The Roar’s AFL expert tips and predictions, Round 12: The breaks have arrived

The goodbyes are here. Again!

After the Opening Round meant eight teams had a bye week for the first two months of the season, the official bye rounds have arrived for 2023. And just like last year, they are spread over four weeks per… reasons?

Round 12 is the most packed weekend of football of the month ahead, with seven matches instead of six, although inexplicably both Sydney teams share the weekend off despite the NRL also having one of its free weekends. Considering how big a factor it was in creating the Opening Round that the rival code played a couple of its games in Las Vegas, that’s another interesting (read: baffling) decision by the AFL.

When it comes to matches, there are more differences of opinion than ever among our experts, and the key question you will have to ask yourself before choosing your teams is this: how important is the advantage of playing at home in modern football? home?

Tim Miller

Last week: 7

Port Adelaide, Collingwood, Hawthorn, West Coast, Geelong, Melbourne, Gold Coast

My answer to the previous question about home field advantage is: a lot.

Therefore, I’m going to play seven of seven for the local teams this weekend, although I have doubts about many of those games.

Port Adelaide remains an enigma, especially when up against other good teams, but at Adelaide Oval they should be too strong for a Carlton team who, despite a good win over Gold Coast last week, look to be quite a ways off. his best level. .

Collingwood is a rare case of a ‘home’ team not actually at home, but they play enough at Docklands and should get a good enough contingent from the monster Magpie Army to mitigate that against the equally injury-ravaged Bulldogs.

Hawthorn’s clash with Adelaide is a stealth game from the round contender; I’m also a fan of the Saturday afternoon games at the MCG. Despite the Crows’ impressive thrashing on the West Coast last week, the Hawks’ recent form has me taking their side.

West Coast on the road have been as terrible as they have been in the last two seasons, but at home they have become a fearsome prospect, which spells trouble for visiting St Kilda. Geelong, meanwhile, are on a four-game losing streak, but having given themselves room to maneuver with an excellent start to the season, they will stay the course unless Richmond can pull off the upset of the century at GMHBA Stadium.

Fremantle travel to the red center to take on Melbourne in Alice Springs; It’s not a conventional home game for the Dees, but they’ve been playing here for years and should be familiar enough with the terrain to get the job done. And to finish off the round, while Essendon’s winning streak has been hugely impressive, no matter what the critics say, Gold Coast at home is a tall order, and I can’t help but think the Dons must lose at some point. .

(Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Dem Panopoulos

Last week: 6

Carlton, Western Bulldogs, Hawthorn, St Kilda, Geelong, Fremantle, Gold Coast

As NSYNC said in their hit song, rounds 12-15 are also known as bye, bye, bye (bye) rounds, meaning there aren’t as many games to tip or accumulate.

Saying that, I will do my best.

Heavy rain is expected for Thursday night’s clash between the Power and Blues. We’re about to learn a bit about the home team over the next month and, in particular, see how they will go toe-to-toe with some incredibly strong midfielders. Carlton might be slightly favored here at ground level.

The undermanned Magpies against a Bulldogs team missing a couple of star players should still be an entertaining contest. Collingwood is the host, but it is played at the Bulldogs’ stadium. I’ll be impressed if the Magpies win.

The Hawks pulled off something of an upset against the Lions, but also not considering how well they match up against them and how average Brisbane is. This time, they face a fired-up Adelaide team. These two haven’t met at the MCG since 2018 and the Crows haven’t won here since 2017. The home team will outperform the visitors.

I think the Saints will wake up and not fall to 16th in the standings this week against West Coast based solely on vibes. Similarly, the Cats should wake up from their slumber and crush the Tigers at home, if Richmond gets the right instructions to Geelong.

It’s an important game for Fremantle against Melbourne, who haven’t beaten a top eight team but have come very close several times. Playing the Demons at Traeger Park is particularly easy to win. It kind of makes you wonder how many giveaways we can have in a short space of time. Dockers with low scores win for me.

Finally, the Suns and Bombers play in a vital Sunday evening primetime clash. I’m not sure we fully trust either team. Gold Coast are pretty good at home so maybe they have a slight advantage.

Sam Walsh

(Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Cameron Rosa

Last week: 6

Carlton, Collingwood, Adelaide, West Coast, Geelong, Melbourne, Essendon.

I think Carlton will prepare for this trip to take on Port Adelaide, having gone 2-3 in the last five weeks. An interstate game before their break is the perfect time for a galvanizing crash on the road and leaving it all out there.

They can win the midfield battle, have forwards who are dangerous and Willie Rioli is a great option for Port.

Gold Coast vs Essendon is also a game of intrigue, with the Suns looking to consolidate their home advantage this season, while the Bombers continue to front and get the job done. For now I trust the Dons.

Liam Salter

Last week: 5

Port Adelaide, Collingwood, Adelaide, West Coast, Geelong, Fremantle, Essendon

Thursday night found two teams in Port Adelaide and Carlton in a strange echelon: seemingly very, very good, but inconsistent enough that I’d never feel entirely comfortable backing either of them for a win.

I can’t even take home advantage here: while Port seemingly have a big advantage (the Blues have only one win at Adelaide Oval, two months ago), the visitors have a good recent record against Ken Hinkley’s troops. Serious doubts here, but I’ll root for the home team to show some strength and win this.

The Magpies are ravaged by injuries, not playing particularly well and yet remain somehow favorites on their arduous road trip to the Docklands to take on the Dogs. It’s probably for good reason: I absolutely refuse to trust the Doggies and am no longer surprised by Collingwood’s ability to get a win (…or a draw).

Similarly, the Hawks beating the Crows wouldn’t be surprising at all and it would be a little tempting to tip, but the Crows looked excellent last week and will follow two games in a row.

It’s almost ridiculous for me to suggest that the best statement the deeply mediocre Saints can make right now is to beat the Eagles in Perth, but essentially it is. It’s a really tall order – the Eagles are much better at home and will be frustrated by last week’s loss. Sorry Saints fans, this may not be pleasant.

At the same time, Richmond have a chance to do something very, very fun, except this is probably the game where Geelong crushes them, (momentarily?) ending any talk of the Cats’ losing streak.

Freo take on the Demons in Alice Springs on Sunday afternoon, and it’s the West Australians who have the most to lose here heading into the break. It is becoming a season marked by failures (the Blues, Port, last Friday’s draw), and the club would desperately like to win against the under-the-radar Dees. Caution to win and a little biased: the Dockers will do it.

Almost every week is a test for high-flying Essendon (and their fans) and this week they must survive a tough trip to the Gold Coast. The Suns traditionally look significantly stronger in Carrara, but no one has (yet) been able to trip up the Dons, and I’m increasingly confident in backing them.

Ha. Those are genuinely dangerous last words.

Cristian Petracca. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Round 12 Timo democrat Cam Liam Crew
PA vs CAR Pennsylvania CAR CAR Pennsylvania ?
MEL vs. FRE MEL fre MEL fre ?
LAST WEEK 7 6 6 5 6
ROLLING TOTAL 59 63 62 61 64

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