AFL Tips & Preview – Round 7

Round 7 of the 2022 AFL season features season-on-the-line games for at least three clubs, before rounding off with a clash between two flag contenders.

Friday 29th April, 20:10 (AEST)

West Coast Richmond
Pos Player Pos Player

B

B
HB HB
C C
HF HF
F F
FOL FOL
I/C I/C


History:
Played 46: West Coast 27 v Richmond 19

Last Meeting: AFL R13 2021: West Coast 13.7 (85) dftd Richmond 12.9 (81)

Final Thoughts: An intriguing clash to start Round 7, not least because of West Coast’s horrific lead-in. No one is doubting the Eagles’ unlucky start to the year that has seen them decimated by COVID-19 and injury; forced to play over 40 players inside the opening six weeks. But the 84-point loss to Port Adelaide in Round 6 was damning for a side still featuring several premiership players. Club legend Guy McKenna says they need to strip things fully back. “Mick Malthouse used to say it doesn’t take talent to apply pressure or to run or to harass and where they’re at right now, as silly as it is, that’s what they’ve got to do,” he said after the horror loss. “They’ve got to go back to basics and just get some desire and some energy around the pill.”

The Tigers go in favourites despite being on enemy turf. While they were ultimately outrun by the Dees in Round 6, they Damien Hardwick’s men put up a strong fight to suggest finals isn’t completely out of the equation in 2022.

Tip: Line, Richmond -9.5 @ $1.90

Saturday 30th April, 13:45 (AEST)

Geelong Fremantle
Pos Player Pos Player

B

B
HB HB
C C
HF HF
F F
FOL FOL
I/C I/C


History:
Played 41: Geelong 28 v Fremantle 13

Last Meeting: AFL R18 2021: Fremantle 3.13 (31) lost to Geelong 14.16 (100)

Final Thoughts: A huge test for the impressive Dockers, who have surprised the competition with a 5-1 start. If there’s one knock on Fremantle, it’s that they’re yet to claim a big scalp in 2022. This clash, then, represents a huge chance at one of the league’s toughest away trips. Justin Longmuir’s men are structurally sound at the back, something that was highlighted in a professional victory over the Blues in Round 6. And they’ll need to be every bit as good this week coming up against the dual danger of Tom Hawkins and Jeremy Cameron.

Geelong go in as solid favourites, not least because of one damning stat that underlines their defensive capabilities: in their last two games against Fremantle, the Dockers have managed just five goals in eight quarters of footy.

Tip: Margin, Geelong by 1-39 @ $2.07

Saturday 30th April, 14:10 (AEST)

Adelaide GWS
Pos Player Pos Player

B

B
HB HB
C C
HF HF
F F
FOL FOL
I/C I/C


History:
Played 14: Adelaide 10 v GWS 4

Last Meeting: AFL R7 2021: Adelaide 4.15 (39) lost to GWS Giants 15.16 (106)

Final Thoughts: The Crows could have hardly had a better lead-in to this clash, winning two on the bounce, while GWS could hardly have been more lacklustre. Leon Cameron is on borrowed time at the Giants, who have been poor in four of their six matches to date in 2022. For a side that started the season as evens to make the Top 8, that prospect is seemingly slipping by the week. Cameron might cling to the fact that they towelled up the Crows (also in Round 7) at the Adelaide Oval last year, but this is a side with 12 months more experience — and it shows, after impressive wins over Richmond and the Western Bulldogs in the last fortnight. They deservedly start as favourites.

Tip: To score 3+ goals, Toby Greene (GWS) @ $2.95

Saturday 30th April, 16:35 (AEST)

Melbourne Hawthorn
Pos Player Pos Player

B

B
HB HB
C C
HF HF
F F
FOL FOL
I/C I/C

 

History: Played 167: Melbourne 79 v Hawthorn 87 (1 draw)

Last Meeting: AFL R18 2021: Melbourne 11.13 (79) drew Hawthorn 12.7 (79)

Final Thoughts: Melbourne’s dominant start to the season has seen them jump comfortable into the No.1 seeds for 2022 and even pose the (inevitable) question of whether they can go undefeated for the year. And while it seems far-fetched given we’ve only ticked over a quarter of the home-and-away season, there’s few chinks in their armour. “I haven’t seen a team as disciplined and well-organised as this probably since those Ross Lyon teams, albeit this Melbourne side has so much more talent,” Kane Cornes said this week.

That first loss of the year in unlikely to come this week, against a Hawthorn side which, at their best, are impressive (as we saw in a scintillating start to their Anzac Day clash against the Swans), but have thus far proven incapable of stringing four quarters together.

Tip: Line, Melbourne -26.5 @ $1.90

Saturday 30th April, 19:25 (AEST)

St Kilda Port Adelaide
Pos Player Pos Player

B

B
HB HB
C C
HF HF
F F
FOL FOL
I/C I/C


History:
Played 33: St Kilda 11 v Port Adelaide 22

Last Meeting: AFL R18 2021: St Kilda 8.13 (61) lost to Port Adelaide 10.14 (74)

Final Thoughts: Along with the Dockers, the Saints have been the surprise packets of the season who have shortened from $2.80 Top 8 hopes into $1.36 after winning five games in a row for the first time in a decade. Further young star Max King has shortened from $13 into $6 in the Coleman Medal market, as we explored this week.

And while they start as favourites for this clash in North Queensland, they face an obstacle getting over a Port Adelaide side that has won 10 of their last 11 clashes against the Saints. Ken Hinkley’s men were clinical in their 84-point dismantling of West Coast in Round 6, but this represents a far tougher task than the lacklustre Eagles. Injured Port Adelaide duo Orazio Fantasia and Charlie Dixon could be back playing in a matter of weeks, but won’t get up for this one.

Tip: H2H, Port Adelaide @ $2.33

Saturday 30th, 19:25 (AEST)

Carlton North Melbourne
Pos Player Pos Player

B

B
HB HB
C C
HF HF
F F
FOL FOL
I/C  I/C

 

History: Played 158: Carlton 98 v North Melbourne 60

Last Meeting: AFL R19 2021: Carlton 11.11 (77) lost to North Melbourne 18.8 (116)

Final Thoughts: After a brilliant start to the year that saw them sprint to 3-0 for the first time in over a decade, hopes have been tempered on the Blues in recent weeks. Two losses in three games has seen them cool from $1.33 Top 8 hopes out to $1.62 with Palmerbet. And while they were by no means poor against an impressive Fremantle in Round 6, it provided a reality check that there’s still plenty of work to do. And they’ll have to do so without Marc Pittonet (who has been crucial in their four wins to date) for the next 8-12 weeks after the ruckman sustained a PCL injury.

Pittonet or not, Carlton should have too much for a North Melbourne side which appear destined for a second straight wooden spoon. By no means disgraced around the ground against Geelong in Round 6, the reality is that David Noble’s men still went down by 10 goals and lack distinct firepower across the park. It’s difficult to see where their next win is coming from.

Tip: Total score, Under 173.5 @ $1.88

Sunday 1st May, 19:25 (AEST)

Collingwood Gold Coast
Pos Player Pos Player

B

B
HB HB
C C
HF HF
F F
FOL FOL
I/C (from) I/C (from)

 

History: Played 11: Collingwood 8 v Gold Coast 3

Last Meeting: AFL R7 2021: Collingwood 7.13 (55) lost to Gold Coast 12.7 (79)

Final Thoughts: While currently sitting inside the Top 8, Collingwood are still $3.25 outsiders to remain there come season’s end. Competitive in every game thus far in 2022, there’s still questions over whether Craig McRae’s side have the firepower to compete with the best this season. Coming off the back of pulsating Anzac Day win, however, they are favoured to go 4-3 on Sunday afternoon.

They face a Suns side who are, quite simply, tough to jump on in any clash given their inconsistency. On paper they should push the Pies all the way here, and could even get over the line, but the reality is they don’t turn up to play each week. Further, their record at the MCG leaves a lot to be desired — save for the last time they played Collingwood at the home of footy (a 24-point win, also in Round 7, last year).

Tip: To score 3+ goals, Jack Ginnivan (Coll) @ $3.75

Sunday 1st May, 15:20 (AEST)

Western Bulldogs Essendon
Pos Player Pos Player

B

B
HB HB
C C
HF HF
F F
FOL FOL
I/C (from) I/C (from)

 

History: Played 164: Western Bulldogs 67 v Essendon 95 (2 draws)

Last Meeting: AFL EF 2021: Western Bulldogs 13.7 (85) dftd Essendon 4.12 (36)

Final Thoughts: The Dogs are the only side outside the Top 8 with a percentage higher than 100, which suggests that they could and should be higher than their current 11th. At 2-4, their Top 4 hopes — which is without doubt where coach Luke Beveridge saw his side before the season kicked off — are dwindling, and a loss here would make that task extremely difficult.

For the Bombers, who were comprehensively beaten in their last encounter against the Dogs in last year’s Elimination Final, there’s one huge area of their game that is lacking. With just three forward 50 tackles against Collingwood on Anzac Day, they simply need to be better off the ball in their forward half. “You cannot defend the ground without great pressure on the ball,” Nathan Buckley said this week. “Essendon, they need to fix that. It is a hard fix, and you might need players to selflessly consider that this is an important role for the team, can I play it?”

Tip: Line, Essendon +18.5 @ $1.90

Sunday 1st May, 16:40 (AEST)

Sydney Brisbane
Pos Player Pos Player

B

B
HB HB
C C
HF HF
F F
FOL FOL
I/C (from) I/C (from)

 

History: Played 54: Sydney 30 v Brisbane 23 (1 draw)

Last Meeting: AFL R1 2021: Brisbane Lions 14.10 (94) lost to Sydney 19.11 (125)

Final Thoughts: A month ago, most might’ve assumed the Bombers would start relatively healthy favourites on Anzac Day. After all, with a young side who had played finals footy in 2021, they were on the rise. Collingwood, by contrast, were the big unknown under an untried coach.

But Ben Rutten’s men start as $2.70 outsiders after a horror start to the year (1-4) that could spell curtains on their season in the next fortnight if there isn’t drastic change. “The way that they turned up to play against Geelong attitude-wise in the first round was really concerning,” club legend Tim Watson told SEN radio this week. “And the fact that they still can’t defend the ground on turnover is still a major, major concern about the way structurally they play. They need to be fixed.” The Pies could regain some firepower with Brody Mihocek, Jack Ginnivan and Beau McCreery all chances to return.

Tip: Margin, Sydney by 1-39 @ $2.50