Brisbane Lions vs. GWS
Understandably, GWS head to Brisbane as the favourites on the back of some good form. Upon closer inspection, though, their two game unbeaten streak has come against the lowly Crows and Suns, while a trip to The Gabba to face a well-rested Lions side could hold a few surprises in store. Having been embarrassed by the Bombers two weeks ago, Brisbane come into Round 14 off the bye, but they’ve certainly shown plenty of fight at home this season. These two last met in Round 6, and although the Giants walked away with a 34-point win, the Lions were still in the contest come half time. As we’ve seen recently, if Harris Andrews and Dayne Zorko come to play, the Lions are no rollover. Chris Fagan’s side could easily spoil the Giants Top 8 hopes today.
Western Bulldogs vs. North Melbourne
The Bulldogs have won four of their last five against North Melbourne, but Luke Beveridge’s side is really up against it today. The Dogs lost Jackson Macrae and Easton Wood to injury last week, which likely spells a fifth straight loss. North come into this one on the back of a much needed bye following a 37-point pumping against the Cats. League leading goal kicker Ben Brown was kept scoreless in that one, bit it’s hard to see him having another quiet one today. The Bulldogs, meanwhile, have struggled to hit the scoreboard all season, ranking 16th in total goals scored. With another two key pieces missing, moving the ball forward won’t come easy.
Australia vs. Ireland
This is more than just a rubber match for the Irish. In case you missed it, 39-years of misery are on the line as Ireland attempt to clinch their first series down under since 1979. We saw a full-strength Irish side last week during their 26-21 win over the Wallabies, a game that really swung in the balance. The biggest problem the Australians faced last week was the lack of an aerial attack, but there’s even bigger issues to attend to this time around: filling the void left by Will Genia. The Australian scrumhalf broke his arm during last week’s loss, and now the Wallabies carry on without their disciplined leader against the No. 2 ranked side in the world. There’s certainly been plenty of positives to take away from this series, but tonight’s game might be a bit beyond the Aussies.