Russell Barwick’s AFL Preliminary Finals Preview: Adelaide v Geelong & Richmond v GWS


So we're now down to four and while Adelaide v Geelong and Richmond v GWS weren’t the two matchups I selected that would get through, all four teams certainly deserve their spot.

As I write this, you can’t get a ticket to Saturday’s Richmond v GWS game.

If the crowd is 95,000 plus, GWS fans will make up the numbers from 94,000.

The Tigers will look after the rest.

I wish I could be there as it could be the loudest game ever at the MCG.

Adelaide v Geelong | Friday, September 22, 7.50pm (AEST), Adelaide Oval

Geelong were magnificent against Sydney and if they bring that to Adelaide, then the Crows are in for a game and a half.

I just don’t know whether they can.

Tom Lonergan will come back and I suspect Rhys Stanley will sit this one out.

A hamstring injury to Mitch McGovern helps Geelong if he doesn’t play, but remember they do get Rory Sloane (pictured below right) back.

I love the little break for the Crows away from the bunker that is Adelaide, but I don’t like Josh Jenkins' sly crack at Patrick Dangerfield (pictured below left) about a premiership.

Joshy boy, you haven't won a prelim yet, let alone a grand final.

The coaching effort of Chris Scott against the Swans was sensational.

Sticking Danger in the square was outstanding.

It totally mucked up the Swans’ defence. They couldn’t have the third man up against a tall forward. 

It was one-on-one and Danger beats everyone.

They might do the same this week because it worked.

It pushed Tom ‘The Hawk’ Hawkins (pictured above) up field and out of the way.

He was just a wrecking ball and smashed everyone.

Watch the replay, he threw his body at everyone, because he knew Danger needed clear air. 

Outstanding game from him and Steven Motlop and they have to do it again.

The Verdict 

Adelaide might just be too good.

They were the best team in the home and away season.

They smashed the Giants and they could smash the Cats.

The Cats need to put a hold on Tex Walker (pictured above right) and Eddie Betts (pictured at top) while the Crows only have to look at Danger.

The weather could play a huge hand and I think this will be a tight battle.

Leaning towards the Crows and if they get an early lead, they could jump out to an unbeatable margin.

Unibet Odds: Adelaide 1.41 Geelong 3.05

Tip: Adelaide 

Line tip: Adelaide -17.5

Richmond v GWS | Saturday, September 23, 4.45pm (AEST), MCG

The Tigers simply must win.

So many dreams are on the line in this game.

GWS could be the biggest party spoilers of all time.

They were fantastic against the Eagles and if they repeat the dose, then away they go.

The only thing I did tip correctly last week, was getting Rory Lobb (pictured below) into the ruck and Stevie J back into the starting side.

Lobb is better when he has stuff to do and doesn’t get in Jonathon Patton’s way.

Stevie J was just good.

I heard some commentators say he didn't do much in the first half but who cares.

He changed the game from a hopeful win to a lock.

The Giants have re-signed Josh Kelly which is smart from both sides of the fence and now they can take the logical step to a premiership if they beat Richmond.

They won’t be as bad against the Crows or Geelong if they make the Grand final as they were in the past month.

The Cats beat them by 44 and the Crows by 36.

If they happen to get to the big dance, they could cause the upset of all upsets.

Dusty Martin (pictured above) will have nothing on his mind other than winning this game.

The Brownlow is his, the contract is tucked away.

The only thing missing is a grand final.

They could just get home on the roar of the Tiger bandwagon.

I would say faithful, but half of them have only just regained their faith after years of missing their weekly pilgrimage.

The Verdict 

Giants will need to lead to win.

The Tigers could come from behind or lead.

One things for sure, I’ll be watching and listening to the ‘yellow and black’ if they win.

Richmond comfortably by four plus goals.

Unibet Odds: Richmond 1.57 GWS 2.45 

Tip: Richmond 

Line tip: Richmond -9.5

Read More From Russell Barwick