A highly unhelpful guide to Round 15

Written by Motts on July 8 2015

Thursday

Port Adelaide vs. Collingwood (AO) 7.50pm (All AEST)

So this is Dane Swan’s 250 game, which is pretty amazing given the amount of times I’ve read he was about to be sacked at any moment.

Sometimes not everything you read in the paper is true it seems. That’s not the case with this column though — everything in this of 100 per cent sort of true.

These two teams are massive rivals and mainly because they had a fight over fashion.

Both wanted to wear the same outfit and as anyone heading out knows, you can’t all dress the same.

It’s such a shame when people fall out over clothing choices. Eddie’s never really gotten over it, he should though, after all, he got to wear what he wanted and Port got stuck with an outfit involving teal.

Surely if you force someone to go out wearing teal you’ve won right? By a fair margin too I’d say.

The Pies have invented ways to lose games recently and if they lose this, those close losses will hurt more than an evening of musical theatre.

Port are struggling though. They have too big a gap between their genuine stars and the rest.

They’ve also had a very emotional week and it would be understandable if they responded by turning in a terrible performance or if they feed off the emotion and played one of the club’s great games.

I think Collingwood can win this if they can overcome last week’s mind-boggling inaccuracy.

Friday

Richmond vs. Carlton (MCG) 7.50pm

Last time these two met it was to kick off the season. It was the heady days of the Mick Malthouse era and everyone thought Carlton would go through the season undefeated.

Since then things have changed. Carlton spent the first half of the year tanking but this time it was to get rid of someone, not for draft picks.

Richmond on the other hand made Tigers fans think things were going to be a disaster before filling them back up with hope.

I’ve even read pieces saying the Tigers can win the premiership, which is really cruel. Don’t toy with the Richmond faithful footy writers, that’s their team’s job.

For the Tiges, this has ‘danger game’ written on it so big that the font size can be seen from space.

It’s at the MCG, the home of so many bad memories for Richmond and it’s on a Friday night. They are some bad omens.

Still, I tipped Richmond successfully last week so I’ll do it again, why? Because I’m an enormous fool.

Saturday

Essendon vs. Melbourne (MCG) 1.40pm

Speaking of danger games, if Melbourne lose this, it will arguably be their biggest low point and that’s really saying something.

Playing Essendon at this point is like a UFC match where the ref has let it go on too long. The Bombers are out for the count.

Their captain is gone for the rest of the year, the players are mentally fatigued from the scandal that has no end and they don’t have a coach.

Really, Hird should go back to where he came from — France.

Even worse than those things, they bought in Mark Neeld and Neil Craig to help out. That’s like seeking out Bernard Tomic’s dad to coach your teenage tennis prodigy.

Apparently, Essendon players and coaches held a two-hour honesty session on Monday.

The fact the club has to make a special time for ‘honesty’ probably speaks volumes.

I’m told having Tania Hird in the corner taking notes put some people off.

If the Dees lose this they should just pack up shop; AFL doesn’t have to be for everyone.

I’m pretty worried as a Dees fan. After all, Melbourne lost to Essendon in the NAB Challenge when the Dons were playing top up players, which were basically Melbourne’s cast offs.

Melbourne are returning from a game in Darwin and have often struggled the week after. Luckily they took the second half off last week so should be OK.

I’m going to go against tradition and one of my key rules for living and tip Melbourne but if Essendon win, I deserve everything I cop from Bombers fans.

Western Bulldogs vs. Gold Coast (CS) 4:35pm

He has risen and even with a bung shoulder he looked pretty good. Could a policy of prayer and sobriety be turning the Suns around?

It probably helps that apart from Gary, the Suns are starting to get back some other players from injury.

We also saw some spectacular form from Charlie Dixon last week and it will be interesting to see if he can become a consistent player or whether he’s just the new Jarrad Waite.

This is a Western Bulldogs home game in Cairns, which to my knowledge isn’t in the Western suburbs of Melbourne. Personally, I hate home games being held in other states but then I also hate leaving the house and experiencing new things.

It’s not fair on the poorer, less successful Victorian clubs to have to do it. I don’t see Hawthorn playing home games in another state.

The trick to tipping this is how much weight to give Gary’s return and how much to the fact their opponent last week was North Melbourne.

The Kangaroos are the equivalent of a false positive in science. They just make determining the truth that much harder.

I’m going to tip the Suns but I immediately regret doing so.

North Melbourne vs. Geelong (ES) 7.20pm

What to make of this game?

North turned in one of the most disappointing performance of the season last week.

Where has it all gone wrong for the Roos? I’d say everywhere. There’s been something not quiet right about North this year.

I tried to get greater insight into them from a North supporter and after several months of looking I finally found one. They were really nice and they look just like you and me.

They told me that Brad Scott ‘can’t coach and it’s amazing people don’t point it out more’ and that Jarrad Waite has been ‘exactly what you’d expect.’ I don’t think they meant that in a good way.

I also wanted to talk to a Geelong supporter but couldn’t find one. Weird, I was tripping over them everywhere in the last few years.

It was nice to see Jimmy Bartel voted ‘sexiest footballer’ again this year but I think the constant snubbing of Melbourne’s Jake Spencer has to stop. Let’s get the campaign happening.

I’m tipping North but really who knows? It’s North. We should be exempt from having to tip their games.

West Coast vs. Adelaide (DS) 7.40pm

The Adelaide Football Club have handled the past week ridiculously well.

Everything they’ve said and done has been pitch perfect and their fans have shown why it’s a great club.

The appointment of John Worsfold makes an enormous amount of sense and it would be great to see him stick around in some capacity for a few seasons.

Now please don’t tell anyone I’ve said nice things about them, it comes very unnaturally to me.

West Coast have their own connection to both Phil Walsh and Worsfold, underlining the close knit community that is footy.

The Eagles faced Melbourne last week in Darwin and they continued on their winning ways. It was a terrible game but West Coast just seem to get the job done against whoever is put in front of them.

I think they’ll win here but it would be pretty huge to see the Crows get up.

Sunday

GWS Giants vs. St Kilda (SS) 1.10pm

The Giants currently sit in ninth and need to win this if they’re any chance to play finals.

I’m told the whole of Western Sydney has been energised by this push for the eight and in Sydney it’s all the media are focusing on.

Granted, it was an AFL executive who told me but they would never exaggerate something. Anyway, at least the constant sell outs they told me about are good news.

The Saints had a fantastic week last, not only did they smash the Bombers, they also got rid of any regret about losing Brendon Goddard.

St Kilda fans were super graceful in constantly pointing out he left to chase a premiership, which I think is unfair, he also left for the money.

This Saints team are very exciting to watch and Josh Bruce is a star. It’s been a while since I’ve had positive feelings towards the Saints and it is seriously freaking me out.

Still, this week is going to be tough. The Giants don’t have a habit of giving up midgame and are not awaiting any international hearings (to my knowledge).

I’m tipping the Giants but it will be close.

The Dockers struggled a bit in the wet last week. Thankfully it’s never wet in Tasmania. Photo: Paul Kane/Getty Images

Hawthorn vs. Fremantle (AS) 3.20pm

Probably the two best teams in the competition go head-to-head at Aurora Stadium. Aurora Stadium?

Why is this in Tasmania? They don’t have the rich history of Aussie rules Football like Greater Western Sydney or the Gold Coast. Do they even play it?

Gee the AFL is good to Tasmania, letting them have a game like this. Must want to grow the game there I guess. Our money should be going into heartlands like New Zealand.

Last week, the Dockers struggled against the Lions but that was in very wet conditions. Luckily for Fremantle, it rarely rains in Tasmania so they should be fine.

Hawthorn seems to have things all coming together, which is heart warming. If there’s one thing I always hope for it’s more success at the Hawks.

And don’t give me that ‘we had a tough time for five minutes in the nineties’ shtick Hawks fans. You’re all living in the land of milk and honey and you know it.

I think the Hawks will win this; they just seem to be the only team with the ability to adapt to their opponent, often midgame.

Brisbane vs. Sydney (G) 4.40pm

AFL’s very own State of Origin and hasn’t the hype been off the scale?

Buddy and Tippett are back after serving their brutally long suspensions so the Swans will be well stocked for their trip to Brisbane.

The Lions have lifted their effort in recent weeks but a trip to Perth to play in pouring rain is not exactly the ideal preparation for taking on the Swans.

The Swans have had some issues too, mainly spending the week digging Ted Richards out of the SCG turf.

It was a crazy decision for the Match Review Panel even by their messed up standards. Seriously why do we bother? Just spin a wheel, at least then everyone knows it’s random.

How many times have we tried to fix the system? Every time it seems to get worse.

How is this not the focus of a Royal Commission?

Sometimes I think this country’s priorities are all out of whack.

Anyway, Sydney to win this in a canter.

Titus O’Reily is a satirical sports writer. You can read more Titus at titusoreily.com or follow him on Twitter @TitusOReily. This article originally appeared on the Herald Sun website here: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/afl-2015-titus-oreily-a-highly-unhelpful-guide-to-round-15/story-fnpp4dl6-1227433587513

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