AFL Round Twelve
What started as a chore at work, and became a weekly hobby; It's The Weekly Turnaround!
Port Adelaide vs Richmond
Finally a Friday night worth tuning in to, and it comes on the first day of the bye rounds.
There were a few questions over this one, regarding both Richmond's ability to travel, and Port Adelaide's ability to match it with quality opposition, and both of them were kind of ruined by Dusty having a sore ankle and instead going to visit his dad.
Alas, this late out for Richmond certainly turned the tide, and allowed a first half where Port made the Tigers call them daddy, leading at the main break by four goals. However that was just about it for the match, with the second half's scoring about as dry as the Atacama Desert, with a miserly four goals being scored, and only one of those in the final term.
Geelong Cats vs North Melbourne
I apologise to my neighbors for ruining their Saturday by my yelling at the TV, but I was having flashbacks to the last time the Kangaroos played in Geelong, and the umpires made sure they won then too.
The top two defensive sides in the comp faced off down in Geelong, at the GMHBALGBTIQRSPCA stadium and it was Geelong's defence that proved the stingier, keeping the umpires North Melbourne to 59 points, and running out comfortable winners. I've heard reports that fans are still at the ground booing the umpires, who have not yet been allowed to leave. Geelong wound back the clock with collars on the jumpers for retro round, and Black, Dangerfield and Buzza all sporting moustaches of varying levels. Personally, I'd love to see the collars a permanent fixture.
Gary Ablett stepped out for the 200th time in the blue and white hoops, and his performance shone as brightly as the midday sun off that famous head of his. It was an important win for Geelong, proving that they can beat decent opposition, and for the first time this year winning three in a row. North fought hard, but Geelong were too strong at home, and these two teams finish the round right where they started it.
GWS Giants vs Gold Coast
Oh boy. Another Gold Coast game.
It looks like the Suns decided last week wasn't quite bad enough, and that this week they'd take it down a notch, against a returned to form Giants side. This game was so interesting that I definitely didn't get side tracked making a beef curry, with leek and tomatoes, and testing out my new slow cooker. I promise I paid utmost attention to this game.
You have to wonder if the Sun is beginning to set on the idea of a football team on the Gold Coast, as they continue to show a complete lack of will to compete, in this game managing a grand total of zero marks inside 50. I'd say we could move them to Tasmania, but I hear Tasmania wants a football team, not whatever the Suns are. Possibly the most interesting part of this game was if the Giants would manage to win by 100 or not. They did. The good news for the Suns is that nobody was there to see it, as the Suns now have claim to four of the dive lowest crowds for the year.
St Kilda vs Sydney Swans
By the time this game started, the day's football had worn me pretty thin, and the idea of St Kilda playing a top four side only had me watching with the same kind of interest that gets you to click on those fail compilation links on Facebook, and true enough, this game was over by quarter time, with Sydney heading into the first break with 55 points - the same amount St Kilda would finish the game on.
This was the annual Pride match, which is a great initiative, but it would be nice if St Kilda showed any sort of pride in their own jumper too. As with last week, St Kilda's final quarter was their best, but really the only solace they can take from the game was that they didn't lose by as much as Gold Coast did, although it was touch and go for a while there. The good news I took from this game was that it was finally over, and I could go eat my curry in peace.
Brisbane Lions vs Essendon
Brisbane, who have looked good at the Gabba this year were on the search for their second win of the season, whereas Essendon were looking to prove that they solved all of their problems by sacking Mark Nealde. As a result neither of them quite got what they wanted. Essendon were the superior side all day, but kicked on goal with all the accuracy of a drunk man playing darts, and Brisbane continued their run of almost wins at home, much in the way that your best mate tells you about that one time he"almost," slept with someone famous.
The Goal Review System was again at the forefront of controversy, as a clearly touched point was overturned to being a goal for Jake Stringer. At this point I feel like even the Gold Coast Suns would beat it in a popularity contest. Either way, Essendon now have three wins from their last four games - the only loss coming against Richmond - and seem to have their season back on track marks track.
Fremantle vs Adelaide Crows
Not only was Nat Fyfe rubbed out of Brownlow eligibility, it also means he isn't playing today, and when Freo are playing he's usually the only point of interest.
And while Freo lost their captain, Adelaide got theirs back, with Tex returning from one of the longest injury lists in the comp. Luckily Tex didn't have many more disposals than Fyfe today, despite Fyfe beng in the coaches box.
In a see sawing affair, that saw fans at the Station End seeing very limited scoring, Fremantle kicked five goals to one in the first, before Adelaide kicked six to zero in the second, before Fremantle replied with four to zero in the third, before Adelaide honoured pride month with their kicking being anything but straight in the final term; managing 2.5 and two out on the full, to Fremantle's 1.3. All in all only two goals were scored at the Station End, and Freo managed to hold on by three points, but not without the umpires a calling a mark after Pearce and Hamling collided with neither of them marking the ball, calling the ball back from Tex Walker running into an open goal.
Melbourne vs Collingwood
Quick! Ready the bomb shelters. Collingwood are a good team again, and Buckley can coach apparently. Collingwood and Melbourne met at the Annual Queens Birthday match at the MCG, and it was a great day with the MND splash taking place before hand, capped off beautifully with Chris Scott dressing as his brother to go down the slide. This was Melbourne’s first real test since their incredible run of form, and the Demons of round 23 last year came back to haunt them with Collingwood yet again giving them a reality check, and dropping them out of the top four very quickly. In much worse news Collingwood are now very comfortably inside the 8, and look like a genuine threat, with most of their losses coming against genuine opposition. I'm scared because I really like watching Collingwood play football, and I'm even rather fond of some of their players. On the other hand I’m not sure the city of Melbourne would survive a Collingwood vs Richmond Grand Final. We need to start taking donations for aid.