AFL ROUND 6
North Melbourne v Port Adelaide
Port Adelaide come to Melbourne after being embarrassed by the Geelong Cats last week on their home deck while the Roos notched their third win for the season that now sees them sit fourth on the premiership ladder after five rounds. We'll let that sink in for a moment..
The Roos were able to take advantage of a weakened Hawthorn outfit in round five but were frazzled late as the Hawks were able to peg what once was a 50-point deficit early stages of the game to just 14 points. The Roos have been able to get some consistency out of their twin towers up forward; Waite and Brown. The latter is in career best form and currently leads the Coleman medal race after five. Tall Timber Goldstein has found himself back in near 2016-like form with his hit out to advantage and ruck work around the ground having picked up considerably since last year. There is no arguing that the Roos have found themselves a little purple patch of form at the moment. Port Adelaide are stinging now after having the Cats come to Adelaide and allow them to run away with a near six goal victory in round five. The big out for the Cats was Hawkins who complained of back spasms during the warm up. Ironically, this worked well for the Cats who were able to move the ball freely in zones Hawkins would normally be occupying. Because of this fluency, Geelong recorded 10 individual goal scorers for the game where Port simply did not have an answer. The Port defense at the moment is struggling to maintain small forward line because of their man-to-man style defense system.
Port have not dished up anything near the quality of football that is seeing them be touted for premiership contention since their victory in Sydney, three weeks ago now. How Port have played in the past couple of weeks since that game has been questionable but they will need to respond and I think they will here. Expect Port to cop some internal heat for their efforts lately and really respond in a game that could reignite their season.
Port Adelaide -14.52.5u at 1.9+2.25
Essendon v Melbourne
Two teams that had the 'luxury' of playing earlier this week will look to save their seasons as they square off here. Essendon (2-4), coming off a belting against the Pies on Anzac day will tackle Melbourne who, too, copped a beating the night before themselves. Both teams are floundering in bad form and their own lofty expectations that were set for them preseason.
It can be argued that the Bombers are the hardest team to get a gauge on this season. They've won both games they probably should've lost (Adelaide/Port Adelaide) and have lost games where they had themselves every chance to win (Dogs/Collingwood/Freo). The Bombers disappointed again last week, this time on Anzac day and questions are starting to be asked of the Bombers and their direction for the season. It appears that their 'run and gun' style of football played at Etihad has been found out and teams are adjusting to them accordingly. Essendon copped the third worst defeat in Anzac Day clashes against Collingwood this Wednesday just gone; 49 points. Melbourne also had their hands full just the night before and they too were put to the sword to the tune of 46 points. Melbourne were able to make a contest of it against the reigning premiers but when their character was tested after half time, fell over all too easily. You won't catch a Melbourne supporter saying that they're on the the right track but given their injuries at the moment, they can be excused, somewhat.
Two teams in the 'gun' here and fortunately for one of them, they'll get the victory and keep their season somewhat alive with a 3-3 record. There's value in the overs market here- In the past two weeks Melbourne have allowed 100 points to be scored on them on back to back occasions, while the Bombers allowed 100 points themselves to the Pies just a handful of days ago. Melbourne look the better setup team for this game and probably win but there is a reason why these two teams have been poor to start the season and i'm pointing fingers at the defense.
Total Match Points Over 180.52.0u at 1.9-2
Fremantle v West Coast
West Coast will return home after holding the chippy Blues at bay last week while the Dockers were able to do what was expected of them and send the Doggies back to Victoria after doubling the Doggies score. The West Australian derby measures up to a good game with both teams coming into it in decent enough form.
West Coast have been pretty faultless up to this point of the season. They have only dropped the one game which was back in round one against the Sydney Swans. You can only beat what is put in front of you and the Eagles have done that. Josh Kennedy has slid seamlessly back into the Eagles forward line and is looking better and better each week. Lewis Jetta, Nathan Vardy and Luke Shuey are all in contention for returns this week which would really bolster this squad. Fremantle have gone about their business quite nicely since their round one thumping, also. Their losses this season have come from the the Giants and the Crows who both have been touted to go deep into September. Matt Taberner went down with a foot injury on the weekend, where he has been the perfect pinch hitter for Sandilands when the rest is needed. He has also gone forward and been a threat in goals which has allowed other forwards around him to player with more freedom. He is by no means a world beater but this signals a big out for Fremantle who have used his dual position ability to their advantage of the first couple of weeks. What also can't be swept under the rug is the Brownlow-like form that Fyfe has returned to in the past fortnight. We all assumed that Fyfe wold return to his best sooner or later and it appears that it has arrived.
This game is setup to be a good watch for all involved. If West Coast are able to go any of their injured players mentioned above, back into the team then this will be a play. I still believe that West Coast will have too much depth around the grounds to allow Fremantle to have any sort of controlling influences on the scoreboard or on any parts of the ground. It'll be a close game, but West Coast just edges the Dockers here.
West Coast -6.51.0u at 1.9+0.9
WEEK RESULTS STAKES ROI Round Nine +7.84 8.5 92% Round Eight +3.5 8 44% Round Seven +2.35 7.25 32% Round Six +1.15 5.5 21% Round Five +5.32 9 59% Round Four -2.1 6.5 -32% Round Three -0.35 5.5 -6% Round Two -1.5 6 -25% Round One +2.56 6 43% Total +18.77 62.25 30%