AFL Barometer: Power’s Ryder blow confirmed

RUCKMAN Matthew Kreuzer remains in doubt Carlton's clash against Gold Coast after hurting his groin in the season opener against Richmond.

The ruckman spent most of the third quarter off the ground before playing out the game, but appeared to struggle with the problem. Will the Blues risk him against Gold Coast?

Meanwhile, Geelong defender Harry Taylor (foot) and Hawthorn youngster Ryan Burton (ankle) are racing the clock to be fit for the Easter Monday blockbuster - when superstar Patrick Dangerfield is expected to play his first game for the season

Port Adelaide has confirmed All-Australian big man Paddy Ryder will miss the next four to six weeks as he manages an Achilles injury that saw him miss the second half against Fremantle on Saturday.

See who's hurt at your club and who's up for selection heading into Round 2.

 

ADELAIDE

INJURIES

Brad Crouch (groin) 7 weeks

Sam Gibson (hamstring) TBC

Curtley Hampton (groin) test

Alex Keath (ankle) test

Riley Knight (ankle) 3 weeks

Tom Lynch (strain) test

Andrew McPherson (groin) TBC

Brodie Smith (knee) indefinite

Taylor Walker (foot) test

MATCH REPORT: SHOULD THE CROWS BE WORRIED?

ON THE BLOCK: If circumstances were different - Richard Douglas doesn't get suspended and Curtly Hampton doesn't hurt his groin - then Cameron Ellis-Yolmen and Lachlan Murphy would probably be in for a nervous week. But cruelly, Tex Walker and Tom Lynch's likely return may mean impressive first-gamer Darcy Fogarty could make way. Fogarty crashed packs, kicked two goals, took two strong marks on debut but is there room for him, Walker, Jenkins, McGovern and Lynch in the one forward line?

ON THE CUSP: Jordan Gallucci and Wayne Milera are the obvious choices if the Crows want to swap Murphy, and Andy Otten didn't make the Round 1 team after playing in last year's grand final so could be considered to help down back. But expect Tom Lynch and Taylor Walker to both return to the senior side on Thursday night.

REECE HOMFRAY'S FORECAST: Much anticipated Grand Final rematch takes on a decidedly different feel on Thursday night given the fortunes of both teams in Round 1. Richmond flexed its maturing muscle against Carlton while the Crows capitulated against Essendon in the final quarter. Suddenly Adelaide is the underdog - at home of all places. It might help their mental state with the weight of expectation shifted onto the Tigers, but several players who were quiet on Friday night need to fire if they're to win, including Eddie Betts and Sam Jacobs. If Richard Douglas' suspension stands, he will be desperately missed.

 

BRISBANE LIONS

INJURIES

Marco Paparone (hamstring) test

Daniel Rich (ankle) indefinite

Sam Skinner (knee) TBC

MATCH REPORT: DO THE SAINTS STILL HAVE NO A-GRADERS?

ON THE BLOCK: Daniel Rich has had scans on his injured ankle which confirmed ligament damage and faces an extended stint on the sidelines but the Lions are remaining confirmed, saying he'll be monitored week-to-week.

ON THE CUSP: Tom Cutler bagged eight goals in a NEAFL practice game playing as a half-forward, and rookie-listed midfielder Jake Barrett was the Lions' best on ground. First-round draft pick Zac Bailey also caught the eye.

CHRIS VERNUCCIO'S FORECAST: Winning clearances and contested possessions have been a weakness of the Lions in seasons past, but they won both counts against the Saints on Saturday. Big tick. The next step is to clean up their ball use, which has also been a big problem for the team. Brisbane led by eight points halfway through the third quarter but turnovers cost them. There's promising signs but the Lions need a greater collective output if they are to upset Melbourne at home this Saturday night.

 

Matthew Kreuzer played out the game despite hurting his groin. Picture: AAP
Matthew Kreuzer played out the game despite hurting his groin. Picture: AAP

CARLTON

INJURIES

Sam Docherty (knee) season

Matthew Kreuzer (groin) TBC

Darcy Lang (ankle) test

Jarrod Pickett (wrist) 11 weeks

Sam Rowe (knee) 1 week

Tom Williamson (back) test

MATCH REPORT: ATTACKING BLUES HERALD EXCITING NEW ERA

ON THE BLOCK: The Blues have two major injury worries. Matthew Kennedy hurt his ankle early in the loss to Richmond and missed the second half. Expect him to miss the Suns game. Ruckman Matthew Kreuzer is also in doubt after hurting his groin. Jacob Weitering, Levi Casboult and Jack Silvagni were all quiet in the loss, too.

ON THE CUSP: Midfielders Nick Graham, David Cuningham and Sam Kerridge were the top ballwinners in a VFL practice match loss. First-round draft pick Lochie O'Brien also provided some spark and will push for a debut early throughout the year.

JAY CLARK'S FORECAST: Carlton hosts Gold Coast at Etihad Stadium on Saturday. We all loved the more aggressive Blues' game plan in the loss to Richmond but there is some angst about the defensive set-up. Carlton conceded 71 forward 50m entries to the Tigers, which has to be addressed.

 

COLLINGWOOD

INJURIES

Jordan De Goey (hamstring) 2 weeks

Jamie Elliott (ankle) 2 weeks

Tyson Goldsack (knee) season

Levi Greenwood (knee) indefinite

Adam Oxley (shoulder) 1-2 weeks

Josh Smith (hamstring) 3-4 weeks

Daniel Wells (achilles) 2-3 weeks

Mason Cox (suspension) 1 week

MATCH REPORT: UGLY DEJA VU FOR BUCKS, PIES

ON THE BLOCK: Coach Nathan Buckley stood by Mason Cox post-game on Saturday, despite the big man managing just six disposals and failing to take a mark against Hawthorn. Either way, he'll miss a week through suspension while Josh Smith is out for a month with a hamstring strain. Travis Varcoe (seven disposals) was among others to have quiet games.

ON THE CUSP: Forward Alex Fasolo (shoulder) got through a run in a VFL practice match on Friday night and kicked two goals to push his case for an AFL return.

CHRIS CAVANAGH'S FORECAST: The Pies are still going to be missing a few of their stars for Saturday's clash with a Greater Western Sydney side that looked scary at the weekend. The Magpies need a win to take the pressure off, but are certain to start as rank outsiders.

 

ESSENDON

INJURIES

Travis Colyer (foot) 5 weeks

Orazio Fantasia (knee) 1-2 week

Aaron Francis (mental health) TBC

Marty Gleeson (ankle) 12-13 weeks

Jayden Laverde (hamstring) 2 weeks

Zach Merrett (concussion) test

Kobe Mutch (knee) test

MATCH REPORT: BOMBER STOCK: ARE YOU BUYING OR SELLING?

ON THE BLOCK: All eyes will be on Zach Merrett and whether he can overcome the concussion suffered in the heavy bump that has cost Richard Douglas a week on the sidelines. The early indications are good, and the fact the Bombers don't play Fremantle until Saturday night is a bonus. But the travel factor could be an issue. The feeling in the camp is that he will be right to take on the Dockers. Darcy Parish got through the game OK, and was important in the last term comeback, after having a precautionary scan last week.

ON THE CUSP: Hard to say when exciting young Bomber Orazio Fantasia will resume from his knee injury, but he won't be that far away. He started running last week and is started building his loads. The Bombers won't take a risk on someone as important as Fantasia, which means they might be more conservative in terms of his return frame. It's not known how long calf tightness will keep David Myers out, although scans last week showed he had not suffered a muscle tear.

GLENN McFARLANE'S FORECAST: Expect the coach to lock into a new two-year deal within the next week, which will give Essendon fans something more to celebrate after performing a significant last quarter comeback to beat last year's grand finalists Adelaide. The Bombers will rate themselves a serious chance to start the season 2-0 with a winnable game on the road against the Dockers, who were poor against Adelaide. There is still some work to do on the synergy of the group but wins such as last Friday's one go part of the way to achieving this. The three trade 'S's' - Adam Saad, Devon Smith and Jake Stringer - all played a role in the win, and seemed to fit into the Essendon structure. Dyson Heppell, David Zaharakis and Brendon Goddard provided strong leadership, the mid core players stood up, and some of the younger players - Andrew McGrath, Parish and Kyle Langford included - helped to orchestrate the comeback.

 

FREMANTLE

INJURIES

Harley Bennell (calf) TBC

Stefan Giro (knee) 4-5 weeks

Bradley Hill (quad) test

Stephen Hill (calf) 1 week

Griffin Logue (foot) test

Lee Spurr (knee) 4-5 weeks

MATCH REPORT: POWER TRADES PAY IMMEDIATE DIVIDENDS

ON THE BLOCK: One silver lining from Saturday's demoralising loss to Port Adelaide was there were no fresh injuries. But you can throw a blanket over players who could be dropped based on form. Any coach is unlikely to tip out a pre-season worth of planning based on one game but a lot of Dockers will be hoping for a better second-up showing.

ON THE CUSP: Better news at the lower level with Peel Thunder winning a WAFL practice match against East Perth by 104 points. Defender Joel Hamling was left out of the Round 1 senior team because he was underdone but he took eight marks, gathered plenty of the ball and is in line for a job on Joe Daniher or Cale Hooker this week. Bradley Hill would be a very welcome addition if he proves his fitness.

AL PATON'S FORECAST: Not a great start from the men in purple. They were never really in the contest against the Power from our vantage point, although Ross Lyon disagreed: "It might not seem like it on the scoreboard but there were times we right in the game ... We just didn't execute," he said. Hopefully they can turn that around in time for Freo's first home game at the new Perth Stadium on Saturday night.

 

Harry Taylor off the ground after hurting his foot. Picture: AAP
Harry Taylor off the ground after hurting his foot. Picture: AAP

GEELONG

INJURIES

Patrick Dangerfield (hamstring) test

Cam Guthrie (groin) test

Lachie Henderson (knee) 2-3 weeks

Lincoln McCarthy (quad) 2-3 weeks

Scott Selwood (ankle) test

Tom Stewart (ankle) test

Harry Taylor (foot) TBC

MATCH REPORT: DID ANYONE WANT TO WIN THIS GAME?

ON THE BLOCK: Harry Taylor is likely to be forced out through injury after coming off with a plantar fascia injury in the second quarter against Melbourne, while Stewart and Guthrie will be monitored during the week.

ON THE CUSP: Rhys Stanley was the Cats' standout in a VFL practice match, booting four goals against Footscray on Sunday. Scott Selwood (ankle) and Nakia Cockatoo (calf) also got through that game in their returns from injury issues, Cockatoo booting two goals.

CHRIS CAVANAGH'S FORECAST: Eight day break for the Cats will help their niggles ahead of a blockbuster Easter Monday clash with Hawthorn. Dangerfield is likely to return, which should get us our first look at that awesome foursome Cats midfield of Dangerfield, Joel Selwood, Gary Ablett and Mitch Duncan.

 

GOLD COAST SUNS

INJURIES

Aaron Hall (finger) test

Pearce Hanley (shoulder) 4 weeks

Sean Lemmens (hamstring) 2 weeks

MATCH REPORT: WILD WEATHER CAN'T DAMPEN SUNS

ON THE BLOCK: New coach Stuart Dew would be reluctant to make a change to a side that won so well in tough conditions in Cairns on Saturday night and the fact there was no injuries reported means he won't have to make any forced changes.

ON THE CUSP: Aaron Hall is generally an automatic inclusion when he is fit and on Etihad Stadium his pace will be an asset. Given their tough travel schedule they would be reluctant to recall any players unless they were absolutely certain of their fitness. And given the commitment to defensive pressure and contested footy by the side, Hall may not be the walk-up he once was.

ANDREW HAMILTON'S FORECAST: This is this is a huge game for the Suns. The AFL clearly considered the Blues a winnable game given their desire to give Gold Coast the softest possible start because of their tough travel schedule. Gold Coast played in sapping conditions on Saturday and it has to have an effect. But Dew has banned all excuses. If they want us to believe they have finally tapped into a well of competitiveness, they will win this game.

 

GWS

INJURIES

Matt Buntine (knee) 3 weeks

Brent Daniels (knee) 4-5 weeks

Ryan Griffen (ankle) indefinite

Jacob Hopper (groin) test

Adam Kennedy (knee) 3-5 weeks

Tom Scully (knee) test

Will Setterfield (knee) season

Zac Williams (achilles) indefinite

MATCH REPORT: GIANTS GIVE DOGS BRUTAL REALITY CHECK

ON THE BLOCK: It's hard to drop anybody after the Giants' 82-point win over the Western Bulldogs but veteran Sam Reid looks the most likely to make way for Tom Scully.

ON THE CUSP: Scully was very close to returning for the match against the Bulldogs and will push for selection for Saturday's clash with Collingwood at the MCG. His speed and endurance on the wide open spaces of the 'G will be a worry for the Magpies. Jacob Hopper is also likely to return this week but most likely through the NEAFL.

NEIL CORDY'S FORECAST: The running power of GWS on the MCG will give Nathan Buckley and Collingwood plenty to think about. Not sure why so many predicted the Giants to be off the pace in 2018, they look in much better shape than last year with a smaller injury list and have uncovered a surprise talent in Jeremy Finlayson. Plus, star forwards Jeremy Cameron, Toby Greene and Jonathon Patton all look in great touch.

 

HAWTHORN

INJURIES

Grant Birchall (knee) 10-12 weeks

Ryan Burton (ankle) test

Jonathan Ceglar (back) TBC

Will Langford (hand) 3-4 weeks

MATCH REPORT: UGLY DEJA VU FOR BUCKS, PIES

ON THE BLOCK: Alastair Clarkson would have been pretty happy with the big Round 1 win, his side beating Collingwood in almost every spot on the ground. Ryan Burton (rolled ankle) could be forced out, Clarkson saying he will be "pushing it" to play this week.

ON THE CUSP: No major standouts for VFL-affiliate Box Hill in a practice match on Friday night.

CHRIS CAVANAGH'S FORECAST: Pleasing Round 1 performance against the Hawks and a few players will be better for the run, including Cyril Rioli who was playing his first game since Round 8 last year. Nine days between games gives Burton more of a chance of being fit for a mouth-watering clash against Geelong on Easter Monday.

 

MELBOURNE

INJURIES

Tom McDonald (toe) 6-7 weeks

Pat McKenna (hamstring) indefinite

Aaron vandenBerg (ankle) indefinite

Jack Viney (foot) 6-7 weeks

MATCH REPORT: DID ANYONE WANT TO WIN THIS GAME?

ON THE BLOCK: Simon Goodwin wasn't happy with Melbourne's failure to lock the ball in the Dees' forward half. Mitch Hannan and Jeff Garlett both had less than 10 touches and three tackles each and could come under scrutiny. Christian Salem also had little impact with 12 touches in a midfield role.

ON THE CUSP: Dom Tyson and Angus Brayshaw both missed out on games in Round 1 and will push for a return. Tom McDonald and Jack Viney remain out injured.

CHRIS VERNUCCIO'S FORECAST: The Demons shot themselves in the foot against Geelong but they can rebound quickly against Brisbane this week, even though they haven't played at the Gabba since 2013.

 

NORTH MELBOURNE

INJURIES

Taylor Garner (groin) test

Cam Zurhaar (abdominal) test

Oscar Junker (concussion) test

Sam Wright (foot) 1 week

Kyron Hayden (shoulder) 3-4 weeks

Declan Watson (knee) indefinite

MATCH REPORT: WILD WEATHER CAN'T DAMPEN SUNS

ON THE BLOCK: Robbie Tarrant and Jy Simpkin were bandaged up during Saturday's game but both should be fine for Good Friday footy. No.4 draft pick Luke Davies-Uniacke had about as tough an initiation to AFL as you can imagine in monsoon-like conditions in Cairns but will be better for the run. Nathan Hrovat, Ben Jacobs and Kayne Turner were also quiet and Ben Brown struggled in the wet.

ON THE CUSP: North's new VFL outfit also faced tough conditions in its practice match against Coburg on Saturday, with the Roos prevailing by 39 points. There were plenty of fringe AFL players in action including Mason Wood, Declan Mountford (returning from a shoulder injury) and Sam Durdin, but the standout was Nick Larkey who bagged seven goals.

AL PATON'S FORECAST: What can you take out of a game played in such extreme conditions? Brad Scott wasn't making any excuses, saying Gold Coast was simply harder at the ball, especially in the final term. The Roos will enjoy playing under the roof at Etihad Stadium, where they will be hoping to register their first Good Friday win against the Saints after falling three points short last year against the Western Bulldogs.

 

Paddy Ryder’s achilles injury is believed to be only minor. Picture: Sarah Reed
Paddy Ryder’s achilles injury is believed to be only minor. Picture: Sarah Reed

PORT ADELAIDE

INJURIES

Matthew Broadbent (ankle) 4-5 weeks

Willem Drew (foot) TBC

Cameron Hewett (shin) TBC

Jasper Pittard (hamstring) 3-4 weeks

Paddy Ryder (achilles) 4-6 weeks

MATCH REPORT: POWER TRADES PAY IMMEDIATE DIVIDENDS

ON THE BLOCK: Assistant coach Matthew Nicks told the media on Monday afternoon Port was waiting for the results of scans on Paddy Ryder's achilles tendon but "he will miss some footy". Coach Ken Hinkley has already resigned himself to losing the All-Australian for "some time". The club confirmed on Monday afternoon he will miss 4-6 weeks.

ON THE CUSP: Ryder's exit opens the door for Jack Hombsh to be recalled to the backline while Justin Westhoff and Dougal Howard share ruck duties in Ryder's absence. There is also a chance the selection panel opts for one of the young ruckmen, such as Sam Hayes, Billy Frampton or Peter Ladhams.

JESPER FJELDSTAD'S FORECAST: The Power have fond memories of Sydney after beating the Swans in Round 1 last year and Port Adelaide is looking better this season. This is a much sterner test than Fremantle but the Power has every right to head into this match full of confidence. The new players - among them former Demons Jack Watts and Dom Barry, ex-Cat Steven Motlop and former Brisbane captain Tom Rockliff will be better for their run against the Dockers. Power by five goals.

 

RICHMOND

INJURIES

Nathan Broad (club suspension) 3 weeks

Bachar Houli (calf) test

Dion Prestia (hamstring) test

Daniel Rioli (foot) TBC

MATCH REPORT: NEW YEAR, SAME OLD DUSTY

ON THE BLOCK: Shai Bolton did some nice things but was quiet overall against the Blues. However, with Daniel Rioli still sidelined expect him to get more opportunity. Corey Ellis worked hard but could make way for a Bachar Houli return.

ON THE CUSP: The Tigers' top draft pick from last year Jack Higgins kicked three goals in a VFL practice match last week while rookie Liam Baker (two goals) also shone brightly.

CHRIS CAVANAGH'S FORECAST: A big Grand Final rematch against the Crows at Adelaide Oval on Thursday night which the Tigers are outsiders for. Houli and Dion Prestia were close to playing last week and should be big inclusions against an undermanned Adelaide. Captain Trent Cotchin spent the night in hospital with a migraine but is expected to play his 200th game this week after he was released on Monday morning.

 

ST KILDA

INJURIES

Nathan Freeman (hamstring) 5-6 weeks

Darren Minchington (knee) indefinite

Ben Paton (thumb) 2 weeks

MATCH REPORT: DO THE SAINTS STILL HAVE NO A-GRADERS?

ON THE BLOCK: The Saints enjoyed a character-building victory against a rapidly-improving Brisbane Lions outfit. They emerged unscathed with little change likely for Good Friday's clash against North Melbourne.

ON THE CUSP: Coach Alan Richardson praised his club's depth with Luke Dunstan, Mav Weller, Sam Gilbert and promising draftee Nick Coffield all left out of the Round 1 line-up.

SAM LANDSBERGER'S FORECAST: The Saints appeared hesitant to play too many of the same midfield type, with Luke Dunstan shaded by Koby Stevens for a place in the Round 1 team. The former Dog took his chance with an effective run-with role on superstar Dayne Zorko. But the Saints' midfield lacked a little bit of inside mongrel at the clearances and Dunstan won 22 disposals for Sandringham on Saturday. Coffield is also on the edge and finished with 17 disposals while father-son Bailey Rice led the count with 24 in the heavy practice match loss to Williamstown.

 

SYDNEY

INJURIES

Aliir Aliir (ankle) test

Jordan Dawson (quad) 3 weeks

Dan Hannebery (calf) test

Alex Johnson (groin) indefinite

Sam Naismith (knee) season

Toby Pink (ankle) 2 weeks

Sam Reid (hamstring) test

MATCH REPORT: BUDDY SHOW OPENS STADIUM IN STYLE

ON THE BLOCK: There weren't many passengers in Sunday's hard-fought win over West Coast at the new Perth Stadium but Ollie Florent and Robbie Fox look the most likely to make way should both Dan Hannebery and Sam Reid prove their fitness.

ON THE CUSP: Hannebery was very close to a return to action last week after missing a large slice of the pre-season with a calf injury. He looks almost certain to be picked for Sunday's clash with Port Adelaide at the SCG. Reid was a late withdrawal with hamstring tightness and is expected to come into consideration for the Port match as well.

NEIL CORDY'S FORECAST: The first-up win for Sydney instantly erases any of the ghosts of their 0-6 start last year. They face a red-hot Port Adelaide team off a trip back from Perth on a reportedly very hard surface at Perth Stadium. How much of a toll it takes remains to be seen but a seven-day break should be enough to recover. With Lance Franklin in super touch expect a massive crowd at the SCG for first home game of the season.

 

WEST COAST

INJURIES

Brendon Ah Chee (ankle) TBC

Josh Kennedy (ankle) TBC

Eric Mackenzie (toe) TBC

Jack Petruccelle (finger) TBC

Willie Rioli (knee) TBC

Nathan Vardy (adductor) TBC

MATCH REPORT: BUDDY SHOW OPENS STADIUM IN STYLE

ON THE BLOCK: Lewis Jetta had a stinker with many of his 16 disposals missing their target. Half back Jackson Nelson was also quiet with just five touches.

ON THE CUSP: Brayden Ainsworth put his hand up for an AFL debut with 26 disposals in East Perth's practice game loss. Fellow youngsters Josh Rotham (26 disposals, 12 marks and Hamish Brayshaw (19 disposals) also stood up in the big loss.

CHRIS VERNUCCIO'S FORECAST: Predictions of an Eagles' demise this season are, for the moment, premature following their gallant loss to Sydney. With eight-goal star Lance Franklin unstoppable, there were times when it appeared the Swans would steamroll the Eagles, but the home side refused to surrender. It's a positive start, particularly when you consider returning ruckman Nic Naitanui was West Coast's highest ranked player despite playing just 55 per cent of the game.

 

Tom Liberatore grimaces in pain. Picture: Fox Sports
Tom Liberatore grimaces in pain. Picture: Fox Sports

WESTERN BULLDOGS

INJURIES

Marcus Adams (ankle) 10-12 weeks

Tom Liberatore (knee) season

Dale Morris (knee) 10-12 weeks

Liam Picken (concussion) indefinite

Hayden Crozier (knee) 4 weeks

MATCH REPORT: GIANTS GIVE DOGS BRUTAL REALITY CHECK

ON THE BLOCK: Horrible news for Tom Liberatore, who suffered another season-ending ACL tear. The injury news worsens with recruit Hayden Crozier to miss a month after also injuring his knee in the loss to GWS.

ON THE CUSP: Key forward Jack Redpath, who kicked two goals in a VFL practice game, is available after serving a three-game striking suspension from last season. Mitch Wallis appears the logical replacement for Liberatore.

CHRIS VERNUCCIO'S FORECAST: Apart from 10-minute burst late in the first quarter, the Bulldogs were deplorable against the Giants. Only five players - Jack Macrae, Lachie Hunter, Luke Dahlhaus, Matt Suckling and Bailey Dale - managed more than 20 disposals. A win against West Coast at Etihad Stadium this Sunday would have been pencilled in by Doggies fans at the start of the season but a 0-2 start is very possible ahead of tough games against Essendon and Sydney.