AFL Rd 21 Wrap & Brownlow Votes Predictions

A historic round of footy with records tumbling across the weekend and a new team in the top eight, which has set up a fascinating fortnight to finish the home and away season.

Ryan Lepore
 | 
Sun, 11 Aug, 12:00 AM

Arctic-like conditions greeted GWS and Hawthorn in the nation’s capital on Friday night, with the Giants looking to extend their dominant Canberra record, which would keep their top-four hopes alive. But like they did earlier in the season at the MCG, the Hawks came with a plan and stifled their opposition of possession, dominating the contest from the start to run out easy 56-point winners, while holding GWS to their lowest ever score. However, it wasn’t the only record set on Friday night. The match also marked the first ever time snow has fallen during an AFL match.

 

While the three Saturday afternoon matches were a far cry from blockbusters, they all held significant finals ramifications for the favoured teams, all of which won. The first was Collingwood who played Melbourne at the MCG in front of the lowest crowd between the two teams since 1992 at Victoria Park. The poor crowd number may have had to do with the appalling conditions, but the form of the home tenant more likely being the main one. 2019 has been a year to forget for the Melbourne faithful after being seduced last season. They were the better team early and despite holding Collingwood goalless for almost 40 minutes, were unable to capitalise at their own end and eventually conceded seven unanswered goals, which killed off the game. Melbourne booted four junk time goals to make the margin a respectable 17-points, but it was another poor outing by Simon Goodwin’s men who are looking for the finish line on what has been a disastrous campaign.

Another four valuable premiership points banked for Collingwood who will still need to win their two remaining games against Adelaide and Essendon if they’re to squeeze their way back into the top four. Port Adelaide hadn’t won consecutive matches since Round 6 and had been outside the top eight for five weeks. Both things could change with a victory against Sydney at the Adelaide Oval.

Port Adelaide controlled the match and led at every break to run out comfortable 47-point winners, which moved them ahead of crosstown rival Adelaide into 8th position, while the Swans look set to finish in the bottom four for the first time since their wooden spoon season of 1994 and hold the league’s second-longest losing streak of the season with six.

Brisbane entered their contest against Gold Coast knowing a win would (temporarily) put them on top of the ladder, and while they wouldn’t want to underestimate their opponent, a likely healthy percentage boost was on the cards. Both were achieved with a 91-point thumping their biggest ever over the Suns after Charlie Cameron turned in another masterclass with six goals. Jarryd Lyons came back to haunt his former club gathering a game-high 34 possessions and slotting two goals in the rout. The Lions host a mouth-watering clash against the Cats next Saturday afternoon with the Gabba already sold out for the clash. A win would likely see the Lions enter Round 23 on top of the AFL ladder.

 

More records tumbled on Saturday night as two of the most lopsided contests of the season were played. The Bombers kicked a goal in the opening 20 seconds before conceding 21 unanswered goals before finally kicking their second 108 minutes after their opener. Essendon was embarrassed by a hungry Bulldogs team who remain percentage outside the top eight, despite registering their biggest ever win against Essendon and the biggest in the AFL this season. A clash against GWS at Giants Stadium may decide their fate, but will head in full of confidence and face a depleted Giants team.

While that demolition was happening at Marvel Stadium, Geelong was putting on their own showdown the highway. The Cats jumped back to top spot on the ladder, a position they’ve held since Round 2 by holding North Melbourne to their lowest score in their 94-year history. The 1.8.14 surpassed their previous low of 2.7.19, also against Geelong way back in 1930. After such a high from their thrilling win over the Hawks a week ago, the Kangaroos came crashing back to earth in a dismal display.

 

After watching Hawthorn, Port Adelaide and the Bulldogs all win, Fremantle’s finals hopes hinged on getting a result against St Kilda at Marvel Stadium. An inspired first half from skipper Nat Fyfe saw the Dockers go in just one-point behind at the main break after the Saints had for the large part controlled the match. Fyfe had a few more helpers in the third term as the Dockers built a lead, one they didn’t relinquish until the final minute of the game. Jack Steven booted his third goal in his comeback game to give the Saints some hope before Josh Bruce delivered the dagger, kicking the winning goal in the final minute, which improves the Saints to 3-1 under Brett Ratten, while the Dockers again look to be spectators in September.

One team that won’t be is Richmond who won their 18th straight day match at the MCG and 7th overall to regain 4th position on the ladder. The Tigers were too classy from the outset, looking far more comfortable in the wet conditions and if not for some easy misses in front of goal, could have led by more. T

he Blues showed some fight in the second half and even cut the margin back to 16-points in the final term, but never threatened to break Richmond’s winning streak. Next week they host West Coast at the MCG in what could be a Grand Final preview and will have a huge implication on the final four make up. West Coast ensured next week’s encounter would be even more tantalising after they held off a gallant Adelaide Crows outfit to win by 10-points.

The Eagles were able to shake off the Crows midway through the third term with four unanswered goals, while co-captain Rory Sloane was off the ground for the Crows. Despite their best efforts, the loss sees the Crows drop out of the top eight with a huge clash against Collingwood to come next Saturday.

 

Round 20: Brownlow Votes Predictions

GWS v Hawthorn     Geelong v North Melbourne  
3 J. Worpel Haw   3 Q. Narkle Geel
2 J. Sicily Haw   2 P. Dangerfield Geel
1 T. Greene GWS   1 M. Duncan Geel
             
Melbourne v Collingwood     St Kilda v Fremantle  
3 S. Sidebottom Coll   3 J. Steven St K
2 S. Pendlebury Coll   2 N. Fyfe Frem
1 B. Mihocek Coll   1 S. Ross St K
             
Port Adelaide V Sydney     Richmond v Carlton  
3 C. Rozee PA   3 S. Edwards Rich
2 D. Byrne-Jones PA   2 J. Graham Rich
1 O. Wines PA   1 D. Prestia Rich
             
Brisbane v Gold Coast     West Coast v Adelaide  
3 C. Cameron Bris   3 E. Yeo WC
2 J. Lyons Bris   2 J. Darling WC
1 D. Zorko Bris   1 D. Fogarty Adel
             
Essendon v Westen Bulldogs          
3 J. Dunkley WB        
2 J. Macrae WB        
1 L. Hunter WB        

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