AFL Review Rd 22
Fremantle 13.15.93 Defeated Carlton 13.9.87
The Blues led at the end of the 1st quarter but Freo outran them over the next 3. The players the Dockers rested the week before all played big parts in the victory. Very close finish and the Fremantle win means they host the Hawks at home and Carlton plays away in Sydney. Of all the teams left in the bottom 4 Hawthorn would be the least preferred for Freo to play. When I first arrived in Tassie I had never seen so many personalised number plates supporting the Dockers until I realised they had a whole series of normal plates starting with FD! Pav and Mundy played well for the Dockers and they really appreciated the return of Sandilands who dominated the ruck and clearances.Judd had 30 possessions but McPhee did a reasonable job on him. Murphy, Gibbs and Simpson played well for the Blues but they will be up against it playing the Swans at home next week as will Freo playing Hawthorn at Subiaco. Other teams in the top 4 will be barracking for the Dockers.
Geelong 16.16.112 Defeated West Coast
It took half a game for the Cats to get going and then Ablett got loose to kick 5 goals and rack up 33 possessions. West Coast did okay to keep the margin to less than 50 points. Kelly, Milburn and Chapman also played well for the Cats and even Cam Mooney kicked 4 goals in preparation for the finals. Wilson kicked 3 for the Eagles but the side was really outclassed in the second half and West Coast will hope that next season they are not so badly affected by injuries to key players. The Cats go into next week’s game against St Kilda with a win and bit more confidence gained after their loss to Collingwood a few weeks ago.
Hawthorn 15.8.98 Defeated Collingwood 13.17.95
The result was a bit of an upset as the Hawks ended a 9 game winning streak by Collingwood when they kicked the last 4 goals of the game. The inaccuracy by the Magpies in front of goal remains a problem. As a reward for their great win Hawthorn gets to fly to Perth to play the Dockers. Josh Fraser finally got to play his 200th game but it was not a memorable return. The Pies could not tie up the game when they were 19 points up half way through the last quarter and the efforts of Reid and Brown in the back line might be a cause for concern in the finals. Franklin kicked 6 for the Hawks and he was the main goal kicker. Beams had the chance to win the match for the Pies with a free kick in the last 10 seconds of the game but he missed. Alas, a common tale for Collingwood when kicking from set shots. The third quarter was a ripper with 12 goals kicked. Pies fans will hope they don’t meet Hawthorn in any of the finals.
Adelaide 9.11.65 Defeated St Kilda 5.7.37
This result was definitely an upset even though nothing really hinged on the game. The Crows continued their good form against the top teams after going down by only 3 points to Collingwood the week before. They smothered the Saints and came away in the last quarter for a very good win. Mad Monday for the Crows – a date with the Cats for St Kilda. It seems that the emotion of all those great Adelaide players retiring did help the team. The Saints will need to regroup for next week’s match against the Cats. Walker for Adelaide was the leading goal kicker in the game. The usual crew of Hayes, Dal Santo, Montagna and Goddard for the Saints played well but they were not helped by a dysfunctional forward line with Kosi and Reiwoldt both down.
Western Bulldogs 17.5.107 Defeated Essendon 11.12.78
At times it looked like the Bulldogs were going to run away with the game but the Bombers hung in to go down by just 29 points. That reasonable showing by Essendon did not save Matthew Knights who was given his marching orders by the club today. Matt is unemployed and the Bulldogs face the Pies next week. Grant kicked 6 goals for the Western Bulldogs and Barry Hall kicked 4 which was not enough to steal the Coleman medal from Richmond’s Jack Reiwoldt. Jetta picked up 31 possessions for the Bombers and Cross and Murphy were both good for the Bullies. Okay, so who coaches Essendon next year? Does Hird come back out of the woodwork and re-nominate? Who is available? Choco Williams? He’s still tired after his recent finish at Port Adelaide. Bring Sheeds back. Anyway, whatever the supporters want the board will move to make it happen. Where does this leave Matty Knights’ career as a coach? He’s still under 40 years old. Mooroopna reserves in the Shepparton league maybe?
Sydney 16.10.106 Defeated Brisbane 10.8.68
The game was close up to half time then Sydney showed just how much better they were than the Lions by kicking 10 goals to 4 in the second half. Kieran Jack continues sensational form and he will finish with a few Brownlow votes I’m sure. Dennis-Lane led the Sydney goal scorers again. Brennan and Staker played well for the Lions and Malceski was back to good form alongside Jack for the Swans. Rumour has it that Brennan and Rischetelli might move from the Lions to the Gold Coast team and of course the whole Brisbane Lions team football department is under review. The Swans will need to be at their best to beat Carlton next week. Don’t think they will get it as easy as they did a few weeks ago.
Port Adelaide 18.14.122 Defeated Richmond 16.16.112
What a great game of football. Port kicked 10 goals to 2 in the second quarter and it looked like the Power by a huge margin but the Tigers found some inspiration in the second half and cut a 53 point half time deficit to just 3 points half way through the final quarter. Port steadied to win the game. Farewell to Cuz and congrats Matthew Primus as the new coach of Port. Stewart kicked 4 for Port and Boak kicked 3 as did Morton and King for the Tigers. Richmond fans really took to Cousins who made a reasonable contribution to the game considering he was carrying a hamstring strain. Deledio and Morton also played well for the Tigers and Boak and Brogan were Port’s best. Port finished with 10 wins and it was just a bad patch in the early part of the season that might have cost them a place in the finals. It will be a surprise if Primus does not get the coaching job for Port, unless of course he is approached by Essendon.
North Melbourne 17.11.113 Defeated Melbourne 15.13.103
It was great watching two teams of young players going hell for leather at the ball. The game was played at cracking pace and at one stage in the last quarter it looked like Melbourne had North done. But like they did with the Eagles last week North did enough at the end to win. Only percentage kept them out of finals. It looks good for both sides next season and it was only percentage, but a lot of it, that kept North out of the finals this year. Don’t have a lot of stats on the game but Jurrah and Green kicked 5 each for the Dees and Jones, in his last game for North, booted 3 as did that Harvey guy. Scully has made a grab for the NAB rising star award with another strong game for Melbourne and of course their captain McDonald played his last game in a weekend of retirements. Let’s not forget umpire McBurney who also retired after about 1000 games umpiring in the AFL. He was certainly a character. Ask James Hird.