Despite finding the whole thing slightly gimmicky and unnecessary in today’s climate I always enjoy Indigenous Round. For whatever reason the Aboriginal boys tend to lift for the occasion and we have seen the Tigs and the Dons put on a good show at the Dreamtime game. The recognition of Nicky Winmar’s powerful stance at Victoria park twenty years ago has been lovely and appropriate so I commend the AFL on a good job.
In the wake of such a powerful anti-racism image I am distressed to hear strange rumblings related to Majak Daw. The reverse racism associated with the idea that Majak’s achievement is heightened due to his racial background makes me sick. Hearing people say no one would care if he were white is a terrible notion. His achievements to date are receiving plenty of press for many reasons, he is the first Sudanese footballer, he has a rippling six-pack, he is good looking, he jumps higher than Nic Nat and he is kicking goals! What’s not to love? Oh and I don’t know what he is smuggling in his speedos, but it is a fair bit bigger than a budgee. I am Majak fan numero uno, get around the Sudanese sensation.
Lastly, Ian Robson, the former Essendon CEO has finally resigned. This needed to happen and I’m glad it did, the sooner Essendon clean the mess up the sooner we can all move along. However I am curious what will become of Hird and Thompson – time will tell I guess.
Collingwood vs Sydney MCG 7.50pm
No doubt this is the match of the round. Plenty on the line for both sides this week. A win for Collingwood will propel them back into the top four race whilst Sydney are in danger of falling into the chasing pack. The Swans could not stand the heat against the Hawks and the Pies are likely to bring a similar high-pressure precision style of footy, despite the absence of Shaw and Thomas. No major absentees for the Swans and they should make life hard for the Pies, however the re-introduction of Luke Ball to Collingwood’s midfield has added much needed grunt and accountability. The midfield battle will be intriguing, Swan and Pendles vs Hannebury and Bird, all in top form at the moment. However I think the game will be decided by the bookends, Reid vs Goodes and Cloke vs Richards, whichever forward makes his presence felt will have a massive influence on the outcome of this one. I think on the wide open spaces of the G, the pies won’t be beat, Collingwood by 12 points.
Port Adelaide vs Geelong AS 1.15pm
The returning Steve Johnson is a massive in for the Cats. His influence on their midfield and the spark he provides resting forward is still underrated by the general public I think. Chapman is still missing but the Cats simply have too many weapons for the Power who this week are being disrupted by five changes including former captain Cassisi. It won’t be as easy as many pundits are suggesting and I am tempted to make Port with a 50 point head start my safe bet this week. In any case Cats by 24 points.
GWS vs West Coast SK 2.10pm
West Coast are handing out breaks to all of Schofield, Wellingham, Waters and Selwood this week. Won’t make a difference though. Eagles by 55 points.
St Kilda vs Western Bulldogs ES 4.40pm
The blowtorch was finally applied to Dogs Coach Brendan Mccartney this week. He has won one of the last 19 matches. This deplorable record need to change, the old “we know we’re progressing” line must be growing very old for success starved Dogs supporters. The Saints were competitive for a half against a rejuvenated Crows outfit before being blown away however this week they regain Lenny Hayes – what a man – and will surely have enough quality to overcome the most irrelevant side in footy.
Brisbane vs Carlton G 7.40pm
Merret and Clarke’s absence is the consequence for roughing up the Dons. Whilst the Blues welcome back much maligned midfielder Bryce Gibbs. The Blues cruised to a three goal win last week whilst Brisbane put in their best performance for years, toppling ladder leaders Essendon in a massive boilover. I think that effort will have taken plenty out of them and the Blues will be too strong even at the Gabbatoir, they are slowly putting the pieces together and simply need to win these games if they are to feature in September. Blues by 14 points.
Richmond vs Essendon MCG 7.45pm
Maric and Newman are significant ins for the Tigers whilst Dempsey is back from his club imposed suspension for being a dickhead. Very much a coin toss this match. I don’t think the Tigers have the ability to win matches even though we are dangerously close to the stage of the season where the Bombers wheels fall off. Choosing between two basket cases is difficult at the best of times. I’m going with Essendon simply because I think Carlisle will teach Riewoldt a lesson, whilst the Tigers can’t cover all of Crameri, Hurley and Ryder. Dons by 4 points.
Hawthorn vs Gold Coast MCG 1.10pm
No side with O’meara and Ablett in it will be disgraced. But – Hawthorn. Hawks by 45 points.
Fremantle vs Melbourne PS 2.40pm
Each week I have the feeling Melbourne are playing to avoid a Tuesday shot gun press conference. This one could get ugly, Freo need the percentage. Dockers by 75 points.
North Melbourne vs Adelaide ES 3.20pm
Unfortunately we have to wait until three to see a decent game on Sunday however I’m expecting a classic. Both sides are slowly moving in the direction after slow starts to the season and both have points to prove. North have been the best performing side outside the eight whilst the Crows turned head with their demolition of the Saints. No major changes for either side who are both close to full strength. Genuinely tough one to pick, simply based on the location and the fact that if Majak squeezed my head between his pecs he’d make it explode, North by 13 points.