Where and When: Alice Springs, Saturday 3 March, 7.10pm
The two teams come into the second round of the NAB Cup with different results from their first encounters.
Adelaide – under new coach Brenton Sanderson – fared the better of the two, winning against both Port Adelaide and Carlton in shortened games because of the searing heat.
Brisbane were not as successful, they were able to beat Gold Coast, but were unable to overcome Melbourne, leaving them sitting 11th on the NAB cup ladder with only two points.
However, all of this may be irrelevant if the game is called off. Alice Springs has received heavy rainfall over the last week and parts of the ground are waterlogged. The AFL will inspect the ground on Saturday morning to determine if the ground is safe to play on.
If the game does proceed, Adelaide will head in with a stronger side, despite the absence of Kurt Tippett and captain Nathan Van Berlo, they still plenty of talent with Taylor Walker, Bernie Vince and Rory Sloane all making the trip.
With Van Berlo out, Patrick Dangerfield will be stepping up as captain, hopefully a role which will encourage him to reach the potential that many feel he has yet to fulfil.
Jason Porplezia will also play his first game back after last year’s shoulder troubles and will be keen to get through his first hit-out relatively unscathed.
Adelaide fans will also be looking forward to the debut of Brad Crouch, he sat out last week but he will get his first chance this week. The 17-year-old cannot play during the season, so this will be a great opportunity to see the potential star on the park.
Brisbane will enter the match with a depleted team from the previous round, most notably is their loss of star power with Simon Black and Jonathan Brown both out. Brown’s absence is the most concerning after he had to undergo more facial surgery after a training ground accident.
Brown’s loss is significant as without Mitch Clarke, the Lions are left with few experienced options for a power forward, Leuenberger may have to spend some time trying to fill that void.
The absence of some of the mature players also gives an opportunity for new and fringe players to show their stuff. Players such as Harwood, Beams and Yeo showed promise last week and will want to continue that form as they seek to cement a spot.
Having spent most of last week playing in the rain, the Lions will not be looking forward to the trip, with the wet conditions set to be added to by some more rain on Saturday; Brisbane is in for another unpleasant outing.
Players to Watch
Billy Longer: The Lions’ first draft pick debuted last week and looked promising. He might have to shoulder quite a load this year if Leuenberger moves forward as he fights Ben Hudson for the second ruck spot.
Tom Rockliff: Coming off a 2011 where he was the youngest Lion ever to win the best and fairest, Rockliff has been promoted to captain for this match. He will look to continue last year’s form as one of the best young players in the competition.
Rory Sloane: Do not let the blond locks fool you, Sloane is one of the hardest players in the competition and he has the skills to match. He was extremely impressive last week, playing a pivotal role in getting the Crows over the line
Tom Lynch: The former Saint slotted in well last week alongside Tippett and Walker though, he may face a better defender this week as he attempts to secure a spot as a third option in Adelaide’s forward line.
Both sides will see their 2011 seasons as disappointing however, neither will see this game as important in remedying that.
If the game does proceed, Adelaide look the more likely winners.
Brisbane found it hard to score last week in the wet, only managing three goals, and that was with Brown.
Adelaide have more of their best 22 making the trip to Alice Springs and should be able to win comfortably.
Adelaide by 27pts
1. Richard Tambling, 2. Brad Crouch, 6. Luke Thompson, 8. Lewis Johnston, 9. Rory Sloane, 10. Matthew Jaensch, 12. Daniel Talia, 13. Taylor Walker, 15. Brad Symes, 17. Bernie Vince, 18. Graham Johncock, 20. Josh Jenkins, 21. Chris Knights, 22. Andy Otten, 23. Jared Petrenko, 26. Richard Douglas, 27. Tom Lynch, 29. Sam Kerridge, 31. Jarryd Lyons, 32. Patrick Dangerfield, 33. Brodie Smith, 34. Sam Shaw, 35. Shaun McKernan, 36. Brodie Martin, 37. Ian Callinan, 40. Jason Porplyzia, 43. Aidan Riley, 45. Ricky Henderson, 49. Tim McIntyre
2. Ryan Harwood, 3. Sam Sheldon, 4. Jared Polec, 5. Billy Longer, 6. Joshua Green, 8. Bryce Retzlaff, 9. Ashley McGrath, 12. James Hawksley, 17. Claye Beams, 18. Todd Banfield, 19. Jordan Lisle, 23. Matthew Leuenberger, 25. Richard Newell, 26. Elliot Yeo, 30. Jack Redden, 31. James Polkinghorne, 32. Cheynee Stiller, 33. Amon Buchanan, 34. Jesse O’Brien, 35. Ryan Lester, 36. Matt Maguire, 37. Patrick Wearden, 38. Tom Rockliff, 40. Niall McKeever, 41. Mitchell Golby, 43. Rohan Bewick, 44. Aaron Cornelius, 45. Brad Harvey, 47. Jack Crisp