AFL Round 6 Wrap
The ANZAC weekend of footy finished without an upset, a narrative change on the season thus far.
After 18 matches in 11 days, we get a chance to take our collective breathes with a sense of normality installed from this week with the slate of matches beginning on Friday night. Teams stamped themselves as serious premiership, while others faulted after we passed the quarter mark of the season.
Melbourne got out of the gates strongly against Richmond in the now traditional ANZAC Eve match, but could only manage two goals after quarter time as Richmond ran away big winners and solidified their spot in the top eight, while the Dees plummeted to 18th after entering the season as one of the season’s premiership elects. They now face a must-win game against the Hawks at the MCG on Saturday in a bid to keep their season alive.
Essendon and Collingwood did battle in front of over 92,000 fans on ANZAC Day and they were treated to a modern day classic although some late controversial umpiring decisions will live on in Bombers fans’ memories more vividly. The Pies did the damage early before holding a gallant Essendon outfit to win their third consecutive match and cement their top four position with a fellow contender to come on Friday night.
That contender is Port Adelaide who accounted for North Melbourne at the Adelaide Oval. Former skipper Travis Boak continued his brilliant start to the season and will notch game 250 on Friday night while in career best form.
The much hyped Q Clash lived up to billing early before the Lions showed their class edge in the second half to snap a two-game losing streak. The Saints came into their match against the Crows in second on the ladder and started brightly once again before Adelaide took the ascendency and made a statement that they may still be a force to be reckoned with in 2019.
The Saturday night matches both finished with the predictable outcomes but both winners were made to work. The Giants were tested early, but eventually ran out comfortable victors while the Dockers needed to be inspired by veteran David Mundy in his 300th game who turned the game with two goals in four minutes. From there Fremantle were able to keep the Dogs at arms reach and move back to 2nd on the ladder.
Inspired after their drought-breaking win last week, the Blues played with a freedom and confidence in the first half against the Hawks as they opened up a 36-point lead, a margin Hawthorn were able to almost fully erase with a five goal to one third term. Both teams looked the likely winners in the last before Hawthorn hung on to claim an important win by five points and move to 3-3 on the season while the Blues remain with just one win from their opening six matches.
The Cats were celebrating their 10-year premiership reunion on Sunday and showed the football world history could repeat in 2019 as they thumped the reigning premiers by 58-points. It was a complete performance from the Cats who moved a game clear on top of the ladder as the Eagles had no answers for their opponents dominance all over the field. A second successive heavy defeat will leave Adam Simpson searching for answers as they return home in 12th position and a date with the Suns.