AFL Round 15 Review by Tim Murphy
At the MCG:
Richmond 1.2 2.3 3.8 7.10.52
Melbourne 1.4 5.9 8.12 9.16.70
The gap between contenders and pretenders. The scoreboard flatters the Tigers, Melbun hit the post half-a-dozen times and were in control for most of it. Not an attractive game, it was played between heavily flooded backlines at a brain-deadening tempo by the Tigers. The Dees tackled hard, put a lot of pressure on the Tiges and worked out how to kick goals. Just one change for the Tiggers coming in, junior Jarrad Oakley-Nicholls dropped for Kel Moore. The Demuns arrived without Brad Miller (hip injury), Brock McLean (thigh) and the dropped Phil Read, replacements were Paul Wheatley, Lynden Dunn and Simon Godfrey.
Garry Lyon irritates my bowels more than Chinese tap water. He bagged the Tigers from the start to the end, passing off his rubbish personal opinion as impartial analysis. The pinnacle came in the final quarter when he opined “you have to wonder where this side (Richmond) are going” – eh? We’ve ten blokes under 16 years of age or something Lyon, you twerp. Anyway. Nothing happened in the first quarter here. Both sides flooded heavily, played extra men in defence and moved the ball very slowly and indirectly, Richmun especially. Melbun goaled first courtesy a soft free-kick to Lynden Dunn. Demuns Byron Pickett and Brad Green postered before the Tiges got their first goal, Kayne Pettifer gathering a loose ball, finessing nicely and snapping it through. The Toigs’ Bowden brothers had 21 touches between ‘em in the first korter and the Dees’ spare backman, Jared Rivers, was in double-figures too. Richmun grabbed the lead early in the second term, Jay Schulz leaped for a big pack-grab and stabbed it through. The Dees began to open their game up and replied as a good running move featuring Aaron Davey and Byron Pickett ended with a major on-the-run from Rivers. Toig Joel Bowden gathered a loose ball and handballed directly to Davey, the Dee speedster duly converted and Melbin led by 7 points. Russ Robertson hit the post again for the Deez, but a minute later Davey’s chipped kick allowed Robbo to ride Joel Bowden for a terrific speccie, ‘Nobbo’ converted this time. Green missed twice (one a poster) and Rivers shanked a long shot as the Dees were in control now, moving the ball forward with ease compared to the Tiggers’ slow, zig-zag thrusts. Daniel Ward’s long 6-bounce run ended with a centering pass to Colin Sylvia, he punted truly. Yet another Demun poster, from Simon Godfrey, had them 24 points ahead at the long break.
No change to the pattern in the third korter. Tiger Dean Polo also hit the post with an early shot, before Robertson shoved Joel Bowden aside in a move of questionable legality, marked and poked through his second goal. I agreed with Brereton - Bowden could have tried harder. Some hard Dee tackling forced a turnover and James ‘Junior’ McDonald found Ward all alone 30m out, the Wardman sausaged and Melbun led by a comfortable 34 points. Urgency struck the Tiges and they began to run a bit and move the ball more quickly. All that resulted were a coupla long behinds, before the Deez constructed a good rebound move and Robertson held a slightly-too-easy goal-square mark, he converted again. Demuns by 38 points. Melbun nudged to a 40-point lead before the Big Pussies managed their first goal since the early second quarter, Andrew Kellaway sneaking forward to complete a short-passing move. Andrew Krakouer missed a longish shot after the siren. Some bizarre incidents to start the final term, the Tiges had an early goal thanks to two 50m penalties. The first was fair enough but when beneficiary Brett Deledio stabbed a pass to Troy Simmonds, Demun man Godfrey yelled “that’s not 15.” Confusing his team-mate with the ump, Dee ruckman White crashed Simmonds to the ground, conceding a 50m pen and goal. At the restart Melbun’s Ward grabbed the ball and booted it 40m - in the wrong direction. Thing settled down and soon Robertson had another goal, soaring above Darren Gaspar for a big grab and his fourth major. Dees by 34 points before Robbo marked again and hit the post again. Joel Bowden was benched - for the first time this season, apparently - and the Toigs scored some belated goals. Twice Nathan Brown got free and set up leading Matty Richardson for marks and majors. Brown broke his leg in the corresponding fixture last year and hadn’t been a factor here, credit to his opponent (and the man who broke Brown’s leg), Matthew Whelan. Richo’s second made it 24 points the diff and raised mild excitement but the Deez played keepings-off for a while, with seconds remaining the returned Joel Bowden kicked long for Simmonds to mark and boot a consolation sausage.
Good team effort from the Deez but Russ Robertson (15 marks, 22 disposals, 4 goals) was the difference, his game causing much rumination on the nature of Joel Bowden. Brad Green (19 disposals), James McDonald (25 touches) and plodding Simon Godfrey (24 handlings) all went well in the midfield, defenders Matthew Whelan (23 disposals on Brown) and Ben Holland (on Richo) both played well - Richo’s late goals came after Holland departed with a corked thigh. Jared Rivers (16 handlings, a goal) and Byron Pickett (15 touches, 10 marks) did plenty of rebounding. Tiger winners were few and mostly defensive, Dean Polo (14 disposals) did a great job on Cameron Bruce and likewise Kane Johnson (14 touches) on Travis Johnstone. Brett Deledio (22 possessions) and Nathan Foley (21 touches) tried hard midfield and Troy Simmonds (17 handlings, 2 goals) probably had the better of White. Richardson kicked them 2 late goals. Joel Bowden had 31 disposals but his opponent, Robertson, was clearly the match-winner while Patrick Bowden also racked up stats (23 possies, 11 marks), without doing much to hurt the Deez. Wallace blamed disposal errors. "What we've been pretty good at in recent times is winning possession of the footy and hanging on to it - tonight we just couldn't hang on to it at all," Wallace said. "Credit to Melbourne - that's the pressure they applied to you that has it happening at times but I thought it was just ball use as well. They (Richmun players) just gave it back and from that aspect we were just comprehensively beaten in that early part of the game because they kept possession and we couldn't." Neale Daniher wasn’t overjoyed. "We had a win against a team that's been in pretty good form, (but) I'm disappointed in the brand of footy that we played," he said. "There was a big crowd in and we just wanted to play a better brand of footy. We hit the post early and I thought we controlled long periods of the game - I didn't think we were any chance of getting beaten - but an 18-point win? I thought we let ourselves down."
At the MCG:
Essendon 4.5 6.8 8.10 10.11.71
St. Kilda 2.4 4.6 7.7 11.8.74
Gut-wrenching disappointment for the hard-working Bommers. The battling Dons led nearly all day over a sluggish Sinkilda, but the Saints’ stars and veterans dragged them outta trouble and across the line in the final quarter. Unconvincing from the Stainers but they remain in contention for a top-four finish and the double-chance. The Dons had multiple changes to their side and introduced two new players, skinny midfielder Ben Jolley from the rookie list and Calder Cannons and the more chunky Sam Lonergan from Lauderdale in Tasmania. Also into the Bombout side were Dean Solomon, Chris Heffernan and Jay Nash, the quintet replaced ‘Dustbin’ Fletcher (back injury), Courtney Johns (ribs), Angus Monfries (calf strain), Paddy Ryder (hamstring) and Nathan Lovett-Murray, suspended for donging Matthew Carr. One change for the Stains, Andrew Thompson returning to replace withdrawal Steven Baker. Accident-prone Justin Koschitzke had another incident in the VFL, colliding heavily with an umpire and knocking himself out. Not too bright, that lad.
Another wet day at the ‘G, the game was played in steady rain throughout. The Dons were up for it and did very well in the midfield all day, particularly around stoppages, through Jason Johnson, Brent Stanton and Scott Camporeale. Essadun did all the early attacking and had four behinds on the board, including one where two Dons spoiled each other in the goal-square, before Joel Reynolds finessed nicely and banana-ed a goal on the left. Jason Johnson roved a ball-up and snapped it through, the Donnys led by 16 points. Sinkilda got on the board after Fraser ‘G-Train’ Gehrig marked 55m out, played-on too easily around Solomon and punted truly. A little later Saint icon Rob Harvey held a mark and had his nose smashed by Adam McPhee’s fist, as Harvs staggered off Brett Voss converted from the resulting 50m penalty. Dopey McPhee was reported, by the way. Gehrig and Stephen Powell missed difficult tight-angle shots for the Satins before Reynolds bagged his second goal for the Dons, a free-kick for being shoved in-the-back. As korter-time approached Saint defender Sam Fisher lobbed a very lazy handpass towards ruckman Cain Ackland, who fell over. Bomma Jobby Watson pounced and slotted a terrific tight-angle goal, Essadun led by 13 points at the first break and were well worth it. They continued to go well into the second term, early on Saint backman Max Hudghton was done for a throw and Scott Lucas free-kicked a major. The Sainters replied through a rebound move, Gehrig shoved Solomon aside, gathered the bouncing ball and dribbly-snapped a nice Daicos-goal. Essadun answered, Lucas spilled a mark, Saint Xavier Clarke grabbed the greasy ball but he dropped it too and Lucas had another go, he grubbed it through. The Bummers led by 20 points at this stage. Stinkilda goaled presently, Jason Gram scooped the ball from a pack and booted a noice long shot from just inside 50m. The Dons weathered a spell of Sainter pressure, successfully, amongst a long goal-less period to half-time. A Lucas shot hit the post late in the term, the Dons went in leading by 14 points.
Sinkilda came out fired-up, apparently, and scored two quick goals. Rob Harvey, with plenty of toilet-paper shoved up his bleeding schnoz, was a driving force. Ackland grabbed the pill from a ball-up and snapped truly, Stephen Milne bagged a goal and the Sainters were only 2 points behind. But the charge stalled and the game entered a slogging period. Eventually the Dons had another chance when Sam Fisher sprayed the ball hilariously out on-the-full. Andrew Lovett free-kicked a great banana-goal, although had any Sinkilda backman bothered to stand on the goal-line he probably would’ve touched it. A minute later Don Ricky Dyson kicked long, the ball cleared the pack and Lovett sped onto it to soccer another major. Essadun led by 14 points again and the Saints began to worry, Nick Riewoldt went into the ruck. After a quiet spell Riewoldt kicked long from a mark and Milne juggled an overhead grab, thanks to a weak spoiling attempt from Watson. Milne played-on and slammed it through. Lovett hit the post with a tough boundary-line shot late in the stanza, the Dons led by 9 points at the final break. Sinkilda got up in the final term thanks to Riewoldt, primarily, although Justin Peckett and the previously unsighted Luke Ball were important. Riewoldt majored early in the final Mario, a great kick from 50m after marking Clarke’s good, long pass. Peverill replied for Essington and they led by 9 points again. A minute later Jason Johnson missed woefully with a no-pressure running shot from 20m. A shocker and it may have been the turning-point. Soon Milne galloped past a ball-up, collected Leigh Fisher’s smothered kick and popped it through. Leigh Fisher was involved again soon, finding Riewoldt on a long lead. The blonde Sainter booted accurately again and the Stainers led for the first time, by 2 points. The Bommaz weren’t done, the busy Stanton passed for leading Lovett who held a good mark on the flank and punted an excellent goal, the Dons led again by 4. A bit later Don fans groaned as Lovett spilled a mark on-the-lead, the Saints rebounded and Aaron Fiora’s wobbly kick was marked in the goal-square by Gehrig. G-Train converted and the Saints led again, by 3 points. Eight minutes remained but there were no further goals, both sets of players were dog-tired in the heavy conditions and the Stainers were content to defend, retain possession and run the clock down. They did it.
Nick Riewoldt (15 marks, 23 disposals, 2 goals) and Robert Harvey (25 possies) got the Stainers over the line. I documented a coupla Sam Fisher mistakes but he was good generally with 27 disposals, as were fellow backmen Jason Gram (19 touches, a goal) and Brendon Goddard (19 touches). Justin ‘Frankie’ Peckett (26 disposals, 13 marks) was an important midfielder as Ball and Dal Santo were invisible for most of it, Stephen Milne (11 kicks, 3 goals) was useful up forward. Fraser Gehrig bagged 3 handy goals, too. The Bommers bossed the midfield with Jason Johnson (41 disposals, a goal) producing a superb effort, Brent Stanton (33 touches), Scott Camporeale (36 possessions) and even plodding Damien Peverill (34 handlings, a goal) played well in there. Andrew Lovett (24 touches, 3 goals) was great up forward and Scott Lucas (10 marks, 17 possies, 2 goals) battled away. Joel Reynolds kicked 2 goals. Sheeds said he ‘wasn’t angry’. "You don't get angry at them, even when it's a situation when you should have won the game," he said. "You tell the facts and the truth and a few home truths, but you know, it's a very, very difficult situation to just want to walk in . . . it's probably the youngest side I've coached (again?), so as long as we learn by that, as long as we learn by the whole season. I think we probably won more today than what maybe St Kilda did, and they got the points, and they can have it sometimes." Eh? Grant Thomas said "I think that (describing the Saints' win as a poor one) is taking a fair bit away from Essendon. They obviously really set themselves for this game. It was more their good performance rather than our poor performance and although we weren't really on our game today, that is not giving Essendon the credit they deserve. They played terrific wet-weather football and they were purposeful and first in for the ball. But great credit to our group to rally and win the last half and finish with our noses in front."
At Football Park:
Adelaide 2.3 5.6 10.9 16.13.109
Hawthorn 2.3 4.5 8.6 11.7.73
“Is this mission impossible?” asked Fox Footy’s promo. Certainly, although the Hawks gave a good account of themselves before fading at the end. Clarkson re-signing a fortnight back has coincided with improved efforts from the Hawks, this was a much better performance than the disgraceful one against Port at Foopall Park a month back. The Camrys struggled a bit early, but they won comfortably in the end and have bigger fish to fry. In selection the Camrys made just one change, Jason Porplyzia returning from injury at the expense of Hayden Skipworth. Graham ‘Stiffy’ Johncock played his 100th game. The Hawks replaced Joel Smith (hamstring), Richie Vandenberg (hamstring) and Tim Clarke (foot) with Michael Ball, Zac Dawson and Nick Ries.
Cold, blustery day at Foopall Park. The Hawks went man-on-man, tackled hard and moved the ball faster and longer, in contrast with the circular handball of the Port game. More freedom allowed now Clarkson’s ensconced, rather than the damage-limitation of before. Horforn started with the wind but the Crowbots got the first goal, Rhett Biglands fisted the Sherrin forward from a ball-up and Brett Burton soccer-volleyed it through on the goal-line. Typical. The Hawks’ first came from Cow Brent Reilly’s bad handball, Mark Williams punted long and big Rob Campbell roved Croad’s contest to stab it through. Horforn grabbed the lead as Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin, who also signed a new Hawk contact last week, set up Williams for a goal. They led by 6 points and put much pressure on the Camrys’ run. The Corollas lost Trent Hentschel with a corked thigh but leveled scores late, the Hawks coughed up possession deep in attack and Marty Mattner’s aggressive rebound run got the ball to Porplyzia, he passed for Scott Thompson to mark on a tricky angle and steer a noice goal. Mattner departed with a rolled ankle in the second term (he returned later) as the goals continued to be swapped. A rather dubious umpiring decision allowed McLeod to set one up for Burton, but Campbell got another for the Horks. Hork fans could be angry as a classic ‘Crow throw’ from Burton allowed Simon Goodwin to snap a goal late in the half, to give the Cows a 7-point lead at the long break.
The third term opened with a goal for Burton and the Crowbots crawled 13 points ahead, the locals anticipated floodgates, opening of. But the Hawks hung in. Rick Ladson bagged a good major for them and a little later Mark Ricciuto (game 299) was forced off with a bloodied forehead. If anything was going to galvanise the Horks, that would’ve. A very poor Tyson Edwards handpass turned over possession and Campbell Brown’s long kick was clutched by Franklin, he converted and the Camry lead was cut to 3 points. Porplyzia missed badly for the Cressidas and a bit later inexperienced backman Mattner was palpably caught in possession, Ladson free-kicked a major for the Hoks. They led by 2 points. The Camrys began to wake up now, managing some trademark rebound run from half-back, away from tiring Hawk chasers. The Horks also lost ruckman ‘Spida’ Everitt, who’d been going well, as his foot was trodden on. Rebound run from Scott Stevens ended with a mark and goal for Kenny McGregor and the Crowbots led again. Reilly stabbed a pass for leading Simon Goodwin, moved forward in Ricciuto’s place, to mark and convert. Ricciuto (back on, in the midfield), Burton and Goodwin combined to send the ball long to the goal-square, Thompson seized a strong and too-easy pack mark and punted a sausage. The Coronas led by 16 points. Mitchell missed poorly with a rare Horforn chance, before long Andy McLeod roved nicely and found Burton on-the-lead, he goaled. The Camrys led by 21 points at the last change and you didn’t have a good feeling about the Hawks’ prospects. They defended stoutly against heavy Crowbot pressure early in the final korter. Eventually a rebound move featuring McLeod saw Thompson mark alone and boot another sausage. Burton held a good grab in the goal-square, attempted to handball to bloke who wasn’t looking and messed it up. Ball-magnet Goodwin set up Graham ‘Stiffy’ Johncock for a major, goals from Burton and Edwards followed in rapid succession and the Corollas skipped to a 42-point lead. The Hawks managed a behind with their first attack of the term, before Burton majored again from a mark and the locals led by 47. Harsh on the Hawks, they’d tried hard. Ladson decided to run head-first into oncoming Ricciuto, ‘Roo’ was momentarily winded but Ladson was knocked semi-unconscious, he staggered off for a rest. The Hawks managed a late rally, Franklin snapped a noice goal after Ben Dixon soared spectacularly. A minute later Dixon used a free-kick to find leading Jarryd Roughead, he converted. Dixon, on fire!, slotted a great goal from the boundary-line and the Horkers had reduced the deficit to a more indicative 30 points. Camry Matthew Bode free-kicked the final major of the day.
Patchy effort from the Crowbots but some players were very good, like Simon Goodwin (38 disposals, 2 goals) and Brett ‘Birdman’ Burton, who finished with a career-best 7 goals from 8 marks and 21 disposals. Lots of run came from Andrew McLeod (24 touches) and ‘Stiffy’ Johncock (28 handlings, a goal), Scott Thompson (23 touches, 10 marks, 3 goals) again proved a dangerous goal-kicking midfielder. How’d Melbourne let him go? Brent Reilly (26 possies), Tyson Edwards (24, a goal) and Kris Massie (22 touches) were their usual useful selves. The Hawks won handsomely around clearances where Sam Mitchell (26 possies) and Luke Hodge (25 disposals) were very good. Rick Ladson (24 touches, 2 goals) was very good too before his ill-advised attack on Ricciuto. Young backmen Brad Sewell (14 handlings), Michael Ball (24 disposals) and Grant Birchall (17 touches) were okay, Lance Franklin (11 touches, 3 goals) gave some indication of his talent again. Robert Campbell and Ben Dixon kicked 2 goals each. Clarkson said "(Everitt’s injury) just upset our mix a little bit in terms of our rotations with the rucks. We had to push Trent Croad into the ruck, taking away our focal point. Adelaide kicked four goals in a row against the breeze in the third quarter and we weren't able to arrest control of that momentum Adelaide had then. It ended up being the decisive break in the game, really. Full credit to our young lads for hanging in there for as long as they did." Neil Craig reckoned "Hawthorn, particularly in the first half, were very good and so were we. It was a tough game of footy. Both sides were on the attack in reasonably tough conditions. It just goes to show, and there's been a fair bit of hype about expectation and (being) unbeatable and whatever, and you've got another game as well - St Kilda-Essendon, the same sort of thing - it's a tough competition. It's also good for our supporters to come and watch that sort of game as well. If we're good enough to get a home final (I think so, Neil), I can guarantee our supporters it won't be a free-flowing game. It will be that type of footy, so it was a good game for us to play in . . . where we had to fight really hard and I thought we showed a lot, particularly in the second half, to keep going."
North Melbourne 4.4 7.12 8.16 11.18.84
Brisbane 2.3 5.5 7.9 12.13.85
The Ruse blew it. “This is the worst loss the North Melbourne Football Club has had for many a year,” said coach Dean Laidley afterwards. Norf dominated for long periods but kicked very poorly for goal and failed to put the Lyin’s away when they had (multiple) chances. And probably blew their finals chances in the process. Brisbun hung in all night for the win, their first in Melbourne for a while. During the week the Kangaroos signed a deal with the Gold Coast Council to play three home games a year at Carrara Oval, ending their relationship with Canberra, and possibly presaging a permanent move to south-east Queensland. In selection here the Kangas replaced Glenn Archer (dislocated shoulder) with Joel Perry. No word yet on Arch’s future, there’d been speculation he’d retire at the end of the season but apparently hopes to play again this year. The Lisbon Brians regained Josh Drummond and called up Rhan Hooper to replace Jason Roe and Ben Fixter (hamstrings both).
The Kangarse midfield was all over the Lyin’s early. From four early shots only Daniel Wells scored full points, before the Brians scored against the run of play. Dan Bradshaw did well to scoop Akermanis’s poor pass and handball to Scott Harding, his centering kick found big Jamie Charman for a mark and goal. Soon big Nathan Thompson was to the fore for Norf, he seized a terrific grab from Adam Simpson’s centering punt and booted a major. Brizzy replied again as Bradshaw was allowed to juggle a mark amongst three North backmen and punt truly. The Ruse began to make possession tell, but not enough as Laidley (correctly) commented afterwards. Leading Thompson marked Firrito’s pass and banged it home from 50m, Wells followed up with another sausage and the Kangas led by 14 points, 13 at korter-time. The Kangas continued to look the goods into the second term, Thompson set up a goal for Kasey Green, then Brent Harvey dobbed a running major and the Kangas led by 27 points. The Lyin’s hung in with consecutive goals from Michael Rischitelli. The first was a noice snap, the second came from a laboriously complicated build-up. Handballs from ‘Risky’ and Harding sent Mick Voss in for a major and the Brians were down by 9 points. The Roos steadied as Ben Schwarze thumped a 50m goal but again momentum wasted as the Kangas kicked five consecutive behinds to half-time, at which stage they led by 19 points. Just like the ’98 Grand Final all over again. An amazingly sloppy third term followed, with many more scoring chances butchered by both sides now. The Lyin’s had lost Rischitelli with a shoulder injury but Jason Akermanis was offering a bit as a forward. Thompson booted the opening major of the final term and the Kangas led by 19 points, they seemed home. But the Brians managed the next three, including one from Akermanis, to level the scores. A bit later Akermanis accepted Drummond’s pass and booted truly to put the Brians a goal up. They missed a couple before Leigh Harding bagged a goal, but Shannon Grant hit the post late in the piece and the Lyin’s hung on.
Jason Akermanis was the hero in the end for the Lyin’s, 19 disposals and 3 goals including 2 in the last quarter. Michael Voss (28 touches, a goal), Justin Sherman (25 handlings, a goal) and excitable Matthew Moody (22 possies, a goal) were good in the midfield, running backman Josh Drummond (25 handlings, 8 marks) made a handy return. Michael Rischitelli (16 touches, 2 goals) was good too. Dan Bradshaw kicked 2 goals. Norf had Daniel Wells (22 disposals, 2 goals) and Adam Simpson (26 touches, 11 marks) perform good attacking jobs while at the back Drew Petrie (8 marks) did well on Bradshaw and Daniel Pratt (19 disposals, 13 marks) was good. Daniel Harris (22 handlings) and Jess Sinclair (32 handlings) did a power of running, Nathan Thompson booted 3 goals in an absorbing battle with Mal Michael. Brady Rawlings shut Black out of it. Brent Harvey and Leigh Harding kicked 2 goals each. Laidley was anguished. "The game could've been over at the 25-minute mark of the first quarter and then it just became sloppy, selfish football," he said. "Everyone wanted to get a kick and everyone wanted to get in on the act rather than playing the team way which was instrumental in getting us the shots on goal in the first half. As I sit here as the leader of these men I am just staggered. I'm speechless to be honest - I don't know where it's come from." Bitterness. Leigh Matthews was non-apologetic. "They (the Kangaroos) had more shots than us and in patches of the game, where they had complete control - they had a lot of shots," Matthews said. "We had a similar game against Carlton a couple of weeks ago where we kept missing and that kept the scoreboard close, but fortunately we were able to kick the last couple of goals, so the best team doesn't always win - you've got to take your chances and we took our chances a little bit better than they did. Sport's a game of inches and they hit the post a couple of times and just generally weren't able to capitalise when they were pretty much dominating the game."
West Coast 3.1 3.3 6.11 9.13.67
Sydney 6.3 8.5 8.8 9.11.65
Grand Final replays used to be in round one. We had to wait ‘til the latest possible date for this one and it followed the pattern not only of the GF, but most recent Siddey / Wiggles games. Tough, played in-close with space and time at a premium, and an excitingly narrow margin. The loss made it three defeats from the last four for the Bloods. No wonder Roos said “we can’t win the flag” two weeks ago. It’s a ‘hunger’ issue apparently. The Weegs are also in a pattern, trailing for the majority of the game and getting up just at the end. But in this particular contest they wouldn’t have cared. The Weegs came in weakened, Mark Nicoski (ankle), Dan Chick (calf strain) and Darren Glass (thigh strain) joined Dean Cox on the sidelines and Daniel Kerr was suspended for punching Hawk Mitchell in the family jewels last week - a ridiculously lenient one week, sparking more criticism of the new tribunal. Weeg replacements were Rowan Jones, Brett Jones, Drew Banfield and Shannon Hurn. The Swans caused controversy by dropping Nick Davis, further fuelled by Davis leaping into the press to whinge about it. Davis hasn’t been training due to some leg problem, apparently. Paul Williams learned he required shoulder surgery and promptly retired. A speedy, skilful and courageous straight-ahead rover, Willo was a very good player. He finishes with 306 games, equaling Alastair Lynch for the most by a Tasmanian. Williams played 189 games for Collingwood and finished top-three in the Copeland Trophy four times, before moving to Siddey in 2001 - mates with Daryn Cresswell, apparently. Willo blossomed there, winning two club champion awards and an All-Australian guernsey in 2003. And of course he collected a premiership medal last year, in game 294. Top player. The Swans also lost Jarred Moore with a thumb injury, in came Ben Mathews, Ted Richards and first-gamer Simon Phillips, a slightly-built lad elevated from the rookie list with Willo’s retirement.
Subiaco was sold out two weeks in advance - as local man Tim Gossage commented, five years ago the Swans wouldn’t have half-filled Sooby. The Swans started very well. The missing Weegs prompted a reshuffle on their part, Adam Hunter was at full-back on Barry Hall, David Wirrpanda and Andrew Embley played as forwards. For the Swans Adam Goodes was deployed as Chris Judd’s direct opponent, a great match-up for the neutral spectator. Hall was good early. He booted the opening goal after out-marking Hunter. A minute later busy Adam Selwood opened the Weegs’ account, a free-kick after being kneed in the head by Darren Jolly. The Bloods had a second goal after the Coasters made an appalling mess of a kick-in, Ryan O’Keefe free-kicked the sausage. Jude Bolton made to tackle Weeg Stenglein and copped a fend-off in the face, Bolton free-kicked for leading Luke Vogels to mark and convert. The Bloods had a free-kick at the restart and the ball went out for a throw-in on half-forward. Sean Dempster roved it and slotted a terrific goal for the Swans, they led by 19 points. Weeg forward Ash Hansen was turning in a performance of comic ineptitude, a woeful turnover allowed Tadhg Kennelly a chance but he postered. Judd snapped a left-foot sausage for the Weegs after Hurn’s strong tackle forced the ball loose. The Swans won the restart, O’Keefe marked strongly, dished off to Amon Buchanan, Hall seized an emphatic grab and converted. With 40 seconds remaining in the korter a string of handballs allowed Selwood to boot a running major for the Weegs, but the Swans won the centre-clearance again and Richards, playing in the ruck, punted them forward. Good skill from Mick O’Loughlin sent Goodes in for a running slot. Siddey led by 20 points at korter-time. The Weegs re-organised, Wirrpanda went back to defence and Embley to a wing, midfielders manned up tightly. As a result nothing happened for all of 20 minutes in the second term. Just as time-on arrived Goodes booted a goal for the Swans, thanks to a turnover by Chad Fletcher. Hansen continued his comedy routine for the Wiggles, spilling an uncontested mark, then failing to make the distance from 40m. The Bloods rebounded from that and Buchanan found Hall on-the-lead, Bazza thumped it home from 50m. Siddey by 32 points at half-time.
The Weegles made a few changes for the second half, Ben Cousins and Tyson Stenglein moved forward. But the key difference was a much greater effort at winning the contested ball, an area the Swans had ruled in the first half. Quinten Lynch, who’d done nothing so far, bagged an early goal after collecting a loose ball and bouncing a good snap home. The Weegs had a free-kick at a ball-up in their forward line, advantage was allowed for Banfield to blast a sausage. The Weegs’ deficit quickly down to 19 points but their run stalled for a bit. Judd and Beau Waters missed shots, at the other end Swan Jarrad McVeigh managed to hit the post twice. Generally it was the Swans under greater pressure though, they defended hard and rushed a few behinds. A 50m penalty to Hunter gave the Weegs a late chance, his kick was collected and handballed by Judd, lumbering Lynch shrugged a tackle in slow-motion and snapped it through. The deficit was 11 points, O’Loughlin sprayed a shot on-the-full and Lynch missed poorly from a mark before the final change. Very tough, hard-tackling final stanza. Weeg Rowan Jones missed badly early-on and again there was no scoring for a long while amongst plenty of pack-bound ruggedness. Eventually a turnover by Weeg rookie Hurn gave the Swans a chance, Hall out-marked Hunter and banged it through for the Swans’ first goal of the half. Siddey led by 14 points. Swan Paul Bevan was KO’d at this point, a nasty (accidental) clash with Embley after running head-first into a pack. Bevan was stretchered off (although re-appeared on the bench later). From a throw-in Hurn punted a wobbly kick forward, it bounced off the pack and Waters soccered a sausage. Michael Braun won the ball at the subsequent centre-bounce and found Hansen, he punted a torpedo which Hunter (now forward) and Lynch both grabbed simultaneously, although Hunter was awarded the mark. He converted and the Swans’ lead was down to 2 points. First-gamer Phillips marked 40m out for the Bloods, but he missed. As time ticked down, the Swans trying to save it, Judd forced the ball out of a pack and Stenglein lobbed a shot goal-wards, good shepherding from Embley saw it bounce through. There was some suggestion Craig Bolton had got a hand on it, but the goal-ump was right. The Weegs led for the first time, by 3 points. Jude Bolton missed with a tough snap before the final siren rang.
Very good games in midfield from Chris Judd (26 disposals, a goal) and the much-improved Adam Selwood (21 touches, 2 goals). Tyson Stenglein (6 touches, a goal) started well and was an important forward in the second half, apart from kicking the winning goal. Defender Brett Jones (16 disposals) did a good job on O’Keefe, David Wirrpanda (25 disposals) was also more comfortable in defence and Ben Cousins (19 possies) wasn’t bad. Quinten Lynch kicked 2 goals. Adam Goodes (22 disposals, 10 marks, 2 goals) and Amon Buchanan (17 possies) were the Swans’ best, tearing about the midfield. At opposite ends Barry Hall (8 marks, 12 kicks, 4 goals) and Leo Barry (9 marks, 16 possies) played well, Brett Kirk (20 touches, 11 tackles) and Jude Bolton (17 kicks) got in and under and did hard work. Paul Roos’s take was described as ‘philosophical’. "Every game is disappointing to lose. I don't think you necessarily differentiate between any loss, I mean any loss means you don't get the four points," Roos said. "I suppose from a positive we played particularly well and it could have gone either way - a bit like the last couple of games we've played against them." John Worsfold was a bit apologetic again. "We certainly didn't play at our best. We know we haven't been playing at our best and that is ahead of us, but we are having a go," he said. "The players have been outstanding in terms of sticking at it without playing at their best, and I've got no doubt they'll turn it around if they persist at it." The fans didn’t care.
At Kardinia Park:
Geelong 1.1 4.5 5.9 9.14.68
Port Adelaide 2.4 3.5 6.7 8.10.58
The Cats nosed ahead of Port in the race for the eight, although in truth this game did not encourage regarding the prospects of either. For three quarters it was sloppy and frustrating, disposal and decision-making both poor. The urgency of the situation brought the game to some sort of life in the final korter. The Cats took several contested marks in their backline, an indictment on Port’s forwards, Tredrea and White in particular. The Cats came in unchanged after thumping Carlton last week, Port had to replace luckless Peter Burgoyne (hamstring and probably his season) and Stu Dew who was suspended for biffing Tiger Polo last week. In came Brad Symes and Port debutant Tom Logan, a lithe midfielder who played a coupla games for Brisbane last year.
Before the game former Cat Ben Graham, now punter for the New York Jets, did a lap of honour and welcomed the Geelong players onto the ground. Port began with the aid of a breeze, blowing as usual for Kardinia Park from half-back flank to half-forward. Waste of opportunity dominated the early going, Cats Mooney and McCarthy butchered shots before Port opened the goal-scoring. Cat fans were angry as Daniel Motlop staged successfully for a free-kick, while the players argued Motlop passed for leading Tredrea to mark and convert. Brad Ottens squared things up with a good gather and terrific snap. Power ruckman Dean Brogan postered after winning a 50m penalty, Cat Cam Ling altercating with Shaun Burgoyne. Ling was kinda angry and a bit later he was reported for biffing Brogan off-the-ball. Port’s Josh Mahoney held a good with-the-flight mark and booted a major, the Power led by 8 points. Catter Jarad Rooke kicked long to two unopposed Port men in the goal-square and Mooney shanked a kick badly short after a good mark. Forward Andrew Mackie was clattered in a marking contest but won no free to end a frustrating term for the Cats. ‘Bomber’ Thompson blasted his men during the break. The Flowers began the second stanza well, very good work from Shaun Burgoyne sent Peter Walsh in for a goal and they led by 15 points. But Port suffered at the restart as Brogan hurt his ankle, his day (and a bit more) was over. Some tough footy was played for a while until Mackie and Jimmy Bartel combined to find Ottens leading wide into the pocket. Ottens slotted a good goal. More tough, if bumbling, play followed. Mooney was reported for a love-tap kidney-punch on Mahoney, although Mooney may be suspended for stupidity. A terrific rebound running move by the Cats ended with a goal for Ling and they trailed by 3 points. Bartel won a weak free for in-the-back and kicked long, Paul Chapman roved the pack and snapped it through to put the Cats 4 points ahead. They were a goal up by half-time.
The contest continued to grind along into the third term. Kane Cornes did very well to set up a snapped goal for Daniel Motlop and scores were level. Motlop was Port’s most effective forward. McCarthy missed poorly for the Catz, again, and Chapman missed twice, the second a poster wasting great lead-up play by Gary Ablett - he’d been well-held by Michael Wilson. Mooney juggled a good goal-square mark from Joel Corey’s long kick and booted a major, the Katters led by 8 points. They were dominating before the Power conjured a goal from nothing, Ling hesitated for a moment in defence and Shaun Burgoyne dived superbly to smother his kick, Motlop pounced to soccer a sausage. New Pooerman Tom Logan saw a good snap touched through on-the-line and more scoreless slog followed. In the final minute of the stanza a tired Kane Cornes wobbled a weak torpedo-punt forward, Shaun Burgoyne grabbed a mark and booted a terrific 55m goal after the siren. Port had been outplayed for much of the quarter but led by 4 points at the final change. Two goals were scored in the opening minute of the final stanza, Port cleared the opening bounce and Damon White passed for leading Brett Ebert to mark and steer a major. The Cats replied with a centre-clearance and Chapman punted it home. Port by 4 points still, before the Pussies reclaimed the lead from a great bit of running from Brent Prismall. He covered over 100m in playing a one-two with King and booting long, diminutive Mathew Stokes held a strong overhead grab and booted truly. Port won the ball from the restart but Corey held a pack-mark in his defensive goal-square, initiating a rebound attack. Ablett found Ottens leading into the ‘wrong’ pocket but the big Ott scored full points with a very good kick. Another contested mark in defence, by Darren Milburn, led to another Geelong goal as Mooney gathered the bouncing ball and handballed for Stokes to slam it through from point-blank. Geelong led by 14 points now and peppered the goals for a bit, a coupla shots missed and a couple more were rushed through by desperate Port backman. They looked beaten but eventually managed another attack, White and Motlop kicked behinds before new boy Matt Thomas snapped an unexpected goal, reducing Geelong’s lead to 10 points. But there were only 4 minutes remaining and the Cats drained the clock.
The Catters derived much from attacking half-backs Darren Milburn (25 disposals, 8 marks) and Corey Enright (25 touches), the latter recruited from the ‘Snaffle’ Port. Jimmy Bartel (26 touches, 11 marks) was best of the midfield although Joel Corey (24 disposals) saw plenty of it. The little attacking inspiration came from Brad Ottens (6 marks, 3 goals), Mathew Stokes (16 possies, 2 goals) and Paul Chapman (19 disposals, 2 goals). Matty Scarlett (15 disposals) and Tom Harley (17 handlings) kept Tredrea and White completely out of it. On the Port side their midfielders battled away, led by Kane Cornes (34 touches) and Shaun Burgoyne (22 disposals, a goal) with Danyle Pearce (26 possessions) and Steven Salopek (26 touches) also reasonable. As mentioned Daniel Motlop (11 marks, 13 kicks, 2 goals) was their only decent forward while Brendon Lade (20 disposals, 11 marks) rucked alone after Brogan’s injury. Michael Wilson did a good job on Ablett. A downbeat Mark Williams said "We're pretty dejected in there. We fought pretty hard today I thought. We set the game up pretty well with Brogan's role and when he got injured it made it difficult. In the end, you're always judged on your wins and losses and unfortunately today was another loss." ‘Bomber’ Thompson was overly optimistic. "We're still a chance to play the finals, we've never given up hope on that. We want to play the best footy we are capable of playing and we want to set ourselves up for not only this year, but years to come with the way we train and the way we approach games. We still think we can play some good footy towards the end of the year, there's seven games to go. We've won seven games, so we need another five, so we can perhaps drop another two, not that we want to."
Carlton 3.2 7.5 10.10 11.14.80
Footscray 4.3 7.6 10.10 16.14.110
Again the Dogs made hard work of a win they’d have penciled in weeks ago. Still, they’re fourth now and a game clear, which is very handy at this stage. Especially as they picked up more injuries here, to Montgomery and Giansiracusa again. It’s fair to say a stronger team than the Blues would’ve put up more opposition in the final quarter, they folded all too easily following three good, competitive quarters. Denis Pagan seems too relaxed about it all. He should’ve blasted the lads rather than apologizing for them, or giving his usual “ah, well” shrug. In pickin’ the Blues welcomed back Brad Fisher and Matty Lappin from injury, at the expense of Dylan McLaren and Jordan Russell (‘flu). The Dogs axed Kieran McGuinness and Wayde Skipper for returning ruckman Will Minson and debutant Damien McCormack, a blonde rover or small forward from Seaford.
The Bullies bounded out with the first three goals and the expected easy win looked on-the-cards. But the Blues soon opened their account and then Lance Whitnall, playing at CHF as all coaches think the Dogs are undermanned in defence, held a terrific back-pedalling, one-handed mark and booted a goal. The Pups’ lead was down to 5 points but Brad Johnson booted the next goal, from a remarkably soft free for in-the-back against opponent Andrew Walker. Johnno proved his class with two fast leads and marks into the pocket, but he missed both shots (one a poster) before quarter-time. Dog Brett Montgomery hurt himself late in the stanza, damaging a calf-muscle as he sprinted afield. Carlton began the second stanza well, they scored the opening major. Deluca missed a shot but Whitnall marked the kick-in and waited a bit before stabbing a pass to Luke Blackwell, he converted and the Bluies led by 4 points. The Dogs responded, Ryan Griffen ran a long way and handballed to Rohan Smith, his high kick spilled and Johnson was on hand to snap it through. Deluca missed again, from the kick-in good work by Matty Robbins and Griffen’s handpass allowed Dan Giansiracusa to snap a sausage. But the Bluesers had the final say of the term with the next sausage and the Dog lead was down to a point at the long break.
The tight battle continued into the third term. The Dogs goaled first, Street flipped it behind him from a throw-in and Lindsay Gilbee ran clear, he kicked smartly for Giansiracusa to mark and boot the major. The Bluies won the ball from the restart but Simon Wiggins missed badly. A poor turnover by Bloo full-back Bret Thornton led to an easy goal for Adam Cooney and the Bullies led by 12 points. Skill (and decision) errors kill the Bluesers. Ryan Houlihan missed a set shot but the risky Doggy kick-in was collected by Kade Simpson, he ran ahead, played a one-two with Bentick and roosted it home from 50m. A bit later Heath Scotland jumped for a good mark over his man, he punted it home and the Bluies were ahead by a point. The Dogs were under pressure as now Giansiracusa departed with a hamstring strain. A behind each before another Thornton mistake handed the Bullies a goal, his wild handpass ended with Robbins snapping it through. Although to be fair to Thornton, he was whacked in the head while disposing of the ball, it went unpunished. Mistakes continued to cruel the Blooze, Nick Stevens shanked a shot horribly on-the-full and a few other thrusts broke down before Eddie Betts roved a pack, hurdled the prostrate players and ran into an open goal to slam it through. He enjoyed it and so did Bluebagger fans as the Blooze led by a point again. Chris Grant missed a shot to square things up at the final change. All to play for in the final quarter then, but the Blues surrendered meekly. A spray from Rodney Eade fired the Doggies, at an early throw-in Brad Johnson leaped and tapped it infield, Cooney sped onto the ball and speared it through. Whitnall created a chance for Betts, which he missed. A bit later Bloo ruckman Barnaby French collected the ball in defence and maybe unsighted, handballed direct to Footyscray counterpart Will Minson. Minson booted a goal, the Dogs led by 11 points and Bloo heads dropped. The Dogs cleared the restart, Robbins led, marked, converted. Fisher postered for the Blues before Brad Johnson blasted a 50m goal on-the-run, the Dogs led by 22 points now. Another terrible miss from Stevens and another unfortunate poster from Fevola added to the impending sense of Bloo doom, the Dogs also scored a coupla behinds in this period. A hanging kick from Whitnall, moved to defence, was intercepted by Gilbee, he passed for Smith to mark and convert. Minson tumbled the ball forward from the restart, it bounced neatly over Whitnall and into Grant’s arms, he slotted. The Bulldogs led by 34 points now, it was over and had been for a while. Raw Irishman Setanta O’hAilpin bagged a good goal for the Blues, but just to confirm he plays for Carlton, O’hAilpin hooked a set-shot on-the-full before the end.
Hard to go past Brad Johnson (17 kicks, 5 marks, 3 goals) as the Dogs’ best player in any given week. Up the ground there was much industry from Lindsay Gilbee (24 disposals) and Daniel Cross (28 disposals incl. 20 handpasses) while Dan Giansiracusa (14 touches, 3 goals) was very useful before being injured - they miss him. Winger Farren Ray (24 possies) had a good battle with Simpson while runner Jordan McMahon (19 touches) was busy, Scott West (26 possies, a goal) collected his usual bundle of touches. Dale Morris held Fevola to one goal, a good effort. Matty Robbins kicked 3 goals, Adam Cooney and Rohan Smith bagged 2 goals each. Better Bluies included hard-working Heath Scotland (29 disposals, a goal) and Andrew Carrazzo (31 touches, 13 marks), wingmen Ryan Houlihan (26 handlings) and Kade Simpson (22 disposals, a goal) played well. Lance Whitnall (7 marks, 16 possies, a goal) was smart in attack and on-baller Adam Bentick (25 touches, a goal) plugged away. Nick Stevens won a lot of the ball (32 disposals) but wasted it too much. Eddie Betts fought hard for his 2 goals. Pagan blamed centre-clearances. "For three quarters, we did it really well. (But) to think that we had 25 more possessions in the last quarter, but made those blues and got smashed out of the centre circle - that was the game in a nut-shell." Hm. ‘Rocket’ Eade said "I think the downside was the first three quarters of poor skills, poor decision-making and certainly poor pressure. The positive side was for a young group with two blokes down to be able to win like we did in the last quarter, to be able to answer the challenge and win the game like we should. They were a little bit down about today's performance, but it was still a pleasing win."
At the MCG:
Collingwood 3.6 7.9 10.13 15.14.104
Fremantle 3.4 9.5 14.7 18.11.119
What are the Pies up to? Are they doing it on purpose? Mick Malthouse droned on with some ridiculous cricketing analogy afterwards as the Pies lost their third on-the-trot to slide outta the top four. Then again, this was the third year running Freo have beaten Collywood in Melbourne, apparently. We should give credit, this was a very good victory in a game no-one expected them to win. And credit to Connolly, who set the side up well. Thus the Dokkas climbed back into the eight and may stay there, with 5 of their last 7 games at home. Big one against the Deez this week, who are due for a loss. In selection here the Maggies lost Simon Prestigiacomo (shoulder) and Sean Rusling (thigh strain) while Ben Davies was dropped, Leon Davis returned and lumberers Jason Cloke and David Fanning were called up. The Dockulaters replaced Paul Medhurst (calf), Heath Black (hip) and Justin Longmuir (knee) with some handy types in Jeff Farmer, Luke McPharlin and Troy Cook.
Some curious match-ups at the ‘G. The Pies placed the dubious J. Cloke on Matthew Pavlich while their best defender, James Clement, picked up green Freo man Marcus Drum. J. Cloke did alright though, for a half anyway, while Drum ‘tagged’ and dragged Clement out of it. But ‘The Wizard’ was the key factor, much to the Pie fans’ intense chagrin. The Pies started very well but scored four behinds and an on-the-full, in contrast the Shockers had two goals from their first three inside-50s, from Farmer and Ryan Crowley. The Maggies improved towards quarter-time and got a 2-point lead, with the much-maligned Chris Tarrant getting on-the-board at last. But the Pies had problems in midfield, Freo men Peter Bell and Josh Carr had 23 touches between ‘em in the first quarter while veteran Poise like Bucks, Burns and Licuria were largely anonymous. Ominous signs midway through a free-scoring second term, the Dokkas kicked four in-a-row including a strong lead-mark and goal from Farmer. Pavlich stepped up, thundering one home from 60m and then a even longer major from a free-kick. Freo jumped to a 15-point lead, which the Poise pulled back to 8 points by the long break. Collywobbles grabbed the lead early in the third term with goals from Alan Didak and Dane Swan, but again the Dockers replied with a four-goal burst. Farmer bagged two of ‘em including a running banana-shot and Pavlich roosted another home. When the Pies’ bane, front-running king Des Headland contributed his own banana-goal on-the-run, Poi fans must’ve sensed the worst. Freo still led by 18 points at the final change. The Maggies managed two of the first three goals of the final Mario, from Tarrant and Didak, and they were there-abouts at 13 points behind. Pie junior Scott Pendlebury, who’d played well, chipped a pass towards Didak. Shocker Steven Dodd read it, intercepted and booted afield. Those who’ve always suspected Shane O’Bree isn’t up to it gathered fresh evidence as O’Bree gave a weak contest against Matthew Carr and fell over, Carr ran off and booted a major. That was pretty much it, although both sides scored a couple more goals before the end.
Big day for Jeffrey ‘The Wiz’ Farmer, he booted 6 goals from 13 kicks and 6 marks. Matty Pavlich (7 marks, 12 kicks, 4 goals) was restricted a bit by Jason Cloke but made every touch count. Much drive came from Josh Carr (28 disposals) and Peter Bell (38 touches, 10 marks), both excellent in the midfield and carried along by big Aaron Sandilands (19 touches, 29 hit-outs). David Mundy (25 possies) ran impressively from defence and of course Des Headland (20 disposals, 2 goals) played well, he reserves it for the Pies. Marcus Drum (15 touches, a goal) ‘tagged’ Clement, Ryan Murphy and Ryan Crowley kicked 2 goals each. The Pies’ best were the hard-working flankers Dane Swan (25 touches, a goal) and Heath Shaw (19 possessions) while Nathan Buckley (19 disposals, 2 goals) used the ball well. Scott Pendlebury (23 handlings, a goal) and Ben Johnson (20 disposals) were okay. Of the forwards Chris Tarrant (8 marks, 15 touches, 3 goals) made an improved effort and Alan Didak (17 possies, 3 goals) plugged away despite a knee-cartilage problem which doesn’t sound good. Anthony Rocca kicked 2 goals, he had 3 kicks and 2 marks and is the latest Pie in the gunsight - along with Farmer’s opponent, Tarkyn Lockyer. Forget Mick’s cricket baloney (“a batsman might make a hundred, get three ducks in a row then make another hundred - we’re like that”), what he said on Monday was interesting. "People forget, and choose to forget, we have come from 15th and we have cleaned a lot of the club out as far as our playing group goes. Nine (wins) and six (losses after being) five and 17 (last year), I think it is a fair reflection and perhaps it is better than what we anticipated it to be. That's probably incidental anyway, isn't it? There are still seven to go. We are not the best side in the competition. We are a side that is trying to become that over a period of time, whether it be one year, two years or three years." Chris Connolly said "We get ridiculed a fair bit. (Noooo . . . ). A lot of pressure goes on to the players because it's my fifth year coaching, and how important it is to make finals. But we're one game behind Collingwood, one game behind Sydney. We've always tried to keep things in perspective at Fremantle."
Ladder after Round Fifteen.
Pts. % Next Week
Adelaide 52 168.9 North Melbourne (Football Park, Fri. night)
West Coast 48 114.2 Collingwood (Docklands, Saturday)
Melbourne 44 116.6 Fremantle (Subiaco, Sunday)
Footscray 40 114.3 Geelong (Docklands, Sunday)
St. Kilda 36 115.9 Port Adelaide (York Park, Sunday)
Collingwood 36 114.3 West Coast (Docklands, Saturday)
Sydney 32 116.1 Richmond (SCG, Sat. night)
Fremantle 32 91.3 Melbourne (Subiaco, Sunday)
Richmond 32 86.5 Sydney (SCG, Sat. night)
Geelong 28 103.7 Footscray (Docklands, Sunday)
Brisbane 24 93.1 Hawthorn (Gabba, Sat. night)
Port Adelaide 24 91.0 St. Kilda (York Park, Sunday)
North Melbourne 20 84.9 Adelaide (Football Park, Fri. night)
Hawthorn 20 79.0 Brisbane (Gabba, Sat. night)
Carlton 8 74.2 Essendon (MCG, Saturday)
Essendon 4 76.0 Carlton (MCG, Saturday)
Article last changed on Thursday, July 20, 2006 - 1:49 PM EDT