AFL – SEMI FINALS WEEK 1 PLAYS
Welcome to Week 1 of the AFL Semi Final series where we are down to the final eight teams and now we are at the business end of the season.
Elimination Final: Thursday, September 8th, 6.10pm, Domain Stadium
WEST COAST EAGLES v WESTERN BULLDOGS
SPORTSBET BETTING: WEST COAST EAGLES $1.27 – WESTERN BULLDOGS $3.85
These two teams meet in a final for the first time since 2006. The Eagles were triumphant on that occasion and went on to win the premiership. But this group of Bulldogs will be out to create some history, as the club has never won a final interstate. The Bulldogs travelled to Perth in round 23 but the weekend off has given them a chance to recover. The break will be a great unknown for the Eagles, who were carrying incredible momentum into the finals series. The midfield battle will be critical. The Bulldogs smashed the Eagles around the ball in round 11 and the Eagles must atone on Thursday night to give themselves a chance. The Bulldogs will have their hands full in defence with Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling looming large.
Round 11: Western Bulldogs 12.11 (83) d West Coast 11.9 (75) at Etihad Stadium
All the statistics suggested the Bulldogs should have won by more given they won the contested possession count by 39 and the disposal count by 124. The Eagles hung in all afternoon but the Bulldogs did enough. Tom Liberatore kicked three goals including the match-winner.
OUR TIP: WEST COAST EAGLES by 16
Qualifying Final: Friday, September 9th, 7.50pm, MCG
GEELONG v HAWTHORN
SPORTSBET BETTING: GEELONG $1.61 – HAWTHORN $2.35
One of football’s greatest modern rivalries will be reignited when Geelong and Hawthorn meet for the first time since their season-opening clash on Easter Monday, a match that marked Patrick Dangerfield’s impressive debut for the Cats. Fast-forward five months and Chris Scott’s men made it seven successive wins and secured a top-two spot with an 111-point thumping of Melbourne, while Hawthorn’s place in the coveted top four was in jeopardy until Demon-turned-Hawk Jack Fitzpatrick – in his first game for the club – unloaded a 60m running goal late in the thrilling one-point win over Collingwood. The triple reigning premiers are proven performers in high-pressure finishes, winning six games by under 10 points this year, and can’t be underestimated despite losing two of their last four games of the home-and-away season.
Round one: Geelong 18.8 (116) d Hawthorn 12.14 (86) at the MCG
Geelong burst from the blocks with four goals to one in the first quarter and entered the main break with a 30-point advantage. Hawthorn mounted a third-quarter comeback, kicking five unanswered goals to lead by two points at three-quarter time, but the Cats responded in the final term with the last four goals of the match.
OUR TIP: HAWTHORN by 9pts
QUALIFYING Final: Saturday, September 10th, 3.20pm, ANZ Stadium
SYDNEY SWANS v GWS
SPORTSBET BETTING: SYDNEY SWANS $1.42 – GWS $2.95
The Giants’ historic maiden finals campaign kicks off in ideal fashion against their cross-town rivals, but the minor premiers will be out to make it a September debut to forget for GWS. Both teams are stacked with quality midfielders, with Swans trio Josh Kennedy, Luke Parker and Dan Hannebery fresh from All Australian selection, and Callan Ward, Stephen Coniglio and Tom Scully unlucky to miss out on the honour last week. Coleman medal runner-up Lance Franklin looms as a huge threat to GWS, so their co-captain Phil Davis will need to limit Buddy’s influence to give the Giants a boost. At the other end, the Giants’ own All Australian Toby Greene, along with star recruit Steve Johnson, will be looking to create havoc at ground level, while big man Jonathon Patton is in top form in the air.
Round 12: Greater Western Sydney 15.15 (105) d Sydney Swans 9.9 (63) at Spotless Stadium
The home side’s win in their 100th game in the competition was built on a stunning burst either side of half-time, when the Giants kicked seven of eight goals, with Swans ruckman Kurt Tippett injured just before the main break. GWS forwards Toby Greene and Steve Johnson shared six goals and 48 possessions.
Round three: Sydney Swans 14.9 (93) d Greater Western Sydney 10.8 (68) at the SCG
The Giants had some chances but were wasteful in front of goal, and the Swans’ band of midfielders proved too good. All Australian trio Parker, Kennedy and Hannebery combined for 90 disposals, three goals and 21 tackles, while Franklin had the better of an absorbing duel with Davis to kick four goals.
OUR TIP: SYDNEY SWANS by 14
Elimination Final: Saturday, September 10th, 7.10pm, Adelaide Oval
ADELAIDE CROWS v NORTH MELBOURNE
SPORTSBET BETTING: ADELAIDE CROWS $1.18 – NORTH MELBOURNE $5.00
This looks like the easiest of the four opening finals to predict with Adelaide expected to comfortably account for an out-of -orts North Melbourne at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night. The Crows cost themselves a top-two berth and a double chance in the finals with a shock 29-point loss to West Coast in round 23. Apart from that slip-up, they’ve been in great form on their way to a 16-6 record this season. In contrast, the Kangaroos have lost nine of their past 11 games to limp into the finals with the distraction of the four delisted veterans looming large.
Round 1: North Melbourne 16.11 (107) d Adelaide 14.13 (97) at Etihad Stadium
North Melbourne’s round one hoodoo looked set to continue when the Crows led by 24 points early in the second half. But three third-quarter goals to evergreen Brent Harvey sparked the Kangaroos to a 10 goals to five second half and their first opening round victory since 2009.
Round 14: Adelaide 12.28 (100) d North Melbourne 10.7 (67) at Adelaide Oval
The Crows won their fifth straight game despite their most inaccurate kicking performance in almost 23 years. The Kangaroos led by four points at half-time before the Crows ran away with the contest. Matt Crouch and Rory Sloane starred for the hosts against an undermanned Kangaroos side coming off a six-day break.
OUR TIP: ADELAIDE CROWS by 28pts
*** SEMI FINALS WEEK 1 – HEAD 2 HEAD SELECTIONS ***
WEST COAST EAGLES, HAWTHORN, SYDENY SWANS, ADELAIDE CROWS
H2H MULTI: $5.00
Here are our best plays for Week 1 for the 2015 AFL Semi Final Series.
Friday: Geelong v Hawthorn
OUR SELECTION: HAWTHORN (Line: +8.5pts) ($1.92)
Saturday: Sydney Swans v GWS
(ANZ Stadium – 3.20pm)
SELECTION: SYDNEY SWANS (Margin: 1-39pts) ($2.10)
TWO LEG MULTI PAYING: $4.03
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