Indigenous Round hits the AFL and many teams will don a commemorative kit in celebration of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
Swans vs Cats, SCG, Thursday
Thursday night footy is back and it’s the match of the round as the in-form Swans play host to the Cats in a clash of two teams with aspirations of a Premiers flag come September. Sydney are coming off the back of a five-match winning streak and will be keen to make it six against a Geelong side reeling from the loss of key defenders Tom Lonergan and Josh Caddy. Look for a high scoring affair in this one, with Geelong commanding the best ranking attack for the season.
Newsroom’s tip: Swans by 13
Saints vs Magpies, Etihad Stadium, Friday
Collingwood have surprised many this season after the media tipped this period of transition for the ‘Pies would see them languish in the bottom half of the table in 2014. A thrilling win over West Coast last week and four wins in their past five have silenced the doubters as the team everyone loves to hate are sitting pretty in sixth. The story is very different for St Kilda, who are out to snap a four-match losing streak that includes a 145 point thrashing at the hands of reigning premiers Hawthorn.
Newsroom’s tip: Magpies by 28
Demons vs Power, TIO Traeger Park, Saturday
Port Adelaide have shot out of the blocks in the 2014 season, winning eight of their first nine clashes to find themselves treating altitude sickness at the peak of the AFL table. Meanwhile, Paul Roos’ Demons have already exceeded expectations for the year, winning twice so far and sitting three spots above the dreaded wooden spoon. Alice Springs hosts the fixture for the first time as the league attempts to grow its fanbase in the Northern Territory.
Newsroom’s tip: Power by 22
Lions vs Blues, The Gabba, Saturday
Two teams that have struggled this year will meet at the Gabba in what will arguably be the most winnable match for either team this season. A win for Carlton would make it three straight and keep them in touch with the top eight, whilst victory for the home side will be looking to improve after suffering an 87 point loss to North Melbourne last weekend.
Newsroom’s tip: Blues by 8
Bombers vs Tigers, MCG, Saturday
Jack Riewoldt put last week behind him to bag 11 goals in Richmond’s 111 point victory over a hapless Giants outfit last weekend, while Essendon suffered a 50 point loss to Sydney. Neither side have stamped their mark on the 2014 season yet, but the Bombers will like their chances after winning three of the last four clashes between the two sides. Look for a tight contest at the ‘G.
Newsroom’s tip: Bombers by 12
Crows vs Suns, Adelaide Oval, Sunday
Gold Coast have hit their straps after four seasons in the AFL, with Gary Ablett and co making a march towards top four football with a 7-2 record leaving them in third place after 10 rounds. Adelaide are sitting in 10th and are coming off an agonising five point loss to Carlton on the weekend, but home ground advantage could go a long way towards making this a tight contest. Anyone who doubt the Suns can continue their run of form should tune in and watch the match-winners coming of age in the red and yellow.
Newsroom’s tip: Suns by 16
Bulldogs vs Dockers, Etihad Stadium, Sunday
Fremantle are yet to reach the form that saw them make the AFL Grand Final of last year, but a classy showing against Geelong two weeks ago showed they still have the potential to be contenders at seasons end. The Bulldogs will be out to end a run of poor results including just one win in their last five, but against a fresh Fremantle side coming off the bye, the visitors look like runaway victors.
Newsroom’s tip: Dockers by 37
Hawks vs Giants, MCG, Sunday
Without a host of stars, Hawthorn have faired reasonably well over the past few rounds despite losses to premiership contenders Sydney and Port Adelaide in consecutive weeks. Meanwhile, GWS’ dream start to the season is in the rear view mirror after a 113 point loss to Richmond last week stung the club, who had had an extra week to prepare for the clash. No surprises for tipping this one.
Newsroom’s tip: Hawks by 51
Eagles vs Kangaroos, Patersons Stadium, Sunday
West Coast missed out on a huge win last weekend when a fast finishing Collingwood knocked off the Eagles in a thriller leaving them just outside the top eight. North Melbourne ran riot in an 87 point demolition of Brisbane on Sunday, and find themselves one place above West Coast in 8th. The home side will be hoping to find the form they had last weekend and should be too good in the West Australian capital.
Newsroom’s tip: Eagles by 19 – Patrick Boddan
Top photo from Christian Haugen’s Flickr photostream.