using to describe Greater Western Sydney a few years ago, and look at them now.
Greater Western Sydney have pace and skill. They’re an incredibly fast team and skilled players all around the ground. Josh Kelly, Jeremy Cameron, John Patton, Callam Ward are almost a full team just by themselves. Essendon will be a great team in a few years time but not just yet. Greater Western Sydney by a few. #AFLGiantsBombers
- Eddy Jay – Greater Western Sydney, 24 points.
- Lintang Enam – Greater Western Sydney, 37 points.
AFL Culture Preview Game 5: North Melbourne v Richmond
Those with long memories will realise this is the rematch of the 1974 Grand Final, when the drop kick was still fashionable, and coloured pants had just become the norm, rather than the standard black or white. Not that it made any difference for Richmond – they always wear black or white pants.
This is a difficult match to predict. Both teams have had a run of honourable losses this year, and both have been back on the winners list. It’s hard to believe that North Melbourne kicked 10.4 in the first quarter against Adelaide a few weeks ago – this was pure football at its best. Richmond stopped a series of close losses by winning a close match against Essendon in the Dreamtime at the ‘G match and may have turned a corner.
But just when we think Richmond have turned a corner, they do something silly, like lose a close match after the siren, or just forget to turn up, like they did against Adelaide, when they were walloped by 76 points.
North Melbourne seem to be the more solid team, with a few players that really know how to work through heavy traffic. This is a big call, but we’re predicting the first drawn match since Round 21 in 2015, when Geelong and St Kilda were all tied up. Statistically, there is one drawn game in every 100 AFL games, and it has been 306 games since we’ve had a drawn game. It’s overdue. #AFLNorthTigers
- Eddy Jay – Draw, 0 points.
- Lintang Enam – Draw, 0 points.