We’re halfway through the 2022 AFL season, with another six teams having the bye and another bye round coming our way.
To quote N*SYNC: it’s bye, bye, bye.
Aside from cheesy pop-cultural references, we’ve put together a five-legged multi in retrospect that we call Five Lessons Learned.
They’re all hot takes from the weekend, but from a gambler’s perspective.
(1) Day rounds are boring
We all need to calm the farm about every round of footy that is exciting and full of blockbusters.
It is a season of 22 games and 23 rounds with 18 teams and the odd Thursday, Friday night which is not an event is just the luck of the draw.
In race terms, sometimes it can’t be all Group 1s at major subway racetracks every Saturday.
North v GWS as the only game on Sunday was tough, but even us Punters need to get a little spellbound, not to mention the players.
Yes, bye rounds are boring and there will be more dead rubber fixtures as the season progresses, but it makes the big, exciting blockbuster games even more rewarding.
(2) The port season is over.
I may have mentioned this after round 5, in fact I did, but the Power started winning a few games and some took them as a sneaky opportunity.
Thursday night’s 12-point loss to the Tigers means she’s game over for the Port Adelaide Football Club in September this year.
The Power should win at least seven of their last eight games, a tough draw and the Dogs, Collingwood and Richmond all have to fall.
Instead of being Lloyd Christmas from Dumb and Dumber and there’s still a chance, the Power is Gretchen Wieners in Mean Girls – Fetch isn’t going to happen.
Port Adelaide are $26 to make the last eight, book your September break now and Mad Monday Power fans.
(3) Freo does not have to rely on Nat Fyfe
Two-time Brownlow medalist Nat Fyfe back in the paddock for Freo was certainly a delight on Saturday, with the veteran Docker racking up 22 disposals – 10 of the contested
However, it is the young Dockers who dominate, such as Andrew Brayshaw with 37 touches (only his Brownlow odds a boost), Caleb Serong (33 disp.), Hayden Young (31 disp.) not to mention Luke Ryan who has a lazy 27 .
While Flagmantle is all the rage in WA (well half WA), the Dockers are $7 for the premiership, but it’s helpful to support these guys to get enough Sherrin every week for your multi-games for the same game.
(4) Horne-Francis scratching a rising star
Much has been said about No. 1 draft pick Jason Horne-Francis Barry Crocker in North’s loss to the Giants on Sunday.
Whether it’s body language on the field with his teammates, a possible date at the AFL tribunal for this swinging incident with Josh Kelly of the Giants or extending his contract with struggling North Melbourne.
From a punting perspective, Horne-Francis is now a scratch off this year’s Group 1 field, our Rising Star market.
Prior to Sunday, he was an outsider worth $13 to win the prize, but the contest between the likes of Hawk Jai Newcombe ($2.45), Magpie Nick Diacos ($3), Cat Sam De Koning ($5) and Bomber Nic Martin ($5) is sure to make for a fascinating contest as to who will win it this year.
(5) Neale Daniher: Legend
The eighth running of the Big Freeze in the MCG took place prior to the Magpies v Dees clash and it was simply outstanding.
What Neale Daniher has done to fight MND, raise money and make it one of the best days on the AFL calendar is nothing short of remarkable.
Sports stars and celebrities went down the slide in some exquisite outfits, a lot of money was raised and although Neale can’t talk anymore, he can only make you smile when he’s just there.
Well done to everyone involved in putting it together, we can’t wait to see Neale back in the G next year for the next installment.