Digby Beacham’s AFL Preview: Semi-Finals


Geelong v West Coast, MCG, 5.50pm

An eight-day break, a healthy group and an opponent that is wobbly after being embarrassed on the September stage yet again. It is little wonder why West Coast have been installed as favourites against Geelong.

Nic Naitanui again underlined his importance to the Eagles with a stunning first-up display against Essendon. His presence looms as a major issue for a Cats line-up that is vulnerable in the ruck stocks, as evidenced by the decision to drop Rhys Stanley last Friday night.

The Eagles will find it harder to move the ball and score against Geelong than they did opposed to the Bombers, but they have the experience on all lines and more than their share of undeniable talent to win here, even taking into account the presence of Patrick Dangerfield.

VERDICT: West Coast by 23 points


Brisbane v GWS, Gabba, 5.25pm

Brisbane have shown on more than one occasion this year that they are deserving a spot at the pointy end of the finals conversation. But they need to take their chances and make sure the 2019 campaign isn’t squandered.

Their inaccuracy in front of goals in the first quarter against Richmond proved extremely costly when the well-oiled Tigers machine got rolling as the game progressed. The absence of Mitch Robinson (hamstring) also makes the task of bouncing back here that little bit harder.

Greater Western Sydney earned themselves the right to reach a preliminary final with a rugged elimination final win over the Western Bulldogs and then had a bigger victory at the tribunal earlier this week when Toby Greene escaped suspension for his misconduct towards Marcus Bontempelli.

VERDICT: Brisbane by 18 points

Market Market