Round Review – Round 7, 2012
It’s staggering that we’re already 7 rounds into the 2012 AFL Season. This round was a much more difficult week to tip a winner, with upsets seemingly everywhere, so let’s take a look at the events from the round just gone.
Round 7 started in conventional style, with Hawthorn making mince meat out of Melbourne. A nice start by the Demons (3 goals to 2 in the opening quarter) was quickly eroded, as Hawthorn kicked 6 goals to none in the second term to set up their 66-point win, continuing the misery for Mark Neeld and the bottom placed Demons.
Who would have thought the match of the round would have featured Gold Coast and the GWS Giants? Forget the final 27-point margin, this was a close contest until late in the match, when the Giants stormed home with 5 goals to nothing to record their first win in the AFL in terrific fashion. The Giants have assembled a quality list with a nice mix of young hard nuts and experienced stalwarts. As for the Suns, they continue to be very reliant on Gary Ablett, with a mini-injury crisis not helping their development.
On Saturday afternoon, the Crows caused one of the surprises of round 7 by demolishing the Cats at AAMI Stadium. This one was never close, as Adelaide jumped out to a 3-goal quarter time lead, before removing any doubt about the result with 8 goals in the second term to Geelong’s 1 goal. The 50-point smashing suddenly some doubt over Geelong’s premiership credentials.
Back in Victoria, the Tigers faced a huge challenge against the Swans, who were without Adam Goodes following an injury last round. Richmond dominated the first half, building a 32-point lead and restricting the Swans to just 2 goals. Predictably, Sydney threatened in the second half – but the young Tigers showed newfound resilience to hold on for a gritty victory. Tiger ruckman, Ivan Maric, continues to be a revelation for Richmond so far in 2012, coming over from Adelaide in the off-season.
There were two blowouts on Saturday night; one was expected and one was not. The Magpies belted the Lions, doubling their score to win by 58. In the other match that night, the previously top of the table Eagles were handed a footy lesson by the up-and-coming Bombers, with a 61-point hiding not exactly expected by all tipsters – but perhaps the West Coast injury list should have given us an indication of what was to come (LeCras, Kennedy, Naitanui, Embley, Selwood and Nicoski). Credit to the Bombers, however, they are flying and their fixture has not exactly been easy.
One of the big disappointments of round 7 was North Melbourne, beaten in most aspects of footy by the Bulldogs on Sunday. After desperately striving for respect in recent times, this was a wasted opportunity for the Roos – who were second to the ball all day and seemed unwilling to get their hands dirty all afternoon. The Dogs won it by 18 points to keep in touch with the top 8. Speaking of the top 8, Fremantle are quietly putting together a solid season – with 5 wins from 7 outings so far this season under Ross Lyon, including this comfortable win against the Power at Patersons Stadium.
St Kilda and Carlton featured in a rare Monday night fixture to finish up the round. As a Carlton supporter, in hindsight, perhaps I should have been watching ‘The Voice’ instead, because this was a terribly deflating performance by the Blues – and a wasted opportunity to jump up to the top of the ladder. The Saints were sensational and wanted it much more than Carlton, for whatever reason. St Kilda has performed much better than I anticipated this season, to the credit of the playing group and the coaches.
The 10 – Round 7 – AFL
Now onto my favourite and not-so favourite things for this week..
My Favourite Things for Round 7
1. GWS – I’m a sucker for the new clubs (I was on the Gold Coast bandwagon last season), but I love what they’re doing at GWS. It very early to tell for sure, but the GWS kids are showing great signs early in their career.
2. The Bombers – It’s about time I gave the Bombers a bit of credit. They’re performing well ahead of expectation and now sit second on the ladder after 7 rounds. Even Brent Stanton is on fire, but any danger an opposing team puts some time into him one game soon?
3. Lenny Hayes – One word: champion.
My “not-so” Favourite Things for Round 7
1. Melbourne – What can I say? They sit below Port Adelaide, GWS and Gold Coast on the ladder and are looking at a fixture that features Sydney (in Sydney), Carlton, Essendon and Collingwood in their next 4 matches. Ouch!
2. Carlton – If Carlton is to be taken seriously as a premiership contender – they must be winning these types of games.
Any comments or feedback – please feel free to contact me.
Enjoy round 8 everyone!