AFL Review Round 18
Round 18 might best be described as a big yawn as teams put away their opposition by big margins except for the derby in Perth which was a cracker and went down to the wire with the possibility of a last kick after the siren changing the result. The final top 4 is not yet completely settled as the Eagles continue their resurgence from last year in an incredible form reversal. Carlton cannot afford to slip and West Coast need to keep winning. One thing is for sure, the desperately poor in the Philippines don’t give a stuff about the AFL.
China holiday had to be changed due to a number of things not the least being the reduction of services on the Bullet train trips between Beijing and Shanghai and the number of mechanical problems being experienced on the service. Reading the news this morning about the deaths and injuries on a Bullet train accident in a nearby province also helped me accept the change to my holiday schedule.
By the way, the previews got 8 correct this week after the abysmal 3 last week. We’re back in the race!
St Kilda 19.13.127 defeated Adelaide 3.6.24
This was no game it was a shame. Another massive thrashing for the Crows won’t help them but it certainly helped the Saints who moved into the 8 and boosted their percentage considerably. No doubt the call for Neil Craig’s head as coach will be heard across the Adelaide hills. St Kilda in its current form will cause a lot of headaches to teams above them and will play a leading role in the formation of the final top 8. Next week they play the Gold Coast Suns.
North Melbourne 17.20 122 Defeated Brisbane 11.11.77
North Melbourne has a reasonably favourable draw after next week to finish the last few rounds and looks like a dark horse in the race for the finals 8. In Brisbane’s defence they put up a good show but then that’s their story for most of the season. They will be better next year. Teams in the middle level look out for the Roos. Unfortunately they play Carlton next week and as good as they are as a young side it will be hard for them to maintain their winning ways in that game.
Sydney 16.18.114 Defeated Western Bulldogs 11.9.75
Barry Hall kicked 5 for the Bulldogs but he was a lone hand up forward as the Swans cruised to a reasonably comfortable 39 point win. Nice consolidation for the Swans….a harder task for the Bullies. Sydney sits amongst 4 other teams on about the same premiership points and they have a bye next week. The Bulldogs have a tough one against the Eagles at Etihad.
Collingwood 19.15.129 defeated Gold Coast 11.975
The Magpies did enough to beat the Suns by 9 goals but didn’t put this junior team away like others have this season. Collingwood had the same margin lead at half time that they had at the end of the game so a lot can be said for the endeavour of Gold Coast in a game that many thought the Pies would win by lots more. Collingwood play the Bombers next week a game which a lot of people will attend but know the result beforehand. Bluey McKenna should win coach of the year for how he has handled the Suns this season.
Carlton 24.9.153 defeated Essendon 12.7.79
The game was played in 2 halves (as most games are). Essendon stayed up with the Blues to half time after which it was only Carlton that came out and played. 15 goals to 4 in the second half really says it all. The Bombers face the Pies next week so their getting back into the top 8 meets another speed hump. Carlton has a danger game against North.
Geelong 17.11.113 defeated Richmond 7.9.51
The score line at half time was Geelong 11 goals to Richmond 1!! Richmond actually kept pace with the Cats in the second half as they kicked 6 goals apiece but the bird had truly flown by then. The Tigers will not make the 8 this year denying their supporters any happy thoughts. Geelong meets another wannabe next week against the Demons and Richmond get to lick their wounds and take a rest.
Hawthorn 20.12.132 defeated Melbourne 12.6.78
In a weekend of one sided results the Hawks did to Melbourne what Carlton, Collingwood, Geelong and St Kilda did to their opposition – thrash them. Hawks for the top 4 and Melbourne to keep battling for a finals spot. Considering the injuries the Hawks have suffered this year they have maintained a winning way. Their challenge comes when they play teams above them. They travel to Perth next week and need to beat the Dockers, not an easy task over there. Melbourne will have to pull a rabbit out of a hat to beat Geelong.
West Coast Eagles defeated Fremantle
Wow! What a derby to rekindle the rivalry between these two teams. The Dockers were 22 points down late in the last quarter but then 3 quick goals had them within a kick in the dying seconds. Ballantyne was awarded a free kick on the siren from an umpire’s deliberate out of bounds call on the Eagles but the ball hit the post!! Incredible finish and one that will be talked about for years to come in Perth. Cox, having a great year, won the Glendinning medal. The West Coast form reversal continues unabated from last season and they can still snatch a double chance if Carlton fails although they missed that opportunity last week. Freo just has to beat the Hawks next week at home