West Coast 15.11.101 Defeated Essendon 11.12.78
About 38,000 supporters got to see one good quarter of football by West Coast, the second, in which they kicked 6 goals to the Bombers’ 4 points. That was where the game was won and lost. The spectators and viewers were also treated to a good exhibition of raw talent with Natanui for the Eagles showing his style and Cox finding a bit of form at last with 30 hit outs and 19 possessions. LeCras kicked 4 goals for West Coast and Kennedy 3.Watson played well for Essendon as usual but he had many ineffective possessions due to lack of support from team mates. West Coast really became lax in that last quarter allowing the Bombers to kick 5 of the last 6 goals. A hamstring injury to Kerr had him out of the game in the second half. The Anzac day game against the Pies next week for the Bombers looks a tough prospect and every game for the Eagles will be a challenge.
Sydney 14.16.100 Defeated North Melbourne 8.12.60
Some early game pressure from North Melbourne forced Sydney into some pressure errors and this helped North stay in the match up to half time with the lead changing a number of times. After half time it seemed that the Swans shook off the lethargy that was in their game and eventually ran out easy winners by 40 points. North managed just 2 goals in the second half and only a point in the last quarter. Bradshaw took 11 marks and kicked 4 goals for Sydney. Harvey played well again for North but they just did not look like they had the strength or the experience to keep up second half pressure on the Swans.
Carlton 16.7.103 Defeated Adelaide 6.19.55
The Crows had more shots on goal than the Blues and still lost the game by 8 goals. By kicking 1 goal 6 in the 3rd quarter Adelaide was unable to apply any scoreboard pressure to Carlton who found a couple of unlikely goal kickers in Garlett (3) and Houlihan (2). The Blues had been Judderless for the first 3 games but their captain came back with a vengeance and showed why he is one of the best footballers out on the paddock in today’s AFL. He was well backed by Murphy who had 32 possessions and the evergreen McLeod for the Crows played well again having 26 touches. Bad kicking is bad football. Enough said.
Collingwood 17.21.123 Defeated Hawthorn 8.11.59
The Pies were shown last week just what intensity means when the Saints crushed them in the second half. Well Collingwood put that game behind them, adding some strength to the comment that the players and coaches take games one week at a time, and tackled and pressured the Hawks out of the game by half time. Almost 8 goals up at half time the Pies did not relent and it was just their atrocious kicking in the third quarter when they added 2.11 that saved Hawthorn from total embarrassment and a 100 point defeat. Granted the Hawks were without Franklin but he would not have made that much of a difference as Collingwood lifted their stakes in the premiership race after a couple of ordinary games. Tackle count for the game was 76 to 45 in Collingwood’s favour. Davis, Thomas and Didak found a bit of goal kicking form and Jolly finally put in a good one for the Pies in the ruck and added a couple of goals as well. Bateman and Hodge stood out for the Hawks but they will not be happy with that performance if they think they are going to be a threat in the finals.
Brisbane 13.23.101 Defeated Western Bulldogs 12.7.79
Anybody watching this game and would have been confident that their tip of Western Bulldogs was pretty safe. They were up by about 30 points at a stage in the second quarter and looked far classier than the Lions. As predicted, Brown and Fevola were being held so goals were hard to come by and it was lucky that Brisbane player Banfield had kicked a couple of good ones for them. By half time it was 15 shots on goal by Brisbane to 14 by the Bulldogs and the Bullies led by about 4 goals. Barry Hall was the main reason for their lead with 4 goals in the 2nd quarter. Teams came out after the half time break and maybe it was the injury to Williams of the Bulldogs who was doing a number on Fevola up to that point holding him but in this quarter the Fev kicked his 4 goals and at three quarter time the half time deficit had been covered and the Lions were actually a goal ahead. Inaccurate kicking in the third by Brisbane (2.5) probably flattered the Bulldogs who added a goal and a point but the Lions had turned it around and won by 22 points. Brennan, Power and Rischitelli kept it happening with many possessions while Hudson and Griffen did pretty well for the Bullies. Premiership favourites the Western Bulldogs are now 2 -2 and there are a lot of questions about just where they are this year. Early days though. Brisbane remain undefeated and look a real threat to other big 3, St Kilda, Geelong and Collingwood.
Melbourne 20.13.133 Defeated Richmond 11.12.78
Everybody knew Melbourne was going to win this game but they sure had their supporters guessing until about 5 minutes into the third quarter when they unleashed a spurt of pretty good football and piled on the goals. In fact it looked like the Demons would kick the sweep until the Geelong score came in. In that third quarter Melbourne kicked 7 goals to zip opening up an unassailable lead. Maloney with 37 possessions and Green with 24 and 4 goals rate a mention and Sylvia returned from a broken jaw to kick 5 goals for the Dees. Will the Dees be in the 8 after this win? It’s possible. Reiwoldt and Astbury kicked 3 each for the Tigers. It’s hard to see Richmond winning a game, they travel to Subiaco next week to take on the Dockers.
Geelong 23.21.159 Defeated Port Adelaide 10.4.64
Here’s another game that was played in two distinct halves. At half time the Power was down by 1 goal 4 behinds. Yep, 1 goal. They lost the game by 95 points!! In the 3rd quarter Geelong kicked 11.7 to 1 goal! Question is: did the Power decide to leave the ground early, like half time, to avoid the traffic jam getting out of the ground? That is the only explanation for a 15 goals to 3 goals second half. There had to be a team missing. Johnson with 6 goals and Podsiadly with 5 goals did enough to win the game off their own boot but Ablett contributed 3 goals himself on top of his 37 possessions and dominated around the ground. Kane Cornes tried hard under a deluge and Pearce and Cassisi were okay for Port. When a team kicks 159 for the game there were a lot of contributors.
St Kilda 17.12.114 Defeated Fremantle 12.17.89
It was a great game of footy to watch. The teams went neck and neck on the scoreboard and if you were a Fremantle supporter, even though the team lost, you would be pretty happy with the effort the boys put in. Freo are pretty exciting to watch, a bit like Essendon last year. Just backed themselves and had what we call a “red hot go!” Goddard turned out to be a worthy replacement for Reiwoldt and kicked 5 and Milne bobbed up enough times to kick 5 as well for the Saints. Sandilands was arguably best on ground. Pavlich had a quiet first quarter but kicked 5 goals for the Dockers in the other 3 including a bomb from about 65 metres in the third. Hill was all class for Fremantle but the hard bodies and relentless pressure applied by the Saints eventually wore the young Dorks down forcing a few too many errors in the last 15 minutes of the game during which the Saints drew away to lead by 20 points at one stage. Fremantle never gave up though and the prediction, based on what we have seen for the first 4 games, is certain to make the finals. Richmond then West Coast in the next two weeks might see them with 5 wins from 6 games. They won only 5 last season.