It’s AFL Round 16 and we cannot wait until 8.40pm on Friday night. That’s when the Adelaide–Western Bulldogs game commences at Adelaide Oval.
But if you can’t be bothered reading further, feast your ears on The AFL Protected Zone Podcast. One of the best! Listen to it before the match or at half time.
- The great games of Round 15 (and there were many).
- Is a draw a disappointing result? No, it’s the most exciting permutation in AFL. Two points each for two teams that can’t be separated. That’s fair.
- The red card in AFL? It almost feels like it’s un-Australian, but it’s probably time to bring it in. Too many players are confusing AFL and boxing. Time to sort it out.
- Who will replace Nathan Buckley as Collingwood coach? We proposed a straight swap with the leader of the Australian Greens, Richard Di Natale.
- A preview of Round 16. Yet another mouth-watering round coming up.
- A new national anthem for Brisbane Lions. The comrades will be happy.
Listen in here! Or subscribe through iTunes. Or listen on SoundCloud. Or YouTube. There are many ways to listen to this great AFL podcast. The full program notes for AFL Podcast: Seeing Red Cards And The Politics Of Coaching.
AFL Preview Game 1: Adelaide v Western Bulldogs
This is a case of two under-performing teams. To say that about Western Bulldogs seems fair enough, but Adelaide? Yes, even though they’re winning games, they’re spluttering. It’s a case of which team will under-perform the least. Or which team plays less bad.
Western Bulldogs have lost their gloss. They certainly looked good at the beginning of the season but as we predicted in the season opening Protected Zone podcast, they are going to miss out on the finals. It’s a repeat of the Essendon ‘Baby Bombers’. Premiers in 1993, missed out on the finals in 1994.
Adelaide just fell over the line against Carlton last weekend, and there’s something about their team structures that is a bit suspect. Close down two of their key players – Rory Sloan and Taylor Walker – and you’ll win the game. That’s hard to do, but as Melbourne and North Melbourne proved earlier in the season, it can be done. Adelaide to be the least worst. #AFLCrowsDogs
- Eddy Jay – Adelaide, 46 points
- Lintang Enam – Adelaide, 17 points
Our fearless predictions: Other AFL games this weekend
AFL Preview Game 2: Hawthorn v Greater Western Sydney prediction (#AFLHawksGiants):
This will be an interesting game. Hawthorn has been a much better team since Grant Burchill and their general, Luke Hodge, returned to the team. Toby Greene is still on the sidelines for Greater Western Sydney and this will be another test of their depth. This game is being played in Launceston, which was Hawthorn’s stronghold until St Kilda game them a football lesson, and crunched them by 75 points.
This could be a danger game for Greater Western Sydney, but we think they should be able to win a close match.
- Eddy Jay – Greater Western Sydney, 22 points.
- Lintang Enam – Greater Western Sydney, 16 points.
AFL Preview Game 3: Collingwood v Essendon prediction (#AFLPiesDons):
This is the Anzac Day game played on a day that is not Anzac Day, so we’re disappointed to announce that the AFL will not be organising any military platoons, helicopters, buglers, and parades. Nevertheless, there will still be a big crowd at the MCG. Interest in how these two clubs are performing is always great, especially if people want to see Nathan Buckley coaching Collingwood for one of his last games. We’re not sure if ‘do it for the coach’ will work for Collingwood, but they should be able to pull off a narrow win. Ben Reid is back for the ‘Pies, after the folly of being dropped last week – just when his team needed him (what was that all about Bucks?).
Essendon has been asleep at the wheel over the past two weeks. They’ll continue with the slumber and fall further down the ladder. They’ll start their 2018 preparations soon.
- Eddy Jay – Collingwood, 3 point.
- Lintang Enam – Essendon, 14 points.
AFL Preview Game 4: Sydney v Gold Coast prediction (#AFLSwansSuns):
Gold Coast has never defeated Sydney since they entered the AFL in 2011. Gary Ablett will be missing and Gold Coast never seem to perform that well without him. Although there have been several ‘firsts’ this season for the expansion teams – Greater Western Sydney defeated West Coast and Collingwood for the first time ever, Gold Coast don’t have the firepower to defeat Sydney at their SCG home ground. The closest result for Gold Coast against Sydney has been 35 points. That won’t change. Sydney to win.
- Eddy Jay – Sydney, 39 points.
- Lintang Enam – Gold Coast, 5 points.
AFL Preview Game 5: Brisbane v Geelong prediction (#AFLLionsCats):
Brisbane had a mighty win against Essendon last week and we think their form may continue against Geelong. They’ve become the new excitement machine in the AFL – their final quarter against Essendon, where they came back from a 27-point deficit in the final quarter to win the game, was brilliant AFL football at its best.
Joel Selwood returns for Geelong and Brisbane’s version of Joel Selwood, captain Dayne Beams, also makes a return. Prepare to be surprised by the AFL’s new surprise packet.
- Eddy Jay – Brisbane, 19 points.
- Lintang Enam – Brisbane, 12 points.
AFL Preview Game 6: St Kilda v Richmond prediction (#AFLSaintsTigers):
This game will shape the ladder in a way that no other game can in this spectacular Round 16. We’ve adjudicated that Richmond are the ‘real deal’ this year, and are currently in fourth position. That is not a typo. Richmond are in fourth position on the ladder.
St Kilda had a last-minute win against Fremantle in Perth last weekend, but the exuberation and energy expending during this close game, as well as the plane trip back to Melbourne, may take a toll on the St Kilda players. St Kilda has dropped the player with the best AFL name ever – Maverick Weller – and for this reason alone, cannot win. The ’real deal’ Richmond to earn their real deal title.
- Eddy Jay – Richmond, 8 points.
- Lintang Enam – St Kilda, 17 points.
AFL Preview Game 7: North Melbourne v Fremantle prediction (#AFLNorthDockers):
The honourable loser title has moved from North Melbourne to Fremantle. Fremantle has played well in their last two games, only to lose in the last two seconds against Geelong, and last 122 seconds against St Kilda. Very honourable. North Melbourne just cannot take a trick this season, and now their losses have just become plain old dishonourable. Their coach Brad Scott, must be pondering a future at Collingwood. Our rumour mill suggests there might a straight swap between the coaches at Collingwood and North Melbourne. But that won’t help North Melbourne. They’ll go down in a tight game.
- Eddy Jay – Fremantle, 7 points.
- Lintang Enam – Draw.
AFL Preview Game 8: Carlton v Melbourne prediction (#AFLBluesDees):
Many Carlton players wore long sleeve jumpers against Adelaide last weekend and we believe the wind resistance that comes with wearing these jumpers slowed down the players too much and caused them to lose the game. This is the first time this has ever happened in the AFL. A loss by aerodynamics.
Melbourne will be affected by the furore caused by Tomas Bugg’s punch on Callum Mills’ chin in their defeat against Sydney. Their entire season could be derailed from the one second of boxing. Carlton are playing with style and pizazz. Courage and heart. They’ll take it up to Melbourne and knock them out of this game. Figuratively speaking.
- Eddy Jay – Carlton, 18 points.
- Lintang Enam – Carlton,16 points.
AFL Preview Game 9: West Coast v Port Adelaide prediction (#AFLEaglesPort):
This game is being played at West Coast’s ‘house of pain’, but it was their pain when Melbourne defeated them on their home ground two weeks ago. Port Adelaide hasn’t beaten anyone of note this year, and are yet to defeat a top eight team. We were confidently going to predict West Coast for this game, but then checked Port Adelaide’s record at Subiaco Oval and it’s close to 50 per cent. That’s not bad.
In our recent podcast, we labelled Port Adelaide the imposter team of 2017 but this will be their big chance to prove us wrong. Still no Josh Kennedy for West Coast, and it really is a danger game for West Coast. So dangerous that Port Adelaide is going to win.
- Eddy Jay – Port Adelaide, 19 points.
- Lintang Enam – West Coast, 16 points.