Pies d Dockers by 36. Freo played 1 quarter of good footy. The Pies played 4. Its really as simple as that. Pies just ran and ground Freo down. There is an obvious class mismatch between these two teams. The Pies showed they really are legit. Yet again taken on their challengers with gusto and disdain. Freo can lick their wounds and go back to the drawing board.
Dogs d Swans by 38. Mumford and Seaby out confirmed that Sydney would struggle with the stoppages they love. Losing Bradshaw before the bounce hurt their goal scoring. The Dogs ran well, used Hall well and did exactly what they should have under the circumstances. I wish this game had a full contingent of Swannies, so its hard to really read this game. I still watch both teams with interest.
Eagles d Demons by 29. This was the first really unexpected result of the round. The Dees have been in good form and the Weagles only so-so. The travel factor should have grounded the Eagles, but it didn't. The game was all evens at the half but a magnificent shut down in the after the long break saw the Eagles halt the Dees without the Dees being able to respond. The Eagles may have found some form, the Dees perhaps mentally got ahead of themselves. Really this was probably a peer game that the Dees let slip and the Eagles deserved.
Cats d Lions by 81. Just in case you missed it, the Cats are really good. Nuff said on them. The Lions had holes in defence and a midfield that just wasn't upto it. Fev is not right either which robs them of an avenue to goal. Lots of thinking time for Vossy. He's gotta conjure something to get them Lions back on track.
Kangaroos d Crows by 9. The Roos dominated this game for 3 quarters. They kept the Crows to 4 goals for that period and held a comfy lead of 54. The game was over, and that is how they played. No one told the Crows. In what was a remarkable quarter, especially given the preceding 3, the Crows kicked 7 goals to nil to just fall short. What to make of it? The Roos probably just got complacent, and that is dangerous to do with the Crows. Two weeks in a row they stormed home for a 1-1 record. So what happens to them in the other 3 quarters in both games? No idea. Sorry, no answer. But they did it both times to poorer sides.
Hawks d Tigers by 3. This was a wonderful display of bottom 4 football. The Tigers came out hard with the first 3 and the Hawks clawed back to control the game and the scoreboard, but the Tigers never really gave breathing room as the margin hovered between 10 and 16 or so for most of the game. The Tigers sensed their first victory and threw everything they had at the tiring Hawks, but to no avail in a contest riddled with simple unforced errors, and just few breathtaking moments from Franklin, Rioli, Newman and Reiwoldt.
Blues d Power by 26. From all reports this was a fantastic game of footy. Close the whole day before the Blues surged in the last to overcome a 9 point deficit to kick 6 goals to 1 and grab the opportunity to win. The Blues have found their mojo and are starting to really perform and gain confidence in their forward line. The Power finally got overrun, a tactic they've been doing a lot of. Thankfully not every loss is season defining moment. The Power have done very well this year, and they'll bounce back. The Blues have confidence and Judd. They are starting to move up.
Bombers d Saints by 12. Well it was the upset most likely. The Bombers have the game to challenge the Saints, and the Saints have been floundering. Running was the key and that is what the Bombers did. The Saints were unraveled and have confirmed that sans-Rooey they serious structural problems. The Dons have gained some confidence from a magnificent win, what will it mean in the long run? Not much.
And the real winners are:
1. Bombers - They do one thing and one thing only, and that is run. And they can do it really well. They exploited the Saints being the Saints. It was good coaching and excellent play because they actually executed it. A great win for confidence. Tigers next week should be another win. They'll need to win that and then keep going to ease my doubts.
2. Pies - They are in fine form and a win at Subi against a team that has been flying was sensational. Once again they have demonstrated they have it going for them all over the ground. I cannot wait for the match of the season next Friday night against the Cats.
3. Eagles - Fantastic win away from home against a team with a bit of form behind them, but is essentially a peer. Impressively they have won 2 in a row and are fighting off any challengers from below. Massive game against the Saints next week and at home. If they can win that, and its possible, then they are doing everything right
4. Blues - Great win in Adelaide against a form opponent. Most impressive was that they overran Port when that is what Port has been doing all year. Their forward line is looking excellent, their midfield is coming together and their defence is solid. If they can hold their key players together they might just challenge for a finals spot.
5. Kangaroos - Awesome for 3 quarters. They dominated and put in a magnificent performance. Yes the last was disappointing, but perhaps they were just knackered. They have a ripper chance to raise themselves above the pack on the ladder and popular opinion if they can beat the Dogs.
6. Cats - They slaughtered an outfit that has been struggling and is beset by injury. Sadly enough it was almost as expected. That's how good the Cats are. The Pies are the real deal and the next test.
7. Dogs - Climbing up the ladder with unconvincing wins, even this one against Sydney due to the players that were missing, but still climbing nevertheless. I'm not convinced by the Dogs. They have the Roos next in a game that the Dogs should win. But can they?
8. Tigers - They aren't good the Tigers, but at least their fans can see hope. They played with spirit and have a few players that a team can be built around. Jackson, Delidio, Newman and Reiwoldt are very good. Reiwoldt in particular I'm impressed with because he is played as a full forward when he is a flanker. But his contested marking is a treat. He just needs some partners up forward.
9. Hawks - They probably should have bagged this game in the third. It certainly seemed that way although the stats seem to tell another story. However, they made a lot of errors that they shouldn't have. What can they salvage? No injuries? Burgoyne played and got through, they fielded their best team for the year? Hard to say. They beat a winless side by 3. Not really much to hang there hats on.
10. Power - They lost, yes. But they put up a good show. Tredrea is out and that hurts, but there are still plenty of positives for a side I haven't traditionally rated. Melbourne next week should be a win. Time will tell whether they do what they should.
11. Swans - Hard to tell what this loss means to the Swans. 2 in a row after losing to the cats (no shame) last week). They would be desperate to make amends against Freo, but without a recognised ruckman that will be a tough ask against a team that is also rebounding. They have the Hawks after that, and that is very very winnable. Lets see where they are at after the next two.
12. Dockers - They were outclassed, and there is no shame in that. They would have wanted to have shown a little more fight, but they have already demonstrated that they are good enough for finals footy. Now they have to work out how to beat the top 4. Lets see how they respond against Sydney in Sydney.
13. Lions - They would be disappointed by the result, but reality is it was unlikely that they would win. Too many things going against them with injury and form. They have structural issues all over the ground, and reliance on too few. Merret, Clark, Fevola are key and were all missing in one guise or another (sure Fev was there but may as well not have been). Brown is not himself and Black can't keep doing it all. Adelaide next week is no gimmie.
14. Demons - Very disappointing. Simple as that. To lose at home against a poorly performed team was just bad. Yes they are young and developing but so are the Eagles. They let this one get away and should be disappointed. Its going to be a tough challenge against Port next week.
15. Crows - What the hell is on with this lot? They have been crap all year when they shouldn't have been and then all the sudden the produce some exhilarating footy. The next game against the Lions is very very winnable. But can they play 4 quarters instead of just 1?
16. Saints - They should be nigh on panic. Lyon doesn't seem to have a a plan B and he damn well needs to find one before this slide becomes terminal. Huge game against the Eagles in Subi. A big ground is gunna need more that the boring crap the Saints love to dish out.