Welcome to the Round 13 AFL preview. Round 12 provided results that we more or less expected, with Brisbane the only non-favourite to get up for the week. Round 13 is far less predictable with another top of the table clash and two or three other 50/50 matches. We are thankfully met with the first “traditionally” scheduled week since Round 7, with one game Friday night, five Saturday and three on Sunday. The AFL looks like scrapping the dreaded random Monday night slot, but Thursday night clashes are something we should all become more familiar with. Let’s hope Sunday night matches are dealt the same fate as the Monday night scheduling, as it is becoming increasing difficult for everyone to justify potentially four straight nights of footy in the household (yes, some of us are whipped by girlfriends or wives).
After the success of the multi bonus last week, Sportsbet have decided to put the offer back on the table for Round 13. It is definitely worth a look again.
Sydney at the -16.5 line (Sportsbet offering $2.00 lines)
Sportsbet’s 3+ leg head to head multibet with bonuses.
Hawthorn, Fremantle, Sydney and Collingwood to win @ $2.30 (12.5% bonus for four legs)
CARLTON ($5.40) VS HAWTHORN ($1.17)
AT THE MCG, FRIDAY 13/06, 19:50
PREVIOUS ENCOUNTER: R12 2013 Carlton 13.9 (87) lost to Hawthorn 15.12 (102) at ES
Line: Carlton +33.5, Hawthorn -33.5
The Blues came agonisingly close to beating one of the contenders in Geelong on Friday night. After leading by 16 points at the 13 minute mark of the last quarter, Carlton looked like running away to a famous victory and it’s first against Geelong in 12 attempts at Etihad Stadium. As we have become accustomed to, Geelong came back from the brink to snatch a 5 point win. There were some questionable times when the umpires let the game go, which had Mick Malthouse and Carlton supporters justifiably scathing. But when you lose the total disposal, clearance, contested possession and inside 50 counts, your team isn’t going to win many games of footy. Chris Judd will return after a run in the VFL.
It was a solid performance from the Hawks in Tasmania against West Coast, as Brendan Bolton notched a victory in his home state. He would have been pleased more by the return to form of Jarryd Roughead, who kicked 8 goals from 24 disposals. Even though the reigning Coleman Medallist hasn’t been at his best, he still has 30 goals to his name and is averaging the second most goals per game in the competition. The injured stars continue to steadily flow back into the side, this time with Hale named to return.
The Hawks have been dominant over Carlton winning the last 10 encounters dating back to 2005. Expect Hawthorn to make that 11 on the trot.
HAWTHORN TO WIN BY 32 POINTS
RICHMOND ($4.25) VS FREMANTLE ($1.24)
AT THE MCG, SATURDAY 14/06, 13:45
PREVIOUS ENCOUNTER: R17 2013 Richmond 12.12 (84) dftd Fremantle 8.9 (57) at the MCG
Line: Richmond +25.5, Fremantle -25.5
I was starting to believe that Richmond couldn’t conjure any more frustration for its supporters, but the disappointment level hit an all new low on Sunday night against North Melbourne. The Tigers were spectacular in the first half with Dustin Martin unstoppable booting 4 goals and gathering 19 disposals, which led to a decisive 35 point lead at the main break. It turned out to be an almighty tease for the Richmond faithful, led by Kevin Bartlett, Mal Brown and Dale Weightman who were commentating a deliberately biased call for Foxfooty. The lead was gone before the 15 minute mark of the third quarter and North ran away to a 28 point win. Where the Tigers go to from here I don’t know. No one expected this side to be 3-8, especially with the draw it received.
Fremantle responded well to an Adelaide challenge in the first half, but the win has come at a massive cost with two of its most important players injured. Tall defenders Michael Johnson and Luke McPharlin have succumbed to knee injuries, which will see the pair miss at least a month each. If there is any positive to take out of the injuries, they have occurred at a point where the Docker’s fixture softens out. Colin Sylvia makes his long awaited debut for the club.
Richmond has had some recent success against the Dockers, but their confidence couldn’t be much lower. Fremantle shouldn’t have any issues.
FREMANTLE TO WIN BY 24 POINTS
SYDNEY ($1.46) VS PORT ADELAIDE ($2.80)
AT THE SCG, SATURDAY 14/06, 14:10
PREVIOUS ENCOUNTER: R13 2013 Port Adelaide 10.12 (72) dftd Sydney 8.6 (54) at AAMI
Line: Sydney -15.5, Port +15.5
I’ve lost count to how many times we’ve seen a one vs two clash this season, but I’m not complaining as this is shaping to be the best of the lot so far. It would have been even more interesting if drawn at the Adelaide Oval, but beggars can’t be choosers.
The Swans dealt with another top eight side comfortably, running away to a 35 point win against the Gold Coast Suns away. It was arguably the best midfields up against each other and while the Suns weren’t disgraced, Kennedy, Hannebery, Jack, McVeigh, Bird ad Parker were all prolific once again. The Swans will have to change its forward structure this week with Kurt Tippett out with a minor knee injury, but it gives the perfect opportunity to trial a different set up against quality opposition.
Port Adelaide didn’t have to stride too far out of third gear against the lowly Saints on Saturday. Robbie Gray continued his outstanding and most importantly injury free season with 4 goals and 25 disposals, while Chad Wingard chimed in with 3 goals, 23 possessions and a worthy nomination for mark of the year. This is easily the Powers biggest challenge of the year to date and everyone is waiting to see how they compete against the premiership favourite away. Boak, Monfries and White are three big inclusions for the Power.
Port Adelaide had an upset victory against the Swans at AAMI last year, but the tables look likely to be turned this time around. Sydney’s form is too strong to ignore. Sportsbet are offering $2.00 lines for this game and I think Sydney at -15.5 must be considered.
SYDNEY TO WIN BY 33 POINTS
WEST COAST ($1.62) VS GOLD COAST ($2.35)
AT PATERSONS STADIUM, SATURDAY 14/06, 16:40
PREVIOUS ENCOUNTER: R19 2013 West Coast 20.10 (130) dftd Gold Coast 17.11 (113) at PS
Line: West Coast -8.5, Gold Coast +8.5
It is difficult to say who has been more disappointing out of West Coast and Richmond. The Eagles have had a dream draw and are nowhere near as dangerous at home as they once were. The midfield has been lacklustre at best, with only Matt Priddis consistently putting together gallant performances. It is probably time to start rewarding WAFL form for Adam Simpson, as selecting on reputation hasn’t worked thus far. The club has suffered yet another blow with skipper Darren Glass retiring immediately. He has been one of the best defenders of the past decade and unfortunately his body can no longer back up for consecutive games. Josh Kennedy has been named, but is still in doubt while Dean Cox has been rested.
This is an extremely important match for the Suns with such a difficult run of matches to come. There were plenty of positive signs against the Swans, but poor early kicking left the young side playing catch up for a majority of the afternoon. It did have a small +3 differential win for clearances and were only -9 for contested possessions against a side most consider to possess the best midfield in the competition.
The Suns let me down against Adelaide, but I like their chances away again here. The Suns look to have an obvious advantage in the centre, where it leads the competition for contested possession and sits third for clearances. West Coast sits ninth and fifteenth in those respective categories, which have been boosted by the outstanding form of Matt Priddis. West Coast is yet to beat a side higher on the ladder and I believe Gold Coast can hold that statistic. Head to head looks value, but if you want to play a little safer the line also looks decent.
GOLD COAST TO WIN BY 10 POINTS
BRISBANE ($1.37) VS GWS ($3.20)
AT THE GABBA, SATURDAY 14/06, 19:40
PREVIOUS ENCOUNTER: R21 2013 Brisbane Lions 18.15 (123) dftd GWS Giants 9.9 (63) at the Gabba
Line: Brisbane -19.5, GWS +19.5
The Brisbane Lions have won two games consecutively and more importantly finds itself off the bottom of the ladder. It has a great opportunity to make it three on the trot as it comes up against the new cellar dweller GWS. The Brisbane midfield is beginning to put some impressive numbers on the board. Jack Redden and Tom Rockliff have been in good form all year, but the introduction of Hanley, Berwick and Beams through the middle has given this side some flare in dangerous positions of the ground. Stefan Martin more than held his own against All Australian Will Minson, easing fears that the Lions could be belted in the ruck without Leuenberger and West.
It was another competitive outing for the Giants, but yet another loss. It had more inside 50s against Essendon, but there weren’t enough dangerous targets in the absence of Jeremy Cameron. He has served his one match suspension and will be available despite still struggling with that arm injury. In more news, the ever improving Curtly Hampton will miss the next 6 weeks with a shoulder injury, as will tall defender Aidan Corr, who has also hurt a shoulder. Captain Phil Davis returns from his horrible kidney injury.
I expect GWS to be competitive here. They won’t necessarily get the points, but Brisbane could get a nice scare.
BRISBANE TO WIN BY 9 POINTS
ADELAIDE ($1.84) VS NORTH MELBOURNE ($2.00)
AT ADELAIDE OVAL, SATURDAY 14/06, 19:40
PREVIOUS ENCOUNTER: R20 2013 Adelaide 11.13 (79) dftd North Melbourne 10.10 (70) at AAMI
Line: Adelaide -2.5, North +2.5
Adelaide went into the half time break with a two point lead and belief that it could run over last year’s Grand Finalist in the second half. Come three quarter time and Fremantle had made its move with the Crows 25 points in the rears. Adelaide had one more inside 50s, but as we have seen in the past, Fremantle are happy to concede non dangerous opposition entries to gain possession of the ball. The Crows really battled possession, ending -151 disposals for the game while having an efficiency rate of nearly 10% less than the Dockers. Adelaide were simply swallowed and outcoached by Ross Lyon.
We saw the best and worst of North Melbourne on Sunday evening against Richmond. It was completely destroyed on the outside in the first half which led to a worrying deficit of 35 points at half time. Then the switch was flicked. The 19 minutes that followed the main break saw North kick 8 goals, three of which were kicked by the out of form Drew Petrie who happily took advantage of the mauling. Lindsay Thomas will return to the line-up.
North Melbourne’s away form is impossible to ignore. Wins against Sydney at the SCG and both WA sides at Patersons has kept the Roos in contention. It is just so difficult to pick North Melbourne with any certainty at all. Will the Round 12 first half or second half turn up? Their best form will be enough and I’m happy to tip based on that with low confidence.
NORTH MELBOURNE TO WIN BY 2 POINTS
GEELONG ($1.02) VS ST KILDA ($16.00)
AT SIMONDS STADIUM, SUNDAY 15/06, 13:10
PREVIOUS ENCOUNTER: R18 2013 Geelong 21.11 (137) dftd St Kilda 5.6 (36) at SS
Line: Geelong -63.5, St Kilda +63.5
A loss to Carlton on Friday night would have dented the Cats top four hopes immensely, so they are very lucky to come out of the encounter unscathed. Geelong now face an easier run of matches that will give it time to reintroduce some senior stars from injury and build confidence going into September. Travis Varcoe and Dawson Simpson will return, while premiership player Allen Christensen had a successful return to the VFL with a best on ground performance and is likely to have at least one more outing at state league level.
There weren’t many positives to take out of the trip to Adelaide Oval for the Saints. Nick Riewoldt kicked 4 goals from minimal opportunities and that was about it. The form of Brisbane has now seen the Saints slip to second last and season ambitions are drying up. To make matters worse, a trip to Simonds Stadium now beckons and a flogging must be avoided at all costs. David Armitage returns from his leg laceration.
St Kilda hasn’t won in Geelong for over 15 years. Don’t expect that to change. Geelong we be looking for a much needed percentage boost.
GEELONG TO WIN BY 75 POINTS
COLLINGWOOD ($1.09) VS WESTERN BULLDOGS ($8.00)
AT ETIHAD STADIUM, SUNDAY 15/06, 15:20
PREVIOUS ENCOUNTER: R12 2013 Collingwood 15.9 (99) dftd Western Bulldogs 9.11 (65) at ES
Line: Collingwood -40.5, Dogs +40.5
It has hard to know what to take out of the Queen’s Birthday game for Collingwood. Melbourne implemented a game plan that saw stoppages rarer than usual, which led to contested possession, clearances, tackles and scores being extremely low. As a result, it was difficult to judge the intensity of the encounter. Collingwood have now won seven of the last eight games which see the club in a good position to challenge for a top four position. Two clashes against the Hawks in Rounds 14 and 23 could ultimately seal their double chance fate.
There are serious question marks regarding the direction of the Western Bulldogs after the poor performance against Brisbane. The Dogs failed to take the game on when the result was in the balance during the second quarter. In that time Brisbane kicked 7 goals to 2 and put the Dogs on the back foot. It wasn’t until the last quarter when the situation was so desperate that risks were the only option and the scoreboard started ticking over. It is something that Brendan McCartney is sure to focus on. Matthew Boyd finally returns.
Collingwood have won the last six encounters against the Dogs and based on current form, the chances of that becoming seven are very high.
COLLINGWOOD TO WIN BY 55 POINTS
ESSENDON ($1.39) VS MELBOURNE ($3.10)
AT THE MCG, SUNDAY 15/06, 16:40
PREVIOUS ENCOUNTER: R2 2013 Essendon 28.16 (184) dftd Melbourne 5.6 (36) at the MCG
Line: Essendon -18.5, Melbourne +18.5
The Bombers took the points against GWS but it was hardly convincing. It never looked threatened and seemingly had control of the game, but Mark Thompson would have preferred a stronger effort. The most significant occurrence to come out of the match was the injury to Jobe Watson. He has suffered an injury rarely seen in AFL ranks, tearing his hip tendon. The recovery is likely to take approximately 10 weeks, meaning he’ll be looking for a return on the eve of finals. Essendon have a favourable run home, but it is now going to have to plan a finals assault without the skipper and best player. On top of that, they now have to deal with show cause notices that have been sent by ASADA.
The Paul Roos game plan wasn’t the most popular football topic of the week. The Queen’s Birthday game against Collingwood is supposed to be the showcase of Melbourne’s year, yet a game of keepings off was produced to limit the damage. It isn’t anything new to the Demon’s season and it has obviously worked on other occasions, but when your team isn’t scoring you surely have to change things up. In saying that, this defensive style has the potential to exploit some Essendon weaknesses, so expect more of the same.
It’s a danger game for the Bombers. The show cause notices have been sent to 34 players and someone needs fill the hole left by Watson. It is energy sapping news. Essendon won the Round 2 encounter last year by 152 points, but Melbourne has taken the points three of the last five times. The Melbourne +18.5 line could be of value.
ESSENDON TO WIN BY 6 POINTS
All of the above are the opinions of the author and are not recommendations or advice. The author may not be taking every bet listed above. Bet at your own risk.
All of our information is provided free. If you want to show your support, if you are wanting to join a new bookmaker, please use our banners. Thanks.