Round 11 AFL Review

Friday
North Melbourne 15.9.99 defeated Richmond 9.8.62

And there we have it folks, the upset of the round happened in the first match, but for those of you watching, the result was not surprising at all! Right from the start of the match the Kangaroos came out with greater intent and got straight to imposing themselves on their Tiger opponents. With Ben Cunnington (31 disp, 20 contested and 9 clearances) driving the Roos through the middle, Scott Thompson and Ben Brown (14 disp, 6 hit-outs, 6 marks and a game-high 5 goals) winning their respective positions, the men in blue and white ran rampant over a lacklustre Richmond outfit.

Saturday
Collingwood 11.9.75 defeated by Fremantle 11.13.79

While the North Melbourne v Richmond game was an upset, but not a total surprise, Fremantle's victory over Collingwood **in Melbourne** took things to a whole new level! After kicking the winning point against the Lions last round, the Docker's Michael Walters took a good grab late in the quarter and put his shot through the big-sticks to give his team a memorable four-point win over one of the flag favourites, Collingwood. It certainly seems that Fremantle saves itself for the big games, adding this to their 24 point win over GWS Giants in Round 5.
For the Pies, Brayden Maynard (24 disp, 4 marks and 7 rebound 50s) played a great game down back and for the Dockers, it is hard to go past Nat Fyfe's (32 disp, 6 marks, 6 clearances and 6 inside 50s) game in leading his team across the line.

GWS Giants 19.12.126 defeated Gold Coast 6.7.43
While the first quarter and a half proved to be a real slog, with the Suns focused on trying to stop the ball getting out to the GWS runners, the Giants broke free and kicked five goals either side of half-time. From there they reasserted their ascendency over their northern opponents on a lovely Saturday afternoon for footy and, after having beaten the Suns by an average of 100 points across their previous three meetings, things were starting to get worrying for Gold Coast! The home team went on to kick 13 second-half goals to the Suns paltry 3, totally outclassing the Suns.
For the visitors, Jarrod Witts (15 disposals and 49 hit-outs) was his team's best player while the Player of the Match went to GWS Giant's midfielder, Stephen Coniglio. He finished with 36 disposals, 13 marks, 8 inside 50s, a big 13 tackles and 3 goals. I know the umpires can only go up to three votes for Brownlow Medal voting, but I reckon Coniglio should get 4 after that performance!

Geelong 13.7.85 defeated Sydney 8.15.63
After Sydney jumped out to a 14-point lead early in the first quarter, Geelong's Patrick Dangerfield (29 disp, 4 marks and 2 goals) was moved from his "resting" role up forward to get back to what he does best, win the ball in the middle. No sooner had this move been made, Geelong halted Sydney's run and put on a quick four goals to take the lead from the visitors. After regrouping at quarter-time, Sydney wrested back some control and the game really evened out. Unfortunately for Sydney, the Cats came out hard in the third quarter and outscored the visitors 4 goals to 1 and, without star midfielder Josh Kennedy, the Swans were starting to fall away through the middle and with the Geelong backline doing a great job on Franklin, avenues to goal really dried up for the Sydney siders.

Brisbane 12.13.85 defeated Hawthorn 10.6.66
If I told you that the score at the end of the first quarter was Brisbane 0.6.6 to Hawthorn's 5.1.31 how do you think the rest of the game's story would unfold? Would it be that Brisbane decided they did know how to play footy, and could put the ball through the big sticks, as they went on to outscore Hawthorn 12 goals to 5 across the remaining three quarters to take the lead during the third quarter and win the match? If you had anything different in mind you would be mistaken as, surprisingly, that is exactly what happened in Saturday's match up at the Gabba.
Two key stats from this game are that the Lions won contested possessions 145-188 (a huge difference) and that the Lion's defence managed to keep Jack Gunston goalless, he had 6 last week! Both of these played a massive part of their victory against quality opposition.

Melbourne 12.16.88 defeated by Adelaide 14.6.90
Melbourne's 28 to 20 scoring opportunities advantage should have resulted in them getting a much-needed win up in Darwin last round but it wasn't to be. Instead, the Adelaide Crows managed to come back from 31 points down, in the third quarter, to get a narrow win over their opponents. After the Demons managed to trounce Adelaide by 91 points in their corresponding fixture last season, their fans had the heartbreak of watching the final shot at goal sail wide and the Crows walk away with an exciting win and avoiding a third straight loss.
As I am enjoying running with an "important stat for the match" theme, here is one from this game: In the final quarter, Melbourne kicked 1 goal 8 points from 12 scoring opportunities while Adelaide kicked 5 goals 2 points. You kick more goals, you tend to win more games. A lesson the Melbourne Football Club is having trouble with in Season 2019.

Sunday
St. Kilda 9.15.69 defeated by Port Adelaide 22.7.139

With a fixture in China the go, both teams hopped on a plane and headed over to Shanghai for their Sunday afternoon match.
From half-way through the first quarter Port Adelaide looked in control of the match, it took up until they managed a run of nine unanswered goals, through the middle of the third quarter, opened up a 58 point margin and put the result 99% beyond doubt; it also had the Power looking like they would be the highest scoring team of the round. As things balanced out in the last quarter, the Saint's Jarryn Geary left the ground looking like he was in a fair bit of pain, further reducing their ability to stage what would have been a remarkable comeback.
While Jade Gresham found his kicking boots at half-time, the Power weren't to be stopped, finishing the match with the most Disposals, Inside 50s, Contested Possessions, Tackles and Hit-outs. Of course, they also finished with the most important stat off all, the higher score.

Essendon 11.8.74 defeated Carlton 4.9.33
On a day that started out fine and sunny, the Bombers and Blues ended up slugging things out in a true Melbourne Winter's day afternoon! As Essendon had the upper hand when the rain started coming down, they were in the driver's seat to keep that lead, and not only did they do that, they extended it. While the Blues didn't give up hope, they didn't have the skills or attitude to make any inroads to threaten the Bomber's lead, going down to the superior team and further cementing their place at the bottom of the ladder mid-way through season 2019. Is my memory correct that the Blues "brains trust" signed their coach up for a further three years? Wonder how they are feeling about that decision now?
For the Blues, Matthew Kreuzer (22 disp, 3 marks, 3 tackles and 32 hit-outs) was strong throughout the match and is hopefully building into some form, and while he went at only 66% disposal efficiency, Dyson Heppell played a great game for the Bombers and ended the match with 36 disposals, 22 of which were contested, 5 marks and a goal.

West Coast 21.7.133 defeated Western Bulldogs 10.12.72In our Sunday evening game the Bulldogs head over to Perth looking to bounce back from last round's loss to North Melbourne, while the Eagles will be wanting to keep their winning form going and get back into the Top 4 teams on the ladder. In spite of more score review confusion this weekend, there can be no confusion as to West Coast being the easy winners of this match.
After today's game, the Eagles move into the third "grouping" of teams fighting to get to the top of the ladder, while the Bulldogs fall back a notch, to be matched with the Kangaroos on 4 wins and 7 losses.
For the Eagles, I read that they had the highest scoring third quarter of anyone in the 2019 season. Maybe, just maybe, they are building nicely towards another finals campaign.

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