Game Day Round 12 Preview - Storming the graveyard of our expectations...

ZergMinion

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Before we start, a special message to previous preview writers who have raised the bar so far it's only visible from the International Space Station. You know who you are.



We now return to our regularly scheduled bollockspreview...

The distant past

Sydney. A team that has produced a disproportionate amount of brown trouser moments in our history, including this one where not even the players could bear to look:


Umpires too...

Cast your mind back to the last time we beat Sydney at the SCG. John Howard had been prime minister for 3 years, Mark Latham was largely considered sane, Y2K was considered a major threat, and Chris Jericho became Y2J. People were refusing to party like it was 1999 because that song was old enough to get a drivers license.

Our last win at the ground: 1999 - 14.10 to 11.15

This week will only be out 8th visit since to this field of misery and disappointment. Thankfully we've been allowed to play the swans in NSW at an even crappier stadium four times in that period, which resulted in a single win in 2007. Across our entire rivalry we're 4-17 in Sydney, 1-1 at the MCG and 16-11 in Perth for an overall record of 21-29. In fact our win percentage of exactly 42 is the worst we have against all opponents.

Last time we played

Sydney Def West Coast 10.12 to 7.15

The most recent visit was last year, when Josh Kennedy picked up a hairline fracture in his leg which was largely responsible for him missing seven games. Add this to Buddy Franklin cocking the leg and christening our new stadium with 8 goals in round 1, and it's fair to say that Sydney weren't our favourite team last year.

In pretty much perfect conditions, Buddy kicked 2.5, Elliot Yeo joined the bearded Josh Kennedy in kicking 2.1, and Heath Grundy put in a starring role vs first gamer Jarrod Brander*. Chris Masten tonned up in SuperCoach, while Dom Sheed had 2 kicks and 9 handballs. The all important free kick count was 27 - 27.

* I'm getting all this from the fanfooty website as I've cast this horrible match from my memory, so accuracy may vary.

On the plus side, the Gamblers Fallacy dictates we're due for a win.

In great news for young Brander, who will inevitably be one of our ins for this match, Heath Grundy has retired due to a debilitating back injury. In bad news for young Brander, if we do in fact bring him in it will be as a Defender and Sydney still have a couple of good players up that end. Barring some sort of miracle, Nick Smith and Harry Cunningham will also be missing from last years team through injury. Gary Rohan has suddenly become a good player over at Geelong, while the post 2017 version of Dan Hannebery continues to spud it up on St Kilda's long term injury list. The non-bearded Josh Kennedy is going to miss with a hamstring he picked up two weeks ago. Zak Jones is also listed as returning after the bye. All up there could be nine or ten changes to last years team with only Ben Ronke a chance to return.

From our side, Scott Lycett and Nic Naitanui will be missing, along with the retired Mark Lecras. In what has become somewhat of a tradition, everyone will be hoping Chris Masten misses as well.


I'm....too sexy for this game.

Our captain Shannon Hurn is a chance to miss with hamstring tightness, but Josh Rotham is standing by in hope of filling the usual two-Josh quota for this fixture.

Looking at last weeks teams, the major ins for Sydney are Jarrad McVeigh, Jarrad McVeigh's Zimmer frame, Callum Mills and Sam Reid. Our major ins are Will Schofield (Barrass and Schofield both missed last years game with McGovern the only tall defender), Nathan Vardy, Dom Sheed's confidence and hopefully the early 2018 version of Jack Darling. To say the comparative ins and outs are quite encouraging for us is like saying the pope is a bit Catholic, or that Fraser Anning is a touch racist.

Last season this fixture in this exact same round started a run of 3 losses, with Sydney (Away), Essendon (Home) and Adelaide (Away) all going massively pear shaped. Due to the incredible variety of the AFL fixture, the part of Adelaide this year will be played by Hawthorn.

Present Day

Despite only playing the occasional quarter here and there (before last Sunday at least), the Eagles find themselves sitting comfortably with a win loss record of 8-3. Sydney have decided to mirror our record, going at 3-8. If it wasn't for our tragic record on this ground, we'd all be shocked with anything other than a comfortable win this Sunday. Sydney have only managed to beat Carlton, Essendon and North Melbourne, while conspiring to be one of Melbourne's 3 scalps.

There's a rising tide of pre-emptive rectal discomfort building on this board that leads me to believe there's a documentary being released this week about Eagles Fans. I just watched a 2 minute trailer for this documentary and I was surprised to find out it was actually about a Sydney player and their experience with racism in sport. Looked like it might be a good watch. Sam Newman appears to be playing the villain. Doesn't seem like something that will have much of an effect on game day though, so on to something that absolutely will.

The Dimensions of the Ground

The miniscule size of the ground, being a full 291 meters squared smaller than Optus Oval, and a full 423 meters squared larger than Adelaide Oval (Wait, What?) has caused the Eagles problems in the past. Having 36 grown men (plus umpires) squeezing on to a playing surface which is a whole one meter shorter and two meters narrower than the gabba is clearly outrageous. They say however that the best melts are over not very much, so here's the thesaurus page for "tiny" to help you all out during the match. Extra points if you can throw in "Lilliputian" or "teensy-weensy" into a full fledged spittle-flecked meltdown during the third quarter.

The Elephant in the Salary Cap

Sydney may not be a one man team, but there's certainly one thirty-two year old with four years remaining on his nine year heavily back-ended contract who is currently taking up a big chunk of the salary cap without playing that many games or having that much of an impact.


Lance Franklin calls for the ball in the final year of his contract.

Buddy it's fair to say is not his usual dominant self. Despite being the most famous victim of the rock hard turf at Optus last year, he still looked good at times and was in fine form late last year with hauls of 6.4 and 5.4 vs Collingwood and GWS in rounds 20 and 22 before looking like he was on one leg in the Swan's only final.

This year he's been well below his best, with only one half decent haul of goals (4.1 vs Richmond round 5) before he missed 4 games with a very minor hamstring. He's undoubtedly got a few "win the match off my own boot" games left in him, but there's a good chance that won't be this week.

Other things of note

Co-Co-Captain Dane Rampe (They seriously have 3 captains) is playing his 150th this week. Coming from the rookie list, Dane has become one hell of a defender, and has recently added doing stupid things late in close games to his repertiore. In a fluff piece on his 150th it was suggested that Rampe might play on the bearded Josh Kennedy, which given the 9cm height difference could only be described as bloody marvelous.

The Undiscovered Country

Looking into the future, it's time to discuss the most important ramification of beating Sydney this week - their second round draft pick. Our trading team is starting to take on Nostradamus like qualities in their ability to trade future picks. It's fair to say the Eagles have been so good at it that Carlton thought they'd try and get some of that action, only to end up totally and utterly Carlton-ing it.

While no one game is vital in a season (at least not at this stage of the year), winning this game will greatly improve our chance of a top 4 finish and thus a serious crack at back-to-back premierships. A loss to Sydney will all but officially end their finals hopes, which would already be over if not for their houdini like effort recovering from 0-6 a couple of years back.

Match Prediction: Sydney to wear the brown shorts.
 

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Dazzler10

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Liked for the ellipse area calculating lesson.

Also, for teaching me that minikin is a word.

Edit: if you think I've completely lost the plot folks, well, yes. But also, try the links. Educational :thumbsu:
 
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Beutbrute

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Nice preview!

Question, who would you rather have coming into this game; Lewis Jetta or Cal Butterfingers Sinclair?
 

Beutbrute

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The distant past

Cast your mind back to the last time we beat Sydney at the SCG. John Howard had been prime minister for 3 years, Mark Latham was largely considered sane, Y2K was considered a major threat, and Chris Jericho became Y2J. People were refusing to party like it was 1999 because that song was old enough to get a drivers license.
That doesn't sound so bad, then I realised I would have been running this OS when we had our last win
 

ZergMinion

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Nice preview!

Question, who would you rather have coming into this game; Lewis Jetta or Cal Butterfingers Sinclair?
I'd go with Jetta, even though with Hurn out he's going to cop some kind of forward tag. Given Sydney's endless ruck injuries they got good value for the trade though.
 

ZergMinion

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It's time to break the SCG hoodoo, if we can't get it done this week, then when will we?
It's all down to our mids. If they get enough decent supply to our forwards we'll win. Can't rely on backline rebounding with Hurn out as Jetta will cop a forward tag if Sydney have half a brain.

If our mids decide it's all too hard then we'll lose again. I'm optimistic our midfielders will put in a big effort this Sunday.
 

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avishka5

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Last game IMO was the first time we saw angry Yeo emerge and take responsibility on him self to lift the side into action.

29 touches, 2 goals (both clutch), 13 inside 50's, 8 tackles, 13 contested possession and 734m gained.
 

Biggie

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This is the time we break the hoodoo.
 

Astro7

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Inside spies! -apparently Buddy is back and they've had an extra training session and are "locked in"...
whatever all that means?
Look, it wouldn't be a surprise at all if Swans win...however this is not the Eagles of last year or before that, and they look to be finally tuned and purring towards the bye and part 2 of the season. They won't be goofing off on this game.
It just feels right for a hoodoo to be broken (against a younger team) and in the tight (?) confines of the SCG, Eagles will bring their recently proven, hard-contested possession game and give the Swans a dose of their own medicine. Whatever plans the Swans are cooking up, we have plan A, B and possibly C and can switch them as required. Am feeling arrogant (hic), Eagles to send a message to the competition, and wrap up the 1st half of the season!!!
 
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eagles rule

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Winning the midfield battle will be our primary aim which is where Sydney have got us most of the time..
Sydney’ s midfield appears aged now and not the formidable unit when Kennedy,Parker were bulls ..


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