Round 7 could have been called the Blowout Round, with our first 100+ point margin of the year, coming with the Blues knocking the Eagles out in style. On top of that, we were treated to not one but two 1-point wins, keeping the excitement levels up for all watching. But enough about Round 7, we have more great matchups in store to look forward to! So, without further ado, let's get right into our Round 8 preview! 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 8 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.
Carlton Blues (6) V Brisbane Lions (4)
Friday 5th of May - 7:50pm AEST at Marvel Stadium - Melbourne
Carlton recorded the highest winning margin of 2023 last week against the Eagles, but the Lions won in good style against the Dockers, giving us an exciting matchup to kick off the round.
Carlton bounced back from 2 losses in a row with a demolition job of the Eagles in the West with a scintillating performance around the ground. Of the very impressive Blues outfit, of which there were many high performers, Charlie Curnow was at his very best up forward. He had a day out in front of goal, kicking a strong 9 goals from 18 disposals, scoring 182 GDS fantasy points in the process. Also, Nic Newman continued his strong run of performances, getting more touches up the ground with 34 disposals, 1 goal and 5 tackles, scoring 192 GDS fantasy points.
Brisbane didn’t win by as much as the Blues, but arguably the Dockers were much stronger than the Eagles and pushed them right to full time. Returning to form was Lachie Neale who put up 35 disposals, generating 13 clearances and 7 tackles as well. He got the ball moving forward for the Lions, with 413 metres gained as well. Giving him some assistance was Will Ashcroft, who kicked 2 goals as well as collecting 28 disposals, in another strong performance to push himself further towards the Rising Star.
The Lions will need to keep Charlie Curnow quiet, but they have just the man in Harris Andrews for that job. With him quiet, the Lions quality should shine through – Lions by 23 points
Lachie Neale – 120 GDS fantasy points
Richmond Tigers (16) V West Coast Eagles (18)
Saturday 6th of May - 1:45pm AEST at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
Both teams are on a 5-game losing streak, who can turn their poor form around?
The Tigers have made 3-quarter performances a regular thing in 2023, and unfortunately has resulted in 5 losses from their past 5 games. They let the game slip away against the Suns in the 3rd quarter, and was unable to fight back the small margin they were down. It wasn’t from a lack of trying from Tim Taranto, who has been a star in their midfield this year, putting up 32 disposals and a goal, as well as 8 clearances and 564 metres gained.
The Eagles have had a tough run in their past 5 games, with their smallest losing margin being 40 points against the Power. Last week was their worst losing margin, losing by a whopping 108 points at home against the Blues, and it was a tough game looking at the stats as well. Only 3 players managed to get over 20 disposals, with Tim Kelly reaching the highest of them with 27 disposals and 8 tackles.
The Tigers have had a poor run, but they come up against their easiest challenge for a while and can bounce back – Tigers by 33 points
Jayden Short – 120 GDS fantasy points
Geelong Cats (7) V Adelaide Crows (8)
Saturday 6th of May - 2:10pm AEST at GMHBA Stadium, Geelong
The Cats have turned around a 0-3 start to be 4-3 now, while the Crows took a 4-win streak into their matchup with the Pies, falling agonisingly short at the death.
The Cats had a horror start to the season, but that is well in the rear-view mirror now, with them getting their 4th win in a row against the Bombers on Sunday. It was also their 3rd game in a row kicking over 20 goals, no small feat in the new age of AFL. It wouldn’t be the Country Game without Tom Hawkins, the country poster boy for the AFL, putting on a show. He had an 8-goal haul, his highest tally of his career, along with 16 disposals and 2 goal assists, scoring 165 GDS fantasy points.
The Crows had some strong form heading in to their battle with the Pies, and they started very strong, not allowing the Pies to kick a goal in the first quarter. Their downfall was their kicking inaccuracy, where they had 11 more scoring shots than the Pies at 3 quarter time, but were only ahead by 16 points. In the last quarter, they couldn’t hold off the Pies late surge, going down by a point kicked by Steele Sidebottom with about 30 seconds left. In good news, it was another strong performance by Jordan Dawson, who was the highlight player for the Crows, with 30 disposals, 5 tackles and nearly 700 metres gained.
The Cats have put up big scores lately, and the Crows are as inaccurate as last round, this will end up ugly – Cats by 36 points
Tom Stewart – 120 GDS fantasy points
Gold Coast Suns (13) V Melbourne Demons (2)
Saturday 6th of May - 4:35pm AEST at Heritage Bank Stadium, Gold Coast The Suns are on a 2-win streak, but the credentials of these teams are questionable when compared to that of the Demons, who gave the Roos nightmares with their dominant win in Round 7.
The Suns came up against the Tigers with some confidence after they beat North the week before, and their confidence must have helped them get over the line. It was a simple equation, kick straighter to win the game, as the Suns had one less scoring shot, but they won by 4 goals. Noah Anderson put in a huge effort for the Suns, kicking a goal and racking up 32 disposals, with 5 tackles and 9 clearances as well, scoring an impressive 155 GDS fantasy points.
The Demons also beat the Tigers 2 weeks ago, but that 3 goal win was overshadowed by their 90-point romp of the Roos in Round 7. The margin got out over 100 points in the last quarter, but 3 late goals to the Roos kept the Dees from reaching that milestone. Christian Petracca has been improving each week, this game collecting 35 disposals and 3 goals, scoring an impressive 168 GDS fantasy points.
The Suns have been playing better, but the Demons are much tougher than their last 2 opponents, so the Dees have this one in the bag – Demons by 46 points
Christian Petracca – 130 GDS fantasy points
Greater Western Sydney Giants (12) V Western Bulldogs (10)
Saturday 6th of May - 7:25pm AEST at Manuka Oval, Canberra
The Giants reigned supreme in the Sydney derby, but the Swans missed their defensive stocks dearly, where the Bulldogs made their win over the Hawks look harder than it should have been.
The Giants won by a point over the Swans in the derby, thanks to a late fourth goal to Toby Greene, who deservingly took home the medal for best-on-ground for his performance. The other of the Green(e) duo, Tom Green, also had a strong performance with 31 disposals and 13 tackles, scoring a strong 152 GDS fantasy points.
The Dogs kept the Hawks in the game in the first half, not capitalising on a series of chances to break the game open. After half time, the Dogs started to break the game open and put the Hawks away. Instrumental in that was Caleb Daniel who had 27 disposals and a goal to his name, as well as 7 tackles and 6 clearances, scoring 135 GDS fantasy points in the process.
This could be the toughest prediction of the round, either team could win. Giants were lucky that the Swans were missing key defenders, and the Dogs have won this matchup in recent years, so expect a close one but the Dogs to just get the win – Dogs by 2 points
Bailey Smith – 110 GDS fantasy points
Fremantle Dockers (14) V Hawthorn Hawks (17)
Saturday 6th of May - 7:30pm AEST at Optus Stadium, Perth Both of these sides have started 2023 performing well below where they expected to be, who can turn their poor form around here?
The Dockers have run into some formidable opponents the past couple rounds, and subsequently lost by decent margins in both outings. The latest was their loss to the Lions, which ended as an 8-goal loss. Despite the decent loss, Hayden Young had a strong outing with 33 disposals, 4 tackles and 685 metres gained, scoring 131 GDS fantasy points.
The Hawks had 2 close losses against the Giants and Crows, and would have hoped they could turn that around when they lead the Bulldogs at halftime by 3 points. Unfortunately for the Hawks, four quarter performances have not been their strong suit this season, and they were kept to only 2 goals in the second half. Of their players, Blake Hardwick put in the biggest effort, getting 27 disposals, 12 marks and 492 metres gained, scoring 134 GDS fantasy points.
Still waiting for the Hawks to put in a 4-quarter effort, but they know their season is quickly slipping away, and this can be their week. Upset incoming – Hawks by 7 points
James Sicily – 110 GDS fantasy points
Port Adelaide Power (5) V Essendon Bombers (9)
Sunday 7th of May - 1:10pm AEST at Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
Port is on a 4-win streak, and haven’t lost to the Bombers since 2018, but the Bombers are much better this season. Could they turn that run around?
Port have started to build some serious form, beating the Saints after many were doubting their talents prior to that win over easier opponents. Instrumental in that win was Travis Boak, who showed he has aged like a fine-wine, accruing 30 disposals and a goal, along with 6 tackles, which scored 140 GDS fantasy points in a strong outing for the 35-year-old.
The Bombers started 2023 well, now sitting at a 4-3 record. Their 3 losses coming against the Saints, who were in 1st place, the Pies who were in 3rd place, and then last years premiers, the Cats, who roared back to life after an 0-3 start to now look like a top-4 side once again. The Bombers continue to push sides well, with their let down being defence. In attack, Sam Weideman showed he still has his goal-kicking boots, grabbing 5 goals against the Cats. In the midfield, it was the Darcy Parish show once again, racking up 38 disposals with 9 clearances, scoring 138 GDS fantasy points.
This is a strong matchup, and will be won by the best team on the day – Bombers by 6 points
Dylan Shiel – 110 GDS fantasy points
Collingwood Magpies (1) V Sydney Swans (11)
Sunday 7th of May - 3:20pm AEST at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
The Pies have now won three in a row, but the Swans have had the Pies covered in this matchup in recent years.
The Pies are now in the top spot, with their only loss coming to the Lions in round 4. Although they have now won three in a row, the largest margin of those was 13 points, and they only just got the win in the last minute of their most recent game against the Crows. While there were many contributors in that game, Tom Mitchell was impressive throughout the match, racking up 29 disposals, 6 tackles and 7 clearances, scoring 117 GDS fantasy points.
The Swans might have thought they had the game won against the Giants, before Toby Greene put the Giants in front with a last-minute goal, handing the Swans their 4th loss for the season. It has been a tough couple of games for the Swans, who are desperate for the return of some of their defensive options from injury. In their match against the Giants, Peter Ladhams gave his all, racking up 24 disposals and kicking a goal, alongside his 34 hit-outs in the ruck, all up totalling 147 GDS fantasy points.
The Swans need their best defence against the Pies, and it doesn’t look like it will happen, so this is looking like another tough week for the Swans – Pies by 38 points
Nick Daicos – 120 GDS fantasy points
North Melbourne Kangaroos (15) V St Kilda Saints (3)
Sunday 7th of April - 4:40pm AEST at Marvel Stadium, Melbourne
The Saints will be kicking themselves that they let the game slip against the Power, while the Roos have now lost their past 5 games after starting the season with 2 wins.
The Roos had high hopes after their first 2 games resulted in wins, but it has been all downhill from there. Their latest result, a 90-point loss to the Demons, really showed how poor they are playing right now. 2 players stood out from the bunch in that loss, Aaron Hall and Harry Sheezel, who both got 30 disposals and 2 clearances each. As the weeks roll on, Sheezel continues to put his hand up for the Rising Star award, even in a losing side, after he totalled 147 GDS fantasy points in Round 7.
The Saints would have been in 1st position at the end of the round if they got over the line against the Power, however they came up 7 points short under the roof at Marvel Stadium. In another strong performance, Rowan Marshall has continued to show his talent with 26 disposals and 10 tackles, to compliment his 28 hit-outs in the ruck. All up he scored 182 GDS fantasy points, making him the number 1 ruck GDS fantasy scorer for the round.
The Saints will be out for blood after dropping a winnable game, and there won’t be much the Roos can do to stop them – Saints by 66 points
Jack Sinclair – 120 GDS fantasy points