Round 8: Adelaide 13.10.88 def Port Adelaide 9.14.68
Adelaide won the first showdown of the season on the back of a brilliant 2nd and 3rd terms that put the game away. Alex Keath won the Showdown Medal on the back of a dominant 26-disposal, five-mark game from the backline. Rory Laird and Brad Crouch were also instrumental with 31 and 30 disposals respectively, while Rory Sloane also had a big game with 26 disposals and 13 tackles to go along with a goal.
Round 22: Brisbane 10.15.75 def Geelong 10.14.74
On the back of eight wins in a row and sitting equal top of the ladder with Geelong, Geelong had total control of the game. With seven minutes remaining in the game, Brisbane trailed by 17 points and in dramatic fashion, come from behind to win the game by a single point and grabbed top spot on the ladder with one game remaining in the season. Charlie Cameron was massive in this game for the Lions, kicking five goals to go along with 17 disposals. Lachie Neale was big with 29 disposals and a goal, while Jarryd Lyons had 28 disposals and 11 tackles to go along with a goal, while Hugh McCluggage had 27 disposals and a goal.
Round 12: Carlton 11.12.78 def Brisbane 9.9.63
In David Teague’s first game in charge of the Blues, things didn’t look pretty early with the Blues trailing the Lions by 37 points midway through the second term. But a brilliant third and fourth quarter effort which saw the Blues pile on 8.4 to 3.5, propelled the Blues over the top of the in-form Lions to win their second game of the season. Captain Patrick Cripps was instrumental in the win with 38 disposals (16 contested) and four goals, in what could be argued is the performance of the season. Sam Walsh was also brilliant with 32 disposals (14 contested), while Ed Curnow was brilliant in his tagging role on Lachie Neale while also collecting 30 disposals himself.
Round 17: Collingwood 11.12.78 def West Coast 12.5.77
After two tough losses in a row, the Pies were headed for a trip to Perth to face the in-form Eagles at Optus Stadium. Trailing by 16 points at three-quarter time, the Pies rallied late and stole the game from the Eagles’ grasp, taking out a one-point win to get their season back on track. Adam Treloar was big with 39 disposals, while Steele Sidebottom gathered 33 disposals of his own. Brody Mihocek was also great with four goals and 19 disposals, while Jordan De Goey also snared two goals to go along with his 22 disposals.
A six-goal last quarter including the game-winning goal by Cale Hooker with a matter of seconds left, sealed a big one-goal win that kept the Bombers in finals contention. Zach Merrett was big with 28 disposals, while Dylan Shiel was also instrumental with 22 possessions and a goal. Jayden Laverde, Cale Hooker and Shaun McKernan all kicked two goals each to help the Bombers get over the top.
Round 10: Fremantle 10.13.73 def Brisbane 10.12.72
In a game where Brisbane led all game, Fremantle pinched a win on the siren by a point after Michael Walters kicked a goal at the death. Walters was instrumental in the win with 25 disposals and two goals. Luke Ryan had 32 disposals, Bradley Hill had 31 disposals and Nat Fyfe gathered 26 disposals and a goal to also help contribute to the win.
Round 12: Geelong 16.8.104 def Richmond 5.7.37
After a tight first quarter where Richmond led by 11 points, Geelong piled on 15 goals to one in the second and third quarters to run away as comfortable winners and really stake their claim as premiership favourites. Patrick Dangerfield was key in the win with 38 disposals and a goal, while Mitch Duncan and Tim Kelly both chipped in with 34 and 32 disposals respectively, whilst also contributing a goal. Tom Hawkins kicked four goals, while Gryan Miers also contributed with three goals and 21 disposals himself.
Gold Coast Suns
Round 3: Gold Coast 10.13.73 def Western Bulldogs 9.14.68
Gold Coast notched up their second win on the season after catching the Dogs by surprise after their opening two wins of the season, leading the game at every change to get a big win at Marvel Stadium. Brayden Fiorini gathered 27 disposals in the win, while Lachie Weller and Jack Bowes also had big games, notching up 26 and 25 disposals a piece. Alex Sexton, David Swallow and Daniel MacPherson all combined with two goals each, while Jack Martin kicked 1.4 and gathered 23 disposals himself.
Round 4: GWS Giants 11.13.79 def Geelong 11.9.75
After trailing by 21 points at half time and looking down and out, GWS used a six-goal third term to come roaring back into the game to steal a four-point win down the stretch at GMHBA Stadium in a gloomy day which saw their captain Callan Ward out of the game early with a torn ACL. Stephen Coniglio and Josh Kelly led the way for Giants with 34 and 32 disposals respectively, while Jacob Hopper and Lachie Whitfield gathered 31 disposals each. Jeremy Cameron and Jeremy Finlayson contributed three goals each, while Harry Himmelberg and Daniel Lloyd also kicked two goals each to contribute to the win.
Round 18: Hawthorn 12.13.85 def Geelong 8.13.61
In what is always a massive game against their major rival, Hawthorn led at every change to defeat the top of the ladder Cats at the MCG to keep their finals hopes alive. Liam Shiels had a very good game, kicking two goals and collecting 29 disposals. Jaeger O’Meara was also big collecting 27 disposals, while James Worpel gathered 24 disposals and also kicked a goal himself.
Round 4: Melbourne 15.10.100 def Sydney 11.12.78
After a slow start, the Demons rallied in the second and third quarters, kicking 12 goals to six to run away with a 22-point win and kick start their hopeful season with their first game of the season. Clayton Oliver was instrumental with 33 disposals (20 contested), while Christian Salem (27 disposals) and Nathan Jones (21 disposals, three goals) were also key contributors in the win.
North Melbourne Kangaroos
Round 15: North Melbourne 11.15.81 def Collingwood 5.7.37
Leading from start to finish, the Kangaroos dominated from the first bounce and didn’t look back, defeating the Pies by 44 points in what some will say is the day that Rhyce Shaw got the coaching gig. Ben Cunnington (37 disposals) was a key figure in the heart of the Kangaroos’ midfield, while Jack Ziebell (25 disposals, three goals), Jy Simpkin (30 disposals) and Jared Polec (27 disposals, one goal) were also big in a dominating performance.
Round 14: Port Adelaide 9.13.67 def Geelong 8.8.56
Geelong up until that point in the season had only lost one game for the season, but that didn’t scare off the Power as they led from start to finish to defeat the Cats by 11 points at the Adelaide Oval. Robbie Gray (31 disposals, two goals) and Travis Boak (30 disposals, 17 contested) led the way for the Power in what at the time, was a big win for their then finals ambitions.
Round 22: Richmond 13.10.88 def West Coast 13.4.82
In a game where the Tigers trailed by 24 points early and didn’t lead at any change up until three quarter time, Richmond used a five-goal last term and a Jack Riewoldt sealing goal with four minutes to go to take out a six-point win in a game that was deemed a potential grand final preview. Dustin Martin (35 disposals, one goal) and Bachar Houli (34 disposals, nine marks) were the big contributors on the day for the Tigers, while Dion Prestia (29 disposals), Tom Lynch (17 disposals, three goals) and Jack Riewoldt (15 disposals, two goals) were also key figures in the win.
St Kilda Saints
Round 21: St Kilda 10.12.72 def Fremantle 10.9.69
In a game where up and coming star ruckman Rowan Marshall went off half way through the first quarter with a knee injury, the Saints would find it tough to get a win against a Dockers team still fighting for finals. St Kilda trailed by nine points with two and a half minutes to go in the game, before two big-time goals from Jack Steven and Josh Bruce in the dying moments of the game and a big Josh Battle mark in the last seconds sealed a three-point win for the Saints. Jack Steven (22 disposals, three goals) and Dan Hannebery (23 disposals, two goals) both returned from big lay offs to play a key role in the victory. Seb Ross (28 disposals), Jack Billings (27 disposals), Hunter Clark (26 disposals) and Luke Dunstan (24 disposals, one goal) were also instrumental in the win.
Round 12: Sydney 18.8.116 def West Coast 10.11.71
In a game where the Eagles were coming in with some form and Sydney not performing to their full capacity, Sydney led the game at every change and used big second and third terms to pull away from the Eagles and really dominate the game to claim a 45-point win. Tom Papley (27 disposals, five goals) and Lance Franklin (18 disposals, five goals) led the way for the Swans, while Jake Lloyd (42 disposals, nine marks), Dane Rampe (32 disposals) and Luke Parker (29 disposals, one goal) were also big.
Round 22: Western Bulldogs 19.12.126 def GWS Giants 9.11.65
There was a number of games that could be considered for the Dogs, including the Essendon game where the Dogs kicked 21 goals in a row to defeat the Bombers by 104 points, but we ultimately chose the Giants game as it seemed bigger in the context of making finals and beating a fellow finals contender. In a game that was tight up until half time where the Giants led by three points, the Dogs piled on a massive 10.9 second half to 0.1 for the Giants to run away as 61-point winners against a fellow finals contender in what is one of the more dominating second-half performances of the season by any team. Jack Macrae (39 disposals) and Josh Dunkley (31 disposals, 10 tackles, two goals) led the way for the Dogs in this game, with Patrick Lipinski (27 disposals, two goals) and Jason Johannisen (27 disposals) also playing a key part in the victory.
Round 15: West Coast 11.11.77 def Hawthorn 9.17.71
In a close and tense game throughout on a cold and rainy day at the MCG, the Eagles rallied in the last quarter and used a Jamie Cripps goal in the last minute of the game to seal a six-point win that most certainly dampened the Hawks’ finals hopes. Luke Shuey (39 disposals, one goal) was the key figure for the Eagles, with Jack Darling (17 disposals, five goals), Andrew Gaff (34 disposals) and Jamie Cripps (three goals) also contributing nicely for the reigning premiers.