Week one of the AFL finals felt like a bit of a letdown. Three games were blowouts and the other was a low scoring affair. The Eagles, Tigers and Giants blew away their opposition, and the Magpies held off a fast finishing Cats. This week it is win or go home for the Cats and Lions; the top 2 throughout the season earned their right for a double chance.
Friday night’s game comes to us from the MCG, as the Eagles $1.97 travel to take on the Cats $1.81. Punters believe the minor premiers can do the job as they have been backed in from $2.1 at the start of the week, lets hope for these punters Geelong coach Chris Scott doesn’t have a brain fade and drop the ruckman again. Not having a ruckman and some woeful kicking at goal cost the Cats last week as they fell just short in their comeback. The Eagles on the other hand looked impressive as they sent the Bombers on their summer holidays. Their preparation for this game hasn’t quite gone to plan, with a 2-hour plane delay and then what can only be described as a moment of stupidity from Willie Rioli sees him banned for the rest of the year and probably longer.
Can the Eagles hold onto their premiership reign for one week longer and make Geelong the first minor premiers to go our in straight sets since 1983? Can the Cats lift and find their form from the first half of the season? It’s a tough game to pick but the punters money coming for the Cats has swayed me to think the Cats will get the chocolates. If you would have asked me on Monday however I would have said the Eagles. Consider me on the fence; heart says Geelong, head says Eagles. The winner heads to the ‘G to take on Richmond next week in the Prelim.
Saturday night, AFL takes centre stage at the Gabba. The 2nd placed Brisbane Lions $1.62 take on the resurgent GWS $2.28. Brisbane were outclassed last week by a ruthless Richmond; they look to bounce back minus hard-nut Mitch Robinson. GWS caused an upset in week 1 of the finals as they were outsiders at home to the Bulldogs. The bye week sure benefited the Giants as they looked more fresher than the Doggies. It wasn’t all good news as Brett Deledio re-injured his calf and played the last game of his career, but somehow Toby Greene is eligible to play even though he was sent straight to the tribunal after some ugly scenes with ‘the Bont’.
I was on the Giants train last week, I feel they have benefitted fantastically from the bye and I feel they get the job done on the road here, GWS have won the last 5 games against Brisbane at the Gabba, this is a different Lions team for sure, but Brisbane benefitted from a weak schedule this year. I feel like it is just too soon for the Lions, their young core group of players will be back next year in the mix.
Predictions: Giants win and book a date with the Pies in the Prelim.