Round 12 AFL Review

Thursday, August 13
Sydney 10.6.66 defeated Greater Western Sydney 3.7.25
At half-time of this match between Sydney and their cross-town rival GWS, in shades of their 2019 Grand Final dismantling, the Swans had kept their opponents to a single, solitary goal, while kicking five of their own! While I kept waiting for the giant GWS comeback, it never eventuated, the Swans kept on top of their opponents to get a much-needed win for the team from harbourside. As someone who expects Sydney to finish down the bottom of the ladder, and the Giants to finish up near the top, I keep waiting for GWS to click into gear and start racking up the wins in 2020. Not only has this not happened, but they are also looking likely to drop out of the eight.

Friday, August 14
Geelong 14.7.91 defeated Port Adelaide 4.7.31

Well, there you go... Just when you think you have some idea of how Season 2020 is progressing, and how the various teams are travelling, the top of the ladder Power has had their spark put out by a Geelong team that is purring along into the back-end of the season. While Hawkins continued his goal-kicking run, with another six majors added, and Dangerfield recapturing some great form against the quality Power midfield, I've got to give full votes to Geelong backman Harry Taylor. Taylor blanketed dangerous Power forward Charlie Dixon, to the point that Dixon had zero impact on the game. With him nullified, the Power only managed four goals for the entire match.

Saturday, August 15
North Melbourne 8.4.52 defeated by Brisbane 7.11.53

The Brisbane Lions have gotten away with a win after a very, very hard-fought game against the Kangaroos on Saturday afternoon. In a match that many thought would be a percentage booster for the Lions, saw an extremely depleted North Melbourne side come out and take it up to their fancied opponents. To make things more disappointing for the Roos, we will be left to wonder what may have happened if Cameron Zurhaar had of made more of his opportunity with only about a minute remaining on the clock. The Lions need to find their goal-kicking boots again, and not select players who are clearly injured if they are to have a shot at the big prize.

Melbourne 16.4.100 defeated Collingwood 6.8.44

From the start of this match it was the Melbourne Demons stamping their ascendency on a Collingwood team that has been off the boil for a month now; yes, I know they won their last two matches but a. They were wins over the lowly Swans and Crows and b. The Magpies weren't at all impressive in either of those matches! The Demons had the first three goals on the scoreboard before the Pies clawed back some momentum with the next two. From that point on it was all one-way traffic, as the Demons kicked thirteen goals, to the Magpies four, in a display that would have had their fans engaging in some serious scarf waving.

Fremantle 5.6.36 defeated by Carlton 5.10.40
A match that was looking like a comfortable win was coming Fremantle's way on Saturday night turned into an absolute thriller! After a deliberate out-of-bounds was paid to the Blues, the recipient, in turn, did the one thing he needed not to do, and that was to kick the ball straight out-of-bounds. Somehow the umpire managed to find a down-field free-kick to Carlton (I have no idea what it was for), and their recruit, Jack Newnes, took the resultant free and kicked a goal that would have been impressive to see a five-year player make; you could see from Eddie Betts face that it was "special"! Fremantle was sunk by something they have been doing to teams for years in this one.

Sunday, August 16
Western Bulldogs 16.15.111 defeated Adelaide 8.6.54

At Metricon Stadium on Sunday afternoon the Bulldogs Aaron Naughton showed why he was one of the most exciting forwards in the competition earlier in the season, as he helped himself to a career-best haul of six goals against the floundering Crows. Naughton's efforts were even more impressive when you consider that this was his second game back from a medium-term ankle syndesmosis injury. While the Crows haven't provided much opposition in 2020, the Doggies midfield should still be happy with their output, especially Bontempelli, Hunter and the quickly improving Bailey Smith, who had 37 Disposals and a huge 811 metres gained.

St Kilda 10.8.68 defeated Essendon 5.3.33

On Sunday afternoon, St Kilda bounced back from their belting at the hands of Geelong, to more than double the score of their opponents on the way to a comfortable 35-point win at the Gabba. Even missing star midfielder (or playing just about anywhere on the ground) Jade Gresham, the Saints took the lead right off the back of the first bounce, to lead the Bombers for the entire match. In a further sign of the Saint's growing maturity and consistency, they haven't lost two games in a row as they come up against the Brisbane Lions next round. As for the Bombers, they will be taking on the Tigers way up north in Darwin next round to celebrate Dreamtime.

West Coast 12.9.81 defeated Hawthorn 7.7.49

Over on their favoured home ground of Optus Oval, the West Coast Eagles were playing host to the Hawks on Sunday night. In a match many people thought would be a comfortable win for the Eagles, turned out to be exactly that, as by the end of the third quarter, the Eagles had already more than doubled the score of their opponents. While the match slowed down after half-time, I think this was more about the Eagles wanting to conserve their player̢۪s health than the Hawks making things particularly hard for them.

Monday, August 17
Richmond 8.5.53 defeated Gold Coast 4.8.32

At the Gabba on Monday night we had the Tigers taking on the Gold Coast Suns in a clash that would see if the Tigers managed to stay in touch with the ladder's Top 4, or if the Suns could recapture their early season form that saw them as tough opponents for any team coming up against them. In a match that failed to hit any highs for either team, the Tigers have run out victors but won't be rushing to watch the replay of the match anytime soon! While Dylan Grimes was at his defensive best, it was the Suns' Jack Lukosius who showed why the club was so eager to get him to Queensland, in what was probably the best game of his career to date.

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