AFL Round 15 is in the book, here is the look at which teams soared and which suffered defeats.
Adelaide, Essendon, and GWS Giants Score Pivotal Wins
By a margin of 88-78 the Adelaide Crows overcame a 4 goal deficit at three quarter time to upset the West Coast Eagles and strengthen their finals bid. Matt Crouch and Rory Laird combined for 64 disposals to led the Crows while Tex Walker and Josh Jenkins made the difference with 5 goals between them. Andrew Gaff was amazing for West Coast, but the formerly top side is continuing their second half slump, as the loss was an unexpected one.
Essendon battled past North Melbourne 125-108. The Bombers were better for most of the game and had a solid halftime lead. Dyson Heppell and Zach Merrett posted more than 30 disposals, but Shaun McKernan was man of the match with 4 goals. Orazio Fantasia also added 4 while Jake Stringer added 3 as the Roos could not pressure and contain the Bomber attack. Shaun Higgins and Mason Wood were best on ground for North while Ben Brown added a pair of goals in his Coleman chase.
The GWS Giants moved into a finals position (6th) by virtue of a 95-84 win against Hawthorn, another finals contender. The Giants led throughout and appear back on track as Stephen Coniglio and Callan Ward led in the midfield, while Ward and Rory Lobb combined for 5 goals. Tom Mitchell had 50 disposals and Luke Breust had 3 goals but it wasn’t enough for the Hawks who face added pressure after the loss.
Richmond Shows Separation from Sydney
Richmond is back looking like the best team in the AFL after a 93-67 win against the Sydney Swans. Sydney kicked 11.1 but the Swans pulled away late as Kane Lambert and Jack Riewoldt combined for 6 goals while Lambert and Trent Cotchin led the midfield. Sydney got 4 goals from Lance Franklin, and a big disposal count from Josh Kennedy and Jake Lloyd but it wasn’t enough in the end. Sydney are still a great side but getting past Richmond is going to test every team in the competition.
Shock Losses for Geelong, Melbourne, and Fremantle Sink Finals Confidence
Along with North Melbourne and Hawthorn, Geelong, Melbourne, and Fremantle fans are unhappy right now. Harry Taylor missed a game winning kick for Geelong as the Western Bulldogs stunned them 103-101. Luke Dahlhaus, Ed Richards, Billy Gowers, Marcus Bontempelli led the Dogs, who gave it everything they had to get the win, despite having little to play for right now. The best efforts of Joel Selwood, Tim Kelly, and Tom Hawkins went for naught as Geelong slips to 8th on the ladder.
An aggressive St. Kilda side finally executed their gameplan and scored a 119-117 upset win over Melbourne, who slip to 7th on the ladder with the defeat. The Saints worked out the frustrations of a bad year with Jack Steven, Jack Sinclair, and David Armitage leading the way while Tim Membrey and Jade Gresham combined for 8 goals. Max Gawn, Angus Brayshaw, and Bayley Fritsch battled hard for Melbourne but they will need to finish the year strong to secure a finals place.
The Brisbane Lions gave themselves some breathing room from the wooden spoon with a stunning 119-64 away win against Fremantle. Fremantle star Nat Fyfe went down with a hamstring injury leaving Lachie Neale and Michael Walters to shoulder the load. Stefan Martin dominated from the ruck for the Lions while Dayne Beams, Daniel McStay, and Lewis Taylor stepped up. McStay and Taylor combined for 6 goals.
Port Adelaide and Collingwood Keep It Rolling
Port and Collingwood will be happy with their performances and both look like flag contenders right now. Port Adelaide put away Carlton 90-69 with a late flurry of goals. Despite the best efforts of Kade Simpson in game 300 and Charlie Curnow (4 goals), the Blues couldn’t stop Tom Rockliff, Robbie Gray, and Justin Westhoff.
Collingwood got the job done 99-60 against Gold Coast. Josh Thomas kicked 4 goals while Taylor Adams and Tom Phillips led in the midfield and Brodie Grundy continued his brownlow push from the ruck. Touk Miller was best on ground for the Suns, but they lacked the firepower to make it a game.