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  • Brady Athanasiov

GameDay Squad Aussie Rules: Round 3 Preview

Another round has passed, a couple more upsets, although the GDS team picked a few of them. The 2023 AFL season has had it's fair share of upsets, and left us pulling our hair out over our predictions, so we are prepared for some more turbulence in the upcoming round. So, without further ado, let's get right into Round 3! In this blog we'll be previewing every game of the round and providing some insight into what we might expect in the week ahead. What do you think Round 3 hold for us? Let us know who you agree with and who else you might have selected down below on all of our social channels twitter, facebook, instagram, discord.


Touk Miller, Andrew Brayshaw and Darcy Parish ahead of round 3 of the AFL


Western Bulldogs V Brisbane Lions

Thursday 30th of March - 6:20pm AEST

What I had originally had marked down as a clash of 2 heavyweights, has turned out to be a little more one-sided than originally thought.


The Bulldogs need only one word to describe their Round 2 matchup with the Saints, attrocious. The Dogs played all to the Saints strengths, critically underutilising the key players in their side that keep the ball moving forward, and paying for it on the scoreboard. 2 weeks in a row losing by 50 points, alarm bells should be ringing in the Dogs Coaching Box when the Lions come knocking.


The Lions were running so hot against the Demons that the lights blew up at the Gabba! It was such a dominant display before the lights went out, that we finally thought we saw the Lions that we were expecting in Round 1. They were electric, one player in particular being their young gun debutant, Will Ashcroft. The young livewire picked up 31 disposals and a goal in just his second game, showing he has plenty more talent to show as he matures.


Prediction:

The Lions will be much too classy for the underperforming Dogs – Lions by 32

Will Ashcroft – 110 GDS fantasy points


Collingwood Magpies V Richmond Tigers

Friday 31st of March - 6:50pm AEST

This could be the game of Round 3 with a very strong battle at the MCG. The Pies have been very impressive in their two games, while the Tigers showed some skills winning over the Crows.


The Pies just can do no wrong at the moment. Young gun Nick Daicos is racking up touches like his opponents are witches hats, while the rest of the Collingwood squad are syncing together like clockwork. It’s still early in the season, but a Magpies premiership and Nick Daicos Brownlow is certainly looking on the cards right now.


As for the Tigers, they showed some silky skills against the Crows. There were some glimpses of the Prime Dusty who was so dominant, but it was the repeat effort of Tim Taranto that had us impressed. Across his first 2 games in the Black and Gold he has amassed 60 disposals in total, and continues to rack up impressive GDS fantasy scores.


Prediction:

The Tigers, led by Taranto, will put up a good fight, but the class of the Pies will reign supreme – Pies by 24

Nick Daicos – 120 GDS fantasy points


Hawthorn Hawks V North Melbourne Kangaroos

Saturday 1st of April - 12:45pm AEST

Another game that prior to Round 1, thought would have been the battle for the Wooden Spoon. Now with 2 games past us, it seems only the Hawks can be concerned about that.


Hawthorn is on struggle street. They played the Bombers in Round 1, and the Bombers gave them a 59 point thumping to ring in the new season. To make it hurt more, they then had to front up against the Sydney powerhouse in Round 2, and subsequently lost by 81 points. Can they turn it around against a more manageable Kangaroos outfit?


As for the Roos, it seems the Clarkson effect has taken over, inspiring them to a 2-0 start to the season. Both against the WA teams, and both by less than a goal, but nevertheless, it’s 2 wins on the board. Not to single out only one player, as this has definitely come from the team, but Harry Sheezel has been super impressive in his first 2 games of his AFL career. He has recorded a total of 64 disposals over the 2 games, recording strong GDS fantasy scores in the process.


Prediction:

Hawthorns streak will continue, and not in a good way – Roos by 19 points

Harry Sheezel – 130 GDS fantasy points



Greater Western Sydney Giants V Carlton Blues

Saturday 1st of April of March - 3:35pm AEST The Giants couldn’t handle the Eagles away in Round 2, while the Blues showed they are no pushovers beating the Cats when the going got tough, something they failed to do against the Tigers in Round 1. Can the Giants turn it around at home in Round 3?


GWS had a hard day out when they faced the Eagles, ultimately falling short to a side that many had written down as Spoon Contenders again in 2023. The one upside is that the Giants were forced to rest some of their key midfielders for that contest, and by all reports they should be back to near-full strength for this matchup. Toby Greene continues to have a huge impact up front, kicking another 4 goals, putting his hand up as an early pick for the Coleman medal in 2023.


On the other hand, the Blues showed some real determination to get across the line, handing the Cats another loss. Carlton has been criticised in recent years for not being able to finish off games, and they really showed that believers of that were wrong in Round 2. In a well-balanced Blues squad, it was Adam Saad who showed he was back to his best as a rebounding half-back, racking up 29 disposals and over 600 metres gained.


Prediction:

GWS will be better at home, but not good enough against the Blues – Blues by 7

Adam Saad – 110 GDS fantasy points


St Kilda Saints V Essendon Bombers

Saturday 1st of April - 6:25pm AEST

A top 4 clash at the MCG! Is it the Demons vs the Cats? Is it the Dogs vs the Tigers? Nope, this is 2023, and it’s the Saints vs the Bombers.


The Saints showed that their Round 1 win over the Dockers was no fluke, with a 51 point destruction of the Bulldogs. As always, Jack Steele was on the forefront of their success, consecutively hitting over 28 disposals, a goal and over 5 clearances. On top of that, the other Jack (Sinclair) racked up 33 disposals and 530 meters gained. Their impressive high tackling pressure might just be what puts a stop to the Bombers free-flowing football style in Round 3.


The Bombers have started 2023 very well, although their win over the Suns in Round 2 was far from spectacular. They spent a good amount of the game behind, and skills dropped off in many parts of the game. In saying that, when the going got tough, the Bombers rallied and put a respectable 28 point margin on the Suns. The Bombers key midfielders in Merrett, Parish, Setterfield and Shiel shared 116 disposals between them, and showed plenty of talent in front of goal as well.


Prediction:

The Bombers are flying high, but the Saints looked too impressive against the Bulldogs – Saints by 18 points

Brad Crouch – 130 GDS fantasy points


Port Adelaide Power V Adelaide Crows

Saturday 1st of April - 6:30pm AEST The Showdown is on, but is Adelaide ready for the Power? Port got the best of the Lions in Round 1, but couldn’t show much against the Pies in Round 2. Meanwhile the Crows haven’t been able to find a win yet in 2023.


The Power kicked off their season with a seriously impressive win against the Lions. Unfortunately, Round 2 did not reflect that result, with a large loss to the Pies. In consideration is that the Power have a poor record at the MCG, and that the Pies are a well-oiled machine at the present. The shining light was Charlie Dixon, who kicked 3 goals and picked up a respectable 14 disposals.


Meanwhile, the Crows pulled out a classic choke against the Giants in Round 1, after leading for a good chunk of the game. Then they showed a bit of backbone against the Tigers, fighting back in the second half, only to run out of steam with Richmond kicking the last five goals to eventually win by 32 points. In that game, Rory Laird put everything on the line for the Crows, racking up 38 disposals, 14 of them contested and 9 tackles to go along with it.


Prediction:

When the Showdown comes to Adelaide, it always ends in an exciting contest. An upset is on the cards – Crows by 2

Rory Laird – 130 GDS fantasy points




Gold Coast Suns V Geelong Cats

Sunday 2nd of April - 2:10pm AEST

2 teams both without a win in 2023. One of them won the Premiership in 2022. Oh how the turntables…


The Suns shouldn’t drop their heads however, as they have put up 2 respectable outings against the Swans and then the Bombers. While the score lines haven’t exactly shown it, they have looked quite impressive and shown that they won’t be pushovers, especially with some more time for the team to come together. I think Touk Miller wants another shot at the Brownlow, showing he has plenty of skin in the fight with another impressive 31 disposal performance with a measly 670 metres gained.


The Cats on the other hand have started their premiership defence in the worst way possible, losing both games against the Pies and then the Blues. While the scores were close in both, they really looked a level below both teams. The game against the Blues saw only one shining light, with Jeremy Cameron kicking a bag of 6 goals and 25 disposals, a huge night for the key forward. Considering they were outplayed around the ground, it was good to see Cameron have a night out.


Prediction:

The Suns will put up a mighty fight, but the Cats will bounce back… just – Cats by 11

Touk Miller – 120 GDS fantasy points


Melbourne Demons V Sydney Swans

Sunday 2nd of April - 3:20pm AEST

I wonder if the Demons can ask the MCG staff to turn the lights off just before the first bounce? It seemed that was the only thing that could spur some life into their legs in their clash with the Lions, and they might just need that against the high-flying Swans.


It looked like the Demons were set to be thumped in Round 2, but thankfully an exploding transformer saved their percentage by flipping the script in the last 12 minutes of the game, reducing the margin from 40 to 11 points. With Max Gawn set for a lengthy stint on the sideline, Melbourne will need to rely on their backup All-Australian ruckman in Brodie Grundy to keep the ball moving towards Clayton Olivers’ capable hands. He had another top-notch performance in Round 2, with 37 disposals, 9 tackles and 774 metres gained to his name.


The Swans, on the other hand, have looked very impressive in their 2 convincing wins to start the season. A combined margin of 130 points has them sitting on top of the ladder in these early stages, even though the calibre of the opposition is slightly questionable, it has been executed in the right fashion. Highlighting the stat sheet was Logan McDonald with a bag of 5 goals, with 13 disposals to compliment it.


Prediction:

The Demons were lucky that the final margin wasn’t larger against the Lions, and the Swans won’t be giving them any mercy – Swans by 28

Callum Mills – 110 GDS fantasy points


Fremantle Dockers V West Coast Eagles

Sunday 2nd of April - 5:20pm AEST

What a treat to finish off the round, with a WA Derby that appears to be nicely matched.


West Coast did not start the season the way they wanted, with a 5-point loss to the Kangaroos. Luckily for them, they met a Giants side in Round 2 that wasn’t full strength, and they took full advantage to record their first win of the season. A couple of standout players showed their strengths, with Jake Waterman showing some silky skills up front, kicking 4 goals and reaching 16 disposals, while Tim Kelly dominated out of the middle with 32 disposals and a goal to his name.


The Dockers nearly notched up their first win of the season, pushing the Roos right until the last seconds, ultimately losing by a point. They were no pushovers in the contest however, with their most talented quartet of Serong, Brayshaw, Aish and Ryan racking up just shy of 120 disposals together.


Prediction:

This is shaping up to be a great clash, but I feel this game will be won from the midfield. While the Eagles have some talent there, the Dockers middles have the potential to dominate this game – Dockers by 17 points

Andrew Brayshaw – 120 GDS fantasy points


 


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