AFL Round 12 is in the books and it resulted in memorable wins for Fremantle, Port Adelaide, and Collingwood. Here is your look at all the action.
Fremantle sends Adelaide Down the Ladder
The Adelaide Crows have been banged up this season and after yet another loss, this time by a 71-68 margin away in Perth against Fremantle, they really need to worry about their finals chances. The Dockers were more physical than the Crows on the day and also won the disposal count by some margin, despite missing their leader Nat Fyfe. In Fyfe’s absence Lachie Neale, Connor Blakely and young Adam Cerra stepped up big while Brennan Cox and Tommy Sheridan combined for 6 goals.
Bryce Gibbs led Adelaide but they didn’t get enough forward line production despite 4 goals from Josh Jenkins and Eddie Betts as a combo. Players returning from injury will certainly help the Crows but they have been quite poor in recent weeks regardless of the circumstances.
Port Adelaide and Collingwood Post Upset Wins
The other Adelaide side, Port Adelaide, enjoyed their best win of the season against Richmond in one of the marquee round 12 games. The Power won 72-58 in a game where they dominated every category even though the Tigers stuck around and kept it competitive on the road. Chad Wingard, Ollie Wines, and Sam Powell-Pepper were among Port’s best while Justin Westhoff kicked 3 goals. Kane Lambert and Jack Riewoldt were good for Richmond, but missing Dustin Martin they didn’t have their usual spark.
Collingwood won an open ended shootout against their rivals Melbourne 133-91. The Pies led the whole way and took advantage of a soft Demon backline as American Mason Cox booted 5 goals while Jaidyn Stephenson and Will Hoskin-Elliot combined for 8 of their own (Josh Thomas adding 3 more). Adam Treloar, Steele Sidebottom and Jordan De Goey led the engine room for the Pies with 30+ disposals.
Melbourne struggled in the middle of the ground but Jordan Lewis and Clayton Oliver were standouts, while Tom McDonald gave it his best with a 6 goal performance. The Demons are still a great team, but the win for Collingwood really makes the Pies look more contenders than pretenders.
Geelong Separates from North Melbourne
North Melbourne has been one of the most improved teams of 2018, but they ran into a buzzsaw against Geelong. The Cats blew away the Roos in the final term winning 96-59 in a game they dominated as time passed. Gary Ablett was again best on ground with 34 disposals while Tom Hawkins and Patrick Dangerfield combined for 5 goals. Shaun Higgins gave it his all for North (30 disposals, 2 goals) but Ben Brown was held goalless as Tom Stewart and company in the Geelong backline put together a rock solid performance that makes Geelong look like a top 4 team.
Sydney and GWS Defeat Hapless Opposition
Unless you are a fan of Sydney or the GWS Giants there was little reason to tune into their round 12 clashes. The Swans thumped St. Kilda 126-55 as the Saints had just one multi-goal kicker. Lance Franklin kicked 4 goals for Sydney while Callum Sinclair added 3 more. Josh P. Kennedy and Jake Lloyd helped the Swans control the ground and put Alan Richardson’s job at St. Kilda under pressure.
The Giants showed how big the gap between the AFL’s 2 recent expansion sides is as they defeated Gold Coast Suns 134-26. Josh Kelly had 40 disposals while Lachie Whitfield, Heath Shaw, Dylan Shiel and Callan Ward were all over 30. Jeremy Cameron and Matt De Boer combined for 9 goals. as Cameron’s 6 would have beaten the Suns on their own.
The Suns look like the worst team in the AFL, and everything that can go wrong for them, is going wrong. Jarrod Harbrow and Aaron Young were about the only bright lights for them on the ground as the likely soon to depart Tom Lynch didn’t manage a scoring shot on the day.
Essendon Gets the Job Done Against Brisbane
Facing Brisbane in Queensland looked like a trap game for the Essendon Bombers, but they got the 4 points 84-62. Zach Merrett led the Bomber midfield while Jake Stringer kicked 3 goals and three other Bombers added 2 each. David Myers and rookie Mason Redman were also solid as Essendon continues to try to climb their way back into finals contention.
The Lions continue to lose but you can’t blame Harris Andrews, Alex Witherden or Daniel Rich. They had just a pair of multi-goal scorers though as the forward line really let them down.