It’s time we ask the age-old question:
HOW GOOD IS FOOTY!?
Round 1 saw thrilling contests, upset results, free-flowing, multiple-lead changing, fast footy.
It was that enjoyable it even had pundits thinking that maybe AFL HQ had done something right with the rule changes, surely not!
Two weeks in and Round 2 of the AFL has some cracking contests on the cards, with some teams fancied to win the flag facing the grim prospect of starting the season 0-2.
Crowds are back, the footy is fast and free-flowing on the field and tips/multis around the country are being ruined by upset results.
We aim to fight back ahead of Round 2 in our tips and preview.
A clash between the two oldest rivals in the league and the consequences of starting the season 0-2 is something both Carlton and Collingwood do not want.
Despite going down to Richmond by 25 points last weekend, there was a lot to like about the Blues who showed some fight and remained highly competitive throughout the entire match.
Collingwood lost to both the Western Bulldogs and Adam Trealor last Friday night in a relatively hard-fought battle.
The last thing anyone who bleeds black and white needs after the horror off-season is to be 0-2, let alone giving the Blues their first win for season 2021.
Head to head betting has put the Magpies $1.78 favourites at the time of publishing this preview with the Blues at $2.05.
Magpie fans will take comfort in knowing they’ve won their past three encounters against the Blues, however, based on what was dished up in Round 1, Carlton are a good bet at those odds.
I’ll take the Blues head to head.
Fair to assume that no one expected these two sides to be beaten in Round 1, but here we are.
The Cats and Lions will meet at the venue currently known as GMHBA Stadium on Friday night and despite it only being Round 2, the production team at AFL 360 will have an UNDER THE BLOWTORCH montage ready to go for whoever loses this one.
With the game being played at The Cattery, Geelong will go into this game the clear favourite ($1.60 at time of publish) and will be the first time they’ve played in front of their adoring home crowd since Round 23, 2019.
With Paddy Dangerfield out through suspension and gun recruit Jeremy Cameron missing with an injury, all eyes will be on the Cats to see if they can get their season back on track, even at this early stage of the year.
For the Brisbane Lions (proudly sponsored by Neds), last Saturday’s 31-point loss to Sydney at the Gabba was disappointing to say the least.
Seeing Joe Daniher kick a couple of early goals was exciting, but they were simply blown away by the Swans young guns.
Brisbane has had the next game against Geelong pencilled in since the Cats beat them by 40 points in last years Preliminary Final at the Gabba.
To get one up on Geelong by beating them at their homecoming and giving them a 0-2 start to the season would be nice way to dish up some revenge.
Back the mighty Brisbane Lions (proudly sponsored by Neds) to cause an upset.
The unbeaten Swans host the unbeaten Crows.
Is this a potential 2021 AFL GRAND FINAL PREVIEW?
Ok, let’s not get carried away but based on what these two sides dished up last week the Sydney v Adelaide clash at the SCG should be a beauty.
There was so much to like about Sydney in Round 1.
Despite Brisbane kicking the first three goals of the game, the Swans youth brigade ran away with the game.
Debutants Errol Gulden and Braden Campbell kicked three, along with Issac Heeney.
The Swans are also likely to welcome a young man by the name of Lance Franklin back into the side this week, and I’m told he goes alright up forward.
And what about the Crows, did they produce the upset of the year in Round 1?
Last years wooden spooners ran riot in the first half, tearing the Cats apart and held off a comeback from Geelong in the second half.
Tex Walker wound the clock back with five goals, you could argue it was Adelaide’s best win since 2017.
With free-flowing and fast footy back in fashion (for now) perhaps the Swans v Crows clash could see a shootout with Buddy on one end and Tex on the other, or maybe young Errol will kick another bag?
Coaches, don’t ruin it for me.
This will be a close one, so I reckon either team by 15.5 points in the tri-bet market is a good play.
Fresh from having blown a 40-point lead against Hawthorn, Essendon now travels to Adelaide to face Port.
The Dons kicked eight goals to one in the second quarter, looked home and then the script flipped, breaking more Bomber hearts.
They are a chance against Port, widely tipped to win the Premiership this season and thumped North to the tune of 52 points last weekend?
I see nothing but Bomber heartbreak for this game, especially given Orazio Fantasia now plays for Port, kicking four goals against North Melbourne last week as the Power put their opponents to the sword in a dominant second-half display.
What chance does one give Essendon to win this? None*.
Port 40+ is where the good money lies in this one.
Both the Saints and Dees got the job done in Round 1 and with expectations high for both sides, starting the season 2-0 would be ideal.
In wet conditions, St Kilda managed to pull off a terrific and gutsy 8-point win over GWS at Giants Stadium despite some significant outs.
Melbourne chalked up a 22 point win over Freo in a pretty forgettable contest at the MCG, but the Dees will bank it and move on to the next week.
With somewhat normal programming back in the fixture, many suspect the Saints will be unbeatable when playing under the lid at Marvel Stadium this season so we shall see if that will be the case this Saturday night.
This match is not only the first St Kilda home game in front of their fans since 2019, it will also be a tribute match to the late, great Danny “Spud” Frawley.
Based on that alone, it’s hard to not back against the Saints.
Despite losing to West Coast by 25 points, there is simply so much to like about the Gold Coast Suns.
The Suns pushed the Eagles all the way and while it was heartbreaking to see 2019 number 1 draft pick Matt Rowell hurt with a knee injury early in the game, his teammates kept on keeping on.
They will go in rightful favourites ($1.38) against North Melbourne in their first home game at Metricon Stadium this Saturday night.
North goes into this game coming off a 52 point loss to Port Adelaide, but there was still some glimpses of hope at Arden Street.
Former Magpie Jaidyn Stephenson found himself with plenty of the Sherrin, as did Luke Davies-Uniacke.
They were well beaten but not disgraced.
Just about everyone knows that North is at the start of a rebuild, whereas the Gold Coast is at stage 2 of construction.
The line has been set at -18.5 in favour of the Suns and the three-goal difference should cover it.
Fresh from a come-from-behind 1-point win over their old rivals Essendon, Hawthorn faces the might of Dustin Martin featuring the Richmond Football Club this Sunday at the MCG.
In a classic game of two halves, the Hawks came back from 40 points down to defeat the Bombers with Tim O’Brien’s goal putting them in front by just one point with 90 seconds remaining.
Clarko’s next-generation shone with Will Day notching up 28 disposals and it looks like Tyler Brockman is going to be a threat up forward, not to mention that Tom Mitchell seems to be back at his 2018 Brownlow-winning best with 39 disposals and a clear case of leather poisoning.
Do they have it in them to take on the might of the TIgers (and Dusty for that matter)
Let’s go through Dustin Martin’s performance against Carlton in the season opener – two goals from 31 disposals and clearly the BOG.
But it wasn’t all Dusty, Richmond was able to outlast a frisky Blues outfit and when you crunch the numbers, the Tigers kicked nine goals to one in time-on during the game.
The reigning premiers simply know when to make the most impact on the scoreboard, and they just happen to have the greatest big-time player on their side.
it’s worth noting that Hawthorn did indeed beat Richmond in Round 3 of last season when footy was in the Bizzaro times having just resumed.
I can see the Hawks putting up a fight, but I cannot see them beating the Tigers.
The Dogs and Eagles have produced some memorable clashes over the years, and hopefully, this Sunday’s game will be another one to savour.
There was plenty to like about the Doggies performance in their 16-point win over Collingwood last week.
Adam Treloar was the main man in focus, and while he wasn’t the BOG, he managed 18 disposals including five clearances, but it was the work of veteran recruit Stefan Martin and Tim English along with the Doggies midfield that ensured the Dogs got the job done.
West Coast was able to run away from a plucky Gold Coast Suns with a 25-point win last weekend, thanks to their efforts in an epic final quarter after trailing by 1 point at three-quarter-time.
The likes of Dom Sheed, Shannon Hurn and Tim Kelly led the way with forward Oscar Allen kicking four.
There are always questions about the Eagles ability to win outside of Perth, and with Victoria/somewhat normal programming back in the AFL for now, a win over the Dogs at Marvel Stadium would make people stand and take notice.
However, it is hard to go past the Western Bulldogs and best to play it safe when it comes to the Eagles in Victoria.
I’ll take the Dogs to cover the line.
There’s no more a fitting fixture made for the Sunday 6 pm slot quite like Freo playing the Giants.
Both sides will be looking to get their first win for 2021 after coming off disappointing losses.
Freo put in a very poor performance against the Dees in a 22 point loss, with skill errors and injury costing any opportunities for the Dockers to get into the game.
In a wet slog, GWS was pipped at the finish by the Saints in what was a thrilling last quarter.
It’s fair to assume more pressure will be on the Giants should they start the season 0-2 than Freo, who can still be considered a work in progress.
With the game being played at Optus Stadium, Freo has opened the betting as the favourite, but on paper GWS still looks like the better team and should be winning these games if they still want to be considered in the finals race.
I’ll back the Giants, but if they let me down, they’ll be blacklisted from my tips for a long while yet.