MCLEOD HAS SOMETHING TO SAY - FINALS WK3

I was at the G prelim final and the Tiger fans were amazing in what was a black & yellow letter day for the Richmond football club. All of the media chatter about the bye being a disadvantage was proven just dribble, with Adelaide and Richmond both bursting out of the blocks.

A great result for kitty again with all three bets coming up; kitty now stands at $4923 profit ROI of 49.2% since R14. 

ADELAIDE VS GEELONG

The TedSport algorithms have been steadfastly rating Adelaide as the best team in the competition for 23 of the past 25 weeks. Geelong's costly slip-up versus Richmond has seen the band of brilliant Cats having to travel to the Adelaide home Oval. Even the sturdiest of humans struggles to play or umpire his best against that volume of noise. It adds up to an Adelaide win by two or three goals.

Adelaide are rated in the top 3 for TedSport kick, transition and midfield ratings. Combine that with their dynamic forward line and it is a frightfully good outfit. Before the finals series started, TedSport rated Adelaide as the clear premiership favourite, because they were the first team since Carlton of 95 to attract favourable odds at the beginning of the finals series.

Media experts had identified the newly founded bye as some sort of bogeyman after one year of results. Adelaide showed no ill effects from the additional rest, bursting out of the blocks with two goals in the opening two minutes. They then controlled the first quarter with their elite disposal, decision making and run, meaning they were able to slice through Geelong‘s defensive structure. They went into the first break five goals ahead. After giving up the first couple of goals of Q2, Geelong attempted to mount a fight back as Danger started winning clearances and kicking goals, but they were never able to get within 4 goals of the superior Crows.

The second half, for a pie-floater fanatic, was one to savour.  Charlie Cameron, normally the Robin to Eddie Betts’ Batman, took the lead kicking 5 and bringing in a mark of the year contender as the Crows cruised away to a 10 goal win and booked their first GF since the back to back teams of the late 90s.

Adelaide dominated the TedSport metrics, winning the kick rating by 74, with Rory Laird and Atkins launching attacking forays off the HB line. The Crow’s midfield outshone the more vaunted Geelong mids by 26.  The Crouch bros again lead the way and had a transition rating advantage of 13 with T. Lynch and Seedsman providing great connection to the dynamic forwards lead by Charlie.

Adelaide fans will start their journey east in the knowledge that they are cheering on the best performed team all year, and one that is firing on all cylinders.

RICHMOND VS GWS GIANTS

The Giants touching up a tired Eagle’s team has plenty of punters and media experts again buying into the orange tsunami and the propoganda of the AFL-directed Giant premiership glory. We've been combing through the numbers, and we still don't trust them. West Coast managed to bust through their midfield more often than a good team defence should allow - not the stuff of premiers. 

Again the bogey bye played trickster; the apparition of the Tiger train stuck at the station simply failed to occur. Like the well-rested Adelaide, the Tiger train powered away from the station with no signal faults, kicking two goals in the first two minutes sending their adoring Tiger army into rapture.

The Giants actually handled the occasion and the crowd very well from that point. Wrestling back control and outplaying the Tigers for most of the first half as their midfield, the Giants got on top, lead by Ward, Kelly, Coniglio and running man Scully. Although both teams were battling to mount any real scoreboard pressure, they entered the long break with just 5 goals apiece and plenty of behinds.

The Giants were down a prime mover in Shiels, who was seeing stars after a contest with Richmond captain Cotchin. The Giant’s midfield wasn’t able to withstand the Tiger onslaught in Q3 when the opportunist Tiger small forwards stepped up to the plate.

The Tigers cleverly played Dustin Martin forward of the ball for plenty of the second half, while Daniel Rioli, channeling his cousin Cyril with a career best performance, created havoc in the Tiger forward line creating goals out of what would be generously considered half chances!

When Dusty banana-ed through his third successive goal in the first minute of the fourth quarter, the Tiger dream was a reality …  they were out to a six goal lead and the Tiger army was roaring.

The TedSport KPIs indicate an evenly fought contest, with Richmond having a slight advantage of +5 in kick and +1 in transition but with the Giants controlling the midfield and actually having the edge in F50 entries by 1.

It was the Tiger small forwards’ ability to convert the half chances into goals that was the difference in the end, Dusty and D.Rioli combining for seven goals while the Giant’s mercurial forwards StevieJ and T.Greene were unable to hit the scoreboard. 

We forecast GWS will revert to its season mean of good but not quite premiership standard. Richmond has a more solid claim to victory here, with the ability to manipulate game speed and Dusty Martin ready to borrow a line from the Giants' song and make them quake in their boots. Back Richmond head-to-head and with the -9.5 handicap, and in the fine MCG twilight we'll have a small punt on a high scoring game, for a Richmond game that is!

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