Where and When: The Gabba, Sunday 3 June, 1:10 pm
West Coast will we looking to assert their position on top of the AFL ladder as they travel to the Gabba to take on Brisbane.
They’re travelling a long way but most would expect that to overcome the Lions’ home ground advantage as the Eagles have been superb so far, with the Lions disappointing.
In saying that, the Lions have an opportunity here, given that they play at their very best, to send a shock through the competition.
Brisbane’s three wins so far this year have come against cellar dwellers Melbourne, Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney – hardly a record to boast about.
Their percentage against other better sides is poor, especially since they haven’t beaten any this year, but they made the first sign turning around a huge deficit against North Melbourne last weekend.
Despite Simon Black missing this game through injury, their younger players have once again been impressive, with Tom Rockliff, Jack Redden and Dayne Zorko all in good form recently.
That combined with the recent performances of Jonathan Brown and Daniel Merrett, along with Aaron Cornelius as a third tall who kicked four last weekend, means that if the Lions get on a roll with the home ground advantage, anything could happen.
The Eagles come strolling into this contest sitting on top of the AFL ladder, a great effort given their injury worries.
With Josh Kennedy, Mark LeCras, Mark Nicoski and Andrew Embley down, the forward line has stood strong, with unlikely recruit Josh Hill leading the way on 20 goals this season.
Given the dominance of clearance specialists Matt Priddis and Daniel Kerr extracting the footy and skilful midfielders Scott Selwood, Andrew Gaff, Matt Rosa and Luke Shuey – although the latter is missing this week – it’s hard to see where their weaknesses lie.
With Darren Glass and Eric Mackenzie both playing very well in the backline alongside Beau Waters West Coast look like comfortable winners.
Players To Watch:
Ben Hudson: The former Bulldog retired at the end of last year only to be snapped up by Brisbane. He’s been good but against the combination of Nic Naitanui and Dean Cox, he may face an insurmountable task.
Tom Swift: He was once rated, during his under-16 years at least, as the most promising player and top draft pick by a mile. Although he’s stagnated since he’s earned a recall and he has a chance to cement himself here.
While I’m not going to write Brisbane off, logically just with a quick glance at respective ladder positions you have to assume West Coast will win this one comfortably.
I think it will be somewhat close near the start, but the Eagles are too classy and will prevail with ease.
West Coast by 40 points
B: Ash McGrath, Matt Maguire, Ryan Lester
HB: Mitchell Golby, Joel Patfull, Josh Drummond
C: Pearce Hanley, Daniel Rich, Jed Adcock
HF: Jack Redden, Jonathan Brown, Dayne Zorko
F: Rohan Bewick, Daniel Merrett, Aaron Cornelius
Foll: Ben Hudson, Tom Rockliff, Andrew Raines
I/C: James Polkinghorne, Niall McKeever, Jared Polec, Joshua Green
Emg: Claye Beams, Patrick Karnezis, Elliot Yeo
In: Niall McKeever, Jared Polec, Ben Hudson
Out: Simon Black, Billy Longer, Elliot Yeo
Milestones: Tom Rockliff – 50 games
B: Patrick McGinnity, Darren Glass, Will Schofield
HB: Beau Waters, Eric Mackenzie, Shannon Hurn
C: Matt Rosa, Matt Priddis, Andrew Gaff
HF: Chris Masten, Jack Darling, Brad Sheppard
F: Dean Cox, Quinten Lynch, Josh Hill
Foll: Nic Naitanui, Scott Selwood, Daniel Kerr
I/C: Adam Selwood, Tom Swift, Ashton Hams, Jacob Brennan
Emg: Mitch Brown, Koby Stevens, Scott Lycett
In: Tom Swift, Ashton Hams
Out: Luke Shuey, Sam Butler
Milestones: Patrick McGinnity – 50 games