AFL ROUND 7
West Coast v Port Adelaide
The ladder-leading West Coast Eagles will front up a visiting Port team that will be welcoming back Paddy Ryder. West Coast stood firm in the West Coast derby last week just edging Fremantle while Port were able to get their season back on track by easily accounting for the North Melbourne Kangaroos.
Many thought that at the end of last season, when Brownlow medallists' Sam Mitchell and Matt Priddis both hung up the boots, the West Coast Eagles would slowly drop back through the pack and not put themselves in any real contention. They've done anything but that. West Coast have only dropped the one game this season and it was on the back of a Buddy master class back in round one. We are about to find out exactly where West Coast are as they have Port (R7), Giants (R8) and Richmond (R9) to come. Jeremy McGovern has been a pillar of defence in the Eagles backline and has really galvanised again what was once feared, the Eagle's web. Only once this season has the Eagles given up 100 points, round one to the Swans. Port Adelaide are clammering for the return of Paddy Ryder in the ruck. Since his achilles injury, their season took an indifferent turn when narrowly scraping home to the Lions, then losing to the Bombers who have shown nothing since, and then getting belted by the Cats in Adelaide. The Power are a 4-goal better team with Ryder in the side and will need to fire straight back to his best as Naitanui awaits him on the other side of the circle.
They were good winners for us last week and we're happy to give them another chance to make some cash for us again. West Coast are the surprise packet of the competition and have still only dropped the one game for the season, to the Swans back in round one. Beside last week's performance against the Roos, Port have actually played poor football in the last month and would need to improve significantly if they were going to be in this contest. Ride the West Coast wave and see them account for Port and to cover the short line.
Bulldogs v Gold Coast Suns
The Western Bulldogs will head to their second home ground in Ballarat this weekend and welcome in the always-travelling Gold Coast Suns. The Dogs kept the Blues to their first 0-7 season start in the history of their club, accounting for them by 21 points while the Suns were very much put to the sword by Adelaide over in Adelaide last Saturday night.
The Doggies did everything they were expected to do last week when they played Carlton on Friday night. What is interesting about that game was after 1/2 time, the Blues actually had the better of the Doggies. The Blues had two collapses in the game and were still able to hold the Doggies at bay and at the least not let them extend on the margin. The big news out of the Doggies camp is Easton Wood missing through hamstring injury. He is expected to be out for 2-3 weeks and at the time of news breaking, the line shifted 2 goals in favour of the Suns, from +33 points to +21. This was offset though as Gold Coast also announced S. May and T. Lynch would also be missing through injury and consequently the line was pushed back out. The Suns are accustom to travelling around the country to playing footy and I don't believe that central Ballarat will be something they haven't experienced before. The Doggies are yet to show anything that would allow them to be a 6 and a half goal better team and think that this could go badly for the Doggies.
This game is riddled with injuries and we're inclined to think that this line hasn't been confidently set at all because of it. We only have to go back a fortnight and the Dogs were having their score doubled against Fremantle. The Suns will hurt more with their outs but they have an edge in the depth of their list. Suns will cover this generous line and will make a real fist of it too. Our best for the weekend.
St Kilda v Melbourne
The disappointing Sainters will have a chance to do something about their season when they front up to Melbourne here. The Saints have one win for the season and were just outclassed last week by the Hawks. The Demons were able to keep their own season alive by accounting for the Bombers, running out 34 point winners.
The Saints have copped their fair share of criticism through the week and questions continue to be asked about where they're going and what their direction is. Allan Richardson said through the week on T.V that the Saints were struggling to bridge a gap between their superstars and their upcoming players. He believed that the players in the secondary stages of their careers hadn't come on as he'd hoped in what was a fairly honest analysis for the Saints. It was also made public this week that Dylan Roberton would not be returning to the club this year after issues with his health and heart. Koby Stevens continues to be sidelined through concussion protocol an Josh Bruce will also miss through back injures. Despite all their bad luck, the Saints have continued to fight. They were able to draw level, and to be fair probably should've been kicking for the win on the siren, against the Giants just a fortnight ago in what looked like a certain victory for the Giants. Last week they were able to hang around with the Hawks that we all knew would be able to outclass them at one point or another. The Demons are coming off a defining win for their season last week, against the Bombers. Heading into the season last week, both teams were 2-3 and both of them needed the win as much as the other. Has the Bombers won last week, they would've been the lay bet for today but that wasn't the case. Melbourne have not shown at all this season that they can string two quarters of footy together, let alone two weeks.
The Demons are three goal favourites against a team that is probably playing the same standard of footy as their opponents last week, right now. Don't get me wrong, the Saints are a poor outfit but their young list has had the acid thrown on them this week and after six rounds it looks as if their season is already over. Melbourne 'needed' to win last week and will be coming down from that get-up game. Saints will cover and could give the Demons a scare here to finish off our weekend.
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%