The Geelong Cats 96-74 victory over the Adelaide Crows moved the Cats into a tie in terms of points with the Crows, and helped the 9-2 GWS Giants move to the top of the ladder after round 11, the Giants beating Essendon 117-101 for a fourth straight victory.
The Cats lead throughout against the Crows in a match played on their home ground. Geelong had a clear edge in disposals and kept up enough pressure to defeat a quality Adelaide side by a respectable margin. Joel Selwood took multiple hard knocks, but his 35 disposals and a goal led the way, his brother Scott notching 25 disposals and laying 10 tackles. Patrick Dangerfield had another solid performance, with 31 disposals and three goals, Daniel Menzel (3 goals), Tom Hawkins (2 goals), and Harry Taylor (2 goals) were also key while Irishman Zach Tuohy ran up 27 disposals and kept Crows key forward Eddie Betts in check, limiting him to just one goal. Rory Sloane was an example of the Crows struggle with contested possession, as he had just 23 disposals. The Crouch’s lead the Crows, combining for 55 disposals. Despite their solid record on the season, the Crows have been shut down in their defeats, their trademark attacking play getting slowed down considerably. Only Tex Walker’s three goals was respectable for the away side.
The GWS Giants kept their momentum going, efficiently putting away Essendon by 16 points. Beyond their edge in inside 50’s, kicking 18.9 and clearing the 100 points barrier is enough to win most AFL games, and it was enough for the Giants, who are looking mightier than ever. Josh Kelly was massive for a still banged up Giants side, notching 38 disposals and a goal. Dylan Shiel and Lachie Whitfield also moved well around the ground with more than 30 disposals each. Zac Williams, Toby Greene, and Tom Scully combined for nine goals while the Giants fill ins such as Matt De Boer, Daniel Lloyd, Harry Perryman and Harrison Himmelberg showed solid form. The Bombers got three goals from Josh Green, and solid performances from Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti, Jobe Watson (28 disposals), and ruckman Tom Bellchambers among others, but Joe Daniher went cold in the forward line, and the Bombers couldn’t claw back in the second half when they faced a deficit.
Eagles and Dockers Tumble Down
If you’re a fan of Western Australian Footy it was a miserable weekend as West Coast and Fremantle both dropped winnable contests at the hands of Gold Coast Suns and Collingwood respectively. Despite a fourth quarter lead, the Eagles fell by 80-77 on the road against Gold Coast, two meter Peter Wright booting the winning goal, his second of the match. Tom Lynch kicked three goals for the home side, while Gary Ablett (36 disposals), and Michael Barlow (30 disposals) were again key to the Suns, the most inconsistent team in the competition this year. West Coast didn’t see enough of the ball and they were missing Josh Kennedy, as only Elliot Yeo picked up the slack (3 goals, 22 disposals), while Sam Mitchell and Dom Sheed were the only players on their side who went over 30 disposals. Rather than locking down the Suns forwards late in the game, West Coast surrendered the ball, and inside 50 chances that doomed them.
Collingwood beat Fremantle 105-85 in the only Sunday match. The contest was close throughout despite Collingwood having an edge in possession and inside 50 chances. The Magpies overcame woeful goalkicking and injuries as Adam Treloar, Steele Sidebottom, Josh Smith, and Scott Pendlebury were their key ball winners with 30+ disposals. The Magpies spread the footy around well as Jamie Elliot led the way with three goals, Darcy Moore, Jordan De Gooey, and Will Hoskin-Elliott combining for six goals. Most of Fremantle’s best 22 turned in better, but still disappointing performances, Connor Blakely had 26 disposals, Nat Fyfe had 24, but only Brady Grey and Ed Langdon kicked two goals, and their forward line in particular was awful again, Matt Taberner, Shane Kersten and Cam McCarthy not creating many chances. Fremantle could still make the top 8, but they are looking more and more like a rebuilding side than a serious contender at this point, while Collingwood has gotten off the mat to move to 10th in the ladder.
Port Adelaide and Richmond Continue Battle for Fourth
The struggling Hawthorn Hawks got knocked down to size and taken to the woodshed against Port Adelaide, the Hawks failed to score at goal through two quarters, and lost 98-47, as the Power frankly missed a chance to give their percentage a significant boost. The Hawks did not look like contenders in the least, while Charlie Dixon and Jarman Impey combined for six goals, and Brad Ebert notched 34 disposals to lead the Power. Most of the Hawthorn players will be angry at their poor performances but Jarryd Roughhead was respectable with 2 goals, and Tom Mitchell again balled out with 30 disposals for a side that struggled for the footy.
If not for Hawthorn’s disaster, North Melbourne would be copping more heat this week, a miserable second half saw them fall to Richmond 101-66 after leading at half time by a small margin. North couldn’t contain Dustin Martin, and gave away the footy with too many errors. Martin had 38 disposals, 2 goals, and six tackles in a best on ground performance, while Dion Prestia, Trent Cotchin, Brandon Ellis, and Bachar Houli all saw plenty of the footy with 30+ disposals. Four Tigers had two goals, Jack Riewoldt, Kane Lambert, and Dan Butler joining Martin as the Tigers spread it around well with 10 goal scorers. Only Mason Wood and Shaun Atley had multiple goals for the Kangaroos, and they didn’t have a single player with 30 disposals, putting in serious doubt their chances of making the finals.