AFL Tips & Preview – Round 8

Round 8 of the 2022 AFL season features a huge clash between traditional rivals in the traditional time slot, and two replays from the 2021 Finals Series.

Friday 6th May, 19:30 (AEST)

Port Adelaide Western Bulldogs
Pos Player Pos Player

B

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


History:
Played 34: Port Adelaide 18 v Western Bulldogs 16

Last Meeting: AFL PF 2021: Port Adelaide 6.9 (45) lost to Western Bulldogs 17.14 (116)

Final Thoughts: A huge clash to kick off Round 8, for a number of reasons. The last time these sides met, the result was so significant that Port Adelaide’s issues this season are still, according to some, to blame for it. Despite starting solid $1.38 favourites, the Power were hammered to the tune of 71 points by the Dogs ($2.98) at Adelaide Oval in a shock 2021 Preliminary Final result. The Power’s horror start to the year, going 0-5, was down to many factors, but an inability to move on from that result has certainly been one of them.

Which makes this clash a big mental hurdle for Ken Hinkley’s men. From a more immediate perspective, it is also huge in the context of this season. Back to back wins has given life to a Port Adelaide season that looked dead and buried. But there’s little margin for error now, against a Dogs outfit who were impressive last week against Essendon and will square the ledger at 4-4 with a win here.

Tip: H2H, Port Adelaide @ $1.95

Friday 6th May, 20:40 (AEST)

Fremantle North Melbourne
Pos Player Pos Player

B

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


History:
Played 33: Fremantle 15 v North Melbourne 18

Last Meeting: AFL R6 2021: Fremantle 14.15 (99) dftd North Melbourne 6.12 (48)

Final Thoughts: Prior to last weekend, praise for Fremantle was certainly warranted but contained an asterisk given they had yet to claim a ‘proper scalp’ in 2022. Well, that all changed in Round 7 when they knocked off Geelong away from home — one of the most difficult tasks in modern footy. And while talk of their flag credentials might be a bit too strong given we’re a third of the way through the AFL season, at the very least they’ve put themselves into the conversation having shortened from $26 into $9.50.

The reality is, even without a number of players out due to COVID protocols, the Dockers should get the job done over a poor North Melbourne side, and the considerable pre-game line suggests as much.

Tip: Line, Fremantle -39.5 @ $1.90

Saturday 7th May, 13:45 (AEST)

Richmond Collingwood
Pos Player Pos Player

B

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


History:
Played 213: Richmond 91 v Collingwood 120 (2 draws)

Last Meeting: AFL R17 2021: Richmond 11.5 (71) lost to Collingwood 13.9 (87)

Final Thoughts: A huge clash for a number of reasons; huge rivals, eighth plays ninth, and the biggest star of the game returns. Dustin Martin is perhaps the biggest ‘in’ we’ll see in on a Thursday night in 2022, and it can’t come sooner for the Tigers. Their thumping of West Coast in Round 7 aside, they’ve hugely missed the three-time Norm Smith medalist to date this season.

Despite their overall dominance in recent years, Damien Hardwick’s men have a poor record against Collingwood in this period, winning just one of the last five games against the Pies. Jack Ginnivan’s meteoric rise continues and it’s not a stretch to say whoever has the job on the goal sneak — who has booted 10 goals in his last three games — could play a huge role in determining what is expected to be a close encounter.

Tip: Margin, Richmond by 1-39 @ $2.18

Saturday 7th May, 13:45 (AEST)

Sydney Gold Coast
Pos Player Pos Player

B

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

 

History: Played 13: Sydney 10 v Gold Coast 3

Last Meeting: AFL R23 2021: Sydney 21.10 (136) dftd Gold Coast 6.13 (49)

Final Thoughts: The Swans by no means disgraced themselves against Brisbane in Round 7, but the 24-point loss was a reality check; that they’ve got some way to go if they want to be seen as contenders in 2022. John Longmire’s men struggled down back and Paddy McCartin’s return can’t come soon enough, while they also struggled moving the ball efficiently inside 50. That will be a key area of concern in their push for the Top 4 this season.

The Suns were good in periods against the Pies in Round 7 but, yet again, showed they are incapable of stringing four quarters together, something that continues to dog coach Stuart Dew. While he will be buoyed by the fact they’ve beaten the Swans on two of the last three occasions, the reality is that their last encounter (in Round 23 last season) resulted in an 87-point thumping to the Bloods.

Tip: Total score, Under 171.5 @ $1.90

Saturday 7th May, 16:35 (AEST)

GWS Geelong
Pos Player Pos Player

B

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


History:
Played 13: GWS 4 v Geelong 8 (1 draw)

Last Meeting: AFL SF 2021: Geelong 15.13 (103) dftd GWS Giants 10.8 (68)

Final Thoughts: Like the Power and Dogs, these two sides last faced off at the pointy end of 2021 but it was the home side in Geelong that prevailed comfortably on the big stage. And despite being away from home, the Cats start favourites in this one too. Chris Scott’s men are a known quantity, and their weekly output can be more or less expected. Leon Cameron’s side, however, are far more variable week-to-week. Take their huge win over the Crows — in Adelaide no less — last week. That came following three straight poor performances. While they’re a huge chance on pseudo home turf in this one, it’s hard to tip the Giants with any level of confidence thus far in 2022.

Tip: Line, Geelong -3.5 @ $1.90

Essendon v Hawthorn @ Marvel Stadium

Saturday 7th May, 19:25 (AEST)

Essendon Hawthorn
Pos Player Pos Player

B

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

 

History: Played 166: Essendon 100 v Hawthorn 66

Last Meeting: AFL R14 2021: Hawthorn 10.13 (73) lost to Essendon 13.8 (86)

Final Thoughts: Some have labelled Essendon the “biggest disappointments of 2022” to date, which is some achievement given West Coast’s travails this season. It’s fairly damning that a side that played finals footy in 2021 is now all but out of the equation just seven rounds in to this year (currently fading $10 Top 8 hopes with Palmerbet). Without a finals win since 2004, it looks increasingly less likely that will come in 2022.

However if ever there was a time to face their arch rivals in Hawthorn, it’s now. The Bombers need a spark, and this clash usually provides one. Despite back-to-back losses, the Hawks were impressive for periods against the Dees and Swans (flag favourites and third-favourite respectively) and, for the first time since Round 1, start favourites.

Tip: To come

Saturday 7th May, 19:25 (AEST)

Brisbane West 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 51: Brisbane 15 v West Coast 35 (1 draw)

Last Meeting: AFL R23 2021: Brisbane Lions 19.11 (125) dftd West Coast 13.9 (87)

Final Thoughts: It’s hard to know where to start on just how dire things have become at West Coast. Is it the fact they’ve lost their last three games (including two at home) by a combined 256 points? Is it that their percentage of 55.3 is one of the worst ever in modern AFL footy after seven rounds? Or is it the fact that none of their players under the age of 23 have 20 AFL games under their belt?

Travelling to the Gabba to face an ultra professional Lions outfit, who underlined their flag credentials with a brilliant win over the Swans at the SCG in Round 7, this clash looms as a significant blowout unless the Eagles pull out something that’s been completely lacking in recent weeks. It’s unsurprising that the early line is beyond 60 points.

Tip: Brisbane Total Goals, Over 18.5 @ $2.04

Sunday 8th May, 13:10 (AEST)

Melbourne St Kilda
Pos Player Pos Player

B

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

 

History: Played 218: Melbourne 123 v St Kilda 94 (1 draw)

Last Meeting: AFL R2 2021: St Kilda 11.7 (73) lost to Melbourne 12.19 (91)

Final Thoughts: Will the Demons be looking over their shoulder after the Lions’ aforementioned win over the Swans in Round 7? Maybe. Mainly because they look the only team capable of toppling the reigning premiers at this stage of the season. Simon Goodwin’s team were given a scare by the Hawks last weekend but never truly look like being defeated for the first time in 2022. Alex Neal-Bullen, Kysaiah Pickett, Harrison Petty, Tom Sparrow and Luke Jackson all are available again after entering AFL’s health and safety protocols last week.

That spells trouble for the Saints, who are coming off a bruising defeat to Port Adelaide which snapped a five-game winning streak. Pleasingly for Brett Ratten, his side have been competitive (albeit on the losing sidle of the ledger) in the their two games against the Dees, prior to which they had won the last three encounters.

Tip: Line, St Kilda +19.5 @ $1.90

Sunday 8th May, 16:40 (AEST)

Carlton Adelaide
Pos Player Pos Player

B

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

 

History: Played 41: Carlton 20 v Adelaide 21

Last Meeting: AFL R15 2021: Carlton 12.11 (83) dftd Adelaide 10.13 (73)

Final Thoughts: The Blues’ defensive worries could have become even more dire this week but Michael Voss would have breathed a huge sigh of relief that Lewis Young’s one-week suspension was overturned. Still, Mitch McGovern and Oscar McDonald’s latest setbacks — when combined with Liam Jones pulling out during the pre-season — has left Carlton’s defensive stocks fairly bare. And while they start favourites here, will rely on the likes of Nic Newman Lachie Plowman will have to play tall to quell the Crows’ forward line.

Both clubs have a win each in their last two encounters, both decided by 16 points or less. This one could be similarly close.

Tip: Margin, Carlton by 1-39 @ $2.20