It’s AFL Round 19 and we offer our analysis of the best matches of the round and our very reliable quick tips.
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. Read the podcast notes.
In the podcast, we discuss:
- A review of the great games of Round 18 (and there were many). And the fizzers.
- Toby Greene. He needs to take control again.
- The longevity of Alastair Clarkson, 300 games of coaching.
- The big games of Round 19 and our fearless predictions (which you can also see below).
- And to help Toby take control, we go out with a joyful division.
AFL Preview Game 1: Hawthorn v Sydney
This is going to be a great match, and has a feeling of the games played between these two teams in seasons 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. 2017 has been very different though. Hawthorn and Sydney were top-four teams in all of those previous seasons, usually crushing every other team in the competition, occasionally crushing each other.
But in 2017, after Round 6, the combined output of Sydney and Hawthorn was one win and 11 losses, and a a combined percentage of 70. Since then, they’ve won 17 games from 22, and one draw, with Sydney winning 10 of their 11 games. That is what you’d call a turnaround, or even a tandem turnaround.
Sydney are now in the top eight, but Hawthorn are sitting in 12th position, with a real battle to make the finals this year. Still, footballers are competitive beasts, and this match has the possibility of replicating the games these two teams played out during 2012–2016 – tough, uncompromising, high skilled football, where every blade of grass on the ground needs to be defended.
Josh J. Kennedy is playing his 200th game tonight (13 of which were played with Hawthorn) and their most recent battles at the MCG have been tough, gritty battles, both won by the Swans by four and 14 points.
For history buffs, this is a rematch of the 2012 and 2014 Grand Finals, as well the 1987 Qualifying Final, won by Hawthorn to the tune of 99 points. That’s a shellacking and it was in the days of Warwick Capper. We don’t think it will be this type of margin in this match, or even the 63-point margin that Hawthorn dished out to Sydney in the Grand Final in 2014.
It’s a tough match to predict, because while the recent winning form for both teams has been good, it has a little bit different for each. Sydney has won 10 out of 11 games, Hawthorn has won 7.5 games from their past 11. Sydney have been the excitement machine, but their winning streak has included spluttering wins against Richmond and Essendon. Hawthorn gave Adelaide a football lesson a few weeks ago, and out of the 17 victories they’ve both had during this time, that victory has been the most impressive.
We have bold predictions though: If Sydney wins this game convincingly, we are convinced they will match up against Adelaide in the 2017 Grand Final, possibly replicating Brisbane’s incredible run in 2001, where they won consecutive 16 games, including the Grand Final. If Hawthorns win this game, they’ll make the finals, but we don’t think they’ll go deep into the finals. They seem to lack a bit of experience, and their old warriors are probably just a little bit too old.
Hawthorn has had the knack of winning recent games at the SCG (by 6, 5 and 89 points), while Sydney has had the knack of winning recent games at the MCG (by 14 and 4 points). There are two recent matches that really stand out – the 2012 Grand Final, and the Round 18 match at the MCG in 2014, where Hawthorn broke a winning run of 12 games by Sydney. To quote Dennis Cometti, these two games were from the top shelf.
We’re not too sure if tonight’s game can reach those high standards – the stakes are far different for a start – but this is a Friday Night Lights special not to be missed. Watch the feathers fly. #AFLHawksSwans
- Eddy Jay – Hawthorn, 8 points
- Lintang Enam – Hawthorn, 6 points
- Computer says – Sydney, 8 points
Our fearless predictions: Other AFL games this weekend
AFL Preview Game 2: North Melbourne v Melbourne prediction (#AFLNorthDees):
Melbourne to win their first game against North Melbourne since 2006, and North Melbourne to be on track for their first wooden spoon since 1972.
- Eddy Jay – Melbourne, 29 points
- Lintang Enam – Melbourne, 66 points
- Computer says – Melbourne, 20 points
AFL Preview Game 3: Greater Western Sydney v Fremantle prediction (#AFLGiantsDockers):
Greater Western Sydney to get back into winning form, and Fremantle to start thinking deeply about 2018.
- Eddy Jay – Greater Western Sydney, 42 points
- Lintang Enam – Fremantle, 11 points
- Computer says – Greater Western Sydney, 38 points
AFL Preview Game 4: Port Adelaide v St Kilda prediction (#AFLPortSaints):
Port Adelaide is the flat-track bully, winning all of their nine games against flat-trackers. St Kilda is a flat-tracker and Adelaide Oval is a flat track. The bullies to win again.
- Eddy Jay – Port Adelaide, 31 points
- Lintang Enam – Port Adelaide, 42 points
- Computer says – Port Adelaide, 27 points
AFL Preview Game 5: Gold Coast v Richmond prediction (#AFLSunsTigers):
We decreed that Richmond are again the ‘real deal’, but they have a tendency to disappoint after claiming this title. But there will be no disappointments in this game.
- Eddy Jay – Richmond, 37 points
- Lintang Enam – Richmond, 28 points
- Computer says – Richmond, 15 points
AFL Preview Game 6: Carlton v Geelong prediction (#AFLBluesCats):
Carlton has put in a good effort this year, and will continue to build towards the 2022 premiership. But Geelong will win this one.
- Eddy Jay – Geelong, 48 points
- Lintang Enam – Geelong, 38 points
- Computer says – Geelong, 28 points
AFL Preview Game 7: Western Bulldogs v Essendon prediction (#AFLDogsDons):
A classic mid-table clash, but we think Essendon has more energy, excitement, skill and desire to win this game. The Bulldogs tasted all of their success in 2016, now it’s time for Essendon to feast on the sweet smell of victory.
- Eddy Jay – Essendon, 21 points
- Lintang Enam – Essendon, 18 points
- Computer says – Essendon, 13 points
AFL Preview Game 8: Collingwood v Adelaide prediction (#AFLPiesCrows):
This is another battle of the birds, and we’re expecting feathers to fly. Adelaide don’t seem to handle the MCG so well at the moment, really struggling against Carlton a few weeks ago. Nevermind, practice makes for perfection, so perhaps they’ll use this as another warm up for their Grand Final match on 30 September. It’s just a question of who they will play. Collingwood could spring a surprise, especially if they’re like The Protected Zone and start thinking too far ahead. An upset is on the cards.
- Eddy Jay – Collingwood, 9 points
- Lintang Enam – Collingwood, 11 points
- Computer says –Adelaide, 20 points
AFL Preview Game 9: West Coast v Brisbane prediction (#AFLEaglesLions):
West Coast just needs to win, and Brisbane will put up a great resistance, but fall short at the final step. Matthew Priddis to play one of this last games at Subiaco Oval.
- Eddy Jay – West Coast, 31 points
- Lintang Enam – Brisbane, 2 points
- Computer says – West Coast, 35 points