AFL head coaches Brad Scott and John Worsfold have previewed the upcoming Semi Final clashes and both believe we’re in for fascinating contests.
The Essendon coach believes Melbourne plays a similar style of game to Richmond and Hawthorn will have to adjust better this time around.
“They’re both really interesting games, Melbourne with the way they move the ball and go pretty hard forward, taking on the Hawks who couldn’t slow Richmond down enough,” Worsfold told SEN’s Time On.
“You know you’re going to cop pretty much the same this week against the Dees.
“They’re fairly similar (game plans Melbourne and Richmond), I think Richmond have an amazingly strong defence as well as that high scoring ability, Melbourne hasn’t been quite as strong in defence.
“I think the Hawks would be a bit more confident they can get more scoreboard pressure on. They missed a couple of opportunities to get some scoreboard pressure on against the Tigers last week.
“They’ll be confident they can get a score on the board against Melbourne. It’s a matter of whether they can slow Melbourne down enough and outplay them.”
North Melbourne coach Scott said a lot will fall onto Jaeger O’Meara and Tom Mitchell to contend with the Dees’ contested on ballers.
“I’m probably sitting on the fence by saying I can make a case for both teams. If Hawthorn get it on their terms, I can make a really good case for them to win comfortably, but I can say the same for Melbourne,” he told SEN’s Whateley.
“I think that the Tom Mitchell and Jaeger O'Meara input around the ball is going to be so telling because the Melbourne contested ball piece is really important to them and Mitchell and O’Meara are the ones that start it for Hawthorn.”
LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH BRAD SCOTT WITH GERARD WHATELEY
As for GWS versus Collingwood, Worsfold believes the Giants could have too much firepower for the Pies to deal with.
“GWS is a team that didn’t score heavily throughout the year, but they obviously had Toby Greene and Jeremy Cameron out for long periods,” Worsfold said.
“Those guys back in make a big difference to their firepower up forward so I think that is going to challenge the Pies.
“We looked at West Coast last week where Kennedy was a bit rusty coming in, but he was threatening all night and when he started to get his timing right, he had a bit more of an impact. GWS’ forward line could stretch the Pies a little bit.”
Worsfold wonders how the likes of Greene, Zac Williams and others will manage after their first game back.
“They’ve got a few players second up after a tough final, so it’ll be interesting to see if they can maintain a really high level of performance,” he said.
“I know players do pull up very sore after finals, especially if you’ve been out for a while.”
Scott looks to the midfield battle, saying we could be seeing a battle between the two best groups in the competition.
“It’s going to be a massive midfield contest. I think you can argue they’re the two best midfields in the competition and GWS bats so deep through the midfield,” Scott said.
“Even when Josh Kelly was injured, it speaks to the GWS midfield that they can pretty much cover it which is extraordinary because I don’t think too many teams can do that.
“The same can be said for Collingwood. They’ve had a lot of injuries and I’m sure they’d love to have Daniel Wells running through that midfield, it would be an incredible match-up.”
LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH JOHN WORSFOLD WITH SAM MCCLURE HERE