AFL Rd 16 Wrap & Brownlow Votes Predictions
The shock results continued in Round 16 as three of the top four teams lost, while the Eagles, Tigers and Lions showed their premiership credentials.
Collingwood were in desperate need of a response on Friday night against the Hawks after a shellacking by the Kangaroos six days prior. With a two-game road trip against West Coast and GWS approaching, it was imperative that Collingwood banked four points to retain their top two position against a team riding a four-game losing streak.
It was a scrappy affair from the outset and unwatchable at times before the game came alive in the final quarter. There were eight final quarter goals kicked, five by Hawthorn, after registering just 10 combined over the first three quarters as Collingwood snuck out to a game-high 18-point lead during the final term, only for the Hawks to kick four consecutive goals to take the lead and never surrender it as they clawed their way out of the bottom four and handed Collingwood its second straight defeat.
It was a high stakes contest at the MCG on Saturday afternoon as the Swans were trying to level the Bombers on seven wins for the season and break a 96-year hoodoo against Essendon at the home of footy in the process.
It was another tight arm wrestle between the teams who had played out some classics in recent years and after the Bombers were headed late in the third quarter, they responded to kick four straight goals in the final term and notch their second straight victory, which has them sitting just outside the top eight on percentage, while the Swans fall eight points behind once again, meaning they may now need to win their remaining seven games to feature in September.
Richmond’s trip to the Gold Coast quickly became the Massacre at Metricon as the Tigers poured on 16 first-half goals to crack the ton in two-quarters of footy and send an ominous warning to the rest of the competition. With the majority of their stars back, the Tigers seem to be finding form at the right time of the season and now face the Giants in an intriguing matchup on Sunday at the MCG.
Adelaide headed into Saturday afternoon’s Showdown against the Power as the form team of the two and with a dominant recent record over their arch-rivals winning seven of their past eight meetings. The Crows started the more brightly and owned possession and the inside 50 count, but weren’t able to translate that onto the scoreboard and went into halftime trailing by three-points despite having seven more scoring shots than the Power.
It was all Port Adelaide from then on as they kicked nine goals to one in a dominant second half, running out victors by 57-points, continuing their flakey form. However, the win did catapult the Power ahead of the Crows on the ladder as they held Adelaide to their lowest ever score in a Showdown.
The Cats were tipped to continue on their winning ways against the Bulldogs on Saturday night, having won 12 of the past 13 encounters. The only win this decade by the Dogs over the Cats was last season as Harry Taylor missed a set shot after the siren.
Again, it was a low-scoring affair before the plucky Bulldogs blew the game open in the final term behind Aaron Naughton and Marcus Bontempelli’s brilliance. Like he did against the Tigers, Naughton was the dominant forward on the ground and his four-goal haul proved the difference as Luke Beveridge’s team kept their slim finals hopes alive and handed Geelong their second loss in their last three outings.
It was a horror show in the west if you were a Fremantle fan and a worrying sign if you supported anyone bar the West Coast Eagles. The reigning premiers claimed the second biggest win in Derby history as they won their 9th straight over the Dockers, holding them to their lowest ever score and jumped into the top two for the first time this season.
With Nic Naitanui back and firing, the Eagles look even more a complete team than the team who claimed the premiership last season. Even more worrying for opposition teams, spearhead Josh Kennedy was a late withdrawal from the clash as his team went onto to kick 19 goals in pretty ordinary conditions.
It was a bottom four clash at the MCG on Sunday afternoon as Carlton and Melbourne played for pride, with a win seeing the Blues jump the Demons on the ladder. Max Gawn was always going to be questionable to line up after the ankle injury he suffered against Brisbane and was a late withdrawal before the bounce.
It didn’t seem to affect Melbourne with Braydon Preuss highly effective in the ruck and Tom McDonald firing up forward. Last year’s leading goal-kicker has finally hit some form over the past three weeks and was clearly best-on-ground with his six goals until three-quarter time before he twisted his knee and sat out the remainder of the game.
The injury left the Demons with just one fit player on the bench for the entire final quarter as the Blues finally worked their way into the game and hit the lead for the first time in the game at the 26-minute mark of the final term behind five consecutive goals.
The game had another twist when Jayden Hunt cooly slotted a set shot from 45 metres out to give Melbourne back the lead, which was ultimately enough for them to record just their 5th win of the season.
North Melbourne flew out of the gates against the Saints and never looked back as they continued their push towards an unlikely September berth with a 39-point victory. Youngsters Cameron Zurhaar and Nick Larkey combined for 10 goals as they both kicked a career-high five, while Jy Simpkin’s form revival under Rhyce Shaw continued with a best-afield display.
North Melbourne now sit just one win out of the top eight and head into an ‘eight-point’ game against Essendon next Saturday at Marvel Stadium next week.
The match of the round was saved for last as the 4th placed Giants hosted the 5th placed Lions at Giants Stadium. Brisbane had lost six straight matches to the Giants and were yet to claim a really big win away from home this season.
That all changed on Sunday evening as the Lions were rampant from the opening bounce, leading all day to upset their more fancied opponents and leapfrog them into the top four with their 10th win of the campaign - the same figure from their last two seasons combined. It’s all but a certainty now the Lions will play finals footy with a top four position a legitimate possibility as teams around them falter.
New Lions Lincoln McCarthy and Lachie Neale in his 150th match were the stars for the visitors, while the loss was made even worse for the Giants with superstar duo Josh Kelly and Stephen Coniglio both injured in the final quarter.
Rd 16 Brownlow Votes Predictions
|Hawthorn v Collingwood||Fremantle v West Coast|
|3||J. Sicily||Haw||3||B. Sheppard||WC|
|2||J. Impey||Haw||2||A. Gaff||WC|
|1||I. Smith||Haw||1||N. Naitanui||WC|
|Essendon v Sydney||
Carlton v Melbourne
|3||D. Shiel||Ess||3||T. McDonald||Melb|
|2||D. Zaharakis||Ess||2||C. Oliver||Melb|
|1||I. Heeney||Syd||1||J. Silvangi||Carl|
|Gold Coast v Richmond||
North Melbourne v St Kilda
|3||T. Cotchin||Rich||3||J. Simpkin||NM|
|2||K. Lambert||Rich||2||C. Zurharr||NM|
|1||J. Castanga||Rich||1||T. Goldstein||NM|
|Adelaide v Port Adelaide||
GWS v Brisbane
|3||R. Gray||PA||3||L. Neale||Bris|
|2||J. Westhoff||PA||2||L. McCarthy||Bris|
|1||T. Rockcliff||PA||1||H. McLuggage||Bris|
|Western Bulldogs v Geelong|