Welcome to Balls of Steel’s AFL Beat!
Round 18 Recaps and Highlights
The Round started off with an Elimination game for Essendon. The Bombers were hosting the Sydney Swans and desperately needed to win to maintain any hopes of playing finals. The game was close for about three quarters and then the Bombers put on the afterburners (sorry) and ran away with the game in the fourth.
The final score was 109-66 and it really hurt the Swans as you’ll see later. Here are the highlights:
On Proper Friday Night, we were treated to what promised to be a close tight and entertaining match of two Top Four sides. Well, similarly to the Essendon-Sydney game, it delivered… for about three quarters. At the point, the Tigers decided to stop fucking around (or the Pies’ injuries finally took their toll) and the Tigers went on to win by 105-77. Highlights:
The game I watched instead was the Geelong v Brisbane clash at Kardinia Park. While the Lions were game for almost the whole first half, a key stretch between the last two minutes of the Second Quarter and the first two minutes of the Third Quarter did the Lions in. The Cats dominated and went on to win by 42. Here are the highlights:
Later that night, the GWS Giants hosted the St. Kilda Saints in what seemed to be an expected blowout. The Saints, however, do play teams tough and gave the Giants all they could handle for a half and even came back from a deficit when the Giants started hot in the Third Quarter. Alas, logic and talent took over and the Giants ended up winning 86-61. Here are the highlights:
So, the first of the late late games had future Wooden Spooners Carlton facing 17th place Gold Coast. It wasn’t a battle for the Wooden Spoon because Gold Coast were three games up on the Blues. Well, better make that two games as the Blues surprised pretty much everybody and came back from Suns-dominated first half to notch a win that will surely take up 40% of this year’s highlight film. The final score was 79-44 and here are the highlights:
The last match of the evening/morning had Adelaide hosting the Melbourne Demons in a game they had to win in order to stay in the fight. Unfortunately for them, the bad Crows (or was it the good Demons?) showed up and Melbourne managed to take the game 90-77 despite a furious Crows rally in the fourth. Here are the highlights:
Come North American Saturday Night, we had three games left with the first featuring the North Melbourne Kangaroos “hosting” the West Coast Eagles in Tasmania. Now, the Roos play very well in Tassie but could they beat the #2 team in the competition? That they did! To the tune of 81-41 and West Coast looks like the weakest #2 team ever. Here are the highlights:
In the next game, the Western Bulldogs hosted the Port Adelaide Power and let me tell you, this game did not do much to aide the cause of those defending the state of the game. There is a big push for rule changes at the AFL right now because scoring is down and there is a lot of congestion around the footy. Much media attention has been placed on this and the CEO has openly discussed making rule changes to be effective next season. If you want to watch a replay of this game, you’ll understand what they are talking about. The Power “won” by a score of 78-34. “Highlights”:
Finally, the Hawthorn Hawks traveled to Perth to take on the Fremantle Dockers in their beautiful new Optus Stadium. This was the Dockers’ best chance to stay in the fight as any loss would only keep them mathematically alive. Well, they are mathematically alive, which is not the best kind of alive, after the Hawks doubled them up. 112-53 was the final score and here are the highlights:
Let’s take a look at the ladder, shall we?
|2||West Coast Eagles||13||5||0||52||121.3|
|4||Port Adelaide Power||12||6||0||48||116.2|
|10||North Melbourne Kangaroos||10||8||0||40||110.6|
|15||St. Kilda Saints||4||13||1||18||75.7|
|17||Gold Coast Suns||4||14||0||16||64.7|
Here is the Balls (TM) graph:
Crazy how one loss dropped Sydney from the Top Four all the way out of the Eight, huh? That’s how tight things are at the top.
Footy Tipping Contest
Here is where we are after Round 19:
|P||TIPPER||Round Tips||Round Margin||TOTAL Tips||TOTAL Margin|
|9||Joliet Jake Delhomme||4||43||93||599|
|10||Game Time Decision||6||58||90||632|
A hearty well-done to Dolph Ucker who got 8 out of 9 this week to pull into a tie for 6th! Also of note, Game Time Decision continued his charge up the standings by passing JPF and now has his sights set on Joliet Jake Delhomme. Well done, both of you!
DON’T FORGET TO PUT THE FOOTY TIPS IN!!!
AFL Round 20
Here is the schedule for this week (all times Pacific):
Friday, August 3, 2018
2:50 AM (Late Thursday Night) – Richmond Tigers v Geelong Cats at the MCG
So, there’s a good part to this, which is that I won’t be able to watch most of the game and only tune in for the fourth quarter. Which I can easily tune out if Geelong are behind…
8:45 PM – Hawthorn Hawks v Essendon Bombers at the MCG
This is the Bombers’ biggest game of the year. Win this and they are a real chance to play finals. Lose and they’re pretty much out.
9:10 PM – Brisbane Lions v North Melbourne Kangaroos at the Gabba
The Roos picked up a YUUUGE win last week in Tasmania against the Eagles. A win against the Lions would keep their slim finals hopes alive.
11:35 PM – Adelaide Crows v Port Adelaide Power at Adelaide Stadium
It seems every year the Showdown plays a big part in the finals picture and this year is no different. A Port win pretty much eliminates the Crows while a Crows win deeply hurts the Power’s chances at Top Four and possibly the Eight.
Saturday, August 4, 2018
2:25 AM (Late Friday Night) – St. Kilda Saints v Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium
Two teams that are essentially only vying for draft position. Come on, the Saints! Win one for Litre!
2:25 AM (Late Friday Night) – Sydney Swans v Collingwood Magpies at the SCG
This is a hugely interesting game as both teams are reeling off big losses. If the Swans could pull this out, they pull themselves back in the Eight and makes the Top Four much more accessible for many teams.
8:10 PM – Carlton Blues v GWS Giants at Marvel Stadium
The Giants couldn’t have picked a better opponent for the finals rush even though the Blues did win last week. Not this week.
10:20 PM – Melbourne Demons v Gold Coast Suns at the MCG
Likewise, the Demons get a very nice opponent at home that should enable them to boost their impressive percentage even higher.
11:40 PM – West Coast Eagles v Fremantle Dockers at Optus Stadium
Fremantle’s chances were cooked with last week’s loss to Hawthorn. Unfortunately, this version of the Perth Derby won’t matter as much as the Showdown.
That’s all for this week! Each team only has four games left, so it’s crunch time. There are quite a number of good games this week, so get to watching!