Just to add some healthy interest to the competition we have the unique draw next week that will see the top 8 teams play off in a mini final series! While that will sort out some top 8 positions it’s also good news for the teams just outside trying to get in giving them an opportunity to take advantage if they’re good enough. For us poor tipsters it’s just another weekend of selection nightmares.
North Melbourne 24.5.149 defeated Carlton 14.12.96
Well that tells us that the win against Collingwood by the Blues was just one of those things as they went from the joy of winning that game to the despair of getting a hiding in this one.Super accurate kicking for goal by North Melbourne had them in a winning position by half time and they put it beyond any doubt by the third quarter break when they were 9 goals ahead. For Carlton Judd is on report and Ratten still reckons they will make the finals. Next week they get a reprieve when they play the Western Bulldogs and even on a bad day they can win that. North might get a look at the top 8 again when they play a disappointing Richmond.
Fremantle 18.9.117 defeated Melbourne 12.11.83
It took the Dockers 3 quarters to get the better of the Demons and they put Melbourne to the sword in the final term kicking 7 goals to zip! This was an important win for Freo and keeps their chances of making the finals in good health considering who they have to play for the remaining rounds. Strangely enough they play the Demons again in the last round? Next week they play the Giants in Perth so they can pencil that in as another win. Melbourne might consider themselves a chance against Port but the game is in Darwin.
Essendon 19.13.127 defeated Port Adelaide 11.11.77
The Bombers had a few out of their best 22 but were still strong enough to win comfortably in the end courtesy of a 6 goal to zip last quarter. To Essendon’s credit they were 2 points in arrears at half time but dominated the second half of the game and not only won but did their percentage little harm as well. Things will get a bit tougher for them next week against Geelong in a game they can win and depending on other results find themselves back in the top 4. Port travels to Darwin for the annual match against the Demons.
Gold Coast Suns 13.12.90 defeated Richmond 13.10.88
OMG! They did it again!! The Suns got up in the dying seconds and won their first game and it was the Tigers again. You would have thought Gold Coast had let the winning opportunity slip with another poor quarter of football. In the 3rd they allowed Richmond to kick 6 goals to their 2 and wrest back the lead. With only a minute to go Richmond needed to lock that ball up tight but somehow the Suns wriggled out of the packs and kicked 2 goals - the winning goal coming after the siren! Devastatingly bad for Richmond and it only goes to show that history repeats. The Tigers are a game adrift now from the top 8 and next week they play North who need to win to make the finals. Tough game. The Gold Coast Suns play big brother Brisbane again and go into the game full of confidence after their last gasp win against Richmond and their elevation from 18th place to 17th. Hallelujah!
Collingwood 17.8.110 defeated Geelong 10.19.79
The combination of straight kicking and a scintillating first quarter by Collingwood gave them a strong win against the Cats. The Pies always had the measure of Geelong and when a team has a 6 goal lead and the rain starts falling it’s always going to be a hard task for the other side to catch up. And so it proved with the Pies keeping the Cats at bay to the final siren. Geelong is fighting to make the finals after winning the big one last year and plays Essendon next week for the Friday night game at Etihad. Collingwood have the chance to right a wrong from earlier in the season when they play Hawthorn at the MCG in the Saturday blockbuster. Both teams are in fine form.
St Kilda 16.9.105 defeated Brisbane 14.8.92
Not sure how many times the lead changed in the last quarter but the fat lady was too nervous to get up and sing until she knew there was just a minute to go and the Saints held a slender lead. There was nothing in this game all the way through the match and finally the Saints were able to put two wins together and slip back into the 8. Their time in the 8 might be short-lived as they face Sydney at the SCG next week.
Adelaide 27.16.178 defeated GWS Giants 8.11.59
It seemed the Crows were just ambling along in the first half or maybe because the Giants can play well enough for 2 quarters they were able to keep the opposition scoring under control. Adelaide kicked just 9 goals in the first half but then the floodgates opened and they kicked 18 in the second half resulting in another punishing loss to GWS. After last week’s 160 point hiding this week it was just 119! Adelaide is at home to West Coast next week in another important game for both teams. Next week it’s possible that the Giants will not lose by 100 points.
Hawthorn 17.14.116 defeated Western Bulldogs 6.8.44
Another mauling for the Bulldogs and another big win for the Hawks. The Western Bulldogs could manage just 1 goal after half time while Hawthorn piled on 9 goals in the same period. Add a 12 goal win to an already impressive percentage and the Hawks are ready to pounce on the first team to take a tumble in the top 4. The Bullies need a Dog Whisperer perhaps more than a coach! They play an out of form Carlton next week and might be a rough chance. Hawthorn is looking at a possible Grand Final Preview game against Collingwood.
Sydney 18.13.121 defeated West Coast 10.9.69
The game was fairly tight up to half time and considering the positions on the ladder the two teams held it was expected to stay that way for the rest of the game. Alas, Sydney had other thoughts and ran away with the match winning by almost 9 goals – rather unexpected. It will be interesting to see the teams play again and the Eagles not have so many injured or suspended players missing. The Swans meet St Kilda at home next week and the Eagles travel to Adelaide to play another tough game.