In a rare Thursday night match, two finals-bound teams go head-to-head. We look at exotic tips and line bets for Adelaide vs. North Melbourne. Free tips here:
Once Adelaide’s favourite son, Patrick Dangerfield returns to his old home this Friday in the AFL match of the week – get your Dangerfield betting tips here.
Just because your team is a long-shot to make finals, doesn’t mean there isn’t some betting value behind them in certain markets. Find out which ones here.
Hawthorn Hawks: Third
Adelaide Crows: Seventh
Hawthorn Hawks: 16-6-0
Adelaide Crows: 13-8-0
Last five matches
Hawthorn Hawks: WLWWL
Adelaide Crows: WWWLW
COULD the once mighty Hawks be booted out of the AFL finals in straight sets?
That’s the cold hard reality reigning back to back premiers Hawthorn ($1.33 with CrownBet.com.au) faces as it goes into a do or die semi final clash with a fired up Adelaide ($3.40 with CrownBet.com.au) on Friday night.
The Hawks have not been knocked out in straight sets after finishing a regular season in the top four since 1977.
That’s 38 long years.
But they will need to put out a better effort than they did against the rabid West Coast Eagles in last week’s qualifying final if they want to avoid the dubious honour.
The Hawks were out hustled, out pressured and out classed by a West Coast side that has firmed into the favourite to win the premiership, falling 14.12 (96) to 9.10 (64).
Despite winning the clearances, the Hawks just couldn’t handle the heat – something that has rarely been said about a side that has won the past two AFL flags.
They butchered the footy and turned it over too often.
Dynamic midfielder Sam Mitchell, ever the accumulator, was dominant for the Hawks with 35 disposals and 10 clearances, while captain courageous Luke Hodge bounced back from a sub par nine possession first half to collect 20 disposals after the main break.
Cyril Rioli found plenty of it by his standards, with 21 possessions, but could only manage one goal, while Jarryd Roughead and Shaun Burgoyne were the Hawks’ only multiple goal kickers.
Out of form spear head Roughead reckons his boys can bounce back against the Crows, despite their first finals loss since 2012.
“I don’t want to have to be dealing with Mad Monday next week,” Roughead said.
“We’re playing finals footy and every year there’s the hunger within the group to win, because some blokes haven’t won one.
“I know what it’s like to win a couple, so you want that every year and for as long as you can, because you never know if we’re ever going to be back here again.
“West Coast to their credit were very, very good, but that’s why we got top four.
“You get that double chance and now we get to play on our home deck on Friday night against a good side that were very good on Saturday night.
“We’ve only lost two finals in the past four years, so we definitely know how to win in September and we give ourselves every chance Friday night.”
But he admits he is worried about the fired up Crows, who won a thrilling elimination final against the Western Bulldogs, 16.13 (109) to 14.18 (102).
“If they get clean ball like they did on Saturday night then they can score heavily, as we saw, so making sure the pressure on the mids and the blokes kicking it inside 50 is full on,” Roughead said.
And the Hawks will have a massive out, with key forward Jack Gunston ruled out with an ankle injury.
The Hawks general manager of football operations said Gunston – a former Crow – had been “making steady progress with the injury, but not fast enough to be available to play on Friday night.”
“Hopefully if we can get a win on Friday night, he’ll be back in calculations for the following week,” Fagan said.
It’s a massive blow for the Hawks, Gunston’s 53 majors the most at the Hawks in 2015, especially with the failed experiment of James Frawley – and then Brian Lake – up forward.
Key Box Hill men James Sicily or Tim O’Brien could come into calculations, but it’s likely cult figure and 2014 finals hero Matt Spangher steps in to fill the breach – another defender masquerading as a forward.
It’s lucky the Hawks don’t rely on one man to boot all their goals.
Speaking of a nice spread of goal kickers, the Crows will be brimming with confidence after their explosive come from behind performance against the Doggies on the weekend.
That man Eddie Betts had a blinder, booting five goals, but it was the inspirational captain Taylor Walker who stood up when the game was there to be won, using skill and precision in key moments, booting three goals and snaring 10 marks for the match.
Patrick Dangerfield was his usual self with 26 disposals, while the roaming Ricky Henderson led the way with 29 possessions.
It was a win that honoured slain coach Phil Walsh and ear marked the Crows as a team to watch heading deeper into the finals.
But the Crows are on a five match losing streak against the Hawks and the last time they made a preliminary final was in 2012 – when the Hawks knocked them over by five points.
History is against them, but defender Brodie Smith reckons the rivalry is closer than the win loss ledger suggests.
Three of the clashes have been decided by two goals or less.
“We’ve had a few tough games against Hawthorn but I don’t think they’ve beaten us heavily – we’ve always been involved in the game,” Smith said.
“Go back to the game we played half way through the year – we probably didn’t play four quarters of footy and that’s what cost us.
“The last month that’s what we’ve been focusing on – just playing consistent four quarters of footy and we know if we do that on the weekend and play our best we can get over the line.”
The Crows not only won, they got through unscathed, with no new injuries to report.
And it could be that they enter the clash with the Hawks unchanged, which will be a boon for their consistency, despite the fact they lost many of the key indicators against the Dogs.
“We probably thought going in to the game against the Bulldogs it was going to be a battle of ground ball, contested possession, clearance – we obviously didn’t get the job done there which we’re disappointed with and we’ll have to make sure that’s at a better level going into Hawthorn obviously,“ coach Scott Camporeale said.
Match result: Hawthorn Hawks win ($1.33 with CrownBet.com.au)
Line: Adelaide Crows +21.5 ($1.92 with CrownBet.com.au)
Despite the fairy tale story of the Crows rising for their fallen coach Phil Walsh, we say beware the wounded Hawk. Nothing went right for them against the Eagles and you’d have to say they were beaten by a better team on the night. But the Crows, for all their efforts, are not a better team than the Hawks. Big Tex, Betts and Dangerfield are the stars and they have a nice spread of mid range contributors, but the Hawks have champions across all lines, even if they are missing their number one goal kicker. The big issue for the Crows is the end to end stuff. They’re great at scoring freely, but the Hawks are just as good at shutting down free scoring sides and killing them on the counter attack. The Hawks have the ability to blow most sides away, but we can’t see that happening against the Crows and there in lies the beauty of this battle. Strap yourselves in for a classic.
First goal scorer tips
Jarryd Roughead ($8 with sportsbet.com.au) or Luke Breust ($9 with sportsbet.com.au)
With no Jack Gunston, one of the Hawks’ three pronged forward line who was ruled out of the match with an ankle injury, The onus falls even more heavily on two blokes who would not have been happy with how they performed against the West Coast. Gunston has kicked more goal than any other Hawk this season, so it will be on that pair to step up in his absence. Roughead was once one of the best forwards in the game, but his role at the Hawks has changed significantly, often playing further up the ground and even spending time in the midfield and in the ruck. Hawks coach Alistair Clarkson will have to shuffle the decks here and we reckon the likely move is to put Rough in the square and look for a big bag out of him. He is still the Hawks most imposing forward and therefore the midfielders biggest and brightest target. If they get it out of the guts, the big fella will be a prime candidate to bang the first goal through.
It’s hard to believe that Luke Breust has kicked 45 goals for the season, but not a single one in the last three weeks. Donuts against Port Adelaide and the Brisbane Lions preceded a poor performance in last week’s semi final that had the critics knocking him for lack of effort. He will want to bounce back and show that he’s still hungry for premiership success and his nose for goal, coupled with his skill in the air and on the ground should hold him in good stead to boot the first goal of the match.
Eddie Betts ($9 with sportsbet.com.au) or Taylor Walker ($9 with sportsbet.com.au)
What Carlton wouldn’t do to have Eddie Betts in their line up still. Fast Eddie reminds the Blues’ faithful every day of their club’s terrible decision making and his five goal tour de force last week was stark. Betts was the man against the Doggies, doing a little bit of everything and using the vast expanses of the MCG to his advantage. Whether he was getting out the back, hitting up on the lead or crumbing of the pack, Betts might have cause to nick the Eddie Everywhere tag from Collingwood president Eddie McGuire. A little like ex St Kilda goal machine Stevie Milne in that the little fella is one of the most dangerous small men in the game and has a serious penchant for kicking the first goal in contests to get the party started.
While Betts booted the most goals, the Crows would not have won without the supreme efforts of captain Taylor Walker. This guys has reinvigorated himself, from knock about larrikin to a leader of men. You feel like there’s a bit of Jonathan Brown about the Crows’ superstar. He’s big, he’s mobile, he’s a beautiful kick for goal and his team mates look to him to lead the way. This bloke is as good as it gets in the game at the moment and you simply must have him in your first goal scorer calculations. Get on and watch him dominate.
AFTER an AFL season like no other, the finals are just around the corner and several teams have some issues going into the 2015 finals series.
The Swans will be without two of their best players, the Dogs looked tired against the Lions and will need to lift, but their opponents the Crows did not perform much better.
The two teams in the West are flying and will host the two qualifying finals while the Tigers and the Kangaroos will lock horns for the second week in a row – this time for real.
Plenty of action to review so let’s take a look at the teams that are in the hunt.
Round 23 review – and then there were eight
After 23 rounds of football, here is the order of the top eight teams that have made the 2015 finals series:
- West Coast
- Western Bulldogs
- North Melbourne
This is how the next four weeks of football will shape up – your 2015 AFL finals guide:
What form will each team bring in? Round 23 could hold some answers.
The round kicked off on Friday night with the Tigers getting a handy psychological advantage over the Kangaroos during a comfortable 41-point victory at Etihad Stadium.
North Melbourne left out over half of their best 22 for the final game of the home and away season and, despite a hot start, was unable to maintain its lead and fell away badly in the second half to a much more experienced line-up.
Both teams will take something out of the match going into their elimination final match up on Sunday at the MCG with the Kangaroos banking on the added rest to aid their stars.
The Tigers will be hoping the game time that their superstars got in on Friday night will be more beneficial than a potential rest.
Only time will tell what methodology will prove successful.
North Melbourne will be confident they took the right route with some of their veterans, including Nick Dal Santo and Brownlow medal hopeful Todd Goldstein, amongst the players taking advantage of North’s resting policy.
The Kangaroos are $2.30 outsiders with Sportsbet to progress past the Tigers in Sunday’s elimination final.
Saturday saw a missed opportunity for the travelling Adelaide Crows, with the South Australian side falling to Geelong at Simonds Stadium by 39-points.
The Cats sent departing veterans Steve Johnson, Matthew Stokes and James Kelly off in style with a classy victory that will leave the fans thinking ‘what if?’ after failing to make the finals for the first time in nine years.
Adelaide captain Taylor Walker will be keen to atone after a poor showing, with the man they call ‘Tex’ held to just one goal.
With a weakened Western Bulldogs back line, the Crows captain will be looking to make a statement early.
Sportsbet is offering $7.00 on Walker to boot the first major of the match against the Dogs.
The loss cost the Crows a home final, with the loss against the Cats – who had only pride to play for – ensuring Adelaide must travel to Melbourne to face the Western Bulldogs at the MCG.
Despite their lacklustre showing against the Cats, and the fact that they need to travel back to Victoria twice in two weeks, the punters still have confidence the Crows can progress through to week two of the finals.
Adelaide are $2.00 with William Hill to defeat the Dogs on Saturday night.
Saturday afternoon at the GABBA saw one of the upsets of the season with the Lions shocking the Dogs at home to record an eight point victory to close out their year.
The Lions climbed up off the bottom of the ladder with the win – but the concern will be just how poorly the Dogs performed, with the young Pups looking slow and lethargic in the hot Brisbane sun.
Time will tell if the hot conditions will have a significant impact on their chances this weekend.
The game could have had significant finals implications, but, with the Crows failing to beat the Cats down in Geelong, the Dogs were saved the indignity of travelling to Adelaide.
With a host of stars to return, including current captain Robert Murphy and former skipper Matthew Boyd, the Dogs are slight favourites going into the cut-throat match up against the Crows at the MCG.
The Western Bulldogs are $1.85 favourites to defeat the Crows and advance to the semi-finals.
Saturday night saw the Swans consolidate their position inside the top-four with a resounding 63-point win over the Gold Coast Suns in Sydney.
The win came at a cost for the home side, with captain Kieran Jack ruled out for potentially the remainder of the finals series with a knee injury sustained early in the match.
The Swans will also be without superstar full forward Lance Franklin for at least the first qualifying final against Fremantle after Sydney officials confirmed their marquee player will not be available for selection.
The loss of Franklin and Jack will have a significant impact on Sydney’s ability to mount a challenge in Perth against Fremantle, with last year’s Grand Finalists at the longest odds of the weekend to win in the first week of the finals.
Sportsbet have the Swans as $3.25 outsiders to earn a week off and a home preliminary final.
Friday, August 7, 2015, 7.50pm AEST, Adelaide Oval, watch on Seven Network, Fox Footy
Adelaide Crows: ninth
Richmond Tigers: sixth
Adelaide Crows: 9-7-0
Richmond Tigers: 11-6-0
Last five games
Adelaide Crows: WLWWL
Richmond Tigers: WWWLW
THE mighty Tigers are on a roll, having disposed of premiership favourites Hawthorn in brilliant performance last Friday night.
Now it’s time top back it up, again under the Friday night lights, with the challenger this time being a desperate Adelaide Crows ($2.20 with WilliamHill.com.au)
A top four berth is not out of reach for Richmond ($1.72 with CrownBet.com.au), with just one win separating it and the third placed Hawks after the stunning result, 10.11 (71) to 7.11 (53).
The Tigers were rabid. They were hungry. And they choked a Hawthorn outfit that looked at times disinterested and not up to the task.
They tend to do that to Hawthorn, though, so this week is a real litmus test as they hit the road to Adelaide, where it hasn’t exactly been a happy hunting ground.
Brett Deledio was the best player on the deck, garnering only 18 disposals, but converting four of those into goals to prove the difference.
The usual suspects in Dustin Martin (27 touches), the vastly improved Brandon Ellis (27) and Trent Cotchin (24) fired for the Tiges, but it was lesser light Anthony Miles who gave the superstars a much needed chop out, accumulating 30 disposals in perhaps his best game for the club.
“‘Milesy’ has been a fantastic pick-up for us,” defender Troy Chaplin said.
“He’s come into the midfield and had a massive impact since halfway through last year.
“He puts his body on the line week in, week out, and he’s always getting high tackles against him – we just love him for that.
“He’s heart and soul, and that’s what we’re all about at the footy club.”
Fellow defender Alex Rance said he had absorbed some of the work load of the midfield stars.
“He’s always at the bottom of every pack and he’s taken the workload off ‘Cotchy’,” Rance said.
“It means he (Cotchin) doesn’t have to get bashed up as much at the bottom of the packs and we get his good use on the outside.”
Coach Damien Hardwick was rapt with the victory, especially on the heels of a heartbreaking loss to Fremantle last round.
“The execution of the game plan was really important, probably built on the disappointment of last week,” Hardwick said after the match.
“The guys were quite angry with the loss and the pleasing thing from my point of view is that they turned that disappointment and anger into a really credible performance.
“The way they went about the contest tonight – they hunted the opposition – I thought was as good as I’d seen it.
“It’s another win where we build on our story as a footy club.
“It’s been a reasonably long journey for our patient Richmond fans, but we hope we can repay them at some stage.”
The Tigers have now beaten three of the top four sides in the competition – Hawthorn, Sydney and Fremantle.
The Crows simply must win.
Equal on 38 points with Geelong, but outside the eight on percentage, every game is crucial for the Crows if they want to be alive come September.
They did themselves no favours last week, heading to Sydney and copping a 52 point hammering, 17.15 (117) to 9.11 (65).
Midfield superstar Patrick Dangerfield had another 27 touches, but his usage was left wanting at times, while Scott Thompson had 25 and Tom Lynch had a day out with three goals, 21 disposals and 10 marks.
But it wasn’t anywhere near enough to compete on the road against Sydney and they will be looking forward to the comforts of home.
Crows coach Scott Camporeale reckons the Tigers won’t let them get too comfortable, likening their uncompromising play over the past three weeks to that of bullies.
“If you’ve watched their games the last three weeks against quality opposition that’s what they’ve brought,” Camporeale said.
The Crows have lost pact midfielder Richard Douglas ahead of the clash, after he had his appendix removed on Monday.
Camporeale wants the Crows to hold their own destiny in their hands, rather than relying on other teams to lose, but they need their vanquishers of last week, Sydney, to beat Geelong this weekend.
“You just don’t know what’s going to happen and how other teams are going to fall so, as I’ve said all along, we’ve just got to make sure we keep winning,” he said.
“We can’t rely on other teams losing for us to get in.”
Match winner: Richmond Tigers ($1.72 with CrownBet.com.au)
Line: Richmond Tigers: -5.5 ($1.85 with WilliamHill.com.au)
What makes this a tough one to predict is the nightmares of Richmond past. The Tigers have a track record of being a giant killer and then losing to sides they’re supposed to beat. On paper, they should beat Adelaide. They’re the better side. They have the better record. They have better players and they’re in better form. They just handed the back to back premiers a loss. But you just have that doubt in the back of your mind. The Crows will be desperate. Every one of their players knows they can’t afford to slip up. All of this points to it being a close match. But we’re going to keep trying to believe in the Tigers. Could they actually blow Adelaide away and make a few heads turn? They’re still yet to prove themselves in finals footy action, but a big win over the Crows could well make those other top eight bound teams sit up and take notice.
First goal scorer tips
Tom Lynch ($13 with sportsbet.com.au)
Tom Lynch once kicked 10 goals in a game and it looked like he was going to be a super spearhead for the Crows. Especially with Kurt Tippett gone. But he has been slightly disappointing in the shadow of Taylor Walker and Josh Jenkins. Not so last week. Big Sauce was perhaps the Crows’ best player, gathering 21 possessions and being the side’s only real target up forward, pulling down 10 marks and booting three goals. You get the feeling the mids will have their eye on the 24 year old, who has 22 goals on the season and will be keen to add a few more against Richmond.
Patrick Dangerfield ($19 with sportsbet.com.au)
One of the best midfielders in the game is going through a dry spell in front of the big sticks. Used to provide 20-30 goals a season, these days he spends his time exclusively in the midfield and that has taken him away from the big sticks. So why are we telling you this if we think he is a first goal scorer chance. Well we feel like the Tigers have no obvious match up for the hard nosed talent laden midfielder and we also feel like he will use that as an opportunity to roam. The Crows need more scoreboard help and that could well come from Dangerfield. Only has one goal in the past five games, after hitting the scoreboard in six in a row. He will want to rectify that and we think the $19 is worth just a flutter against the Tigers.
Brett Deledio ($11 with sportsbet.com.au)
The Jack Attack is usually the default pick here, but we’re going to rely on a bit of form and go with Deledio’s purple patch against the Hawks as a pointer for our first goal scorer selection for the Tigers this week. There were three goals kicked in the first quarter of that game between the two sides and it was Deledio who kicked them all. He would kick another later to give him four for the match, but we’re going to ride his pacy, hard tackling, slick kicking skills to hopefully another first goal in the Adelaide game. The four goals gave him 17 for the year, but he has hit the scoreboard in each of his last eight appearances for Richmond.
Kamdyn McIntosh ($29 with sportsbet.com.au)
This is another one out of left field. No Jack, you say? Look, Riewoldt is the obvious pick, but we’re trying to find a bit more value. We guess the $7 about the Tigers’ spearhead is always enticing, but we’re going to take a flyer on the young stud McIntosh. Started out in a blaze of glory and has solidified a spot in the Tigers best 22 with hard running, bash and crash play that is fast making the solid youngster a fan favourite. Not the most likely goal kicker, but has managed to slot one in each of the past two weeks. If he does it again and you decide to follow out tip, you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank with those very juicy odds at Sportsbet.
Saturday, August 1, 2015, 4.35pm AEST, Sydney Cricket Ground, watch on Fox Footy
Sydney Swans: Fourth
Adelaide Crows: Seventh
Sydney Swans: 11-5-0
Adelaide Crows: 9-6-0
Last five games
Sydney Swans: LWWLL
Adelaide Crows: LWLWW
TALK about a must win game.
Apart from the Friday night blockbuster between Hawthorn and Richmond, which we’ve previewed here, there is no other game with more on the line than the desperate Adelaide Crows trip to a stumbling Sydney on Saturday afternoon.
The Swans, on a two game slide, are a skinny $1.37 with our friends at WilliamHill.com.au and face an Adelaide side that is clinging onto faint finals hopes, but is a rank outsider at $3.05 with the same bookie.
And the Swans will step out after another controversial week involving their favourite son Adam Goodes being booed mercilessly by fans during the side’s defeat at the hands of the West Coast Eagles, 15.13 (103) to 7.9 (51).
During the match, Lewis Jetta booted a goal and, incensed by the booing of Goodes, directed a hypothetical spear throwing performance at the West Coast crowd, similar to the war cry the dual Brownlow Medalist aimed at Carlton supporters during the AFL’s Indigenous Round earlier this season.
Some of poor old Goodesy’s supporters have played the race card, and there is certainly an element of that, but there are more than 70 Indigenous players in the AFL and they do not get booed in the same fashion.
Goodes is outspoken on issues of race, which unfortunately makes him a target of bigots, but opinions of the reason behind the booing are divided.
Amid a chorus of outcry, with many preaching at fans to stop the booing, there have been some people speak out against the notion of telling supporters how they can and can’t barrack.
Booing has been part of football – and sport – for as long as it’s been around. Why does anyone have the right to classify who does and doesn’t deserve to be booed?
Hawthorn legend Dermott Brereton suggested Goodes should “work out what he can do to change” his on field actions in a bid to divert the fans’ wrath.
“People will boo, they will cheer, they will hiss, sometimes they will swear — it’s the behaviour of the player that can stimulate those responses,’’ Brereton said.
“Adam Goodes would do well to look at what he’s done, bad or good or indifferent, and work out what he can do to change that.”
Former Brownlow medallist Jason Akermanis said there was nothing wrong with booing players.
“The crowd can boo anybody they want,” Akermanis said.
“I got booed all of my career and mostly it was when I was getting lots of touches so if people were booing I knew I must have been doing all right.”
Goodes has copped it all season and AFL chief Gillon McLachlan has said fans should stop, saying “enough is enough”.
Goodes has been given leave by the club to get away from the spotlight and coach John Longmire said he could miss the Adelaide clash.
“This is clearly an issue that he’s concerned about and is sick of, and needed a couple of days off,” Longmire said.
“That’s the most important thing, is that we address (the issue) and support Adam as much as we can.
“He’s a very, very strong individual and he’s able to go about his business on a week to week basis.
“Sometimes though, we can assume that it doesn’t hurt, and it does.”
“Adam’s a very strong person who has done a lot for the game, but don’t assume that these things are easily washed over and don’t affect him in some way.
“It’s affected him.
“He’s tried as hard as he can to try and move on, and we tried to address it in a way that we thought was appropriate at the time, but he’s had enough of it.“
Amid the controversy, the Swans lost again after an 89 point hammering at the hands of Hawthorn, despite 31 disposals from midfield bull Josh Kennedy.
Both the Bondi Millionaires Buddy and Tippett were on the sidelines and it meant the Swans simply didn’t have the forward line firepower to compete with the Eagles.
Tippett and Franklin are both expected to return for the clash with the Crows, who whacked the Gold Coast Suns, 19.11 (125) 12.8 (80), to make it two in a row after taking down Port Adelaide a fortnight ago.
They were helped by Suns superstar Gary Ablett going down with a season ending knee injury in the first quarter, but midfielders Patrick Dangerfield, 36 touches, Scott Thompson, 34, and Rory Laird, 32, went on a rampage.
Goal sneak Charlie Cameron booted four, with fellow small forward Eddie Betts kicking three, as did the towering Josh Jenkins.
Taylor Walker kicked two goals but only had 11 disposals and his form is still a concern.
Tall defender Daniel Talia is expected to be fit enough to take on the Swans after he pulled out of the Gold Coast game with a virus last weekend.
Rory Sloane made it through his first game following a broken cheekbone and he will continue wearing his head gear after fracturing it for a second time this season.
The Swans have beaten Adelaide three times on the spin and won four of their last six contests, including a 10 goal hammering at Adelaide Oval in their last outing in 2014, 21.8 (134) to 9.17 (71). In that match, Franklin and gun midfielder Luke Parker booted four goals each.
The Crows are seventh and need to keep winning to ward of five other clubs below them as the attempt to seal up a finals spot.
Match result: Sydney Swans win ($1.37 with WilliamHill.com.au)
Line: Adelaide +17.5 ($1.91 with WilliamHill.com.au)
This is a massive game and we think with the varied form of the two teams, it’s much closer than their ladder positions suggest. The Crows are one of a very few teams who enjoy a positive record against the Swans at their fortress, the Sydney Cricket Ground. they’ve played there 16 times, with Crows winning 11 of those, indicating the Adelaide boys show no fear of travelling there. With the likes of Dangerfield and the ageless Thompson firing and the dangerous forward line of Betts, Cameron and Jenkins kicking goals, they should have enough in the tank to keep this one close. And the match could be won or lost in the ruck. If big Sauce Jacobs can dominate against Mike Pyke, who has struggled with niggles in recent weeks, it will go a long way to the Crows getting first use of the footy and therefore providing them with more impetus to go on and win the match. But we get the vibe the 17.5 point line is just about right, because we think the home ground advantage will just get Sydney over the line by two to three goals. We’re backing the Crows to keep it close, but the Swans to ultimately prevail and put their hopes of finishing in a top four slot on the AFL ladder back on track.
First goal scorer tips
Lewis Jetta ($23 with sportsbet.com.au)
After the controversy of last week, expect Jetta to come out breathing fire against the Crows. The lightning fast winger will be keen to push forward and impose himself early. What better way to prove that you’re unmoved by the problems and dramas of the week than to snag an early one and really get the ball rolling? Averages nearly 20 disposals and while he hasn’t been renowned for kicking a lot of goals, we think he’s a nice little selection at very healthy odds to have a flutter on. We’d love to see one of his trademark runs where he finds space out of the wing and turns on the after burners, streaking into the attacking 50 and firing one through with range.
Lance Franklin ($7 with sportsbet.com.au)
Buddy, as is the case with Jetta, will be keen to have an impact to support his under fire team mate in Goodes – if he can get on the park. Coming off a week off, he should be fresh and ready to hit the ground running if he can overcome the back injury that forced him to withdraw from the Eagles game on Sunday. We don’t need to tell you how talented this guy is. The mercurial forward is capable of ripping a game apart off his own boot and is a regular appearance in the first goal kickers for the Swans. Back with confidence, but wait until the teams are named.
Patrick Dangerfield ($18 with sportsbet.com.au)
Don’t you just love this bloke’s game? Dangerfield is an absolute gun and he’s been a flat out monster in the pat two months as he attempts to put the Crows on his back and carry them to a finals berth. Doesn’t kick the 20 to 30 goals a season like he used to do, but is still capable of bagging them on his day. Is an absolute bulldog when he gets near the footy and knows exactly where those big sticks are. If he gets an opportunity to kick the first goal, you can be sure he will make no mistake in ramming it home and winning some dough for punters brave enough to follow our tip and lay down some of their hard earned on him.
Josh Jenkins ($11 with sportsbet.com.au)
This used to be Tex’s forward line, but the Crows’ captain may have been crushed by the responsibility. Has Jenkins gone ahead of Walker as the Crows’ most dangerous tall forward? He’s booted 27 goals for the year, including a bag of five against Carlton in round 10. Jenkins has consistently kicked his two to three goals a week all year, clunking mark after mark with his vice like hands and usually putting them through the big sticks with accuracy. Last week was a bit of a negative outlier, his kicking boot only allowing him 3.4. We think he’ll do some corrective work on that this week and kick them a bit straighter against the Swans.
IN the wake of the tragic death of Senior Adelaide Crows Coach, Phil Walsh, there has been an outpouring of countless tributes across social media from current and former AFL personalities, colleagues, friends and family.
The Adelaide-Geelong match, which had been scheduled to take place at Adelaide Oval on Sunday July 05, has been abandoned, and the teams share two points each (the same as for a draw), as the official rules dictate. The rest of the Round 14 games go ahead as planned.
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan expressed it would “not be fair to ask the young men at the Adelaide Crows or the Geelong Cats to play in these circumstances,” and while the postponement of the seven other matches was considered, McLachlan and the rest of the AFL decision-making body agreed to give the games the green light.
“Clubs, members and supporters will gather in the spirit of respectful mourning in support for the family and friends for a great football man,” he said.
So it is July 03, 2015 that marks another sad day on the AFL and Australian sporting calendar, as football and sport are put in perspective in the greater scheme of events, and Australians around the world are once again reminded of how quickly a human life can be taken away.
While there was minimal deliberation between clubs and AFL officials over whether or not the Adelaide-Geelong match should go ahead, debate among the general public echoed far louder, with a myriad of Twitter comments and responses to news articles suggesting both to play out the game, ‘as that is what Phil would have wanted,’ and to postpone the match, ‘to give family, friends and players time to mourn and grieve.’
Rightfully so, the decision to postpone the match is largely made based on whether the players are in the right frame of mind to compete and concentrate on a game of football under such circumstances.
While life goes on, it doesn’t necessarily have to go on within 72 hours – and time is required to shed tears for and mourn the passing of a mentor, father, husband and respected individual.
And while there may have been players who’d have felt a desire to play for their coach, allowing for some respite at a time where such heavy-hearted emotions are involved, is no doubt the most sensible resolution.
Following the death of former Adelaide senior assistant coach Dean Bailey on March 11, 2014, the Crows Round 1 match, scheduled for Thursday the 20th of March, went ahead as planned (coincidentally, it was against Geelong, too).
While difficult to resolve, shocks such as the passing of high profile individuals inherently force swift judgements to be made from the organisations those people have associated themselves with, and as caring and compassionate humans, we do as best we can when such tragedies strike.
But what is the most important message we learn from another needless act of violence?
The murder of sports athletes and other professional sports profiles is not new – a long line of frightening and harrowing events detailed and broadcasted in the public eye have taken place.
The Oscar Pistorius case, Steve McNair’s murder, the 1972 Munich Massacre and the O.J. Simpson case are just some notable adversities in sporting history.
Superintendent Des Bray, who was at the scene of Phil’s murder in the early hours of the morning, said the incident was tragic, regardless of Walsh’s status.
“It’s not even just that he’s a high profile person, it’s just absolutely terrible when families are torn apart in such tragic circumstances,” he said.
“For any family, regardless of who it is, [this is] one of the worst things you could imagine that could happen to you. The pain and suffering of the family is no different.”
We must also realise, while terribly distressing and disturbing, alarming incidents such as these are unfortunately, not uncommon.
And while ‘disbelief’ is so often the immediate reaction, such events are in fact something we must understand and deal with as effectively as possible, as opposed to responding with an inability to accept.
All those who knew, worked with and loved Phil Walsh have spoken of a man who truly cared for those around him, who truly got the best out of himself and who was truly passionate about football, life and his family.
He will be greatly missed.
Phil Walsh played 22 games with Collingwood, 40 games with Richmond, 60 games with Brisbane, served as a fitness coach for Geelong, an assistant coach and midfield manager for Port Adelaide, a strategy coach for West Coast and a senior coach for Adelaide.
POOR old Fox Sports commentator Brendon Julian was left with his foot firmly in his mouth after an unfortunate on air gaffe when presenting the Frank Worrell Trophy to Australia’s cricketers after their series win over the West Indies this week.
The Aussies belted the Windies, 2-0, in the series, named after West Indian great and former captain Sir Frank Worrell and is awarded to the winner of Test series between the two nations.
But Julian, himself a former Australian Test player, renamed it the “Wank Forrell Trophy” in a slip of the tongue that drew plenty of giggles.
His switching of the two first letters of the champions’ name made for an unfortunate and uncomfortable television moment, but the 44 year old, seven Test representative made up for it later when he had to say it again, getting it out without mistake, this time.
Julian once took a bag of five wickets in the West Indies, but his on air gaffe might be a little more memorable.
To his credit, after pausing on “Wank”, he spat out “Forrell” and then seamlessly made his way through the rest of the ceremony without incident, as Aussie Michael Clarke and his team mates celebrated the series victory.
Julian’s unfortunate slip of the tongue brought back memories of other famous – and infamous – on air stuff ups and we’ve decided to take a look at a few.
Andrew Jarman’s disgusting pregnancy comments
This one is a recent one and it’s firmly entrenched in infamy.
Jarman, a former Adelaide Football Club star, got a harsh lesson in the “microphone is always on” when the Triple M Adelaide broadcaster made some horrific remarks about pregnant women that the editors failed to remove before airing.
The station aired his obscene comment to former Port Adelaide captain Dom Cassisi, whose expectant wife was almost due.
“Just f*** the guts out of ‘em with your big c**k”.
It sparked a furore on social media and had many women’s group’s calling for Jarman’s sacking.
The dual Magarey Medallist was suspended indefinitely from the station, but was back on air less than a week later, the station releasing a statement defending its man.
“We are confident Jarman fully understands the inappropriate nature of his comments and remains deeply remorseful for what he said,” the station said in a statement.
“Triple M Adelaide deeply regrets and apologises for the broadcast of inappropriate material.
“The editing of the material prior to broadcast, did not occur due to human error.
“An on-air apology was broadcast during the program.”
Jarman, clearly remorseful for his gaffe, spoke with contrition when he returned to air.
“I’m very grateful to be back on air today with the Triple M family and, as I’ve said Dale, I’m just so deeply remorseful about my comments last week,” he said on The Rush Hour.
He claimed he “nearly fainted and went white” when he heard the comment went to air.
“It was a stupid thing to do, I regret, I’m remorseful,” he said.
“I’m a proud family man, you don’t say those things.
“I let my family down to a degree.”
Gerard Whateley’s “dumpy f***”
Mild mannered Fox Footy presenter Gerard Whateley usually plays the prince to Mark Robinson’s joker on AFL 360, but the shoe was on the other foot when the former let go of an expletive during a live cross to Greater Western Sydney star Jeremy Cameron.
Cameron had taken on Holroyd Parramatta Goannas player Ben Rogers in a goal kicking challenge, and came out on the wrong end of the ledger when his last kick went awry.
Whateley appeared to make the comment “…you were beaten by a short little dumpy f***.”
It led to plenty of action on social media, sparking the Twitterverse.
The inviting Whateley made little effort to deny what he had said, but felt it was “good for my street creed”.
“The quote is rightly attributed to me, it’s just that that’s not quite what was said … there were a few people who clearly heard it that way decided to tweet,” Whateley said on ABC 774.
“But I have decided not to deny it because I think it will be good for my street cred, if people think there is the possibility that I might drop the F-bomb on air I think that has to be good for me.
“I became aware of that a few hours after the show … shall we say we have roles (on AFL 360), do you really think in our roles I am the one who would have dropped the magic?”
Whatever he said, Whateley got away with it without sanction and those in the studio, if they picked it up, brought no attention to it during the broadcast.
Gerard Healey and his AFL team the “Gold c***s”
You had to feel for Gerard Healy on this one.
Talking about the form of the Gold Coast Suns during an on field discussion, his unfortunate splicing of “Coast” and “Suns” ended in one of the most offensive words in the English language.
And it went viral – world wide – with plenty of over seas broadcasts using the pre game cross tongue twister in their news programs.
Healey looked calm and composed after his slip up, but fellow broadcaster Anthony Hudson picked it up straight away, having a nice old giggle in front of the camera.
It was brought up on his Fox Footy show On The Couch a couple of days later and Healy was apologetic.
“The mobile phone has been going into overdrive with so many texts from family and friends from all over the country, Bali, the USA and UK letting me know they’ve seen it and people are laughing at this Aussie commentator who called one of their teams, the Gold C***s,” Healy said.
“How Spud (Danny Frawley) kept a straight face was a miracle.”
Terrible slip of the tongue for cricket champ
Hashim Amla is a Muslim who plays cricket for South Africa.
He has a huge beard, which he says is a tribute not just to Islam, but all faiths derived from the biblical Abraham.
But, during a Test against Sri Lanka in 2006 where Amla nabbed a sharp chance off champ Kumar Sangakkara, commentator Dean Jones, mistakenly thinking the Ten Sport network had gone to a commercial break, remarked: “the terrorist gets another wicket.”
The comments caused a storm of criticism and anger in the Muslim community and Jones was virtually sacked on the spot.
Jones said at the time: “I am truly sorry to have caused offence to anybody and the last thing I intended was to be disrespectful”.
Amla has since spoken about the incident, saying it “hurt”.
“I remember Dean said to me, when he apologised, ‘Sorry, mate, I didn’t mean for it to come out on air’,” Amla said.
“The teaching of Islam is that if anyone tries to apologise, you forgive them.
“We all have some inward prejudices that we need to address, whether it be of colour, race or religion.
“It did hurt.
“When somebody calls you something like that you don’t say ‘Thank you!’
“That’s not the thing to do.
“But when a guy apologises, even if it’s that kind of apology, who is to judge but the Almighty?
“And if it prompts another person to make an effort to find what Islam means, then a lot of prejudices will be blown away.”
Sandy Roberts has the male organ on the mind
Miss Australia Leanne Dick would one day become Leanne Cockerill by marriage.
But that was years after Sandy Roberts’ fatally phallic slip of the tongue at the 1981 Mt Gambier Cup.
Roberts invited the glamorous beauty to the stage to present the Cup, introducing her as “Leanne Cock”.
It’s probably the most iconic slip of the tongue in Aussie sports history.
No one eve forgets it and every time some one makes a gaffe on air, it’s the first thing brought up.
To give you an idea, it tends to make number one on any online listicle and, after reading out a Collingwood team on Seven News that featured Shannon Cox and Brad Dick, he later joked: “It’s amazing how things come back to haunt you.”