Welcome to the Happy Dude AFL blog for Round 2. Round 1 was relatively predictable with all 9 home teams taking home the points. On the face of it, Round 2 looks a little more complex. Let’s see if we can find 9 winners using some common sense and reason.
Collingwood vs Richmond
Despite being talked up all off-season, Collingwood were smashed at the hands of a ruthless Sydney last week. Meanwhile, Richmond struggled to put away an impressively performing Carlton (that will still finish bottom 4).
This therefore shapes as a battle between a couple of at best mediocre teams.
Richmond have decent players on every line but lack consistency and depth. Collingwood struggles defensively, up forward and in the ruck.
I see Richmond getting over the line here but only just.
Tigers by 12 points
Adelaide vs Port Adelaide
Showdowns are the most unpredictable of AFL rivalries.
Port were ok if not a little disappointing against the Saints in Round 1. Adelaide pushed North Melbourne all the way in the game of the round but fell short when it counted.
I can see both teams pushing into the top 8 this year. I rate Port slightly higher than the Crows but for this battle that means nothing. It’s a Showdown after all!!!
Always pick the underdog in the first showdown of the year. It’s a Happy Dude rule that has paid off for years. This year, the Crows should be the underdogs.
Adelaide Crows by 19 points
Essendon vs Melbourne
Hooley Dooley!!! Essendon were worse than even Happy Dude thought they’d be. Can they improve? I doubt it. Not this quickly.
Melbourne were impressive against GWS. It’s great to see the Demons finally playing some tough, aggressive footy.
Melbourne will win here. Maybe don’t put your house on it though. Happy Dude has a feeling that the kids are still capable of messing up when expected to win.
Melbourne by 47 points
Brisbane vs North Melbourne
How do you kick over 100 points in a game and still lose by 10 goals in the modern game? Brisbane found a way last weekend against an impressive Eagles team. Not sure much can be taken from the performance other than to say that at least they had a crack.
North were North against Adelaide. I was certain for most of the game that they were going to throw it away, until the old man threw on the afterburners and kicked them into the lead like he’s done so often in the past.
North have talent all over the ground and definitely have the experience to take care of the young cubs from Brisbane. As always with North though, don’t be surprised if they forget to pack their playing boots… leave them out of any multi bets.
North Melbourne by 27 points
St Kilda vs Footscray
Sexy Sexy Sexy!!! It might be Nick Riewoldt’s 300th game but all the post match talk will once again focus on the fast flowing, high scoring antics of the young, hungry Bulldogs.
The Saints were impressive against Port Adelaide last week but like many young teams, couldn’t get it done in the last quarter when it mattered.
Hopefully the Saints put up an effort for St Nick’s big milestone but it will take something unseen from them in the last few years to get them over the line.
Bulldogs by 48 points
Fremantle vs Gold Coast
Gold Coast got the job done against a poorer than expected Essendon whilst Fremantle wound back the clocks to the days of the Docker Shocker against the rampant Bulldogs.
This week, Fremantle return to Subiaco Oval where they should rediscover their form and desire. It means bad news for a Gold Coast suffering from injuries and off-season player exits.
Gold Coast will be more competitive than they’ve been against Freo in the past but that doesn’t mean much. Ross Lyon will have his troops playing their usual suffocating tactics which will frustrate the young Suns. Gold Coast won’t kick more than 10 goals here.
Fremantle by 21 points
Greater Western Sydney vs Geelong
Stevie J vs Geelong will be the headline. After losing a winnable game to the Demons last week, GWS will be out for redemption at home against a Geelong team that looked back to their best against the reigning champs.
For all the talk of how well Geelong played against Hawthorn, this is a danger game for them. The best teams have little trouble when travelling interstate and a sign of Geelong’s demise last season was their inability to play well outside of Victoria. If they want to consider themselves premiership contenders, Geelong must win a game like this.
GWS, however, are coming. The loss to Melbourne aside, they have quality on each line and have the skill, energy, gameplan and pace to win on their day. I think Geelong are back and will win on the back of a dominant midfield performance and their defence stopping the majority of the Giants attacking weapons.
Stevie J to kick 5 and get reported.
Geelong by 9 points
Hawthorn vs West Coast
Match of the Round! Grand Final Replay! The fit and firing Eagles get a chance at exacting revenge on an injury depleted Hawks.
The Eagles were magnificent last week against a struggling Lions team. Hawthorn were out-tussled by a rejuvenated Cats.
No Hodge or Roughead is going to test the premiers over the first half of the season as they (along with an aging Mitchell) are the most important players for the Hawks. The loss of Lake and Hale to retirement will test their depth in defence and in the ruck.
I don’t think travel comes into this. I think the Eagles will win… just.
West Coast by 4 points.
Carlton vs Sydney
The new Blues vs the same old Swans shapes as a match that should be predictable for tippers but will undoubtably provide us with more information about both teams that will prove vital in coming weeks.
Are Sydney the real deal? Can Buddy keep firing up forward? Can the midfield continue to dominate?
Is Bolton’s gameplan and coaching style influencing his young(ish) team? Can the Blues be competitive against anyone? Can the Blues kick a winning score? Can they play well in consecutive weeks?
Sydney should win and win well.
Sydney by 47 points (but don’t be surprised if it’s closer).
Bets of the Week
Richmond, Adelaide, Bulldogs and West Coast all to win – $20 to win $160
Western Bulldogs to beat the line (-27.5), Gold Coast (+35.5), Richmond (-7.5) – $20 to win $140
Stevie J – First Goal Scorer $10 to win TBA
Sure thing of the week – Sexy Bulldogs!