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AFANA's Who's Hot and Who's Not #2

Nick Daicos (file photo/AFANA)

In our second review of the season, we are approaching the halfway mark. AFANA crunches the numbers to bring you the hottest and coldest players in the league.

HOT:

NICK DAICOS (Collingwood Magpies):

After a patch of indifferent form starting in round two, this budding superstar has absolutely torn the competition apart in recent weeks.

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Blues Snatch Semi Win in Final Minute

Blake Acres (file photo)

The first Semi-Final at the MCG started tonight with the stadium fuller than it has than it has been in many years, outside of a Grand Final. Max Gawn won the first tap, Carlton the first clearance and inside 50, Melbourne the first 50 clearance. All standard stuff. It was going to be tough night for players and spectators alike, but not all would be predictable.

Charlie Curnow looked to be on song early marking outside 50 for the Blues and his long kick at goal before the defenders could get back was only a degree off being six points. At the other end Charlie Spargo, coming into the side tonight, kicked the first score for the Dees. Advantage was paid to Langdon who kicked the first goal of the match after Kosi Pickett was taken out of the contest, unusually by the furthest umpire from the contest.

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Carlton Crush Disappointing Dockers

McGovern spoils (Woodley/AFANA)

The Carlton Blues crushed the Fremantle Dockers at Optus Stadium to move within one win of the top eight. The Carlton victory was emphatic. Their bigger more experienced players pressured the young Dockers all over the ground, causing multiple turnovers. The Blues were dominated in the ruck by the Dockers big man, Sean Darcy, but they won more clearances and were much cleaner with their use of the ball. Carlton got numbers to the ball and won contested possessions 155 to 135, with their twin tower forwards, Harry McKay and Charlie Curnow, sharing 24 marks (catches) and booting three goals each. The inexperienced Docker forwards were out-hustled by Jacob Weitering, Nic Newman and Mitch McGovern, who either intercepted or spoilt Jye Amiss and Josh Treacy's attempts to mark . The Blues dominated the midfield battle and set up sixty forward entries, with former Docker Adam Cerra completing eleven, whilst the home team struggled to get clean entries due to the pressure applied by the Blues' midfielders.

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Dockers Stop Navy Blues

Tom De Koning flies

The Fremantle Dockers played the complete team game to be convincing winners over the Carlton Blues at Optus Stadium. Both teams started cautiously by playing along the boundary lines when defending and attacking. The Dockers’ ruckman Sean Darcy had a slight edge over Carlton’s Marc Pittonet at bounce downs but Carlton’s midfielders Patrick Cripps, Sam Walsh and Adam Cerra combined well to give Carlton first use of the ball. The Carlton tactic was to kick long and high to their twin towers in attack, Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay. The Dockers lined up with three tall men in the last line of defense with Alex Pearce, Brennan Cox and Griffin Logue intent on punching the ball to prevent marks (catches).  

The first quarter was an even tussle, with Matthew Owies snapping Carlton’s first goal when the ball hit the ground after a ruck contest in the forward pocket. The second goal brought Curnow into the game when he marked a centering kick from Jack Martin and kicked truly. Pittonet injured his knee in a ruck contest and retired from the game, which then gave Darcy the chance to dominate in the ruck.

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Blues Blow Away Bombers After Slow Start

Hooker Battles Cox (2019)

It was a warm sunny day at the MCG, with the late 3.20 PMM start meaning that most of the game would be played in the shadows of the stands. Coming into this match Essendon were 14th and Carlton were 15th on the AFL ladder.  A solid crowd of 57,447 witnessed the match. Anthony McDonald Tipungwuti kicked the opening goal of the match as Essendon looked slick early.

Mitch McGovern and Sam Walsh kicked the next two goals to show the Blues fans they were up for the fight and much of the quarter it was an even competition.  But Essendon got their running game happening and Cale Hooker evened things up on the scoreboard.  With Essendon on the rampage, it took a big mark by Eddie Betts in the goal square to keep the Blues in it. He landed heavily with the ball and limped back to kick the goal.

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Port Steals Victory from Brave Blues

Robbie Gray (File: 2017)

Port Adelaide’s Robbie Gray sensationally kicked the game winning goal after the final siren to snatch victory from a gallant Carlton in Brisbane on Sunday afternoon. With a three-point deficit and time ticking down, Gray marked on a tight angle 40 meters out from goal with the final siren blaring before taking his kick. Having missed a much simpler attempt just minutes before (as did two of his teammates in Charlie Dixon and Kane Farrell), Gray showed no sign of nerves as he split the center with a magnificent drop punt to seal the 64-61 win and strengthen the Power’s grip on top spot of the AFL ladder. 

The fact that Carlton led into the final minute of the game seemed most unlikely in the early going as Port notched the first three goals of the game with some early midfield dominance. Carlton hit back through some Eddie Betts magic who helped Michael Gibbons register the Blues first goal. That was followed by another from second year star Sam Walsh, en route to one of his most notable performances for some time. Jacob Weitering was holding down the fort in Carlton’s defense while Port appeared less organized in their usually well-structured back six, allowing the Blues to score through multiple turnovers which led to a one-point Carlton lead at quarter time.

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Blues Shock Dockers In Thriller

Murphy Dominates

The reborn Carlton Blues shocked the Fremantle Dockers with a thrilling last gasp victory that left the Dockers vulnerable to dropping out of the top eight. The inspired Blues’ third win moved them from the bottom of the ladder and have now won two of their last three games. The Dockers have lost their last two games against teams sitting in the bottom three on the ladder and will rue their second quarter, where they allowed Carlton to dominate the game for long periods.

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