ANOTHER nightmare weekend for tippers summarised Round 12 in the AFL. Four of the bottom five teams won on the weekend while ‘contenders’ GWS and Port Adelaide slipped up. The bye is meant to give teams reprieve and a rest for a week, but instead we are heading into the 2nd half of the season confused about where some teams sit.
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In A Nutshell
– THINGS got underway on Thursday night again this week with the Swans dismantling the Bulldogs at the SCG. Sydney dominated the midfield battle winning the hitouts (65-16) comprehensively leading to a shit ton of centre clearances (13-4) for John Longmire’s outfit. If it wasn’t for the Swans inaccurate kicking (12.16) then this could have been a LOT worse. It’s back to the drawing board for Luke Beveridge who are ‘defending’ their flag by being on the verge of missing the eight.
– ADELAIDE cemented their premiership credentials as most expected at home, blowing St Kilda away by 57 points. What was most alarming though was the fact that the Saints looked un interested in taking part in the physical aspect of the game. Some goals in the last quarter made the scoreboard look a little bit more appealing after the Crows took their foot off the gas.
Image from thewest.com.au
– THE nightmare for Hawks fans continued as they failed to defeat the visiting Gold Coast Suns at the MCG. Full credit to the Suns outfit, led by a vintage Gary Ablett game (37 touches, 10 tackles and 2 goals) they beat Hawthorn for the second time this year to improve to 5-6. They nearly let it slip away though leading by 43 points late in the third only to have the Hawks mount a comeback and trim the margin to nine. However, the Suns steadied and held on for a 16 point W.
– WTF Freo. The Lions embarrassed the Dockers at the Gabba on Saturday, breezing their way to a 57 point victory in their best performance of the season. For as much praise as the Lions deserve, the Dockers deserve as much criticism. Brisbane virtually walked the ball out of the middle setting up a a memorable win as they led from start to finish. Fremantle has now lost their last three games by a combined 177 points.
Image from thewest.com.au
– FOLLOWING straight after the Brisbane/Fremantle game many expected a Port Adelaide whitewash over Essendon. That wasn’t the case though as the Bombers pulled off an impressive upset winning by 70 points. A 1st term blitz with the scoreline reading 48-9 meant the Power were in for a long night at the office. Cale Hooker looked like Lance Franklin helping himself to 5 goals, feasting on the Dons delivery from the middle.
– IN perhaps Brett Bolton’s best win as coach at Carlton the Blues recorded a famous 1 point win over premiership favourites GWS. It wasn’t the expected result as 17th on the ladder met 2nd, but the Blues deserve full credit. The Giants threatened to steal it in dying stages with the ball inside their forward 50, but Carlton hung on.
– DEMONS fan rejoice, you might be in store for some finals action! After clawing their way back from a 28 point hole in the 2nd quarter the Dees are inside the eight, snug in 6th position. And just when it seemed like Nathan Buckley’s job was safe, the Pies dish up another subpar performance. In my opinion it’s time to show him the door.
The Four Points
Kreuzer’s Breakout Year Continues
I’LL put my hand up and say I didn’t know Matt Kreuzer was capable of playing like this. He celebrated game 150 with a 21 disposal, 33 hitout, 8 tackle display that could very well see him push for All Australian selection by season’s end. It’s a positive sign for Carlton who’s stock is rising.
Max Gawn Return Couldn’t Come At A Better Time
AS they continue to fight for a spot in the top eight, Max Gawn’s return couldn’t come at a better time for the Demons. Possibly the best ruckman in the game, Gawn has missed the last six weeks with a hamstring injury, but is expected back either next week or the week after. If he can return to his stellar form he could be the determining factor in helping Melbourne make the finals for the first time since ’06.
Who Wants In?
HERE is a list of teams with two losses in their last three games. Western Bulldogs, Carlton, Port Adealaide, Brisbane, Essendon and Hawthorn. Throw in Fremantle, St Kilda and West Coast and the jumble for relevance is real. In the 2nd half of the season, surely someone has to step up and claim their spot in the top 8 right?
Is McDonald-Tipungwuti Rioli 2.0?
FAN favourite and cult hero Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti is stringing it together more and more every week. Affectionately known as ‘Walla’, he had a moment to savour on Saturday night, producing one of the goals of the round as his flashes of brilliance are starting to become a regular occurrence. Could he one day be lauded along excitement machines Cyril Rioli and Ediie Betts?
1. Adelaide Crows – Premiership favourites in my eyes.
2. Greater Western Sydney Giants – Their injury list finally took it’s toll.
3. Geelong Cats (BYE)
4. Richmond Tigers (BYE)
5. Port Adelaide Power – Opportunity to stamp a top 4 spot went to waste.
6. West Coast Eagles (BYE)
7. Western Bulldogs – Really need to step up if they are serious about repeating.
8. Essendon Bombers – Great, gutsy showing to leapfrog into the eight.
9. St Kilda Saints – Fringe finals aspirations took a hit
10. Melbourne Demons – Big win on the big stage.
11. Sydney Swans – Finals are a realistic possibility.
12. Collingwood Magpies – Buckley keeps walking the tightrope.
13. Fremantle Dockers – WTF. Looked tired and got whacked in the middle.
14. North Melbourne Kangaroos (BYE)
15. Gold Coast Suns – Starting to emerge as a finals contender.
16. Carlton Blues – Most impressive win in years.
17. Brisbane Lions – Ditto.
18. Hawthorn Hawks – They’ve hit rock bottom.
THE Hawks are in strife. They are stuck in 17th on the ladder and dropped a game they should have won against Rodney Eade’s Suns at their own park. Fremantle continued their downward trip, dropping their 3rd game in a row, Stunningly they still sit 9th even though they own the 3rd worst percentage in the league. The Dogs, Saints, Power and Giants all went backwards after L’s on the weekend, while Adelaide regained top spot and Sydney surged upwards.
Image from sen.com.au
1910 – I thought I was in for a big score this week, but obviously the Fantasy gods had other ideas. The bye’s have certainly beaten me this year.
- TOM Rockliff (95) might have forgotten how to pig briefly, but his pals certainly didn’t! Zach Merrett (151) and Tom Mitchell (141) were among the highest scorers for the week alongside popular choices Gary Ablett (153), Sam Docherty (149) and Dyson Heppell (128).
- OTHER popular players Nat Fyfe (82), Zach Jones (54), Rory Sloane (62) and Jack Steele (57) gave owners grey hair with sub par performances. The joined the batch of rookies who continued to provide coaches plenty of sleepless nights (Otten 48, Myers 39, Cousins 38).
- THE last of the bye rounds this week hallelujah!!! The last week of your top 18 players counting towards your score with Freo, GWS, Essendon, Hawthorn, Collingwood and Adelaide all out of action. Hopefully your team isn’t as screwed as mine is. There is another Thursday night featuring West Coast and Geelong, offering us plenty of potential loophole options too. In order I would rank the top 5: Danger, Shuey, Gaff, Selwood, Yeo.
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