AFL Round 1 Review
Carlton 14.20.104 Defeated Richmond 13.6.84
The game was in the balance after an ordinary 3rd quarter by the Blues but sanity prevailed and some great leadership by Judd in the final quarter saw Carlton scrape home. Football isn’t a game that can be analysed by statistics because at three quarter time Carlton had dominated the game up to that stage with possessions and inside 50’s was 50 to 28 in their favour and they were down by 14 points. Go figure. Players seemed pretty tired in the last quarter but not sure whether that was due to the new substitute rule or the fact that it was the first ‘real’ game of the season. The Blues will win against the new Gold Coast team next week and Richmond will find it even harder against the Saints but the Tiger fans would be happy with that effort against Carlton.
Geelong 6.12.48 Defeated St Kilda 6.11.47
The Cats had kicked only 1 goal up to half way through the 3rd quarter so it remains a puzzle as to how they won the game. Older heads prevailed for Geelong and when the pressure was on they responded. A dozen goals in a game of football tells you how tight the game was with backlines dominating. Bartel was the best for the Cats and Lenny Hayes ditto for the Saints. Goals were hard to come by so power forwards Reiwoldt and Mooney didn’t contribute greatly to their respective team’s score although Saint Nick played his usual hard at the ball game but found himself competing against 3 opposition players each time he went for a mark. The Cats travel to Perth next week to take on Freo and the Saints meet the improving Tigers at the MCG. St Kilda and Geelong will figure in the finals action in September.
Collingwood 24.11.155 Defeated Port Adelaide 12.8.80
The result was expected but in the 3rd quarter Power got to within 16 points of the Magpies after trailing by 54 midway through the second quarter! The Pies simply put the foot on the gas and it was rather one sided from the 20 minute mark of the 3rd quarter as they piled on 10 of the next 11 goals. Collingwood starts at the top end of the ladder and the Power at the bottom end after that first round scoreline showing a 75 point margin. Might be how it pans out at season end for the two teams. The usual players for Collingwood dominated such as Pendlebury and Swan but the veteran Ben Johnson might have done enough to take the best on ground. Port’s game plan was not helped with a bad knee injury to Jay Schultz in the 2nd quarter and he was stretchered off. Thomas from Port, not Collingwood, played a great game for them with 27 possessions and Westhoff out played the returning Collingwood prodigal son Tarrant to kick 4 goals for the Power. Port fans might see some hope for the side considering they ran down a 58 point deficit to get within 16 but that effort left little in their tank when the Pies applied the pressure again. Port plays West Coast at AAMi next week and Collingwood meets North Melbourne.
Adelaide 16.9.105 Defeated Hawthorn 12.13.85
A great game of football in the second half and the Crows just kept plugging away and seemed to wear the Hawks down. Rioli was at times brilliant but the loss of Sewell for Hawthorn was a telling blow. The final score was not a real indication of how close the game was. Had the Hawks kicked straight early it might have been too great a deficit for the Crows to make up. In the end 25 scoring shots apiece and a 20 point victory to Adelaide tells a story. Mitchell and Burgoyne played well for the Hawks and Dangerfield and Stevens were prominent for the Crows. Hawthorn should get their season back on track against Melbourne next week and Adelaide has the bye.
Fremantle 13.16 94 Defeated Brisbane 14.8.92
Hard to read anything into this result as the game was full of errors but nevertheless a close contest. Brown copped a bad facial injury and the Dockers should have capitalised more on his absence. These are the games that Freo will need to win to equal last year’s effort and with no substitutes available for Brisbane for much of the last quarter the Dockers were able to snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. Pavlich and Sandilands played well for the Dockers and the Lions veteran Simon Black seemed to be doing it on his own at times. Next week might be a good indication of where the Dockers are when they play Geelong at home. Brisbane plays the Western Bulldogs who were thrashed by Essendon.
Essendon 16.17.113 Defeated the Bulldogs 8.10.58
This defeat for the Bulldogs is embarrassing. This win for the Bombers is an inspirational start to the season. Maybe tipsters should take the opportunity to review ladder positions they forecast prior to round 1. If Essendon play like that and can win 12 games they will finish in the 8. The Bulldogs have been touted as top two contenders? Hmmmm. The win was big enough to see Essendon sitting on top of the ladder at the end of round 1 but those lofty heights can cause severe nosebleed if you are not used to the altitude. It was strange listening to the commentary team which included Matthew Knights the former Bomber coach. Wonder what he thought about the win….really!! The return of Hille to Essendon is a huge plus and he dominated around the ground in this game and also took the mark of the day according to the commentators. Jobe Watson continues to be the main ballgetter for the Dons and he was ably assisted by Brett Stanton. Not so many outstanding players for a very miserable Bulldog performance. Rocket Rod will have to lift his team and their confidence next week against Brisbane while Essendon could win two in a row when they meet Sydney.
Melbourne 11.18.84 Drew with Sydney 11.18.84
What can you say? Both teams slugging it out in the last quarter and no doubt players very tired when the siren sounded with the scores locked on 84 points each. It was poor kicking for goal by both sides. Some tipping comps give you a point for the draw, others zip. Trengrove, Grimes, Maloney and Davey were the best for the Dees and for the Swans O’Keefe, Jack and McVeigh played well. Goodes was well down on his normal game. Splitting the points is better than getting zero but no doubt leaves a bad taste in the mouths of players. Sydney meets a resurgent Essendon next week and the Dees face the Hawks.
West Coast 13.14.92 Defeated North Melbourne 13.10.88
The game was, as expected, even all day. Each time West Coast kicked ahead by 2 or 3 goals North would get back into the game and at one stage in the final quarter they even led by a couple of points. Not a memorable game skills wise, 2 bad injuries for West Coast, but finally a win on the board for them to start the season. Not sure how bad the injury is to LeCras but he is the main goalkicker for the Eagles and he will be sorely missed. Masten seems to have done a knee but the extent of the injury is unknown. These losses will not help West Coast improve on last year’s result. Veterans Cox and Embley played well for West Coast. North’s answer to Judd, Andrew Swallow, was amongst their best but strangely enough Brent Harvey had a quiet day and was well held. The Eagles are a chance against Port next week but North have no hope against Collingwood.