Season draws near

WHILE we settle into the new AFL season it's great to know that there's only one week to go before the first bounce in the local AFL North Coast competition.

Grafton will play host to Sawtell at home next week and will unfurl its premiership flag.

I can't wait to get down to Ellem Oval for this match, where I will have the honour of presenting the flag to the Tigers.

Also next week, Port Macquarie will play host to Coffs Swans at its new ground at Wayne Richards Park.

For many years Start Park has served the Magpies but the increased playing ground, as well as larger changing sheds, will be a great boost to the club.

The monkey is almost a gorilla


THERE is certainly a monkey on the back of Hawthorn when it comes to Geelong.

You only had to see the look on the face of Hawks coach Alistair Clarkson at the end of the game on Easter Monday to know that.

Clarkson was dumbfounded because it was a game that his team should have won but still couldn't find a way to achieve victory.

The Cats have won the past eight matches against Hawthorn, although you could say the Hawks had a right to feel they should have won almost all of them.

You see players like Cyril Rioli and Lance Franklin playing well when the team is winning but when the chips are down this pair is much harder to find.

On the other hand, Geelong has often managed to win from seemingly lost situations because players like Joel Selwood and Jimmy Bartel, plus others, stand up when they're really needed.

On its day Hawthorn can beat any team but every week is not its day. Conversely, having won an incredible 104 of its past 122 matches, it's fair to say that it's Geelong's day most weeks.

You see a side only once every 100 years that can achieve such results and this Cats outfit can now boast to be even better than the Brisbane Lions team that won three consecutive premierships from 2001-2003.


Round 3 tips

Tonight: CARLTON v Collingwood

Tomorrow: RICHMOND v Melbourne, Port Adelaide v SYDNEY, FREMANTLE v Brisbane Lions

Tomorrow (n): Gold Coast v ESSENDON, WESTERN BULLDOGS v St Kilda

Sunday: GWS Giants v WEST COAST, HAWTHORN v Adelaide, North Melbourne v GEELONG

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