NORTH MELBOURNE v CASEY DEMONS

Thursday, April 29, 7.10pm @ Marvel Stadium

A mammoth task for the rebuilding Kangaroos. Under the spotlight of Thursday Night Football, they run into a red-hot Demons’ team featuring the Roos’ former AFL spearhead – a man building into good form.

It’s A Big Week For: Ben Brown was cast aside by North at the end of last year and could kick a huge bag regardless of if he plays AFL or VFL. He is only at this level because he is returning from injury and Melbourne is going so well.

Prediction: Casey Demons by 80

COLLINGWOOD v GOLD COAST
Friday, April 30, 4pm @ Olympic Park

The Suns produced an outstanding performance to beat the in-form Swans, while the Magpies’ hopes against Essendon were corona-ed. It’s a must-win game for the home team.

It’s A Big Week For: Forced to miss last week’s game under COVID-19 protocols, Brayden Sier missed a golden opportunity to push for an AFL recall. He is likely to get that here and should be aiming to rack up a big number against the Suns.

Prediction: Collingwood by 22

Brayden Sier at Collingwood training, April 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

NORTHERN BULLANTS v FOOTSCRAY
Saturday, May 1, 1.05pm @ Preston City Oval

Williamstown and now Footscray – it’s a tough fixture as the Bullants hope to delight their home supporters with a victory. On second thoughts, those fans are happy just to see the Ant in action.

It’s A Big Week For: Ben Cavarra had 20 disposals and kicked a goal against GWS after being dropped. This is a big chance to kick a bag and try to force his way back into the AFL team.

Prediction: Footscray by 55

Ben Cavarra at Bulldogs training. Picture: AFL Photos

WERRIBEE v RICHMOND
Saturday, May 1, 2.05pm @ Avalon Airport Oval

Two home losses leave the Bees desperate for a victory to kickstart their season, however, the challenge doesn’t get much bigger than the reigning premiers on the rebound. But they simply have to find a way.

It’s A Big Week For: Highly-respected Werribee captain Michael Sodomaco celebrates his 100th VFL match 12 years after his first. How he would love to soak up a much-needed triumph. And how his mates would love to give him that opportunity.

Prediction: Werribee by 5

Michael Sodomaco gets a handball away against Coburg in 2018. Picture: AFL Photos

SYDNEY v GEELONG
Saturday, May 1, 2.35pm @ Tramway Oval

Two weeks ago the Swans were flying with an almost clean bill of health and a run of impressive victories. How quickly things can change. They’re a big chance to win this, but only because it is in Sydney.

It's A Big Week For: Cats' captain Aaron Black was drafted as a forward and kicked his share of goals - 69 in 57 AFL games for North Melbourne and Geelong and 142 in 99 VFL appearances for the same clubs. But he has been reinvented as a defender and his experience travelling interstate will be vital in his 100th VFL game.

Prediction: Geelong by 8 

FRANKSTON v ASPLEY
Saturday, May 1, 7pm @ Skybus Stadium

A massive opportunity for the Dolphins to record a rare 3-0 start to the season against a Hornets’ team travelling for the first time and playing under lights to boot. Can they rise to the occasion?

It’s A Big Week For: Hornets’ full-forward Matt Hammelman has picked up where he left off pre-COVID with 10 goals in his first two games and another big haul here could be the difference in what is likely to be a free-flowing contest.

Prediction: Frankston by 10

WILLIAMSTOWN v PORT MELBOURNE
Saturday, May 1, 7.10pm @ Downer Oval

A near capacity crowd is expected down by the bay for the latest instalment in this oldest of rivalries. The Seagulls have a new facility and will be even more desperate (if that’s possible) to christen it with a win.

It’s A Big Week For: Former Seagull hero Ben Jolley has already faced his old team on his old ground, but the VFL’s most experienced player will still be expecting a warm welcome back. There’s only one way to silence opposition supporters who once loved you (and probably still do).

Prediction: Williamstown by 14

Ben Jolley in action for Port Melbourne in 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

BRISBANE LIONS v COBURG
Sunday, May 2, 12pm @ South Pine Sports Complex

The Queensland Lions’ 21-match winning streak ended last week and they will be hungry to atone. The Victorian Lions cooled their heels after an entertaining loss first-up, but this is a big ask to get their season underway.

It’s A Big Week For: Marcus Lentini and Sam Lowson are Coburg’s best players and the opportunity to travel interstate and upset a flag fancy should have them jumping out of their skins.

Prediction: Brisbane Lions by 35

GWS GIANTS v SOUTHPORT
Sunday, May 2, 12.05pm @ Blacktown International Sports Park

The Sharks have made a real impact so far and could find themselves 3-0 against the battling but plucky Giants. If GWS can bring the effort from last week it will be right in the mix.

It’s A Big Week For: Young Giants forward Zach Sproule has been around for a few years now, and with Jesse Hogan to play in the AFL, he gets the chance to be the focal point and lead his team to a much-needed win.

Prediction: Southport by 9

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 17: Zach Sproule of the Giants kicks a goal during the round one VFL match between the Sydney Swans and the Greater Western Sydney Giants at Lakeside Oval on April 17, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images via AFL Photos)

ESSENDON v CARLTON
Sunday, May 2, 12.05pm @ Windy Hill

Both teams bounced back in style from contrasting Round 1 losses, and the sight of their old rivals on this famous old ground will stir the competitive juices all over again.

It’s A Big Week For: Tom Cutler has averaged 28 disposals, 8.5 marks and kicked three goals in the first two games – they are numbers that will put him on Ben Rutten’s radar. Especially if he backs it up again.

Prediction: Carlton by 16

SANDRINGHAM v BOX HILL HAWKS
Sunday, May 2, 2.30pm @ Trevor Barker Beach Oval

The Zebras return home for the first time with their backs to the wall but having shown positive signs in the first half against Port. They need to string four quarters together to get the job done.

It’s A Big Week For: Shaun McKernan took a back seat to Paddy Ryder’s return last week, but is in excellent form and will be a key factor if Sandringham is to hand coach Jake Batchelor his maiden win.

Prediction: Box Hill Hawks by 12

Brendan Rhodes' tipping so far:    Last week's winners: 7          Season: 15