Tue, Sep 10, 4:15am by Clarinda Campbell
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We’re in week two of the 2013 AFL finals and this week is semi-final time. All bets are off now as the loser of both games departs the 2013 competition. The winner of the Cats and Power game has to face the formidable Hawthorn next week, whilst the Swans or Blues will face the Dockers.
The first week of finals brought some shock, surprises and some tough, closely fought matches. The surprises of the first week of finals included the Dockers near impossible victory over the Cats at Simonds Stadium, and Port Adelaide’s defeat of Collingwood. Richmond disappointingly lost the match they were expected to win against the Blues, and the Swans were taught a lesson by the Hawks in the second half of their football game.
This week sees only two matches played. The Cats and Swans have opened as favourites in their respective matches. Here is a brief preview of both matches, with more detailed previews to be provided during the week.
7:50pm, Friday 13 September 2013 at the MCG
Geelong felt the effects of the “tall poppy syndrome” last Saturday afternoon when they were chopped down by a determined Dockers side. Virtually no-one thought the Cats could be defeated at their fortress but the Dockers came in with the right mindset and ignored the fact they had only ever won once there, back in 2008. The Cats couldn’t match the Dockers intensity and as a result, they find themselves in this sudden death playoff against the Power.
The Power fought out a close duel with Collingwood on Saturday night. Collingwood president, Eddie McGuire, had set tongues stirring during the week with comments about the scheduling of these semi finals and that it wouldn’t suit Collingwood. He had assumed that the Magpies assignment against the Power was a fait accompli and that the Pies would be facing up again this week. Much to the joy of any AFL fan who doesn’t support Collingwood, McGuire was made to look a fool as the Power came out and just chased the ball down at every play and took advantage of any scoring opportunity they got. The Magpies got openly frustrated and the Power fed off this to snare a win and a place in this weeks semi against the Cats.
Surely the Cats have learnt a lesson by now that arrogance will not favour them or give them an advantage. Port have nothing to lose and will be playing with a lot of heart. The Cats need to be wary of this and play out a full four quarters. If they bring their best football to the match, the Cats should prove impossible to beat, but Port won’t go down without a fight.
Premiership / Outrights
After their loss last week, Geelong have slipped from favourites down to the third line of betting to win the premiership at $4.25. Hawthorn has returned to top spot at $2.40 whilst Fremantle are now on the second line of betting at $3.50. Port Adelaide are the least favoured in betting, currently at $34.00.
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7:45pm, Saturday 14 September 2013 at ANZ Stadium
The Swans were in the game against the Hawks until half time, with scores level going into the main break. However, upon return to the field for the second half, the Swans were absolutely blown away by the Hawks. A number of the Swans returning players didn’t have great games and fitness was telling, especially for Lewis Jetta. The Swans will be buoyed by news of a possible return by Adam Goodes, but you would have to question if he has the necessary fitness for finals football. In any event, the Swans are a better side than Carlton. They just need to prove that one more time on Saturday night before a home crowd.
Carlton have taken full advantage of their wildcard into the finals series and are now in the semi-finals. Richmond looked to have the Blues beat on Sunday afternoon but the Blues did what they have done the last couple of weeks, and that is to come from a fair margin behind to get up and win. Their attacking flair should be halted by a more determined defensive side in the Swans. The Blues will be brimming with confidence but the 2012 premiers should be too good.
Premiership / Outrights
The Swans have also slipped down in premiership betting. They are on the fourth line to win the premiership at $9.00. Carlton are below them at $31.00.
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