Kieran Jack responded to a tumultuous week like a champion in a round that shook up the AFL’s top-eight picture.
Hawks douse Power’s finals hopes
Three-time reigning premiers Hawthorn flexed their muscles on Thursday, beating Port Adelaide by 22 points at Adelaide Oval to leave them a win clear at the top of the ladder by the end of round 16. Jack Gunston and the returning Cyril Rioli kicked three goals each while captain Luke Hodge had 29 disposals. Port Adelaide lost Brad Ebert, who was taken to hospital after a heavy collision. Any faint hopes the Power had of making the finals is now over.
Besieged Jack inspires Swans to stirring win
Sydney beat Geelong at Kardinia Park in a surprisingly easy win over a team that has an imperious record at this venue. Patrick Dangerfield was electric early with 18 disposals in the opening term but was quelled thereafter. Kieren Jack had an emotional week after a highly-publicised spat with his parents played out ahead of his 200th game, but the co-captain regrouped to kick the opening goal of the game, finishing with three and tallying 24 touches.
Pies upset Giants
Collingwood had their best win of the season, shocking GWS by 32 points. The loss was the Giants’ first for the season at Spotless Stadium. The result was even more surprising considering Magpies tall forwards Jeremy Cameron and Jonathan Patton combined for eight goals. The Pies did the damage with a nine-goals-to-two second quarter blitz on the back of an inspired Travis Cloke, who finished with four goals. Former Giants, Adam Treloar and Taylor Adams, were two of the Pies’ best.
Ablett injured as Suns notch two on the trot
Gold Coast recorded their second win in a row after a 10-match losing streak, beating rivals Brisbane by 26 points with Tom Lynch and Peter Wright kicking five goals each. But the win was soured by another shoulder injury to Gary Ablett. The captain, who had 18 disposals and a goal, suffered a left shoulder injury that could rule him out for the rest of the season. It is the same shoulder that has decimated his last two campaigns.
Demons grab Top End win
Melbourne beat Fremantle by 32 points in Darwin. Former captain Jack Grimes played his first match of the season and returned with 32 touches while Nathan Jones had 35. Jack Watts was terrific early, kicking three goals in the opening term while Jesse Hogan finished with four. The win was set up in the first half, with the Dees leading by 43 at the main break.
Bulldogs edge out Tigers
Western Bulldogs escaped with a 10-point win over Richmond. This was supposed to an easy win to tick off for the Doggies but the Tigers came to play. Dustin Martin’s Brownlow odds must be shortening by the minute, producing another starring performance with 38 possessions. The lead changed five times in a pulsating final term but Jake Stringer, who was anonymous in the first half, sparked the Dogs with four second-half goals. The win was soured somewhat after Tom Liberatore had to be taken to hospital with bruised ribs.
Crows charge up the ladder
Adelaide has moved into the top four for the first time this season after a 10-goal thrashing of Carlton at the MCG. The Crows kicked four of the first five goals, but Denis Armfield kicked an extraordinary three goals from beyond the 50-metre arc in the first quarter and then kicked another in the second quarter to excite the home fans. Rory Sloane was at his damaging best with 34 touches. The win was the Crows’ seventh in a row.
Eagles finally claim a big scalp
West Coast has beaten a top-eight side for the first time this season, a 32-point win over North Melbourne seeing the Eagles rise to fifth on the ladder. North’s season is unravelling fast. This is their fourth loss on the trot and, with a tough run home, it seems they will finish no higher than eighth. Josh Kennedy kicked four goals for the Eagles to go level with Lance Franklin in the Coleman Medal race.
Saints claim seesawing showdown
Essendon and St Kilda produced an unexpectedly entertaining game for two teams at the foot of the ladder. The Bombers trailed by 10 points at half time before taking the lead mid-third quarter but conceded too many goals through turnovers. Joe Daniher took a spectacular mark as the lead changed multiple times in the final quarter. Tim Membrey kicked five goals, including the late sealer, while Jack Steven had a round-high 41 touches in the Saints’ 11-point win.