Round 4 saw some excellent VC & C selections with Patrick Cripps, Brodie Grundy, Lachie Neale, Tom Rockliff and Lachie Whitfield all dominating. There seems to be plenty of options again this week.
Brisbane v Collingwood
(Thursday – 7:35pm @ Gabba)
This game promises to be a highly entertaining contest, if both teams can shrug off poor games (especially the Lions) from last week. A few of the young Lions have started well this season, as have some crafty veterans, but none come close to SC stud Lachie Neale. The superstar has been in rare form to start 2019 with a low score of 127 in round 1 against the Eagles and he just doesn’t look like slowing down. Averaging 146 this season and averaging 110.2 in his last 5 games against the Pies, with all scores cracking the century.
The Pies, despite eventually proving too strong for the Doggies last week, struggled for most of the night with below average games from the likes of Adam Treloar, Scott Pendlebury and others, but not for their superstar All-Australian ruckman Brodie Grundy. After a sub-par round 1 effort against the Cats he has turned it on and reminded 97k+ coaches why they spent all that money on him in the first place. A 3-round average of 143 he seems to be yet another great option for the VC in this game.
Best choice: Lachie Neale
North Melbourne v Essendon
(Friday 4:20pm @ Marvel)
The Kangaroos have finally got a win on the board led by veteran Todd Goldstein who has now scored consecutive 110+ scores. Goldy has also dominated the Bombers in recent years averaging 145.7 over his last 3 games and 126.6 over his last 5 games. What those stats don’t tell you is the 221 he scored against the Bombers that has his owners drooling at the possibility of reproducing even similar numbers.
The Bombers seem to have hit their straps looking like the team many predicted them to be throughout the course of this season. Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti can’t be expected to score as well again, but midfielders Zach Merrett and Dylan Shiel are the ones to look at here. Merrett has averaged 115.3 over his last 3 games against the Kangas while although Shiel’s recent form isn’t as promising, something gives the impression that he is about ready to have a big breakthrough game.
Best choice: Zach Merrett
West Coast v Port Adelaide
(Friday 6:10pm @ OS)
The Eagles got over the line against the fighting Dockers last week but are in ominous form as they face the Power on the big stage. There are plenty of Eagles in form including Dom Sheed, Shannon Hurn and Andrew Gaff but the evenness of this team leads to no players jumping out as serious VC/C options.
The Power are being led by resurgent veterans Travis Boak and Tom Rockliff who continue to defy stubborn coaches (myself included) who are waiting for their bubble to burst. It’s close to a coin toss to separate the two players as preferences here, but the way they are travelling it won’t matter too much who you select between them.
Best choice: Tom Rockliff
GWS v Fremantle
(Saturday 1:45pm @ UNSW)
The Giants are fresh of one the best victories the club has ever had defeating league leading Cats down at the Cattery. They were led exceptionally well by their youthful midfield brigade in Lachie Whitfield, Josh Kelly, Tim Taranto, Jacob Hopper and Stephen Coniglio – this teams talent level is scary. Of the bunch Whitfield is the obvious choice, while Kelly looks primed to have a big game after two exceptional warm-ups.
The Dockers welcome back their superstar captain Nat Fyfe who would be the only Docker to consider for selection this week. He is always a great option and should score well, but I can see the Giants mids taking over this game and limiting his output.
Best choice: Lachie Whitfield
Melbourne v St. Kilda
(Saturday 4:35pm @ MCG)
At the start of this season many would have thought this would be a somewhat easy win for the Dees, but surprisingly this now is a tantalising contest where the Dees have just won their first game of the season while the Saints will be looking for their fourth win. The Dees will be led by big man Max Gawn who will look to dismantle the young and up and coming Saints ruckman Rowan Marshall. Gawn has scored over 124 in 4 of his last 5 games against the Saints, which flanked a poorly 56.
The Saints, who are close to the biggest surprise of the first four rounds will need an even effort across their team with potential captain options the likes of Seb Ross, Jack Billings and Jack Steele who are all capable of scoring well against the Dees but are not recommended.
Best choice: Max Gawn
Richmond v Sydney
(Saturday 7:25pm @ Marvel)
The Tigers had a hard-fought road win against Port Adelaide with the big 4 all unavailable and will fancy their chances against the dissapointing Swans. The Tigers will welcome back Brownlow medallist Dustin Martin and Bachar Houli, who is an important inclusion while Jayden Short remains sidelined with injury.
The Swans will be sweating on the fitness of Isaac Heeney who has the potential to repeat last week’s 130 while defender Jake Lloyd continues to score well week in and week out. Not many true captain options here.
Best choice: Jake Lloyd
Western Bulldogs v Carlton
(Sunday 1:10pm @ Marvel)
Feast your eyes on this highly relevant SC contest which has several popular players for the majority of teams out there. The Dogs will lean on their star trio of mids in Jackson Macrae, Marcus Bontempelli and Tom Liberatore who are all more than capable of going extremely large against the Blues. Macrae and Bont are not only averaging above 125 this season but have also done so against the Blues over their last three contests with extremely similar results.
The Blues are showing promising signs without being able to secure the points and if they are to shock the Doggies, they will need the second leading SC scorer this season in Patrick Cripps to stand up and dominate like he has each week this season.
Best choice: Patrick Cripps
Adelaide v Gold Coast
(Sunday 4:10pm @ AO)
The Crows are in desperate need of a win and will welcome the Suns at home to get their season back on track. There could be plenty of changes made on Thursday night at the selection table but two players who have nothing to fear are stars Rory Sloane and Matt Crouch. Both have worked hard and been in great form and depending on who receives a tag (I’m guessing Sloane) the other looks the best choice in this game.
Despite the Suns having plenty of excellent contributors they are not at the Captaincy level for your team and should be avoided.
Best choice: Matt Crouch
Hawthorn v Geelong
(Monday 3:20pm @ MCG)
In what is a perennial highlight of the footy fixture, the Hawks v Cats Easter Monday battle looms as a great game. The Hawks chances will rest on the extra recovery days for their injured players while James Sicily the likely top scorer.
Patrick Dangerfield has feasted on the Hawks in recent seasons averaging 143.7 over his last 3 games against them. Enough said really, especially after a poor game that will have the superstar hungry to make up for his poor showing.
Best choice: Patrick Dangerfield
Hot Sauce’s Top Picks
- Patrick Dangerfield
- Patrick Cripps
- Jackson Macrae
- Lachie Neale
- Brodie Grundy
Wildcard: Josh Kelly
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