Western Bulldogs v Melbourne: AFL and more Australian sport – live! – The Guardian

Welcome to a truncated version of sportwatch this midwinter Sunday. Only on the basis that we’ve reached that part of the season where the footy codes get a breather via bye rounds and the like, and the netball has wrapped up with yesterday’s Grand Final.

But never fear: we still have a couple of feature games coming up for you this afternoon. It’s Adam Collins to steer you through the action before I hotfoot it to The Oval in London for the India v Pakistan Champions Trophy Final.

In the AFL, it is the match of the round at Docklands where the Dogs are about to host the Dees. An old fashioned eight-point game as they say, the defending champs currently limping along in 9th place on the ladder, with the plucky Dees sitting 7th.

The Sons of the ‘Scray have won five of the last six meetings between the teams, but that counts for little with the most recent encounter back in round eight last year – a lifetime ago for a side that went on to win the most miraculous of flags.

But if they are going to have a chance at going back-to-back come September, they need to fine a way to make amends and fast, having copped a beating at the hands of Sydney last Thursday night. By contrast, Melbourne won a close one in their Queen’s Birthday Monday blockbuster against the Pies.

Specifically: they just need to kick more goals, coming into this game 15th for average points put on the board through 2017. Both sides use plenty of it, the Dees second for average touches. So, let’s hope for a free-flowing game of skillful footy.

Meanwhile, at 4pm in the final match of Round 15 in the NRL it is Parramatta and St George at the Olympic Stadium, coming into the fixture 9th and 4th respectively.

The Eels got turned over by the fast-finishing Cowboys last week, running into Johnathan Thurstans turning back the clock. St George also lost their previous start, going down 16-2 to Canterbury on the public holiday.

Parra won the corresponding fixture in round two, but it was the last time they knocked off a side inside the eight. But they will have a good chance to dump their flat track bully tag with the Dragons’ ranks taking a more significant origin hit.

Righto. They’re just about ready to roll in Melbourne, so let’s do this. Of course, please share your thoughts with me through the day. Here on the email, or @collinsadam for the idiot machine.

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