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The Season so far: AFL
First up, recapping last round it was just the second week of the season where all the favourites won and first 9/9 round in tipping, so congrats to me, although the best bets didn’t quite come off. For those interested, the combined odds for winning all 9 games came to a combined multi of just $5, such was the predictability of the games, but in recent times it hasn’t always happened. An excellent example is shown HERE thanks to a very bright young blogger Jake Stevens who can be followed on twitter @CobbaStevens.
As it’s also now round 6 it’s a good time to go back and see how the early season predictions are travelling…some bang on the mark, some way off! HERE is the link to the preview I gave each team for the first 6 rounds (there is also a season preview done here on ATC for the full season), and below is the comparison strictly on a win/loss basis showing what I expected in GREEN and where they actually are at in RED:
GWS: 18th / 18th
Gold Coast: 16th / 13th
Melbourne: 15th / 17th
Western Bulldogs: 17th / 16th
Port Adelaide: 10th / 3rd
Brisbane: 12th / 14th
Richmond: 14th / 9th
Essendon: 13th / 1st
Carlton: 9th / 8th
St Kilda: 7th / 15th
Geelong: 8th / 2nd
North Melbourne: 11th / 11th
Fremantle: 6th / 6th
Collingwood: 4th / 7th
West Coast: 3rd / 10th
Adelaide: 2nd / 12th
Hawthorn: 5th / 5th
Sydney: 1st / 4th
Looking at this, there are some teams that are performing way below expectations, including the Crows, Eagles and Saints, with the Bombers and Cats the 2 teams still undefeated to play off this Friday night going above expectations, Essendon particularly with the constant investigations looming over the club. The cats for me look the side to beat, just an even side full of stars and a good mix of young players coming thru with excellent support. It took many years for Mark Thompson to build up this Geelong side, and it paid off for him and has paid off for Chris Scott too. Something clubs like Melbourne could take a leaf out of! Essendon would have been disappointed with themselves being down at HT to the Giants on the weekend but they did what every other team has done this season and opened up and gone Bang when needed. This week should be their biggest challenge. Let’s not forget Port Adelaide who no one, and I mean even the most one eyed Port fans too, wouldn’t have predicted the stunning start to the season they have made. Much like Adelaide’s unexpected good run in 2012 when myself a crows fanatic thought it would be another season in the bottom 8, Port are proving everyone wrong. And if you did predict Port to be 5-1 at the start of the season…mind picking this week’s lotto numbers for me too?
With the under achieving teams, do feel the Saints was an ambitious pick to be in the top half of the table but with a 1-5 record it’s panic stations now. Luckily for them other teams have been hogging the spotlight and they have had more admirable losses than other sides in the bottom 10. The Crows have been close but not good enough against top 8 sides in Hawthorn and Carlton in recent weeks and mentally failed big time over the Power, losing the UN-loseable showdown last month, but all things considering I feel 12th on the table is a correct reflection of where they’re at right now. Some key players are starting to get into some form, and no doubt when they face the weaker sides in the comp they will win easy but against the top sides, still fall short by about 3-6goals. Essentially if everything had gone right for them you could reverse the 2-4 record but at this stage, Adelaide are going to maybe just sneak into the finals. West Coast are an interesting read, as they have had injuries but that’s no excuse for appalling form in front of goal. They have thrown away games and while there’s always pressure kicking set shots at goal, it seems the more they miss the more pressure they are putting on themselves. A return to the Gabba where they lost the game in the final minute last season is a vital and tough fixture. Play well and they should leave with nothing less than a 10goal win, but they must take their chances, perhaps just running the ball at any cost instead of the stop prop go for the set shot play could help.
On the positive side the rest of the predictions weren’t far off, Melbourne Bulldogs Lions all pretty poor starts, Kangas close but not close enough, Freo one could say almost unlucky not to be higher, seeing as their one of their 2 losses had been by 2points at home to the Bombers in unlucky circumstances. The Suns aswell look much better this season, and they have every chance this week to win their first game at the MCG against the hapless Dees.
I’ll be Onto this week’s games later today, and if I’m honest, there’s only 4 games worth watching this week, the rest are going to be a big let down in comparison, so I’ll highlight the best games first, and not so in depth for the latter. Follow on twitter @mugpuntaus and @AfterTheClock.