Saints Drew Hawks - After this game we should have known it was going to be an odd round. A draw was a fitting result for a fierce contest. However it was the Hawks that should be ruing their missing chance. They were the better team all night but missed goals and the opportunity to capitalise on a dominant display. The Saints got the draw through a combination of luck and Hawks incompetence.
Pies d Tigers by 82. Not really much to say about this. Tigers simply outclassed and no match for a tight knit and well oiled machine.
Cats d Lions by 63. Just like the Pies game it was nasty. The most important thing out of this game was a brilliant turn by one G Ablett. However was he just being a flat track bully, or is it really a form turn around?
Blues d Weagles by 26. At half time the Dark Navy Blues were down 26 points, yet a brilliant return led by their best player Juddy, sparked a 52 point turnaround. It was a complete reversal in the game and one that really didn't look like happening. Not sure whether to credit Ratten, Judd or perhaps some of the regular passengers in that team, but they got the job done in an important win.
Bombers d Roos by 3. Hard one to assess this game mainly because North made two emergency changes and then Wells went out with 6 minutes to go, meaning Hale, the opposite type of footballer to Wells, and one who had played in the VFL earlier in the day. Wow what a crappy sentence, oh well we move on. Really I think that was the main reason that the Roos lost, team balance, and lacking the interchange due to Hales fatigue (he got 4 touches for the day). And no, I'm not giving the Bombers much credit.
Dogs d Freo by 82. This was clinical Dogs football at its best. Hard running and devastating attack. Freo were found wanting, and there have to be massive queries on them now.
Dees d Syd by 73. Man that sucks! I changed this tip late on Friday because I thought the Swans would do what they did to all teams below them (except Richmond). I was wrong (not for the first or last time). The Dees were simply stunning without their attack on man, ball and goals. Where the heck have they been all this time? The Swans didn't know what hit them. And as one Blues supporter friend of mine said today "The Blues softened them up for the Dees. The Swans were just exhausted are killing us last week." By the way, thats not a direct quote, but you get the gist.
Port d Adel by 19. Adelaide has no excuses. I don't buy that rubbish about Josh Carr last game, nor do I buy that Port is better than the Crows. However, credit is deserved because they won and they beat a side that was in form.
So the winners, the grinners and the absolute deadbeats:
1. Carlton - was it convincing? Not in the slightest. Was it important? You better believe it! Because results fell their way the Blues are now equal 7th and a game clear of 9th. And really they had their backs against the wall and came through with flying colours. The downside was that they had their backs against the wall against a pretty bad side. Plenty more work to do. I'm not convinced they'll make the 8, but they did their cause no harm
2. Dogs - Huge win for the Dogs because they leapfrog the Dockers and are into the 4, and playing footy like that they won't lose the spot either. If they can harness that type of performance, the footy world will really take notice. Can't wait to see how it works in September though.
3. Dees - I thought it would be a 50-50 game, what happened was ridiculous. Sublime footy has lifted the Dees, at least momentarily, above the pack and away from the bottom 4.
4. Port - in the scheme of things its a nothing win. In the scheme of the club its massive. The arrest the slide and they did it against the Crows AND they may well have knocked the Crows out of the finals race.
5. Pies - predictable slaughter, but one that enabled them to hold onto 1st spot. Not much to say but they continue their excellent form.
6. Geelong - see Pies, substitute 1st for 2nd.
One small word. I don't think there was a coincidence that Pies, Cats and Dogs all had whopping wins. They are all legit challengers and its getting to the business end of the season.
7. Bombers- its kind of irrelevant, but with all the recent pressure on the club, just a small release may have been realised. In the grand scheme of things I still expect Knights' head to be unfairly on the block at the end of the year. He is a 3rd year coach with a crap team. Arguably Knights hasn't helped due to poor development and poor coaching but in all honesty the group he has to work with aren't that flash.
8. Hawks - it was a hard one to put them above the Saints, and whilst the 2 points makes it hard to get the elusive 4th spot, it does, due to other results mean they are still clear in 6th. But really they get the spot because they just played better.
9. Saints - they got the draw and frankly they should be happy they got that much. It means they slip to 3rd (or is it stay) and they are a game off top and enormous %. However, who cares? They will get top 3 and its just a matter of who they play.
10. Roos - They only lost by 3, in a game that they would have won had their start been more normal. But the reason they got to 10 was because Sydney lost which means they are only a game and % out which seems to be their story this year. It will be thrilling to see if they can get there.
11. Eagles -They had the game, and it would have meant a lot to home town supporters but they let it slip away. Still no answers.
12. Lions - Another dreadful display that is becoming a habit, however at least it was against the Cats in Geelong. Vossy has big problems though and he'll need more than a season review to fix this side.
13. Tigers - Is that it? Have they shown their yelp that excited us so much? Or can they fire another shot or two for the rest of the season? Personally I hope so, because the AFL is abetter place with the Tigers lifting from the mire.
14. Freo - So, so disappointing. Flogged early by a top 4 claimant. They were challenged for their spot, and they lost. Soul searching required if they can possible clambour back. I doubt they can. They need to make the most of the year and guarantee a home final.
15. Sydney - Should be gutted by a gutless display. They need to reverse this and quickly. One week they flog fellow top 8 aspirants the Blues and the next they get the same against them from Melbourne. They have a massive fight on their hands but at least have the win and % from North.
16. Adelaide - They're gone. Sure mathematically they can still make it, but so can Port and Essendon and we all know that aint going to happen. To make it they have to do something astounding because they have Pies, Saints and Dogs in 3 of their last games.
The intriguing battle the continues...