From three upsets involving ladder leaders, a showdown after which a derby blowout, to the Dees holding on and North teen’s kicking luggage of 5.
It’s simply one other weekend within the tight race that’s 2019 AFL season, so let’s get into the speaking factors from Spherical 16.
Taking part in on instincts within the last time period
4 matches in Spherical 16 have been determined within the final 30 minutes of soccer. Hawthorn lifted in on Friday night time, Essendon acquired their operating recreation going in opposition to the Swans on Saturday, the Bulldogs opened up Marvel Stadium as they did so effectively in 2016 and the Demons held on in an exciting end on Sunday on the MCG.
At three-quarter time in Friday night time’s contest, Collingwood led by ten factors and regardless of a low-scoring affair wherein they lacked cohesion, it appeared as if they may maintain onto one other tight win.
Enter Hawthorn. A pep-talk from the grasp Alastair Clarkson and a few early confidence-boosting possession for the children helped the Hawks to not solely kick forward, however maintain on as Collingwood tried to take again the 4 factors. Together with the recent faces kicking objectives, it was younger Jarman Impey’s run off half-back which acquired Hawthorn going.
There have been simply three factors separating Essendon and Sydney on the MCG on Saturday. Sydney led, however the recreation was definitely up for grabs. Tom McCartin kicked the primary, however from there the Bombers took the sport on, that they had too, and their run created alternatives for the forwards.
4 unanswered objectives put Essendon up and it appeared all however over. Sydney fought again with a aim and a few behinds, however a ten-point win to the Bombers was the outcome.
The picture of 15 Essendon officers within the teaching field, whereas the top coach sat on the group bench, has been doing the rounds on social media.
From an outdoor perspective and listening to the gamers after the match, taking the sport on within the final time period was how they gained it. Instincts and run from the gamers on the sector gained that recreation, so what are these 15 workers members doing?
Geelong led by ten factors, however within the last 30 minutes of soccer the sport once more opened up and the Bulldogs discovered their run. The midfielders acquired on prime of the competition, dominating the lauded Cats’ engine room, and ‘taking the sport on’ paid off.
The run from Jason Johannisen, the category of Jack Macrae and Marcus Bontempelli’s disposal, and the end from new spearhead Aaron Naughton impressed a group victory. In the meantime, Geelong simply couldn’t sustain! Or kick straight…
Thirty factors, that was the margin within the Carlton-Melbourne recreation on the MCG on Sunday. Melbourne have been three gamers down and lacked some vitality, so the Blues set to work.
Out of the blue lively, momentum began to swing Carlton’s approach and so too some free kicks. 5 objectives in a row they usually took the lead, it got here from nowhere and it was virtually one other stunning outcome. Jayden Hunt was calm and composed, slotting a aim to take again the lead and his Dees held on.
These matches all began as dour contests, that up till three-quarter time lacked the vitality and spark us followers get pleasure from a lot. Nonetheless, when the sport opened up the joy arrives, and I for one hope these common tight finishes proceed.
What to do with the Suns?
I can hear the feedback now: “Why did the AFL trouble with the Gold Coast?”; “Tasmania ought to have gotten a group earlier than the Gold Coast”; “Take away their license, they don’t need to be within the AFL.”
These statements invariably come up each time the Suns have a giant loss, as they did on Saturday. 9 seasons in, the noise is as loud as ever and so it needs to be requested, what do the AFL do with the Gold Coast Suns?
I can even hear your solutions full of disgust: draft picks, additional cash, and many others.
The Suns effort had been constructive to begin the yr, three tight early wins within the season and some shut losses. Issues should be bettering, proper? Eleven consecutive losses later and they’re now backside of the ladder, with not a number of hope for the ultimate seven rounds of the season.
Gold Coast have had poor quarters this yr; one in opposition to the Crows, the ultimate time period within the QClash and in addition in Sydney in opposition to the Giants. Nonetheless, the primary half efficiency placed on at Metricon on Saturday was by far the worst. The Suns scored 19 factors to Richmond’s 103. They allowed over 100 factors in a gap half of soccer, simply deplorable.
Richmond have been ruthless, however they finishing a easy coaching drill on the not-so-sunny Gold Coast, the place the defenders are instructed to place in 30 p.c effort, in different phrases, to not trouble.
The Tigers have been allowed to assault, assault and assault some extra. They completed the play precisely too, with 16 objectives and 7 behinds for the half.
Issues improved within the third time period for the Suns, after what needed to have been one almighty spray from coach Stuart Dew. Richmond might need taken the foot off the pedal too.
To not point out the effectively out-numbered Suns followers; there have been simply extra travelling Tigers’ and footage of the Suns residence cheer squad weren’t a fairly sight.
Within the NEAFL, Aaron Younger kicked three objectives from 26 touches, however suffered a knee damage late – probably a recurring problem – so appears unlikely to get a call-up.
Former Geelong Cats’ pair George Horlin-Smith (28 disposals, 1 aim) and Jordan Murdoch (27 disposals) have been vital playmakers, whereas Michael Rischitelli additionally completed with 30 disposals and a aim.
Will these midfielders come into the combination? Will they follow the identical and demand enchancment?
Issues don’t get any simpler for the Suns, they host the Crows on Saturday night time who will likely be out to reply following two losses.
Is that this the actual or the unreal Port Adelaide?
The AFL season is usually a rollercoaster for footy followers and gamers. From the highs of grinding out a tricky win, to the lows of a ten-goal blow-out, it may be an emotional yr.
This season has been significantly irritating for Port Adelaide and their fan base, and the final two months have demonstrated simply that. Belief me, I’m a Energy supporter and my group’s inconsistency has develop into painful. Rounds 5 and 6 have been the final time Port notched consecutive wins and the next two featured consecutive losses, from spherical 9 Port’s report is: W L W L W L W.
Particularly, wanting on the final 4 weeks, Port have misplaced with a disappointing efficiency in Perth, responded in opposition to Geelong, did not consolidate in opposition to the Bulldogs after which smashed the Crows with an immense second-half.
As soon as once more, following a depressing effort and a loss to the Western Bulldogs – who, to their credit score, performed the circumstances excellently – the exterior and inside critics got here to the forefront.
The media pile the destructive evaluation on and ask people to reply and contained in the 4 partitions, the boys are requested to elevate. It’s a Showdown in spite of everything.
So, with Port’s most well-liked ‘underdog’ label and all of the motivation to take bragging rights in South Australia, Port Adelaide stepped up, utilized the strain and labored onerous to grind out a win within the second half.
Among the finest responses was from Port’s co-captain Ollie Wines, who was questioned on his efficiency final Saturday night time and completed with 34 disposals and eight clearances. He teamed up with Tom Rockliff, who on return to the AFL facet had 36 disposals within the midfield.
They’ve been pretty strong all yr, however the again six or seven have been additionally requested to enhance after the loss, and that they did. The Crows scored only one aim within the second half and it was within the opening minute of the third time period.
Ryan Burton held Eddie Betts goalless, Tom Clurey restricted Taylor Walker to 9 disposals and two objectives, and collectively the defensive construction allowed simply 5 majors. There have been 14 behinds kicked although.
After all, Adelaide additionally misplaced in spherical 15. They have been overwhelmed within the second-half by Geelong, a group ready to make modifications and work tougher than the Crows for the four-points. You would say they too have been motivated to reply after their disappointing efficiency. On a gentle afternoon at Adelaide Oval although, it was the Energy who acquired the job performed.
You may’t fault preventing spirit
Whereas they won’t have gotten the outcome, Carlton, within the last time period, got here again from a 30-point deficit to stage the sport at 98-all.
The Saints kicked 5 in-a-row to scale back a 46-point margin to 16, an impressed reply after a stunning first quarter.
When Taylor Walker kicked the opening aim of the half, simply seconds into the third time period and had one other shot simply moments later, the momentum ought to have swung within the Crows’ favour. But Port broke open a good half of footy, growing their work fee within the ‘Port Adelaide approach’, to place 9 unanswered objectives on the board and ship a 57-point thrashing.
The Bulldogs got here collectively, within the last break and stated, we are able to do that. Little doubt the right circumstances helped them pull off the comeback, however the preventing spirit of the Doggies needs to be famous.
What helps these groups struggle their approach again right into a recreation – apart from St Kilda who have been away – is a crowd to get behind them.
The noise of the Carlton followers, the ‘Port Adelaide’ that echoed round an away Showdown crowd, the Bulldogs trustworthy at Marvel Stadium helped their groups throughout the road.
In the meantime, the poor Gold Coast Suns don’t actually have a full cheer squad behind objectives to wave the flags, shake the pom poms and assist the uncommon aim their facet did kick.
Who makes the highest 4?
Issues opened up a bit of on the prime of the ladder with losses this week to Geelong, Collingwood and GWS; the Cats now lead by simply 4 factors on the prime, with the Eagles additionally within the prime two outright, but it surely’s very congested under that.
Of the highest six, any group can realistically make the highest 4. Geelong, West Coast, Collingwood and Brisbane at present maintain the spots, although they could not come the tip of the house and away season.
Trying on the potential groups who might make the highest 4 and their respectvive runs to the end line, and it reveals simply how shut all of it is.
Geelong: St Kilda (GMHBA), Hawthorn (MCG), Sydney (SCG), Fremantle (OS), North Melbourne (GMHBA), Brisbane (Gabba) and Carlton (GMHBA).
The run residence seems to be cheap for the Cats, who have to get their effectivity inside 50 again. Nonetheless comfortably on the prime, Geelong ought to win 5 out of their final seven a minimum of, although Hawthorn, Sydney away and Brisbane away loom as huge matches.
West Coast: Collingwood (OS), Melbourne (TP), North Melbourne (OS), Carlton (Marvel), Adelaide (OS), Richmond (MCG) and Hawthorn (OS).
4 extra matches at residence plus Melbourne and Carlton away, absolutely top-two is probably going for a facet simply beginning to flex their muscle groups. Gee, they appear harmful with Nic Naitanui within the center and plentiful choices within the ahead line.
Collingwood: Eagles (OS), Giants (GIANTS), Richmond (MCG), Gold Coast (MCG), Melbourne (MCG), Adelaide (AO) and Essendon (MCG).
The Magpies have hit a tough match as most sides do in a 23-round residence and away season. No matter it takes, they have to regain the cohesion and discover the spark, and rapidly.
Brisbane: Port (AO), North Melbourne (Gabba), Hawthorn (UTAS), Bulldogs (Gabba), Gold Coast (Gabba), Geelong (Gabba) and Richmond (MCG).
Not a simple end for Brisbane, however the sky is the restrict for this group. 4 video games on the Gabba ought to assist them on their strategy to a double probability.
Port: (AO), North Melbourne (Gabba), Hawthorn (UTAS), Bulldogs (Gabba), Gold Coast (Gabba), Geelong (Gabba) and Richmond (MCG).
GWS: Richmond (MCG), Collingwood (GIANTS), Port (AO), Sydney (GIANTS), Hawthorn (UNSW), Bulldogs (GIANTS) and Gold Coast (MS).
Robust run arising for the Giants, top-eight nonetheless seems to be like however it would take a particular effort to get the double probability.
Richmond: Giants, Port, Collingwood, Melbourne, Carlton, Eagles and Brisbane.
Seven matches all on the MCG within the run house is an unbelievable schedule for the Tigers. Whereas these embrace robust opponents, the Tigers would have appeared forward with glowing eyes at this part of the draw.
Issues should go a sure approach, however Adelaide, Port Adelaide and Essendon are nonetheless exterior possibilities to sneak right into a double probability place on the finish of Spherical 23. Adelaide has arguably the very best run residence of those three, however should get artistic when issues aren’t going their approach. The Crows have had two poor second halves in a row and failed to reply when momentum swung their opponent’s approach.
So, who makes your prime 4 from right here?
All people will get a flip
Adelaide Crows (Eight-7)
It’s commonplace to see Crows’ followers go away early to ‘beat the site visitors’, however did the gamers achieve this too? Simply 12 inside 50s for the second half, misplaced clearances 21-12 and had virtually 100 much less disposals than Port.
Brisbane Lions (10-5)
There was one thing concerning the Lions as we speak, you may inform early that this was a win they actually wished. Into the top-four and a top-eight place all however sewn up, a return to finals is imminent.
Carlton Blues (Three-12)
Three objectives from 18 disposals and one other tagging job, this time on Clayton Oliver for the primary half. Jack Silvagni having a superb couple of video games for his membership and auditioning for any others, who may wish to take him in a commerce on the finish of this season.
Collingwood Magpies (10-5)
What’s going on? Alarm bells are absolutely sounding for the Magpies, who struggled to gel shifting ahead on Friday night time. Solely 9 objectives on the board, they’ll want a greater than that if they need an opportunity in opposition to the Eagles subsequent weekend.
Essendon Bombers (Eight-7)
John Worsfold’s job was in jeopardy a couple of weeks in the past in keeping with the media and now we’re speaking finals? Outdoors the eight on proportion, what a narrative this might be.
Fremantle Dockers (7-Eight)
Disappointing first half within the Derby they usually fall to a 3rd consecutive loss. A constructive begin to the season might rapidly come undone, with most of the identical questions being requested.
Geelong Cats (12-Four)
No have to hit a panic button, however goal-kicking observe ought to function on the coaching agenda this week. So many alternatives not transformed from gettable spots.
Gold Coast Suns (Three-12)
It was the third recreation Suns’ co-captain David Swallow has performed, wherein the opposition have kicked 100 factors to half-time. Occurred twice in his first yr on the Gold Coast (Geelong and Essendon) and now Richmond, picked up 30 disposals and a aim himself although.
GWS Giants (9-6)
Robust loss for the Giants, that’s two in-a-row now. Want to reply rapidly however a Tiger-challenge on the MCG awaits.
Hawthorn Hawks (6-9)
The youngsters are alright! When Hawthorn have been on their cost within the last time period 20-year-old’s Oliver Hanrahan and Mitchell Lewis contributed to the scoreboard. Be affected person although, reminded Alastair Clarkson post-match, there’ll nonetheless be ups and downs.
Melbourne Demons (5-10)
Tom McDonald has been struggling for kind, discovered his vary on Sunday, however a knee damage late within the third minimize brief his six-goal recreation.
North Melbourne Kangaroos (6-Eight)
Really feel good story of the week goes to North Melbourne and the return of Majak Daw to VFL footy. Daw performed two stints within the opening time period, a profitable comeback and can enhance enjoying time within the following weeks.
Port Adelaide Energy (Eight-7)
Robbie Grey gained his fifth Showdown Medal with an ideal 15 votes. No objectives this time round, however his 35 disposals and 10 clearances have been essential to Port’s second-half blitz of their cross-town rivals.
Richmond Tigers (9-6)
Ruthless at Metricon, however let’s discuss that run residence. The Tigers remaining seven video games are on the MCG, the place they’ve an excellent report over the past three years.
St Kilda Saints (6-Eight)
A primary quarter to overlook, however Josh Bruce’s six objectives would have warmed the hearts of some very chilly Saints supporters in Hobart.
Sydney Swans (6-9)
The Swans deployed Aliir Aliir within the ruck and whereas he didn’t win the hit-outs, his work at floor stage was equally vital in opposition to the depressing Zac Clarke. Matthew Kreuzer is up subsequent.
West Coast Eagles (11-Four)
5 objectives out of the centre and 11 from stoppages, what an affect Nic Naitanui has within the ruck. 4 objectives from a third-gamer in Jarrod Cameron as effectively, the Eagles are again to their potent-selves up ahead.
Western Bulldogs (7-Eight)
Can I say the F phrase? One recreation exterior the highest eight and the newest scalp was the ladder leaders in Geelong. Melbourne, St Kilda and Fremantle to return…