Round 14 of the AFL season, the last of the bye rounds, throws up some big encounters including a do-or-die clash in the Harbour City.
Thursday 20th June, 20:10 (AEST)
|Hurn, Schofield, Sheppard||B||Ambrose, Hurley, McGrath|
|HB||Duggan, McGovern, Jetta||HB||McKenna, Hooker, Saad|
|C||Sheed, Yeo, Redden||C||Redman, Z. Merrett, K. Langford|
|HF||Cripps, Darling, Masten||HF||Zaharakis, Laverde, Guelfi|
|F||Ryan, Kennedy, Petruccelle||F||Parish, McKernan, McDonald-Tipungwuti|
|FOL||Hickey, Shuey, Gaff||FOL||Bellchambers, Shiel, Heppell|
|I/C||Allen, Nelson, Hutchings, Cameron||I/C||Brown, Clarke, Fantasia|
History: Played 52: West Coast 23 v Essendon 29.
Last Meeting: AFL Round 14, 2018: West Coast 6.16 (52) lost to Essendon 12.8 (80).
Final Thoughts: The Eagles went into their mid-season break in the worst possible fashion, stunned to the tune of 45 points against a resurgent Swans outfit. Back in familiar surrounds, however, should see a different performance. Adam Simpson’s troops have won five of six games at home this year, and deserve to start as favourites. The Bombers, however, are hitting some form, coming in with back-to-back wins. Can former Eagles coach John Worsfold mastermind a third straight victory back in the West? Doing so would put them inside the eight for the first time since round five.
Friday 21st June, 19:50 (AEST)
|O’Riordan, Rampe, Melican||B||O’Brien, Frawley, Burgoyne|
|HB||Mills, Aliir, Lloyd||HB||Roughead, Sicily, Hardwick|
|C||Florent, Parker, Dawson||C||Scully, Shiels, Henderson|
|HF||Heeney, Reid, Papley||HF||Breust, Gunston, Puopolo|
|F||Blakey, Franklin, Menzel||F||Smith, McEvoy, Impey|
|FOL||Sinclair, Hewett, Kennedy||FOL||Ceglar, Worpel, O’Meara|
|I/C||Hayward, Clarke, Rose, Jones||I/C||Brand, Glass, Morrison, Moore|
History: Played 166: Sydney 71 v Hawthorn 93 (2 draws).
Last Meeting: AFL Round 23, 2018: Sydney 10.14 (74) lost to Hawthorn 12.11 (83).
Final Thoughts: The Bloods are back. With a dismantling of the Eagles before the bye, John Longmire’s young side are humming again. It wasn’t just that one performance, either. The Swans are 3-2 in the last five rounds, but the losses were honourable efforts against premiership hopefuls Geelong and Collingwood. They’re building a body of work. But at 4-8, Sydney are playing catchup, and if they’re any hope of re-joining the finals conversation, nothing short of a win against the Hawks is acceptable. Alastair Clarkson’s side dust themselves off after an inconsistent effort against Essendon. After a week of controversy that saw skipper Ben Stratton ruled out for two weeks, they’ll need a special effort to get past the resurgent Swans.
Saturday 22nd June, 13:45 (AEST)
|Lockhart, May, Wagner||B||Hamling, Wilson, Ryan|
|HB||Hore, Frost, Salem||HB||S.Hill, Logue, Bewley|
|C||Jones, Oliver, Harmes||C||B.Hill, Fyfe, Langdon|
|HF||Baker, Weideman, Hunt||HF||Brayshaw, Cox, Walters|
|F||Hannan, Fritsch, T.McDonald||F||Switkowski, Hogan, Matera|
|FOL||Gawn, Viney, Brayshaw||FOL||Darcy, Hogan, Mundy|
|I/C||Petracca, Neal-Bullen, Petty, Smith||I/C||Duman, Hughes, Tucker, Blakely|
History: Played 37: Melbourne 15 v Fremantle 22.
Last Meeting: AFL Round 16, 2018: Melbourne 13.24 (102) defeated Fremantle 7.6 (48).
Final Thoughts: An absolutely cracking Saturday afternoon clash at the ‘G. Freo have won three on the trot, and are very much finals bound. They also defeated the Pies at this very ground a matter of weeks ago, so go into this one with plenty of confidence. Superstar forward Michael Walters and skipper Nat Fyfe (equal-third Brownlow favourite at $6 with Palmerbet) will be the first point of call for Simon Goodwin’s Dees, who are looking to snap a four-game losing streak. Will fresh legs (after last weekend’s bye) prove invaluable or a hindrance?
Saturday 22nd June, 16:35 (AEST)
|McKenzie, Carlisle, Savage||B||Hodge, Andrews, Rich|
|HB||Wilkie, Battle, Marsh||HB||Witherden, Gardiner, Answerth|
|C||Billings, Ross, Newnes||C||Zorko, Neale, McCarthy|
|HF||Hind, Bruce, Sinclair||HF||Rayner, Hipwood, Robinson|
|F||Gresham, Membrey, Kent||F||Cameron, McStay, Mathieson|
|FOL||Marshall, Dunstan, Armitage||FOL||Martin, McCluggage, Lyons|
|I/C||Acres, Hannebery, Clark, Parker||I/C||Christensen, Allison, Lester, McInerney|
History: Played 31: St Kilda 15 v Brisbane 16.
Last Meeting: AFL Round 1, 2018: St Kilda 16.11 (107) defeated Brisbane 12.10 (82).
Final Thoughts: These sides haven’t played each other since way back in Round 1 last season, a whopping 36 rounds ago. While they’ve been one of the surprise packets this season, are we starting to see cracks emerge at the Lions? A surprise loss to Carlton before the bye meant they have lost two of their last three games. Further, they are yet to win outside of Brisbane since round two. Nevertheless, Chris Fagan’s side start deserved favourites at Marvel Stadium.
The Saints notched their second win in three games last week against the Suns but it was far from convincing. Should they give the Lions the fast they afforded Gold Coast, it’ll be all over before the final break.
Saturday 22nd June, 19:40 (AEST)
|Burton, Clurey, Houston||B||Henry, Kolodjashnij, O’Connor|
|HB||Hartlett, Jonas, Byrne-Jones||HB||Blicavs, Taylor, Stewart|
|C||Duursma, R.Gray, Amon||C||Dangerfield, Kelly, Duncan|
|HF||Ebert, Howard, Farrell||HF||Dahlhaus, Fort, Hawkins|
|F||S.Gray, Dixon, Rozee||F||Ablett, Rohan, Miers|
|FOL||Lycett, Wines, Boak||FOL||Stanley, Guthrie, Selwood|
|I/C||Bonner, Garner, Motlop, Butters||I/C||Tuohy, Atkins, Clark, Parfitt|
History: Played 32: Port Adelaide 9 v Geelong 22 (1 draw).
Last Meeting: AFL Round 5, 2018: Port Adelaide 7.8 (50) lost to Geelong 12.12 (84).
Final Thoughts: Port’s yoyo season continues. In the eight, outside the eight. In, then out. Last week’s loss to the Dockers in the West kicked them out again, and they face an even tougher opponent in the ladder-leading Geelong this weekend. The good news is, they’re back at home after trips to Launceston, Shanghai and Perth. The bad news is, the Cats have won their last three games against the Power at the Adelaide Oval. Chris Scott’s side have won eight straight, and with the benefit of the week’s break, should make it nine on Saturday night.
Sunday 23rd June, 15:20 (AEST)
|Johannisen, Trengove, Williams||B||Maynard, Roughead, Greenwood|
|HB||Daniel, Cordy, Wood||HB||Crisp, Moore, Howe|
|C||Hunter, Smith, Lipinski||C||Phillips, Pendlebury, Sidebottom|
|HF||Suckling, Schache, Lloyd||HF||Thomas, De Goey, Hoskin-Elliott|
|F||Bontempelli, Naughton, Dickson||F||Brown, Mihocek, Varcoe|
|FOL||English, Dunkley, Macrae||FOL||Grundy, Treloar, Sier|
|I/C||Le.Young, Crozier, West, Duryea, McLean, Richards, Smith, La.Young||I/C||Aish, Cox, Crocker, Daicos, Lynch, Mayne, Quaynor, Reid|
History: Played 156: Western Bulldogs 47 v Collingwood 108 (1 draw).
Last Meeting: AFL Round 4, 2019: Collingwood 11.12 (78) defeated Western Bulldogs 9.10 (64)
Final Thoughts: The Dogs were gallant in their defeat to the Pies earlier this season, in what was a fairly dour affair at the MCG. Under the roof at Marvel this time should prove a different proposition. After getting away with one against the Blues last week, the Dogs still have little margin to play with should they wish to be included in the September conversation. In their 156-game history against the Pies, the boys from the west have won just 47 times, and need something special on Sunday. The Pies have had a week to forgot with young star Jaidyn Stephenson embroiled in a betting scandal that has resulted in a 10-week ban. Luckily, Nathan Buckley’s forward stocks are deep, and they should cover the hole left until he returns for the finals.