ESSENDON and GARY ABLETT
Essendon looked toast when Adelaide got out to a 20-point lead in the last quarter on Friday night before the Bombers charged home to record an impressive victory. The Crows now have won just four matches from 31 when they are the underdog in Victoria. A remarkable stat considering they have only missed the finals three times during that period (since 2008). This could be one for punters to remember in Round 13 if Adelaide starts as the outsider against Hawthorn.
Gary Ablett’s comeback to Geelong inspired the Cats to a thrilling victory over Melbourne. The little master would have been challenging for the three Brownlow Medal votes, alongside his captain Joel Selwood, and you’d imagine that Ablett’s odds to win another Brownlow would shorten after his performance.
Up next: Essendon ($1.62) travel to Optus Stadium for the first time to take on Fremantle ($2.40) while Geelong ($1.62) clashes with Hawthorn ($2.40) in a huge Easter Monday clash
A GIANT STATEMENT
The GWS Giants made a statement to the competition that this could be their year with a thumping 82-point victory over the 2016 premiers. The Giants supreme midfield, led by Stephen Coniglio and youngster Tim Taranto, fed their potent forward line with Jeremy Cameron kicking six goals and Toby Greene four.
To make matter worse for the Bulldogs, Tom Liberatore suffered a suspected ACL injury which could rule the midfielder out for the season.
Up next: GWS ($1.56) will start warm favourites at the MCG against Collingwood ($2.80) while the Bulldogs ($1.50) will be back home against West Coast ($2.66)
TOM MITCHELL AND JACK STEVEN
Tom Mitchell collected an amazing 54 disposals on Saturday night against Collingwood to set a new AFL record. Nathan Buckley said last year that Mitchell didn’t hurt opposition with the ball but he certainly did on Saturday with nine clearances and nine score involvements. Given the midfielder picked up 35 and 50 touches last year against the Pies, you think Buckley might send a tagger to him next time.
Jack Steven’s 35 possessions and two goals lifted the Saints to victory against an improved Brisbane on Saturday. St Kilda looked into trouble in the third quarter before two goals in a minute to the speedy midfielder helped steady the side. The Saints are a much better team when the three-time best and fairest winner is up and about.
Up next: Hawthorn ($2.40) faces Geelong ($1.62) on Easter Monday while the Saints ($1.40) will play North Melbourne ($3.20) on Good Friday