Thursday, MCG, 7:20pm AEDT
One of the oldest rivalries in AFL/VFL history is set for another chapter, with the Tigers and Pies going head-to-head on Thursday night. There has been a lot of build up to this round two match-up, with defence and tagging being the main talking point. The Pies have signalled they will not send a “run-with” player to Dustin Martin, although whether this will actually be the case is the question.
If the Pies drop this game even more pressure will be heaped on Nathan Buckley, especially considering they play Sydney in round three. The Tigers on the other hand are on cloud nine, coming off a comprehensive win against the Blues. Damien Hardwick will need to make sure his troops don’t get too ahead of themselves for this big clash.
Both sides have very high quality midfields, with whoever comes on top in that battle, likely to win the game. Sam Lloyd has been a surprise omission for the Tigers, thus their forward line will have a slightly different feel. Richmond made three changes to a winning side, which to many may come as a surprise. For the teams click here.
Tip: Tigers by 15
Western Bulldogs vs. Sydney
Friday, Etihad Stadium, 7:50pm AEDT
It’s Friday night footy, and AFL fans will be treated to a grand final rematch. Both teams had very different results in round one, the Bulldogs claimed a win over the Pies, meanwhile the Swans copped a heavy defeat at the hands of the Power.
Sydney haven’t beaten the Bulldogs since 2014, it also happens to be the last time they played them at Etihad Stadium. With the return of Stewart Crameri, and the introduction of Travis Cloke, the Dogs are still working out the kinks in their forward line. Each week expect them to improve as a unit.
One of the main stars that will be looking to bounce back for the Swans is Dan Hannebery. He was kept quiet in round one, and will desperately want to put in a good performance for his side. The big question is whether the Dogs’ back line will be able to handle the star power of the Swans’ front half. They did so, to the surprise of some, in the grand final last year, but with some changes will they be able to do it again?
Tip: Swans by 21
Saturday, MCG, 1:45pm AEDT
2017 has the makings of a turbulent year for the Hawks. With some major changes in the off-season there is added pressure from fans who are not used to being underdogs. Adelaide sent a message to the rest of the league in round one, dominating early premiership favourites GWS.
Like everyone, the Crows have struggled against Hawthorn in recent times. With some pre-season injuries there was a cloud hanging over the South Australian side, but that was quick to dissipate. They managed to pile on 147 points against GWS last week, and that was without captain Taylor Walker.
The Hawks will be bolstered by the return of Luke Hodge, while every game they get in to Jaeger O’Meara is a positive. But at the moment it is hard to go past Adelaide’s round one performance.
Tip: Crows by 17
GWS vs. Gold Coast
Saturday, Spotless Stadium, 4:35pm AEDT
The two expansion clubs in the league didn’t have a great start to season 2017. GWS got handed a reality check from the Crows, while Gold Coast went down against a Brisbane side they probably should have beaten.
Rodney Eade is one of the coaches in the firing line this year, and after dropping their first game, the heat will be turned up. For Leon Cameron, there have been some calls made by media personnel that suggest he isn’t the man to lead GWS.
The Giants should bounce back from last week, and make the Suns’ life a whole lot harder. Depth across the ground, coupled with needing to prove a point, should drive GWS to a high-level performance.
Tip: GWS by 54
Brisbane vs. Essendon
Saturday, Gabba, 7:25pm AEDT
Brisbane surprised many by claiming a two-point victory in round one. The Bombers did the same when they comprehensively beat the Hawks. Whether either team will be able to back it up is the big question.
Essendon are likely to have an up and down year considering what they are coming off the back of in 2016. However their quality and talent in the midfield is undeniable. They should be able to overpower the lions in that area of the ground.
A 2-0 start would not have been expected for either of these sides, but for one of them it will become a reality this week. Considering the talent and experience on the Bombers’ list, it is hard to go past them, but the Lions do have the chance to create another upset.
Tip: Essendon by 17
Saturday, Domain Stadium, 7:40pm AEDT
The Eagles will play their first home game this weekend, doing battle with the Saints. The visitors showed promising signs early last week, before fading against the Demons. West Coast did the opposite against North Melbourne, starting slow and finishing strong.
Josh Kennedy put his hand up for another Coleman medal, kicking seven goals straight in an impressive performance. The pressure will be on the Saints’ defence to keep the monster quiet. There has been some controversy over the week for St Kilda, with veteran Sean Dempster reportedly refusing to play in the VFL after being excluded from the Saints’ first game.
The Eagles should win this game, especially considering they will be playing at home however, don’t be surprised even without Nick Riewoldt, if the Saints give them a scare.
Tip: West Coast by 11
Sunday, Etihad Stadium, 1:10pm AEST
After having a great draw to start last year, North Melbourne have been dealt the opposite for 2017. The Roos had to deal with West Coast in their opener, and now have the Cats, who are off to a hot start. The one positive for Brad Scott’s side is that the game isn’t being played at Simonds Stadium.
Patrick Dangerfield carried on from his hot form of 2016 last week, and considering North Melbourne’s history of playing star midfielders, he could be set for a massive game. In his last outing against the Roos he had a quiet 48 disposals, 13 marks, and two goals.
The Cats are showing signs that they are set for another finals run in 2017. They should go 2-0 this after this one, making North’s start to the year even tougher.
Tip: Cats by 29
Melbourne vs. Carlton
Sunday, MCG, 3:20pm AEST
For the first quarter last week, it looked as though not much had changed for the Demons. However after the first change, they turned it on and ran away with an impressive win. They seem to have talent across the ground, and when it clicks, they play a level of football that is up there with the best in the competition.
The Blues may like their chances in this one, they knocked off the Demons in their round 22 match-up last year. Eyes will be on Jacob Weitering, and where on the ground he plays. This comes after an impressive stint forward against the Tigers last week.
Simon Goodwin will be hoping that his side can dish up a four quarter effort this week. They should be too good in this one, but hopefully Carlton give their fans something to cheer about.
Tip: Demons by 36
Sunday, Adelaide Oval, 4:40pm AEST
Port Adelaide were good in round one, really good. Fremantle on the other hand weren’t as impressive. The Power will want to back up their performance last week, while also protecting their home ground. Ross Lyon’s men need to bounce back before the pressure gets too high.
Nat Fyfe will improve every round after a year out with injury in 2016, while Cam McCarthy is likely to be the same. But this early on it would be unfair to expect them to perform at their highest level. The Power’s Sam Powell-Pepper earnt the first NAB rising star nomination last week, and it’ll be interesting to see how he backs up that great performance.
At home for the first time this year, and on a high from knocking off Sydney last week, Port Adelaide should topple the Dockers. It will be a good contest, but the physicality and attack on the football from the Power should be too much in the end.
Tip: Power by 21