AFL Beat 2019 Round 4

This week,

A man grabs boobs, not balls,
An umpire wears green and points,
And a challenge was accepted.

Welcome to Balls of Steel’s AFL Beat!

Round 4 Recaps and Highlights

I’ve mentioned this before: For some reason, the Sydney Swans play better on the road than at home lately. I don’t know why. They just do.

I mentioned it again in my game previews last week as I predicted that the Demons would give the Swans an embarrasing loss.

Why didn’t I pick the Demons to beat the Swans in the Footy Tipping Contest?

The answer, as always, is that I’m an idiot. . Here are the highlights:

Sydney Swans 78 Melbourne Demons 100

The following night, the Pies were looking to get their season going in the right direction against the Western Bulldogs. .

They started off well and built a lead in the first, but the game was always close. The Doggies made up the deficit and took the lead in the third, which set up a thrilling fourth quarter. The Pies scored four out of the last five goals to take the four points.

Here are the highlights:

Collingwood Magpies 78 Western Bulldogs 64

On proper Friday Night, I came home from work psyched to watch my and tWBS’ Cats take on BFC’s and LemonJello’s GWS Giants. It turned out to be one hell of a game.

The Cats started the game by dominating the first quarter, but , critically, did not punish the Giants on the scoreboard. Slowly, the Giants worked themselves back into the game until they were finally able to take the lead in the fourth. It came down to the last two minutes:

Here are the full-game highlights:

Geelong Cats 75 GWS Giants 79

Later that night, the Essendon Bombers hosted the second-placed and unbeaten Brisbane Lions at the MCG.

This one wasn’t as close as the Geelong game as Essendon made sure there were no unbeaten teams in the competition. By going back to the style that worked so well for them last year, the Bombers easily disposed of the Lions.

Here are the highlights:

Essendon Bombers 112 Brisbane Lions 65

The next game had the Port Adelaide Power hosting the injury-riddled Richmond Tigers. The Tigers made six changes to the team that lost last weekend in the hope that youth would instill some energy into the team.

The plan worked as the youngsters were able to keep up with the speedy Power midfield and effectively shut down their run-and-gun game.

It all came down to the final quarter in which the two teams traded the lead. The outcome wasn’t decided until the last two minutes:

Here are the full-game highlights:

Port Adelaide Power 92 Richmond Tigers 99

The first of the late late night game gave us the winless North Melbourne Kangaroos hosting the Adelaide Crows at Marvel Stadium

Both clubs were looking bad as the game unfolded. The Roos were dominating possession and Inside 50s yet were trailing on the scoreboard to the more efficient Crows. Finally, Ben Brown took over in the third quarter and led a Roos surge which allowed them to take the lead for good.

Here are the highlights:

North Melbourne Kangaroos 71 Adelaide Crows 59

The second game was the 49th edition of the Perth Derby with the Eagles having won the last 7 straight.

Make it 8 straight as the Eagles led throughout. Here are the full-game highlights:

West Coast Eagles 69 (NICE!) Fremantle Dockers 56

North American Saturday night only brought two more games, but they more than made up for the lack of quantity with quality.

The first had the surprising Suns taking on the Carlton Blues in what I said in the beginning of the season would be a Battle for the Wooden Spoon.

You know what? Just watch the last two minutes:

So close yet so far. Here are the full-game highlights:

Gold Coast Suns 59 Carlton Blues 57

The last game of the Round had the St. Kilda Saints hosting the Hawthron Hawks at Marvel Stadium. It was a close back-and-forth game in the first half.

In the third quarter, the Hawks surged ahead only for the Saints to mount a comeback and take the lead in the fourth. One more time, the game wasn’t decided until the final two minutes:

Here are the full-game highlights:

St. Kilda Saints 74 Hawthorn Hawks 69 (nice!)

This week, more than any other, showed how close the competition is. Several games came down to the wire and very little separated the winners from the losers.

Let’s take a look at the ladder, shall we?

1Geelong Cats31012140.4
2GWS Giants31012124.7
3West Coast Eagles31012115.0
4Brisbane Lions31012109.8
5St. Kilda Saints31012104.2
6Gold Coast Suns31012103.4
7Fremantle Dockers2208127.8
8Collingwood Magpies2208109.7
9Hawthorn Hawks2208107.8
10Western Bulldogs2208105.8
11Port Adelaide Power2208105.3
12Essendon Bombers220895.1
13Richmond Tigers220886.4
14Adelaide Crows130486.8
15Sydney Swans130486.6
16Melbourne Demons130475.8
17North Melbourne Kangaroos130473.1
18Carlton Blues040079.2

Here is the Balls Graph:

Download (PDF, 225KB)

Despite the loss, the Cats are still on top, which is good for me, but it’s still early and every other team is breathing down their neck. The top six teams are only separated by percentage and the 17th place team is only two losses back of #1. I don’t think the league has been this competitive in many years.


Footy Tipping Contest

Here is where we are after Round Four:

Total TipsTotal Margin
2BC Dick36018153
4Yeah Right24717142
8Why Eagles Why4221597
9Joliet Jake Delhomme32215104
11Game Time Decision14714107
12Dolph Ucker43813104

How the mighty have fallen. Blax shot up to the #1 position last week, but an ofer weekend knocked him down to 7th. In the meantime, Litre_cola takes over the lead after sharing top score honours with Sharkbait.

The sad/ironic thing is that Joliet Jake Delhomme forgot to put the footy tips in and STILL outscored 3 tippers! Remember that, if you forget to put the tips in during the regular season, the program makes the road team your default pick.

We have more than 10 entries, so I WILL be offering a prize this year! If anyone wants to join in, click the link below and sign up!

It’s free to join and it’s the ESPN Australia website, so it’s secure. Join in the fun!



AFL Round 5

Here is the schedule for this week (all times Pacific):

Thursday, April 18, 2019

2:35 AM (Late Wednesday Night) – Brisbane Lions v Collingwood Magpies at The Gabba

The Lions will be keen to get back to their winning ways but will find it tough against the Grand Finalists, who are back to playing the way they did last year.

11:20 PM (Late Thursday Night) – North Melbourne Kangaroos v Essendon Bombers at Marvel Stadium

This is technically a Good Friday afternoon game in Australia. I’ve honestly never heard of a sporting event on Good Friday afternoon. The Roos have played on every Good Friday since games have been played on this date.

Friday, April 19, 2019

3:10 AM – West Coast Eagles v Port Adelaide Power at Optus Stadium

The AFL has decided that it would be a good idea to do a double-header on Good Friday with the Eagles and Power having the spotlight to themselves at night.

8:45 PM – GWS Giants v Fremantle Dockers at UNSW Canberra Oval

The Giants lost their captain last week against the Cats and will need to, for the third consecutive season, fight through key injuries to salvage their season.

11:35 PM – Melbourne Demons v St. Kilda Saints at the MCG

The Demons won, as I thought they would, last weekend in Sydney. St. Kilda must win this game to prove they are for real.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

2:25 AM – Richmond Tigers v Sydney Swans at Marvel Stadium

Both teams have have inconsistent starts to the year. The fact that Sydney is on the road makes this a tough game to call.

8:10 PM – Western Bulldogs v Carlton Blues at Marvel Stadium

The Blues are the only winless team left. A win against the Doggies is not out of the realm of possibility.

11:40 PM – Adelaide Crows v Gold Coast Suns at Adelaide Oval

The surprising Suns will face their toughest test yet with a trip to Adelaide to take on the Crows. Win this and the Wooden Spoon is Carlton’s. Lose this and the downward spiral may commence.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

10:20 PM – Hawthorn Hawks v Geelong Cats at the MCG

Apparently Easter Monday (the Monday after Easter Sunday) is a public holiday in Australia! The Cats and Hawks are the traditional rivals for the annual Easter Monday game.


That’s all for this week! Since we will have a North American Sunday Night game, the AFL Beat will be published next week on Tuesday.

There are no more unbeaten teams and only Carlton is winless. The competition is just getting started and is still super tight. Unlike your mom. See you next week!




International Member of the Geelong Cats and recovering Steelers fan. Likes Butts. And Balls. And Boobs. Pretty much anything that starts with the letter B. Preferably together.

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Warning: bold statement incoming

Intercept marks have been major difference makers this season, e.g. GWS-Geelong and Melbourne-Sydney this week.

BC Dick

The only prize I need is beating Litre_cola at marsupial lacrosse tipping

Brick Meathook
Brick Meathook

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I am loving Essendon’s trajectory, but they’ve got nothing on the West Coast Eagles.


They don’t call me the Colin Kaepernick of AFL tips for nothing!


You take a knee while putting your tips in?


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St Kilda wins again? What world is this??

Impressive that Blax got a goosegg while trying.

Game Time Decision

i assumed i was going to be worst of the week.


I don’t feel great about my positioning when I watch this game every week.