WE are almost there, the end of the 2017 AFL season. All those pre conceived genius notions that we had of teams at the commencement of the year have been thrown into flux as the roller coaster continued to follow the trend of expecting the unexpected. An 11-year hoodoo being broken, a 0-6 turnaround and the reigning premiers missing out all garnered headlines this weekend with your usual fix of hysteria jumbled in.
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In A Nutshell
– THE match of the round didn’t fail to live up to the hype with the Swans downing the Crows in an epic at Adelaide Oval. The match had a September feel about it and one of the games biggest stars in Lance Franklin shone brightly under the big lights with what is likely to be the goal of the year.
– THE Bulldogs title defence is in tatters after their narrow loss to Port Adelaide. They hung in the match until the last 10 minutes with the Power kicking three goals to put the contest beyond doubt and all but ending the Bulldogs campaign.
– FOR something new Patrick Dangerfield dominated for the Cats in their 11-point W over a pesky Collingwood outfit. After running out of the blocks the Magpies looked likely victors, but Geelong slowly clawed their way back and guaranteed a top four finish as a result.
– MUCH like Collingwood and the Bulldogs, West Coast remained in the contest against the Giants until the last 10 minutes, as they remained on the verge of pulling off an epic upset. However, GWS steadied to record a win by 21 points.
– DEAN Soloman wasn’t lucky enough to record a win in his first game as head coach of the Suns. The finals bound Bombers took care of Gold Coast and now have their fate in their own hands heading into a matchup with Freo.
Image from afl.com.au
– SINCE 2005 Carlton hasn’t tasted success against Hawthorn, but that all changed at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night. A seven point victory saw their 14 game losing streak against the Hawks snapped with the Blues getting their sixth triumph of the year.
– ON the verge of being upset by the Lions, the Demons stood tall as they prepare to see September action for the first time since 2006. A gallant Brisbane outfit made Melbourne earn the win though, with a late surge in the final quarter.
– ANOTHER inaccurate performance from St Kilda could have seen them record a huge win. Instead, they settled for a 49 point difference over North Melbourne. 4.11 in the second term set up the victory, but as illustrated it could have been a lot uglier.
– BACK to back 100 point losses for the Fremantle Dockers wasn’t exactly the way that they wanted to farewell Subiaco Oval, but a rampaging Richmond gave them no choice. As the Tigers tune up for the finals a balanced team attack saw them kick 22 of the last 26 goals of the game.
The Four Points
Don’t Give Charlie Away Just Yet
THE Brownlow medal was already around Dangerfield’s neck before his suspension. After his innocuous tackle against Matty Kreuzer, Dusty was then seemingly crowned the medal winner. After a dominant performance on Saturday arvo though Giants gun Josh Kelly might have something to say about it. If he can knock up another BOG performance against the Cats the end of the 2017 count could be very interesting indeed.
Image from theroar.com.au
The Swans Deserve To Be Premiership Favourites
AT the time of writing the Swans are third favourites to take out the 2017 AFL premiership. I don’t know about you, but after their triumph on Friday, they probably deserve to be atop the food chain. No team has gone from 0-6 to make the finals at Sydney are destined to that and then some this year.
Carlton Are Alive And Well
WITH another high draft pick up for grabs the Blues could have been forgiven for rolling over and playing dead against the Hawks. Instead, they recorded a drought breaking W and along the way repaid those faithful fans who have hung around since the dark days.
There’s Still Plenty To Play For
WHILE the Eagles, Saints and Bulldogs are all outside chances to make the eight, the race is still slightly on. No one is locked into their current place at the moment, with spots one through to 11 still subject to movement. The teams outside of the finals bracket currently will need a minor miracle to qualify, but if we have learnt anything this year, it’s that anything is possible.
Image from facebook.com
1. Sydney Swans ( 1) – They deserve top rung.
2. Adelaide Crows ( 1) – Crows are still one of the teams to beat in the comp.
3. Geelong Cats (level) – Didn’t look dominating in their clash with the Pies. On notice.
4. Richmond Tigers ( 1) – Huge win strengthens their claim as flag contenders.
5. GWS Giants ( 1) – Only just took care of the Eagles at home. Need to see more if they are to rise.
6. Port Adelaide Power (level) –Victim of circumstance with the 5 teams above them better flag threats.
7. Melbourne Demons (level) – Similar to the Giants, I need to see more.
8. Essendon Bombers (level) – Fate is in their own hands with a match against the lowly Dockers this week.
9. West Coast Eagles ( 1) – Another late fade equals the story of their season, but they showed resolve against GWS.
10. Western Bulldogs ( 1) – Premiership defense is done and dusted.
11. St Kilda Saints (level) –Inaccuracy continues to be an issue.
12. Collingwood Magpies ( 1) – Showed promise against the Cats.
13. Carlton Blues ( 1) – Stellar performance from the young group.
14. Hawthorn Hawks ( 2) – One of the big losers of the round, if not the biggest.
15. Brisbane Lions (level) – Were good in patches, but not good enough.
16. North Melbourne ( 1) – Can we just end 2017 already?
17. Gold Coast Suns ( 1) – Opportunity missed for the Suns.
18. Fremantle Dockers ( 1) – I am slightly biased hence the reason Freo has probably avoided this spot. Last weekend was embarrassing.
YOU know you are destined for the bottom of the Power Rankings if you are going to lose by triple figures in back to back weeks. Hawthorn also slid multiple rungs (no surprise) and the Eagles, Magpies and Suns were the lucky ones to rise despite losing their matches.
2427 – I scored my second highest ever score last round. I moved down four spots in rank. I hate this f*cking game. Gibbs as captain on debut wasn’t the smartest choice, but with big scores around the grounds, I can’t be too depressed with any of my players (with the exception of Max Gawn’s 65).
- THE big names well and truly came to play as the scoring flowed freely in Round 22. Sam Docherty (143), Taylor Adams (132), Tom Mitchell (143), Dayne Beams (138), Rory Sloane (153) and Josh Kelly (130) all scored hugely and if you were lucky enough to captain one of them you deserve a pat on the back.
- ONCE again Stef Martin (82), Luke Dahlhaus (88) and Luke Ryan (63) failed to up their output like a lot of their fantasy peers with the trio dissappointing copious owners across the globe.
- WITH a Grand Final looming for the few coaches who were lucky enough to find themselves their the last two trades are make or break. With little injury/tribunal issues for popular names teams will be chasing favourable matchups with Freo and Gold Coast leaking points making Bombers and Power players all that more tempting.