AFL Beat 2020 Season Round 4

This week…

We had 10,000 fans in attendance in Queensland

 

We have an early Mark of the Year candidate

 

and there is only one unbeaten team left in the competition

 

Welcome to Balls of Steel’s AFL Beat!

This was an interesting week.  Off the field, the positive test that forced the postponement of the Essendon-Melbourne game looks to have been a false positive.  In addition, the AFL allowed even more fans back into stadiums in Queensland with up to 10,000 filling The Gabba for the Brisbane Lions- Adelaide Crows match.  Finally, the AFL revealed the schedule for Rounds 6 and 7 with a new Western Australian hub being utilized. 

The AFL has been extremely flexible throughout the pandemic and has worked in conjunction with State authorities to determine what is allowable.  Hence this week’s increased crowds in the Queensland stadiums.  Depending on how the additional fans affect the infection rate, more fans may be allowed at future games.

Similarly, the state of Western Australia has decided to allow fans at games in Perth and has relaxed travel restrictions, so the AFL has created a Western Australian hub that will feature Victorian teams traveling to Perth for three weeks at a time.  The first teams to go will be the Geelong Cats and the Collingwood Magpies.  The way it will work is that the Cats and the Pies will be quarantined in their respective hotels and will play each other during the quarantine while the Dockers and Eagles play each other.  Then, the Cats and Pies will play the Eagles and Dockers in the following two weekends.  This process may be repeated for more Victorian teams. 

The South Australian teams will also be allowed to leave the Queensland hub and return to play games in South Australia and away in other states.  So far, no mention has been made of a South Australian hub, but that may change.

The overall feeling you get is that the AFL is being both very proactive and is looking at every contingency with a backup plan in place to continue the competition as conditions change.  That’s really all you can ask for. It really is the best-run sports league in the world.

UPDATE:  Remember how I typed above that the AFL has been extremely flexible?  Well, a spike in cases in Victoria has convinced the Queensland government to enforce a 14 day quarantine on any AFL travel to-from Victoria.  This affects Victorian teams playing in Queensland and Queensland teams playing in Victoria.

So, that means that the schedule for Round 5 has been revised!  Some matchups have changed and some game times have been moved.  More on that below.

Here are the results and highlights from Round Four:

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Sydney Swans 39 v Western Bulldogs 67 at the SCG

Remember when I said the Doggies needed to turn things around quick?  That’s two big wins in a row!

Friday, June 26, 2020

GWS Giants 66 v Collingwood Magpies 64 at Giants Stadium

This game was so good, you guys reached out to me about it.  I watched the replay and here are the glorious last two minutes:

Here are the full-game highlights:

Port Adelaide Power 89 v West Coast Eagles 41 at Metricon Stadium

I watched the whole thing and consider me on the Port bandwagon.  They played great!

St. Kilda Saints 93 v Richmond Tigers 67 at Marvel Stadium

Yes, you read that right.  And the Saints deserved that victory.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Essendon Bombers 51 v Carlton Blues 52 at the MCG

That’s two 1 point victories in a row for the Blues.  It makes me feel a little better about last week’s Cats loss. Here are the frantic last two minutes:

Here are the full-game highlights:

Gold Coast Suns 64 v Fremantle Dockers 51 at Metricon Stadium

I am also on the Sunnies bandwagon. They may be for real. 

Brisbane Lions 83 v Adelaide Crows 46 at the Gabba

The Lions keep rolling and, in the words of BFC, the Crows are not very good. 

Melbourne Demons 44 v Geelong Cats 47 at the MCG

This Cats game was so ugly that I probably dated it at one point in my 20s.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Hawthorn Hawks 58 v North Melbourne Kangaroos 54 at Marvel Stadium

This one was strangely similar to the Geelong game.  Even the winning coach complained about it!

***

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

P TEAM W L T PTS %
1 Port Adelaide Power 4 0 0 16 236.3
2 Gold Coast Suns 3 1 0 12 131.2
3 Brisbane Lions 3 1 0 12 120.5
4 Hawthorn Hawks 3 1 0 12 101.1
5 Collingwood Magpies 2 1 1 10 154.3
6 Geelong Cats 2 2 0 8 110.9
7 St. Kilda Saints 2 2 0 8 107.5
8 Essendon Bombers 2 1 0 8 106.0
9 North Melbourne Kangaroos 2 2 0 8 102.9
10 GWS Giants 2 2 0 8 96.4
11 Sydney Swans 2 2 0 8 92.8
12 Carlton Blues 2 2 0 8 92.3
13 Western Bulldogs 2 2 0 8 84.1
14 Richmond Tigers 1 2 1 6 87.9
15 Melbourne Demons 1 2 0 4 83.7
16 West Coast Eagles 1 3 0 4 68.8
17 Fremantle Dockers 0 4 0 0 78.4
18 Adelaide Crows 0 4 0 0 51.9

 

 

Here is the Balls GraphTM:

Download (PDF, 218KB)

***

Footy Tipping Contest

Here is where we are after Round Four:

P TIPPER Round
Tips
Round
Margin
Total Tips Total Margin
1 Dolph Ucker 5 35 22 102
2 Joliet Jake Delhomme 7 45 21 148
3 BFC 6 22 20 92
4 SonOfSpam 5 35 20 105
5 Litre_cola 5 43 19 99
6 BALLS 5 38 19 101
7 Sunrisesunrise 7 40 19 126
8 Yeah Right 5 47 18 118
9 Game Time Decision 5 50 18 122
10 Reverend Mayhem 3 28 17 84
11 WhyEaglesWhy 5 28 17 101
12 BC Dick 3 53 17 113
13 Maestro 3 28 14 93
14 Sharkbait 3 28 10 120

 

 

We had a LOT of movement this week!  Congratulations to Sunrisesunrise and Joliet Jake Delhomme for shooting up the ladder with the top scores this week! 12th place is within 5 tips of 1st place, so it’s a very even competition.  Well done to all the newcomers that have caught up and are right in there!

As always,

DON’T FORGET TO PUT THE FOOTY TIPS IN!

***

I’ve been providing, for your advanced Tipping reference, the schedule for the next few rounds (All times Pacific).  Here is what Round 5 was supposed to look like: 

Round Five

Thursday, July 2, 2020

2:40 AM – West Coast Eagles v Richmond Tigers at Metricon Stadium

Friday, July 3, 2020

2:50 AM – Collingwood Magpies v Essendon Bombers at the MCG

8:45 PM – Carlton Blues v St. Kilda Saints at the MCG

11:35 PM – Geelong Cats v Gold Coast Suns at GMHBA Stadium

Saturday, July 4, 2020

2:40 AM – Western Bulldogs v North Melbourne Kangaroos at Marvel Stadium

2:40 AM – Brisbane Lions v Port Adelaide Power at the Gabba

8:05 PM – Adelaide Crows v Fremantle Dockers at Metricon Stadium

10:35 PM – Sydney Swans v Melbourne Demons at the SCG

Sunday, July 5, 2020

1:05 AM – GWS Giants v Hawthorn Hawks at Giants Stadium

and here’s what it looks like now:

Round Five

Thursday, July 2, 2020

2:40 AM – Carlton Blues v St. Kilda Saints at the MCG (moved from Friday to Thursday)

Friday, July 3, 2020

2:50 AM – Collingwood Magpies v Essendon Bombers at the MCG

8:45 PM – West Coast Eagles v Sydney Swans at Metricon Stadium (new matchup)

11:35 PM – Geelong Cats v Gold Coast Suns at GMHBA Stadium

Saturday, July 4, 2020

2:40 AM – Western Bulldogs v North Melbourne Kangaroos at Marvel Stadium

2:40 AM – Brisbane Lions v Port Adelaide Power at the Gabba

8:05 PM – Adelaide Crows v Fremantle Dockers at Metricon Stadium

10:35 PM – Melbourne Demons v Richmond Tigers at the MCG (new matchup)

Sunday, July 5, 2020

1:05 AM – GWS Giants v Hawthorn Hawks at Giants Stadium

Here are the tentative Rounds 6 and 7, but those are subject to change now with the new restrictions in place:

Round Six

Thursday, July 9, 2020

2:40 AM – St. Kilda Saints v Geelong Cats at Marvel Stadium

Friday, July 10, 2020

2:50 AM – Collingwood Magpies v Brisbane Lions at the MCG

7:45 PM – Fremantle Dockers v Melbourne Demons at Metricon Stadium

10:05 PM – West Coast Eagles v Adelaide Crows at The Gabba

Saturday, July 11, 2020

1:05 AM – Hawthorn Hawks v Gold Coast Suns at the MCG

2:40 AM – Essendon Bombers v Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium

8:05 PM – Port Adelaide Power v GWS Giants at Metricon Stadium

10:35 PM – Carlton Blues v Sydney Swans at the MCG

Sunday, July 12, 2020

1:10 AM – North Melbourne Kangaroos v Richmond Tigers at Marvel Stadium

Round Seven

Thursday, July 16, 2020

2:40 AM – Essendon Bombers v Hawthorn Hawks at Marvel Stadium

Friday, July 17, 2020

3:10 AM – Geelong Cats v Collingwood Magpies at Optus Stadium

8:45 PM – Sydney Swans v Brisbane Lions at the SCG

11:35 PM – Melbourne Demons v Western Bulldogs at the MCG

Saturday, July 18, 2020

2:40 AM – North Melbourne Kangaroos v Adelaide Crows at Marvel Stadium

2:40 AM – Gold Coast Suns v Carlton Blues at Metricon Stadium

8:05 PM – St. Kilda Saints v Port Adelaide Power at Marvel Stadium

10:35 PM – Richmond Tigers v GWS Giants at the MCG

Sunday, July 19, 2020

1:35 AM – Fremantle Dockers v West Coast Eagles at Optus Stadium

There is still no word on how the schedule will need to be adjusted to fit in the postponed Essendon-Melbourne game.  

***

Without further ado, it’s

Balls’ Sechs

1- Both Hawthorn and Geelong won ugly. Hawthorn’s coach said it’s because the umpires aren’t enforcing the Holding The Ball rules (and he’s right) and Geelong’s coach said the game would open up with less players on the ground (also technically right, but too radical a change for my tastes). 

2- The Gold Coast Suns continue on a tear and are up to second place in the competition!  Next week’s game against Geelong will be tough because 1) it will be AT Geelong, 2) It will be Joel Selwood’s (Geelong captain) 300th game for Geelong, and 3) It will be Gary Ablett’s (who used to play for the Suns) 350th game.

3- The Western Bulldogs are right back in contention after a successful trip to Sydney. Yes, they are in 13th, but that’s only on percentage. On points, they’re tied for 6th. 

4- The Carlton Blues may be the new Kardiac Kids.  This was their second 1 point victory in a row and they’re now in every game.  That’s a big improvement over the last two seasons!

5- I’m not quite sure what is going on at Richmond.  They got Dustin Martin back and yet they STILL lost to the St. Kilda Saints.  Could it be that their list is getting older and cannot get up and down the field like they used to?

6- Next week’s marquee game will be the Geelong Cats v Gold Coast Suns for narrative reasons, but the most competitive and compelling game will be the GWS Giants hosting the Hawthorn Hawks. It’s going to be a barnburner!

***

That’s all for this week.  

As discussed last week, Fox Sports has the rights to the AFL in the United States while TSN has the rights in Canada and the AFL is pressuring them to have more games available on the FS1, FS2, and TSN networks. Now is the perfect chance for you to see what all the fun is about! 

Not only that,  but ESPN has jumped back into the AFL pool! They’ll be broadcasting one game per week live on an ESPN network and streaming another live on ESPN3.

Here is your Round 4 live broadcast schedule with North American broadcast partner:

Round Five

Thursday, July 2, 2020

2:40 AM – Carlton Blues v St. Kilda Saints at the MCG (moved from Friday to Thursday) (TSN3)

Friday, July 3, 2020

2:50 AM – Collingwood Magpies v Essendon Bombers at the MCG (FS1, TSN2)

8:45 PM – West Coast Eagles v Sydney Swans at Metricon Stadium (new matchup) (FS2)

11:35 PM – Geelong Cats v Gold Coast Suns at GMHBA Stadium (FS1)

Saturday, July 4, 2020

2:40 AM – Western Bulldogs v North Melbourne Kangaroos at Marvel Stadium

2:40 AM – Brisbane Lions v Port Adelaide Power at the Gabba (FS1, TSN4)

8:05 PM – Adelaide Crows v Fremantle Dockers at Metricon Stadium (FS1, TSN4)

10:35 PM – Melbourne Demons v Richmond Tigers at the MCG (new matchup)

Sunday, July 5, 2020

1:05 AM – GWS Giants v Hawthorn Hawks at Giants Stadium

See you next week!

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Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

The comedy of errors and fumbles in this contest is like watching a Jets game. But which of these teams is the Jets? The Crows, I guess, simply because they are losing by fourteen points shortly after halftime.

Gumbygirl

I don’t follow AFL, but I first saw it, and watched a few matches, when I lived in Scotland 30 years ago. The biggest difference between now and then, as far as I can tell, is how few of today’s players have those disgusting cauliflower ears that they all seemed to have back in the day. Rugby players had them too. I guess it’s better officiating now, or maybe they are rapidly evolving stronger ears down under?

litre_cola

Oh yeah, setting up nicely for a 9th place finish for the Saints.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

“……”

-Paul

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

R.I.P. Carl Reiner at 98. What a career.

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005348/

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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LemonJello

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Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

God DAMN that ending to the Essendon game killed me. It was basically the AFL equivalent of a double doink.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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