Round Review for Round 14, 2010

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.

After the disjointed and painfully long split round 13, thankfully we have a full round of 8 games to dissect this week. Let’s get to it!

Carlton 120 defeated Brisbane 65 – With neither side having won for a couple of weeks, a victory was a must for both clubs on an unusual Thursday night fixture at Etihad Stadium. Brisbane, minus injured power forwards Jonathon Brown and Brendan Fevola, showed some unexpected resistance early but the match was all-Carlton after the first quarter, even though the contest was not a good one to watch. Eddie Betts led the way for the Blues with 5 goals to help his club secure an important 55-point win.

Hawthorn 79 defeated Western Bulldogs 76 – The standout match from round 14 was the Hawks and Dogs clash on Friday night. The Bulldogs, needing a big scalp to validate their premiership aspirations, had control of the match for more than 3 quarters, before a last quarter Hawthorn surge took them into the lead, which is where they stayed – holding on for a 3-point win. Luke Hodge was magnificent again with 28 disposals whilst Lance Franklin chipped in with 3 crucial goals. The win is the seventh straight for the Hawks, setting up a massive showdown with the Cats next round.

Fremantle 115 defeated Port Adelaide 58 – There were no surprises at Subiaco on Saturday afternoon, as the Dockers sliced up the Power (the worst team in football at the minute) to record an emphatic 57-point win. Of most concern for Fremantle was the season-ending broken leg suffered by first year player Michael Barlow – who sadly looks set to miss a lot of football in an incident that brings back memories of Nathan Brown’s horrific leg injury in 2005. We can only hope the injury is not as bad as it looked and Barlow can be back playing footy early in 2011.

Collingwood 135 defeated West Coast 52 – Saturday night served up a couple of one-sided contests, with the first one featuring Collingwood destroying the Eagles at Etihad Stadium. The Eagles were never in this game and were outmatched and outclassed in every department. The Pies won by 83 points to continue their march to September. Despite John Worsfold’s declaration that a premiership is within the Eagles sights, a look at the premiership ladder shows us that a wooden spoon is a much more realistic (and easier) option at this point.

Adelaide 124 defeated Essendon 40 – The other match on Saturday night saw the Crows dismantle a hugely disappointing Essendon side to the tune of 84 points. After a deplorable start to 2010, the Crows have strung together 3 wins from their last 4 games and are showing they may not be a spent force just yet. Statistically, Essendon are now closer to 16th position than they are to 8th position on the ladder – a worrying sign for the club and more specifically coach Matthew Knights, who will find himself in a lot of trouble if the Dons can’t turn it around in a hurry.

Geelong 98 defeated North Melbourne 63 – At Skilled Stadium on Sunday, the Cats went about their business in a typically methodical and systematic way, downing the improving Kangaroos by 35 points. Geelong won each of the first 3 quarters, building a 45-point lead and never really looked threatened at any stage. After a short layoff, Paul Chapman was brilliant with 37 disposals whilst James Podsiadly kicked 5 goals to bounce back from a quiet performance last week.

Richmond 89 defeated Sydney 85 – Sydney’s recent resurgence hit a roadblock last week against Collingwood, but their encounter with the Tigers provided another opportunity to grab hold of a potential finals spot. In this contest, the Swans appeared comfortable and looked sure winners when they were up by 33 points late in the third term. But a remarkable comeback from the Tigers saw them climb within 14 points at the last change, and it continued in the last term as Richmond scored a fourth win in five rounds, defeating the Swans by 4 points in a nail-biting finish.

St Kilda 100 defeated Melbourne 65 – Capping off a round featuring a number of one-sided wins, could the Demons cause a massive boil-over and keep their slim finals chances alive? They started promisingly enough, being within just a point of the Saints at the first change before a second quarter burst from the powerful Saints saw them seize control of the match. A four-quarter last term to the Saints sealed the outcome – a 35-point win to St Kilda. Leigh Montagna continues to rack up disposals at a prolific rate this season, with another 35 disposals to go with 2 goals to be amongst the best on ground.

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