When two sides that have a history of strong contested possessions meet, you are going to have fireworks. The Dockers were ranked fifth for winning contested possessions and the Bulldogs were ranked sixth. Throw in the significance of the Len Hall match (in honor of the last Western Australian World War One Veteran); and Docker stalwart David Mundy’s 300th game and you have something special. The Bulldogs didn’t travel to Perth to lose and when the ball was up for grabs no player gave an inch.
A glorious autumn day was on offer at the MCG for the traditional ANZAC day clash between Collingwood and Essendon football clubs. Pre-match saw former servicemen in a motorcade around the ground and both teams entered the field to run through a joint banner with “Always remembered” across the top in reference to those servicemen and women that served and fell in wars. The commemoration service was completed in the middle of the ground and the Australian and New Zealand anthems played then teams moved to their final warmups.
It’s a short turnaround with the Easter round just complete and the Anzac round starting on Wednesday night. This gives us little time to roll through the AFANA AFL Power Poll so this one will be short and sweet!
Round four once again gave us a fair share of upsets, with both Western Australian teams heavily featured. At Optus Stadium in Perth, premiership favorites the West Coast Eagles were given a wet weather football lesson by Port Adelaide in a 42-point Power victory, while the Fremantle Dockers shocked the Greater Western Sydney Giants in Canberra with a sensational 24 point win.
Port Adelaide Power used speed and wet weather grunt to comprehensively thrash the West Coast Eagles at Optus Stadium. The Eagles fielded a team unsuited to the conditions. It was cold, wet and windy and a team loaded with three tall forwards and two ruckmen, would always struggle in the slippery conditions. The Power lacked the height of the Eagles but they made up for it with midfield muscle and quick ball movement.
There is a young footy player in Bendigo, a town in central Victoria about 93 miles northwest of Melbourne. Nothing unusual about that as many young teens play for local clubs. However, 13 year old Bradman Thompson ran into a problem when he went through a growth spurt and shot up to 6'4" since last year. So much so, he could not find a pair of footy socks that would fit and the club he plays for is very strict about team uniforms right down to the socks - no variations.
The big movers on the AFANA AFL Power Poll this week were the Tigers and the Saints up four places each, while the Adelaide Crows fell four spots after a disastrous loss to the previously winless Kangaroos. Other notable happenings over another topsy-turvy round of footy were the Demons notching their first win for the season up in Sydney, while the previously unbeaten Cats were ambushed late by an impressive Giants outfit despite losing Callan Ward to a nasty knee injury in the first quarter.
In a game that lacked highlights but offered plenty of interest, the West Coast Eagles withstood a determined Fremantle Dockers to win by 13 points. The depleted Dockers threw everything they had at the reigning premiers, but in the end were defeated by their own inaccuracy in front of goal.
Thursday night saw Geelong continue its early season dominance with a stirring win over Adelaide, the upstart Brisbane Lions stormed home to defeat the vastly improved Port Adelaide and the Grand Final replay saw the Eagles once again victorious over a disappointing Collingwood.
Highly fancied Melbourne are yet to register a win after faltering against Essendon, the much maligned Gold Coast Suns won again, and Richmond added a couple more players to its ever increasing injury list in a big loss to an impressive Greater Western Sydney Giants at Spotless Stadium.
The Fremantle Dockers held off the determined St Kilda Saints, to earn a tough win at Optus Stadium. The Saints pushed the Dockers for much of the game but were wasteful in front of goals and did not receive value for effort. Fremantle lacked class but showed true grit to survive after captain Nat Fyfe was concussed during the third quarter.
The roof was open for today’s Saturday afternoon match at Marvel Stadium. The conditions overcast but comfortable and a good crowd rolled in through the first quarter. For those that didn’t make it until quarter time they missed eleven goals and eight lead changes. Quarters two and three were uneventful as the Swans slowly edged away before a final quarter that saw the Blues open up a window of opportunity but were unable to climb through it.