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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 25 July 2015
SPORT 30 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 25 JULY 2015 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Harvey’s milestone headlines this weekend of footy Boomer hits 400, a top four clash and Richmond taking on Fremantle all highlight this round With last night's Hawthorn and Carlton clash done and dusted it's time to look at this round's remaining eight clashes. GWS GIANTS V GEELONG CATS - SATURDAY 1.45 PM, STARTRACK OVAL (CANBERRA) Another vital game for the Giants, who can further set themselves up with a maiden finals berth with victory over the Cats in Canberra. GWS has won the last two games on the trot, but only sits in the eight by four points, with a not-so-impressive percentage, so victory will be telling. Geelong, on the other hand, hasn't been convincing of late. An eight point victory against the 'Dogs last week was enough and could add some fresh (and much-needed) enthusiasm back into its (thus far) lacklustre 2015. These two sides have met three times since the Giants' inception, with Geelong winning all three. ADELAIDE CROWS V GOLD COAST SUNS - SATURDAY 2.10 PM, ADELAIDE OVAL Adelaide found itself back in the top eight last week, thanks to a nail-biting win over crosstown rival Port Adelaide. The Crows held off a fast-finishing Power after going into the final break five goals up, to record a three point win. Its opponent this week played the Giants last week but couldn't keep up, as GWS ran away with a 15 point win in the sunshine state. The Crows have tasted victory on all of their last five encounters against the Suns. RICHMOND TIGERS V FREMANTLE - SATURDAY 4.35 PM, MCG This is the round's first big featuring match. First versus fifth, both sides winning four of their last five - but the Tigers doing so more convincingly. Fremantle will be out to atone for its round 10 loss to the Tigers in Perth - its first loss for the season - and will have to do so without small forward Hayden Ballantyne who has been ruled out for the rest of the home-andaway season with a shoulder injury. The Dockers bounced back last week after some shaky matches with a seven goal win against Carlton, but Richmond is one of the inform teams of the competition. It boasts some big scalps, including Fremantle, this season, and last week withstood a late St Kilda comeback to defeat the Saints by 16 points. The home factor might be telling, with some tight encounters in their last five meetings, with Fremantle claiming three wins. ESSENDON BOMBERS V PORT ADELAIDE POWER - SATURDAY 7.20 PM, ETIHAD STADIUM Not much separates these two sides on the ladder. The Bombers sit in fourteenth with five wins, while last year's Preliminary Finalist Port Adelaide sits thirteenth on six. After a win against Melbourne two weeks ago, Essendon was brought back down to earth last week with Brent Harvey in action. PHOTO: AAP IMAGE/TONY MCDONOUGH. the hardest teams to predict. North's opponent Brisbane sits last on the ladder, and after some noble losses in weeks past, its game last week against Melbourne was anything short of good. Managing only four goals, and with North's extra incentive to win through Harvey, it's hard to see Brisbane getting up. The Kangaroos have won three of their past five against Brisbane. WESTERN BULLDOGS V COLLINGWOOD MAGPIES - SUNDAY 1.10 PM, ETIHAD STADIUM a 25 point loss to the Kangaroos. Port Adelaide, on the other hand, has been very unpredictable. A disappointing season thus far continued last week against cross-town rival Adelaide, which culminated in a three point loss. The Power tried to make something of late but couldn't come away with the four points. Essendon has tasted victory in the last five games these two sides have played. BRISBANE LIONS V NORTH MELBOURNE KANGAROOS - SATURDAY 7.20 PM, GABBA Another notable game this week, with Kangaroo Brent Harvey set to become the fourth player in VFL/AFL history to reach the 400-game milestone. The landmark game will bring his tally to the same number as Essendon champion Dustin Fletcher (who hasn't played since reaching the mark in round nine against Richmond after suffering a groin injury), and will be 26 shy of games record holder Michael Tuck. A win tonight and North Melbourne can make its mark on another top eight berth. After a 25 point win last week, and the odds being with the Kangaroos, this is certainly a game it should win, but history suggests North Melbourne is one of Spartans take it up to ladder leaders Hawthorn downs the undefeated Old Xaverians to the tune of six goals Last week's game proved telling for the Hawthorn Spartans, who took on ladder leader Old Xaverians at home. The Old Xaverians were on a perfect run, 11 wins for no losses, but the Spartans came out early, piling on five-goalsto-one in a telling first quarter. Despite the solid start the Old Xaverians closed the margin to a solitary goal at the main break, but again the depleted Spartans piled on the pressure, slamming six-goals-to-one in the second half to set up a famous 38 point victory, and one that will see them head into the finals in high spirits. A big five goal haul from Dan Lauletta helped set up the win. Today the Spartans take on fifth-placed Prahran Assumption at home, with the first bounce scheduled for 11.40 am. Fans are also urged to attend the annual Delphi Bank Souvlaki Day that gets under way before the first bounce, which will help raise funds for the club. The Spartans in their round one clash against Prahran. PHOTO: KOSTAS DEVES. Another telling game this round between the sixth placed Bulldogs and ninth placed Magpies. A narrow eight point loss to Geelong last week sent the Bulldogs back into the middle of the pack - a win last week and it would have left the side one game off the top four - so this game is very important if the club is to continue its push towards the double chance. Collingwood has gone from top four contender to fighting for its spot in the top eight. After four consecutive losses it finds itself in ninth position and another loss tomorrow will make its finals hopes that much harder to achieve. It will also have to do so without the likes of Travis Cloke, who has been ruled out with a calf injury. The Magpies will hope history is on their side, with the team winning four of its past five games against the Bulldogs. MELBOURNE DEMONS V ST KILDA SAINTS - SUNDAY 3.20 PM, MCG A cellar-dweller match between two sides on five wins apiece. Melbourne comes into this one after a four goal win over the Lions last week, while the Saints lost to the Tigers by 16 points. Both these sides are showing improvement, with Melbourne bettering its 2014 win/loss ratio with seven games to go, while the Saints have vastly improved on their wooden spoon season last year. St Kilda has won all of its past five encounters against the Demons, but its latest chapter in round 11 this year proved a nail-biter, thanks to a late goal courtesy of Leigh Montana. WEST COAST EAGLES V SYDNEY SWANS - SUNDAY 4.40 PM, DOMAIN STADIUM This top four clash will round out this weekend of football. The Eagles are flying. Three losses to their name, the second high percentage in the league (at 156.5 per cent) and will play this one at home. Their spread in the forward line, with the likes of Josh Kennedy, Jack Darling and Mark LeCras, along with their pace around the ground and ability to find space, has left sides in their wake. West Coast's opponent this week is in a very healthy position as well, but isn't playing its best football. Sydney sits fourth with four losses to its name but last week was given a reality check against fellow top four side Hawthorn (to the tune of 89 points). A loss against the Eagles, and depending on how Richmond fairs against Fremantle and the Swans could find themselves out of the top four this week. However, history is in Syd- ney's favour this week having beaten West Coast on every one of the two sides' past five outings.
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