Yeah OK, we were wrong! Last week’s expected yawn fest turned into a rippa of a round of footy with plenty of thrilling matches and a few upsets that would have satisfied footy fans across the country.
This weekend shapes as even better. We’ve turned the corner towards finals to most games have an extra edge as teams vie for place in the end of season action. The Derby (derby/darby!) and the Showdown lead the way this week but even 16th v 17th will attract plenty of attention this round.
#1 Dockers (8th) v Eagles (3rd)
Hard to go past this one as the top interest this week. It seems more often than not when the derby rolls around one team or the other (OK, it’s usually Freo) sucks! Not this year, although Freo did a Freo last week (all credit to Carlton) has taken a bit of an edge off the game. Eagles haven’t exactly been flying and some would say lucky to beat the Hawks last week. Big Nic Nat will be better for the run and we may yet see the other WA giant in Aaron Sandilands. It should be a cracker. I’m sure the Pies and Hawks, who play these two next round, will just be hoping they beat the living crap out of each other in the process!
#2 Crows (6th) v Power (9th)
Have they brought out the Power branded yo-yo yet? No. They are the living breathing yo-yo of the AFL that’s for sure. Beat the Cats one week, lose at home (albeit in shocking conditions) to the Dogs a week later. Nonetheless there’s one thing for sure… a game between the Crows and Power rarely disappoints and that’s why I’m putting it at No.2 this week.
#3 Bombers (10th) v Swans (12th)
These two are knocking on the door of the top eight which is why this should be an absolute cracker. Any chance someone can climb a goal post just to test the rules again? Dane,Dane, are you there? Bombers are out of the eight on percentage while if the Swans win they will draw level with the Dons. It’s a genuine eight point game with the added spice of their previous encounter making this particularly juicy.
#4 Giants (4th) v Lions (5th)
Lions coach Chris Fagan might not want to mention the F word yet but this Lions outfit is two games clear inside the eight right now. Finals beckon. But can they take it up to the Giants in Sydney’s west? This game would have been higher on the interestometer this week except, well, it involves the Giants! 4th v 5th though. In theory this should be yet another cracker.
#5 Blues (17th) v Demons (16th)
Not often a game between 16th and 17th would even be mentioned on the interestometer but I’m bumping this one. Why? The Blues big win over Freo on Sunday has many asking – Have they turned the corner? The Demons have had a horror year. Is it injuries or is it form or one causing the other? Who knows? Mostly though this game is about the Blues – despite their recent spate of injuries to quality players. If people are to start believing they have turned the corner to moving up the ladder then they must win this.
#6 Hawks (15th) v Pies (2nd)
Is the sky falling at Olympic Park? Not sure I can recall a time where there is so much doom and gloom around a team sitting equal second on the ladder. After a horribly insipid performance against the Kangaroos and an injury list longer than your arm I’m including this one for all of the Collingwood haters… of which I suspect there are a few – who I’m sure are all hoping they get belted again. Although after their era of dominance I’m sure there are just as many in the anti-Hawk camp.
With 6 games out of the 9 sparking our interest this we’re looking forward to some fantastic footy in Round 16.
Friday, July 5
Hawthorn v Collingwood, MCG, 7.50pm
Saturday, July 6
Essendon v Sydney, MCG, 1.45pm
Gold Coast v Richmond, Metricon Stadium, 2.10pm
Adelaide v Port Adelaide, Adelaide Oval, 4.35pm
Western Bulldogs v Geelong, Marvel Stadium, 7.25pm
Fremantle v West Coast, Optus Stadium, 8.10pm
Sunday, July 7
Carlton v Melbourne, MCG, 1.10pm
North Melbourne v St Kilda, Blundstone Arena, 3.20pm
GWS v Brisbane Lions, Sydney Showground Stadium, 4.40pm