The Adelaide Crows remained on top of the AFL ladder, moving more than 1 game clear of all rivals as they built and maintained a lead against Geelong that resulted in a 91-70 victory in the game of the week in AFL round 18. The Crows were effective on clearances while the Crouch brothers combined for more than 60 disposals. Rory Sloane had one of his biggest games of the season, with 28 disposals, and three goals, Richard Douglas booted four more. The Crows kept Geelong’s Dangerwood pairing in check, and although former defender Harry Taylor had five goals, it wasn’t enough as the Cats remain #2 in the ladder.
GWS facing adversity for the first time this year
The GWS Giants, at one point flag favorites, kicked just one goal in two quarters of footy against Richmond, dropping a rain drenched game 64-45, that was always within reach, but also not that close. Richmond pulling away in the second half. The Tigers Dustin Martin and his 31 disposals led the way, Jack Riewoldt also had a pair of goals, and the Tigers backline suffocated GWS, despite 37 disposals from Callan Ward. From 51 inside 50’s, the Giants only produced six goals.
Essendon beats North to move into the top 8
Essendon beat second to last in the ladder North Melbourne 132-105, finally breaking the Kangaroos will in the final quarter, as scores were tied late in the third term. The Bombers did more with the footy, and North was a depleted side, as key defender Robbie Tarrant ended up missing the game as well. Zach Merrett and Jobe Watson led in disposals, but it was Cale Hooker and Orazio Fantasia combining for nine goals that was critical for Essendon’s victory. The Bomber forward line went wild, negating six goals from Ben Brown, and four from Jarrad Waite.
West Coast drops a Shocker against Collingwood
Collingwood shocked West Coast 93-85, overcoming a three goal deficit at the end of the third term, in one of the best performances for the Magpies this season, and one of the worst for the Eagles. Playing the spoiler, Adam Treloar and Jack Crisp got more than 30 disposals, Jordan De Goey kicked four goals in a best on ground performance, while Jamie Elliot had three goals, and Brodie Grundy dominated from the ruck, with 7 tackles and 42 hitouts. The Pies survived six goals from Josh J Kennedy, and one of the best games of Shannon Hurn’s career, as he had 29 disposals. Week by week the Eagles are looking less like a finals quality side.
Melbourne solidifies finals chances with win against Port Adelaide
Melbourne defeated Port Adelaide 88-65, they were the better side throughout the contest, as the Demons had control of the footy and kept it in their forward half. Jesse Hogan and Jake Melksham combined for six goals, Michael Hibberd and Clayton Oliver had more than 60 disposals combined, showing their class, Oliver also added 10 tackles. Robbie Gray, Brad Ebert, and Travis Boak were solid for Port, but they simply didn’t produce enough goals.
Western Bulldogs stay alive with win against Gold Coast
The Gold Coast Suns are falling apart at the end of the season, while the Western Bulldogs kept their finals hopes alive. A disastrous final term saw a slim Bulldogs lead expand to a 110-56 chasm at the end of the contest. Liam Picken booted six goals, Lachie Hunter had 31 disposals, while the young Bailey Dale added three more goals. Only Brayden Fiorini was particularly great for the Suns.
Hawthorn Dominates Fremantle
Hawthorn played one of their best games of the season, dumping Fremantle 100-48, as a 52 point loss crushes Freo’s slims finals hopes. Their frontline was simply terrible, while four Hawks booted two goals each, and Tom Mitchell and Jack Gunston posted more than 35 disposals each. Outside of Connor Blakely and Shane Kersten, the Dockers were unimpressive, Nat Fyfe turning in another disappointing performance.
Sydney keeps up win streak, thumping St. Kilda
Sydney destroyed St. Kilda 101-59 as they took full advantage of their firepower, while the Saints frontline was sorely lacking class. The Swans kicked 14.17, as Callum Sinclair had five goals, Lance Franklin added three more, and Josh P. Kennedy and Dan Hannebery teamed up to lead the Swans midfield. The Saints were led by 37 disposals from Seb Ross, and three goals from Josh Bruce, but they needed a lot more to even appear close against the Swans.
Brisbane Lions win in hopes to avoid Wooden Spoon
The Brisbane Lions beat fellow laggards Carlton 112-82. The Blues started slow and their comeback attempt was averted, Dayne Beams was best on ground with 30 disposals and three goals, Dayne Zorko had 26 and 3 while Tom Rockliff tagged Bryce Gibbs to great success. Marc Murphy and Sam Docherty were also off for the Blues, as without their best players performing at a high level, they simply weren’t good enough.