AFL Rd 19 Wrap & Brownlow Votes Predictions
There was plenty of jostling for positions in the top eight as we enter the final month of the season with a thrilling conclusion in store.
For the second straight week, we were treated to a blockbuster match on Friday night with large implications to not only the top eight but who would be in the box seat to claim a double chance with a top-four finish.
Richmond were aiming for a 5th straight victory and had to overcome a Collingwood outfit struggling for form having won just one of their previous four matches, but a team that had beaten the Tigers comfortable in their last two encounters.
Apart from the opening five minutes, it was all Richmond in the first half as they kicked nine straight goals to take control of the match and ultimately an unassailable lead. Collingwood kicked three late goals to win the second half, but the cue was in the rack for the Tigers who lost skipper Trent Cotchin in the first quarter to a hamstring injury to sour a dominant win, which saw them move back inside the top four and reclaim premiership favouritism.
The Pies, on the other hand, have drifted to their longest price of the season and have more fresh injury concerns. They do get some respite in terms of their opponents during the next fortnight when they play the two bottom teams, but they certainly won’t be gimmes the way the team is playing currently.
Brisbane came into their clash with Hawthorn riding a league-high five-game winning streak, which has them surge to 2nd on the ladder and full of confidence having beaten the Hawks in their past three encounters.
The Hawks though were playing in Launceston where they had won 27 of their last 30 and a three-game winning streak of their own, but as been the case on many occasions this season, shot themselves in the foot with poor goal kicking.
The Hawks registered more scoring shots, kicking 7.18.60, halting their charge up the ladder. Brisbane’s 6th straight win is now their longest streak since their premiership season of 2002. The Hawks remain in the conversation for finals but missed a golden opportunity on Saturday to claim a valuable four points.
Another team desperate for a win was the Adelaide Crows who had just one win from their past four matches post bye. They travelled to the MCG to face an in-form Carlton and again stumbled. The Blues ran out 27-point winners thanks to a Patrick Cripps masterclass in the midfield and a strong Levi Casboult up forward.
Mathematically the Blues are still some sort of finals chance, but it would take a miracle. The Crows remained 8th due to a healthy percentage and other teams around them also stumbling. It makes for a tense month in South Australia with the heat on both clubs.
That other team is Port Adelaide who could have levelled their cross-town rivals on 36 points with a win but fell by a solitary point in Heath Shaw’s 300th. The Giants made it back-to-back wins to jump Collingwood into 5th, despite their mountain of injuries to key players.
The Giants led all game with the closest the Power got the final margin with no scores for the final six plus minutes of the game thanks to a swarm of defensive numbers in a dour affair. Next up they face their crosstown rivals the Swans at home, while the Power are on the road to face the Bombers.
In the other Saturday night fixture, St Kilda made it two from two under Brett Rattan as they disposed of Melbourne at Marvel Stadium and for the second consecutive week, reached triple figures. It was the first time the Saints had achieved the feat in over 12-months, which points positively to Rattan potentially taking over the full-time job next season.
The impressive part of the win is they were challenged hard in the final quarter but responded to run out 19-point winners and even kept their slim finals chance alive. The hapless Demons now sit a game and percentage behind the 16th placed Blues with a likely bottom two finish now on the cards for a team that were many premiership fancies at the start of the season.
It doesn’t get any easier for Simon Goodwin’s men next week with a clash against the red hot Tigers, while the Saints travel to Adelaide to take on the struggling Crows in what shapes as a pivotal clash.
In a huge ‘eight-point’ game on Sunday afternoon, the Bulldogs hosted the Dockers and completely blew them away with an eight-goal first term. The Bulldogs, who were on the other end of a first-quarter burst last week, responded strongly and had 12 goals to half time to put the game to bed.
With four goals each kicked in the second half, the Dogs ran out comfortable 47-point winners, which now has them knocking on the door behind the Crows in 9th spot. Fremantle looks to have run out of steam with a number of key injuries now catching up to Ross Lyon’s young team as speculation continues around his future at the club. They face a must-win game against the Cats next Saturday as the Bulldogs travel up north to try and snap Brisbane’s winning streak.
While Geelong still held the top spot on the ladder comfortably, pressure has been mounting no Chris Scott’s team after a string of inconsistent performances. They found their groove in the second half against Sydney after being locked up at the main break.
Tom Hawkins was the star booting five goals in 250th career match to silence the doubters after his quiet form since the bye as they recorded a 27-point victory. The loss ended Sydney’s season and will miss finals for just the 2nd time in the past 17 years.
The Bombers entered the final game of the round against the Suns as raging hot favourites, but someone forgot to tell the home team as they skipped out to a 17-point lead at quarter time. Their strong start continued into the second quarter as they maintained a lead into half time before Essendon clicked into gear.
The Bombers kicked six goals to two in a dominant third quarter to take control of the game and looked to have it in hand when Jake Stringer kicked his 3rd goal to give the visitors a 15-point lead at the 20-minute mark of the final term.
The Suns had other ideas and thanks to Jarrod Witts’ dominance in the ruck, were able to work their way back into the match and even retake the lead with a couple of minutes remaining. Cale Hooker drifted forward and was against the hero for the Bombers, giving his side back the lead before Jake Stringer’s clearance and goal from the ensuing centre bounce sealed the famous victory.
The win all but assured the Bombers will return to September action in 2019, while Gold Coast look to be resigned to a wooden spoon finish after a 14th straight defeat.
Round 19: Brownlow Votes Predictions
|Collingwood v Richmond||Port Adelaide v GWS|
|3||D. Martin||Rich||3||T. Greene||GWS|
|2||T. Lynch||Rich||2||T. Boak||PA|
|1||D. Prestia||R||1||P. Davis||GWS|
|Hawthorn v Brisbane||Western Bulldgos v Fremantle|
|3||D. Zorko||Bris||3||J. Macrae||WB|
|2||L. Neale||Bris||2||M. Bontempelli||WB|
|1||J. O'Meara||Haw||1||B. Dale||WB|
|Carlton v Adelaide||Sydney v Geelong|
|3||P. Cripps||Carl||3||T. Hawkins||Geel|
|2||K. Simpson||Carl||2||J. Selwood||Geel|
|1||M. Murphy||Carl||1||M. Duncan||Geel|
|West Coast v North Melbourne||Gold Coast v Essendon|
|3||J. Kennedy||WC||3||J. Stringer||Ess|
|2||E. Yeo||WC||2||S. McKernan||Ess|
|1||A. Gaff||WC||1||J. Witts||GC|
|St Kilda v Melbourne|
|3||S. Ross||St K|
|2||J. Bruce||St K|
|1||J. Gresham||St K|
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