The third round of AFL footy features two local battles, including the Western Derby where West Coast host last year’s minor premiers, the Dockers at Domain Stadium.
The understrength Bombers collide with Port Adelaide in the first match of the round on Friday night at Adelaide Oval, in what is expected to be an easy win for the Power. A feast of matches, including the Western Derby, will light up Saturday night. In Sydney, the GWS Giants will be looking to reverse a worrying trend against the Swans at the SCG.
On Sunday, the match of the round stars the unbeaten Western Bulldogs and defending premiers, Hawthorn at Etihad Stadium. The Bulldogs’ epic defensive start to the season isn’t enough for them to start favourites over the Hawks.
Friday, April 8, 7:50 pm (AEST) @ Adelaide Oval
Port suffered a humiliating thrashing at the hands of their fiercest AFL rivals, Adelaide last week. The Crows were unstoppable from the opening bounce, and at quarter time, the Power trailed 40-8. Port are expected to fix their inadequacies against a suspension-ravaged Bombers this week though.
Essendon had been tipped by some to finish the season without a win. Last week, the $6 underdogs beat a Demons team that was expected to easily account for them. This week is a much tougher prospect though … the Demons were coming off a win and had not posted consecutive wins for five years. The Power, coming off a heavy loss, starts the game as $1.07 favourites.
Saturday, April 9, 7:25 pm (AEST) @ Metricon Stadium
Carlton’s early season blues continued with a 10-goal drubbing against Sydney last weekend. For the Suns, things could not be brighter … they sit in equal first position with three other clubs (Bulldogs, Swans and Kangaroos) and broke through a number of barriers with their win over Freo last weekend.
In their last start victory, the Gold Coast franchise recorded its first ever win over Fremantle and their first win in Western Australia. Last week, the Blues were given little hope of upsetting Sydney and are favoured to begin the season 0-3.
Sunday, April 10, 3:20 pm (AEST) @ Etihad Stadium
The Bulldogs are sitting pretty on top of the AFL ladder (on percentages) after posting big victories over Fremantle and St Kilda. The Hawks got off to a sluggish start against Geelong but were vastly better versus last year’s grand final opponents, West Coast.
The Bulldogs faithful would be expecting a flag within the next couple of seasons and given their start to the year, that season could well be 2016. Lachlan Hunter was one of the Bulldogs’ best last week, amassing 35 disposals. One of the most pleasing aspect Luke Beveridge’s team is their defence – they haven’t conceded more than 38 points so far.