CAN you remember what the popular storylines were in the AFL at this point last year? After Round 2 in 2017, the two South Australian clubs were in the top 2 rungs of the ladder, the Giants had just defeated the Suns by 102 points and Sydney was two games into their six-game losing streak. The moral of the story is the first fortnight of the year doesn’t have an immense impact on the whole season. But there’s no fun in thinking that, so instead, today, I have made seven massive overreactions to the first handful of AFL games from season 2018. Enjoy.
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The Jake Stringer experiment is a colossal failure
AN uninspiring 16 disposal club debut was followed up by just nine touches out west against the Dockers. This isn’t exactly the way that Stringer imagined his start at a new club would go. He isn’t playing terrible footy, but the big offseason fish that the Dons landed is failing to live up to the hype early on. If he can’t hit the scoreboard against his former side a stint in the 2’s could be coming, despite Worsfold’s reassurance he is travelling ‘OK’.
Port Adelaide will play in the Grand Final
AFTER smacking Freo and dethroning Sydney, the Power are poised to surge (pun intended) through the season. Off-season recruits Motlop, Watts and Rockliff have added much-needed depth to Port Adelaide’s stocks and even without All-Australian Patrick Ryder fit, they are succeeding. This season was shaping as a big one for the club and Ken Hinkley’s job security and with their backs against the wall, they look primed to go all the way in 2018.
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The Western Bulldogs are going to ‘win’ the spoon
NO side has looked more depressing and utterly useless than the Dogs through two games. I had my scepticism about them, but I decided to go all in and believed that they were capable of returning to the finals. They are not. With a lacklustre effort for the footy need to lift in the coming month with a handful of winnable games in front of them. If they don’t, it will be a LONG season for Footscray members.
Rory Laird will finish in the top-5 for the Brownlow
WHILE most of the bettors will have their money on a Crow’s midfield dynamo to top the clubs’ vote count, Rory Laird might have something to say about it. Going for 40+ touches in both games so far, Laird has probably polled in both games so far and it won’t be the last time the star defender will claim votes. Yes I know he isn’t a traditional defender, but still considering what he is doing without being a full-time engine room player means his chances of claiming Charlie are justifiable.
Someone will kick 100 goals this year
IN just 18 games of footy we have seen a handful of key forwards grab the game by the scruff of the neck. The likes of Tom Lynch, Lance Franklin, Ben Brown and Jeremy Cameron have kicked bags of 6+ in just two weeks of footy, with the big ‘clunkers’ looking lethal in front of the sticks. If the offense keeps flowing like this then there is a good sign that someone will top the triple figure mark before seasons end, and the way it looks right now, it might be the same guy that did it in ’08.
Alan Richardson is going to be fired before Round 10
ST Kilda finds themselves at a crossroads after flirting with success for a few years now. They are yet to piece it together though, which has the head coach Alan Richardson squirming in his hot seat. With Adelaide, Geelong and GWS on the horizon things could be about to get ugly and losing those games by a considerable margin will raise the alarm bells at Docklands. What will get Richardson fired though is when the 1-4 Saints lose to at least three of Hawthorn, Melbourne, Fremantle and Collingwood in the following rounds. See ya later Richo.
Gold Coast will finish in the top-4
CLAIMING wins over Carlton and North Melbourne shouldn’t have Suns fans booking their tickets for September just yet. That being said, they look like a different unit under Stuart Dew averaging 187 contested possessions through two games compared to just 138 a year ago. With a boatload of talent across the board and good players in key positions, the skies the limit for Gold Coast in 2018 and we could start to see the beginnings of a dynasty.
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