Hawthorn–West Coast should be another round four stunner as these two premiership hopefuls face off at Patersons Stadium in Perth.
The Hawks trounced the Crows last Sunday and would be 3-0 as well had they not collapsed against Geelong on Easter Monday. Expect Sam Mitchell to come back hard after a lack luster round three and for Cyril Rioli to have his breakthrough game of the year.
The Eagles will face their first real test of 2012 after receiving an easy three game draw but some long-term injury worries have hurt the side’s depth and could cause them problems down the road.
The Gold Coast Suns surely feel as if they have a chance for their first win of 2012 in the Brisbane derby. Against a team that is only a win better, Gary Ablett and co are a real possibility. A lot will have to go right but if Jonathon Brown has another four possession game for the Lions you’d think the Suns were set?
Brisbane will be relying on old Ben Hudson to anchor their ruck attack now youngster Matthew Leuenberger will be out six weeks while the Suns should be boosted by the return of Campbell Brown.
10th placed Richmond face 11th placed Geelong on Sunday with both sides desperate to get into the eight. Geelong were outplayed by North Melbourne last week and looked old, but will receive Matthew Stokes and Billie Smedts back into their lineup. Richmond defeated the lowly Demons last week and will need some form to hold off a determined Cats side.
Sydney probably isn’t as good at their 3-0 record indicates but play at home when they get the red hot Kangaroos. Star Adam Goodes is out with a one game suspension for a reckless sliding contest against Jacob Surjen of Port and will be sorely missed but this is still a decent side that received big ruckman Shane Mumford back last week.
The Kangaroos win over Geelong last week was their first in two years against a “top-four” side and I want to see them knock off the Swans before I get too excited.
In what should be a game with little fanfare, the struggling Western Bulldogs face Melbourne in a game that could save their season. Key defender Brian Lake is out due to a suspension for a cheeky punch but Justin Sherman could come into the side after some good form in the VFL. Former captain Brad Green had surgery on a finger this week and will be out for a month, bad news for a side lacking veteran leadership and struggling to stay in first quarters.
Photo credit: BWPhoto