ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 01: Harry Schoenberg of the Crows celebrates a goal during the 2020 AFL Round 15 match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Adelaide Crows at Adelaide Oval on September 1, 2020 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by James Elsby/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

What The F-Arc Review

Crows break winless drought in style

For what has felt like the longest footy season on record, the Crows faithful finally have a win to celebrate following a strong performance over the Hawks. In our Lower The Eyes column for Round 15, we discussed how the match was set up for a Hawthorn loss.

Unfortunately, no drywall (that we know of) was hurt during the process by Alistair Clarkson. For Matthew Nicks’ case, the win couldn’t have come at a better time, with every coach hoping to have a 100% record come September. The Crows performance was no fluke; they were clean and tidy with the ball and could snatch another four points before the season ends.

Bombers blow top eight chances in ugly loss

Off the back of their stellar win against the Hawks in Round 14, Essendon were flying and looked confident in their approach against flag favourites West Coast. Unfortunately, their mojo quickly faded whenever they were given a promising chance to impact the scoreboard.

The Bombes dominated the disposal count and inside 50 entries, but their inability to capitalise cost them once again. The Eagles were hit with some collateral as Luke Shuey managed to injure both hamstrings during the match, but they left with four vital points away from Perth.

Tigers fend off young Dockers in close encounter

It was never going to be easy for Fremantle coming up against the reigning premiers, but once again Justin Longmuir proved to be causing headaches against the league’s best. The Dockers were right in the match until the last hurdle, with a valiant effort put together by a young side.

For the Tigers, it was an ugly win but they can tick off another victory as they press for the minor premiership, sitting just two points off ladder-leaders Port Adelaide heading into their bye week.

 

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Demons finals hopes dashed in Cairns

The Dees’ finals dreams became very real after an impressive win over the Saints last week. Until they ran into the Swans in Cairns on Thursday night. Sydney were instrumental in the 21-point win, with Luke Parker and Justin McInerney both kicking two goals each.

Unfortunately, it was same old unreliable Melbourne, who now sit ninth on the ladder and four points behind the Giants.

Giants overrun the Blues

It was déjà vu for Carlton in Thursday night’s loss against GWS. After leading for the three and a bit quarters, the Giants ran over the top of them in the fourth thanks to a four-goal period, two of them coming from three-game sensation Jake Riccardi.

To be fair, the Giants wastefulness on front of goal hurt them in the first three quarters, going 2.9 until the final term. The win saw the Giants climb back into the top eight, while any hope the Blues had making finals were effectively dashed.

Lower The Eyes

Brisbane vs. Collingwood

The Lions last win against the Magpies came six years ago, with unlikely duo Jonathan Freeman and Daniel Merrett combining for seven goals in a dominant display. Fast-forward to 2020 and Brisbane will prepare to end their six-game losing streak to Collingwood as they aim to close the gap on Port Adelaide at the top of the ladder.

The Queenslanders will be favourites for this clash as they make their run towards a Gabba Grand Final., whilst a depleted Collingwood squad will be fighting tooth and nail for a home final of their own. If the Magpies can pull off a win in this one, they’ll be right back in premiership contention.

AFL Rd 1 - Western Bulldogs v Collingwood
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 20: Josh Daicos of the Magpies celebrates a goal during the 2020 AFL Round 01 match between the Western Bulldogs and the Collingwood Magpies at Marvel Stadium on March 20, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

 North Melbourne vs. Port Adelaide

Hard to see Port Adelaide not taking the chocolates in this one. 17th hosting 1st as the bleeding Kangaroos look as though they’ve already checked out of this season already. Neutral fans will wonder why this showcase is the sole-Saturday match for the round, but we’ll take what we can get at this point.

Charlie Dixon penned a new deal with the Power midweek, with the barrel-chested forward licking his lips at the prospect of a six-goal haul in closing the gap on the Coleman Medal race. Overall, it won’t be a matter of who wins this one, but by how many for Port Adelaide.

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA – SEPTEMBER 09: Charlie Dixon of the Power celebrates after kicking a goal during the AFL First Elimination Final match between Port Adelaide Power and West Coast Eagles at Adelaide Oval on September 9, 2017 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

St Kilda vs. Hawthorn

Both clubs seem to be a tad out of form, with the Saints still feeling a touch bitter following their controversial loss to Melbourne. The Hawks have plenty to be worried about as they face a potential fifth straight loss coming up against a top eight contender in St Kilda.

Just four points separate the Saints and the bottom half following a forgetful fortnight, with this clash offering as a confidence booster as they look to cement their top eight placing. After handing the Crows their first win, the Hawks will be sure to come out firing in this one, hopefully they can hold on for the four quarters.

Geelong vs. Essendon

Dare we say it? The Cats can’t seem to buy four points following a week off, with Chris Scott perhaps preferring a three-day break instead. The Cats’ history of losses after a bye will linger in the match build up, but expect them to get the job done over a depleted Essendon squad.

Coming off a five-day break, the Bombers will need some luck to sway their way after losing best and fairest contender Andrew McGrath to injury on Tuesday. A loss here will surely put a line through their finals chances, so expect a fiery contest from the boys in the red and black.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MAY 05: Sam Menegola of the Cats handballs whilst being tackled by Jake Stringer of the Bombers during the round seven AFL match between the Geelong Cats and the Essendon Bombers at Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 05, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

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Western Bulldogs vs. West Coast

There’s a lot on the line for both clubs as we enter the final month of the season. The Bulldogs will need to take every chance they can get in this contest if they stand a chance of finishing in the top eight, while the Eagles will need to prove their stance as premiership contenders without a number of key names.

For the neutral fan, this match offers plenty of mouthwatering contests around the ground. The midfield battle will be as brutal as any with several stars facing off, while two of the league’s best contested marks in Jeremy McGovern and Aaron Naughton face off as a match-defining tussle. This one is sure to go down to the wire as it is anyone’s for the taking.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 07: Aaron Naughton of the Bulldogs celebrates a goal during the 2019 AFL round 03 match between the Western Bulldogs and the Gold Coast Suns at Marvel Stadium on April 07, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos/Getty Images)

Melbourne vs. Fremantle

Every game is now even more critical than it was before for the Demons. With games against the Giants and Bombers to follow, Simon Goodwin’s side simply can’t afford to drop this one. For Fremantle, they will look to build off an impressive showing against that Tigers that they conceivably could have pinched.

Angus Brayshaw (ankle) and Nathan Jones (leg) will both undergo tests after picking up niggles against the Swans and could both be considered in some sort of doubt given the four-day turnaround.