The AFL finals are hotting up and tonight’s match between the Hawks and the Bulldogs should be a cracker although it will have to be something very special to top Hawthorn’s first finals game last weekend when they ended up going down by two points to Geelong in what turned out to be a classic encounter.
Was it just me or did Isaac Smith rush his kick after the siren that would have given the Hawks a win? Either way, it’s done and dusted now and Smith and co will have to get past the Western Bulldogs at the MCG tonight or the ‘fourpeat’ (that ain’t catching on is it?) is off.
The Bulldogs have been the team of the year for me, win or lose tonight. They’ve had an injury list as long as your arm for most of the year but have just kept on winning under the superb leadership of Luke Beveridge.
Last week the Dogs disposed of the Eagles with the minimum of fuss in Perth in what was probably their most impressive performance of the year. The extra travel they’ve had to endure probably levels things off with the Hawks, them having had a tougher game.
We’ve got the familiar ‘Hawks off a loss’ scenario which has paid us healthy dividends over the past two years and I just have to side with the Hawks again. I’d love to see the Dogs win and at best odds of $2.65 it’s very possible but I see the Hawks’ experience getting them past the Bulldogs in a close one.
1 unit Hawthorn Hawthorn by 1-24 at $2.87 in the TriBet market with
I also lean to the unders in the total points market but with the line in the low 160’s i’d rather be a watcher than a backer.
Saturday night sees the Sydney Swans and the Adelaide Crows go head to head at the SCG. The Swans will be glad to get back ‘home’ after a beating by GWS at ANZ Stadium which clearly doesn’t suit them as much as the cricket ground and they now have a losing record there since 2009.
The Crows returned to form after a final round blip against West Coast and did away with North Melbourne in an even more impressive fashion than even their biggest fans expected. The formalise of that win is questionable however due to the Kanga’s being, well, shit.
The Swans will be a much tougher proposition at the SCG but their cause won’t be helped by the absence of Kurt Tippett and newly crowned Rising Star, Callum Mills. The form of Buddy Franklin will also be a worry for some after his second goalless game in three matches but his tally in matches after shooting blanks since 2013 reads 3, 4, 4, 7, 4 and 7 so expect a big performance from him tonight.
There are question marks as to just how well the Crows game style will suit the shorter dimensions of the SCG and with just one game there – a 117-65 loss in R18 of 2015 – in Don Pyke’s era I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
As a backer of the Crows to win the flag i’ll be cheering them on from my sofa tonight but for a recommended bet I have to side with the Swans at the line with a big performance expected from Buddy.