Kicking Balls: Round 21 AFL results

28 08 2007

My apologies for being a little late with the rounds review, it would seem too much sport can be a bad thing, as my brain appears to have fried from all the AFL, athletics and soccer viewing I tried to cram into my weekend..

Kicking BallsSo, round 21 is over, and only one spot in the 8 is up for grabs, but there are still 11 teams with a shot at making the finals, which means one spot between 4 teams. Meanwhile at the top end of the 8, the battle for top 4 places intensified even further, and at the bottom, the race for the spoon will go right down to the wire.

St Kilda vs West Coast

The Saints went close and probably should have won, but West Coast handled the pressure better and ran out narrow winners. St Kilda will be be disappointed to have let a handy lead slip, but they still remain in firm contention to make the 8 thanks to some helpful results elsewhere. Matt Priddis continued his good form and was probably best on ground, along with Cox, Cousins, Lynch and Fletcher. For the Saints, Lenny Hayes was their best with Riewoldt a close second. West Coast will be sweating on two injuries to add to their list. Ashley Hansen seems to have done a hamstring, while Chris Judd limped off obviously affected by his groin again.

Kangaroos vs Carlton

The Kangaroos put their recent run of losses behind them and beat up on the Blues. Carlton had no answer to the Roos’ midfield and capitulated quite poorly after several promising showings in recent weeks. It was not a beautiful win however. To steal a line from the Yahoo7 match report, “The 14.17 (161) to 11.13 (79) result restores the Kangaroos prospects’ of securing a finals double chance, but they didn’t look worthy of the honour in the early stages of what was a perfunctory, lacklustre contest. There were more chips, fudges, turnovers and free giveaways from both teams in the first half than McDonald’s churns out in a year.” Now of course Roos fans will again feel aggrieved that they aren’t being respected, but their chance to rectify that is in 2 weeks when finals start. For Kangaroos, Harvey, Sansbury and Wells were the best, and for the Blues it was probably Bentick and Carazzo.

Fremantle vs Melbourne

Another bottom 3 team towelled up. Freo probably could have won by more, poor old Melbourne just didn’t have the cattle to be able to put together a decent performance. The list of Dockers winners on the day was extensive, but the best would have been Bell, Mundy, Pavlich and McPharlin. For the Demons, McLean and Brown tried hard. It was also a chance for Freo fans to farewell retiring duo Troy Cook and Shane Parker. Melbourne fans MAY get the chance to do the same next week, with a (unreliable) rumour circulating that David Neitz may hang up his boots at seasons end as the club looks to rebuild after a horror year. Just don’t quote me on that.. Unless I’m right of course, then quote away!

Collingwood vs Sydney Swans

The Pies came away from this potential battle for top 4 with a good win that will have steadied their shaky boat. The Swans just couldn’t match it with Collingwood, but the Maggies will be sweating hard on injuries to key players. Dale Thomas (shoulder), Sean Rusling (ankle.. that boy is like a magnet for random injuries..) and Nick Maxwell (knee) join the growing list of unavailable players. Adam Goodes was by far the swans best player, but he had little support. Meanwhile the Pies had several good players in a team performance that would have made Mick Malthouse a happy man. Nathan Buckley was solid in his first game for the year.

Adelaide vs Brisbane

In the mini-elimination final, it went pretty much as expected. The Crows at home were too good for a rapidly depleting Lions side. Rutten held Brown well, the Lions midfield failed to fire and the Crows eased home. If at the start of the season you had offered a deal with Leigh Matthews that his side would finish with 9 wins and 2 draws and plenty of game time for young rising stars, he would have taken it gladly. For the Crows, Brent Reilly joined the list of familiar names McLeod, Goodwin, Johncock and Edwards as the best players, while for Brisbane Notting and Adcock were good again, as was Daniel Merrett.

Hawthorn vs Western Bulldogs

Rodney Eade must be wondering how this year went so horribly wrong. It was supposed to be a year of consolidation after making the finals last year, instead they look odds-on to finish bottom 4. The Dogs shot out of the blocks and held a handy lead, thanks to the fact Lance Franklin kicked 5 straight points for the Hawks in the first term, but after that the game just got ugly. 21 goals to 5 in 3 quarters of football after that sums it up, and it could have been much much more. Lance finished with 2.11… The Hawks had winners everywhere: Hodge, Lewis, Mitchell, Franklin, Sewell, Crawford… I could go on. For the dogs, Gilbee was ok, and West gathered his usual 30 touches, but again the numbers belie his effectiveness. Give me 20 Luke Hodge (he had 34 this game though… 6 goals as well…) possessions over 30 Scott West touches any day of the week… Hawks march towards top 4, Dogs looking down the barrel of bottom 4 after a truly insipid performance.

Geelong vs Port Adelaide

Match of the round, and it didn’t disappoint. Cats fans thought Gary Ablett had stolen the game for them late, only to watch Domenic Cassisi steal it back with 3 seconds left. Port has given themselves a real shot at the Grand Final this year with 2 good wins against fellow top 4 aspirants. A win this weekend would see them probably play West Coast at AAMI stadium in the first round of finals, knowing they have the 2nd best record against the Eagles in the comp. Geelong fans will tell you it was the loss they had to have, and they may be proven right, but I am wondering if they haven’t peaked too early, like the Crows in 05 and 06.. The Cornes boys and Burgoyne brothers were very good for the Power, and their forward-line effective with 6 players kicking multiple goals. For Geelong, with no Bartel or Ling, Gary Ablett shouldered most of the midfield work well with Enright and Chapman providing good support.

Richmond vs Essendon

It was supposed to be a fairytale send-off for Hird and Sheedy, Essendon were supposed to roll the last-placed Tiges. Someone forgot to tell Richmond. They showed again that their late-season resurgence wasn’t one or two lucky games, but instead a club moving in a forward direction after a forgettable year. Richmond had many good players on the night, Johnson (31 touches, 12 marks), Richardson (25 touches, 15 marks, 1.4), Pettifer (26 touches, 12 marks, 2 goals), Tuck, Bowden, Deledio were all contenders for votes. For Essendon, Lloyd and Hird were their best, which in itself would have left the fans with a sense of dread. Hird will go close to winning the Bombers best and fairest this year, with Lloyd and Lucas, which shows just how reliant the club has become on these 3. With Hird gone at years end, Lloyd and Lucas will have more responsibility on their shouders, which it has to be said probably only have 2, maybe 3 years left in the game themselves. Essendon is about to face some tough times.Good luck to whoever replaces Sheedy, you have some pretty big boots to fill, and a big job ahead of you…

West Coast def St Kilda- 8 points (Tip, WCE by 12 points, Judd and Cousins played..)

Kangaroos def Carlton- 82 points (Tip, Roos by 20 points)

Fremantle def Melbourne- 59 points (Tip, Dockers by 50 points)

Collingwood def Sydney- 25 points (Tip, Swans by 15 points)

Adelaide def Brisbane- 26 points (Tip, Crows by 20 points)

Hawthorn def Western Bulldogs- 84 points (Tip, Hawks by 30)

Port Adelaide def Geelong- 5 points (Tip, Geelong by 20)

Richmond def Essendon- 27 points (Tip, Bombers by 15 points)

add to :: Add to Blinkslist :: add to furl :: Digg it :: add to ma.gnolia :: Stumble It! :: add to simpy :: seed the vine :: :: :: TailRank




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