Round 9 AFL Review

West Coast 13.7.85 defeated Melbourne 9.15.69

In a 'let's do enough to win this' performance from the West Coast Eagles, they managed to overcome the Demons in the last quarter to record a 16 point win, and their third in a row, at Optus Stadium on Friday night. Over these three wins, the Eagles have played teams in the lower realms of the ladder and yet haven't even managed a four-goal win. Is this a result of the rule changes put into place this year (we haven't seen too many high scoring matches) or are the Eagles just, well, not that great at the moment?
For the Demons, it was a performance that built on previous week's better form, and one in which they were the better team for large portions of the match; finishing with only 9 goals to go with 15 points certainly cost them dearly in the end!
While the Demons are looking like the curve is now heading in an upward direction, helped by a great game from Max Gawn with 56 hit-outs, the Eagle's kept them at bay, with Elliot Yeo just great, ending the game with 26 disposals (18 contested), 7 clearances, 7 inside 50s and a huge 16 tackles!

Collingwood 17.10.112 defeated St. Kilda 10.11.71

Collingwood started their Round 9 clash minus the two late withdrawals of DeGoey and key backman Darcy Moore, definitely putting them behind the 8-ball when coming up against a tough St Kilda outfit. As we saw happen last weekend too, it took until the fourth quarter for the Pies to be able to get any sustained ascendency in the match but when they did, boy did things change! With the scores a tight 11.4.70 to 9.11.65, in Collingwood's favour, to start the fourth quarter, the Pies slammed on six goals and six points to St Kilda's single, solitary, all alone by itself goal. I guess that's why a lot of people call it the Premiership Quarter, and it was one where the Saint's players weren't able to keep up with their opponents.
For the Saints, ruckman Rowan Marshall (16 disp, 24 hit-outs and a goal) put in a great effort against Collingwood's All-Australian ruckman, but Grundy (24 disp, 49 hit-outs and 6 tackles) was able to exert some dominance as the match wore on.

Brisbane 13.15.93 defeated Adelaide 13.14.92
With Luke Hodge ruled as an out for this game, the Lions would have missed his experience and leadership for the game against the Adelaide Crows. Would someone step-up or would the bevy of experienced Crows help to get them across the line up in Brisbane?
After an up-and-down first three quarters, where both teams had their patches of ascendency, the start of the fourth quarter found the Crows down by two goals but once the siren sounded to get that quarter going, the contest picked up a notch as the Adelaide tide began to turn into a flood!
In a fast-moving, high-quality game, Adelaide looked like they would get over the top of the Lions but it wasn't to be, resulting in a thrilling one-point win to the Brisbane Lions.

Geelong 21.7.133 defeated Western Bulldogs 13.11.89
While Geelong managed to get a quick three-goal lead over the Bulldogs at GMHBA Stadium last Saturday, the Bulldogs fought hard to keep it to that figure. While they managed to do so, across most of the first half of the match, Geelong turned the tide and got a run on late in the second quarter, extending their lead out to around four goals at the half. Just when you thought the Cats were going to run away with things, the Doggies hit back well to get the game back to around the three-goal difference again. Unfortunately, that is where things would end for the Bulldogs in this match, as the Cats were able to break from their opponents to run out 44 point winners.
The Moment of the Match for mine was when Tom Stewart took an absolute screamer with about two minutes left in the final quarter. As much as he tried to be cool about it, a great smile spread across his face as he landed and he couldn't contain it, which was great to watch.

Essendon 8.12.60 defeated Fremantle 7.11.53

In a very low-scoring match (just 113 points were scored across both teams, compared to Geelong kicking 133 points on the own...) where points seemed to be the preferred method of keeping the scoreboard ticking over. While both teams struggled to move the ball with much fluidity for most of the game, it was the Bombers who managed to find a way to end up in front for the final siren to sound, claiming a 7 point win. While it would be hard to take too many positives, for either team, from this match, it was the Bombers who prevailed and managed to break their three-game losing skid, against a surprisingly ordinary Fremantle team.
If it wasn't for the sure-kicking of recruit Dylan Sheil (25 disp, 5 tackles and 2 goals), the Dockers may have been able to stage a late comeback to get a rare win in Melbourne; they had been 26 points down in the final quarter and had the last four shots on goal, showing their dominance through this final period.

North Melbourne 10.12.72 defeated by Sydney 11.11.77
With Josh Kennedy listed as an out before the game, the Kangaroos must have been fancying their chances of getting back into the winner's circle this round, but the Swans had other ideas on that being the ending!
This was definitely a game that the Roos should have won, and their coach has a very good reason to not be at all impressed! I'm guessing there will be a pretty tough week on the training track for the Kangaroo players coming up.
George Hewett (29 disposals, 20 contested and six centre clearances) and Luke Parker (28 disposals and nine tackles) were great for the Swans and filled most of the big hole left by the missing Kennedy admirably.

Port Adelaide 13.11.89 defeated Gold Coast 7.9.51

In what turned out to be a wet afternoon in Adelaide last Sunday, the Power was looking to bounce back from the disappointment of the loss to Adelaide in Round 8. Having lost to the Demons, by a single, solitary point the week before, the Suns certainly had some disappointment to get past as well. As in what seems to be the main theme of the round, these two teams were very evenly matched across the first three quarters before one team tamed the elements, to kick four goals and hold their opponents goalless. It was the Power who flicked the switch and lit up across the ground and whose midfield got so far on top of the visiting team to make the Suns... set.
Kane Farrell proved to be an unlikely avenue to goal for the Power, ending up with 3 goals to go with his 14 disposals.

Richmond 14.11.95 defeated Hawthorn 8.11.59

In an exciting game played at a frenetic pace for the most part, the Richmond Tigers have overcome a depleted Hawthorn team in the Sunday afternoon match at the MCG.
After a very fast start to the match, the Hawks established a lead, right up until Dustin Martin (37 disp, 6 marks and 2 goals) kicked his first of the match late in the quarter. Before moving on with the review, the display seen today really was vintage Dustin Martin! Whether he was playing through the midfield, or up forward, he looked to be heading back to his Brownlow Medal form against the Hawks. After the Hawks surprised many with their fast-moving, high-marking game-plan Ben McEvoy went off injured which really made following the plan a great deal harder, and once they were a second player down it just felt like their chances of a win went out the window.
The Hawks were injured but the Tigers played some quality football to get the win.

GWS Giants 20.18.138 defeated Carlton 7.3.45
On a great day for football, the GWS Giants came up against some witches hats. Oh, what? There was another team out there? Are you sure? Hmmm... In that case, can I start again, please...?
On a great day for football, the GWS Giants came up against the Carlton Blues in a match that no-one gave the Blues a chance in and if that sums your thoughts too, you were 100% correct! Look, there really isn't that much to be said about a game that was so onesided the result was very close to a one hundred point win. In fact, it was one of those wins that you kind of wish didn't happen because you just feel bad for the team on the receiving end.
After this demolition the Giants move up to 3rd place on the ladder while the Blues find themselves looking up at every other team in the AFL.