AFL Round Seven
Collingwood vs Port Adelaide
Collingwood's game last week sparked some controversy, mostly due to the Essendon fans booing during Scott Pendlebury's acceptance speech. Essendon fans said that this was due to the slew of five contentious free kicks in the last quarter. Collingwood supporters took to social media to tell Essendon supporters to stop sooking, and that a few umpiring decisions don’t cost you a game, despite the fact that I'm almost certain that I've spent the last six months listening to Collingwood supporters sooking about how an umpiring decision cost them a game. Port Adelaide came into this game on the back of some red hot form, and were set to make their mark as a contender this season. That is until the opening bounce happened and Collingwood kicked the first seven goals of the game leaving the Power goalless in the first term. Port showed some fight in the second term, but the damage was done with the Collingwood Midfield Machine running at full capacity, beating Port inside and out. The consolation for Port is, that despite their usual inconsistency this year, the one thing that has been consistent for all teams this season is inconsistency, so they maintain a top 8 spot, and are still in reach of the top four. Melbourne vs Hawthorn After almost losing to cellar-dwellers Carlton last week, Hawthorn this week set their sights on bottom placed Melbourne - a team in so much trouble, that they make One Nation look organised. This week, Melbourne tried the new tactic of trying to drown key players, perhaps to better equip them for the wet weather football that was their undoing against Geelong. This game was a colossal tug of war, and just as you thought one side had gotten on top, the other nabbed the momentum back their way. In the end, Melbourne probably needed the win more, and managed to stumble across the line, thanks to making a mockery of the shot clock at the end of the game, with Jay Lockhart taking the full 30 seconds, before electing to pass to Jake Melksham, who in turn also took the full 30 seconds before setting the ball up to the top of the square, allowing Melbourne to hold on for a dramatic victory. The Hawks now slip to a 3-4 record, as they are forced to accept that nothing can stay up forever, and Melbourne continue to taunt their fans, with this win providing the smallest glimmer of hope that their season can still be salvaged. GWS Giants vs St Kilda St Kilda travelled to Canberra keen to get their season back on track after a disappointing loss to Adelaide last week. Unfortunately for them, a Giants side set to cement themselves as a contender had other ideas. Despite missing Josh Kelly and Lachie Whitfield, the Giants made St Kilda look like a discount AFL side, in a performance set to send shivers down the spines of the Victorian Sports Media as the threat of a period Orange Dominance looms once more. Possibly the scariest thing is the fact that GWS look set to get a full season out of Jeremy Cameron for the first time in his short career, a threat that would concern most teams, as he hasn't kicked less than three goals once this season. Unsurprisingly rumours have surfaced that a Victorian side is chasing his signature, as big signings Kelly and Coniglio look set to make money tighter than Warwick Capper's playing shorts. Brisbane Lions vs Sydney Swans My level of interest in this game was so low, that I spent much of the first half realising, and then being stunned by the fact that Sydney's jumper is in fact a silhouette of the Sydney opera house, and not the abstract feathers of a swan. Sydney vaguely looked like threatening to win this game in the second quarter, but then as a group seemed to collectively decide that would be far too much effort, and gave up sometime in the third term, being kept in the game purely by the power of Brisbane's inaccurate goalkicking. Before this game, Brisbane hadn't defeated Sydney since 2009. You remember 2009? Ross Lyon coached a successful team, Kevin Rudd was PM, Ke$ha was still popular, and I still knew what it was like to be happy. 2009 was also the last time Brisbane made the finals, so that's probably a good omen too. Western Bulldogs vs Richmond It's been an up and down season for Bulldogs supporters. First they thought they were back to something that resembled their electric 2016 form, winning the first two games of the season in exciting fashion, before being brought back down to earth with four straight losses immediately after. Most people picked Richmond here, based on the fact that the loss of personnel they had suffered didn't seem to impact their recent form. This would have been sensible, if their last two wins hadn't been against bottom four sides. Richmond looked good early on, taking a slender lead into the quarter time break, before 19 year old Aaron Naughton took matters into his own hands, removing Richmond from the contest in a dominant display, that started with him kicking three goals in seven minutes. Hardwick noted that they "could’ve had Jesus Christ playing down there tonight, and I reckon he would’ve struggled on him." Which is a fair point, considering Jesus was probably under 170cm tall, and would have been giving Naughton a significant height advantage. Once the Bulldogs had pulled away, they didn't look back, with Richmond prize recruit Tom Lynch going goalless, and the Tigers themselves being restricted to an uncharacteristic goalless final term, leaving the Bulldogs 47 point winners. West Coast Eagles vs Gold Coast Suns Ah yes, the Coast Clash, one of the most (least) highly awaited fixtures of the AFL season. West Coast this week responded to back to back beltings both home and away by dropping one player. I can only imagine that Brander was the only person who didn't successfully pull off puppy dog eyes at training on Monday, leading the other 21 players to receive an "aawww, I can't stay mad at you," from Adam Simpson. The Eagles, including this game, are lining up three games in a row that they should win reasonably comfortably, looking to gloss over the very obvious dents in their attempt at premiership defence, whilst the Gold Coast are very quickly proving that their 3-1 start might have been a little bit of a fluke. To the Suns credit, they fought hard all day, and even got back to within two goals late in the game, before the Eagles ran out winners. The Eagles now move to 4 - 3, despite having won less than half of their quarters of football this season, whilst Gold Coast have now slid down the ladder, thanks to three consecutive losses, with clouds beginning to cover the Suns finals ambitions. Carlton vs North Melbourne After Carlton lost Kreuzer, Simpson, Newman and McGovern to injury last week some people expected the Blues to lose this game comfortably. Those people were very very right. Losing by ten goals to a team as poor as North Melbourne has to be up there in the worst losses we have witnessed this season. Ben Brown kicked four goals one, which meant the crowd was treated to just under an hours worth of watching him walk back to the other end of the ground before slowly making his way to the man on the mark. This game was back to the Carlton of old. No talk of green shoots, or honourable losses, this was Wooden Spoon winning quality football. If there was a moment in this game that summed up Carlton's performance, it was the sickening clash that saw Liam Jones rendered unconscious. Brutal. Hard to watch. Painful. I know we've spent a lot of years making fun of Carlton fans, and after decades of success, and salary cap cheating, for a while there it seemed fair game. But it's gotten to the point I just want to give them a blanket, a cup of hot chocolate and tell them everything is going to be okay, despite the fact that I'm not sure I believe it myself. Geelong Cats vs Essendon Last week, Essendon finished one goal, five umpiring decisions, a chorus of boos, and shame on anyone who booed a champion short of one highly touted premiership front-runner, in Collingwood. Returning to the MCG, off the back of a ten day break, they were set to see if they could match it with the other premiership front-runner in Geelong. The bad news was, they couldn't. The worse news was, they couldn't, even with Selwood and Tuohy as late outs, and Dangerfield playing the game out despite clearly hampered by injury. Dangerfield hurt his ankle slightly early in the game, so Geelong swung him to full forward, where he very quickly then went on to hurt his knee, as if to prove that he's not safe anywhere. One patch of play in the second term saw embarrassing moments galore as Dangerfield hand passed the football over the head of a stumbling Jordan Clark and through for a behind, before resident Essendon speedster Connor McKenna got run down by close to the biggest man on the ground, in Rhys Stanley. This wasn't a pretty game of football, but Geelong got the four points pretty comprehensively, rarely looking challenged after quarter time. I am finding it more and more difficult to not get excited. Adelaide Crows vs Fremantle We went into this game looking forward to a game between an Adelaide team that seems to have rediscovered some form, up against a highly competitive Fremantle side. We left with mild PTSD and a newly acquired knowledge that there is no god, and if there is, he hates us. The final scoreline of this game resulted in the equal lowest total score this century, and if you thought the 85 points combined total was bad; after a goalless second term the total at half time was only 26 points. And it wasn't even pouring down rain. The less we say about this game, the better.