St Kilda 13.17.95 Drew with Richmond 14.11.95
The Saints on fire in the first quarter with Gram and Fisher getting plenty of the ball. Deledio, Grigg and Crotchin best for Richmond. Jack Reiwoldt has been knocked out in the first quarter but they won’t substitute him. Milne has kicked almost half the Saints score. The Saints 14 points up at the end of the quarter. The Tigers started the second with a quick goal so the margin is down to 8 points. It’s a substitute confusion – Jack is not going to be substituted but Richmond seems to be doing okay without him.Gram has had 16 disposals 10 minutes into the 2nd quarter. Morton snaps another for Richmond after a deliberate out of bounds call against the Saints so the margin is only 3. Jack has a major fallout with the Richmond medical staff because they won’t let him back on the ground. The substitute has taken place!! Jack is out with concussion. Nick Reiwoldt kicks a goal after a lead and a mark. Margin is 8 points. The sub Helbig has kicked a loooong goal for the Tigers. Margin just 2 points. Baaalllll!! Free to Jake King. He kicks the goal and the Tigers have hit the front! Milne marks but shaves the post for a Saints’ point. The ball is cleared to the other end and Martin, playing really well, kicks his second goal for the quarter, extending the Richmond lead to 9 points. Tap by McEvoy to Del Santo who snaps a point. McGuane hits Farren Ray high, gets reported and Ray’s free kick from 30 metres goes through the middle for a goal. Armitage gets a handball from Milne and kicks a goal. The Saints are back in front. Good clearance and the Tigers get it up forward, Clarke of St Kilda drops a mark allowing Jake King to kick another goal for Richmond putting them back in front by 2 points. Another late goal to the Tigers gives them a half time lead of 7 points and a 7 goal quarter.
Second half start and McEvoy taps to Milne from a stoppage and he strolls in and kicks a goal. Oh no. Lenny Hayes looks like he has done a knee or ankle – real bad. In the meantime Vickery gets a chance for Richmond and kicks an answering goal. Lenny has a bad injury alright. The Saints have called the substitute straight away. Half way through the quarter and the Tigers are dominating. 10 inside 50’s to 3 so far but they can’t put the Saints away on the scoreboard. Saints make another run into the forward line, Milne bouncing the ball twice but kicks over the head of Reiwoldt and scores a point. McEvoy takes a set shot from 50 but it’s another point. A non-decision by the umpires on a Richmond mark which wasn’t paid to Morton allows the Saints to clear. Back into the Richmond goal, umpires miss a throw right in front of goal and the Saints clear again. They are under pressure. After 22 minutes both teams have kicked just one goal apiece. Ball is going backwards and forwards between half back lines. Into the Richmond half forward line and a big mark by Morton, he plays on and passes to Cotchin, 20 metres out and he misses. Almost on the siren McEvoy takes a mark for the Saints and slots it for a goal. It’s a 3 point margin at the last break. Deledio has 21 touches to three quarter time and Grigg 20 for Richmond. Armitage, Gram and Del Santo all have over 20 disposals for the Saints who laid 30 tackles that quarter which certainly helped them keep the Tigers within reach. It has started raining during the break so scoring might be a bit harder in the last. Can the Tigers cause a huge upset? A quick clearance by the Saints and Milne just misses again for a point. Baaaalll! Tigers pinged for holding and Montagna takes the free from 30 out and he misses as well. Margin is down to a point. Big kick for goal by Richmond is not touched and goes through the big ones. Rebound from the Tiger forward line and a spilled Goddard mark drops into Reiwoldt’s hand and he puts it through for a goal. Another point for the Saints after the bounce and the scores are level. Gram puts it long into the forward line, Goddard can’t take it, scramble in the Saints’ forward line, the Tigers clear, work it into their forward line, Ray tries to make the ball safe and Martin takes the fumbled ball and slots it through for a goal! Back into the Richmond goal square after the bounce, Saints clear to the half forward line, then up into their own forward line, the umpire calls deliberate rush through the points on McGuane and Reiwoldt has the free. He kicks truly. The scores are level again. Clearance goes back into the Saints’ forward line, Milne breaks clear and kicks his fourth goal putting the Saints 6 points ahead. Back into the Richmond forward line, handball after handball and finally to Grigg from a standing start has kicked a goal. Scores are level again. Ball bounced, the Tigers push into their forward line again, handball comes to Edwards but his kick is touched on the line. A one point lead to the Tigers. Free kick to Richmond 60 out and the kick is marked by Grigg. Rain is getting heavier. Grigg misses the goal!!! 6 minutes left. The Saints clear it right to their forward line and Goddard kicks it low, the ball skids along the wet ground, heads toward goal and Blake races in and makes sure of it. The Saints get the lead. Richmond forces the ball forward, Nahas takes possession but in a hurry he kicks it out on the full. The Tigers push forward again but Morton gets Fisher in the kidneys with a stupid free and the Saints clear. Ball comes back, Fisher clears again. Richmond keeps pressing, they need a goal with 3 minutes of play left. A Richmond free to Astbury, a scramble in the goal square, ball up. Desperate play but finally Jackson for Richmond snaps an incredible goal and put the Tigers in front with 2 minutes left. After the bounce the ball is cleared by the Saints and Archer marks for St Kilda 40 metres out. He misses. 1 point the difference! Montagna gets possession after the kick out and passes to Milne. Can he kick his 5th? Noooo, he’s missed. The scores are level with 40 seconds left. Ball is out of bounds a few metres from the Saints’ goal, scramble for the ball, time’s up. It’s a draw!!! Another draw at the G!! Incredible.
Collingwood 21.17.143 Defeated North Melbourne 7.14.56
North was totally outclassed and actually did worse than Port Power did the previous week against Collingwood. The result might put the Pies on top with percentage but let’s see how big a margin Carlton can win by. Scott, North’s coach, for some reason didn’t tag Swan and Pendlebury and paid the penalty as these two players amassed 40 and 37 possessions respectively. Harvey played better this week but overall it would have been a disappointing result and effort by North. They have the bye next week.
West Coast 16.20.116 Defeated Port Adelaide 15.8.98
Commentators said last week that they thought Port Adelaide might be the worst team in the competition. After that result against the Eagles they might be right. The final margin flattered the Power and more accurate kicking by West Coast would have resulted in a big win. Veteran Eagle Andrew Embley is showing some champagne form early in the season and his 20 plus possessions and 4 goals, ably assisted by Shuey and Dean Cox helped West Coast beat Port at AAMi for the first time in 13 years! Port’s problems were exacerbated with a bad knee injury to their captain Cassisi who will be sidelined for about 6 weeks. Daniel Kerr returned to the Eagles side after almost a year absent and eventually worked his way into the game. West Coast looks a little better after that win and will face Sydney next week at home. Port travel to Geelong and will have to work hard to avoid a thrashing.
Carlton 26.15.171 Defeated Gold Coast 7.10.52
This is not the start the new team of the AFL was hoping for. A 119 point thrashing seems to either indicate that they will not be competitive or that Carlton was in a zone for the night. Or maybe it was a bit of both. Not a lot can be said for the Suns. Carlton will have a better idea of just where they are this year when they meet Collingwood next Friday night. Chris Judd celebrated his 200th game with 29 possessions and 2 goals and Murphy and Gibbs both had over 30 touches each. Garlett kicked 4 for the Blues along with Thornton who kicked 4. Daniel Harris and Rischitelli worked hard for their team but the Suns were outgunned across the ground. Karmichael Hunt did not debut well but it’s early days. It doesn’t get easier for Gold Coast who face the Bulldogs next week and I suspect another 100 point defeat.
Geelong 13.11.89 Defeated Fremantle 10.18.78
The game was tight right throughout and the Dockers had an untold number of chances to get ahead of the Cats in the last quarter but they just kept kicking points. For them to miss reasonably easy set shots in front of goal cost them the game. Bartel was all class during the night and kicked what was the deciding goal late in the last. Pavlich and Mundy were the best for the Dockers. Bradley is giving them a bit of a target up forward and Ballantyne works hard with pace as their small forward. To lose at home is a setback for Fremantle and they will be hard pressed to beat Adelaide next week at AAMI. Geelong has it a lot easier with Port Adelaide at Skilled.
Western Bulldogs 19.9.123 Defeated Brisbane 6.9.45
The Bulldogs showed that maybe last week was a glitch in their early season form although playing Brisbane is probably not a true indication of how good they might be. Teams travelling north of Sydney this year look like having easy games with the Lions and Suns really at rock bottom for competitiveness based on the results this week. Not a lot can be said for the Lions who were without Jonathon Brown for the first week of many after his face injury last week. The Bullies dominated in the centre with Cooney playing well alongside Griffen and Boyd. Second game player Tom Liberatore also made an impact and will be a great acquisition for the Bulldogs. It was surprising that Barry Hall could contribute only 3 goals and he was subbed off at three quarter time with what looked like a back problem. Voss is in for a long, hard season with the Lions while The Western Bulldogs showed what most pundits forecast for them at the season start. They have another percentage booster against the Suns next week before and Brisbane meet Melbourne at the MCG.
Sydney 14.14.98 Defeated Essendon 13.15.93
Almost the only time the Swans were ahead in that game was 25 minutes into the last quarter. A reality check for the Bombers who were tipped by most to continue their winning way and another heart stopping close one for Sydney. No wonder Roos stopped coaching, nerves would be shot to pieces. This was a real pressure game of footy particularly in the last 10 minutes when the scores were close and it was anybody’s game. Goodes made up for a poor game last week against Melbourne and when he went into the centre Sydney looked a little better. Jobe Watson continued his great form winning a lot of the ball and driving the Bombers forward. At one stage of the game Essendon held a 28 point lead and the Swans showed a lot of courage to whittle that lead back and eventually run out winners. Sydney heads to Perth next week to play the West Coast in what will be a hard one to win and Essendon play St Kilda.
Hawthorn 16.26.122 Defeated Melbourne 12.5.77
Just looking at the number of scoring shots for each team tells the story of the game. Had Hawthorn kicked accurately the game was over at quarter time. Had the Hawks kicked accurately the Demons would have been embarrassed. It’s hard to believe that Melbourne led 8.3 to 3.13 at half time as a result of goal front inaccuracy by the Hawks. But after the long break Hawthorn kicked 13 goals to the Demon’s 4 in the second half sealing the game in the third quarter. Rioli turned it on for Hawthorn ably assisted by Suckling. Buddy managed only 2 goals for his team and Burgoyne kicked a handy 4. Tapscott was the best for the Dees. The Hawks face the Tigers next week and Melbourne should beast the Lions at the MCG.