2013 SEASONAuthor - www.footy.com.au
With May Day holidays and a weekend off it was a great opportunity to watch every game on AFL streaming. Usually the opportunity to do this is restricted to a half or 3 quarters of a few games and all of a game that is played in the late afternoon. 3 close games provided some much needed entertainment. The Essendon win and the Port Adelaide tip were the contentious games to pick from this round. But those that picked those two would have finished with 9 from 9.
Essendon 18.13.121 defeated Collingwood 10.15.75
A record crowd of 93,000 plus watched a high quality game that saw the Bombers remain undefeated and Collingwood get beaten easily in the last 15 minutes. With just over 8 minutes to play the Pies were closing and had got to within 2 goals. 3 free kicks to Essendon in front of goal, which I thought were very poor decisions, helped seal the game as the Magpie impetus was halted. The umpiring didn’t cost Collingwood the game but certainly the margin might have been less. Essendon look like the real deal this year. With their next game against the Giants they will be 6 wins from 6 games and the Pies need to get their act together to beat St Kilda next week. The attitude of some players in the last 6 minutes would have had Mick throwing a hissy fit in the box if he was still coaching.
Sydney 11.13.79 defeated St Kilda 9.9.63
Well if it’s not windy in Wellington then it’s raining and the weather turned this into a hard slog for both teams. A crowd of about 24,000 is a fine result for the AFL and will probably see them pursue the introduction of AFL to Kiwis. From a game point of view it seemed Sydney had the measure of the Saints most of the night although St Kilda did get to within 10 points in that last quarter but just fell short. The Swans consolidated with 4 wins and the Saints’ season is looking a little bleak with 4 losses and it doesn’t get easier when they play the Magpies next week. Sydney is at home to the Brisbane Lions.
Fremantle 12.9.81 defeated Richmond 12.8.80
What a game this was and it will also result in the downgrading of the goal umpire who allowed the ball to hit his legs when it was going to be a certain goal. Not sure if that’s in the rule that if the ball hits an umpire’s legs then it’s still in play. Then again, why wasn’t there a review? So the Tigers were a bit stiff and conversely Fremantle won a close one unlike last week when they let one slip against Essendon. Both teams look about the same level so it will be interesting to see which side finishes the better this year. Fremantle have the big trip to the Gold Coast - surf, sand and Suns. Richmond might be looking at 2 losses in a row unless they get Geelong on an off day.
Gold Coast Suns 21.22.148 defeated the GWS Giants 16.8.104
This was an entertaining game with some wonderful skills on display. As some of the power teams fade a little over the next two seasons you would be wise to keep your eye on these two sides as the players gain some experience and footy toughness. An all time high score by the Suns who were challenged by the Giants on a couple of occasions getting as close as 7 points in the 3rd quarter. Did anybody see that Ablett handpass to set up the Suns’ last goal? Worth 1 Brownlow vote on its own! Gold Coast probably give themselves a chance against Fremantle at home and the Giants face a rampant Essendon and need to hold their composure so they don’t lose by over 100 points.
Carlton 17.13.115 defeated Adelaide 12.11.83
The Blues probably had this one sewn up at quarter time when they led 39 to 11. That was just about the winning margin. A couple of issues I had with some aspects of the game. When Adelaide was on a roll and kicked 6 of the last 8 goals to be 19 points down in the final quarter the missed free or mark to Scott Thompson of the Crows was crucial. Then in the stoppage the umpire picked out a holding the ball free against Adelaide which was utterly wrong and then there was a 50 metre penalty for dissent? Yarran magic resulted in a Carlton goal. Betts and Yarran in the last quarter for Carlton were just unbelievable. The Yarran mark as he fell over and then kicked the last goal of the day was something else! The Blues should string together 3 wins when they meet Melbourne while Adelaide has another tough match against the Hawks.
Geelong 15.17.107 defeated Western Bulldogs 13.8.86
A bigger winning margin was expected here so in that respect the Bulldogs did pretty well. Seems it was another game where an early lead is established and the team chasing that score doesn’t quite get there. Western Bulldogs held Geelong goal less in the last quarter but the Cats still won and remain undefeated so far. They will have to play a little better than that to beat the Tigers next week and the Western Bulldogs cross the Nullarbor to play West Coast.
Port Adelaide 12.12.84 defeated West Coast 10.19.79
West Coast rubbish! How did they lose that game with a 40 point lead against a team that has certainly improved but…….? Then I see Whoosha’s comments: “We can still win the premiership from outside the top 4.” But John, can you win it from outside the 8? Actually the Eagles should have had this game wrapped up by half time but some of those set shots on goal were nothing but poor football. If they were 13.7 instead of 7.13 to 2.5 it was game over. What about Port? Undefeated after 5 rounds, they have beaten two finalists from last year and seem to have the fire in their heart. They keep this up they will make the finals! Next stop for them is North Melbourne – not easy. The Eagles have a chance to get a win against the Bulldogs next week at home but they need to improve.
Brisbane 17.20.122 defeated Melbourne 14.10.94
It would have been a brave tip if you picked Melbourne to win this game and so it proved. The Lions seemed to have the match in their keeping all day and the Demons tried valiantly and at least weren’t blown away as has been the case in other games. It was a game of footy, that’s about all and the real excitement was in the last 15 seconds when there was a minor scuffle in the goal square resulting in a gimme goal for Melbourne. Hard to see the Lions win next week against the reigning premiers and Melbourne will provide Carlton with their 3rd win when they meet at the MCG.
Hawthorn 14.15.99 defeated North Melbourne 13.18.96
Another great game of football and another close loss for North. There was nothing in this game with neither team able to push an advantage and take a reasonable lead. The last frenetic 5 minutes was all about desperation and just getting that ball moving forward. Rioli was magnificent for the Hawks until a hamstring strain and Thomas kicked 5.1 with 6 possessions. Buddy’s behind play stuff is pure nonsense and costly at times. Why do brilliant players like this have a stupid streak? Must make the coach tear his hair out. The Hawks travel to AAMI next week and the game against the Crows will be as tough as the one they played today. North plays the other team from South Australia and will be hopeful they can inflict the first loss on the Power.