Mick Malthouse: Round 21 Preview
Mick Malthouse has joined the William Hill team in 2017 and Mick’s Picks will be a weekly article throughout the season.
Last week saw GWS really turn it on, they played their best footy they’ve played for over a month and it showed against Melbourne. The Demons have paid the penalty in the last weeks, losing to North was costly and they now find themselves outside of the top 8. Richmond proved they are the real deal last week beating Hawthorn and Saint Kilda kept their season alive, while West Coast once again failed to fire when it counted.
Round 21 Tips
|Western Bulldogs v GWS (Fri 19:50)||GWS 1-39 ($2.25)|
|Sydney v Fremantle (Sat 13:45)||Sydney 40+ ($1.55)|
|Geelong v Richmond (Sat 14:10)||Richmond 1-39 ($2.20)|
|Brisbane v Gold Coast (Sat 16:35)||Brisbane WIN ($1.57)|
|Essendon v Adelaide (Sat 19:25)||Adelaide 1-39 ($2.25)|
|West Coast v Carlton (Sat 19:40)||West Coast 1-39 ($2.20)|
|Melbourne v St Kilda (Sun 13:10)||Melbourne WIN ($1.63)|
|Hawthorn v North Melbourne (Sun 15:20)||Hawthorn 1-39 ($2.10)|
|Port Adelaide v Collingwood (Sun 16:10)||Port Adelaide 1-39 ($2.05)|
Western Bulldogs v GWS
The dogs form has been patchy, but they put it together again last week beating Brisbane and while they had to work for the win, they earned it. GWS were outstanding last week; their midfield got going and with no Cameron or Patton they were still able to kick a winning score. Coniglio was brilliant, adding value to the midfield by playing an in and under role, which took the pressure of Shiel. If GWS maintain the urgency they displayed last week, they’ll win this and the return of Toby Greene only bolsters their chances.
Sydney v Fremantle
This is a non- match, Sydney should be dominating this and they’re in scary form at present heading into finals. Fremantle won well last week but not even their best can come close here, Sydney should win this and by some margin.
Geelong v Richmond
Richmond put the writing on the wall last week; they are the real deal and a win here will further endorse their credentials as a genuine top 4 side. Geelong need to demonstrate they can a win a game without the inspiration of Selwood, and with Hawkins and Duncan also on the sidelines the Cats will need to find something special. Richmond has the best defence in the competition. With Riewoldt returning to the Forward line it will add more strike power to them. Richmond doesn’t generally punish teams on the scoreboard, but they do around the ground and I expect them to win here by around 10 points.
Brisbane v Gold Coast
Brisbane might be on the bottom of the ladder, but they’re in the best form of the two at the moment and get an excellent chance here. Gold Coast have an interim coach in Solomon but appear devoid of any confidence, however sides that have sacked their coach during the week have a very good record of coming out and winning. It’ll be a close Q Clash but I expect Brisbane will prove too strong and win.
Essendon v Adelaide
Adelaide are not the most impressive side away from home and they come up against a patchy Essendon that have got a sniff of final 8 football. Essendon will miss Orazio Fantasia, he’s been a real goal scoring machine of late but, Joe Daniher will still be able to worry Adelaide. This will be a test for Adelaide, but they should be able to win, they’ve been the consistent side all year and if they fire across all lines The Bombers will struggle to contain them.
West Coast v Carlton
This is a must win for West Coast, a loss here and they can consider their season as good as over. Carlton can find themselves on the bottom of the ladder if they lose this and with nothing left to play for it could be the scenario. The Blues will struggle to hold Kennedy and if he’s given room in the forward line he is capable of kicking a big score. Carlton have been consistently good defending but are unable to build a big score. At Subiaco they will need to kick 14 or 15 goals to win this game, which I cannot see happening.
Melbourne v St Kilda
This is the elimination final, the loser can consider their 2017 season over and I suspect that will be St Kilda. Whilst St Kilda were more impressive as opposed to the Demons last week, the Demons are a better rounded team. They’re inconsistent at times but across the board are the superior of the two. Only one or neither of these two teams will play finals football and while a win doesn’t guarantee that, I suspect Melbourne should win by 5 points.
Hawthorn v North
Hawthorn will be bitterly disappointed with their slow start to the season but in recent weeks have shown they’re a better side than their ladder position suggests. North Melbourne have fallen away very badly, Brown has indicated he’s right to play but without Waite as a back-up North hasn’t got the capacity to score. Hawthorn will pay the price for their slow start by missing finals, but they will be too good for North. Hawthorn by 24 points.
Port Adelaide v Collingwood
Port Adelaide can’t beat sides in the top 8, but consistently beat those outside of it. Collingwood will miss Grundy and that gives a player like Ryder a free rein around the ground. Cox has the height to worry Ryder in the ruck contests but he won’t be any match for Ryder. Port Adelaide are in the top 8, but they are the weakest side currently in there – they can’t defend well enough against top sides and they don’t bring enough pressure. Collingwood will bring their best and give this game a shake, but predictability will stand up. Port by 11 points.