Round 19 was full of milestones, broken records and Jack Watts playing well.
It all began on friday night down Geelong way, as the Cats played host to the Doggies in an old fashioned blockbuster friday night clash. Sadly for the doggies, they sufferered two more injuries on the back of last weeks horrible result, losing Tom Liberatore with an ankle and Jackson Macrae with a torn hamstring. Both could still be back for finals, but it’s a big loss for the dogs. In the end, the cats were too good and the night was capped off by 300-Gamer Jimmy Bartel kicking the last goal of the game. He and new Cats games record holder Corey Enright were rightly chaired off the ground,
GEELONG 5.2 9.2 13.5 16.7 (103)
WESTERN BULLDOGS 5.1 8.2 8.8 11.12 (78)
Geelong: Stanley 5, Dangerfield 3, Motlop 3, Hawkins 2, Menzel, Duncan, Bartel
Western Bulldogs: Dickson 3, Boyd 3, Dunkley, Stringer, Smith, Jong, Cordy
GWS reminded everybody just how much talent they have on their list, as Richmond did the exact opposite. 88 point losses are never fun, but this was a particularly bad one for the Tigers, and the pressure building on coach Damien Hardwick is likely to hit fever pitch before this week is out. Personally, I can’t see how he stays. The tigers demise is one of the more obvious ones of recent times, as years of horrendous list management decisions look to have finally caught up with them. You can’t start topping up, until you’re actually good Damien.
As for the Giants… wow. They are still a real smokey for September.
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY 8.3 11.5 13.7 17.9 (111)
RICHMOND 0.1 1.2 3.4 3.5 (23)
Greater Western Sydney: Johnson 3, Reid 3, Greene 3, Scully 2, Cameron 2, Ward, Shiel, Kennedy, Smith
Richmond: Riewoldt 2, Lloyd
The Hawks had a ‘business-as-usual’ style win over a very determined Carlton, after a shocking first half of football. Former stand-in coach Brendan Bolton must have still had some of his 2015 notes on him, as he looked to at many times totally out-coach his former master, but clarko still got the last laugh. Oh, and Paddy Cripps again.
HAWTHORN 2.5 2.8 7.11 10.14 (74)
CARLTON 0.4 1.8 5.11 7.13 (55)
Hawthorn: Breust 2, Ceglar 2, Duryea, Lewis, Burgoyne, Gunston, Hodge, McEvoy
Carlton: Buckley, Gibbs, Kreuzer, Cripps, Everitt, Silvagni, Sumner
Collingwood put on a tackling masterclass during their tightly-fought 19 point win over last years Grand Finalist The Eagles, with first gamer Rupert Wills leading the way with 11. It was a solid win for Pies, and boy you’d be worried if you had money on an Eagles flag at the start of the year.
COLLINGWOOD 2.5 7.7 8.11 13.13 (91)
WEST COAST 4.2 4.2 9.3 11.6 (72)
Collingwood: Moore 3, Aish 2, Sidebottom 2, Cloke, White, Greenwood, Crisp, Treloar, Maynard
West Coast: Darling 4, Kennedy 2, Cripps 2, Hill 2, Masten
The Saturday night double header started up at the Gabba, where the Power gave the Lions a good old fashioned shellacking, bringing them crashing back to earth after last week’s drought-breaking win against the Bombers. The Power are coming home pretty strong, and they may even end up unlucky to miss the finals. Oh, and big boy John Butcher booted 4!
BRISBANE LIONS 4.1 4.6 9.9 11.13 (79)
PORT ADELAIDE 4.6 11.11 18.17 25.23 (173)
Brisbane Lions: Walker 2, Zorko 2, Close 2, Hipwood, Green, Dawson, Robertson, Rockliff
Port Adelaide: Wingard 5, Butcher 4, Boak 3, Westhoff 2, Impey 2, Amon 2, Ah Chee 2, Trengove 2, Ebert 2, Young
Brent Harvey was the rightful star in the other double header, as the little jockey with the heart of gold broke the all-time AFL/VFL games record, cracking the 427 game mark and passing Michael Tuck. The Kangaroos managed to hold off the Saints by 23 points, doubling the gap between the two teams and making it very difficult now for the Saints to see September action now. But really, the night was all about Harvey and his record and massive congratulations must be given to the man for such a massive effort.
NORTH MELBOURNE 2.4 4.7 7.8 12.13 (85)
ST KILDA 1.4 2.7 3.10 8.14 (62)
North Melbourne: Brown 3, Waite 2, Petrie 2, Thomas, Harvey, Macmillan, Dumont, Mullett
St Kilda: Riewoldt 2, Bruce 2, Montagna, Acres, Weller, Dunstan
The early sunday game saw a thrilling finish, as Melbourne somehow managed to hold on against a surprisingly plucky Gold Coast Suns. After giving up a 14 point lead in the last quarter, Jack Watts marked strongly with two minutes left on the clock and the Demons trailing by 4 points. Cometh the moment, cometh the man, as the much-maligned former number 1 pick went back and split the middle with a superb pressure kick. He also dropped back to save a certain goal with only a 30 seconds left, although Tom Lynch still managed to have a shot at goal after the siren. The kick was just wide, and the Demons snuck home for a memorable win.
MELBOURNE 1.3 6.6 7.10 9.12 (66)
GOLD COAST 3.3 4.6 6.8 9.10 (64)
Melbourne: vandenBerg 3, Watts 3, Dawes, Kent, Petracca
Gold Coast: Lynch 2, Garlett 2, Matera 2, Malceski, Shaw, Grant
The round was finished off with two more absolute smashings, starting with the Swans giving the pathetic Dockers a 90 point reality-check. It was a dark day for The Dockers, made even darker by the fact that they were supposed to be celebrating their best ever player hitting the 350 game mark. The end of the year can’t come quick enough for Ross Lyon’s men, but one must remember to give a shout-out to Pav. What a champ.
FREMANTLE 1.0 3.2 4.3 7.5 (47)
SYDNEY SWANS 3.7 7.7 15.9 21.11 (137)
Fremantle: Pavlich 2, Taberner, Mundy, Crozier, Yarran, Weller
Sydney Swans: Heeney 4, Mitchell 3, Kennedy 3, Towers 2, Rohan 2, Richards 2, Franklin 2, Hannebery, Parker, Naismith
For the second week in a row, the worst was left to last, as the Bombers suffered another big loss at the hands of the best forward line in the business. Eddie Betts – who has always loved a goal against the Bombers – was his electric best, booting 5 and setting up plenty, and was ably supported by Mitch McGoven and Charlie Cameron who both kicked 4. The margin crept above 100 points in the last, but the Bombers rallied for 4 late goals to bring the margin to a flattering 82 points. Bring on the end of the year says this bombers fan.
ADELAIDE 5.2 11.7 18.10 21.11 (143)
ESSENDON 2.3 4.4 5.6 9.7 (61)
Adelaide: Betts 5, Cameron, McGovern 4, Seedsman, Jenkins, Douglas 2, Lyons, Sloane, Hartigan
Essendon: Daniher 4, Laverde 2, Fantasia, Cooney, Langford