The Western Bulldogs rallied on the back of a nine goal to two final term to turn a 40-point deficit into a 21-point victory over Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium.
The Bulldogs’ big guns fired as Tom Liberatore, Luke Dahlhaus, Jake Stringer and Marcus Bontempelli all amassed more than 25 touches while Stringer and Matthew Suckling combined for eight goals, with four supergoals between them.
For the Suns, two-time Brownlow Medallist Gary Ablett made a successful return in his first game since last July with 22 disposals and two goals while Aaron Hall continued his strong preseason with 36 touches off halfback. Pearce Hanley and Jarrod Witts also continued to impress for their new club.
Western Bulldogs: Jake Stringer, Tom Liberatore, Lin Jong, Luke Dahlhaus, Shane Biggs
Nathan Vardy did his chances of a round one debut for his new club no harm, as West Coast rounded out their preseason with a 25-point win over Melbourne on Thursday night.
Sam Mitchell continued doing Sam Mitchell things as he racked up 39 touches to go along with 12 marks and five clearances while the Eagles had seven players rack up over 25 touches. Josh Kennedy kicked five goals to go along with his seven marks inside 50.
For Melbourne, old heads Jordan Lewis and Nathan Jones were instrumental in midfield while young gun Clayton Oliver collected a team-high 31 touches, won five clearances and laid seven tackles in a prolific display from the 19-year old.
West Coast: Mitchell, Gaff, Vardy, Masten, LeCras
Melbourne: Oliver, Lewis, Spencer, Salem, Bugg
Greater Western Sydney wrapped up their preseason in style after a convincing 38-point win over North Melbourne on Friday night.
Toby Greene put in a stellar performance with five goals to go along with his 26 disposals (18 contested) as Heath Shaw continued his dominance across half back with a game-high 33 touches. Midfield duo Callan Ward and Dylan Shiel were also impressive at UNSW Canberra Oval.
However, it didn’t go all the Giants way with Steve Johnson (concussion) and Aidan Corr (hand) going down in the opening quarter before Stephen Coniglio joined them on the pine in the third quarter with an ankle injury of his own.
GWS: Greene, Shaw, Shiel, Ward, Kelly
North Melbourne: Waite, Swallow, Turner, Ziebell, Thomas
Nat Fyfe has reminded everyone of his 2015 Brownlow form after he led the Dockers to a 21-point win, ensuring Carlton remained win-less throughout the JLT series.
Fyfe collected 38 touches (16 contested), took seven marks laid six tackles and had five clearances as he and Lachie Neale (37 touches, seven clearances) took charge as Fremantle secured a comfortable win. Cam McCarthy booted six goals however fellow star forward Hayden Ballantyne suffered a serious hamstring injury that will see him sidelined for 8-10 weeks.
Despite being winless, Carlton fans have reason to be optimistic heading into round one as Patrick Cripps showed why he is considered one of the best young midfielders in the competition with 26 touches in his second game back from a back injury while Kade Simpson, Sam Docherty and Marc Murphy all found the ball in the wide spaces of Domain Stadium. Former No. 4 pick Jarrod Pickett kicked three goals for the Blues.
Fremantle: Fyfe, Neale, McCarthy, Sandilands, Mundy
Carlton: Cripps, Simpson, Kerridge, Docherty, Gibbs
Collingwood beat perennial rival Richmond by seven points behind Ben Reid’s 26 touches and 18 markets in an instrumental display.
Collingwood booted seven of the first eight goals of the game in Moe, as Adam Treloar led a Scott Pendlebury-less midfield with 29 touches (12 contested). Tom Phillips continued to put his name forward for round one with a strong 24 disposal display while Taylor Adams picked up 29 touches in midfield.
For the Tigers, their big second half comeback wasn’t enough however Dustin Martin – whose contract talk will be a hot topic around Punt Road all season – collected 26 disposals to go along with his three goals in an impressive hit out for the superstar.
Richmond: Martin, Riewoldt, Prestia, Conca, Edwards
Collingwood: Reid, Treloar, Adams, Grundy, Phillips
Adelaide’s highly potent offense shone through once again as they defeated Brisbane by 39 points in their final tune up before round one.
The Crows had five multiple goal-kickers with Mitch McGovern and Josh Jenkins leading the way with four apiece while Curley Hampton snared eight clearances in midfield for the Crows.
Despite the loss, Brisbane captain Dayne Beams collected 35 disposals (15 contested) and eight clearances for the Lions with Stefan Martin lending a big hand with 41 hit outs and four clearances of his own.
Adelaide: Laird, Atkins, Hampton, McGovern, Otten
Brisbane: Beans, Martin, Robertson, Bell, Gardiner
27-year-old rookie Brett Eddy’s case for a round one debut is all but assured after a dominant four-goal 10 minute display in the third term as the Power knocked off the Hawks by 28 points.
Eddy finished with five goals while 19-year-old while Sam Powell-Pepper locked in a round one birth with 23 touches and five clearances. Paddy Ryder continued to shine with 35 hitouts as he returns from 12 months out of the game.
For the Hawks, recruits Tom Mitchell and Jaeger O’Meara were impressive in midfield as they both saw a minutes increase ahead of round one.
Port Adelaide: Ryder, Eddy, Ebert, Wines, Young
Hawthorn: Mitchell, Langford, O’Meara, Frawley, Henderson
A tale of two halves in Bendigo saw Geelong come out 22-point winners over Essendon. Essendon jumped out to a 40-point halftime lead as Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti booted three goals. Midfielders Zach Merrett and Jobe Watson also impressed while rookie Shaun McKernan pushed his case for round one with three goals in the ruck.
However it was all Geelong in the third quarter as their big guns stepped up with a nine goal to two performance. Joel Selwood, Tom Hawkins and Patrick Dangerfield led from the front as the Cats completed the 10-goal turnaround.
Geelong: Selwood, Dangerfield, Mackie, Cokatoo, Hawkins
Essendon: McDonald-Tipungwuti, Watson, McKernan, Merrett, Heppell
St. Kilda v Sydney
Sydney have claimed a tight win over St. Kilda in the final game of the JLT Community Series with the Swans’ hard-bodied midfielders leading the way. Luke Parker and Josh Kennedy were instrumental in the wet conditions while youngster Daniel Robinson also had a big impact on the game with 17 of his 28 disposals being contested. Lance Franklin looked in ominous touch up forward despite kicking just 2.4.
There was a lot to like about the Saints in the three point defeat as ruckman Tom Hickey led the way with 29 touches to go with 39 hit outs, 10 clearances and seven tackles. Jack Steven and Jack Steele were also strong in midfield alongside David Armitage.
St. Kilda: Hickey, Steele, Steven, Robertson, Savage
Sydney: Kennedy, Robinson, Parker, Franklin, Jones