AFL Round 3 – dispelling the rumours

There is a rumour that Essendon are scorching the earth with a drug free list. I haven’t seen their drug lists nor can I confirm that their drug lists do or do not exist. But I will not speculate. All I can dispel at this time is that they’ve arrived. They’ve played an underwhelming Adelaide, and an underAFL-standard Melbourne. Fremantle on the other hand have played two teams from the West – the Coast and the West City Bulldogs. They’ve disposed of each easily and will dispose of Essendon with equal ease tonight.

The other team to have played Melbourne is Port Adelaide rumoured to be pretty good. Nah, they’ve had the easiest draw of anyone since Black Caviar’s last Group 2 race at the Valley. They get the underwhelmers this week which is about their class. Should be a close one – nice work handicapper. Give it to Port cos the newbies always try harder against their established city cousins.

The other showdown this weekend is the Q DERBY CLASH of the SUN LIONS. Brisbane were rumoured to be something special after their NAB Cup success. They are looking more like the successful Carlton NAB Cup teams of last decade – not very good. The Suns are looking like they might have recruited some very high draft picks and got it right. Melbourne should start with recruiting the Gold Coast recruiters. I know they had carte blanche but Melbourne’s had a couple of go’s at it and…well its all in the papers. Gold Coast will win on the basis of their newby status again.

North Melbourne take Sydney Swans to Blundstone Arena. I don’t know where that is but I’d bet Broken Hill or thereabouts and the blue collar roos are so up and about compared to the Swans (second easiest draw if you rank Gold Coast higher than Melbourne) that I think North can win this by 40 points – if they can find the ‘Arena’.

Geez this is easy! Next game: Melbourne have West Coast!!! Ma-ma-mama we’re all laughing now!! Ok West Coast have Melbourne in a training drill to get the Eagles used to the ‘G. They were supposed to be higher on the ladder to this point, but its a long season and so is their injury list.

Greater Western Sydney think they’re a chance against the Saints. Whenever these young teams think this way they usually get smashed. I tip the Saints to have an 8 goal to 1 first quarter, and go on from there, losing the last quarter when its all over. We’ll see. The Saints aren’t good but they need this and the GWSers (whats their mascot? A Westie…?) think they’ve got it already.

Geelong have a point to prove to Carlton who are still learning what points Mick Malthouse wants to prove. The teams look good everywhere but in Carlton’s defence. A more settled Cats should have their  first comfortable win for the year.

Richmond should put the Doggies back in their kennels after the Dogs feisty win over the lions had them barking at all and sundry. The Lions are showing their form was just good bottom order work, while the Tigers have beaten middle order teams and are bursting with confidence. As long as they’re not over-burdened by the massive back-patting that’s accompanied their victories, they should coast through this – and yes that’s a big pat on the back.

The big one for the week is the Hawthorn versus Collingwood rematch of last year’s most fistiful final. The first quarter was played with frayed nerves and nervous tempers for its entirety. More knees in and diving at packs fist-first than a cartoon rugby scrum. Both teams appear to be hiding some of their shining lights on the bench, and a few more have been shaded by injury.  Although the pies lost the last encounter revenge will not be their driver. They won the fight but lost the game, and the main instigators are out of this. The Hawks are on fire and should steamroll the pies, who appear to be at 90% strength.


About Simon Dix-Draper

Hawks since '71. Don't believe in curses. Gave to keep 'em alive in '96 (was it that long ago). Looking forward to a big season - one game at a time.

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