Round Review – Round 8, 2011 – Second steals First, Hawks show their grit, and ten other quick-hit thoughts on Round 8

Round 8 was billed as one with great bookend games, kicking off with a top-of-the-table clash between Collingwood and Geelong on Friday night at the hallowed MCG, and finishing over in the West with the derby between Fremantle and a surprisingly resurgent West Coast Eagles. Sandwiched in between these blockbusters were the games where Melbourne was meant to stamp it’s authority as a legitimate finals contender and Richmond were meant to spark a changing of the guard against a depleted Western Bulldogs line-up. Let’s start with Friday night’s low-scoring slugfest.

Top-of-the-table clash was brilliant, but there are still many questions left unanswered

In frigid conditions at the MCG on Friday night, these two AFL powerhouses threw everything they had at one another and, although the Cats took the points and top spot on the ladder, we are really no closer to a conclusion on which side should be premiership favourites.

The Cats started tremendously, displaying all their defensive powers that has made them one of the greatest dynasties in the history of the AFL. If t wasn’t for their woeful goalkicking in the first quarter, they could have gone into the break with an insurmountable lead. In the opening quarter of the match, the Cats’ defense was impenetrable. Helped by Collingwood’s surprisingly dysfunctional forward set-ups, the Cats limited them to two scoring opportunities in the first quarter and only 44 inside 50s for the game, 20 below their league-leading average of 64 per game.

Regardless of the fact Collingwood got robbed (more on this later), the Cats were, by far, the more impressing team on the night. Their first and second quarters, if they had have converted opportunities, could have been some of the best quarters we’ve seen all year from any game. They controlled the tempo of the game, dominated the clearances against one of the best midfield groups in the competition and recorded 25 scoring shots against the second stingiest defense in the AFL.

For Collingwood, their lack of structure in this one cost them the game. They rebounded from their defensive 50 as well as they have all season, but their movement up the ground was stagnant for most of the night, with big forward targets Chris Dawes and Travis Cloke not working hard enough on the lead to create opportunities and open space for teammates. There won’t be a great overhaul at the Lexus Centre this week, but they can’t let a forward-line with that much potency suffer any more lapses in concentration in regards to formations and inaccurate kicking into the forward fifty.

Hawks show grit, Saints show zilch

For any coaches out there trying to inspire their teams to play good team football should show them tape of this game. After a dismal first quarter whee they conceded five goals and lost defender Stephen Gilham, the Hawks played some of the most defiant football this season. With Jarryd Roughead stepping into the rucking spot after David Hale’s injury, the Hawks held the Saints to a porous 31 inside 50s for the game, 15 of which were in the first quarter.

Holding a team to 16 I50s in three quarters is an unbelievable effort. Factor in the loss of two important players, limiting rotations and putting strain on the match-ups, and this is a great performance for Hawthorn and could be a watershed moment for the club as they try to rekindle their magical 2008 form.   The way the Hawks, especially Roughead, Lance Franklin and Matt Suckling ran relentlessly and moved the ball forward would have been an absolute delight for Hawthorn fans.

On the other hand, the Saints were woeful. After a brilliant start, team leaders like Nick Riewoldt, Brendon Goddard, Stephen Milne and Justin Koschitzke went that far off the boil, it was embarrassing. As a unit, the refused to run into space. They refused to talk, to work hard for possessions and, overall, their performance was putrid. They seemed to have turned the corner in the work ethic department against the Blues in round 7, but their general laziness and body language around the ground signified to all watching that these players have all but given up. They’ve taken their losses hard this season and it has broken them mentally. It will be a long road back for these wearisome Saints.

Five thing I liked from Round 8

Alan Toovey’s courage: Never in the top ten or even top 15 players on the field, Alan Toovey, week in and week out, is one of Collingwood’s most consistent performers. Friday night, the young tagger from Claremont tracked a ball inside Geelong’s 50, only to be cleaned up by a leading Tom Hawkins who had a headful of steam. Replays show Toovey had a quick look at what he was running into, but the young defender stayed disciplined and attacked the footy with reckless abandon. Although he suffered an horrific injury, it was a brilliant display of courage and is inspirational to teammates.

Jude Bolton. Again: Like a fine wine, the Swans midfielder seems to be getting better with age. After going relatively quiet for a fortnight after a great start to the season, the blonde Swan was at it again against Port Adelaide, getting 33 touches and constantly pressuring the Power’s midfielders into sloppy turnovers with 12 tackles. Leading the league in tackles with an average of over 10 per game, the 31-year-old Bolton is playing some of the best football of his 12 year career. Kudos, Jude.

Robin Nahas: On the outer at Tigerland at the end of last season, the diminutive small forward has been electrifying this season. Since Round 5, Nahas has averaged over 28 disposals a game, including 30 against the Dockers in round 7 to go along with 4 matchwinning goals. After being destined to return to the VFL after a short and unfulfilled AFL career, Nahas has taken his second opportunity in the team with both hands and doesn’t seem to be letting it go any time soon.

West Coast’s revival: After being hit extremely hard after the 2006 season, losing Chris Judd, Ben Cousins, Daniel Chick, and a raft of other important players, the Eagles finally seem like they’ve come in from the AFL wilderness. Winners of four games so far this season, they’ve already equalled their total win count from 2010. With Daniel Kerr and Dean Cox returning to the form that helped propel the Eagles to the top of the AFL world in 2006, along with great development from rookie Jack Darling and improvements from Scott Selwood and Nic Naitanui, the Eagles resurgence is great for Western Australia and the AFL in general. As a Sydney Swans supporter, it’s exciting to see our modern-day rivals improving, and I can’t wait until we take them on again.

Gary Ablett’s standout perfomance: The performance of the week goes to Gold Coast skipper, Gary Ablett. Lambasted in the media for going to the Suns for the money and not being fully committed to his football, the Little Master had his best game as a Sun against the Adelaide Crows, and one of the best performances of his highly-decorated career. He had an inspiring 41 touches and four goals against the Crows on Saturday, but it was his defensive pressure and amazing running ability that was most impressive. Silencing the doubters with a massive performance, the Suns, although they still lost by 57 points, are improving greatly under Ablett.

 

Five things I didn’t

Incorrect call for Scott Pendlebury: Round 8 had been dubbed the ‘Thanks Ump’ round by AFL heavyweights. Well, the Geelong Cats certainly had something to thank them for. The disallowing of  the advantage goal kicked Collingwood’s  Scott Pendlebury late in the last quarter has been the biggest blunder  this side of the Jack Trengove suspension so far in Season 2011. Even AFL umpires manager Jeff Gieschen thinks so.

Everything about St. Kilda: They don’t run hard enough. They don’t attack the ball. They don’t play for each other. It’s hard to fathom, but the team that has made back-to-back Grand Finals the last two years is now the worst team in football. I counted Port Adelaide in that, too. The ‘Aints should beat the Power in round 16, but list wise, no team is in a worse situation than the Saints. To record 16 inside 50s in three quarters of play is atrocious football, and massive changes need to be made for the Saints to even remain competitive this year.

Melbourne’s up-and-down form: Terrible performance in the West in Round 6. But they backed it up by dismantling the Crows at the ‘G the following week. But, in sticking with their theme of playing this season’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the Demons got embarrassed by North Melbourne Saturday afternoon. Against a team that is no chance of playing finals, the Demons have to step up to the plate and play like they want to make September action. Their defense was sloppy and their attack at the football was undisciplined. Who knows which Melbourne team will turn up next week against the lowly Saints.

Lynden Dunn’s suspension: The suspension was warranted, the two weeks he received was a joke. If teammate Jack Trengove gets three weeks for a near-perfect execution of a tackle, Dunn surely deserves at least the same amount of time on the sidelines. The inconsistent Match Review Panel strikes again!

The end for Daniel Bradshaw: It’s unfortunate for both the Sydney Swans and Daniel Bradshaw that the stellar forward has to go under the knife again for his troublesome knee. The former Lions premiership player started well for the Swans in 2010, but constant knee issues has limited his impact and will spell a sad end to what has been an excellent but underrated career.

That’s all for this week, and remember, cheer, cheer the red and the white!

Speak Your Mind

*

  • beastie boys music download
  • bbc tv player download
  • brave the prize trailer download
  • avery 8167 template download mac
  • beethoven piano sonatas barenboim download
  • civil engineering thumb rules download
  • a data firmware download
  • ares download gratis x windows 7
  • avenir lt std 65 download
  • canoscan lide 90 download
  • action essentials 2 explosions download
  • challenge me brain puzzles 2nds download
  • adobe reader 9.1.2 download
  • android 2.2 keyboard apk download
  • camaleones una hermosa historia download
  • bodo stiu de ce download zippy
  • blessings laura story download mp3
  • chams para point blank download
  • blanc et noir artbook download
  • bad aur badnam songs download
  • arirang karaoke vol 37 download
  • clannad pc download english
  • a escolha filme download legendado
  • canon powershot sd1000 manual download
  • alkaholiks hip hop drunkies download
  • canon powershot download pictures mac
  • alexia every day download zippy
  • brantley gilbert grits mp3 download
  • cd eliana 1994 download
  • 4shared download the script hall of fame
  • chanti songs free download south mp3
  • all american rejects blogspot download
  • aplikacja java na telefon download
  • boni songs free download mp3
  • cd comercial 2012 download
  • apostila mpu 2010 download gratis
  • 2pm i'm your man mp3 download
  • 20 20 design 9 free download
  • adriano celentano lasciatemi cantare download mp3
  • android app measure data download
  • bengal 2 game download
  • barry manilow copacabana song download
  • cd wanderley andrade download gratis
  • brand x music death toll download
  • afreen salim merchant download mp3
  • bakemonogatari ost 1 download
  • afro circus mp3 download
  • aprendendo maya 2009 download rivertown
  • ao cubo sequestro mp3 download
  • brundavanam songs download southmp3 net
  • babyz game download for mac
  • a cabana download filme dublado
  • allen carr hArbuch download
  • cd diogo nogueira para download
  • bulutsuzluk Azlemi rA?zgar mp3 download
  • canon mp180 driver download mac
  • appalaraju audio songs download
  • block n roll game download
  • alex mica mi hermosa download free mp3
  • automatically download subtitles in vlc player
  • ati hd 5730 driver download
  • castle view original soundtrack download
  • area no kishi download portugues
  • brush and ballpoint pen download
  • clive cussler spartan gold download
  • canon mx420 software download mac
  • call pik download phone dialer
  • chinese characters download windows vista
  • cisco router 1841 ios download
  • android lock pattern download
  • beogradski sindikat svedok saradnik download free
  • aynur dogan keAe kurdan download
  • choti choti gaiya download
  • city of god book free download
  • bholi manpreet shergill download mp3
  • amir farahani mp3 download
  • book of mormon recording download
  • angie guitar pro download
  • anthrax raw is war download
  • administraAA?o em enfermagem livro download
  • cassia eller socorro download
  • blair witch project download hd
  • basket case green day download
  • canon mx 3000 driver download
  • cassie me & you remix download
  • boney m music download free
  • ar rahman's instrumental for raga's dance download
  • cat de departe video download
  • cinema 4d r13 beta download
  • brooktown high senior year download iso
  • ato coragem download dublado
  • alienware darkstar theme download free
  • beste film download programme
  • canon pixma mp550 driver download mac
  • battlefield game download free pc
  • bedava oyun yA?kle download
  • ben 10 download play games
  • atualizaAA?o cm 01 02 download 2011
  • bioweapon eternal vision mp3 download
  • andrea mami download
  • chrysler grand voyager handbook download
  • chandaniya lori song download
  • black ops prestige hack.exe download
  • aplikacja do biegania android download
  • advance map download whack a hack
  • boot 132 cd iso download
  • cara mempercepat koneksi download speedy
  • 3 idiots free movie download in hd
  • ai inteligencia artificial download legendado
  • android handy youtube download
  • bajo el mismo techo download espaAol
  • baaz mp3 songs free download
  • blink takut download lagu
  • best seller download gratis
  • blacks keys el camino download
  • biblia del oso ebook download
  • alexander rybak superhero download
  • a cabana download tulley
  • 20 satabdam mp3 download
  • canon lide 35 download driver
  • 4shared download adele skyfall
  • chelsea bayern munich 2012 download
  • adobe acrobat x pro download rapid
  • battle tested ep download
  • briefvorlage din 5008 download kostenlos
  • cjb mod pack download
  • chris rea free download music
  • beetel tv tuner driver download
  • chayanne corazon salvaje download mp3
  • beleza negra download filme
  • bobby valentino heaven download
  • 2006 r6 manual download
  • baseball superstars android download
  • burlesque bound to you download
  • asphalt 4 jar download free
  • bad boys nl download
  • call me maybe 4shared.com free download
  • apple tv time to download
  • babaman come un uragano download free
  • banjo kazooie download game
  • abcd video download youtube
  • alexandra stan saxo beat download
  • bookman light font download
  • alex winston locomotive mp3 download
  • bagpipes from baghdad mp3 download
  • as we gather song download
  • brookstone photo viewer driver download
  • call of pripyat full download
  • blackberry 7730 driver download
  • bricked i9000 no download mode
  • aquela lua exaltasamba download
  • angelito vuela mp3 download
  • 21 jump street song free download
  • a cabana wiliam p. young download
  • capella professional 2008 download chip
  • arirang korean folk song download
  • aashiq hai ladka songs download
  • aplikacije za mobitele download free
  • aku sakit mp3 download
  • bulent ersoy geceler download
  • 2005 jetta manual download
  • cashed out lil wayne download
  • a tutto reality l'isola download episodi
  • brantley gilbert grits mp3 download
  • a cute beeping writer download
  • avem acelasi vis download fisierulmeu.ro
  • avg full free download 9.0
  • bukkit auto installer 1.3.1 download
  • battleship movie download brrip
  • cara dapat uang dengan download
  • call of juarez download espaAol
  • barbie avventura oceano 2 download
  • automatically download google docs
  • clubbed to death download mp3 free
  • bahishti zewar woodworth free download urdu
  • cd vineyard 2011 download
  • bambino episode 1 download
  • carbonx hd pro download
  • bluetooth software download for pc
  • cd oferta viva download