AFL Round 12 Wrap & Brownlow Predictions
The first of the bye rounds began with upsets everywhere as teams at the top faltered, while Geelong remains a clear premiership favourite.
Geelong and Richmond opened Round 12 at the MCG in the first of the split rounds as six teams enjoyed their only week off during the season. You could be forgiven for thinking Richmond were also on their bye after they were put to the sword after quarter time by a dominant Geelong outfit.
After being held goalless in the opening term, the Cats completely outclassed the Tigers all over the field, booting 15 goals to one during the second and third quarters to set up a huge victory and raise further questions against the 2017 premiers who were again down on troops, but will be smarting after back-to-back heavy defeats on a Friday night. They get a shot at redemption this week against the Crows as Thursday night footy returns, while Geelong will head into their bye at 11-1 and two games clear on top of the ladder.
Carlton were looking for a similar response to North Melbourne with their own caretaker coach David Teague taking the reins for the first time against Brisbane on Saturday afternoon. The Lions were expected to be too good for the Blues and jumped out of the gates booting the first six goals of the match before Carlton started to work their way back into the contest.
The margin was reduced to 18-points at the main break before a five-goal to two third term saw the Blues hit the lead. Skipper Patrick Cripps was inspirational booting four goals and collecting 23 disposals in the second half alone to carry his team to victory and was aptly supported by first-year player Sam Walsh who showed why he’s the raging favourite to claim the NAB Rising Star award with a classy 32 disposal performance.
Brisbane wasted a golden chance to move into the top four as Carlton fans rejoiced with just their second victory of the season. They next week face the Bulldogs, who they’ve already beaten once this year while the Lions head into their bye.
The Gold Coast Suns entered their match against North Melbourne as big outsiders but headed in confident with a winning record against North in their own state. The Suns booted the first goal of the game before the Kangaroos piled on the next seven to blow the game wide open. It was a margin the Suns could never really eat into with the final margin of 27-points the closest they got after quarter time.
Back-to-back victories for North Melbourne have them back in the September race sitting just one win outside the top eight, while the Suns have now lost eight straight with Carlton nipping at their heels to leapfrog them into 17th.
The match of the round was played out on Saturday night with a seesawing battle between the Crows and Giants at Adelaide Oval. The Crows needed to claim a big scalp to prove to the competition they are still very dangerous and a contender come finals time, while the Giants were coming off wins against the three bottom teams in consecutive weeks and knew they were in for a test themselves.
It was a match of momentum as both sides traded blows and traded leads right up until the final quarter before the Crows finished with the final three goals of the match to seal victory thanks to big last quarters by their co-captains and the Crouch brothers. The win moved Adelaide up to 5th on the ladder before a showdown against Richmond on Thursday night, while the Giants head to Hobart to take on a resurgent Kangaroos outfit.
The upsets continued on Sunday with the Swans extending the Eagles hoodoo at the SCG. The reigning premiers haven’t won at the venue since 1999 and were soundly beaten by an impressive Swans team who showed they’re going to be a difficult proposition for teams in the second half of the season.
Tom Papley and Lance Franklin each booted five goals as they scored over 100 for the first time this season and completed an impressive five weeks before their bye, which has netted three wins and two close losses to the two top teams on the ladder. The Eagles still sit in 4th, but cracks have appeared in Adam Simpson’s team.
The traditional Queen’s Birthday clash between Collingwood and Melbourne promised much hype with Melbourne’s strongest team on paper all season with defensive posts Jake Lever and Steven May back coming up against a Collingwood side who were coming off a shock loss against the Dockers. The Pies came with intensity early and again started well, winning the first quarter for the 11th time in their 12 matches this season.
The Pies kept the Dees at bay with a handy three-goal buffer for much of the match although Tom McDonald had a simple set shot to reduce the margin to 14-points in the last term, but missed. The Pies then put the foot down once again to kick the final four goals of the match and run out 41-point winners, moving them back to 2nd on the ladder, while Melbourne’s season looks to be officially done and dusted at 3-9, sitting 16th on the ladder.
Brownlow Votes Predictions
|Richmond v Geelong||Sydney v West Coast|
|3||P. Dangerfield||Geel||3||T. Papley||Syd|
|2||M. Duncan||Geel||2||L. Franklin||Syd|
|1||T. Kelly||Geel||1||L. Parker||Syd|
|Carlton v Brisbane||Collingwood v Melbourne|
|3||P. Cripps||Carl||3||A. Treloar||Coll|
|2||S. Walsh||Carl||2||M. Gawn||Melb|
|1||E. Curnow||Carl||1||S. Sidebottom||Coll|
|Gold Coast v North Melbourne|
|Adelaide v GWS|
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