Well aren’t we glad the Footy season is back! Many coaches were left fuming with their early round VC and C options failing to live up to expectations. Last season’s scoring beasts in Brodie Grundy & Max Gawn failed to live up to expectations while Dustin Martin & Patrick Dangerfield also had sub-par performances. It’s not all bad news with several players putting their hands up like Bontempeli, Sloane, Coniglio, Westhoff and Sheed – to name a few.
Now let’s look forward and to this week’s games….
(Thursday – 7:20pm @ MCG)
A huge Thursday night game for all footy lovers where the Tigers will look to exact revenge on the Pies for their Preliminary Final loss last September.
Plenty of options in this game with the Pies offering up Treloar, Pendles, Beams and Grundy despite his poor game last week. The Pies mids have been consistent against the Tigers without being exceptional, but the AA ruckmen has dominated the Tigers in recent history. His last 4 games against the Tigers he has scored 146, 157, 115 & 135. I know a lot of us coaches would be put off by his poor game last week but he is still the best pick amongst the Pies.
The Tigers were led last week by Nank and despite his big game, I don’t fancy him as a VC option. Dusty & Cotchin should lead the way but I wouldn’t be confident selecting either.
Best choice: Brodie Grundy
Sydney v Adelaide
(Friday – 7:50pm @ SCG)
Both teams will be looking to bounce back after suffering losses in Round 1. The Swans will look to exploit their home ground advantage, even though they aren’t as formidable there as they once were.
Swans midfield is hard to seperate, but the best choice is the silky Jake Lloyd with his high possession game. He has proven himself as the most consistent Swans player of late but has a poor record against the Crows with a high of 94 last season. There is another Swan capable of going BIG – but nobody would dare. Would they?
Adelaide on the other hand, Rory Sloane was in ominous form in Round 1, as was Matt Crouch, and both are more than capable of dominating this game. Sloane has dominated the Swans in recent history averaging 130 over his last three games, but if he is tagged he could dip in price, while M. Crouch is a different beast and will be harder to contain.
Best choice: Rory Sloane
Essendon v St. Kilda
(Saturday – 4:35pm @ Marvel)
Bombers fans would be hoping there won’t be a repeat performance of last Sunday – they were horrendous. While the Saints only scrapped home against the wooden spoon favourites Suns, they would be confident heading into this game with a Bombers side who struggled badly against the Giants.
The Saints have a few promising midfielders in Seb Ross, Jack Steele and Jack Steven. Steele started in great form but doesn’t have the best form against the Bombers. Ross and especially Steven have an exceptional record against the Dons averaging 111 and 122 respectively with Steven having a high of 170 and Ross having two 150+ games. Both being excellent choices.
The Bombers would need a serious increase in performance to warrant any VC or C tags but I just can’t see any screaming out to be selected. Shiel was ok first game while the Merrett struggled badly with a tag and get another this week.
Best choice: Seb Ross
Port Adelaide v Carlton
(Saturday – 4:40pm @ AO)
The Power, despite starting poorly, ran over the Dees last weekend in a fantastic Round 1 effort at the ‘G’. The Power have become fast-starters in recent years and will look to win big against the Blues.
The Blues, despite playing two good quarters, were out of their depth against their more fancied opponents. They do however, have a weapon in superstar Patrick Cripps, and even if the Power get a hold of the Blues, he is still more than capable of getting a great score.
The Power were fantastic last weekend led by veteran Justin Westhoff and by a vintage performance by Tom Rockliff. Both are likely to score well again this week, but it could be Robbie Gray who steals the show racking up possessions and kicking a bag of goals. He averages 114 across his past 5 games against the Blues, with scores of 139 and 174.
Best choice: Robbie Gray
Geelong v Melbourne
(Saturday – 7:25pm @ GMHBA)
This shapes up to be a great contest, with the Dees looking to bounce back after their shock Round 1 defeat. The Cats would love the fact the game will be played in Geelong with that definitely tilting the game into The Cats favour.
The Cats will be led by their superstars in Patrick Dangerfield and Joel Selwood, who both enjoy strong performances against the Dees recently including a 155 for Danger. There are still plenty of points to be collected by other handy Cats such as Tim Kelly, Mitch Duncan, Sam Menegola and Gary Ablett Jr.
The Dees will be looking to their two best players in Max Gawn and Clayton Oliver to lead the charge on their trip to the cattery. Both enjoy playing the Cats with Gawn racking up two 135+ games and Oliver never scoring below 100.
Best choice: Clayton Oliver
West Coast v GWS
(Saturday – 5:10pm @ Optus Stadium)
This will be a highly entertaining game with the reigning premiers looking to get their 2019 campaign running and the Giants looking to continue on the momentum built dismantling of the Bombers last week.
The Giants will face a tough contest, with the midfield battle set to be electrifying. The young Giants stars could welcome back superstar Josh Kelly to an already formidable group led by up and coming uber-premo Stephen Coniglio. He was simply outstanding against the Dons, and no matter the scoreline, could again top the SC scoring in this match.
The Eagles, despite continuing to miss Andrew Gaff to suspension will be banking on their own midfielders to lead the way. Luke Shuey, Elliot Yeo and Dom Sheed could all smash out big scores, with the latter in blinding early season form.
Best choice: Stephen Coniglio
North Melbourne v Brisbane
(Sunday – 1:10pm @ Marvel)
The Kangas were smashed by Freo last week while the young Lions surprised the reigning premiers in an outstanding performance after quarter time.
The Lions had six players score 100+ last weekend, led by their star recruit Lachie Neale. Neale is looking like a sure thing to have a monster year and finish as a top 8 midfielder, but is he isn’t the only Lion to contemplate handing the C badge onto. Skipper Dayne Zorko is more than capable of having huge games and with Neale likely to cop a hard tag, he could get off the chain here.
There aren’t really any legitimate C options here for the Kangas, except possibly big man Todd Goldstein, but I wouldn’t be brave enough to select him.
Best choice: Lachie Neale
Hawthorn v Western Bulldogs
(Sunday – 3:20pm @ MCG)
Both teams are off and running in 2019 with Hawks defeating the heavily fancied Crows and the Doggies toppling the Swans in arm-wrestle at Marvel last wee. This will be a tough battle and the reward being an unlikely 2-0 start, setting up their early season run.
The Hawks will likely be led in SC terms by young star James Sicily. If he could roam free and play on his terms he is likely to score well against the Dogs, especially if he patrols the back half with space and dare.
Marcus Bontempelli had a fantastic game last week, leading all scorers with 158 against the Swans. On his day, he has more than enough potential and talent to obtain a captain’s worthy score, but it most likely another Dog that will provide the best option. Jackson Macrae is a scoring beast and will likely rack up plenty of touches at the G, he is a very safe bet.
Best choice: Jackson Macrae
Gold Coast v Fremantle
(Sunday – 3:40pm @ Metricon)
The Suns almost got their just reward against the Saints last week and will look to atone for their loss against a fit and running Dockers side. Not sure which Dockers side will show up here, but they should get the 4 points here.
The Dockers were led by their skipper Nat Fyfe, and he should do the same again here. Recent form against the Suns coupled with his round 1 performance have all signs pointing to a certain huge game for the Dockers megastar. Just lock him in.
The Suns wouldn’t have anyone capable of challenging Fyfe, so don’t even bother!
Best Choice: Nat Fyfe
Hot Sauce’s Top Picks:
1. Nat Fyfe (C)
2. Jackson Macrae
3. Stephen Coniglio
4. Rory Sloane
5. Clayton Oliver
Wildcard: Dayne Zorko
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