Round 15 AFL Review

Essendon 12.5.77 defeated GWS Giants 10.11.71

On Thursday night at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, the Essendon Bombers played well above their current ladder position to overcome the GWS Giants by the margin of a single goal. Even though they had more Disposals, Clearances, Contested Possessions, and shots on goal, the Giants weren't able to attack with the fluidity or success, that we had come to expect of them after their past few weeks, and while the Bomber's Cale Hooker managed the winning goal, in the last minute of the match, it was the Bomber's defence that set-up this great win for the club. While Essendon will be sweating on Tom Belchamber's injured calf, the Giants will desperately be searching for heart and consistency.

Geelong 14.12.96 defeated Adelaide 10.9.69

At GMHBA Stadium on Friday night the Geelong Cats overcame a dogged Adelaide Crows to again showed the footy world why it is they are sitting on top of the league ladder. Throughout the majority of the first two quarters the Crows looked the better team and were able to get a few goals up on the match favourite Cats, but each time Adelaide got some breathing space, the Cats turned the pressure up and took away that oxygen. With the players giving their all, it was the smart moves by Geelong coach, Brad Scott, that turned the game his team's way.
I got the feeling that if this game was played anywhere else on Friday, the Adelaide Crows had a very good shot and coming away the victors, but in Geelong, the Cats home ground knowledge helped them get over the line after an enthralling first half.

Hawthorn 9.17.71 defeated by West Coast 11.11.77

The Hawthorn v West Coast match at the MCG on Saturday afternoon saw the return to football of Eagle ruckman, Nic Natanui. In what has been a very long time between matches, Natanui relished being back on the big stage once more, finishing the match with a low 6 disposals, 4 tackles and 41 hit-outs in a match that had a very exciting finish. After watching the Eagles race out to a 22 point lead in the 2nd quarter, the Hawks went about getting some control over the game, and they certainly did that! While the Hawks wouldn't be able to hold onto the lead, they did show that they have what it takes to match it with the best! When you add that they had more scoring shots than the winners, goes some way to proving that you can never count them out of a match!

Sydney 14.9.93 defeated Gold Coast 7.9.51

On Saturday night at the SCG, the Sydney Swans kept their slim finals hopes alive with a comfortable 42 point win over the visiting Gold Coast Suns. In a game that saw Sydney's ruckman, Callum Sinclair, dislocate his shoulder; leave the ground for treatment; come back onto the ground over said treatment, only to have his arm pop back out of his should again minutes later, we also watched as Sydney made some adjustments to then comfortably pull away from a willing Suns outfit. While the game was close across the first two quarters, the Swans kicked eight goals to two and see off the visitors. While the Suns are stuck at the bottom of the ladder, the Swans are just outside the Top 8 with this win and will be hoping the Tigers, Dockers and Power have a solid losing streak through July.

Collingwood 5.7.37 defeated by North Melbourne 11.15.81
It has been a long time since anyone would have described a North Melbourne performance as ruthless, but on Saturday night that nicely sums up their performance against the Collingwood Magpies at Marvel Stadium. North Melbourne were so dominant that not only did they comprehensively beat one of the 2019 flag-favourites, they kept Collingwood to their lowest score in over two decades! Where Collingwood was pressured into mistake after mistake, the men in the blue and white stripes were able to control the tempo, along with possession, to end with fourteen more scoring shots than their black and white opponents.
Collingwood's Ben Reid left the ground early in the match with a calf injury and will be carefully monitored.

Port Adelaide 5.11.41 defeated by Western Bulldogs 10.6.66

In another Round 15 upset, the Western Bulldogs left Adelaide on Saturday night with a 25 point win over the Port Adelaide Power. A week after the Bulldogs wasted numerous chances to kick ahead of the Magpies, and the Power had demolished the league-leading Cats, the Western Bulldogs found their bite, and put those big teeth squarely into the rumps of the Power. Mind you, the Power didn't do themselves any favours through kicking eleven points to go with a lowly five goals.
While the Bulldogs will be feeling great as they move on to play the Cats next round, I would be surprised if the Power don't recall the experienced Ryder and Westhoff to shore up the team.

St. Kilda 10.10.70 defeated by Richmond 16.7.103

After a great start to the match by St Kilda, the Richmond Tigers have managed to find their, or at least some of their mojo to run out comfortable 33 point winners at Marvel Stadium on Sunday afternoon. At half-time, the Saints had the scoreboard showing a perfect seven goals from seven shots for them, while the Tigers weren't far behind at six goals and two points. By the time the final siren sounded, St Kilda had only managed to add three goals and ten points to their half-time score, while the Tigers kept their accuracy going with a further ten goals and five points to their tally; one of Richmond's better scoring efforts for the season! While the Tiger's Dustin Martin nearly found himself with a dose of leather poisoning (36 Disp, 7 Marks and 3 Tackles), he was quite wasteful with the ball at times, going at just 50% disposal efficiency, it was new recruit Sydney Stack who single-handedly kept the Tigers in the first half with three goals to his name. He would finish the match with 4 Goals, 15 disposals and 4 Tackles

Brisbane 15.17.107 defeated Melbourne 11.8.74
Up at the Gabba on Sunday afternoon, the Brisbane Lions found themselves with a tough game on their hands! While it took until the final minutes of the third quarter for them to get some breathing room, they managed to make the most of their possessions to run out 33 point victors against the visiting Melbourne Demons. After a number of games where he left his kicking boots at home, the Lion's Eric Hipwood certainly remembered them for this game! The key forward finished with 13 Disposals, 9 Marks while kicking five goals straight. In the midfield battled, the hard work of Melbourne's Clayton Oliver (36 Disp, 4 Marks and 5 Tackles) was shaded by the efforts of Brisbane's Lachie Neale (38 Disp, 3 Marks and 5 Tackles) who has become one of the competition's elite midfielders after moving to Brisbane from the Fremantle Dockers.

Fremantle 11.9.75 defeated by Carlton 11.13.79

In a very exciting finish at Optus Stadium in Perth on Sunday evening, the Carlton Blues managed to erase a five-goal first-quarter deficit to record a thrilling four-point win over the Fremantle Dockers that left the home crowd stunned into an eerie silence. With the Blue's key-forward Charlie Curnow leaving the ground injured during the first quarter, the visitors really spread the load across the team, finishing the game with ten individual scorers. As an added bonus for the club, Carlton's heroics have lifted them off the bottom of the AFL ladder, as they overtake the Gold Coast Suns. After nearly running himself ragged, Carlton stalwart Marc Murphy kicked the winning goal with only half a minute left on the game clock. He finished the match with 34 Disposals, 2 Marks, 3 Tackles and the all-important last goal of the match.


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