Still undoubtedly the best team in the competition, Geelong returned to the winners list against a strong Adelaide side. They controlled the second half against the Crows and came out as comfortable victors. Tim Kelly continued his phenomenal season with 33 disposals and two goals, while Selwood, Dangerfield and Duncan combined for 85 disposals.
- West Coast
West Coast has quietly hit a good patch of form, winning four of their last five games. Their win over Hawthorn on the weekend may not have been convincing but their control over large parts of the game given the wet conditions was good to watch. Luke Shuey had 39 disposals and kicked a goal, while Andrew Gaff (34 disposals), Jack Darling (five goals) and late game hero Jamie Cripps (three goals) were crucial to the win. Nic Naitanui also returned but looked off the pace and underdone.
GWS must be wondering how they lost to Essendon having been in control for the first three quarters. These are the games that the Giants can’t afford to lose if they are serious about challenging this season. Stephen Coniglio and Josh Kelly were still strong with 33 disposals & seven marks and 28 disposals and six marks respectively.
Brisbane looked like they were set to be seriously challenged by Melbourne at the Gabba. Eric Hipwood changed that in the space of 15 minutes. The young key forward kicked five goals in the second half to give his side all the momentum they needed. Lachie Neale was superb once again with 38 disposals while his partner in crime Dayne Zorko had 31 touches and kicked three goals.
The Pies are a poor side right now. There is no getting around that fact. They were lucky to escape with a win against the Bulldogs and were worse in their loss to North Melbourne. The Roos outplayed the Pies and it showed in the 36-64 inside 50 count. The Pies had one or two bright spots with Adam Treloar picking up 40 touches and Scott Pendlebury getting 33 disposals. The rest was very poor.
Adelaide bears no shame in going down to the Cats in Geelong. The Crows have been one of the form sides in the comp in recent weeks with three wins in their last four. Their Friday night loss still had big performances from Reilly O’Brien (39 hitouts, 18 disposals) and Paul Seedsman (28 disposals, two goals).
Sydney has found their spark once again are looking as good as they have been in recent years. A win over the lowly Gold Coast has them a game and percentage out of the eight. Luke Parker continued his excellent form with 31 disposals while Isaac Heeney had 25 touches, 11 marks and got himself a couple of goals.
- North Melbourne
The way it’s looking right now, North is a serious final contender. Wins over Richmond and Collingwood under Rhyce Shaw have many saying he should have the job on a permanent basis. The Roos never looked worried against the Pies on Saturday night, dominating the midfield and remaining solid defensively. Ben Cunnington was superb again with 37 disposals and seven clearances while Jy Simpkin and Luke Davies-Uniacke continued their growth with their first 30 disposal and two-goal game respectively.
It’s been tough to read Richmond for much of this season due to their large number of injuries, but they got a lot of their premier mids back this week and looked much better for it. Trent Cotchin, Kane Lambert and Shane Edwards looked as if they’d never left the side, but it was the young guns that stole the show with Sydney Stack kicking four goals up forward and Mabior Chol taking nine marks and kicking three of his own.
Another team that will be wondering where it went wrong against Carlton. Leading by five goals at quarter time they looked in control of the contest. Being in front with a minute to go should have been an un-loseable situation but the Dockers lapsed for just long enough to allow Marc Murphy a way to goal and the loss could result in serious finals consequences down the line. The Derby against West Coast is now very important for Freo.
A victory snatched from the jaws of defeat. The Bombers had no right whatsoever to beat the Giants on Thursday yet that’s exactly what they did and while a win is a win, it certainly shouldn’t paper over the cracks of what was a poor performance overall. The Bombers were dominated in the midfield, losing the clearances, disposal count and contested possession numbers. However, in a win achieved in the manner it was, there must be positives and they came from the likes of Shaun McKernan who filled in for the injured Tom Bellchambers admirably and Cale Hooker who kicked two crucial final quarter goals.
- Port Adelaide
In far from ideal conditions the Power struggled to match it with the Bulldogs and went down as a result. It’s difficult to read into results such as this when anything can happen in the rain, but regardless the Power has been up and down in recent weeks. The weekend saw Travis Boak have 32 disposals and Scott Lycett dominate in the ruck.
- Western Bulldogs
The Bulldogs rode on the trails of their star to get the win of Port. Marcus Bontempelli was immense for the Dogs with 27 disposals, 10 tackles and nine clearances, while youngster Bailey Smith continued to push his case for the rising star award with 23 touches and 14 tackles. The Dogs have now won two of their last three and came close in the loss to Collingwood. The look and style of this side is really starting to come together.
- St Kilda
Surely it’s only a matter of time for Alan Richardson. After starting the season 4-1 the Saints have gone 2-7 since then. They were never really in the contest against Richmond after half-time and the Tigers ran over the top of them in the final term. Josh Battle continued his good season with 20 disposals in defence while Rowan Marshall had another excellent game in the ruck.
What. A. Win. No Cripps, No Curnow, No McKay, interstate, down by five goals and a goal in the last minute. There’s real belief amongst the Blues now and things are very much looking up. Whether David Teague is good enough for the permanent coaching job remains to be seen but the Blues are able to be positive for the first time in a while.
Things just keep getting worse for the Demons. They keep losing and now Max Gawn is under an injury cloud. It’s unclear where the root cause of the problem is for Melbourne with the squad largely the same as it was last year, but they keep on failing to get the job done. This week’s match against the Blues is huge as if Carlton get up they will leapfrog the Dees on the ladder further showing how much of a disaster the 2019 season has been.
Hawthorn is really struggling at the moment. They were behind for much of the game against West Coast and even after getting back into the game, fell at the final minute. They lack forward presence currently with the resting ruckman often playing the main tall in the attacking 50. Positives for the Hawks came in the form of a dominant performance from Jaeger O’Meara and a promising debut from Oliver Hanrahan.
- Gold Coast
The season is gone for the Suns. Their early season form is gone and not looking like returning. They went down comfortably to the Swans on the weekend, only managing 51 points for the game. Their current form indicates that the number one pick could be coming their way, adding to the very young side they have already.