Eagles Win the Western Derby
Fremantle had an early lead, but the West Coast Eagles clawed back in the derby to finish the round at #2 on the ladder after an 89-81 win. Jack Redden, Andrew Gaff, and Shannon Hurn combined for 95 disposals, while Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling combined for 6 goals, those 5 the Eagles standouts along with the Nic Naitanui/Scott Lycett ruck pairing.
Freo got multi-goal games from a solid forward group of Hayden Ballantyne, Cam McCarthy, Darcy Tucker, and Ed Langdon but an injury to Michael Walters perhaps cost them the game. With Walters mostly absent, Lachie Neale, Connor Blakely, and Nat Fyfe were the key leaders for the Dockers, who deserve some credit for hanging with (what appears to be) a strong West Coast side.
AFL Round 6
Western Bulldogs and GWS Pile the Pain on Winless Opposition
A lot of fans were not thrilled by the Friday night footy matchup between the Western Bulldogs and Carlton but it turned out to be at least a partially interesting game. The Dogs won 80-59 in a game they led throughout but never dominated. The key three for the Dogs this year is clearly Jack Macrae, Marcus Bontempelli, and Lachie Hunter, they led the disposal and tackle count while Patrick Lipinski and Billy Gowers combined for 5 goals.
Patrick Cripps remains the engine for Carlton with 32 disposals and 9 tackles, but only Levi Casboult kicked multiple goals, as Carlton was again held to a low score and remains winless.
The Brisbane Lions were again limited offensively, but sloppy goalkicking prevented a bloodbath against GWS. The Giants kicked 10.17 in a 77-43 win where the Lions were even worse with 5.13. The Giants dominated the disposal count, helped by strong performances from Lachie Whitfield, Brett Deledio and Matt de Boer, they didn’t have a multi-goal scorer, but Stephen Coniglio continued his Brownlow chase with another solid game.
Dayne Beams and Mitch Robinson were admirable for Brisbane, but their forward line has been limited as of late, Charlie Cameron and Allen Christensen among those disappointing. Stefan Martin also dominated with 38 hitouts, the Giants had just 4 (compared to 47) as they have seemingly given up on playing a ruck.
Port Adelaide, Hawthorn, and Melbourne Respond With Wins
Port Adelaide took North Melbourne to the grindstone with a dominant 102-69 win where they outtackled, and outscored the Roos. Jared Polec, Brad Ebert, and Travis Boak were best on ground for Port, Sam Gray, Chad Wingard, and Jake Neade combined for 8 goals, and the Power backline responded by holding the North forwards in check. While Ben Brown and Jarrad Waite did combined for 7 goals, the Roos produced little else up forward, while Ben Cunnington was their only player with more than 25 disposals, a lack of pressure hurting North.
Hawthorn showed separation with struggling St. Kilda. The Hawks had a small lead heading into the final term, but they went on to kick 6 goals compared to 2 to finish the win 89-54. Tom Mitchell was back firing for the Hawks with 45 disposals, Isaac Smith had 24 disposals and kicked 4 goals, while Luke Breust and Jack Gunston combined for 6. The Saints lack of attack remained the major problem, despite another solid game from Jack Steven in the midfield. The Saints did not have a multi-goal kicker.
Pundits, punters, and fans were wondering who would step up between Essendon and Melbourne, and it was the Dees who came away winners 108-72. Essendon collapsed in the second half, surrendering 12 goals (compared to 5 of their own) despite winning the disposal and tackle count. Max Gawn had another special game, Bayley Fritsch and Mitch Hannan combined for 6 goals, and Christian Salem, Michael Hibberd, and Nathan Jones led the disposal count.
For Essendon Zach Merrett and David Zaharakis were good, and Jake Stringer had a pair of goals, but major questions have to be asked about Joe Daniher. The star forward for the Bombers went 0.3 and only laid a tackle, costing Essendon a chance at the win.
Adelaide and Richmond Show Their Class
Last years grand finalists were untroubled as the Adelaide Crows thumped Gold Coast Suns 110-62, while the Tigers beat the Pies at the MCG 113-70. The Suns were left to look at how far they have to climb to be an elite side as Rory Laird, Wayne Milera, Bryce Gibbs, and Matt Crouch combined for more than 30 disposals each, while Tom Lynch and Richard Douglas combined for 6 goals. David Swallow was best for the Suns with 32 disposals and 3 goals, Jarryd Lyons and Michael Barlow were also solid, but the Suns Tom Lynch was quiet up forward.
Richmond beat Collingwood thanks to blistering attack as Josh Caddy kicked 4 goals, Dan Butler and Jack Riewoldt adding 6 more, and the young Jack Higgins also having another pair. Toby Nankervis, Trent Cotchin, and Dustin Martin led the disposal count for the Tigers.
Collingwood got massive games from Adam Treloar and Tom Phillips as they combined for 80 disposals, but they needed a bit better up forward, despite multi-goal games from Will Hoskin-Elliot, Ben Reid, and Mason Cox.
Swans Nip the Cats
Geelong led until midway into the final term, but they suffered a demoralizing 86-69 loss to Sydney when the siren sounded. The Swans controlled play late and had superior pressure, while the Cats were a bit sloppy. Josh Kennedy and Jake Lloyd led the Swans disposal count, while Will Hayward, Robbie Fox, Oliver Florent, and Ben Ronke, all young guns, helped replace Buddy Franklin in the forward line, as a group they had 9 goals in a special performance.
Mitch Duncan, Tom Hawkins, and James Parsons were good for the Cats, but Patrick Dangerfield went quiet. Unless the Cats can get their guns healthy and firing all at the same time, they appear set to struggle against top competition like Sydney.