Round 8 AFL Review

Thursday
Gold Coast 6.10.46 defeated by Western Bulldogs 7.9.51
At Metricon Stadium on Thursday night, the Western Bulldogs won a scrappy game against the Gold Coast Suns. In a match that never got too far into double-digit deficits, and in spite of the Suns having more Inside 50s, Clearances and Marks, the Doggies managed to paw their way in front of the Suns and keep their noses there during a tense last quarter where Gold Coast looked like they may be able to make up the bad start to the quarter to get the win. After his being outing last round, the Sun's Izak Rankine wasn't able to shine so brightly, and it wasn't just because of the rain! With four last quarter shots on goal, he couldn't get any to go through the big posts.

Friday
GWS Giants 9.8.62 defeated Richmond 6.14.50

In a match where both teams were missing a number of regular starters, the GWS Giants have managed to get some pay-back against Richmond for their Grand Final belting in 2019, by winning the game by 12 points. In a match that never reached any great heights, the Giant's defence helped stop the Tigers from kicking a score that would win most matches. At the other end of the ground, Toby Greene showed what a class player he can be, kicking five goals straight to help guide his team back into the winner's circle. Next week sees the Giants come up against the Suns, while the Tigers have another tough one, up against the Bulldogs.

Saturday
North Melbourne 9.3.57 defeated by Carlton 9.10.64

As the final siren sounded to end another close match in Round 8, the Carton Blues, in spite of being another team guilty of bad kicking for goal, managed to hang on in a thriller, to beat a luckless North Melbourne by 7-points at the Gabba. While both teams had terrible Inside 50 disposal efficiency, it was the Blues who got the ball in there thirteen more times than their opponents, leading to enough shots to get a winning score on the board. While Goldstein dominated the rucks, it was the Carlton mids who pounced on the ball getting in forward time and time again for another win in 2020.

Sydney Swans 9.6.60 defeated Hawthorn 7.11.53
At the SCG on Saturday afternoon, the home team Swans have put in a game of great pressure to relegate the flounder Hawthorn to their fourth straight loss. Like so many other games this round, the team who had the most shots at goal ended up being inaccurate and losing the match because of it. For the Swans, it was their first win in five games and sees them leapfrog the Hawks to now sit in 14th spot on the ladder. Tom Papley showed he's the key forward for a Sydney outfit missing Franklin, Heeney and many more. The Swan dynamo showed why he has been top of the goal-kicking ladder by bagging another four against the Hawks.

Port Adelaide 6.8.44 defeated by St. Kilda 12.1.73

In what was the first real upset of the round so far, the Saints have put on a near-flawless goal-kicking display at Adelaide Oval to beat the top placed Power by 29 points on Saturday night. In a match where the teams were separated by a single point going into the last, it was the Saints who grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and piled on five goals to the Power's lowly two points, setting up a memorable win for this improving team. As a side note, I think Paddy Ryder really enjoyed getting a shot against his old team as first ruck, as he dominated his Power opponent with 29 hit-outs to 14.

Sunday
Adelaide Crows 8.11.59 defeated by Essendon 9.8.62

It was quite funny listing to the commentary at the end of this match, as the terms "brave" and "courageous" kept on being heard in relation to the Crow's performance, but why? The commentators could have also said "inaccurate" or "wasteful" as well, as if the Crows had of kicked straighter, they would have had their first win on their hands. Unfortunately, for the win-starved Adelaide faithful, it wasn't to be, as the Bombers got home in an exciting match at Adelaide Oval on Sunday afternoon. While there is no doubt the loss of B. Crouch and Doedee hurt the home team, the Bombers kept their composure and did enough to get the win.

West Coast Eagles 18.3.111 defeated Collingwood 6.9.45
In the highest-scoring, most free-flowing match I can think of this season (well, for one team), the West Coast Eagles were simply too good for their Collingwood opposition at Optus Stadium on Sunday afternoon. In a game many had expected to be closely contested, the Eagles had winners across every line, with Nic Natainui even just getting on top of Brodie Grundy, one of the league's best big men. While the West Coast forwards hadn't done much this season, they simply lit up in this game, with J. Kennedy (7 goals) and S. Allen (3 goals) combining to nearly double the goals kicked by the whole Magpie's team.

Melbourne 7.7.46 defeated by Brisbane Lions 7.11.53

After holding a 14-point lead going into the rooms at half-time, the Brisbane Lions have managed to pull away from a Melbourne Demons outfit, who is starting to finally click into gear, to win get a 4-point win at Metricon Stadium on Sunday night. In a match that was a hard-fought affair, the Demons great last quarter push fell painfully close to getting them the win. The Lions again showed why they will be a tough team to beat and should be right up at the top of the ladder leading into the finals. The Demons are on a steep improvement curve, giving their fans more to look forward to in Season 2020.

Monday
Fremantle 2.4.16 defeated by Geelong Cats 6.12.48

In one of the lowest-scoring games of footy you are likely to see, only two goals were kicked between the Dockers and Cats for the entire first half of footy at Optus Stadium on Monday night. "Did things get better in the second half?" I hear you ask. No. I'm afraid they didn't improve for either team. While the Cats managed 6-goals (a whole goal and change each quarter), the bright spot of the match was that Fremantle did kick 2 goals, with the second coming just before the final siren. Seeing a team go goalless would be horrible to watch. I am sure both team's players would have done their best to stay more than 1.5 metres away from their respective coaches after this match!

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