Barometer: Barlow gone for a month

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AFL: Pearce Hanley has had a dirty day at the MCG against the Tigers, giving away an inexcusable goal.

Will two goals against Fremantle be enough for Travis Cloke to hold his spot? Picture: Wayne Ludbey

WHO’S hot and who’s hurt at your club?

Will Travis Cloke be sent back to the VFL again to make way for Darcy Moore’s return or will Jesse White get the chop? Carlton could promote Jack Silvagni for his AFL debut while the Bulldogs are set to regain an All-Australian for their top-four showdown against Sydney.

News Corp’s expert AFL reporters examine every club’s playing stocks after Round 14.

ADELAIDE

INJURIES:

Curtly Hampton (foot) 2-3 weeks

Riley Knight (ankle) test

Paul Seedsman (hamstring) 2 weeks

Sam Shaw (concussion) test

Nathan Van Berlo (foot/ankle) TBA

Troy Menzel (concussion) TBA

ON THE BLOCK: The Crows are riding the crest of a wave, having won five consecutive matches to storm into top four calculations. Richard Douglas was under pressure but has had two good games against West Coast and North Melbourne to consolidate his position. Paul Seedsman was a late withdrawal against the Kangaroos with a hamstring injury and he will miss Sunday’s clash against Melbourne. His replacement Brad Crouch was solid rather than spectacular against North but should hold his spot against the Demons. Former skipper Nathan van Berlo (foot/ankle) and Troy Menzel (concussion) were injured in the SANFL on Sunday.

ON THE CUSP: Strong-bodied midfielder Cam Ellis-Yolmen continues to knock on the selection door after another excellent showing in the SANFL against Central District on Saturday. He had a game-high 37 disposals, including eight clearances, and must be close to getting an AFL game. Ricky Henderson (28 disposals) and Mitch Grigg (31) also stood out in the disappointing 55-point loss to the Bulldogs. Former Victorian first-class cricketer Alex Keath continues to impress, taking six strong marks in a key defensive role.

ANDREW CAPEL’S FORECAST: There is plenty of good form being shown by AFL-listed players in the SANFL but senior coach Don Pyke is unlikely to have a long selection meeting this week as he rewards the men who have done the job for him in the five-match winning streak. It is likely the Crows will go into the MCG clash with Melbourne with an unchanged line-up to the team that ran over North Melbourne in the final quarter.

BRISBANE LIONS

INJURIES

Mitch Robinson (concussion) test

Dayne Beams (knee) indefinite

Hugh Beasley (knee) 6 weeks

Tom Bell (knee) 8 weeks

Allen Christensen (collarbone) 8 weeks

Jackson Paine (ankle) test

Jonathan Freeman (toe) test

Cian Hanley (groin) indefinite

Ryan Harwood (knee) 10 weeks

Jade McGrath (foot) indefinite

Nick Roberston (neck) test

Archie Smith (concussion) test

ANDREW HAMILTON’S FORECAST: Brisbane needs the bye as much as any side in the competition. Justin Leppitsch could do with a break from the constant scrutiny over his job, which must be hanging by a thread. The AFL’s youngest list is clearly tired and although Leppitsch has been impressed with the way they have fought to the end in the past two weeks, their already questionable skills have been deteriorating further under fatigue. The players have been given leave but the club will monitor Mitch Robinson, who was concussed against the Tigers on Saturday. “He wasn’t feeling too bad after the game, but still had some mild concussion symptoms on Sunday,” Lions head of physiotherapy Shane Lemcke told the club website. “He is under the care of team doctors and will go through our concussion protocol.”

CARLTON

INJURIES

Dennis Armfield (groin) 2-3 weeks

Blaine Boekhorst (wrist) 1-2 weeks

David Cuningham (hip) 2-3 weeks

Charlie Curnow (glandular fever) test

Andrew Gallucci (shoulder) season

Marc Murphy (ankle) 2-3 weeks

ON THE BLOCK: No fresh injuries from Round 14 but a few had quiet days, with Liam Sumner and Jed Lamb probably the most nervous going into selection meetings this week.

ON THE CUSP: Will Jack Silvagni make his debut against the old enemy? The son of SOS was a quieter on the weekend, booting two goals as the Northern Blues went down to Sandringham, but his past month has been excellent. Dillon Viojo-Rainbow kicked three goals and Matthew Dick had 33 touches in the VFL.

AL PATON’S FORECAST: The Blues hung on as long as they could at Spotless Stadium and weren’t disgraced by a team that will inflict much bigger losses this season. But any dream of a miracle finals appearance appears done and now it’s about getting games into younger players who will be the key to Brendon Bolton’s rebuild. Is an MCG clash against Collingwood the perfect stage to unveil Jack Silvagni?

Jack Silvagni has kicked 10 goals in his past three VFL games. Picture: Mark Stewart

Jack Silvagni has kicked 10 goals in his past three VFL games. Picture: Mark StewartSource:News Corp Australia

COLLINGWOOD

INJURIES

Taylor Adams (hamstring) 2 weeks

Tim Broomhead (ankle) 1 week

Jamie Elliott (back) season

Alex Fasolo (fractured scapula) 3 weeks

Tom Langdon (ankle) 1 week

Darcy Moore (fractured collarbone) 1 week

Jackson Ramsay (knee) season

Matt Scharenberg (knee) season

Brayden Sier (hand) 3 weeks

Dane Swan (broken leg/foot) season

MATCH REPORT: PIES WIN IN FRONT OF SMALLEST CROWD SINCE 1940

ON THE BLOCK: The Magpies had plenty of good contributors in last Friday’s win over Fremantle, including big forwards Jesse White, Mason Cox and Travis Cloke, who kicked two goals each. Cloke had 13 disposals plus four inside-50s after regaining his spot in the team. However, the possible return of Darcy Moore after recovering from a fractured collarbone could put pressure back on former All-Australian.

ON THE CUSP:Moore’s bid to return to the senior side for Saturday night’s clash against Carlton is a positive sign for the Magpies, although small forward Alex Fasolo and onballer Taylor Adams are expected to take another week or two to recover from scapula and hamstring injuries.

GREG BUCKLE’S FORECAST: With only five wins to show from their 13 games, the Magpies are being hurt by a lack of depth after a run of injuries. The possible return of Moore could add life to their forward line, and hopefully for the Magpies their skipper Scott Pendlebury will be back to his best after feeling “under the weather” against Fremantle last weekend.

ESSENDON

INJURIES

Mark Baguley (knee) indefinite

Ryan Crowley (hamstring) 2 weeks

Nathan Grima (hip) TBC

Jonathan Simpkin (hamstring) 2 weeks

ON THE BLOCK: Patrick Ambrose had just six disposals against the Giants two weeks ago, while Michael Hartley was also quiet in his return from a hamstring injury.

ON THE CUSP: Essendon’s VFL team also had the bye but No. 6 draft pick Aaron Francis must be close to a debut after booting three goals the previous week, which included a brilliant goal from the boundary. Shaun McKernan kicked the winning goal in a four-goal, best-afield performance in that match against Werribee and Kyle Langford responded to his axing with 24 disposals.

CHRIS VERNUCCIO’S FORECAST: The bye came at the perfect time for the Bombers, who surprisingly nearly pulled off the upset of the season against GWS two weeks ago. While there is little chance of the Bombers knocking off West Coast at Subiaco on Thursday night, a repeat of that stirring display against the Giants could go a long way to alleviating our fears of another prime-time blowout.

Aaron Francis is close to an AFL debut. Picture: Colleen Petch

Aaron Francis is close to an AFL debut. Picture: Colleen PetchSource:News Corp Australia

FREMANTLE

INJURIES

Michael Barlow (fractured finger) 3-4 weeks

Michael Apeness (collarbone) 3-4 weeks

Harley Balic (wrist) TBC

Harley Bennell (calf) season

Matt de Boer (knee) 4-6 weeks

Nat Fyfe (fractured leg) season

Jon Griffin (hamstring) 1-2 weeks

Brady Grey (ankle) 6-8 weeks

Ethan Hughes (calf) test

Sean Hurley (hip) test

Anthony Morabito (ankle) 1 week

Tendai Mzungu (hamstring) 2-3 weeks

Michael Johnson (knee/hamstring) TBC

Ryan Nyhuis (knee) 3-4 weeks

Alex Pearce (leg) season

Clancee Pearce (concussion) test

Aaron Sandilands (ribs) 4 weeks

Tanner Smith (hamstring) 6-8 weeks

Alex Silvagni (calf) 2-3 weeks

Matthew Uebergang (hamstring) TBC

SCOTT GULLAN’S FORECAST: Fremantle’s injury list has now reached mammoth proportions after Michael Barlow underwent surgery on a broken finger. It means the midfielder will miss a month of football. Dockers coach Ross Lyon was livid with the performance of his ruckmen, Zac Clarke and Jack Hannath, against the Pies which means Jon Griffin will come straight back in after the bye. Other than that there’s not much light ahead with youngster Ethan Hughes the only other one set to return, but he will come back through the WAFL. After three good weeks, the Dockers came back to earth with a thud. The midfield, which still has some handy names in it, was brushed aside too easily against the Magpies although the injection of Michael Walters in there gave them a spark and that could be used more frequently now as the season is shot. A trip to Darwin to play Melbourne in Round 16 is a winnable game.

GEELONG

INJURIES

Zac Bates (quad) 6 weeks

Josh Caddy (knee) 5 weeks

Nakia Cockatoo (knee) 2-3 weeks

Jordan Cunico (knee) 4-6 weeks

Cam Delaney (knee) TBC

Cameron Guthrie (illness) test

George Horlin-Smith (knee) 6 weeks

Tom Read (knee) 1 week

Scott Selwood (foot) 1-2 weeks

Billie Smedts (broken fibula) 4-6 weeks

Jackson Thurlow (knee) season

JAY CLARK’S FORECAST: No real fresh injury concerns for the Cats but coach Chris Scott was filthy with their loss to the Saints. Patrick Dangerfield faces a nervous wait after his tangle with Jarryn Heart, but expect the superstar to be cleared of his MRP concern. Mitch Clark has been on fire in the VFL and will push hard to replace Shane Kersten after the bye.

AFL: Patrick Dangerfield is confident of not being suspended and keeping his Brownlow Medal hopes alive.

GOLD COAST

INJURIES

Dan Currie (finger) test

Brayden Fiorini (knee) 3 weeks

Jack Martin (back) test

Kade Kolodjashnij (neck) test

Darcy MacPherson (knee) 4 weeks

Jaeger O’Meara (knee) indefinite

Adam Saad (hamstring) test

Danny Stanley (hamstring) test

David Swallow (knee) indefinite

ON THE BLOCK: There will be a few outs this week as Rodney Eade regains a few soldiers. Brandon Matera was quiet after his first-quarter goal against the Hawks while Jarrad Grant’s most notable moment came when he scuffled with Grant Birchall off the ball. Raw Jesse Joyce’s commitment was impressive, highlighted by his lunging touch on the goal line to thwart Billy Hartung’s third goal.

ON THE CUSP: Rocket says the Suns can be competitive with a handful of players out but beyond that the task is too big. Well, good news for Suns fans this week. Silky playmaker Jack Martin will resume against the Saints, as should Adam Saad and Kade Kolodjashnij.

SAM LANDSBERGER’S FORECAST: The Suns tease, but their spine is starting to look tremendous. Some experts now would take Tom Lynch ahead of Jeremy Cameron while Peter Wright is beginning to belong. Rocket says Sam Day is critical, ruckman Tom Nicholls is hitting form and even Alastair Clarkson reckons Steven May is among the game’s elite key defenders. Sprinkle more of that midfield class around Gary Ablett and the Suns will rise quickly. They loom as a dangerous non-finalist in the run home and could well shape the top four.

GWS GIANTS

INJURIES:

Phil Davis (calf) TBC

Matt Buntine (hamstring) TBC

Paul Ahern (knee) season

Aidan Corr (ankle) 2-3 weeks

Will Hoskin-Elliott (hamstring) 1-2 weeks

Adam Kennedy (shoulde) test

Cam McCarthy (illness) indefinite

Tim Mohr (hamstring) 3-4 weeks

Jarrod Pickett (foot) season

NEIL CORDY’S FORECAST: Adam Tomlinson will be the likely replacement for Phil Davis, who is expected to miss the Giants’ Round 16 match against Collingwood in two weeks’ time with a calf strain. Matt Buntine is also in danger of missing with a hamstring injury — scans today will reveal his immediate playing future. Jacob Hopper is also likely to make a return to senior football after being rested at the weekend. The Giants are in great shape for the run to the finals. They go to their bye round at 10-4 and have a strong shot at a top-four finish with only two of their last eight games against top-eight teams. They have injury worries but a host of talent to draw on with Devon Smith back playing in the NEAFL after knee surgery and defenders Caleb Marchbank and Tim Mohr also set to return. The very talented Will Hoskin-Elliott is also set for a comeback in the reserves after the bye.

HAWTHORN

INJURIES

Ryan Burton (leg) indefinite

Cyril Rioli (family) available

Jack Fitzpatrick (concussion) test

Jarryd Roughead (illness) indefinite

Ryan Schoenmakers (groin) indefinite

Matt Spangher (hamstring) 7 weeks

Alex Woodward (knee) 2 weeks

SAM LANDSBERGER’S FORECAST: Norm Smith winner Cyril Rioli will return against Port Adelaide in two weeks, while Kade Stewart and Will Langford remain in the wings. Clarko said Langford has lost his mojo a little bit but the Hawks will try to find a new place for him. Luke Hodge is back, and showed first-up signs of his best with his control of the game from the back half crucial. And how about that 50m pass to a running Hartung? For the first time in 681 days the Hawks are on top of the AFL ladder. Not bad for a side ranked No. 18 in contested ball and written off by many. Thursday night trips to face Port Adelaide and Sydney await, but a pair of wins and they can all but bank a top-four finish. But the Power got them twice last year and the Swans got them at the MCG this year, so it won’t be easy.

Cyril Rioli at the state funeral of his grandfather and Tiwi Islands patriarch Cyril Kalippa Rioli in Darwin on Sunday.

Cyril Rioli at the state funeral of his grandfather and Tiwi Islands patriarch Cyril Kalippa Rioli in Darwin on Sunday.Source:News Corp Australia

MELBOURNE

INJURIES

Mitch King (knee) season

Heritier Lumumba (concussion) test

Christian Salem (illness) test

Jay Kennedy-Harris (hamstring) 4-6 weeks

Sam Weideman (hip flexor) test

Lynden Dunn (hamstring) test

ON THE BLOCK: Paul Roos has had plenty of time to think about his side’s 55-point thumping at the hands of Sydney before the bye. In the wet conditions a number of Demons struggled to find much of the footy. Ben Kennedy had just six kicks, while Billy Stretch and Neville Jetta both had fewer than 10 disposals. Jetta in particular could be under pressure to keep his spot, having had just 30 disposals across the past three weeks.

ON THE CUSP: Melbourne’s VFL team also had a bye on the weekend but no one has forgotten Angus Brayshaw’s push for a senior recall against North Ballarat a week earlier. The young midfielder had 28 disposals and seven tackles in Casey’s 91-point win. Also impressive for Casey were Colin Garland and Matthew Jones. Small forward Jeff Garlett may need some more time in the twos — he has kicked just one goal since being dropped for the Queen’s Birthday clash with Collingwood.

LIAM TWOMEY’S FORECAST: Melbourne showed plenty of signs of improvement during the first half of the season and the bye came at a good time. The Demons can take the chance to reset after their disappointing loss to Sydney and focus on their crunch match against Adelaide at the MCG on Sunday. The Demons are still two games out of the eight and have no margin for error if they want to play finals. The Crows go into the match in terrific form, having won their past five matches.

NORTH MELBOURNE

INJURIES

Aaron Black (concussion) test

Farren Ray (concussion) test

Jarrad Waite (hip) test

Kayne Turner (hamstring) test (plus 4-week club-imposed ban)

Daniel Wells (ankle) test

Luke McDonald (hamstring) 6-8 weeks

Taylor Garner (hamstring) 3 weeks

Ben Jacobs (foot) 4-5 weeks

Shaun Higgins (knee) 5 weeks

Sam Wright (ankle) 6 weeks

MATCH REPORT: WAYWARD CROWS ADJUST AIM TO TOP FOUR

GILBERT GARDINER’S FORECAST: They’ve got the wobbles the Roos, dropping four of their past five matches, and the week off couldn’t come quick enough. Had their colours lowered at Adelaide Oval and lucky to escape with a six-goal loss thanks to poor Crows goalkicking. Travel to Perth to take on West Coast after the bye in what is a genuine eight-point game. Expect Daniel Wells and Jarrad Waite to return, while 19-year-old ball magnet Ryan Clarke can’t be far off making his debut after another brilliant VFL performance.

AFL: North Melbourne’s Farren Ray was forced off with concussion after copping this nasty falcon against the Adelaide Crows in round 14.

PORT ADELAIDE

INJURIES

Jack Hombsch (hamstring) test

Alipate Carlile (knee) 7-9 weeks

Tom Jonas (suspension) 2 weeks

Matthew Lobbe (knee) 2-3 weeks

Matt White (pectoral) 3 weeks

Will Snelling (foot) 2-3 weeks

Dougal Howard (knee) season

Aidyn Johnson (hamstring) season

ON THE BLOCK: Like the Power, Port’s SANFL side had the bye on the weekend, at least ensuring their injury list did not mount. The Power have lost two straight, falling to Fremantle in Perth before the bye. Apart from Justin Westhoff and Brad Ebert, it was hard to find a clear winner against the Dockers, but youngster Logan Austin had just five disposals in his third AFL game and might need an extra week’s rest. The Power report Matt White, Matthew Lobbe and Alipate Carlile continue to progress well in their rehabilitation.

ON THE CUSP: Key forward Jay Schulz booted two goals in his return from a back injury in the SANFL a fortnight ago and, given the extra week’s rest, he should push for selection against the Tigers. Jack Hombsch is over his hamstring injury and should slot straight into the side, bolstering the Power’s key defensive stocks. He will be important, given Carlisle is still a long way off.

MICHAEL RANDALL’S FORECAST: They can still mathematically make the eight, but Port will need to win every game from here. A match-up with Richmond at home looks juicy this weekend, considering they ran away with a 35-point win at the MCG the last time the two sides met. The Power then have to face top-four sides Hawthorn, North Melbourne and GWS. Good luck with that.

RICHMOND

INJURIES

Todd Elton (ankle) 2 weeks

Shaun Hampson (knee) test

Bachar Houli (wrist) 4 weeks

Ben Lennon (shoulder) 3 weeks

Kamdyn McIntosh (ankle) 6 weeks

Reece McKenzie (mental health) indefinite

Steven Morris (knee) season

Chris Yarran (foot/mental health) indefinite

MATCH REPORT: TIGERS THUMP LIONS IN SNOOZEFEST

ON THE BLOCK: Shaun Hampson limped off in the closing minutes with a sore right knee, but Damien Hardwick was confident he would be fine. Hardwick also defended Ty Vickery, who while creating chances for others, failed to cash in on his side’s dominance up the ground and was again quiet. Nathan Broad and Jacob Townsend came were late inclusions, with the former on debut the more impressive.

ON THE CUSP: Ben Griffiths pulled out of the side on Friday night with a virus before Jake Batchelor did the same on the morning of the match. Both will be fit to take on Port Adelaide on Friday night.

SAM EDMUND’S VERDICT: If a win has told us any less about a side we would be amazed. Distinctly average against an abysmal Brisbane Lions outfit, but average was enough to secure the win. Speaking of wins, that’s five of the last six and Tigers fans will be starting to believe all over again. But Port Adelaide is up next across the border, which promises to provide a far more accurate gauge of exactly where this side is at. Is it just a mid-table battler or are we witnessing another late-season surge?

Shaun Hampson was hurt in the final minutes of Richmond’s win against Brisbane.

Shaun Hampson was hurt in the final minutes of Richmond’s win against Brisbane.Source:Getty Images

ST KILDA

INJURIES

David Armitage (corked calf) test

Sean Dempster (knee) 3 weeks

Sam Fisher (hamstring) 2 weeks

Nathan Freeman (hamstring) 2 weeks

Hugh Goddard (Achilles) season

Tom Lee (knee) test

Billy Longer (concussion) indefinite

Nathan Wright (shoulder) test

MATCH REPORT: YOUNG SAINTS UPSET FLAG FAVOURITES

ON THE BLOCK: The Saints had a lot of good players in their three-point win over Geelong. Two-goal hero Nathan Wright played on despite a shoulder injury and could be in doubt for Saturday’s game against Gold Coast. Midfielder David Armitage will be monitored during the week after he hobbled off with a corked calf in the third quarter but returned to play out the match.

ON THE CUSP: Eli Templeton had 36 touches in the VFL for Sandringham in a performance that could earn him some attention from the Saints’ match committee. Key defender Tom Lee is also expected to press for a return to the senior side after missing last weekend’s win over Geelong with a knee complaint.

GREG BUCKLE’S FORECAST: The Saints have boosted their self-belief with a stunning win over flag favourites the Cats, leaving St Kilda coach Alan Richardson with the task of making sure the Saints don’t get ahead of themselves in their clash against Gold Coast on Saturday. With a strong midfield led by captain-in-waiting Jack Steven and attacking tagger Seb Ross, the Saints appear set to deliver plenty of quality ball to forwards Paddy McCartin, Tim Membrey and Josh Bruce. Veteran skipper Nick Riewoldt’s marking power in defence and attack is another big weapon for the Saints.

SYDNEY

INJURIES

Kurt Tippett (hamstring) 6 weeks

Michael Talia (foot) 4 weeks

Harrison Marsh (hamstring) 1-2 weeks

Alex Johnson (knee) indefinite

Lewis Melican (hamstring) 2-3 weeks

Sam Reid (calf) 2-3 weeks

Daniel Robinson (shoulder) 6 weeks

ON THE BLOCK: On the back of a 55-point thumping win over Melbourne, there aren’t many Swans under pressure. The real test will come for the Swans when the likes of Sam Reid and Kurt Tippert are over their injury concerns. For the moment, Sydney is happy getting games into youngsters like Aliir Aliir, George Hewett and Toby Nankervis as the Swans begin the charge to September.

ON THE CUSP: With Sydney’s NEAFL team also having a bye last week, John Longmire needs to go back to the club’s Round 12 win against Aspley for a form gauge. Of the AFL-listed players, there weren’t too many standouts. Ruckman Sam Naismith continues to show encouraging signs in his comeback from injury and was among the Swans’ best players. He may get a chance to play in the coming weeks with Tippett at least another six weeks away. Tom Derickx finished with two goals up forward.

LIAM TWOMEY’S FORECAST: Three week stretches don’t come much bigger than what the Swans are about to endure. Sydney will host the Western Bulldogs on Saturday before taking on Geelong in a tough road trip to Simmons Stadium. After all that the Swans will then host defending champions Hawthorn. Two wins will all but secure the club a top four spot while a perfect 3-0 record means the Swans will be a huge chance to finish the year on top of the ladder.

WEST COAST

INJURIES

Nic Naitanui (heels) 6 weeks

Alec Waterman (illness) indefinite

ON THE BLOCK: Jon Giles was serviceable in the ruck but suspect he’ll make way for Scott Lycett, who was dropped for disciplinary reasons. Fraser McInnes and Will Schofield will also be discussed at selection after quiet games against the Lions two weeks ago. Lewis Jetta must be testing coach Adam Simpson’s patience but may be given another chance against Essendon to help him find some confidence.

ON THE CUSP: Scott Lycett served his penance in the WAFL with a best-on-ground performance (27 hitouts, 26 disposals, eight marks and a goal) for East Perth that will earn him an immediate recall. Xavier Ellis racked up 29 disposals in that same match last week and Jackson Nelson continued to push his case with 20 touches and a goal. Defender Mitch Brown is getting closer to his first senior game for 2016. The Eagles are hopeful Dom Sheed (pectoral) will return in the WAFL this weekend.

CHRIS VERNUCCIO FORECAST: Despite having the weekend off, West Coast would have felt it won four points with a couple of results going its way — Geelong’s shock defeat to St Kilda and North Melbourne’s loss to Adelaide. The Eagles stay just two wins behind the teams second to fifth on the ladder with a game in hand over the Cats, Roos and GWS. Top-four is suddenly within reach and there should be no reason for West Coast to rest players against Essendon this week because a percentage boost could be critical to snatching a finals double chance.

WESTERN BULLDOGS

INJURIES

Luke Dahlhaus (knee) 2-3 weeks

Toby McLean (foot) 4-6 weeks

Robert Murphy (knee) season

Josh Prudden (knee) season

Roarke Smith (knee) 1-2 weeks

Nathan Hrovat (shoulder) TBC

ON THE BLOCK: With some big names returning, some fringe players could be headed back to the VFL. Mitch Honeychurch, Bailey Williams and Josh Dunkley face a nervous wait.

ON THE CUSP: Easton Wood and Koby Stevens are available for the trip to Sydney to face the Swans. Footscray had a bye in the VFL at the weekend but Clay Smith and Tom Boyd are pushing hard for senior action while Joel Hamling and Lukas Webb remain in the wings. Impressive depth. Jason Johannisen should return in the VFL this week.

AL PATON’S FORECAST: The Dogs arrived with a win against the Swans at a sodden SCG last year, can they repeat those heroics to jump back into the top four? Wood is a big inclusion and with Johanissen not far away that dashing half-back line (bar Bob Murphy) should be up and running for the run home.

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