Courtesy of www.footy.com.au
In a round of football that had AFL lovers and supporters watering at the mouth at the prospect of seeing all the top teams play off in what were expected to be close games the weekend turned out to be a major disappointment. Margins of 8 and 11 goals seemed the order of the day and while the results sorted out some high ladder positions it also helped to add confusion to just which team might make the preliminaries and the big one at the end of the year. The performances by the losing teams were abysmal to say the least and there will need to be some questions asked of players as we enter the pointy end of the season. Geelong coming good? Essendon going bad? Sydney and Adelaide still strong. Hawthorn awesome, lurking. Collingwood pretenders? West Coast struggling. The rest don’t matter!
Geelong 20.14.134 defeated Essendon 10.7.67
It was another ‘double your score’ match when the Cats came out and mauled the Bombers showing very little mercy in a game that was expected to go down to the wire with a much closer margin. Either Essendon was having a bad day and Geelong was having an exceptional one or this is the true difference between the teams. The Cats virtually secured 7th spot so the race for 8th will be interesting.Well maybe not secured because they play the Crows next week, fortunately in Geelong. Essendon might be on the slippery slope because they play Hawthorn on Friday night and you can expect another bumper crowd for that one.
Hawthorn 21.12.138 defeated Collingwood 13.13.91
A bumper crowd was treated to a really one sided game and if Collingwood thinks that they can win a premiership, or even make the GF, playing like that then they had better wake up. A million bucks for Cloke? One hopes he takes the money because this season, apart from 2 games, he has been very ordinary albeit he is a focal point there. And Dawes? Rioli and Mitchell …….aggh…what’s the use. It was a thrashing and Hawthorn should be installed as premiership favourite after that game. The Hawks meet Essendon in another test for both teams next week and the Pies have a bye…oh…no…they play the Giants. Same thing except you get 4 points and extra percentage!
Adelaide 19.10.124 defeated West Coast 11.9.75
The game was well and truly over in the 2nd quarter when the Eagles were some 7 goals adrift and they just could never make up that deficit. Whether the huge injury list the Eagles have is starting to take its toll or what, who knows, but 2 big losses in a row are making the fans nervous. The Crows look good and they don’t have a hard draw to get them home and retain a top 4 spot. West Coast is looking for a home final. Might be hard. The Crows travel along the Coast road ( I wonder why they don’t take that wonderful bus ride along the Great Ocean Road?) to play the Cats and West Coast might get a bit of a breather playing the Lions at Paterson.
Brisbane Lions 8.11.59 defeated the Gold Coast Suns 5.18.48
You would be excused looking at the score line and making the assumption that it was pouring rain, slippery ball and two mediocre teams were slogging it out in the wet. That wasn’t the case with both teams struggling to put any scoreboard pressure on the other team. Atrocious kicking by Gold Coast eventually cost them the game even though they led late in the last quarter and with 3 minutes to go it was looking like a Suns win. 2 late goals by Brisbane gave them the slender win and added another loss for Gold Coast. Their misery is set to continue against Sydney and Brisbane has that huge trip across the continent to Perth. I think they leave tomorrow.
Carlton 16.6.102 defeated Western Bulldogs 12.12.84
A very poor season almost turned ugly for Carlton as they battled injuries, suspensions and poor form to finally beat the Bulldogs by 3 goals. Punters were licking their lips at three quarter time which showed a Bulldogs’ lead of 5 points on the scoreboard. Blues coach Ratten breathed a sigh of relief as his team kicked 6 goals in the final term to finally run out winners and keep Carlton’s finals hopes alive. They will have to beat the Tigers next week to stay in touch and based on current form that game will be tough.
Port Adelaide 12.12.84 defeated Melbourne 8.8.56
The Dees kicked 5 goals straight in the 1st quarter but it was all downhill from there. They managed just another 3.8 for the game while the Power played 4 consistent quarters saving their best quarter till the last during which they put Melbourne away. Where to for the Demons from here? Well it can only be up and the Power might be happy enough with their efforts so far this season. They might fancy their chances against Fremantle at home next week too. Melbourne has no hope against North.
Sydney 15.15.105 defeated St Kilda 10.16.76
In the round that saw all top 8 teams play each other this turned out to be the closest with the final margin probably a little unfair to the Saints who got within a goal in the final term. But 4 goals in the last few minutes by the Swans proved just too good for St Kilda who, as a result, exchange places in the 8 with North Melbourne. Sydney is on some roll here winning their past 7 games and they can be truly added to the mix come prelim finals time. They will make that 8 in a row next week against Gold Coast and St Kilda might be able to get back on the bike with a game against the Western Bulldogs.
North Melbourne 15.13.103 defeated Richmond 14.15.99
The Tigers can look back on this season and count their close games and see how they can go about winning those next year which will guarantee them a place in the finals. Last week they lost by 2 points on the last kick of the day and this week by 4 points in what turned out to be the closest game of the round and was also an important one for both teams in the context of making the finals. 7 goals by Petrie for North proved to be a match winner. North can maintain that winning feeling when they play the Dees and Richmond needs to vent their frustration on Carlton.
Fremantle 18.24.132 defeated GWS Giants 5.7.37
It’s probably enough to say that Freo’s Pavlich kicked a bigger score off his own boot than the Giants kicked with their 22 players! The only interest the crowd would have had was whether the Dockers could win this by 100 points. They fell 5 points short. Disposals stats show that Fremantle was very even between all players and also show that straighter kicking would have given the Dockers a mammoth score and consequently the Giants their 3rd consecutive 100 point hiding. They could be looking at another 100 point loss next week against Collingwood and Freo can consolidate its position when they play Port Adelaide.