In another weekend that shook up the AFL ladder, upsets and late match-winning goals were all the rage in Round 8 to leave most punters’ tip sheets in tatters.
Eagles triumph in heavyweight duel
West Coast edged Western Bulldogs by eight points at Domain Stadium. In a low scoring second half, the Eagles only kicked one goal and Josh Kennedy wasted numerous opportunities to kill the contest. The door was left ajar but the Bulldogs, who kicked the only two goals of the final term through Easton Wood and Lukas Webb, fell just short. There was, however, a promising return from a long-term injury for Jack Redpath who booted three goals. Sam Mitchell and Andrew Gaff were the two standouts for the Eagles.
Hawks subdue spoon-bound Lions
Hawthorn cruised to a 38 point win over Brisbane at University of Tasmania Stadium. Tom Mitchell had 36 touches while Ricky Henderson and Jarryd Roughead each kicked multiple goals in what was Hawthorn’s third win of the season. The big concern for the winners was a knee injury to Cyril Rioli after crashing into Josh Walker, while defender Ben Stratton also failed to finish the game. Brisbane’s Tom Rockliff also suffered pain after dislocating his shoulder.
Saints’ roll continues
St Kilda beat Carlton by 19 points at Etihad Stadium to move into sixth on the ladder. Jack Billings had a breakout game, the best of his career with four goals in the first half and finished with five. He also had 30 possessions and took 12 marks in a phenomenal individual effort. After an even first three quarters, the Saints finally wrestled control and Jack Steele kicked the sealer late in Q4. Sebastian Ross and Jack Newnes both registered over 30 disposals and continue to showcase the young talent in this Saints team.
Stevie J’s late winner sinks Magpies
After trailing for most of the game, Steve Johnson kicked a goal with 30 seconds on the clock to snatch a three point win for GWS over Collingwood at Spotless Stadium. The Giants were two men down for the majority of the game after Aiden Corr and Sam Reid suffered early concussions while Stephen Coniglio limped off late with an ankle problem. The Pies led by as much as 26 points at quarter time but the Giants kicked six goals in Q2 to reduce the half time margin to just one point. Jeremy Cameron kicked six goals and Josh Kelly had 36 touches.
Cats slump to three straight losses
Essendon beat Geelong by 17 points at Etihad Stadium to mark James Kelly’s milestone 300th game in style. It was fitting for Kelly because his career has been played at both of these teams and he finished with 23 disposals. Joe Daniher was back to his ANZAC Day form as he kicked five goals. The Bombers set up the win with six goals to one in Q1 before a last quarter fightback by Geelong. It means the Cats have now lost three in a row after an unbeaten start to the season.
Demons whip Crows in Adelaide Oval boilover
In a massive boilover, Melbourne stunned ladder-leading Adelaide by 41 points at Adelaide Oval. The Crows led by 28 points in the middle of the second quarter but the Demons dominated thereafter, kicking 12 goals to three in the second half. It’s the Crows’ second shock loss in a row after being belted by North last week. Co-captain Jack Viney was the player of the match with 30 disposals and 12 tackles and was ably supported by Clayton Oliver and Nathan Jones.
Mundy wins it for Dockers after the bell
Fremantle beat Richmond by two points in a dramatic match at the MCG. David Mundy kicked the match winning goal after the full time siren but before that, Brandon Ellis kicked a go-ahead goal with 21 seconds remaining that most thought would seal a famous Tigers win. That Ellis goal was the fifth in a run of consecutive goals from the Tigers after they trailed by 30 at the last break. Michael Walters was outstanding, particularly in the third term, and finished with a career-high 38 disposals.
Power dismantle Suns in historic China clash
In the AFL’s first expedition into China, Port Adelaide thrashed Gold Coast by 72 points. Just over 10,000 fans turned up to Shanghai’s Jiangwan Sports Stadium, mostly expats or travelling fans. The Suns were dreadfully inaccurate in front of goal, registering 4.14. Brad Ebert and Travis Boak were two of the best players on the field but the play of game came in the second quarter from Justin Westhoff when he soccered a spectacular goal from the boundary.
Swans revival gathers momentum
Sydney smashed North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium by 42 points. Skipper Josh Kennedy is sure to get the three Brownlow votes in this game as he had a game-high 37 disposals, 15 of which were in the opening quarter, and kicked a goal. In a spiteful match, melees broke out at the end of each quarter and North got pretty upset when Lance Franklin bumped Sam Durdin high in Q3. It’s the second win in a row for the Swans but they still have plenty of work to do to contend for the top eight.