Finals Week 1 Blowtorch, preview, tips and predictions from On The Couch team

Finals Week 1 Blowtorch, preview, tips and predictions from On The Couch team

Good day and welcome to probably the most fantastic time of the 12 months for footy followers.

Eighteen groups have was eight, with the primary spherical of the finals sequence commencing on Thursday night time.

Fox Footy’s On The Couch crew — with some assist from Brisbane coach Chris Fagan — on Monday night time dissected each membership’s largest query and problem, most necessary participant, participant constructed for finals and September wildcard.

Watch each match of The 2023 Toyota AFL Finals Sequence earlier than the Grand Last Stay & Advert-Break Free Throughout Play on Kayo Sports activities. Be a part of now and begin streaming immediately >

Wholesome Pies nurse choice complications | 02:31


Collingwood v Melbourne (First Qualifying Last)

Thursday September 7, 7.20pm on the MCG

The way to watch on Fox Footy: From 6.30pm on Channel 504, hosted by Sarah Jones, with Jason Dunstall, David King, Leigh Montagna, Brad Johnson and Jon Ralph.


Large query: Can they discover one other option to rating?

Nathan Buckley says: “It’s been proven a bit bit extra up within the final six weeks … they’ve been so reliant on their back-half scoring and their back-half second that they’ve misplaced their front-half sport a bit bit. So towards among the finest front-half defending sides in Melbourne, who stifle opposition ball motion, can Collingwood keep that and take their power into the sport?

Largest problem: Imposing a higher front-half sport

Nathan Buckley says: “Can they get extra territory towards Melbourne than they’ve towards sides within the again half of the 12 months? Within the first 10 rounds of this 12 months, they had been the second-highest team at having the ability to drive turnovers of their entrance half – and then after Spherical 10 it’s flipped and within the final 13 video games they’ve been within the backside three. Now that hasn’t stopped them profitable video games of soccer as a result of they’ve been so good from the again. However towards Melbourne, it’s essential give your defence a breather … If they will hold the ball there (of their entrance half), it provides the again six a little bit of a breather.”

Most necessary participant: Darcy Moore

Nathan Buckley says: “He’s the man that units them up from the again. Whether or not it’s moist or dry, if it’s moist he’s going to kill contests and flip the ball round along with his offence … the front-half sport helps him. You’ve bought to drive the front-half sport in your interceptors to grow to be extra damaging and extra harmful.”

Made for finals: Taylor Adams

Nathan Buckley says: “The approach he goes about it … the sport goes right into a extra contested model and this bloke, when the sport goes into that mode, he finds one other leg and goes to a different degree … He’s going to be a participant that’s actually going to face up for Collingwood.”

September Wildcard: Bobby Hill

Nathan Buckley says: “He wasn’t within the aspect final 12 months – and that they had shut losses towards the Grand Finalists – however Bobby Hill turns into a little bit of a worth add. I count on a type of smalls – or Oleg Markov – to be the sub, however you’re nonetheless going to have a whole lot of legs and grunt in that entrance half to doubtlessly play a front-half sport.”

Gawn blames himself for Grundy axing | 01:30


Large query: What have they realized from final 12 months’s straight-sets exit?

Garry Lyon says: “I used to be to learn and hear a couple of gamers talk about that. Max Gawn referred to as themselves boring and they bought boring in direction of the tip of final 12 months and one or two of them mentioned they hit the wall. I believe this 12 months they’ve experimented a bit extra, they’ve pushed a couple of extra numbers by the center, so I believe they’re higher ready.”

Largest problem: The ahead line

Garry Lyon says: “Everybody in footy is aware of this. The backline is so effectively settled and the way it holds up, their midfield is elite, so the ahead half remains to be a battle. Over the past six weeks – and the damaged file is coming again – they’re nonetheless 18th within the competitors for that kick inside 50. I do know it seems to be higher when Bayley Fritsch is taking part in, however Melksham out – attempting to get the combination proper goes to be an ideal problem. They know that.”

Most necessary participant: Max Gawn

Garry Lyon says: “I do know there’s Christian Petracca and Clayton Oliver, Steven Might and Jake Lever, however when Max Gawn performs effectively they win, I reckon. After they made the choice on Brodie Grundy and he went again to the VFL, Max had a month for the ages and established himself as one of the best ruckman within the competitors once more. Brodie got here again and Max struggled a bit. I don’t reckon it’s an ideal rucking finals group … however I nonetheless reckon this bloke, with a weekend off, goes to have an enormous, massive say.”

Made for finals: Jack Viney

Garry Lyon says: “After we say ‘made for finals’, the speculation behind it’s who are you able to take a look at and go: ‘I do know the hole between his greatest and worst is minimal.’ Jack Viney performs the identical approach within the Beneath 12s at Ashburton, when he first began at Melbourne, in a remaining – and if there was state footy he’d be doing the identical factor.”

September wildcard: Trent Rivers

Garry Lyon says: “There’s an odd identify to choose … Trent Rivers is a again flanker who’s been sneaky good when he’s gone into the center of the bottom. He’s a part of that group that they’ve tried to introduce. In 4 weeks’ time, we could be sitting right here going ‘we simply noticed a star emerge’ – and it could be Trent Rivers.”


Jonathan Brown: Collingwood

Nathan Buckley: Collingwood

Garry Lyon: Melbourne

Curnow claims second consecutive Coleman | 00:56

CARLTON v SYDNEY SWANS (First Elimination Last)

Friday September 8, 7.50pm on the MCG

The way to watch on Fox Footy: From 7pm on Channel 504, hosted by Garry Lyon with Jonathan Brown, Nathan Buckley, Jordan Lewis, Kath Loughnan, Nick Dal Santo and Jon Ralph.


Large query: Do they play all three talls – Marc Pittonet, Harry McKay and Tom De Koning?

Jonathan Brown says: “I believe McKay is off the desk, we all know he’s going to play. So it’s most likely whether or not Pittonet comes again in after he didn’t play final weekend. They’ve performed collectively seven occasions this 12 months, these three males – and the Blues are 5-2. So their file is definitely fairly sturdy. However because the coach, do you suppose: ‘It’s the MCG, the scale of the bottom, does it assist you to play larger blokes there? Does the truth that Pittonet bought the job carried out towards Collingwood and Melbourne of their largest wins of current occasions – he was in these sides although McKay wasn’t there – does that persuade you? If we particularly speak about this week, Sydney has actually struggled in and across the contest. So if it was me teaching, I believe I’d convey Pittonet again in and strive and bulldoze them.”

Largest problem: The turnover sport

Jonathan Brown says: “We find out about their one-wood – their stoppage and clearance sport – however the final six weeks, they’re rated seventeenth within the competitors for turnover differential. I simply suppose there’s been a whole lot of psychological lapses over the previous couple of weeks … I’d name them unforced errors – and I reckon Carlton’s sport has been riddled by this. Within the week off, that is one thing they might’ve addressed and issues that may be mounted up. If they will eliminate these psychological errors, it will possibly assist turnaround their turnover sport.”

Most necessary participant: Charlie Curnow

Jonathan Brown says: “Completely no query about it. If Curnow fires, I simply can’t see Sydney beating them and he can most likely assist carry them by a couple of weeks.”

Made for finals: Patrick Cripps

Jonathan Brown says: “He’s by no means performed a remaining. He’s the large bull. He epitomises his coach, so I believe ‘Vossy’ will be capable to give him a few massive tips.”

September wildcard: Jack Martin

Jonathan Brown says: “Since he’s come again into the line-up and they’ve been 8-2, he’s been a vital participant. He’s an excellent contested participant, he can take a robust mark and I wouldn’t be stunned if he may pop as much as kick three or 4 objectives in a remaining as effectively.”

‘Un-Swans like’ fade out concern | 01:45


Large query: Can they run out the sport?

Nathan Buckley says: “Even inside video games, they’ve struggled to complete off … Six occasions this 12 months they’ve led at three quarter-time and been run over – and these fade-outs have been regarding. They’ve acknowledged it, so what are they going to do about it?”

Largest problem: Nullifying Carlton’s stoppage sport

Nathan Buckley says: “Their transition sport might be a chance towards Carlton … however the inside midfielders grow to be actually necessary.”

Most necessary participant: Chad Warner

Nathan Buckley says: “He’s the man that’s going to have probably the most influence for them. I may have Errol Gulden in there 100 occasions over, however I believe Chad Warner must convey extra of his greatest. The burst from the within to the surface goes to distinguish whether or not Sydney get the sport on their phrases or whether or not Carlton management it.”

Constructed for finals: Luke Parker

Nathan Buckley says: “He’s the man that’s going to get the job carried out in there.”

September wildcard: Tom Papley

Nathan Buckley says: “He’s the wildcard in Sydney’s aspect on a regular basis. Will he come again in and be injury-free? As a result of in case you enable him to get his head and momentum up, he’s going to do some injury.”


Jonathan Brown: Carlton

Nathan Buckley: Carlton

Garry Lyon: Carlton

Full power Saints set for area | 02:35

ST KILDA v GWS GIANTS (Second Elimination Last)

Saturday September 9, 3.20pm on the MCG

The way to watch on Fox Footy: From 3pm on Channel 504, hosted by Garry Lyon with Jonathan Brown, Nathan Buckley, Leigh Montagna, Ben Dixon and Jon Ralph, adopted by Bounce with Jason Dunstall, Cameron Mooney, Bernie Vince and Ben Dixon.


Large query: Can their midfield get up?

Jonathan Brown says: “We’ve checked out them all year long and been essential and thought that’s doubtlessly a weak point of theirs. Seb Ross will come again in there, Jack Steele is beginning to get again into kind as he’s bought more healthy.”

Largest problem: Taking the sting out of the Giants’ sport

Jonathan Brown says: “Can they get the marking sport going? As a result of if it turns into an actual athletic contest that it’s going to go well with St Kilda – although St Kilda are an ideal working team. After they’ve taken 110-plus marks in a sport this 12 months, they’re 7-0. After they have been under that, they’ve been 6-10. There have been some good indicators again in that Spherical 10 sport (towards the Giants) once they had been simply capable of take a bit bit of warmth out of it, nonetheless hold the ball shifting ahead – I believe that’s how they’d wish to set the sport up on the large MCG.”

Most necessary participant: Jack Sinclair

Jonathan Brown says: “I believe Ross likes to make use of him as an influence participant and hold him off half-back, assist get the working sport going. Towards GWS in Spherical 10m that’s the place Sinclair was taking part in for almost all however went into the center late when it was time for St Kilda to win the sport, which they did. He’s a essential participant, All-Australian calibre participant.”

Made for finals: Mitch Owens

Jonathan Brown says: “There’s at all times a younger bloke that finds his approach in September, although he hasn’t had the expertise on the market – and I really feel prefer it’s Mitch Owens. Finals are constructed for contested gamers. In his first 12 months was rated sixth for post-clearance contested footy, which is the true contested footy once you’re out in open area and in real one-on-ones. He’s made for it. He’s one other influence participant that may go into the centre sq., take an enormous contested mark ahead.”

September wildcard: Ross Lyon

Jonathan Brown says: “The man within the field … We’ve spoken about him all 12 months. His finals file is nearly sq. – 9-10 with a draw – however he’s taken two completely different groups to Grand Finals. That’s not luck. This man can simply drag you into deep water and flip it right into a sport the place 10 objectives to eight wins you the sport. I really feel like he’ll have one thing up his sleeve and make it an actual dogfight.”

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Large query: Can they burst Ross Lyon’s bubble?

Nathan Buckley says: “The bubble has been that a part of the sector that Ross has owned defensively. The Giants have carried out so effectively at creating run and carry off their back-half.“

Largest problem: Producing sufficient run with out Toby Bedford

Nathan Buckley says: “With Toby Bedford out, it takes away a few of that run and carry that he, Brent Daniels and a couple of others have been chargeable for. That’s the question: Can they get that sport going typically sufficient to problem St Kilda’s team defence?”

Most necessary participant: Toby Greene

Nathan Buckley says: “He’s been so good for them. To be franked because the All-Australian captain was a worthy recognition.”

Constructed for finals: Callan Ward

Nathan Buckley says: “Within the first half of the 12 months, he performed 55 per cent midfield and 45 per cent ahead. It’s like Adam Kingsley as he’s constructed and developed this aspect, he simply understands this man must be within the guts – and he’s performed 99 per cent of his time within the midfield within the final six weeks. When he’s not in there, he’s having a breather.”

September wildcard: Callum Brown

Nathan Buckley says: “He’s massive, sturdy, he’s so clear, left foot and proper foot, he’s nice along with his arms, he can become involved at floor degree and he performs with an enjoyment of the sport. I really feel like he’s a man who’s going to satisfy the problem, meet the chance and rise, somewhat than get overawed by it. I’m actually trying ahead to seeing him go about it.”


Jonathan Brown: St Kilda

Nathan Buckley: St Kilda

Garry Lyon: GWS Giants

Wealthy to retire at finish of Lions’ season | 01:15


Saturday September 9, 7.25pm at The Gabba

The way to watch on Fox Footy: From 7pm on Channel 504, hosted by Kath Loughnan with Dermott Brereton, Brad Johnson, Eddie Betts, Alastair Lynch and David Zita, adopted by First Crack with Anthony Hudson, David King and Leigh Montagna.


Largest query: Is that this their greatest likelihood?

Chris Fagan says: “That group of younger gamers that began taking part in finals three or 4 years in the past – guys like Hugh McCluggage, Jarrod Berry, Brandon Starcevich, Jarrod Berry, Cam Rayner – they’re all mature AFL gamers now into their sixth and seventh years. I believe with the development and maturity of these guys and the lads we’ve recruited to the membership, I believe that is our greatest alternative doubtless. We received 17 video games this 12 months, which is one of the best we’ve ever carried out. So the ladder doesn’t lie.”

Largest problem: Studying from previous finals expertise

Chris Fagan says: “You take a look at it in a holistic approach. You say: ‘We’ve had 9 alternatives over the past 4 years and saluted in three of them however weren’t capable of win six of them – and some very shut losses as effectively that saved us out of prelims.’ You speak about that, you resist it, you discuss in regards to the classes you’ve realized and perceive these alternatives don’t hold coming alongside. Our gamers are actually clear on that and very eager to do in addition to we are able to this 12 months … I’m an ideal believer in all these experiences harden you and put together you to supply your greatest in September. I’m sensing that with them at coaching, I’m sensing that in conversations across the membership that they’ve actually matured and they know these alternatives don’t final without end. I believe they’re craving the chance to place their greatest foot ahead in finals – and hopefully that’s what we are able to do.”

Most necessary participant: Lachie Neale

Chris Fagan says: “When he will get his quick toes shifting – which he has over the past couple of weeks – and performs with actual vitality, he’s very tough to cease. It could be honest to say a couple of weeks again he’d been carrying an harm. He was capable of clean up and this little break we’ve had over the past couple of weeks has helped much more. He’s leaping out of his pores and skin to play finals. He’s such an necessary participant for us … his potential to win contested ball and clearances is phenomenal and you clearly want that to win finals.”

Constructed for finals: Charlie Cameron

Chris Fagan says: “He went by a little bit of a patch the place, I believe it was towards Richmond, he bumped into the centre bounce and he had a collision and knocked two of his entrance enamel out and fractured a bone just under his nostril. He had an excellent job to maintain taking part in, to be trustworthy. However he’s totally recovered from that now – albeit he’s bought to have some new enamel put in when the season is over. That actually did knock him round for a couple of weeks along with his confidence, although he saved taking part in. He’s again to placing his strain on, which is the important thing to Charlie’s efficiency. When he’s doing that, different issues appear to fall into place. He’s an pleasure machine, he performs his 2 hundredth AFL sport this weekend, he’s introduced a whole lot of pleasure and pleasure to the Gabba since he’s been at his membership.”

September wildcard: Joe Daniher

Chris Fagan says: “He’s had an ideal 12 months. He’s been capable of hit the scoreboard, he’s been terrific for us within the ruck – particularly his across the floor play – his aerial contests have been sturdy. Most likely he and Eric Hipwood began a bit slowly earlier within the 12 months, however they’ve been actually good for us because the 12 months has gone on. He’s been an ideal acquisition to our membership. He’s a special individual, he’s a bit bit laid-back, however he cares deeply in regards to the membership and how we go. I’m certain he’s trying ahead to an enormous September.”


Bailey Smith to remain however Grundy to go | 00:52


Large query: Can their defence stand as much as Brisbane’s offence?

Garry Lyon says: “They began to get their act collectively by Spherical 12. However Port Adelaide have simply stumbled a bit bit later within the season and been caught between being right here nor there defensively and offensively.”

Largest problem: Defending the again six

Garry Lyon says: “As soon as they get it of their entrance half, it doesn’t come out, which is a superb power of theirs. However the defensive half goes to be an enormous problem for them. It’s such a proficient Lions ahead line group … we’re speaking about probably one of the best ahead six towards arguably probably the most susceptible again six. One-on-one they’ve been a poor team – seventeenth within the competitors all around the floor.”

Most necessary participant: Aliir Aliir

Garry Lyon says: “He’s going to have to face tall – and he’ll. Trent McKenzie just isn’t again there, however I’d think about the Lions would put a whole lot of work into Aliir, strive and take him away and isolate him. That may make the remainder of the defenders a bit susceptible. He’s bought an enormous, massive job to do.”

Made for finals: Zak Butters

Garry Lyon says: “I’m so completely satisfied we’re going to see Charlie Curnow and Patrick Cripps play finals, however we’re additionally over the moon we’ll see Zak Butters play finals – and Connor Rozee and Jason Horne-Francis. This bloke right here, that is a part of their brilliance and why they’re the place they’re within the prime 4. They’ve bought this extraordinary expertise group and he’s on the entrance of them.”

September wildcard: Jeremy Finlayson

Garry Lyon says: “With Charlie Dixon not there, he may kick 5 objectives in a remaining – he’s that type of participant. He‘s a bit mercurial. I don’t know whether or not I’d need all my chips in on him, however he’s a wildcard that might and it’ll be attention-grabbing to see him bob up.”

Jonathan Brown: Brisbane Lions

Nathan Buckley: Brisbane Lions

Garry Lyon: Brisbane Lions

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