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If A-League and Super Rugby wasn’t enough, now there’s AFL

Only two games in the opening week of the AFL, but they should prove eventful and entertaining.

The Crows and Bombers have endured the off-seasons from hell, so they won’t be short of motivation on Friday night at AAMI Stadium.

The bookies favour the Crows, which is no surprise as they were fantastic at home last season and boast a pretty decent recent record against the Bombers.

The Bombers looked pretty good in their final NAB Cup match against the Gianats, so the the Crows will have to be at their best.

When it comes to the Western Derby, you can back one team and it will come as no surprise to see the other team.

Tipped the Dockers when both teams first met last year and the Eagles won.

Backed the Eagles later in the season and wouldn’t you know it, the Dockers won.

The Eagles welcome back Kennedy and LeCras to give them some impetus in front of goal, but they are missing key players such as Kerr and Naitanui.

Sandilands is a big loss for the Dockers, but apart from that they’re basically at full strength and they might just get the Eagles on this occasion.

However, it’s clearly a game that can go either way.

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With two rounds to go in the A-League, Melbourne Victory will finish in either third or fourth spot, but Perth Glory are in danger of missing the finals after a shock home loss at the expense of the Wellington Phoenix.

The Victory are missing Milligan, Thompson and Rojas, which makes them slightly vulnerable, but how can you take the Glory seriously after losing a game they were expected to win which would have enhanced their top six hopes.

It’s the third installment of the Harbour city derby with the mighty Western Sydney Wanderers hosting the inconsistent Sydney FC.

Not only will victory over Sydney mark 11 straight wins for the Wanderers, but it will also assure them of the Premiers Plate as minor premiers.

Sydney should make the finals, but a win will just about secure them a spot in the top six and wouldn’t they love to knock off the Wanderers at Parramatta Stadium for the the second time this season.

Brisbane Roar is on the up and Melbourne Heart is on a downward spiral.

The incentive for the Roar is that victory will keep them on course as far as qualifying for the finals is concerned.

Unless the Heart find some ticker they could end up with the wooden spoon, which would be an extraordinary fall from grace as they were well-entrenched in the top six midway through the season.

After posting an unexpected win on the road against Melbourne Heart, the Adelaide United resurgence continued last weekend when they shared the points at home against a desperate Newcastle Jets.

The Reds are at home once again, but it won’t get any easier when they take on the Central Coast Mariners – who can still land the Premiers Plate if the Wanderers lose their last two games.

The Mariners haven’t been at their best in recent weeks and the fact that players haven’t been paid this week hasn’t helped, but with the finals imminent you would expect them to come out firing in Adelaide.

You’d like to be on the Mariners, but they’re by no means certainties.

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Can you believe some of the results in Round 6 of the Super Rugby last weekend?

The Cheetahs rolling the Waratahs in Sydney and the Force stunning the Reds in Brisbane would have baffled most tipsters, while the Brumbies toppling the Sharks in Durban would have surprised many.

Settling on a winner in the Highlanders-Hurricanes match wasn’t an easy task, with the Canes getting home in a tight one in Dunedin.

Thankfully, an element of common sense prevailed when the Crusaders overcame the Bulls and the Chiefs put the gutsy Kings to the sword.

It’s yet another intriguing round of games this weekend and good luck picking the card.

The Chiefs should be too good for the visiting Highlanders, the Kings will find it tough going when they plkay their first game in New Zealand against the Crusaders, and the Sharks should bounce back on home soil when they host the Rebels.

Fresh from a great win over the Blues in Auckland, the Bulls came crashing back to earth last weekend when they succumbed to the Crusaders in Christchurch.

The Bulls land in Brisbane to face the Reds and they could be stretched out in the backs minus Olivier, Hougaard and Ndungane.

The Reds welcome back Horwill, and the return of Ioane and Anthony Faingaa can only help their cause.

The Reds are not playing well and the Bulls pose a threat, but we’ll give the Queenslanders another chance.

The Force and Cheetahs were terrific last weekend and both teams would fancy their chances in Perth.

It’s the Force’s first home game of the season, but for the Cheetahs it’s their final game in Australasia before heading home and there’s no way you can take them lightly after accounting for the Highlanders and Waratahs.

We’ll go the Force, only because the Cheetahs have lost their scrum half Goosen and captain Hodgson returns for the WA franchise.

The Stormers return to action after last week’s bye against the high-flying Brumbies and would be full of confidence after edging the Chiefs a fortnight ago.

The Brumbies were fantastic against the Sharks last weekend and never looked like losing after an excellent first half display in Durban.

We tipped the Stormers to win the Super Rugby title, but there are early signs that the Brumbies could be the team to beat in 2013.

Therefore, it might well be a five-star enounter in Cape Town.

If the Brumbies continue from where they left off last weekend they are capable of winning, but we’ll follow the bookies on this occasion and settle on the Stormers.

Can the Waratahs recover following their narrow loss to the Cheetahs?

And are the Blues the real deal?

The Blues started the year in grand style with wins over the Hurricanes and Crusaders before slipping up against the Bulls.

Like the Force-Cheetahs and Stormers-Brumbies fixtures, it’s hard to settle on one team with confidence.

If form is any guide, then it’s the Blues.

The Waratahs have been disappointing this season and although they got the cash against the Rebels in their one and only win of they year they were far from convincing.

Against the Reds, Brumbies and Cheetahs, the Waratahs just couldn’t put it together.

After settling on the Blues, you watch the Waratahs produce the goods on Sunday.


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