AFL Round Seventeen
What started as a chore at work, and became a weekly hobby; It's The Weekly Turnaround!
Adelaide Crows vs Geelong Cats
This was a great game to watch for anyone who wasn't a Geelong supporter. It had everything. Bags of goals. Great individual midfield efforts. Well over 200 points scored for the game, and if you were a Cats fan, soul crushing disappointment. Rory Sloane was brilliant in his first game after signing a new deal with the Crows, which led to even more booing than usual directed toward Patrick Dangerfield.
Adelaide can mathematically make the finals from here, but any fans holding out too much hope of that will probably be as disappointed as they were on the 30th of September last year. Meanwhile the best way of tipping Geelong games seems to be tossing a coin, throwing a dart at it, and then lighting them on fire and letting someone who doesn't know what football is pick for you.
St Kilda vs Carlton
If anything reassured me that the game is in the right hands, it's the fact that this game was fixtured for a Friday Night game. The people making choices like that are definitely the ones that I'd trust with rule changes that may impact our game forever. This was about as boring as a game of football could possibly be. St Kilda led all night, and there wasn't even a comedy of errors to make it like a car crash you couldn't look away from. The Saints were mediocre, and the Blues bad. The Blues haven't scored 100 points in almost three years now, it's actually getting quite embarrassing. Almost as embarrassing as when people ask you what you do with your weekend, and your response is; " avoid socialising at all costs, so that I can watch and over-analyse every game of football on TV,and then write about it in a satirical blog that nobody reads,"
Not that I know what that feels like, of course. That's purely hypothetical.
Hawthorn vs Brisbane Lions
Brisbane haven't won three in a row for five years. It's also been five years since a team other than Carlton or Gold Coast lost to Brisbane twice in one season. And that was 2013 Melbourne. You know, the only team to lose to GWS that year. When Luke Hodge was announced as a late withdrawl, since Burgoyne wasn't playing and he wasn't going to be able to squeeze anyone's nipples, hope looked bleak for an exciting Brisbane side. As it turned out the loss of McEvoy was not only disappointing for the commentary team, but a huge loss for the Hawks, as Martin did as he pleased around the ground for the third week in a row. Tasmania used to be a fortress for Hawthorn, but they've now lost two of their last three at the ground, and arguably should have lost to Port also. From the performances I saw this week, it seems as if nobody wants the two available spots in the 8.
Melbourne vs Western Bulldogs
Since the bye rounds ended the Western Bulldogs haven't lost a first half by more than three points. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, their third quarters are down roughly 300 points for the season, and considering that people refer to that one as the "Premiership Quarter," that's not a very good stat. This game was going along nicely until that point. An enthralling contest with the Dees up by just three points at half time. Until the Dogs typical third quarters, and the Dees' typical flat track style resulted in an eight goal to three third quarter and it was pretty much over from there. While Melbourne are yet to truly prove themselves, they seemed to be the only team fighting for a spot in the 8, that actually wanted to win this week. They now sit one game outside of the four, with the second best percentage in the competition, and any Bulldogs fans that were hoping for a return to form were clearly barking up the wrong tree.
Gold Coast Suns vs Essendon
I didn't write this straight after watching what little of this game I was able to watch, so you'll have to forgive me for forgetting literally anything that happened. Gold Coast led at half time, in the biggest snooze I've seen for a long time, before Essendon's alarm clock went off, and they stormed home with a nine goal to two second half. Much of this was done while I was drinking beer, and paying much more attention to the actually interesting game that was happening at Spotless Stadium. I had this game on, but looking at it was like making eye contact with your parents after you lost your lunch box at school again- uncomfortable. Probably the only interest left in Gold Coast's season is if they'll beat Carlton or not, and how long the AFL takes to send them to Tasmania. Considering the AFL isn't even letting Tassie have a VFL representative side for a few years I'd say it's a while off.
Personally I think the only real reason there's a team on the Gold Coast is so that AFL officials can call their family holidays "business trips,"
GWS Giants vs Richmond
The Giants got Toby Greene back, which is good for opposition players, because while Cameron might punch, or elbow you in the head, Toby Greene will deliver a fly kick to your face, and not get suspended. Did I say good? I meant bad. Sorry.
Richmond came into this game with a few injuries for the first time in a while, and they were looking to prove that they had depth, and that they could win outside of Melbourne. Much to the delight of the rest of Australia, they did neither of those things, as the Giants led at every change of an enthralling encounter, that went right down to the last minute. I heard rumours that Jason Castagna will be getting inside the tackle bag on Monday evening during drill work, after kicking 0.5, including one from a very easy set shot with less than five minutes to go.
Though if Richmond's training is anything like Hardwick's strange post match umpiring complaints, they'll be doing ducking practice during the week. Because that was the difference, and not the fact that they kicked 10.17.
Collingwood vs West Coast Eagles
What a super Sunday of footy we were blessed with this week, and it all started off with a good old fashioned second versus third blockbuster at the G. Now, if past results are anything to go off, neither team should have been allowed to win this game; because West Coast can't play at the MCG, and Collingwood can't beat anyone in the top ten. In fact the only team in the current top ten they've beaten is Melbourne, who haven't beaten anyone in the current top eight. It's all very confusing.
This game was brilliant, fast paced and unpredictable, right up until the fifteen minute mark of the third quarter, where it became very predictable. Especially if your prediction was "West Coast will kick the next goal," as you would have been right six of the next seven times. A battered and bruised Collingwood will rue a lost opportunity, as this game gave both sides a chance to draw level on points with top placed Richmond, and all but lock away a double chance.
Collingwood now have a tough run home, with four of their remaining teams being against top 10 sides. Something they're struggling with at at the moment, especially with an ever lengthening injury list.
North Melbourne vs Sydney Swans
If football is dead, then this must be heaven. This game was the definition of a coin toss match, with Sydney coming off being embarrassed at home yet again, and piling up more injuries while desperately trying to stay in touch with the top four, coming up against a North Melbourne side, who have been just off the pace all year, trying to slide back into the top eight.
The continued trend of shootouts at Etihad continued, with five players bagging three or more goals, and some Majak magic keeping North Melbourne in the game, with three second half goals. The margin never got out to more than 13 points, as each team clawed back into the game, just as it looked like the other was going to run away with it, each team regularly kicking two or three goals in less than five minutes to turn the tide. Sydney came away with the points, thanks to Allir Allir's first ever goal in the dying minutes, and return to the top four, having now won 9 games away, and only two at home.
Fremantle vs Port Adelaide
Remember all of those lovely things I just wrote about football not being dead?
This was one of the worst games I've seen in a long time, and not even the weather could be blamed for the poor skills and decision making from these two teams. Each team seemed to be determined to lose, and missed every pass and shot on goal they could. The crowd was visibly disappointed when the Auskickers left the ground at half time, as at least they'd managed to score more than three goals in that time. Port Adelaide, having recently announced themselves as flag contenders, decided that this was the opportune moment to remind their fans not to get too excited, losing to a Fremantle team with no Fyfe or Sandilands by nine points. Ryan Nyhuis made Freo's victory a little more of a sure thing when he knocked out Robbie Gray in a dangerous tackle that will surely see him getting a phone call from Michael Christian on Monday.