AFL Round 3 Tips & Preview
The 2021 AFL season is off to a cracking start with some exciting, free-flowing football and high quality play. Round 3 is over the Easter weekend and offers some big feature matches, including the rescheduled match between Collingwood and Brisbane on Thursday, two games on Good Friday and then the traditional Easter Monday clash between Hawthorn and Geelong.
The team at Before You Bet have picked out their best AFL Round 3 tips for us right here.
Collingwood vs Brisbane
Thursday April 1, Marvel Stadium, 7:40pm AEDT
After being touted as premiership contenders all off season, the Lions 0-2 start to the season has plenty of critics talking. The Covid lockdown in Brisbane has forced their Thursday night fixture against the Pies to be moved to Marvel Stadium, which has seen the Lions start as outsiders. Despite the external negativity, the Lions played extremely well against Geelong at the Cattery last week, and it was only some poor umpiring that cost them a win. This Brisbane side since 2019 has continuously found a way to bounce back after a loss and Chris Fagan certainly won’t be panicking this week.
Whilst the Pies got back in form with a 21-point win over the Blues, they won’t find it anywhere near as easy moving the ball as they did against Carlton. The Pies could only muster up 53 points in round one, and with a defence featuring Harris Andrews, Daniel Rich and Grant Birchall, the Pies will find it tough to score. Jamie Elliott’s injury takes away one of Collingwood’s best targets in a side that had struggled to score over the past two seasons. If the Lions can control the clearance battle, they won’t have any troubles knocking off the Pies. Brisbane were unlucky last week, but they won’t be denied this week, they’ve got too much depth for the Pies to handle.
West Coast Eagles vs Port Adelaide
Saturday April 3, Optus Stadium, 8:10pm AEDT
The game of the round takes place on Saturday night in Perth, as the ladder-leading Port Adelaide head west to take on the Eagles. The Power have been dominant in the first two rounds with a 52-point win against the Roos, and a 54-point win over the Bombers. Whilst after a round one win over the Suns, the Eagles were beaten by the Bulldogs last week. The Eagles midfield were beaten comprehensively by the Bulldogs, losing the disposal count by 94, the contested possession count by 11 and the clearance count by 4. On the other hand the Power’s midfield is in red hot form with Ollie Wines (38 disposals), Zak Butters (36) and Travis Boak (30) all having big games last week.
This clash features a big contrast in styles with the Eagles kick-mark possessive style coming up against Port’s front half pressure game. Port Adelaide have beaten the Eagles by margins of 48 points and 42 points in recent clashes, with the latter match occurring at Optus Stadium, showing that the venue is no issue for the Power. The Power look set to welcome back Connor Rozee into the side which will only strengthen the most in-form team in the comp. This could be an early contender for game of the year, but the Power are well-positioned to take the four points on the road.
Geelong vs Hawthorn
Monday April 5, MCG, 3:20pm AEDT
Round three concludes with the traditional Easter Monday blockbuster between Geelong and Hawthorn. The Cats improved on their round one disaster, but it was some poor umpiring that helped them get over the line against Brisbane, while the Hawks suffered a 29-point loss at the hands of Richmond. These two arch-rivals are in very different stages now, with the Cats preparing for another tilt at the premiership, while the Hawks are in the early stages of a rebuild. Gary Rohan will miss through suspension, but the Cats will be boosted by the likely returns of Mitch Duncan and Sam Menegola. The Hawks have been dealt a big blow with Will Day out with an ankle injury.
The Cats first half last week was excellent and showed just how damaging they’ll be when their new pieces start to gel together. Skipper Joel Selwood (27 disposals, 2 goals) led the way for the Cats last week and his recent record against the Hawks suggests he’ll be in for another big game on Monday. In his last five games against the Hawks, Selwood has disposal tallies of 28, 18, 32, 23 and 29. The Cats put the Hawks to the sword last season with a 61-point thumping in round two of last season and while it might not be that big of a blowout, it will still be a comfortable victory for Geelong.