Updated: Jul 19, 2020
It might just be the most important Round 3 in history. When it’s all said and done; at least one premiership team will be 1-2. Whilst others will find themselves 3 games off the pace. The next three weeks will have serious repercussions on season 2020.
Let's get stuck into another week of Aussie Rules and find some winners!
Richmond Vs Hawthorn - Thursday Night
Richmond and Hawthorn, two clubs with rich MCG-sized histories. The last dynasty takes on the next. Round 3 should start with a Richmond victory; Hawthorn finding it hard to score against a stout Richmond defense.
Promising early, Hawthorn was poor in the second half against Geelong. Whilst they can still feature in the finals this year, they won’t be troubling a Richmond team who’ll be well aware a loss puts them in in an uncomfortable position after last week's draw with the Pies. The Tigers will want some wiggle room as they take on St Kilda and West Coast in the next fortnight. As such, they won’t give the Hawks a sniff. I'll take Richmond by 30 points.
Western Bulldogs Vs GWS - Friday Night
Initially, billed as an early-season classic, this Friday night game has season-defining written all over it for both teams. GWS were outplayed in every facet by North Melbourne last week; a 1-2 start puts their top 4 hopes in serious jeopardy. Collingwood awaits in Round 4; 1-2 could very quickly be 1-3. We will find out pretty quickly if the North performance was a result of the awkward COVID situation.
For the Bulldogs, this is it. Season defining. 2020 is on the line. If they are to lose here; Beveridge will be under immense media scrutiny. Dying for a story, they will bring the heat. Unlike GWS, who I expect a response from, the Doggies’ don’t give you that feeling. GWS by 27 points.
North Melbourne Vs Sydney Swans - Saturday Afternoon
North Melbourne looks to do the Sydney double in Saturday’s opening stanza. Rhys Shaw, the former Sydney great, is more and more looking like a perfect fit for the Shinboners of North Melbourne. Everything he learned about the Bloods’ culture fits nicely with North’s famed Shinboner spirit. Two teams who happily admit to playing, simple, tough, and contested footy will make for a great game. Scoring may not be high in this one, some may even say it's a poor game. For me, I’ll thoroughly enjoy this contest, it will be brutal and I'll take Swans in a tight one by just 3 points.
Collingwood Vs St Kilda - Saturday Night
A premiership favourite takes on the off-season premiership winner in Saturday’s twilight game.
The Pies’ will be looking to register their first win post-isolation and with games against GWS and Essendon to round out their fixture list over the next fortnight, a loss here could prove quite difficult. Nullified by Richmond offensively, although equally as preventative towards the Richmond attack, Collingwood will enjoy a more open game against the Saints.
36-all draw last week against the Tigers, the Pies will be winning this week.
Rebounding impressively from their abhorrent second-half performance in Round 1, St Kilda has a chance to justify their Round 2 win against their much more highly fancied opponents. The Pies’ are a different animal than the Bulldogs; St Kilda won’t be gifted the ability to run into an open goal, again and again, this week. One of the games of the round. Pies too strong in this, Collingwood by 18.
Geelong Vs Carlton Saturday - Saturday Night
Carlton head to Geelong’s GMBHA graveyard in a Saturday night game which could be anything. Carlton was terrific after a horrific first half against Melbourne. Unlucky not to win; they’ll need to convert chances early to give themselves any chance against the Cats. Unfortunately for Carlton, Geelong has built their famed home record feasting on teams like the Blues.. Carlton will be gallant, yet they aren’t ready for this yet. Geelong by 33.
Brisbane Vs West Coast - Saturday Night
Both these teams face a huge three-week period. They begin with their clash Saturday night. With the loser dropping to a 1-2 record and facing the inform and ultra-impressive Port Adelaide in the next fortnight. This is my game of the round.
Brisbane got their season on track; holding a tough Fremantle team at bay last weekend. At times, they produced some beautiful football. They’ll enjoy being back under the Gabba lights; amongst the dew of Queensland. Follow up a win here with a win against Adelaide next week, and Round 4’s match up with Port Adelaide could be a game of round contender. Battered by the Suns, West Coast simply must win this week. Losing puts the West Coast into a season-defining fortnight. Port Adelaide followed by Richmond is a nightmare scenario for a team picked by many to win the Flag.
This should be a desperate game of footy, featuring two highly skilful teams. Brisbane by 4 points.
Gold Coast Vs Adelaide - Sunday Afternoon
Loved last Sunday, set up a few fun same-game multi’s and a fantasy football team for the day and away you go. Back-to-back-to-back games. This Sunday starts with what could be a game that decides the wooden spoon. A bit early to go with that? Well, if the Gold Coast win, they go two games clear of Adelaide. It won’t be easy to peg that back across 14 weeks.
The Suns were all smiles in Round 2.
Two desperate teams should show up ready to go here. Adelaide was horrific in the showdown. The Gold Coasts’ spectacular in destroying the Eagles. Embarrassed by Port, you can expect the Crows to show a great deal more fight this weekend. Scintillating in Round 2, the Suns have been giving off the vibe they are desperate not to back this up with poor performance. Matt Rowell - NAB Rising Start champion elect - has been superb in the media this week. He walks the walk, Gold Coast by 3 points.
Essendon Vs Melbourne - Sunday Afternoon
Excluding 2019’s shootout, this matchup has featured some horrid footy in recent years. Usually played just after ANZAC Day, off short rest, both teams have been poor. Round 3 provides both teams with great opportunities. Winning catapults Melbourne to 2-1, giving their season real hope. Destroying the Blues at one stage by 40+ points, they were ridiculously lucky to hold on and win by a point. Yet, sometimes, all you need is that one win. Something to build on, they have had the better of Essendon in 2 of the last 3.
Essendon is 2-0, with a combined winning margin of 12 points. Melbourne this week, Carlton next week, Essendon has the chance to put themselves in the thick of the top 4 fight. Producing some quality football in 2020, they’ve also thrown in some rather poor quarters as well. With these coming in winning positions, it’s hard to see them running away from Melbourne. Essendon by 12.
Fremantle Vs Port Adelaide - Sunday Night
An absolute belter could close out the weekend. The first game in the Queensland hub between two interstate teams. Fremantle, impressive across its first two performance, they'll want a reward for their effort so far. A hard team to put away it seems, I expect them to go with Port throughout this game.
Coming off a derby is always tough; Port Adelaide was up and about last week. Perhaps they may be a little slow early. Whilst Port will eventually take the biscuits, it’s hard to see people belting Fremantle this year. Tight, Port by 9.
Another great weekend of action, let's hope for a little better luck on the tips!