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.
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.
Welcome to the first AFANA AFL Power Poll for 2019, and what a crazy couple of rounds of footy we have witnessed to kick off the season! If what we have seen so far is any indication, Aussie rules football fans are in for a crazy ride in 2019. Nothing should surprise us given the last three premiers have come from 8th, 13th and 6th on the ladder in the year prior to taking out the big one.
With Melbourne still under daylight savings the season opened during twilight at 7:25 PM at the MCG. A minute’s silence for the Christchurch massacre silenced the crowd before the 85,016 fans in the house roared at the first bounce. The Tigers would pour on the pressure through the likes of Graham, Cotchin and Martin from the start and the Blues would show little apparent improvement from their wooden spoon effort of 2018 in the first quarter.
Clubs which didn't make the post season have begun the process of releasing players they don't feel they need next season and opening spots on the roster for draftees. This is known as delisting. This is the second article in a series.
Essendon informed Brendon Goddard he would not be offered a new contract. Goddard, 33, was shocked at the decision while Coach John Worsfold admitted that it was a very tough call to make. An emotional Goddard, who has played every game this season, informed teammates ahead of the final game of the year.
It took until the third quarter for the Fremantle Dockers to break the shackles after a pedestrian start to take down bottom of the ladder dwellers the Carlton Blues. Carlton were struck a blow when their premier ruckman Matthew Kreuzer was omitted, possibly for the rest of the season, with an elevated heart rate when training the day before the match in Perth. After having lost five of the last six matches in the West, Carlton were going to need all the help they could get.
by Troy Thompson, reporting for AFANA from Melbourne
After five goals in the first eleven minutes of the match by Carlton, Richmond worked their way back into the match before blowing the Blues away in the final quarter, running out winners by 26 points. It was a perfect night for football and the 90,151 fans saw a good contest with improvement by the Blues and a solid finish by the reigning premiers.
There is just one minor round of the AFL season to go. In what has been an incredible season to date, we still do not know which eight teams will play in the finals, and amazingly, which teams will get the all-important double chance.
The only team guaranteed to finish top two is the Adelaide Crows, who maintain the top spot on the AFANA power poll despite a narrow loss to the rampaging Sydney Swans in Adelaide on Friday night. Speaking of the Swans, the Sydneysiders became the first team in history to make the finals after starting the season 0-6. To top it off, the Swans are a chance to move into fourth place next weekend, boosting their chances for a ride all the way to the premiership.
Where does this leave the other 16 teams as we head into the round 23? Let’s take a look.
1. Adelaide Crows (Last time - 1)
by Boris Kilpatrick, special to AFANA from Australia
1. Western Bulldogs
Not at their best but still good enough to beat an impressive Collingwood at the MCG. They will only get better as the season unfolds and their injured talls return– a scary prospect for the other seventeen teams.
2. Adelaide Crows
The Crows made a mockery of claims their midfield is not top class with a comprehensive victory over the premiership favorite Giants. Every other team should fear playing the Crows at Adelaide Oval this season.
by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
There was no shortage of speculation for the Carlton coaching job and the man who finally landed the job is Hawthorn assistant Brendon Bolton. Bolton has had a long and varied journey. Originally from Tasmania, he was captain-coach of North Hobart as well as a premiership player for the club in 2003. That same year, he won the Horrie Gorringe Medal (Tasmania's Brownlow equivalent). A physical education teacher by trade, he had stints with the Tasmanian Devils and Clarence before coming to Hawthorn's VFL affiliate Box Hill. He started there as midfield then forward coach before being appointed their senior coach for two seasons in which Box Hill won the VFL premiership. In 2009, he became an assistant to Alastair Clarkson at Hawthorn. When Clarkson became ill in 2014, Bolton assumed the senior coaching duties for five games and steered the Hawks to victory in all of them.