The Adelaide Crows secured their status at the AFL’s best regular season team for 2017, destroying their rivals Port Adelaide 130-46 in the second Showdown of the season.
Crows Sweep The Adelaide Showdown Stay Top of the Ladder in AFL Round 20
The Crows swept the South Australian derby, with the most lopsided result in the history of the rivalry this time. The Crows kicked 22 behinds as they would have won by more with straighter kicking. They dominated possession and had 81 inside 50’s, as the Power plainly failed to show up. As it has been for most of the season, the Crouch brothers and Rory Sloane led the way for the Crows midfield, Josh Jenkins, Eddie Betts, and Taylor Walker combined for 11 goals, while Sam Jacobs in the ruck had the winning formula. Charlie Dixon and Robbie Gray were the only performers of note for the Power.
Sydney Tightens the Ladder With Win Over Geelong
Sydney beat Geelong 107-61 in Friday night footy, tightening the ladder in a game where they led throughout, despite Geelong keeping it close outside of the scoreline. Joel Selwood went down with injury, as Sydney raced out to a big lead they never surrendered. Geelong got solid performances from Mitch Duncan and Tom Hawkins, but without Dangerwood they looked lost. Will Hayward and Tom Papley combined for six goals as the Swans seem to be putting all the pieces together just in time for a finals run.
GWS Dents Melbourne Final Hopes
GWS Giants showed their separation from fringe finals teams, as they defeated Melbourne 97-62. The Giants had a huge lead by halftime, and the Demons didn’t show much fight getting back into things. The Giants backline was key, as they kept the Demons forwards in check and dominated clearances. Callan Ward, Stephen Coniglio, and Josh Kelly led the way, as Shane Mumford, and Devon Smith had double digit tackles. The Demons had four players with more than 30 disposals, including Bernie Vince and Jordan Lewis, but only two of their players had multi-goal games, showing how wasteful they were with the ball.
Essendon Edges Carlton
The Essendon Bombers beat the Blues 84-76 despite the Blues leading most of the final term. The young Blues showed a tremendous fightback, but were denied at the last as Joe Daniher and Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti combined for six goals, as Dyson Heppell and David Zaharakis had 30+ disposals. Marc Murphy, Sam Docherty, and Bryce Gibbs were again great for the Blues, but they needed much more out of their forward line, something they will look to improve next season.
Western Bulldogs Help Finals Chances With Brisbane Win
Facing a must-win game and trailing in the second half, the Western Bulldogs bucked up and beat Brisbane 103-89. The Bulldogs kept it forward, and yet again the Brisbane forward line prevented them from getting a win. The Bulldogs were without Jason Johannisen, and Easton Wood (for most of the game), as Wood came down with a serious injury. Daniel Rich and Dayne Zorko led the Lions, while Jack Macrae and Lachie Hunter led the disposal count for the Bulldogs. Jack Redpath and Liam Picken combined for six goals, while Marcus Bontempelli also had a great game.
Collingwood Thumps North Melbourne
Collingwood beat North Melbourne 111-57, as even against a bottom half of the ladder side the Kangaroos were terrible, trailing throughout the contest, and in the process they lost Ben Brown to a concussion. The lone bright spot was Jack Ziebell, who kicked five goals as a forward. Adam Treloar, Jarryd Blair, and Taylor Adams were among the best for Collingwood, who seem to be playing hard for Nathan Buckley to keep his job.
Fremantle Gets Suns Coach Fired
Fremantle beat Gold Coast 90-67 as Cam McCarthy kicked four goals, and the Suns struggled again. They are now without key forward Tom Lynch due to injury, and as a result of another poor season, have sacked coached Rodney Eade. The Dockers best with the footy were Nat Fyfe, Luke Ryan, Lachie Neale, and Bradley Hill. Gary Ablett and Lynch led the Suns, their backline was weak again though.
St. Kilda Nips West Coast to Keep Finals Hopes Alive
St. Kilda beat the West Coast Eagles 103-95 in a nip and tuck scoreline battle where they dominated the tackle count and kept control of the footy with their high pressure approach. Knowing it is Nick Riewoldt’s final season, the young Saints rose up and appear determined to try to ensure he gets to play finals. Four Saints including Jack Billings booted two goals each while Blake Acres had 30 disposals. Andrew Gaff, and Josh Kennedy (5 goals) led the Eagles who are in grave danger of missing finals.
Richmond Moves to Third in the Ladder With Win Over Hawthorn
Richmond moved to #3 on the ladder with a 93-64 win over Hawthorn. The result showing the diverging paths of both teams this season, the Hawks seriously underperforming again, and the Tigers getting the best out of their list. Josh Caddy had his best game in a Richmond uniform with four goals and 28 disposals. Dustin Martin has almost secured the Brownlow with a 32 disposal, two goal game, while Dion Prestia had 31 disposals and Kane Lambert also had 30 disposals. Tom Mitchell was again best for the Hawks, but their forward line struggled.
The Ladder After Round 20
At the bottom of the ladder only Brisbane, Carlton, and North Melbourne appear to be in wooden spoon contention. At the top, Adelaide looks safe in the top 4, and would love to be the minor premiers with 58 points and counting. The Giants, Richmond, and Geelong all look clear for top 4, with Port, the Swans, and the Dogs sitting closer to missing the top 8, than making the top 4. Essendon, West Coast, Melbourne, and St. Kilda are likely competing for just one finals spot between them unless one of the previously mentioned sides in the 4-7 spots seriously loses form. Right now St. Kilda needs the most help to make the 8.