AFL Round 14 Wrap Up

WITH four of the nine games decided by less than a kick (two of which were one point games) fans were provided with more heartbreak, drama and excitement than any round in recent memory. Of course the snakes and ladders game that is the 2017 premiership race continued with plenty of movers and shakers from Round 14.

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In A Nutshell

– NO one saw this coming. In the upset of the round, Hawthorn went into Adelaide and claimed a memorable 14 point win over one of the premiership favourites. Clarko’s defenders were the ones that deserved the praise as the 17th placed Hawks topped the ladder leading Crows through suffocating pressure.

– SYDNEY and Essenson weren’t about to let the drama stop on Friday night, with an epic one point ball game captivating the nation. Two teams fighting to cement a spot in the eight clashed, with a Gary Rohan shot after the siren the only difference between the two teams. The win puts Sydney within one game of the eight after they started 0-5.

– FOR months Robbie Gray’s inconsistencies has plagued the Power, but he put on a masterclass on Saturday at the MCG. Four of his five goals were kicked in the 1st half as Port Adelaide ran our 31 point winners against an average Collingwood outfit.

– FOR the second week in a row, Brisbane hung in the contest with a top side in the 1st half, before the creme rose to the top. Trailing by just 14 points halfway through the 2nd quarter the Giants went on to kick 16 goals to eight for the rest of the match. 100th game man Dylan Shiel racked up 38 disposals to help Greater Western Sydney record a 60 point win.

– THE Western Bulldogs clawed their way to a crucial one point win against North Melbourne to keep their finals hopes alive. The Roos trimmed the margin from 26 points to tie the game at the 29-minute mark of the last quarter. A Jake Stringer point with roughly 15 seconds left proved to be the final difference on the scoreboard.

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– 5431 days. That’s how long has passed since the Melbourne Demons had least defeated the West Coast Eagles at their home ground. It took some Tom McDonald heroics with 30 seconds on the clock, but the Dees were able to steal a famous victory 15.9.99 to 14.12.96. Skipper Jack Viney continues to prove he is one of the best leaders in the game with 38 huge disposals.

– HAD Michael Walter’s shot on goal travelled about two metres more to the right this would have been entirely different story. A shot on the siren from Walters drifted wide, allowing Geelong to record a two point win after they kicked the last four goals of the game. With just one fit player on the bench in the second half the Cats dug deep to hang on with Dangerfield (31 touches) and Mitch Duncan (30) instrumental.

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– RICHMOND worked their way to a pretty straight forward 26 point win over Carlton on Sunday. It was hard for this game to stand out given the other classics, but the Tigers outshone the Blues in the final three quarters to erase a Carlton quarter time lead.

– ROUNDING out the weekend was the clash between St Kilda and Gold Coast, with the Saint getting over the line by 31 points. The win pushed them back inside the top eight as the Suns dropped their eighth game of the season to leave them on the outside looking in.

The Four Points

Best Round Ever?
WITH so many close epic games sandwiched between a handful of upset, many are tabbing Round 14 as the best weekend of AFL in a long time. It’s tough to call last round the best round of footy ever, but there is no doubt that it will be forever in the discussion etching it’s name into footy folklore.

Wait Melbourne Are Good?
I’M as shocked as you. Sitting at 8-5 with their first win at Subiaco Oval since Norm Smith was coach (ok slight exaggeration) we may have to take the Demons as serious contenders. I’m not ready to make that claim yet, but a mouth watering match-up with the Swans this weekend will dictate their premiership hopes.

Flop = Suspension
I am yet to find anyone who was happy with the way Clayton Oliver responded to being ‘hit’ by Will Schofield. Say what you will about Oliver’s toughness or whatever, but he didn’t need to react the way he did from a hit that had the amount of force behind it that Schofield’s hit had. The bloke flat out looked like he had been shot! Could a suspension penalty for serious ‘flopping’ or ‘staging’ incidents be implemented to stamp out these incidents?

Just Who Is The Flag Favourite?
ADELAIDE? GSW? Geelong? Port? Take your pick at this stage. Let’s point out that the top two on the ladder have lost games to the team ranked 17th so far this year and the Cats nearly dropped a game at home against the lowly Freo, who were without their Brownlow winner in Nat Fyfe. The next few weeks present a real opportunity for someone to affirm themselves as premiership contenders. Will the real flag favourites please stand up?

Power Rankings

1. Greater Western Sydney Giants (Increase 1) – Did what they had to at the Gabba.
2. Adelaide Crows (Decrease1) –
 Seriously Adelaide, anyone but Hawthorn!
3. Geelong Cats (level) – Jesus that was close. Too close.
4. Melbourne Demons (Increase 3) – Wow.
5. Port Adelaide Power (Decrease1) – Took care of business at home against Brisbane.
6. Richmond Tigers (level) –
Didn’t look convincing, but got the 4 points.
7. West Coast Eagles (Decrease2) – The Eagles mainly slide because of the form of those above them. Must take a scalp in Melb this week against the Dogs.
8. Sydney Swans (Increase 2) – Ripper match against the Dees this weekend.
9. St Kilda Saints (level) – Can’t get a good read on the Saints. Freo out west this weekend will tell us more. 
10. Essendon Bombers (Decrease2) –
Unlucky not to steal one at the SCG. A % boost against the Lions on Sunday would be nice. 
11. Western Bulldogs (level) –
Gritty way to hang onto a win, but I’m not convinced the problems are over.
12. Fremantle Dockers (Increase 1) –
Could have resurrected their season with a W.
13. Collingwood Magpies (Decrease1) – Two late goals made the margin flatter the Maggies.
14. Carlton Blues (level) – 
Tough task this weekend against the Crows. We will see what Bolton’s Boys are really made of.
15. Gold Coast Suns (level) –
Tough to punish them considering all their injuries.
16. Hawthorn Hawks (Increase 2) –
 It’s not over yet…
17. North Melbourne Kangaroos (Decrease2) – Should have stole that one from the Dogs. Things are bleak.
18. Brisbane Lions (Decrease1) – Like last week they competed….but only for one and a half quarters.

SOME teams fall victim to the fact that they haven’t looked as convincing as the teams above them. Other’s have been given a bigger boost thanks to the feat they pulled off on the weekend. All I know is that each week these rankings are getting harder to determine based on the inconsistency and closeness around the comp.

Fantasy +3

2169 – VERY happy to be fielding 22 players again, but was hoping for a big rankings rise. I will look to bring Sam Docherty in this week and lose my shit as he scores 150 against the Crows (wishful thinking, but who cares).

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  • JACK Macrae awarded 37% of all coaches with a season high 137. His teammate Marcus Bontempelli (134) and popular captain choice Patrick Dangerfield (134) were just three points behind, while Giants forwards Jonathon Patton (133) and Jeremy Cameron (132) feasted against the Lions to top 130 as well.
  • THE 4th most popular player in the competition managed just 61 points on the weekend. No not Rockliff, we’ll get to him. It might be time for Toby Nankervis to be moved on after that score and Max Gawn’s timely return could give you a perfect trade target.
  • YOU can’t penalise Joel Selwood (2) for his score, given the fact that he was knocked out in the first few minutes of the game. He is now priced just 5K more than his brother Scott (84) who is nearly ready to be upgraded. Rockliff (96) had his third game of less than 100 points, marking the 1st time he has done that (barring injury) since 2013. I’m tipping a 160+ score against the Bombers this week though. Never doubt the pig!

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