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AFL – Round 9 in Review

Round 9 of the 2023 AFL season saw Richmond reinvigorate their season, a hoodoo continue and the Western Bulldogs’ credentials grow. 

Here’s how it looked for punters: 

Life in the Tigers as Dusty winds back clock

If a week is a long time in footy, then a fortnight is an eternity.

Two weeks ago, having won just one game in the opening seven rounds, we questioned whether the season was over for Richmond. With reigning premiers Geelong to come in Round 9, the Cats had the chance to all but put the nail in the Tigers’ coffin. Except Damien Hardwick’s men had other ideas, and showed there’s life in his side yet in 2023. Starting $2.90 outsiders against Geelong ($1.40), Richmond again showed the tenacity and ball movement that has won them three of the last six AFL flags, saluting by 24 points at the MCG (a 40-point swing on the pre-game line). It was the old faithful who delivered, too, with Dustin Martin, Trent Cotchin and Nathan Broad playing starring roles. Martin wound back the clock, booting four goals for the first time in two years. Pre-game, the three-time Norm Smith Medal winner was $23 to kick 4+ with Palmerbet.

Hoodoo continues as Swans struggle

Sydney coach John Longmire scoffed at suggestions in the pre-season that a thumping 2022 AFL Grand Final defeat would impact his side in 2023. No side that has lost a Grand Final by 48+ points this century has gone on to win a final the next season. But while the question was brushed aside, it looks like that hoodoo could very much continue this year. Not only that, they’re on course to miss the finals altogether.

The Swans looked every bit the bottom-half side in defeat at home to Fremantle ($3.35) on Saturday despite starting strong $1.31 favourites. This was supposed to be the game their season was put back on track after some tough defeats, but has left their year hanging by a thread. Sure, they’ve suffered terribly through injuries this year, especially at key position posts. But that doesn’t excuse several poor losses — at their former fortress at the SCG, no less. After two thumping wins to kick off 2023, Longmire’s men were $1.20 AFL Top 8 hopes with Palmerbet. Since then, they’ve lost six of their next seven games. And now, they’re out to $3.75 just to make finals.

Dogs on the run

The exact inverse of Sydney’s recent run is that of the in-form Western Bulldogs. After going 0-2 in the first fortnight of AFL season 2023, the Dogs have won six of their last seven games. The latest, a pulsating win over Carlton in the match of the round, showcased their ability to win in tense situations in a game which saw four lead changes in the final term. Already billed as the match of the round with the Blues ($1.92) and Dogs ($1.88) neck-and-neck in pre-game betting, Luke Beveridge’s men looked far and away the better side for over a half until Carlton flicked a switch. However the Dogs stayed calmer of the two sides, and pulled away late in a credential-boosting win. Their strong recent run has seen them come in from $3.00 Top 8 outsiders into $1.45 with Palmerbet.

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