Round 3 AFL Review

Thursday
Adelaide 10.15.75 defeated by Geelong 14.15.99

The Cats have kept their unbeaten start to the 2019 season alive with a hard-fought road win over the Crows. Geelong's great start to the season is certainly setting them up well to stay in the Top 8 as the season wears on and players get injuries and just... tired.
In spite of having a good number of Forward 50 entries, the Crows were unable to kick the ball through the big sticks. This was largely due to the tireless efforts of Blicvas; geez he just doesn't stop running. When you add in his height and strength, I reckon Mark would have to be one of Geelong's most important players. Fortunately for the Catters, Tim Kelly looks to be right for their next game after hobbling off in the 4th quarter.

Friday
Melbourne 18.4.112 defeated by Essendon 20.10.130

Played on an 'almost' balmy Friday night at the MCG, both the Demons and Bombers had their share of the game through the first half. Then the 3rd quarter came and the Bombers kicked 7 goals to Melbourne's 2. While the Demons won the 4th quarter, it wasn't enough to catch up with the lead Essendon had built in the 3rd, and they went down by 18. With the Demons sitting at 0 - 3, it will be interesting to see what team they have going into Round 4. In case Simon Goodwin happens to read this... You need a marking target in the forward 50! For the Bombers, Heppell and Sheil stood out for their great work across the four quarters, with Sheil cramping up a fair bit in the fourth.

Saturday
Carlton 10.14.74 defeated by Sydney 14.9.93

While Patrick Cripps (25 disp, 8 tackles and a goal) was again relentless in giving his team many opportunities to win, his teammates couldn't capitalise on the scoreboard and, at end of the game, it was this inaccuracy that cost the Blues their first win of the season. For the Swans, Isaac Heeney (26 disp and 4 goals), Jake Lloyd (32 disp, 9 marks and 8 rebound 50s) and Zak Jones (31 disp) were all instrumental in getting Sydney its first win for 2019.
My Question Of The Day is... Has Lance Franklin's time at the top come to an end?

GWS Giants 19.11.125 defeated Richmond 10.16.76
As a game where, at three-quarter time, I was scratching my head wondering "how the heck is Richmond still that close to GWS.?.?" but there it was, the door was still open for the Tigers, as there were less than four goals separating the two teams. Then the 4th quarter came around and that door was shut, bolted, padlocked, chained, any gaps welded and, just in case, a small plastic classroom chair was wedged underneath the handle.
I imagine many pubs throughout Richmond would have done a roaring trade during that half-hour of torment for Tiger fans!
For the Giants, Whitfield (42 disp and 12 marks) did as he pleased, while Hopper (29 disp and 2 goals) and Cameron (30 disp and 7 goals) ensured the Tigers never really had a chance.
A special mention goes to Shane Mumford, who staked his claim for a spot on an NRL State of Origin bench with some quality hand-offs.

Brisbane 16.11.107 defeated Port Adelaide 13.12.90

Who would have expected that the Brisbane Lions would be sitting in second spot on the AFL ladder as Round 3 has come to a close? Yet here we are, and after a win against the quality opposition of the Port Power, that is exactly where they are!
In a game in which the Power appeared to have control, after leading at all stages through the first three quarters through the tireless work of Travis Boak (35 disp and 2 goals) and forward work of Connor Rozee (21 disp and 5 goals), it was the Lions who managed to find another gear, and kick three quick goals in the 4th to give the home side a really exciting win at the Gabba.
While I won't be surprised if the young Lions start to tire, they are showing what a great future this team has.

Collingwood 11.10.76 defeated by West Coast 15.8.98
In the game-of-the-round, last year's grand finalists met again to resume hostilities on the football field and, in spite of it being a game of two quite different halves, last year's premiers were able to take ascendency after halftime and come away worthy winners. After watching some 'less than spectacular' games across the weekend, these two teams again showed why they will be at the top of the ladder come finals time BUT will Collingwood be able to find a way to get past their new arch nemesis? They are none from the last two and the Eagles look to have their measure, winning those two games in quite similar fashion. To all the Collingwood fans out there don't worry, I am not going to mention Dom Sheed kicking a goal late in the game to help secure an Eagle's win! Nope, not going to do it to you!

Sunday
Western Bulldogs 9.14.68 defeated by Gold Coast 10.13.73

From the first bounce, Jarrod Witts showed it was going to be a long day for the Dog's Tim English and by the final siren, he and Peter Wright had a huge 71 hit-outs, giving their team a definite advantage from the many stoppages throughout the game. The Bulldog's ruckman, Tim English (15 hit-outs), was just not able to compete with the Sun's big men; the Doggies will be looking forward to getting Tom Boyd back, and soon!
The Bulldogs have been able to pull off some exciting fast finishes to get the win this year, and they tried it again on Sunday against the GC Suns at Marvel Stadium, but this time around they ran out of time and perhaps run, as the Suns stood up to secure an away win against a quality opponent. After Round 3 Gold Coast is sitting in 9th spot on the ladder, a position I would think the coaching staff, and team, would be pretty happy with.

Hawthorn 13.9.87 defeated North Melbourne 10.11.71
After a pretty messy first half of football, which saw the Kangaroos take a decent lead into the half-time break, Hawthorn came out in the 3rd quarter much stronger, especially across the back half. Much to the coach's (very visible) displeasure, the Kangaroos were only able to kick three goals for the entire second half. Not surprisingly, Hawthorn was able to kick away and record a 'they got better as the game went on' 26 point win. The Hawks are now in the Top 8, on two wins, while the Kanga's fall to be second from the bottom, only ahead of the floundering Demons.
To go with his 31 disposals, Jaeger O'Meara had a game-high 11 tackles; the nearest North Melbourne player, being Aaron Hall, had just 6. In my opinion, this is a good indicator of intent and mindset and backs up the result.

Fremantle 11.5.71 defeated St. Kilda 9.12.66
The big news from this game has to be the horrible head-clash between Docker Nat Fyfe and Saint, Josh Battle. This left Fyfe dazed on the ground, to be helped off by the trainers and not return. Hopefully, both players avoided any injury or concussion. Okay, back to the game...
In an absolute tug-of-war of a match, the end result was created through the forward work of Docker, Brandon Matera. After going scoreless through the first 75 minutes of play, Brandon popped up to kick three late game goes, two in the last quarter when the Dockers really struggled to get a goal. His straight shoot'n helped hold off a St Kilda team that looked like getting the win IF there were even just five more minutes of play.
For the Saints, you just had to like Rowan Marshall's game (40 hit-outs, 16 disp and 6 tackles) and for the hometeam, I thought Ed Langdon (29 disp and 7 marks) had a great game. As an aside, it was great to see ex-Tiger player Reece Conca back to dishing out those quality hugs he is so renowned for!

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