ANOTHER week of AFL action, another head scratching bunch of results. Goals after the siren, upsets and monumental floggings could be found over the weekend, with a handful of teams mathematically eliminated from finals and a Brownlow favourite rubbed out.
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In A Nutshell
– FRIDAY night footy kicked off the round with the Hawks pulling out a crucial six point win to keep their finals dream alive. The Swans missed a real chance stake their claim on a top four spot, but the loss still leaves them in the finals mix.
– AN 11-year winning streak continued for North as they upset the potentially finals bound Melbourne squad. Their four point win was a rare single digit margin that went the right way for the Roos, after their infamous close losses over the past few seasons.
Image from sen.com.au
– THE Giants were nearly upset by a gritty Freo outfit vying for their eighth win of the year. Even though they took a 15 point lead into the final quarter Greater Western Sydney found their mojo reeling off four quick goals and holding on to win a crucial game for their top four prospects.
– IN one of the games of the year Port Adelaide was able to claw their way to victory against St Kilda with the last kick of the game. The Saints seemed to build a formidable 10 point lead with less than two minutes left, but the last gasp goal to Robbie Gray proved to be the difference between the two sides.
– RICHMOND stayed a win clear of the others outside the top four, taking care of business against the Gold Coast Suns. It wasn’t pretty but the 33 point win was enough for the Tigers to make Shane Edwards a winner in game 200.
Image from twitter.com
– FROM woe to go the Cats led the Blues and gave themselves a handy percentage boost. Tommy Hawkins put in one of the best games of his career, which bodes well for Geelong and their flag aspirations.
– A pesky Essendon team hung on for the majority of the game against the Western Bulldogs, but eventually, they came undone. Kicking the last four goals of the game saw the Dogs move above the Bombers on the ladder.
– BUILDING a 50 point lead is usually a good sign that you are on your way to a win. However, after that happened for the Magpies they conceded every single one of those points and finished with the scores locked at 103 in the third draw of the season.
– THE West Coast Eagles have boosted their percentage with a massive 68-point win over the wooden spoon bound Lions. Brisbane hung around briefly only to have their chances of a massive upset dashed by a Eagles outfit that looked like a well-oiled machine.
The Four Points
Ryder’s All-Australian Play
WITH one single hit out Patrick Ryder may have cemented himself as an All-Australian ruckman. Matthew Kreuzer has had a great season, but Ryder’s dominance this season has been a good reason that the Power is close to gaining a top four berth. Don’t believe me? Watch the 23-second video below.
Can The Bulldogs Still Make September?
AFTER winning three on the trot the Bulldogs find themselves sitting 9th on the ladder. Last years premiers have a handful of tough matchups on the horizon which could derail their chances of playing finals footy, but the win over the Bombers on the weekend was definitely a step in the right direction.
Dangerfield’s Brownlow Goes Bye Bye
AN innocuous tackle on Matthew Kreuzer early in the game left the ruckman concussed and unable to take any further part in the game. That tackle was of massive importance today, with the tackler, Patrick Dangerfield, handed a one-week suspension for his act. Should he accept the ban it would rule him out of Brownlow medal contention and considering that he is the overwhelming favourite to win the leagues best and fairest award, things don’t look good for Patty.
McGovern’s Trade Value Continues To Soar
IT’S ironic that the team who so desperately needs a leaping, marking forward and has been linked to Mitch McGovern over the last week or two was the exact team McGovern eliminated from finals contention with his goal after the siren. Adelaide was forced to split the points with Collingwood, but the post siren six pointer added another zero to McGovern’s next contract and definitely bumped up his trade value as he develops into one of the most exciting young forwards in the comp.
1. Adelaide Crows (level) – Ladder leaders pull off the great escape to stay at the top.
2. Geelong Cats (level) – Tough not to move up to No. 1. My pick for premiers at this point.
3. Richmond Tigers ( 1) – A top four spot is Richmonds to lose from here on out/
4. Port Adelaide Power ( 2) – Robbie Gray’s goal could shape the top four in the last month of the season.
5. Sydney Swans ( 2) – Real opportunity missed on Friday night.
6. GWS Giants ( 1) – Escaped a serious scare against the Dockers. Still, we need to see more.
7. Melbourne Demons ( 2) – Losing to North is pretty bad. Finals no certainty.
8. Western Bulldogs ( 2) – There is still hope at the kennel.
9. Essendon Bombers ( 1) – Spewing that they couldn’t lock down a spot in the eight. They look tired.
10. West Coast Eagles ( 1) – Don’t count the Eagles out yet.
11. Hawthorn Hawks ( 1) – Mathematically they can still make it, logically probably not.
12. St Kilda Saints ( 3) – The Saints won’t be playing finals in 2017.
13. Collingwood Magpies (level) – They are lucky to not move down after blowing a 50 point lead.
14. Fremantle Dockers (level) –Showed guts and grit, but couldn’t finish the job.
15. North Melbourne ( 1) – Super win for the young Roos.
16. Brisbane Lions ( 1) – Got embarrassed in the last three-quarters of the game.
17. Carlton Blues ( 1) – The future is bright, 2017 is not.
18. Gold Coast Suns (level) –Another loss is just what we have come to expect from the Suns.
Image from au.sports.yahoo.com
ST Kilda were the biggest losers of the week, with the loss to Port all but ending their finals campaign. The Dees and Swans suffer as well from their close defeats. The Bulldogs, Tigers and Giants all did their power ranking reputations no harm.
2067 – A Friday Night shitshow kicked off what would be a woeful Fantasy round. Stars under performing, a glut of injuries for popular players and a lack of big scores from popular names mean that most coaches were searching for the delete team button.
- I was brave enough to take the C badge of Tom Mitchell (94) and throw it on Dustin Martin (112) instead. Other popular captain choices Patrick Dangerfield (88) and Zach Merrett (82) also underperformed with the uber popular Joel Selwood (59), Connor Blakely (8) and Josh Kelly (91) not much better.
- IT wasn’t all bad news though with Taylor Adams (151), Dayne Beams (144), Luke Ryan (138), Aaron Hall (152) and Tom Hawkins (158) amongst the top scorers. Some of them are quite popular choices others, not so much.
- Dangerfield’s suspension is a huge issue for coaches with the second most popular player in the comp likely to miss a week if he doesn’t challenge his suspension call. It may allow coaches a chance to bring in another superstar that they desperately need, but either way, I don’t want to see Danger miss anytime!