The Following is a guest post by Luke who offered his views on each game from the round. If you are interested in having your thoughts published on the AFLSpace site, contact me. Many thanks to Luke for providing this great review.
If you’ve managed to peel yourselves away from the nil-all draws, kick-to-kick and Academy Award level acting in the World Cup, we were treated to some “real” football in AFL round 12, even though the first three quarters of the round was pretty one-sided.
North Melbourne 97 defeated Carlton 68
North Melbourne promoted this match heavily to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Friday night footy and specifically their involvement in the event, with former Kangaroos great Wayne Carey making the night his own back in the 90’s. Whilst to me this seemed like just another excuse to try and draw a crowd, there was nothing manufactured about the way the Kangaroos played on the night, as they dominated the Blues to win without much trouble by 29 points.
I had the unfortunate pleasure of seeing this contest first hand – and I must say Carlton were lucky to only go down by 5 goals, given they appeared flat and bordering on uncompetitive all night. For North, their best players included Lindsay Thomas and most certainly umpire Scott McLaren. For the Blues, it was a wasted opportunity to apply real pressure on the teams in the top 4.
Hawthorn 124 defeated Adelaide 77
The second match of the long weekend round 12 saw the Hawks hosting the Crows at Aurora Stadium in Tasmania. Hawthorn started strongly with 7 goals in the opening term, however to Adelaide’s credit they fought back to trail by just 15 points at the half. The second half belonged to Hawthorn – with Franklin, Roughead, Rioli and Hodge with 3 goals apiece – to square their win-loss ledger after 12 rounds.
Essendon 83 lost to Geelong 154
Both of these clubs were fielding less than full-strength sides this week, with injuries starting to take their toll approaching the mid-season split round. Despite missing a chunk of their premiership winning team, the Cats led by 3 goals against a plucky Essendon outfit. The damage was inflicted after half time, as Geelong kicked 12 goals to Essendon’s four to win in emphatic style by 71 points. For the Cats, 20 goals were shared were between Podsiadly, Varcoe, Johnson, Byrnes and Bartel in a superb team performance.
Port Adelaide 55 lost to Sydney 93
The perennially inconsistent Power hosted the Swans at AAMI Stadium on Saturday night. Port Adelaide started well enough to lead at quarter time before Sydney dialed up the pressure in quarter two, booting 7 goals to take a 26-point lead into the half.
There would be no hint of a comeback by the Power, as the Swans controlled the contest in the second half to win by 38 points, with Nick Malceski and Jude Bolton amongst their best players.
Richmond 126 defeated West Coast 77
Remarkably, Richmond was considered favourite in this contest against the Eagles, despite occupying last spot on the ladder by a considerable margin with only one win in 2010 thus far. It was the Jack Riewoldt show in the first quarter with 5 goals to kick the Tigers out to a big lead and they would not look back (Riewoldt ending with a bag of 10 goals). The Eagles were simply woeful, with the loss surely putting John Worsfold in the hot seat with games against the Bulldogs, Pies and Bombers coming up in the next month. With the big win, the Tigers resurgence continues with their young list showing some very encouraging signs.
Western Bulldogs121 defeated Brisbane 56
With Jonathon Brown a late omission for the Lions, this match never really threatened to be a contest. The Dogs led by 29 points after a quarter, and whilst Brisbane won the second term, the second half was all Bulldogs as they kicked away to a 65-point win, with Barry Hall booting 6 goals and Boyd, Griffen and Cooney all collecting disposals at will, doing no harm to their top 4 ambitions.
Fremantle 67 lost to St Kilda 85
The Saints have continued to win even in the absence of Nick Riewoldt, although their schedule has been kind lately. The Dockers suffered a setback last round against the Crows, but still sit in the top 4 after enjoying a far better than expected first half of 2010. The Saints gained controlled of this contest early, leading by 25 points at the main break. The only quarter won by the Dockers would be the last, but by then it was too late as the Saints, with 4 goals from 200-gamer Stephen Milne, held on by 3 goals to consolidate their top 4 spot.
Melbourne 76 drew with Collingwood 76
For the second time in 2010, the Demons and Pies played out a classic at the MCG. Back in round 2, Collingwood outlasted Melbourne by just a point in an absolute thriller – and the first three quarters of this clash indicated another great finish was on the cards. The last quarter was a beauty, with the teams trading goals before a frantic final few minutes finally ended with the scores dramatically tied at 76 points apiece.
Whilst there were technically no winners or losers, it was a lost opportunity for the Pies to move into a top 2 spot – and for the Dees a win would have left them just outside the top 8. We can only hope these teams somehow meet in finals and serve up another memorable contest.