The run home in William Buck Premier

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Nick Armistead

Old Xaverians (10-1 & 185.49%)

Recent Form: WWWWW

Run Home: SKOB, Uni Blues, St Bernard’s, Old Carey, Old Trinity, Old Brighton, Collegians

Thoughts: The double chance has all but been secured for Old Xavs with 10 wins from their first 11 games. Rohan Bewick and Will Hams are arguably the recruits of the year, Jason Holmes hasn’t yet lost a ruck dual and their goal kicking prowess of Matt Handley (27), Brendan Goss (14), Matt Margin (22) and Bewick (22) is as formidable as any in the competition. They average 107 points per game and just 58 against – those are premiership-winning numbers.

University Blues (8-3 & 145.04%)

Recent Form: WWLLW

Run Home: De La, Old Xavs, Old Carey, Collegians, Old Brighton, Old Trinity, Old Melburnians

Thoughts: We all know Blues are stacked with talent with six players selected to represent the Big V last weekend. Cam O’Shea and Josh Green would rival Bewick and Hams as the recruits of the year, with Green sitting second on the goal kicking leader board with 30 from 11 games. Ayce Cordy is in Woodrow Medal form and if there was an award for the most improved player, defender Connor Lappin would have both hands on it. The loss against the Snow Dogs in Round 10 was a surprise, but perhaps the wake up call the Blues needed to potentially end their 15-year A Grade premiership drought.

St Kevin’s OB (7-4 & 130.32%)

Recent Form: WLWWL

Run Home: Old Xavs, Collegians, De La, Old Brighton, Old Melburnians, Old Carey, St Bernard’s

Thoughts: You can’t help but think SKOB is a sleeping giant. With 14 VFL-listed players upsetting their starting 22 each week, the fact SKOB has won seven games is itself a sensational effort. 42 players have registered at least one game in the seniors and only Shaun Kennedy, Sam Cameron and Cal Matheson have played all 11. Jarrad Waite and John Wood have been elite additions, but the availability of Gerard Gleeson, Lachie Sullivan, Billy Kanakis and Will Coates will go a long way to deciding their fortunes come finals.

Collegians (7-4 & 115.90%)

Recent Form: WLWWW

Run Home: Old Trinity, SKOB, Old Melburnians, Uni Blues, St Bernard’s, De La, Old Xaverians

Thoughts: After losing three of their first four and with more injuries and unavailability’s than most, questions were being asked of the Lions and if they’d missed their chance following two straight grand final losses. However, with six wins from their past seven games including a sensational Round 9 victory over the Blues, Collegians are well and truly back in the finals mix. Their top-tier talent of Sam Hibbins, Courtney Hylton, Lachie Ferguson, Ben Darrou, Al Fahie, Viv Michie and Anthony Bruhn is as strong as any side when fit, but the key for the Lions is finding a solution to their ruck dilemma so Darrou can spend more time in defence.

Old Melburnians (6-5 & 106.85%)

Recent Form: LWLWL

Run Home: Old Brighton, De La Salle, Collegians, Old Trinity, SKOB, St Bernard’s, Uni Blues

Thoughts: Their playing list says finals; the ladder currently says fifth. OM’s have added serious class to their line-up with the addition of Jackson Paine, Andrew Tashevski-Beckwith, Elliot Kavanagh and a full-time Gus Borthwick joining Josh Freezer, Tom Paule, Nick De Steiger and Tom Cameron in 2019. Despite going with Xavs for three quarters in Round 11, they are still yet to claim that one big scalp. This weekend’s match with Old Brighton is the most important of the year for OM’s as they try to stay in touch with Collegians and SKOB.

Old Brighton (5-5-1 & 104.21%)

Recent Form: WLWLW

Run Home: Old Melburnians, St Bernard’s, Old Trinity, SKOB, Uni Blues, Old Xaverians, Old Carey

Thoughts: If they’re going to make a move, they need to make it over the next three weeks. Brighton would no doubt look at the fixture and see winnable games against OM’s, Bernard’s and the T’s, and ultimately, they need to win all three to push for finals because they follow it up with games against the big three. Four of their stars Harry Hill, Elliot Le Grice, Nick Pavlou and Tom Fisher are fresh off last weekend’s rep match, showcasing the talent they have at their disposal. Pavlou has been a standout in 2019 with a competition-high 29 disposals per game, while Will Lewis is leading the way with 31 goals.

St Bernard’s (5-6 & 88.11%)

Recent Form: LWLWL

Run Home: Old Carey, Old Brighton, Old Xavs, De La, Collegians, Old Melburnians, SKOB

Thoughts: They started the year at 3-0 but have since struggled to string wins together with two from their past eight. The Snow Dogs are a scary proposition for finals-bound teams because when they show up, they can run over any side – just ask Uni Blues!

De La Salle (3-8 & 58.31%)

Recent Form: LWWLL

Run Home: Uni Blues, Old Melburnians, SKOB, St Bernard’s, Old Carey, Collegians, Old Trinity

Thoughts: The season was looking dire for De La seven rounds in as they had just one win to their name before notching two on the trot and putting half a game between themselves and Trinity. Four wins will ensure they avoid relegation, but three might mean their Round 18 clash with Trinity is the ultimate relegation battle.

Old Trinity (2-8-1 & 79.83%)

Recent Form: LLLLW

Run Home: Collegians, Old Carey, Old Brighton, Old Melburnians, Old Xavs, Uni Blues, De La

Thoughts: Like De La, Trinity were in a world of trouble recently until they defeated the Snow Dogs and snapped a four-game losing streak in Round 11. We saw Scotch relegated on the back of six wins in 2018, so they’ll require at least two w’s against either Collegians, Brighton, OM’s, Xavs or Blues before facing De La in Round 18.

Old Carey (1-10 & 50.17%)

Recent Form: LLLLL

Run Home: St Bernard’s, Old Trinity, Uni Blues, Old Xavs, De La, SKOB, Old Brighton

Thoughts: It’s been a tough year for the Panthers after returning to William Buck Premier on the back of a grand final loss. Young guns Cooper Leon, Bailey Wraith and Oscar White have shown the future is bright at Carey, while Kristian Jaksch, Marc Lock and Sam Cust continue to lead from the front.