Footy on my mind – finals week 2

Hawthorn v Sydney Swans, 2nd Semi-Final, MCG, Friday 7.45PM (AEST)

HAWTHORN

B: T.Murphy J.Gibson B.Guerra

HB: G.Birchall R.Schoenmakers P.Puopolo

C: J.Lewis S.Mitchell I.Smith

HF: L.Hodge L.Franklin C.Rioli

F: B.Whitecross D.Hale M.Osborne

Foll: M.Bailey S.Burgoyne B.Sewell

I/C: M.Suckling, C.Bateman, B.Stratton, L.Shiels

Emg: S.Savage L.Breust J.Lisle

In: Ben Stratton

Out: Luke Breust (omitted)

SYDNEY SWANS

B: R.Shaw T.Richards L.Roberts-Thomson

HB: M.Mattner A.Johnson N.Smith

C: J.Kennedy A.Goodes J.McVeigh

HF: R.O’Keefe S.Reid G.Rohan

F: J.White M.Spangher B.McGlynn

Foll: S.Mumford J.Bolton K.Jack

I/C: C.Bird, T.Kennelly, D.Hannebery, L.Parker

Emg: L.Jetta P.Bevan N.Malceski

No changes

 

THE VERDICT

Expecting a tight contest at the MCG for this semi-final. The great unknown is whether Hawks ace Lance Franklin will play after hyper-extending his right knee which resulted in bone bruising, despite being named. The Hawks have brought in Ben Stratton, who has missed most of the season with a knee reconstruction, for defensive back up while the Swans will come in unchanged from the team that eliminated St Kilda last Saturday night. The Swans have clear match winners in ruckman Shane Mumford and Brownlow favourite Adam Goodes, but the Hawks have a couple through Cyril Rioli and Lance Franklin as well. Whichever midfield gets on top will win the game so I’m tipping the Swans just.

Sydney Swans by 5 points

West Coast Eagles v Carlton, 1st Semi-Final, Patersons Stadium, Saturday 5.50PM (AWST)

WEST COAST EAGLES

B: S.Hurn D.Glass W.Schofield

HB: S.Butler E.Mackenzie B.Waters

C: L.Shuey M.Priddis A.Embley

HF: M.LeCras J.Kennedy M.Nicoski

F: J.Darling Q.Lynch N.Naitanui

Foll: D.Cox A.Selwood S.Selwood

I/C: A.Gaff, D.Kerr, C.Masten, P.McGinnity

Emg: A.Hams B.Ebert A.Smith

In: Daniel Kerr

Out: Brad Ebert

CARLTON

B: A.Joseph M.Jamison J.Laidler

HB: C.Yarran B.Thornton N.Duigan

C: K.Simpson M.Robinson H.Scotland

HF: J.Garlett L.Henderson A.Carrazzo

F: E.Betts S.O’hAilpin A.Walker

Foll: R.Warnock C.Judd M.Murphy

I/C: D.Armfield, M.Davies, D.Ellard, Z.Tuohy

Emg: S.Hampson P.Bower J.Russell

In: Zach Tuohy

Out: Bryce Gibbs (shoulder)

THE VERDICT

This clash is shaping up to be an intriguing contest. Carlton skipper Chris Judd returns to Perth to face his former club for the first time in a final while West Coast key forward Josh Kennedy, who was traded west for Judd, will face his former Carlton team mates as well. The Blues will fancy themselves following their 62 point demolition job of Essendon in last week’s elimination final, as well as their winning interstate record this season. Zach Tuohy has come in for the injured Bryce Gibbs, which is a big loss, but the talk inside the Blues camp suggests a late change or two may be made before the bounce. The Eagles, meanwhile, are a much improved side & made Collingwood look vulnerable at times last week. Daniel Kerr has been named but whether he plays is the great unknown, given he has been named for the past 3 weeks. Brad Ebert makes way. Like in every final, the midfield battles will be crucial but the team who makes the most of their scoring opportunities will win the game. I think the Blues will push the Eagles but the West Coast have the home ground advantage and when the crowd gets up, they usually storm home so I’ll tip the Eagles, just.

West Coast Eagles by 7 points

 

    

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