Eagles and Dockers should both start with wins
WA football legend Peter Sumich expects Fremantle and West Coast to open their campaigns with wins this weekend in round one of the AFL season.
Both sides are in Melbourne and playing at Marvel Stadium, with the Eagles coming up against North Melbourne at 10:45am on Saturday and the Dockers taking on St Kilda at 1:40pm on Sunday.
Sumich told Sports Breakfast the Dockers should take care of an injury-ridden Saints side.
“I think they win this game and win it well by forty points plus, they should put the Saints to the sword,” Sumich said.
“If they can get a hold of the Saints here and then the following week North Melbourne, it’s a great start for them with two wins plus percentage, and then we’ll wait for the derby.”
The Eagles are missing some experience with Nic Naitanui (achilles) and Elliot Yeo (calf) unavailable, but Sumich said they should fancy their chances against the Kangaroos.
“I still think they can win this game, even with a couple out, they didn’t really have Nic [Naitanui] last year, so no excuses for West Coast really,” he said.
“They’re playing some kids, which is great to see, but they should really put North to the sword and win that game by four or five goals still if they’ve got any grunt about them.”
Sumich said he expects similar years for both clubs, with Fremantle featuring in the finals and the Eagles figuring around the foot of the ladder.
“I’ve got [Fremantle] seventh. They should get off to a real, real good start, they’ve got a tough middle [and] end season with some tough games,” he said.
“That could be higher if they could get a hold of a few of those better sides in Melbourne, Geelong, pinch a game or two off those type of sides.
“I’ve got [West Coast] bottom four, I might be a bit harsh on them.
“If they win eight to ten I think it’s a very, very good year, around that five or six would be an okay year, and anything under that, well it’s a disaster again.”
The AFL season kicked off with a dramatic draw last night as Richmond and Carlton could not be separated at 8.10 (58).
The Tigers had the better of the contest with 66 inside 50’s to the Blues’ 45, with Sumich saying he thought they would be rueing not coming up with the win.
“I just thought Richmond dominated the game for strong periods throughout the four quarters and just couldn’t put it on the scoreboard. You think Richmond could’ve won that game by four, five goals,” he said.
“Then you look at it and say well done to Carlton too, because the way they played to stop Richmond scoring and then putting some scoreboard pressure on Richmond at times in a low scoring game was good by them.
“Interesting game first up. It looked like it was going to be a high scoring game, you would’ve thought, but to half time six goals, and then six goals within about ten minutes in the third quarter, and then it went dry again, no more goals virtually after that.”