The ladder is starting to take shape after an intriguing start to the 2021 season. Round 9 has some blockbuster fixtures that are set to have big ramifications for the season. The Bulldogs travel to Adelaide for a battle of second vs third against Port Adelaide, whilst the Blues finals aspirations are on the line when they take on the undefeated Demons. The team at Before You Bet have got you covered with our AFL Round 9 tips here.
St Kilda vs Geelong
Friday 14th May, Marvel Stadium, 7:50pm AEST
Geelong hit their straps in a stunning performance last friday against Richmond, reminding the AFL world how good they are when at full strength. Jeremy Cameron (6 goals), Gary Rohan (5) and Tom Hawkins (4) will have the Saints worried given how undersized their defence is at the moment. After struggling badly with their ball movement early in the year, the Cats have struck a much better balance in their possession style game over the past few weeks, which saw their forward line get great looks in the second half last week. The Saints have been scratchy this season at 4-4, with three of their four losses coming by margins of 86, 75 and 54 points. Geelong have dominated St Kilda in recent years winning eight of the past ten meetings between the two sides, by an average of 54 points.
The Cats have dominated possession this season ranking second in the AFL for clearances, third in disposals and third in marks. This control has them as the fourth best scoring team in the comp, and while dominating possession, they still rank top five in the AFL for tackles. Despite starting slow, Geelong are starting to play a complete brand of football like we have seen from them for so many years. It’s difficult to see how the Saints defence can combat the potency of Cameron, Hawkins and Rohan, whilst Esava Ratugolea’s inclusion the side last week added a dynamic element to their side. The Cats are beginning to hit top form, and that will continue this Friday against the Saints.
Richmond vs GWS Giants
Saturday 15th May, Marvel Stadium, 7:25pm AEST
Once again Richmond finds themselves with their backs against the wall early in the season, however fans should be smart enough not to write the Tigers off again. Over the past four years Damien Hardwick’s men have thrived in the face of adversity and with a mounting injury list, it feels like a familiar story to the last two seasons. They face a Giants side that has won four of its past five games and sits only 4.5% behind the Tigers and a spot in the top eight. The Giants defence looked incredibly vulnerable last week against a young Essendon outfit that pushed them all the way, if the Tigers can bring their trademark pressure around the footy, the Giants back six will be under immense pressure. The Tigers are ranked second in the competition for inside fifties and as we saw against the Bulldogs in round seven, if they bring the heat around the contest, they can generate repeat inside fifties at will.
Whilst their midfield is depleted with injuries to Cotchin, Prestia, Lambert, Edwards, and Bolton, the likes of Jack Graham, Liam Baker, Jack Ross and Riley Collier-Dawkins will get an opportunity to go alongside Dustin Martin in the centre of the ground. Richmond have had a ‘next soldier up’ mentality through its dynasty, and it’s system has proven time and time again, they can win without their stars. The Giants have never beaten Richmond in Victoria, and have lost their last two games at Marvel Stadium. The Tigers elite defensive system will hold them in good stead, and they’ve got enough firepower up forward to kick a winning score. The champs will once again prove how remarkable their system and depth is.
Port Adelaide vs Western Bulldogs
Saturday May 15th, Adelaide Oval, 7:40pm AEST
The game of the round takes place in Adelaide on Saturday night as the third placed Port Adelaide host the second placed Western Bulldogs. The Bulldogs are coming off a gutsy win against Carlton, where they kicked eight of the last nine goals to overturn a 27 point deficit into a 16 point win. Whilst the Power were dominant in their 47 point win in the Showdown last week. This clash pits two of the most complete sides in the competition, with both sides playing attacking football that feeds off their dominant midfields. Port Adelaide will look to their tall forwards to give them the edge in this clash. The combination of Charlie Dixon, Todd Marshall and Mitch Georgiades looks set to stretch and undersized Bulldogs defence. Alex Keath and Zaine Cordy will have their hands full with Dixon and Marshall, whilst Easton Wood will be giving away 5cm to Georgiades who has kicked 14 goals this season and ranks inside the top 20 in the AFL for marks inside 50.
The Bulldogs defensive system thrives on players being able to roll off their man and support each other, with three dominant key forwards, it’s going to be hard for the Bulldogs to get off their man to create intercepts. Tom Lynch dominated against the Bulldogs’ defence two weeks ago when he was able to get consistent one-on-one opportunities. If the Power can isolate their big men, they are going to be in the box seat on Saturday night. Adelaide Oval has been a fortress for the Power, winning 10 of their last eleven games there. Port Adelaide have an excellent recent record against the Bulldogs, winning four of the past five encounters between the two sides. This is going to be one of the games of the season, but the Power’s dynamic forward line will come out on top.
- Sydney (1-39) – Sydney vs Collingwood @ $2.04
- Hawthorn (-17.5) – Hawthorn vs North Melbourne @ $1.90
- Brisbane (-21.5) – Gold Coast vs Brisbane @ $1.90
- Fremantle (1-39) – Essendon vs Fremantle @ $2.80
- Over 162.5 – Carlton vs Melbourne @ $1.90
- Over 171.5 – West Coast vs Adelaide @ $1.87