Can we get a round of applause for the AFL’s leg-weary combatants as they head into the last leg of a four-round footy bonanza across just 20 days?
The quality has not suffered amid a hectic schedule, with premiership contenders Port Adelaide Power and Richmond Tigers turning on arguably the best match of 2020, and Gold Coast Suns and Essendon Bombers producing a rare draw in round 11.
Elsewhere, West Coast Eagles, Brisbane Lions and Geelong Cats strengthened their top-four claims, while Melbourne Demons and Collingwood Magpies stayed on track for the finals ahead of their pivotal clash this weekend.
Check out the nine fixtures on the AFL round 12 preview docket, with an extensive breakdown and AFL round 12 tips for each clash.
SYDNEY SWANS V GWS GIANTS: AFL ROUND 12 PREDICTION
THURSDAY 13 AUGUST – 8:10PM
Cross-town rivals Sydney Swans and GWS Giants come off the bye to get the AFL round 12 preview underway.
The 3–8 Swans are headed for a bottom-four finish, winning just one of their last seven games. After kicking 5.0 to lead the Magpies at half-time of their round 10 clash, the Swans managed just one goal in the remaining two quarters of a nine-point loss.
Aliir Aliir’s name has been added to Sydney’s extensive injury list, while the Swans have named Zac Foot to play his debut.
The 6–4 Giants are tenuously placed in eighth but return from the bye on the back of a three-match winning streak. GWS have not managed more than 68 points in their last five matches, but their defensive starch is garnering the necessary results.
The Giants hauled in a 29-point deficit to edge out Essendon in round 10, kicking six of the game’s last seven goals. Stephen Coniglio and Tim Taranto sparked the spectacular turnaround.
The Swans boast an 11–7 lead in the Sydney derby. But the Giants are turning the tables, winning six of the last nine – including the last three straight. Coniglio (4 goals, 24 disposals) starred in a 41-point GWS win in round 6 last year, while Jacob Hopper (3 goals, 26 disposals) negated a four-goal haul from Swan Isaac Heeney in a two-point thriller in round 20.
The latter clash was one of just three derbies to be decided by fewer than 20 points. Despite the Giants’ modest scoring in 2020, expect them to cover against the plucky but limited Swans.
AFL ROUND 12 FOOTY TIPS
Head-to-head: GWS Giants
Best bet: Line – GWS Giants -19.5
GEELONG CATS V PORT ADELAIDE POWER: AFL ROUND 12 PREDICTION
FRIDAY 14 AUGUST – 7:50PM
The marquee clash of the AFL round 12 preview. Ladder-leading Port Adelaide Power underlined their premiership credentials last week by rolling the defending champs and are eyeing off another high-profile top-four scalp.
The 9–2 Power outlasted the Tigers by 21 points in a classic encounter, finishing with a flourish by scoring the only points of the final quarter. Travis Boak and Ollie Wines led a commanding display from Port’s midfield contingent, while Robbie Gray kicked three goals.
Geelong Cats have been patchy over the past month but returned to their imposing best via a 14.9 (93) to 4.10 (34) thrashing of in-form St Kilda in round 11. Tom Hawkins booted five goals and Gary Rohan four, but it was tough to go past Sam Menegola (2 goals, 26 disposals, 11 marks) as the best for the Cats. The Cats now sit in third place.
The Cats have won 18 of the last 21 games between the clubs, but the Power scored an 11-point upset when they last met in round 14 of the 2019 season.
One factor sure to affect AFL round 12 tips for this blockbuster is Port Adelaide’s extra two days of rest, with Geelong on a strenuous four-day turnaround. But the experienced Cats have a habit of lifting for the big games and cannot be counted out of this one.
AFL ROUND 12 FOOTY TIPS
Head-to-head: Port Adelaide Power
Best bet: Tri bet – either team by 19 or less
NORTH MELBOURNE KANGAROOS V BRISBANE LIONS: AFL ROUND 12 PREDICTION
SATURDAY 15 AUGUST – 2:35PM
North Melbourne Kangaroos have lost eight of their last nine. After a pair of heavy defeats in the past two rounds, they look likely to be cannon fodder for the high-flying Brisbane Lions in an AFL round 12 preview mismatch.
Despite leading at half-time, the Kangaroos crashed to 57-point loss to the Demons last weekend. A four-goal haul (from a team total of five majors) by Nick Larkey and Luke McDonald’s 33-disposal offering were rare highlights on another demoralising night for North.
The Lions remain just one win off the competition lead in outright second, responding to their 41-point loss at the hands of the Tigers in round 10 with a 14.12 (96) to 11.6 (72) defeat of the Bulldogs. Brownlow favourite Lachie Neale (36 disposals) was again magnificent, with Jarryd Lyons (26) and Dayne Zorko (24) not far behind. Eric Hipwood was the main forward-line beneficiary of the midfield dominance, kicking five goals.
Charlie Cameron was cleared of serious injury after leaving the field with a knee problem, but he will be monitored before being given the go-ahead to take on lowly North.
The Lions bagged two wins against the Kangaroos in 2019 – by 20 points in round 2 and 12 points in round 18. Charlie Cameron (Lions) and Ben Brown (Kangaroos) both kicked six goals across the two fixtures.
Brisbane have racked up four wins by 30-plus this season, while four of North Melbourne’s last six losses were by 33 points or more. Expect a sizeable margin on Saturday afternoon.
AFL ROUND 12 FOOTY TIPS
Head-to-head: Brisbane Lions
MELBOURNE DEMONS V COLLINGWOOD MAGPIES
SATURDAY 15 AUGUST – 5:10PM
Melbourne Demons are on the march and were even-money favourites to take down Collingwood in midweek AFL round 12 odds.
The Dees have moved to 10th with back-to-back beat downs of bottom-four battlers Adelaide (51 points) and North Melbourne (57 points). They started slowly against North, trailing at half-time before kicking clear with seven fourth-quarter goals.
After taking a back seat against the Crows, Christian Petracca sizzled against the Roos with 29 disposals, a goal and 12 score involvements – a commanding display from the Brownlow hopeful with team leaders Max Gawn and Jack Viney sidelined. Angus Brayshaw and Clayton Oliver were also influential.
The seventh-placed Magpies have also won two on the trot but carry less momentum into round 12 after muddling their way past the lowly Swans (9 points) and Crows (24 points). Taylor Adams (27 disposals, 10 clearances) continued his fine season as the Pies’ stand-out as they overturned a nine-point half-time deficit against the Crows.
The Magpies are on a four-match winning streak against the Demons. Last season they prevailed by 41 points in round 12 and by 17 points in round 21. Brody Mihocek kicked four goals in the latter.
Gawn is in serious doubt for what is being described as a season-defining assignment for the Demons, potentially robbing this contest of a mouth-watering individual match-up with Brodie Grundy. AFL round 12 tips are harder to split than the head-to-head odds, but the strategy of backing form over reputation should point punters towards Melbourne.
AFL ROUND 12 FOOTY TIPS
Head-to-head: Melbourne Demons
Best bet: Margin – Melbourne Demons 1–39
FREMANTLE DOCKERS V CARLTON BLUES: AFL ROUND 12 PREDICTION
SATURDAY 15 AUGUST – 8:10PM
It’s now or never for top-eight outsiders Carlton Blues and Fremantle Dockers, who are 13th and 14th, respectively, with 4–6 records.
But the Dockers hold the form advantage after winning their last two either side of the round 10 bye, upsetting the Magpies by 12 points and accounting for the Hawks by a 16-point margin. Freo’s youth brigade led the way against Hawthorn, with Andrew Brayshaw and Adam Cerra combining for 59 disposals and rookie Caleb Serong producing another strong performance.
The Blues also enjoyed the bye in round 10 but bookended the break with a 31-point loss to the Hawks and a 22-point defeat by the heavyweight Eagles. Carlton led West Coast by 19 points during the third quarter but faded badly, conceding eight of the last nine goals. A four-goal bag from Zac Fisher in his first game since a round 1 injury was encouraging for the Blues.
The Dockers have won 18 of their last 24 against the Blues. But the Blues took the spoils in the struggling clubs’ sole 2019 meeting, Marc Murphy (1 goal, 34 disposals) stepping up in Patrick Cripps’s absence to inspire a four-point win.
It’s another match to make punters and experts agonise over their AFL round 12 tips. While the Dockers have claimed a couple of surprise scalps in 2020, the Blues – narrow favourites midweek – have shown more potential and genuine class, and should lift for this do-or-die assignment.
AFL ROUND 12 FOOTY TIPS
Head-to-head: Carlton Blues
Best bet: Head-to-head – Carlton Blues
WESTERN BULLDOGS V ADELAIDE CROWS: AFL ROUND 12 PREDICTION
SUNDAY 16 AUGUST – 1:05PM
It’s crunch time for Western Bulldogs, who have slumped to 11th courtesy of three straight losses to big guns Richmond, Port Adelaide and Brisbane.
Last week’s 24-point defeat by the Lions contained some individual highlights in the form of Jack Macrae (40 disposals, 1 goal), Marcus Bontempelli (30 disposals) and Mitch Wallis (3 goals). And the Bulldogs get a gilt-edged opportunity to revive their top-eight hopes when they take on winless Adelaide Crows on the Gold Coast.
The 0–11 Crows went down 10.2 (62) to 5.8 (38) against Collingwood in round 11 after leading by nine at half-time. A confidence-boosting two-goal display up front from Elliott Himmelberg and a 37-disposal display from Rory Laird were positive takeaways.
Western Bulldogs won a high-scorer when these teams met in 2019, downing Adelaide 18.13 (121) to 13.9 (87) in the final round. Bailey Dale notched a five-goal bag for the Dogs.
The Crows have been closer than 20 points to their opponents in just two games this year. It seems unlikely they’ll trouble a desperate Bulldogs side who will relish getting out of a tough section in their schedule.
AFL ROUND 12 FOOTY TIPS
Head-to-head: Western Bulldogs
Best bet: Line – Western Bulldogs -34.5
ST KILDA SAINTS V ESSENDON BOMBERS: AFL ROUND 12 PREDICTION
SUNDAY 16 AUGUST – 3:35PM
Essendon Bombers have just four days to regroup after an incredible draw against Gold Coast Suns in the round 11 closer.
The Bombers trailed by 18 points during the fourth quarter but rallied via two goals from veteran David Zaharakis and a go-ahead goal from Kyle Langford, then survived some late raids by the Suns to take away a share of the premiership points. Zach Merrett topped the disposals count with 31, while Andrew McGrath was also busy.
The draw halted a two-game Bombers slide and leaves them in ninth, two points adrift of the top eight.
St Kilda Saints are licking their wounds after a four-game winning streak was rudely interrupted by a 59-point loss to Geelong at the Gabba. The wasteful Saints went goalless in the second half to incur just their fourth – and easily their worst – loss of the season.
The Saints have won four of their last six against the Bombers, including an 11-point victory in their sole 2019 encounter.
It’s imperative that the fifth-placed Saints make a statement after last week’s heavy loss. They’ve proven themselves as a genuine force in 2020 and deserve to be favourites against a Bombers side that has won just one of their last five.
AFL ROUND 12 FOOTY TIPS
Head-to-head: St Kilda Saints
Best bet: Margin – St Kilda Saints 1–39
WEST COAST EAGLES V HAWTHORN HAWKS: AFL ROUND 12 PREDICTION
SUNDAY 16 AUGUST – 6:10PM
West Coast Eagles have stormed into the top four thanks to a six-match winning streak, emerging as the AFL flag favourite ahead of round 12.
The Eagles had the bye in round 10 to recover from a tough nine-point win over fellow heavyweights Geelong, then put away Carlton by 22 points last Sunday. The Eagles trailed by more than three goals in the third quarter but kicked eight of the last nine majors to register a comfortable victory. Dom Sheed and Nic Naitanui were the stand-outs against the Blues.
Hawthorn Hawks went into the round 10 bye on the back of a stirring 31-point defeat of the Blues. But their insipid 7.6 (48) to 4.8 (32) loss to the Dockers in round 11 was the ailing Hawks’ fifth in six games. Tom Mitchell’s wholehearted performance was one of the few positives in a tough watch for Hawthorn fans and embattled coach Alastair Clarkson.
Hawthorn have won nine of their last 13 against West Coast, including a 38-point thrashing in Perth in the final round of 2019. Only two of the high-profile sides’ last eight meetings were decided by fewer than 25 points.
Since upsetting Richmond in round 3, the Hawks have not come close against any of the current top 10 teams. Another heavy defeat looms against the red-hot Eagles – taking on the modest line looks good value.
AFL ROUND 12 FOOTY TIPS
Head-to-head: West Coast Eagles
Best bet: Line – West Coast Eagles -26.5
RICHMOND TIGERS V GOLD COAST SUNS: AFL ROUND 12 PREDICTION
MONDAY 17 AUGUST – 7:10PM
After winning five of their last six, resurgent defending premiers Richmond Tigers were humbled by Port Adelaide Power in round 12 in one of the matches of the season. The Tigers went into the final term with their noses in front but were held scoreless from that point, ultimately going down by 21 points.
Dustin Martin’s hot form streak hit a flat spot against the AFL frontrunners, but Shai Bolton and Jack Riewoldt were superb in a beaten side.
Twelfth-placed Gold Coast Suns’ season could be looking a whole lot different with a bit of luck. Their current four-match winless run includes losses to the Bulldogs and Saints by less than a goal, and Wednesday’s heart-stopping draw with the Bombers.
The Suns had late opportunities to grab the win against the Bombers after having their 18-point fourth-quarter lead reeled in, but their young guns were unable to convert.
Richmond boasts a 6–3 record against Gold Coast, winning the last five straight. The Suns were subjected to a 23.12 (150) to 9.4 (58) demolition last season, with Jason Castagna booting five goals for the Tigers.
The Suns continue to show great promise, but the individual experience and class to finish off strong team performances is still lacking. The gritty Tigers, who are coming off a much-needed 10-day rest, should have too much for a Suns side on a short turnaround.
AFL ROUND 12 FOOTY TIPS
Head-to-head: Richmond Tigers
Best bet: Margin – Richmond Tigers 1–39
OTHER AFL ROUNDS
2019 AFL ROUND 12 PREVIEW
RICHMOND TIGERS V GEELONG CATS PREDICTION
FRIDAY – JUNE 7 – 7:50 PM
The shortened AFL Round 12 gets underway on Friday night with a top of the table clash between 6th placed Richmond and League leaders Geelong at the MCG.
Richmond’s three game winning streak came to an end last weekend, when they were belted into defeat in the third term by the Roos. The game was in the balance at halftime as North lead by 4 points, but then they kicked 6 goals to the Tigers 1 to run away with a 37 point victory.
Geelong extended their winning streak last weekend to 7 games, while at the same time kicking 2 wins clear of the competition at the top of the ladder. It wasn’t all smooth sailing though against the lowly Swans. Sydney got off to a flying start to take a 2 goal lead halfway through the first term before the Cats kicked 4 straight to take a 2 goal lead after the first term. Sydney hit back in second term to almost level the scores before the Cats ran away with the game either side of halftime to win by 22 points.
Richmond has won their last three contests with Geelong. Geelong won the 13 straight games before that.
CARLTON BLUES V BRISBANE LIONS PREDICTION
SATURDAY – JUNE 8 – 1:45 PM
Footy tips Round 12 could be tricky for this match given Carlton have just sacked their coach, while Brisbane’s form has been up and down for 6 weeks now.
Carlton had been displaying immensely improved defence to start the season and while they only won once, they were proving to be a difficult side to defeat. After recording their sole win in Round 5, they’ve lost their last 6 games, with last weekend’s effort producing just 4 goals for the Blues against Essendon as they went down by 41.
Since the Lions won back to back games against the weaker outfits of the Suns and the Swans in Rounds 6 and 7, they’ve not won back-to-back since. Furthermore, their Round 2 victory over the Roos was their only victory this year outside of Queensland. They had a win last weekend against Hawthorn at home, but this week they are away. The trend of their current form is against them.
Brisbane has won their last 3 games and 6 of their last 7 games against Carlton..
GOLD COAST SUNS V NORTH MELBOURNE KANGAROOS PREDICTION
SATURDAY – JUNE 8 – 4:35 PM
AFL Round 12 tips for this match shouldn’t cause too many headaches, especially if last weekend’s form is anything to go by.
The Suns lost their opening match of the year by 1 point, before winning their next 3 straight games, all by less than a goal, but have fallen away badly to lose all 7 games since. Last weekend they suffered their heaviest defeat of the year so far when GWS ran rings around the Suns to win by 83 points.
North had a slow start to the year where they won 2 of their opening 9 games, but they’ve scored back-to-back wins in trying circumstances leading into this game. Their 25 point victory over the Bulldogs came amidst coach Brad Scott departing the club and last weekends impressive 37 point victory over the Tigers coming in their first week after his departure.
The Kangaroos won their last clash against the Suns, after having lost the two games prior.
ADELAIDE CROWS V GWS GIANTS PREDICTION
SATURDAY – JUNE 8 – 7:10 PM (ACST), 7:40 PM (AEST)
This match will prove to be the toughest of the AFL Footy Tips in Round 12 to make, given both sides are very good attacking units placed in the top 8.
Adelaide arrested a 2 game losing run, where they went down to Brisbane by 1 points and the Eagles by 12, to score a tight 2 point victory over the Dees last weekend. The Crows from a long way back to score the win, thanks to 5 unanswered goals in the final term. They had trailed all game up til the final few minutes of the game.
The Giants have hit their straps and their attack is in peak form. And to make things better, their defence is in sync. In the last 3 weeks they’ve hammered lowly sides Carlton 138-45, Melbourne 94-68 and last weekend, The Suns 126-43. Last weekend, the coasted to three quarter time, leading by 6 goals, only to hit the go button in the final term, kicking 9 majors to 2.
The Giants have won their last 2 clashes with Adelaide, by 14 and 16 points respectively.
SYDNEY SWANS V WEST COAST EAGLES PREDICTION
SUNDAY – JUNE 9 – 3:20 PM
AFL Round 12 odds for this match are amongst the tightest for the round, which seems surprising given the 15th placed Swans take on the 4th placed Eagles who have won their last 5 straight games.
The Swans have had a poor season, but haven’t really been disgraced. They’ve been within striking distance for nearly all their games, with only two games decided by more than 4 goals. They’ve had a tough fortnight playing top sides Collingwood and then Geelong last weekend, but proved mightly opposition, losing by 7 and 22 points respectively.
The Eagles attack hadn’t really shown its capabilities all season until last weekend. Despite winning 7 of their 10 games prior, they’d only reach triple figures once, when they scored 104 against GWS in Round 2. But last weekend they claimed their 5th successive win and notched an impressive 133-72 victory over the Bulldogs.
The Swans have won their last 2 clashes against West Coast, and 11 of their last 13 clashes against each other.
COLLINGWOOD MAGPIES V MELBOURNE DEMONS PREDICTION
MONDAY – JUNE 10 – 3:20 PM AEST
AFL Round 12 comes to a close on the Queen’s Birthday, with a sole Monday afternoon clash between Collingwood and Melbourne.
Collingwood’s red hot run of 7 straight wins came to an end on Saturday when blew a 13 point lead at halftime to trail by 4 at the end of the third, a margin which remained unchanged by fulltime. The loss saw the Pies drop from second to third on the ladder and two wins adrift of the table topping Geelong.
Melbourne’s form has been quite inconsistent so far in 2019, as they’ve recorded just 3 wins from their 11 games. They’ve now lost three straight coming into this game, but they’ve been right in the fight in each match. They lost to the Eagles by 16 and GWS by 26 before last weekend’s heartbreaking 2 point loss to the Crows, where the Dees conceded 5 goals in the final term to throw away the win.
Collingwood has won their last two games against Melbourne.