FOLLOWING up last rounds efforts was also going to be tough this week, but the football world did not disappoint. Some teams stepped up to emerge as legitimate contenders, while others choked and are trending in the wrong direction.

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In A Nutshell

– IT should come as no surprise that the Swans are climbing the ladder. After a 0-6 start many though they were cooked, but a 35 point win over Melbourne on Friday night puts them at 7-7 knocking on the door for a top eight spot. The Demons on the other hand are back to the drawing board as they continue to fight for a top four gig.

– THE Eagles did everything in their power to choke away a W, but some late Nathan Vardy heroics saw them record a seven point victory against the Western Bulldogs. West Coast now sits 7th after the win and the Bulldogs remain out of finals contention….for now.

AFL Round 15 Wrap Up 1Image from thewest.com.au

– BRETT Bolton’s men can hold their head high, they are slowly growing. Topping the juggernaut Crows was always going to be a huge ask, but they fought all the way to the end as Adelaide prevailed with a 12 point win.

– A week later than planned Gary Ablett stepped onto an AFL ground for the 300th time and the Gold Coast Suns didn’t let him down. Their 6th win of the year, a 19 point victory, came at the expense of North Melbourne who now sit just one win off the bottom of the table. Yuk.

– IN one of the matches of the year Geelong visited the Giants home ground with both teams desperate to cement a top two spot. The result was an enthralling contest that ended in the first draw of 2017. Tommy Hawkins had a shot after the siren to try steal two points, but pushed it right.

– THE topsy turvy season is starting to take shape with Richmond earning the contenders title and Port Adelaide tabbed as pretenders. The Tigers went to Adelaide and came away with a 13 point triumph and in turn leapfrogging them into the top four at the expense of the Power.

– BRISBANE recorded a rare interstate win over a lacklustre Essendon who may have just thrown away their chances of a finals berth. The Lions kicked six of the last seven goals to storm home by just eight points.

AFL Round 15 Wrap Up 2Image from theroar.com.au

– CALLS for Nathan Buckley’s head will continue after the Magpies 24 point defeat at the hands of Hawthorn. The win gives the Hawks a small chance of still qualifying for finals, despite sitting at 13th on the ladder. Watch this space.

– THE finals game of Round 15 pushed the Saints inside the top eight with their first win in Perth since 2011. A 12.17 (89) to 12.8 (80) scoreline keeps St Kilda in the finals mix, while a 5th straight loss for the Dockers all but ended their postseason aspirations.

The Four Points

Fantastic Five
WITH already four Rising Star nominees this season it’s clear that Carlton is moving in the right direction. Caleb Marchbank (Round 6), Sam Petrevski-Seton (Round 7), David Cunningham (Round 12) and Jack Silvagni (Round 13) have already received Rising Star nominations and after the weekend it’s highly likely that Charlie Curnow will become the 5th inductee. The future is bright at the Blues.

Dustin ‘Charlie’ Martin
DUSTY executed an AFL record eight fend off’s against Port Adelaide on Saturday night, firing on all cylinders to lead the Tiges to a memorable W. With another BOG performance it’s likely that Martin is leading the Brownlow race at this point of the season. Can anyone catch him?

Back To Back Week’s For The Tribunal
AFTER last week’s debacle with Bachar Houli’s suspension, then appeal, then further suspension the Tribunal will meet for a 2nd straight week. Thomas Bugg will be the culprit in question this time after his crude behind the play hit on Callum Mills. The hit left Mills in a groggy state prematurely ending his night and will see Bugg miss quite a few matches as a result.

A Crafty Veteran Move Or Bad Sportsmanship?
GRIFFIN Logue learnt a valuable lesson over the weekend at the hands of one of his idols Nick Riewoldt. The Saint star conned Logue into throwing the ball back to him after a free kick, even though it wasn’t Riewoldt’s kick. As soon as Logue tossed the footy Riewoldt stepped out of the way and brought it to the attention of the umpire, who awarded a 50 metre penalty which translated to a certain Saints goal. Personally I think it’s just a smart play by Roo, kudos to the Saints legend.

Power Rankings

 

1. Greater Western Sydney Giants (level) – The Giants remain the team to beat.
2. Geelong Cats (Increase 1) –
 Close, but not close enough. The Cats are the real deal though.
3. Adelaide Crows (Decrease 1) – Unlucky to move down, but Carlton gave them a scare.
4. Richmond Tigers (Increase 2) – It’s time to take the lid off Tigerland.
5. Melbourne Demons (Decrease 1) – Humbled on the big Friday night stage.
6. Port Adelaide Power (Decrease 1) – 
Contenders or pretenders? The W/L ledger says the latter.
7. West Coast Eagles (level) – Important interstate win, can they keep it going vs Port?
8. Sydney Swans (level) – 7-7 after starting 0-6. They’re back.
9. St Kilda Saints (level) – Want to move up St Kilda? Beat the Tigers this weekend.
10. Western Bulldogs (Increase 1) – 
Finals chances are looking bleak, but fought back against the Eagles.
11. Essendon Bombers (Decrease 1) – 
Really let that one slip away.
12. Carlton Blues (Increase 2) – 
Hung tough against a top two side.
13. Fremantle Dockers (Decrease 1) –
5 straight L’s shut the door on Freo’s finals chances.
14. Collingwood Magpies (Decrease 1) – Moving in the wrong direction with no sign of change.
15. Hawthorn Hawks (Increase 1) –
Here come the Hawks.
16. Gold Coast Suns (Decrease 1) – 
Tough to punish them for a win, but it did come against the Roos.
17. Brisbane Lions (Increase 1)
 – Should be higher, but they still sit at 3-11.
18. North Melbourne Kangaroos (Decrease 1) – Look like the worst team in the comp right now.

LAST weekend’s results effectively ended the Finals dreams of some teams. The battle for the 7th/8th spot in the eight will only get hotter each week now, with a bunch of teams forming around the 7-11 range. There is a clear top three and a clear bottom of the table in North.

AFL Round 15 Wrap Up 3Image from afl.com.au

Fantasy +3

2131 – I nearly did a backflip from bringing in Sam Docherty last week. But after seeing his 60+ first quarter I can conform I was stoked to have him as a member of the Large Fry’s & Coke. With no real injury issues so far this week’s trades are shaping up as extremely important.

  • THERE’S just no stopping Bryce Gibbs right now. The Carlton mid dropped a round high 160 on the weekend giving him a three round average of over 150. Holy fuck. Some lesser known names found themselves in the top five too with Luke Parker (148), Kane Lambert (147) and Michael Walters (145) all putting up monster numbers.
  • LUKE Dahlhaus (81) and Rory Laird (76) continue to frustrate owners with poor scores, with some rookies like Jake Barrett (30), Jono Beech (39) and Caleb Marchbank (44) also finding themselves putting up sub-par numbers.
  • MY tip of 160+ by Rocky didn’t exactly go according to plan this week, hence my frustration at chucking the C on him. Moving forward there are a few backline rooks and other floating around that may be viable options, but I find myself in a position for a luxury trade, where I can potentially upgrade to any player in the comp. Be sure to trade with your head moving forward in what could be a make or break few weeks.