Kicking Balls: Round 19 results

13 08 2007

Kicking BallsIt’s not often when tipping that one is happy to get things wrong, but there were a couple of such instances last weekend.

Another few shock results, some close games, and perhaps a little more clarity as to where this season is heading.

Richmond vs Collingwood
Finally, the Tigers have their 2nd win, and a thoroughly deserved win at that. Pies fans will hate me saying this: but really, the Tiges could have won by more. Again Nathan Foley was among their best, and Brett Deledio showed why he was their #1 pick a couple of years ago with 5 goals and plenty of touches.

The signs for the Maggies are worrying. 3 weeks ago they were talking about top 2 and winning every game on their run home, now they are no certainties to beat Melbourne next week and could possibly drop out of the 8 on current form.

But really I should be speaking only of Richmond. Kane Johnson, Joel Bowden, Shane Tuck all got lots of ball, Richo presented well for 19 touches and 9 marks, young Adam Pattison beat the disappointing Josh Fraser, a great win that must give the fans a lot of encouragement.

Hawthorn vs Brisbane
Another tip wrong.

The hawks out-possessed the lions and a 7 goal burst in the third term sealed an otherwise close close game. Both teams had players all over the park racking up touches. Both sides had key forwards kicking goals (Franklin 5 goals 2, Jonathon Brown 6 goals 1)… the difference being Brisbane had too many players that didn’t contribute enough.

They’ve over-performed this year many would suggest, and they’ll probably limp home from here, but signs are good for next year. Hawthorn are now eyeing a top 2 finish, and injuries aside a real chance at a Grand Final appearance. Like St Kilda a few years ago, they have come from the clouds with a great list to be a real challenger, and whilst this year may be likely to get rolled by bigger, more experienced sides like West Coast, Sydney and Geelong, should be seen as a real threat for the next 2-4 years.

Port Adelaide vs Carlton
Closer than anticipated, Carlton showed their new-found resolve under Brett Ratten. They ran the Power close after a scintilating 3rd term when they booted 8 goals to lead by 3 points at the final change.

The Power steadied and ran away but the signs are there that Ratten has something to work with. Fevola again lead up front with 4 goals, Fisher chipping in with 3 and Scotland again running rings around the opposition. The Power had Westhoff lead the scoring with 4 and Kane Cornes and Peter Burgoyne as their best players. Power maintain their top 2 bid after last weeks slip-up.

Melbourne vs Western Bulldogs
While mathematically it may be silly to do so, I’m writing the doggies off: “Western Bulldogs, OFF!”

Melbourne beat them everywhere in a performance that showed exactly what the team can do, but have failed to do for most of the year due to injury, lack of form and the likes. Rodney Eade will take little away from the game other than the fact that it was looking a whole lot worse than it ended, being down by over 10 goals at one stage.

For the Dees, Robertson, Holland and Davey lead from the front kicking goals and looking dangerous. Jeff White and Mark Jamar gave their on-ballers first use and White in particular was everywhere, racking up touches, Luke Darcy tried hard but couldn’t match the Demons talls. Cross, Cooney and West combined for 101 touches between them, yet this only served to emphasise their ineffectiveness. It is no good handballing 62 times between 3 players only to see the ball sail over your head time and again into the opposition forward line. To compound the misery, Chris Grant may have played his last game, leaving the ground with a knee injury.

Sydney Swans vs St Kilda
I had the pleasure of watching this game from start to finish. The Swans were simply too good, but Ross Lyon will be heartened by the way his team played. The difference between the 2 teams was execution of skills. The Saints seemed to turn the ball over more often, something you can ill-afford to do against Sydney. The Swans continue to struggle up forward, Hall, O’Loughlin and Davis kicked 2 goals 3 between them, but players keep filling gaps to get the scores on the board. Adam Goodes was fantastic, and a special mention should go to Ted Richards, his job on Nick Riewoldt was superb, as was Craig Bolton on Fraser Gehrig.

For the saints, Montagna and Ball were good but had little support, Robert Harvey looked old and tired, Clinton Jones looked out of his depth and Xav Clarke could well have got -3 brownlow votes for worst on ground. He turned the ball over regularly and missed 3 very getable shots that would have changed the match completely. He typified a long held-belief of mine, some people are destined to never achieve true fulfillment, contentment and satisfaction, and for those people god created the St Kilda football club.

Kangaroos vs West Coast
West Coast continued their march up the ladder, but they didn’t have it all their way. The game was won in the middle, Kerr, Priddis, Cox, Cousins were all fantastic for the Eagles. Ash Hansen stood up at Centre-Half Forward pulling down 13 marks.

For the Roos, from clear 2nd 2 weeks ago to 5th with Sydney and Collingwood breathing down their necks, their season is slowly unravelling. Fans will say they aren’t worried, and certainly their performance yesterday was fantastic, but it would be a shame if they were to make the finals and be bowled out immediately after the season they have had. In previous weeks someone has provided an ‘x factor’ to kick goals or spark the team, and yesterday was a balanced team effort… yet without that special player to boost the team they seemed just off the pace. Both teams missed easy shots on goal, but I couldn’t help feeling the Eagles could have won by more.

Geelong vs Adelaide
Again, I was lucky enough to watch from start to finish. (I hear people saying “So?”. When you’re married, living in a rugby league state, with an 8 months pregnant wife and guests coming every weekend, trust me: it is a big deal..).

Geelong were simply too good, they played about 1/3rd of the game at full pace and did what they had to do. Adelaide were gallant in defeat, but missing Bassett, Ricciuto, Hentschel, Welsh and a ruckman of any note they were always going to struggle. Bartell and Corey were brilliant, as was young Selwood who must have the rising star award wrapped up. In fact, it’s hard to think of a Geelong player who played poorly, although question marks must remain over Nathan Ablett, he just doesn’t seem to do enough to hold down a place.

Adelaide’s usual suspects of Johncock, Goodwin, Edwards and McLeod kept coming at the Cats, but were always going to come up short.

Fremantle vs Essendon
Kevin Sheedy declared the Bombers season over after the hammering they copped here, despite still being only 2 points off 8th place. Pavlich destroyed the Bombers, 30 touches and 16 marks, 6 goals 3 will see 3 Brownlow votes go his way, but he was well supported by a swathe of others… including young back-up ruck Daniel Gilmore, who had 31 touches and kicked a goal.

Essendon ran it close, and if not for poor kicking in the first quarter could have held a handy lead, but once Freo got a run on in the third term were never in doubt.

So at the end of the round, Geelong has cemented top spot, they are the minor premiers with 3 rounds to play. 6 teams are separated by 1 win from 2nd to 7th, and 7 teams are separated by 2 points from 8th to 13th. Extraordinary really, and the next round appears on paper to be just as entertaining.

Richmond def Collinwood- 20 points

Hawthorn def Brisbane- 24 points

Port Adelaide def Carlton- 23 points

Melbourne def Western Bulldogs- 42 points

Sydney def St Kilda- 17 points

West Coast def Kangaroos- 17 points

Geelong def Adelaide- 33 points

Fremantle def Essendon- 63 points

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One response

13 08 2007

That was a terrific summary isc …

Sydney forward line ?? … ’tis good to know that there is still room for improvement & that will come, just at the right time of the year too.

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