Round Review – Round 8, 2012
There were few surprises in round 8, compared to the unpredictable round of footy that we endured in round 7. With only a couple of “50-50” games in the round, let’s look at some of the results in more detail.
Friday night saw a 2011 Grand Final re-match between Collingwood and Geelong, with the Magpies favoured due largely to the hiding the Cats suffered last round. The match was tight throughout, with midfielders Steele Sidebottom and Scott Pendlebury starring for the Pies – with their counterparts Joel Selwood and James Kelly superb for the Cats also. Pendlebury was best afield in my view, with 30 possessions to go with 4 goals. Collingwood survived a late Geelong flurry, to win by 12 points in a terrific opening to the round.
The Kangaroos suffered a huge setback on Saturday, falling to Port Adelaide after the Power staged a spirited fight back late in the match, with North Melbourne seemingly powerless to stop the surge once they got going. To lose a match after being up by 5 goals in the 4th quarter is inexcusable for North. On the back of a terribly insipid effort against the Bulldogs, the Kangaroos must be questioned as legitimate finals contenders.
Three other contests on Saturday failed to reach any great heights; with the Hawks, Swans and Bulldogs having comfortable victories over their opponents. There is very little to report from these matches, so let’s move right along to the Dream Time game between the Dons and Tigers.
The AFL, together with the competing clubs, continue to do a very good job with this annual encounter. Saturday night’s matchup was no exception – with the up-and-about Bombers taking on the suddenly roaring Tigers. Essendon started exactly as a 2nd placed side should, with an excellent first half to lead by 6 goals – with the Tigers, as good as they’ve been recently, appearing out of their depth. Despite Richmond more than doubling the scoring shots of Essendon in the third term, the lead was still 23 points at the final change.
The final quarter was a belter one for Richmond. The Tigers clawed their way back into the contest, taking the lead during the term and appeared to have all the momentum, led by their star ball winners Brett Deledio and Trent Cotchin. The Bombers demonstrated why they are now considered a premiership caliber side, kicking a late barrage of goals to gain back the lead and record a 19-point win – their 7th win from their first 8 games – in one of 2012’s best contests.
On Sunday, the Giants had a horrid day against the Lions after deciding to rest a number of their best young players – a surprising move, given this was a match I had thought they would go close to winning. It certainly didn’t turn out that way, with Daniel Merrett booting 7 goals (no, that is not a typo!) and Jonathon Brown kicking 5 of his own to take his career total to a lazy 511 goals. Despite the slightly weakened line-up, the Giants would be disappointed with their performance.
In perhaps a not-so surprising development on Sunday, the Crows belted the Blues to the tune of 69 points. The bad news doesn’t end there for Carlton – with gun midfielder Marc Murphy suffering a nasty shoulder injury that will keep him out for a couple of months. The Blues just couldn’t get near it – as Adelaide asserted their dominance as the match progressed.
Finally for round 8, the Eagles took care of business against the Saints, though it was just a 30-point final margin in the end, despite a 49-point half-time margin (at which time it looked like a 100+ point blowout was on the cards).
Now onto my favourite and not-so favourite things for this week..
My Favourite Things for Round 8
1. Port’s surprise victory – Probably not one of Brad Scott’s favourite things…
2. Scott Pendlebury – Ignited the MCG most of the night, but his impact on the game became more apparent once Swan had left the game injured. They make a dangerous combo (Swan/Pendlebury) – but I’d take Pendles every day of the week in my side out of the two players.
3. Indigenous Round – Well-done AFL – the match was fitting of the occasion.
My “not-so” Favourite Things for Round 8
1. The Suns aren’t exactly shining – Miserable performance albeit in ordinary conditions. Sorry, but I expect from you lot.
2. Melbourne – Ho hum, another 100+ point defeat. Could they cause the upset of the season against Carlton in round 9?
Any comments or feedback – please feel free to contact me.
Enjoy round 9 everyone!