AFL Round 18 – The dog-leg edition
Round 18 saw some horrific injuries, some great footy, and much needed win for the struggling Lions.
*NOTE: Dave is on a much deserved holiday at the moment, so I will be doing the footy reviews for the next few weeks. Be gentle… And sorry, I’m already a day late
It all kicked off Friday night as the Kangaroos finally won another game, holding off a rather flat Collingwood to eventually win by 40 points, although that margin was rather flattering for the Kangaroos. The pies were right in this in the last quarter, and if a few shots at goal had of gone the other way… who knows?
What I noticed: Majak’s mark was certainly the best ‘second best mark of the year’ I’ve ever seen, and Trent Dumont looked very sharp. Quite a draft that one.
COLLINGWOOD 2.2 4.4 10.7 12.12 (84)
NORTH MELBOURNE 6.5 10.7 14.10 18.16 (124)
Collingwood: Blair 2, Moore 2, Greenwood 2, White 2, Sidebottom 2, Pendlebury, Fasolo
North Melbourne: Thomas 5, Petrie 2, Brown 2, Ziebell 2, Dumont 2, Harvey 2, Macmillan, Gibson, Goldstein
On saturday, the Blues gave the Swans a pretty decent scare and for a team with genuine premiership aspirations, there is certainly nothing particularly ominous about Sydney this year.
What I Noticed: Speaking of the 2013 draft, Patrick Cripps headed up to Sydney to go head to head with the ‘biggest-bodied’ contested giants in the game, and came away with 32 touches of which 22 were contested. In fairness to the Swans, Josh Kennedy picked up 23 contested touches himself, and really was the reason the swans were able to hold on. But boy, Cripps can play.
SYDNEY SWANS 4.4 5.7 9.11 10.14 (74)
CARLTON 5.1 7.3 9.4 10.8 (68)
Sydney Swans: Franklin 4, Parker 2, Richards 2, Kennedy, Jack
Carlton: E.Curnow 2, C.Curnow, Sumner, Armfield, Kreuzer, Buckley, Boekhorst, Silvagni, Casboult
Then came the first of many ‘who gives a shit’ games, as 8,933 people slept through Gold Coast having a rare win over the semi-retired Fremantle by 24 points.
What I noticed: Not much, I saw very little of this game, but I did notice that the guy with the most apt nickname in the game – Two Metre Peter – is looking like the next big thing.
GOLD COAST 5.2 8.3 12.7 16.9 (105)
FREMANTLE 3.0 9.5 10.6 12.9 (81)
Gold Coast: May 4, Lynch 4, Wright 3, Grant 2, Matera, Sexton, Martin
Fremantle: Walters 4, Langdon 2, Yarran 2, Taberner, Pearce, Neale, Griffin
Melbourne somehow didn’t beat the Eagles, despite beating them in every other possible measure you could come up with… except for the whole kicking goals bit. It was a disappointing result for the Demons, as a win in Perth would have been a great boost to their slow rise up the ladder.
What I Noticed: Maxy Gawn continues to put his hand up as the best ruckman in the game. He’d certainly be a clear All Australian this year, and what an awesome beard he has.
WEST COAST 2.1 5.2 8.4 10.6 (66)
MELBOURNE 2.2 5.4 8.10 8.12 (60)
West Coast: Kennedy 3, Priddis, Darling, Duggan, Lycett, Cripps, Gaff, Hill
Melbourne: Garlett 3, Dawes 2, M Jones, Petracca, Kent
Saturday night dished up a very impressive double header, kicking off with the Cats hosting the Crows down at Simonds Stadium. After a tight first half, the cats blew the game away with a 5 goal to nil third quarter, which ended up being the final margin.
What I Noticed: Tom Hawkins is pretty much Geelong’s most important player. If they are to do anything in this year’s finals, he HAS to be playing well. Good signs this week.
GEELONG 4.1 5.6 10.9 12.13 (85)
ADELAIDE 3.2 5.5 5.10 7.13 (55)
Geelong: Hawkins 4, Menzel 4, Stanley, Guthrie, Cockatoo, McCarthy
Adelaide: Jenkins 3, Lynch 2, Bews, Douglas
The other half of double header was the match the round clash between the Saints and Doggies. It’s interesting, these two teams seem to follow each other around the ladder, and I get the impression we will see these two playing in some big finals over the next few years. The game will probably be remembered for the horrific broken leg to Mitch Wallis, which overshadowed Jack Redpath doing his ACL. Really though, it was a fantastic win for the Saints who kept their finals chances alive, and they are set up for a huge clash next week against the Kangaroos.
What I noticed: The long-running and overall hilarious Jake Carlisle trade of last year, has given the saints quite a mixed bag thus far. But they did manage to salvage pick 14 in the deal, and that did get them Jade Gresham, who is looking like the real ‘quiet achiever’ of last year’s draft.
The sunday games will be tricky for me, as I was at one of them, and missed the other two completely.
I didn’t see a single second of the Hawthorn and Richmond game, but by the looks of it, Hawthorn did a nice job reminding everybody just how good they are. As did Richmond.
HAWTHORN 2.5 4.11 7.15 16.18 (114)
RICHMOND 2.5 3.7 3.11 5.14 (44)
Hawthorn: Rioli 3, Gunston 3, Sicily 3, Breust 2, Puopolo, O’Rourke, Whitecross, Gibson, McEvoy
Richmond: Riewoldt 2, Rioli, Drummond, Cotchin
I saw about 10 minutes of the first quarter of GWS and Port, and from what I saw, GWS looked like they were struggling, so that’s an important win for them over there.
PATTON-WATCH: Well, I didn’t see him, but 6 touches, 2 marks and a goal doesn’t scream ‘trade a first rounder for this guy.’
PORT ADELAIDE 2.2 6.3 7.5 9.6 (60)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 0.2 2.7 7.11 11.13 (79)
Port Adelaide: Ebert 4, R.Gray 3, Wingard
Greater Western Sydney: Cameron 2, Smith 2, Shiel, Scully, Reid, Patton, Coniglio, Greene
I’ll end this now with the worst game of the round, a game I was very unlucky to be at. The Wooden Spoon clash between Leppitch’s souless Lions, and Worsfold’s player-less Bombers. two minutes into the game, it was pretty clear Essendon was getting pick 1 next year, although some half-medicore goal kicking could have seen them back in the game. Essendon has played some good footy over the last month, but it’s goal kicking has been as bad as anything I’ve seen in footy. It’s beyond a joke, and that’s taking into consideration that serial offenders Joe Daniher and Orazio Fantasia kicked 4.1 and 3.1 respectively this week. The problem is widespread.
What I noticed: If you don’t pay Tom Rockliff any attention, he’ll get a stack of the ball. Conversely, if you put a hard tag on David Zaharakis, he won’t get near it. That was the difference in this game.
Oh, and just one more thing… Aaron Francis is going to be a special type of player.
ESSENDON 3.4 6.9 7.14 12.19 (91)
BRISBANE LIONS 6.3 9.4 15.6 20.8 (128)
Essendon: Daniher 4, Fantasia 3, Langford, Hams, Dempsey, Brown, McDonald-Tipungwuti
Brisbane Lions: Walker 4, Mathieson 2, Cutler 2, Green 2, Dawson 2, Bewick, Martin, Hipwood, Bastinac, Mayes, Hanley, Rockliff, Rich
I’ll be back next week, hopefully more on time.