Sunday 6th, May / 4:40 PM / Gabba
In the final game of Round 7, the Brisbane Lions host Collingwood at The Gabba, with the Lions still aiming to break their drought and get on the board for Season 2018.
The big story coming into this game is the confirmed debut of Matt Eagles, the winner of Season 2 of Foxtel’s The Recruit, with coach Chris Fagan rewarding him with an elevation to the senior list, and a debut. His form in the NEAFL has become undeniable, with Eagles averaging a tick under 16 disposals, and 7 marks from his 4 games this season, including a best on ground performance in last weeks big win over the GWS Giants Reserves.
Following Port Adelaide’s loss to West Coast, a win for Collingwood will see them return to the top 8, with Sydney likely to account for North Melbourne at the SCG on Saturday night.
Collingwood have had more than the edge on Brisbane in recent years, winning their past 3 games against the Lions with an averaging margin of 45 points. You have to look back to Round 21, 2014 for the Lions last victory over the Pies, a 67 point win at the G’, in what was then-captain, Tom Rockliff’s 100th game.
Keys to victory:
In order for Brisbane to win, they’re going to need to convert more of their forward 50 entries. They’ve averaged a poor 64 points from an average of 48 entries inside 50. They’ll need to lower the eyes, and hit up their targets directly, instead of holding the ball up and bombing it in long to tall targets, Eric Hipwood and Dan McStay – especially with the exciting Jeremy Howe averaging 5 rebound 50s per game.
In order for Collingwood to take the points back to the Holden Centre, they’ll need a big game out of the sore, and potentially injured Brodie Grundy who will be up against the in-form Stef Martin. When the Pies have had first use of the ball they’ve been at their most dangerous, with their midfield dominating this year, especially Adam Treloar, who has racked up 74 touches in the past fortnight.
This looms as a danger game for the Pies, in what could be the upset of the round,with injuries claiming Brayden Maynard, James Aish, and most importantly Ben Reid last weekend, with Brodie Grundy also under an injury cloud. Brisbane are usually a 3-4 goal better team at home, and if they can play 4-quarter footy, they should get the upset victory, and their first 4 points of Season 2018. Look for Dayne Zorko to get off the leash at long last and back to his 2017 All-Australian form, with Collingwood typically not being a tagging side. Coming off a few tough games in the last few weeks for Collingwood, I’m tipping Brisbane to get over the line by 16 points.
Brisbane 1-39 / 3.75 / SportsBet [1 unit]
Adam Treloar – Most Disposals Group A / 2.40 / CrownBet [1 unit]
Dayne Zorko 2+ goals / 2.70 CrownBet [1 unit]