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The Roar’s AFL expert tips and predictions: Round 19


It’s make or break week when it comes to AFL tipping.

Leave a charge for top spot any later, and you risk running out of time. But go for broke now, and even if things don’t go to plan, you’ve got a chance for a Hail Mary or two in the coming weeks.

After stabilising last week from a dark month with a 6, I’ve identified a couple of matches in which the underdogs have a decent chance of propelling me back into the hunt with The Crowd to take out ‘glory’ in this little comp we have.

And because I’m always looking for a chance to reference Shrek, let’s just say that hopefully I’m on my way from misery to happiness tod… uh, this weekend.

Tim Miller (last week: 6)

Richmond, Hawthorn, Sydney, Geelong, Brisbane, Melbourne, Carlton, Collingwood, West Coast

Full credit to the AFL for giving us a properly decent (on paper) run of Friday nights, but it’s been a good long while since we’ve had a decent game to unpack. Fingers crossed Richmond and Fremantle give us that in what looms as a tantalising clash with serious finals ramifications.

The case against the Tigers is that they’re at Marvel Stadium, they’ll be without Dustin Martin and Tom Lynch and they’ve come off the year’s two funniest losses for us neutral fans back to back. The case against Freo is, well, that the Tigers with their backs against the wall are the most dangerous beast of all. This has a Richmond turnaround written all over it.

We’re once again back with identical start times for two Saturday afternoon games (sighs), and neither of them seem to be must-watch affairs. I’d be shocked if Sydney didn’t handle Adelaide comfortably on their home deck, having hit a rich vein of form; while down in Tasmania, North’s resurgence under Leigh Adams surely has a shelf life, and I’m tipping we’ll reach the expiry date with a loss to Hawthorn.

Saturday twilight looms as more interesting, with a desperate Port Adelaide hosting the deadly Geelong. The Power are a different beast to the side handled comfortably by the Cats at home earlier this year, but it’s pretty tough to pick against the ladder-leaders anywhere at the moment. Geelong again, but it’ll hopefully be close.

It’s been a while since we’ve had a decent QClash, but then again, it’s been a while since we’ve had a decent Gold Coast. After last week’s capitulation to Essendon, they’ll surely come out full of intent; but the Lions have the cavalry returning this week, and between Daniel Rich, Dayne Zorko, Oscar McInerney and co., they should have enough firepower to get their top-two ambitions back on track.

I’m going to swallow my pride and tip against my Bulldogs again in the year’s second grand final rematch. There’s a big part of me that thinks the Dogs are a huge chance – their weakness this year has been defending teams in transition, and that has been a major struggle for Melbourne in recent weeks. Still, Clayton Oliver’s return makes their midfield lethal again, so they’ll find a way to kick a winning score.

Carlton simply can’t afford to drop a game against GWS with their top-four and even top-six hopes hanging on every result from here. They won’t, though. And nor will Collingwood, presumably, when they face Essendon; though the Bombers’ form and the Pies’ incredible record in close games means they’re surely due a loss if this match gets tight.

Finally, my second upset for the week: I’m backing West Coast to knock over a Paddy Ryder-less St Kilda. The last time I tipped the Eagles at home, Richmond munched them by more than 100 points. But I’m going back to the well in full anticipation that I’ll be hurt again. Do your worst.

Tim Kelly of the Eagles celebrates a goal

(Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Dem Panopoulos (last week: 5)

Fremantle, North Melbourne, Sydney, Port Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Carlton, Collingwood, St Kilda

Who knows what’s going to happen this round?

There’s a slight temptation to tip against the grain in every match – the downside is seemingly not as punishing in 2022.

Richmond start the round under the Friday night lights – but what are the Tigers? You’ll always take the three premierships and accept these heartbreaks along the way, but if you thought losses like the one to North and Gold Coast probably shouldn’t hurt as much for supporters, try telling that to anyone in yellow and black over the last fortnight.

They host the Dockers at Marvel Stadium, puzzling fixturing that sways this game into the Dockers’ favour. Both teams have something to prove, but no Tom Lynch and Dusty hurts the ‘home’ side.

North Melbourne and Hawthorn is a pretty captivating match-up. Both teams are looking to start a winning streak and are playing in their secondary home state of Tasmania, so conditions suit both.

If we’re talking about who has a bigger desire to actually win the match, I think it might be the Kangaroos – opinions on the Hawks won’t really change long-term here.

The Crows had the chance to keep the season really interesting by beating the Magpies, but they failed. They have a reasonable record at the SCG, but don’t have the defence to handle the red-hot Swans.

Port Adelaide has been competitive recently, and the Cats are the best team in the league. Crazy or not, teams can’t win the flag with a long winning streak heading into finals – unless, of course, you’re Richmond in 2019.

This is the best opportunity for Geelong to take the foot off the gas and head back to the safety of the pack, and the Power will be desperate to keep their season alive at home.

Brisbane should win the Q-Clash but hopefully it’s a close one – the last six have been decided by at least 45 points and it’s growing tiresome. Come on Suns!

The Round 19 edition of the Grand Final rematch could be the final nail for the Bulldogs if they don’t show up. It’s a bad defence against a questionable offence. Clayton Oliver’s return for Melbourne, and his impact in sending the ball forward, probably hurts.

Carlton should knock off GWS – I might’ve thought differently if not for the Giants’ inability to get any scoring power through the Power’s similar defensive set-up a few weeks ago.

It’s probably best I give away any Collingwood predictions in 2022, as they’re heading towards a potential ninth win in a row. Good to see the Bombers find some form though, but I think the buck will stop for them this week.

Finally, West Coast in Perth is definitely a match the Saints could lose, mainly because they shouldn’t and they aren’t
great.

But there’s potential that they’re sitting in eighth spot once the final siren rings. Do the work, St Kilda.

Rowan Marshall

Rowan Marshall (Photo by Sarah Reed/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Cameron Rose (last week: 6)

TBD

*EDITOR’S NOTE* Cam is taking a well-deserved week off here at The Roar to move house. Enjoy the time off but please be aware that I will be ruthless about who you back in your time off – there are no friends in tipping!

Liam Salter (last week: 4)

Fremantle, North Melbourne, Sydney, Geelong, Brisbane, Melbourne, Carlton, Collingwood, St Kilda

This’ll be another short, to-the-point tipping column from yours truly this week.

And no, it’s not because I’m embarrassed given my subpar performance last week, but rather – like Adam Simpson at the Eagles earlier in the season – I’m juggling a significant COVID outbreak in my house. 

Freo open the round for the first time in forever, and it’s up against a fierce opponent in Richmond. The Tigers will be keen to strike back after a ruinous loss to North put their position in the eight in jeopardy, but Freo need to mitigate losses from here on out to ensure the top four remains viable for them.

I don’t know whether it’s through genuine belief or blind partisanship, but I’ll go my boys.

Speaking of North: yes, it was only by a tiny margin and yes, we can’t get carried away, but that aforementioned win was much-needed for the Kangaroos.  Hawthorn have won a couple in a row, but screw it – I kind of rate North’s chances as scrappy underdogs down in Tassie.  

Despite Adelaide having pushed the Pies all the way last week, I can’t see them sustaining that momentum – of sorts – again against Sydney, who’ll win and keep their own top-four hopes on track.

Port Adelaide are now in that desperate, must-win-every-game position, but Geelong are a superb side and should put the final nail in their coffin. Speaking of putting the final nail in a team’s column, Brisbane have the potential to do that to the Suns as well. Like Port, Gold Coast are in a precarious position, especially after blowing it against Essendon.

Recent history ain’t pretty for the Suns, who’ve lost eight-straight Q-Clashes. I’m tipping eight to become nine. I think they’ll make it interesting, but Brisbane have enough polish (and with a top-two carrot dangling, enough motivation) to unfortunately end their crosstown rivals’’ season on Saturday night.

Yet another team scrapping for finals is the Bulldogs. They face Melbourne this weekend, which mightn’t be as terrifying as it once was, but comes at a time where the Dogs can’t really afford a slip-up. Motivation is the key word for the weekend, and I’d say the Demons’ premiership defence hopes should be very evident as they down the Dogs in a close one.

Carlton, on Sunday, should have a much easier time beating the Giants, who have become as much of a non-factor this year as they have been in a long while. 

Sam Walsh in action.

Sam Walsh in action. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Essendon – long out of finals contention – seem to be joyfully keen to throw grenades into the seasons of everyone fighting for finals. They’ve done it to Brisbane and the Suns in consecutive weeks, and will be eager to be the team to spoil Collingwood’s impressive(-ly lucky) winning streak.

It won’t happen though: Collingwood to win, as (in unrelated news) visits to cardiologists rise for an unknown reason.

I genuinely almost forgot about this weekend’s final game, as much as I’ve almost forgotten St Kilda were a finals contender about a month ago. They’ll win a forgettable clash but continue to rue their stunning collapse. 

Round 19 Tim Dem Cam Liam Crowd
RCH vs FRE RCH FRE FRE FRE
NM vs HAW HAW NM NM HAW
SYD vs ADE SYD SYD SYD SYD
PA vs GEE GEE PA GEE GEE
BL vs GCS BL BL BL BL
WB vs MEL MEL MEL MEL MEL
CAR vs GWS CAR CAR CAR CAR
COL vs ESS COL COL COL COL
WCE vs STK WCE STK STK STK
ROLLING SCORE 103 92 98 95 106





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