AFL Round 7 Wrap
The two premiership favourites again flexed their muscles while other contenders faulted in an entertaining Round 7 of footy.
Round 7 began with a heavyweight clash between two teams that have stamped themselves as finals contenders in the first quarter of the season. The game was effectively over at quarter time after a blistering opening term from Collingwood setup a 46-point lead. Port Adelaide managed to eat into the margin in the second term before the Pies restored their dominance again in the second half, keeping a quality opponent at bay to solidify 2nd spot on the ladder and cement their premiership favourites tag.
The Saturday slate of games began with two games simultaneously with the Giants looking to strengthen their top four aspirations against the Saints and the Demons hoped to revive their season against the Hawks. Both of those situations occurred with the Giants comfortably accounting for St Kilda to remain in 3rd position on the ladder and respond from their shock loss in Canberra in their last outing at the venue, while Melbourne kept their season alive with a thrilling five-point win over Hawthorn in a game that shifted momentum on multiple occasions in the final quarter. Ultimately, it was the Demons who came out on top after setting up the victory in the third quarter kicking five goals to and finally showing glimpses of the team who made a preliminary final last season. They have a chance to back it up against a faltering Suns team next week as the Hawks host the Giants at the MCG.
Brisbane moved into the top four with a strong win against the Swans - their first since 2009, after Sydney challenged them mightily after a lacklustre opening quarter. However, it wasn’t enough as the Swans fell to last place on the ladder for the first time in 26 years after their 4th straight defeat. Brisbane have now notched as many wins as they’ve recorded in each of the past two seasons within seven weeks and would be hard pressed to not be thinking of September footy.
Another team dreaming of returning to the finals are the Western Bulldogs who smashed Richmond to the tune of 47-points on Saturday night, continuing their strong recent performances against the Tigers. Aaron Naughton took nine contested marks and booted five goals in the 19-year-old’s breakout game after signing a five-year contract extension earlier this season. Marcus Bontempelli continued his outstanding form this season, adding a further three goals while gathering 27 disposals in a complete domination by the Dogs to snap a four-game losing streak.
West Coast snapped a losing streak of their own, but it wasn’t as convincing as many predicted. The Suns fought back in the last quarter to give the reigning premiers a scare, but it was the Eagles who were victorious by 23-points, moving them to 4-3 and just percentage off 5th.
After finally stringing some promising performances together, Carlton digressed badly against North Melbourne as they were thumped by 10 goals in a performance that was more reminiscent of the dark old days. It also overshadowed a revitalised Kangaroos outfit who turned their more competitive display against the Power a week prior to four valuable premiership points. Ben Brown and Cameron Zurharr combined for nine goals as they dominated the Blues from go to woe.
Essendon again had a chance to shine on the big stage against a star opponent, but despite a promising start, were unable to match Geelong’s class all over the field as the Cats improved to 6-1 to sit comfortably on top of the ladder. Essendon now face the last placed Swans in an intriguing Friday night clash at the SCG while the Chris Scott and the Cats face his brother Brad and the Kangaroos.
Adelaide and Fremantle closed the round and played in the lowest combined scoring game this millennium. The 51-34 result made it three straight wins for the Crows and moved them into the top eight for the first time since Round 10 last season. Fremantle had their chances to pinch the win but were their own worst enemies with costly errors costing them dearly late in the game.
Round 7 Brownlow Votes Predictions
|Collingwood v Port Adelaide||
West Coast v Gold Coast
|3||S. Pendlebury||Coll||3||A. Gaff||WC|
|2||D. Moore||Coll||2||E. Yeo||WC|
|1||A. Treloar||Coll||1||D. Sheed||WC|
|Melbourne v Hawthorn||North Melbourne v Carlton|
|3||J. Harmes||Melb||3||T. Dumont||NM|
|2||M. Gawn||Melb||2||C. Zurharr||NM|
|1||C. Salem||Melb||1||B. Brown||NM|
|GWS v St Kilda||Geelong v Essendon|
|3||J. Cameron||GWS||3||T. Kelly||Geel|
|2||Z. Williams||GWS||2||T. Stewart||Geel|
|1||T. Taranto||GWS||1||M. Duncan||Geel|
|Brisbane v Sydney||Adelaide v Fremantle|
|3||D. Zorko||Bris||3||M. Crouch||Adel|
|2||H. Mcluggage||Bris||2||R. Sloane||Adel|
|1||G. Hewett||Syd||1||N. Fyfe||Frem|
|Western Bulldogs v Richmond|