AFL Review Round 13
China is a bit like Australia when I left with droughts in some places and floods in others. We lost quite a few lives in the Queensland floods this year and dry, dusty places became flooded lakes. Similar to here in China with droughts being broken by record rainfalls but with the population here the victim statistics are somewhat higher.
In north east China we have periods of rain and now real summer temperatures. 36 degrees it was today and the same forecast tomorrow. No air conditioning here either. All buildings have central heating which is hardly likely to be turned on for a few months. As hot as it is I still don’t look forward to the winter.
It was another good tipping round in the AFL with the preview picking 7 winners. The top 4 teams are clearing out from the rest and it’s from these teams that the premiers will emerge in 2011.
Western Bulldogs 14.16.100 defeated Adelaide Crows 10.10.70
It took a good part of 3 quarters for the Bulldogs to get a grip on this game and they finally over ran the Crows in the last quarter. The result really puts paid to any hope for Adelaide to climb up the ladder and keeps a faint hope open for the Bullies to appear in the finals. Even though they are not playing well they are still only a couple of games out of the 8. If Cooney can find form, ditto Barry Hall the Doggies might still sneak a place in the 8. They play the Suns next week but that’s about the easiest game they will have in the next 4 weeks. Adelaide journeys to Geelong next week for a hiding so their prospects remain bleak.
Hawthorn 19.15.129 defeated Gold Coast Suns 8.10.58
The Suns seem to be able to get reasonable starts to their games but again they fell away badly after half time. Hawthorn kicked 13 goals to 4 in that half. Buddy was reported and to think that it was in a game that they really were going to win anyway you sometimes have to ask yourself ‘why’? He’ll be gone for 3 weeks with his record. The Hawks have enough injury problems without adding stupidity. The Hawks found another couple of avenues to goal in Bruest and Savage who both kicked 4 so all the scoring was not left to Franklin who booted 3 anyway. Ablett played well for the Suns again. The Hawks will have it a little tougher next week against Essendon and the Suns play the Western Bulldogs.
North Melbourne 17.9.11 defeated Essendon 12.18.90
While it is difficult to say that the game was won and lost in the first quarter we know that teams who give the opposition 5 goal starts find it hard to come back. The Bombers did really well after a couple of injuries robbed them of another two players during the game and they even hit the front in the last quarter. But North, to their credit, steadied and kicked the next 4 goals. Essendon has now lost its last 4 games and have dropped from 3rd to 8th on the ladder and they don’t have any easy games coming up if we can use the term at all. North winning 3 puts them in the spotlight and they can possibly win 4 on the trot with a game against Port next week.
Geelong 15.10.100 defeated St Kilda 11.6.72
After an even first quarter the Cats dominated the second quarter and led by 23 points, a deficit the Saints could not make up for the rest of the game. They finally lost by 28 and although it makes playing finals a little harder the teams above St Kilda in positions 6 to 8 on the ladder are not that far ahead. Geelong will have to wait for the Magpies before they lose a game. Unlikely goal kicker for the Cats was young player Menzel with 4. The Saints have a bye next week and face Port and North when they return so they are still a chance to make a mark in the top 8. Geelong just keep on keeping on.
Richmond 18.17.125 defeated Brisbane 14.10.94
The game was very close all night and it was really just in the second half of the last quarter that Richmond really ran away with the game. This is a great win for the Tigers beating Brisbane at their home ground and although the Lions are not performing well this season it was always going to be a tough game for Richmond at the Gabba. With Essendon losing today the prospects of the Tigers making the finals has improved. Cotchin was the best for Richmond and with Vickery kicking 4 goals and Martin slotting 5 the Tigers showed no dependence on Reiwoldt having to kick a bag for them to win the game. The Lions have a tough road trip to Subiaco next week against Fremantle and Richmond play Melbourne in what will now be a blockbuster, so expect a big crowd.
Melbourne 22.17.149 defeated Fremantle 8.12.60
Based on form, as unpredictable as it has been for both these teams, you would be forgive to think it would be a close game but, after half time the Demons turned it on like they did against the Crows. This was a massacre. Welcome back to AFL Mr Barlow. By the way, Barlow was the best for his Fremantle side, not bad after a year off with a broken leg. Green kicked 5 for Melbourne a team that went on a rampage in the second half. The MCG woes continue for the Dockers, something they will have to overcome in the future if they are to be successful. They certainly will get no respect being beaten by 89 points by a team lower than them on the ladder. Freo gets a bit of respite with Brisbane and The Suns at home for their next two games.
Carlton 15.10.100 defeated Sydney 10.6.66
They talk about premiership quarters and the Blues turned in one of those today. At one stage they had kicked 14 of 15 goals scored and going into the final quarter they led by 65 points. Kreuzer, in only his second game back from a knee injury last year, was best on ground and his inclusion at this stage of the season can make Carlton a premiership contender. The Swans looked anything but a top four hope and the final score flattered them. It doesn’t get easier for the Swans when they meet Collingwood next week and it should be a good game between the West Coast and Carlton at Etihad as well.
West Coast defeated Port Adelaide
I think the Eagles assumed they had the game won at half time when they held a handy 5 goal lead but Port persisted and outscored West Coast in the second half. It never looked like Port would steal the 4 points but the Eagles needed to step it up in the last quarter to hold the Power at bay. 6 wins from their last 8 games has put West Coast right up there in the top 8. The Eagles lay Carlton next week and that will be a better indication of where their improvement has reached. Port Adelaide fights for its life every week, so no easy games, just a tough learning curve for the players.