AFL Sydney Round 12 Preview
BLK Sydney AFL Premier Division is ready to go as we return from a weekend of huge upsets. Western Suburbs recorded their first win of the year against Sydney University, North Shore defeated the Dragons and Manly was downed by the UNSW Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs. Just when the AFL Sydney community had thought that they had got a handle on how teams were preforming, we got reminded that there are no certainties in football.
This week one of the matches of the round will take place when the East Coast Eagles take on the St George Dragons. The eyes of AFL Sydney will be cast towards Kanebridge Oval as two genuine Premierships contenders clash in what may be a Grand Final Day Preview. Last time the two sides met the game was decided by less than a goal as the Eagles ran out winners at Olds Park. The Eagles have again pushed their claim as the best team in the competition as they currently sit two wins clear on top of the table. After being a surprise return from injury last week, Jamie Vlatko again goes out of the side as Aaron Savage returns to the East Coast lineup. Last time the two faced big man Andrew Browning took out best on ground honours with an outstanding performance in the ruck. The Dragons will struggle after losing key forward Declan Donohue after last week’s surprise loss to North Shore. This crucial out means that Nick Ryan will need to be the main target up forward and has shown already this year he has a keen eye for goal. Karl Merson is carrying a few niggles and may miss, if he does this will be a huge out for the Dragons. Prediction: East Coast Eagles by 25 points
UNSW/ES Bulldogs will be hoping to continue their winning ways when they take on the North Shore Bombers this weekend at Kelso Oval. Although the Bulldogs bounced back from a big loss to St George by defeating the Manly Warringah Giants last weekend, they will be facing a tough challenge against North Shore. The Bulldogs have a raft of key outs including Sherwen, Heath and Banuelos. This creates an opportunity for a few players like Harry Sleigh who will be hoping to make the most of the opportunity to play Premier Division. Expect Sleigh to score a couple of goals out of deep forward as he tries to keep his spot in the strong UNSW/ES squad. The Bombers will be hard to beat this week after upsetting the high flying Dragons last week in an important win at Mortgage Choice Oval. North Shore are running with five changes this weekend including the big out of Darcy Baron-Hay to a NEAFL call-up. However they do have some talent returning with Hebron coming back into the side. Big Daniel Roberts will be hoping to add to his goal tally of 17 of his six matches so far this year and will again be the target man up forward. Keep an eye out for Charlie Parsons who is in his best form of the year after he was best on ground last weekend. Prediction: North Shore Bombers by 27 points
The Pennant Hills Demons will be coming off the bye feeling fresh as they prepare to take on the West Suburbs Magpies at Mike Kenny Oval. Western Suburbs will be feeling confident after their first win of the season against Sydney University last weekend. The Magpies have only made one change heading into this weekend’s match, with Geordie Gregory making way for Lindsay Scown. Brenton Mumme was best on ground against Sydney University and will be hoping to produce another fine performance this weekend at half back. Pennant Hills will be hoping to get back on the winners list after losing to East Coast in Round 10. They pushed East Coast all the way, lead by Matthew Thomas, who has been the best player for Pennant Hills in the last two games. Pennant Hills will also be celebrating Tim Wales’s 100th senior game with the Pennant Hills Demons. 2016 is Tim’s 9th season playing with the Senior Club. Prediction: Pennant Hills by 16
Sydney University will be looking to get their season back on track this weekend when they play Manly Warringah. Tom Elkington will be hoping to continue is great form after the big man booted 5 goals last weekend and landed an impressive specky. The students will also be hoping that Matt Vicic will also be in fine form in front of goal and that the student’s midfield lead by Matt Powys can fire. Manly will be hard to beat with a few handy ins like Lachlan Behagg boosting the line-up. Jackson Pola-Smith has featured strongly in the goal kickers booting 8 goals in 3 games being rewarded with a place in the AFL Sydney team of the Week for Round 11 and will be dangerous this weekend. Prediction: Manly Warringah by 37
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