Two archrivals resume hostilities with a telling blow applied heading into September, Geelong welcomes back Patrick Dangerfield in a crunch encounter with Richmond, while the race for the Coleman Medal heats up.
Giants hold firm as Dogs early bark goes missing
Greater Western Sydney showed up keen rivals Western Bulldogs in a 48-point win at Etihad Stadium on Friday night. Jonathan Patton was a handful for the Bulldogs’ backline, kicking GWS’s opening three goals of the game. Despite their dominance going inside 50, the Bulldogs simply could not put the Giants to the sword when they had momentum in the second quarter. The Giants improved after halftime and didn’t let the premiers off. The Bulldogs now need to win their final two games to have a strong chance of playing finals.
Rampant Swans blow away shocking Dockers
Sydney Swans had a big day out against Fremantle Dockers, winning by 104 points at the SCG on Saturday afternoon. Sydney kicked eight goals to one in the first term, and continued to build on their fast start for the remainder of the afternoon. Dan Hannebery and Dane Rampe were sensational for the Swans, while Lance Franklin and Luke Parker joined in on bullying the Dockers.
Cats show spirit at the Cattery as Tigers miss golden opportunity
Geelong dug deep to record a valuable 14-point win over Richmond at Simonds Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Although they were still missing a host of stars, the Cats welcomed back bulldozing midfielder Patrick Dangerfield, who had stellar support from Cameron Guthrie and Steven Motlop to break past the Tigers. Richmond full-back Alex Rance was no match for Cats forward Harry Taylor, with Taylor impressive in out-foxing one of the best intercept markers in the game.
Lions tame fading Suns in Q-Clash
The Brisbane Lions endured an early onslaught to post a 58-point win against rivals Gold Coast at the Gabba on Saturday evening. The Suns came out breathing fire in the first quarter but couldn’t maintain the rage for interim coach Dean Solomon. The Lions had captain Dayne Beams, Tom Rockliff and Lewis Taylor stand up when needed. The win puts the Lions equal on points with Carlton and North Melbourne, ensuring a tight battle to avoid the wooden spoon.
Crows swoop to take out Bombers
Adelaide Crows put Essendon Bombers’ season on life support after winning by 43 points at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night. The Bombers were missing young stars Zach Merrett and Orazio Fantasia, but despite Joe Daniher and Cale Hooker getting on a roll, it wasn’t enough as the Crows enjoyed a steady supply of goals. The loss means Essendon now need to belt Gold Coast Suns and Fremantle Dockers in their last two games, and hope results go their way to play finals.
Kennedy comes to the rescue to keep Eagles alive
The West Coast Eagles have dodged a bullet against Carlton to win by 17 points at Domain Stadium on Saturday night. The Blues dug deep to come back from 35 points down in the third quarter to give the game a good shake. However, the Eagles held firm to regain control, with Josh Kennedy continuing his strong form with 6.3. The Eagles need to win at least one of their last two games to be in with a chance of playing finals, but most likely both – against heavyweights Greater Western Sydney and Adelaide – to be guaranteed.
Dees rally to march on to September
Melbourne has control of its finals destiny after winning by 24 points over St Kilda at the MCG on Sunday afternoon. The Demons were superbly led by on-ball unit Nathan Jones, Clayton Oliver and Jordan Lewis to outwork the Saints. The win leaves Melbourne on track to feature in the finals for the first time since 2006, with winnable games against Brisbane and Collingwood remaining. The Saints need a miracle to make the finals from here.
Hodge farewells Tassie in style
Hawthorn defeated North Melbourne by 27 points at University of Tasmania Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Retiring Hawks legend Luke Hodge was influential marshalling his side down back. For the Kangaroos, Ben Brown kept his name in Coleman Medal contention with three goals, while youngsters Ryan Clarke and Trent Dumont stepped up in captain Jack Ziebell’s absence in midfield.
Wingard stars as Power do enough
Port Adelaide have kept themselves in the running for a home elimination final after beating Collingwood in a 27-point result on Sunday evening at Adelaide Oval. The Power welcomed back midfield/forward star Chad Wingard, and he provided class and composure around the ground to help settle his side’s nerves. The grinding win was exactly what Port Adelaide needed as they face a desperate Western Bulldogs side next week.