In Round 12 of the AFL premiership season, the Swans got some revenge in the Grand Final rematch, there was a Giant upset as GWS went down to the Blues, and the Demons and Pies played out a thriller on Queen’s Birthday Monday.
Lacklustre Bulldogs go missing in Sydney
The Sydney Swans were impressive 46-point winners on Thursday night at the SCG, despite being guilty of missing a few gettable set shots. The Bulldogs failed to get going all night with their flexible forward line failing to find any answers. Forwards Jake Stringer, Travis Cloke and Tory Dickson could only manage two goals between them. Defender Easton Wood found himself placed at full forward at one stage but the main problem was not winning the ball in the middle. Swans midfielders Josh Kennedy and Dan Hannebery enjoyed a bounce-back in form, recording a combined 65 disposals.
Crows’ early blitz rattles Saints
The Adelaide Crows returned to the winners’ list in style on Friday night, easily accounting for St Kilda by 57 points at Adelaide Oval. The game was over at halftime with the Crows leading by 41 points. Adelaide were helped by key ball-movers Rory Laird, Brodie Smith and Richard Douglas, with forwards Taylor Walker, Tom Lynch and Josh Jenkins kicking three goals each. Despite the heavy loss there were a few positives for the Saints, with Koby Stevens tagging influential Crows midfielder Rory Sloane to 14 possessions. Sebastian Ross battled hard in midfield with 39 possessions and forward Josh Bruce marked his return with four goals.
Suns hold on to beat indifferent Hawks
Gold Coast coach Rodney Eade would have been pleased but worried at the same time about his young Suns side after beating Hawthorn at the MCG on Saturday afternoon by 16 points. Despite trailing by 43 points in the third quarter, the Hawks threatened a comeback – only trailing by nine points late in the final term. Gary Ablett was influential for the Suns once more, gathering 37 disposals, with 10 tackles, eight clearances and two goals. Jack Gunston reminded everyone how crucial he is to the Hawks’ structure, gathering 19 disposals roaming around the ground, with 12 marks and five goals.
Classy Zorko lifts Lions to second win of the season
Dayne Zorko reminded everyone how good he is as the Lions finally achieved their second win of the season on Saturday evening against Fremantle at the Gabba. Zorko was everywhere for the Lions, gaining 30 disposals but more crucially leading the charge from midfield with captain Dayne Beams, who had 36 possessions. Lewis Taylor also sparkled, kicking four goals and having four goal assists, a game-high for both. Fremantle struggled in midfield, due to the continued absence of ruckman Aaron Sandilands. The Dockers now face an uphill battle to play finals, dropping out of the eight with the upset loss.
Bombers put the Power out at Etihad
Essendon put on a show on Saturday night at Etihad Stadium, blasting away Port Adelaide to run out comfortable 70-point winners. The damage was done in the first quarter; the Bombers’ constant run through the middle of the ground kept tearing through Port Adelaide, with the Power conceding six goals in the first 17 minutes. The Cale Hooker forward experiment finally paid dividends, with the 10-season veteran kicking five goals. Rising stars Joe Daniher and Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti also chipped in with four goals each, with Tipungwuti electric whenever he received the ball. Despite the Power’s woes in midfield, youngster Sam Powell-Pepper provided some strong fend-offs for the highlight reel.
Blues bring Giants back to earth
Carlton have pulled off arguably the upset of the season, taking down ladder leaders Greater Western Sydney by one point in a thriller at Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon. GWS small forward Toby Greene had a day to forget, guilty of being selfish and not handballing over the top with just under five minutes to go with the score tied at 69-all, along with going 0.5 for the day. Ultimately the Blues went ahead through behinds to Levi Casboult and Zac Fisher to hold on. Rebounding defender Sam Docherty had another strong game for the Blues across halfback, gathering 35 disposals.
Jack Watts gets his moment in Queens Birthday thriller
After making his debut eight years ago on Queen’s Birthday, Melbourne forward Jack Watts finally had his moment of success, kicking the sealer for Melbourne to eventually win by four points against Collingwood in front of over 70,000 people on Monday afternoon at the MCG. Collingwood led by 28 points in the second quarter before the Demons put on six goals in the third quarter to swing the match on its head. Christian Petrecca was dangerous whenever the ball went forward for the Demons. The win puts Melbourne in the top eight ahead of Collingwood.