2019 AFL Round 17 Preview – WEST COAST v COLLINGWOOD

Racing and Sports will provide analysis of many games in the 2019 AFL Season.

We'll endeavour to run through the form, incorporate appropriate stats and also supply a betting prediction which won't always just be who will win.


Friday 12 July @ Optus Stadium

We get a Grand Final replay twice a year and it's always a fascinating watch given the sides are often in far different places than back in September.

That is so true in this case as the West Coast are coming off such a high and the Pies such a low.

They did meet in Round 3 at the MCG and after Collingwood led at quarter time, it was the same scenario at the GF, albeit more convincing for the Eagles with 22 points to spare this time.

West Coast look to continue the form against Collingwood
West Coast look to continue the form against Collingwood Picture: Paul Kane/Getty Images

In that game the Coasters had very few of the stats in their favour and yet more clinical usage (and far less handballing) saw their small/half-forwards be dominant. Cripps and Sheed had seven goals between them.

Usually when they come off a Derby (and a win has been the likely result in those games), recovery is critical as bruising affairs were de rigueur.

Well last week's game post quarter time was a doddle. Fremantle scored 2.19 in total. That is more like a biblical reading than a football scoreline.

17 goals were kicked by West Coast in that time and it was one-way traffic. Ruthless behaviour from the Premiers meant their percentage got a big boost too which could be critical in six weeks.

You'd think in what is an even competition home ground for them could see them make another Grand Final.

With the greatest respect to Brisbane, GWS and the Adelaide teams, they are the interstate team with most to gain from that as they are most capable of taking advantage of it.

Consider also Josh Kennedy was ill so again it wasn't their big men that had to dominate to win. Their run and carry from Yeo, Hurn, Gaff, Sheppard etc are required factors. When that doesn't occur they can struggle.

If they are going well, then how bad at the Pies travelling? And yet travelling is probably the best thing they could be doing right now.

The black and whites have a nice record going interstate and getting out of the Melbourne bubble for a few days will help.

Losses to Fremantle, North and Hawthorn and so unconvincing over the Dogs has seen over a month now of poor performances – strongly scrutinised both internally and externally.

Nathan Buckley needs to work some magic
Nathan Buckley needs to work some magic Picture: Daniel Carson/Getty Images

Nathan Buckley has not held back. Some question is hitting the players between the eyes the right approach or the kid gloves treatment a better one? Surely that is best left up to an experienced coach as he is now.

But maybe it's also a consequence of losing Stephenson forward and so reliance on game style is less and player performance more so.

They got sucked into playing the horrible game that Hawthorn wanted them to and they could never get out of the hole even after kicking four straight at the first change.

Ten goals were kicked to ¾ time. Luckily eight were after that making at least the end of the game more palatable.

Their playmakers were getting plenty of the ball but doing little with it. Grundy didn't have his best as McEvoy held him well enough.

You would have to say that if West Coast bring a tough, uncompromising attitude they'd give it to Collingwood but this season has seen such an evening up that anything is possible.

The Pies are never out of their games but also allow their opposition to be always in them. It's a conundrum which gives supporters anxious times.

The Eagles should win but it might be closer than we think.

Match Selection: West Coast by 16 points

Suggested Bets: West Coast 1-24 @ $3.10

Racing and Sports