Round 19 AFL Review

Collingwood 9.12.66 defeated by Richmond 14.14.98

In this round's blockbuster match at the MCG, everyone was looking to see how these two top-of-the-table teams were travelling as we quickly approach the finals, and after a blazing fast start, the Tigers ran out comfortable victors over the Magpies by 32 points. In a match where the majority of the first half was played in the rain, Richmond ran all over their opponents, opening a six-goal lead going into the half-time break; and it was only that close after Collingwood managed to kick a couple of late goals as the second quarter clock ticked down. Once the weather improved, so to did the Magpie's play, but even with this, they were never able to make any real inroads into the lead the Tigers had won through the first fifty-five minutes of the match. Collingwood has a chance to work into some form when they meet the Suns next round, while the Tigers take on the Demons.

Hawthorn 7.18.60 defeated by Brisbane 13.9.87

At UTAS Stadium on Saturday afternoon, the Brisbane Lions showed that they aren't just making up numbers at the top of the ladder, when they defeated a team that has probably been their biggest scalp in their run of six straight wins, Hawthorn. While the Hawks had more scoring shots than the Lions, they watched their chances of getting a win on the board go the same way as my tenpin bowling, too far to either side of the target, as attempt after goal attempt went wide of the two big(ger) sticks. At the other end of the ground, the Lions showed that 'good kicking for goal is good footy', and they do have some talent in the forward line and midfield! With their longest winning streak since the glory days of 2002, how far can the Lions progress into the 2019 Finals needs to be the question asked?

Carlton 13.9.87 defeated Adelaide 9.6.60
In their match at the MCG on Saturday, the Carlton Blues have recorded their best win of the season, in beating an out of form Adelaide Crows team who should have been more desperate to get a win. Besides the efforts of Taylor Walker (3 Goals), the Crows had real trouble converting their possessions into goals. While it can't be argued that Patrick Cripps' game was fantastic, he was very ably assisted by Kade Simpson and Marc Murphy throughout the middle. The trio gave a fair masterclass to Adelaide's often vaunted midfielders. In addition to those three, I thought Carlton's Levi Casboult played a great game, finishing with 15 Disposals, 10 Marks, 10 Hit-outs and 3 Goals to help steer his team to victory.

West Coast 18.13.121 defeated North Melbourne 10.12.72

At their home-ground on Saturday afternoon, the West Coast Eagles looked a lot more settled as they took on a Kangaroos team with an injury list that has grown by the round. And after North Melbourne kicked the first goal of the match, things turned into the Eagles steadily moving forward towards a big win over the visitors. While it is easy to see in hindsight, the Roos losing their two key backmen in successive weeks opened the door very wide for the Eagle's key forwards to run rampant, and that is just what Josh Kennedy did! By the end of the match, Kennedy had kicked 7 Goals, to go along with his 11 Disposals and 8 Marks. Fellow key-forward, Jack Darling also had a big match, with 21 Disposals, 7 Marks, 5 Tackles and 2 Goals.

St. Kilda 15.14.104 defeated Melbourne 13.7.85

In the match between St Kilda and Melbourne, at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night, we had two teams in need of a win. While neither team is going to make the finals this year, there is still the matter of pride and after an up-and-down first half of footy, it was the Saints who came out after half-time to stamp their authority on the match, kicking ten second-half goals to the Demons seven. While it was the Demons who have the more recognised players in Oliver, Petracca, Viney and Gawn, it was the ability of the Saints to get everyone involved, that enabled them to get over the Demons for a 19-point win. While he didn't kick any goals this match, seeing Jade Gresham (31 Disp, 5 Marks) be given more freedom to get involved around the ground, was a huge plus for his team and something I am sure will continue under new coach Ratten.

Port Adelaide 7.13.55 defeated by GWS Giants 8.8.56
At Adelaide Oval on Saturday night the Port Adelaide Power looked to wrest back some respect when they played host to the GWS Giants, and while they didn't come away with the win, they certainly put in a better team performance than recent matches. Over the past few weeks, both teams have had some great wins that have been matched by some pretty ordinary losses, but in this match, both teams fought hard, with the Giants managing to get the narrowest of wins on the back of three goals from both Jeremy Cameron and Jeremy Finlayson. Robbie Gray (14 Disp, 5 Marks, 2 Tackles and 3 Goals) showed that he could certainly lay claim to being Port's best-ever player, while Phil Davis (17 Disp, 13 Marks) and Toby Greene (30 Disp, 8 Marks, 6 Tackles) were in fine touch for the Giants.

Western Bulldogs 16.17.113 defeated Fremantle 9.12.66

The Bulldogs have sent the Fremantle Dockers packing after dishing out a fair thumping at Marvel Stadium on Sunday afternoon. In fact, I don't think there was a stage of the match where the Dockers managed to lead on the scoreboard, with the scoring largely being one-way traffic, and that traffic was heading down Doggie Avenue! With Bailey Dale backing up his 5-goal haul against the Saints last week, with another four majors in this match, even the pain of seeing club stalwart Dale Morris reinjure his knee, in his first game of the year, couldn't stop the Bulldogs from winning this match and surprisingly, giving themselves an outside shot of making the finals for the first time since their Premiership year of 2016.

Sydney 12.8.80 defeated by Geelong 16.11.107

In an exciting match at the SCG on Sunday afternoon, the Cats have left Sydney with their fourteenth win of the season, overcoming a competitive Swans team whose efforts belied their 15th place on the ladder. Throughout the first two quarters both teams traded blows in an entertaining contest, but then the third quarter came along and the Cats found a higher gear, leaving the Swans behind as they won the disposal count 113 to 64 and kicked 4.5 to Sydney's 1.1; Sydney was lucky the Cats missed so many opportunities, else the game could have been well-and-truly over by the three quarter time siren. With a 22-point lead under their belts, Geelong went about shutting down the game and ensuring the win, with Tom Hawkins (17 Disp, 7 Marks and 5 Goals) leading his team to a quality 27-point win up at the SCG.

Gold Coast 15.6.93 defeated by Essendon 16.10.106
At Metricon Stadium on Sunday afternoon, the resurgent Bombers headed north to take on the ailing Suns, who's 2019 season has well and truly set! In a match that saw the Suns lead the Bombers for the majority of the match, they showed some positive signs moving forward, with Ben King kicking four goals; Touk Miller ending with 32 disposals and Jarrad Witts finishing with 60 hit-outs. For the Bombers, up forward they were very well served by the steadiness of Shaun McKernan (15 Disp, 8 Marks, 5 Hit-outs) and the freakishness of Jake Stringer (15 Disp, 3 Marks, 4 Tackles and 4 Goals), who finished his night with a goal that left his boot a good fifteen metres inside the centre square! It would be one of the longest goals seen for a very long time!


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