Tips » AFL Round 15 Selections by Graeme Kelly

AFL Round 15 Selections by Graeme Kelly

All attention in the next four days will centre on the clash between Brisbane and Collingwood at The Gabba on Friday night.

The skirmish – the last game in the round – is vital to the premiership aspirations of both clubs.

Now in third place the Lions have already have a place in the play-offs.

However, they need to keep winning to be sure of retaining a place in the top four.

The situation is more precarious for Collingwood.

The sixth placed Magpies, with eight wins and a draw, are also seemingly certain of reaching the last eight but the side’s prospects of playing-off for the flag depend largely on their ability to climb into the four.

So the conflict shapes as a most interesting encounter.

Brisbane has the advantages of having had a week’s rest and playing at home while the task for Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley to rev-up his players is going to be more difficult with the quick turn-around..

The injury-riddled Magpies go into the confrontation after having beaten Carlton by 24 points at The Gabba on Sunday.

Everyone connected with the team can take heart from that performance.

After trailing the Blues in the first half Collingwood outplayed them in the last two quarters.

The tight defence, built around the brilliant Darcy Moore, was so effective that Carlton was unable to score a goal after half-time.

Another important factor is that the Magpies, led by Scott Pendlebury, demonstrated that they know how to win, when the crunch is on.

That will take Collingwood a long way but with captain Dayne Zorko and Lachie Neale continuing to be prolific possession winners the result seems likely to go Brisbane’s way.

In a rather lack lustre round the match between Greater Western Sydney and Carlton at Metricon Stadium on Thursday night is the only other game likely to have any  significant bearing on the make-up of the finals.

Any chance the Blues have of being in the last eight disappeared with the loss to Collingwood.

The side is now down in 12th place with just six wins and a poor percentage of 97.1.

Worse still Carlton’s players clearly lost their way after half-time, which is hardly heartening going up against the Giants.

GWS’s percentage of 101.8 is not a lot better but the side is in ninth place on seven wins with a game in hand.

Following their 38-point victory over Fremantle at Optus Stadium on Saturday the Giants have had to fly across the country to enter a hub in Queensland.

With all the travelling the teams have had as a result of COVID-19, that should not present a serious problem for coach Leon Cameron and his men.

The opening game of the round between Hawthorn and Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday evening is hardly a major attraction.

The Hawks are down in 15th place while the winless Crows are 18th.

The Crows have been playing reasonably well in recent times and deserve a victory but whether they can beat Hawthorn, even with the home ground advantage, is a moot point.

Then will come the West Coast’s match against Essendon at The Gabba, which will indicate whether the Eagles have the strength of character to win away from Optus Stadium.

Even if the players are not wholehearted the Eagles have the sheer talent necessary to be triumphant.

Geelong, Gold Coast, North Melbourne, Port Adelaide, St Kilda and Western Bulldogs have byes.

 

Last Week Tipped: 5

Hawthorn by 8pts

West Coast by 14pts

Richmond by 32pts

Melbourne by 16pts

GWS Giants by 21pts

Brisbane Lions by 15pts