One heavyweight’s winless streak ended, another continued and a resurgent cellar-dweller prevailed in a thriller, while the Crows and Tigers remained unbeaten the top of the table after five rounds.
Port give Carlton the Blues
Port Adelaide thrashed Carlton by 90 points at Adelaide Oval to open Round 5. The Power dominated from the outset and never let their foot down. Robbie Gray starred with five goals including an incredible stretch in the third quarter where the ball was like a magnet to him. If it wasn’t for his inaccurate kicking, he could have had one of the greatest individual quarters ever. Brad Ebert and Chad Wingard were also prominent but Travis Boak injured his hamstring and finished the match on the pine.
Premiers stage fight-back against Lions
Western Bulldogs produced a stirring comeback in what was captain and club legend Robert Murphy’s 300th game. The Bulldogs were in huge trouble, down by 38 point late in Q2, but turned it on in the second half to escape with a 32 point win over Brisbane at Etihad Stadium. Eric Hipwood kicked three goals in the first term. That and the disparity in accuracy were the two main reasons the Premiers found themselves in a hole but they straightened up after half time, with 12 goals to two.
Crows stay unbeaten
Adelaide got their first 5-0 start in the club’s history after belting Gold Coast by 67 points at Metricon Stadium. And, for the second week in a row, they eclipsed 150 points on the scoreboard. The scary part of stopping Adelaide’s attacking potency is they have so many avenues to goal, with eight players kicking multiple goals. Curtley Hampton set the tempo early with the opening two goals while Matt Crouch and Rory Sloane were excellent in midfield. For the Suns, Callum Ah Chee was a shining light with five goals while Gary Ablett got 33 disposals.
— Adelaide Crows (@Adelaide_FC) April 25, 2017
Giants claim another derby win
GWS beat older brother Sydney by 42 points at the SCG. The Swans, who remain winless, started off on fire kicking the first four goals yet still found themselves down at quarter time. From there, the Giants controlled the game with ruckman Shane Mumford getting an astonishing 62 hitouts to get man of the match honours, while pocket-forward Toby Greene kicked four majors. There was an unsavoury moment when Heath Shaw was heard sledging Tom Papley. Buddy Franklin did kick a momentous 800th goal of his career but it was a mere consolation for the hapless Swans.
Dockers’ resurgence continues
Fremantle ran over the top of North Melbourne in the final quarter to win by 5 points at Domain Stadium. The Kangaroos are fast building a reputation of finding a way to lose when a win looked in their grasp. They did it last week against Western Bulldogs and they did it again this week. North led by as much as 29 points and by 15 at the last change. When Nathan Hrovat kicked a goal to put North 8 in front late in Q4 and then Marley Williams laid a goal-saving tackle on Ed Langdon, the match appeared over. But the Dockers pulled an escape act with two goal in the last two minutes, to Michael Johnson and Shane Kersten.
Cats outlast plucky Saints
St Kilda went toe-to-toe with Geelong for more than three quarters but ultimately were run over to lose by 38 points at Etihad Stadium. Patrick Dangerfield and Tom Hawkins each kicked two goals in the final quarter as the Cats kicked nine of the last 10 goals. Joel Selwood was simply awesome with 43 touches. Geelong had 13 individual goal-kickers including Harry Taylor who is still struggling to adapt to his new role in the forward-line. Darren Minchington kicked a game-high three goals for the Saints while Jack Steven was also terrific.
Hawks off the donut
Hawthorn finally got their first win of the season, belting West Coast by 50 points. The Eagles lost a fortnight ago at the MCG and continue their miserable hoodoo having now lost 22 of the last 27 at the ground. Inspirational captain Jarryd Roughead kicked his 500th goal while Cyril Rioli was back to his freakish best even though he only had 15 disposals. He did take one of the marks of the round though. The writing was on the wall early when Jack Gunston and Luke Breust kicked the opening two goals.
Tigers salute huge turnout with five straight
In front of a huge MCG crowd of 85,000, Richmond defeated Melbourne in a cracking contest to remain unbeaten after five rounds – last achieved in 1995. Jack Riewoldt was sharp right from the start, kicking the opening two goals of the night and finished with a six goal haul, an amazing effort in the driving rain. The Demons led at the end of each quarter but led the lead slip for the third week in a row as the Tigers kicked five goals to none in the last. Daniel Rioli and Dustin Martin kicking the crucial goals among Riewoldt’s six.
Bombers prevailed on soggy ANZAC Day
Again in very wet conditions, Essendon won the traditional ANZAC Day contest by 18 points over Collingwood. The Bombers had lost eight of the last 10 fixtures on this day, but started well and controlled the match for most of the game. The only time they trailed is when Collingwood kicked three in a row in Q3 but they responded almost immediately when Joe Daniher kicked a monster goals from inside the centre square. Daniher had a coming-of-age performance with three goals, eight marks and going up the field to be highly influential. Zach Merrett was excellent.
[YouTube – AFL]