Here are our top five games of the 2019 season, following on from Richmond’s win over the Eagles on Sunday, if one of the contests of the season.
In what would be remembered as the battle of two gun young forwards, the Lions had to reclaim their lead in a high-scoring encounter.
Brisbane burst out of the blocks to lead by five goals early in the first quarter – with Eric Hipwood kicking three early goals – but the Power slowly regained the momentum and clawed their way back slowly to cut the margin to under a kick early in the third term.
With the Lions rightfully responding on the back of a dominant outing up forward from Hipwood, the Power’s own Connor Rozee kept his side’s surge going as the Power took the lead early in the final quarter to turn the game on its head and appeared as if they would run away with the game.
Rozee would finish up with five goals to rival Hipwood’s six, and it was Hipwood’s Lions who, with a late flurry of goals, turned the game again and ran away with a memorable 17-point win, their first over Port Adelaide since 2015.
Although it certainly was not one of the prettiest games to watch, over 90,000 people turned up to watch one of the all-time great ANZAC Day clashes.
The Magpies held a five-goal advantage midway through the second term and looked like they were going to run away with the match as Essendon appeared to falter on the big stage once again.
However, the Bombers rallied back to bring the margin to under two goals at the start of the final quarter to ensure a classic finish would ensure.
The momentum swung both ways in the fourth quarter and after a goal exchange, a Joe Daniher goal late in the term cut the margin to just three points.
But their surge would halt there, as the game was marred due to some aggrieved Bombers – unhappy with some dodgy umpiring calls – booing Scott Pendlebury as he received the ANZAC Medal for his best-on-ground outing.
The Bulldogs led by six-goals midway through the final term, but a strong finish from the Blues ensured this high-scoring affair would go down to the wire despite falling short.
In what was a battle of the youngsters, the Dogs’ trio of Josh Dunkley, Marcus Bontempelli and Jackson Macrae arguably began their domination of the league in this game as they were simply unstoppable for the day.
But the Blues also had someone of the similar ilk to these three star Bulldogs, as young forward Charlie Curnow had a breakout game with a whopping seven goals to his name.
The game was filled with momentum swings, as the dogs led by six goals midway through the second term before the Blues reeled off goal after goal to take back the lead by single digits midway through the third term.
It was then the Bulldogs’ turn to have some momentum as they swung the game back in their favour to end the third term with a six-point buffer, before breaking away by six goals in the final term which was when the Blues decided to fight back and bring the game to a grandstand finish.
Curnow’s seventh goal cut the margin to three points with just under three minutes remaining, but the manic final minutes of the game saw the Bulldogs hold on.
2. Rd 22: Brisbane 10.15 (75) def Geelong 10.14 (74)
In the second vs first clash, a high-flying mark and goal from former Cat Lincoln McCarthy was enough for the Lions to come-from-behind in this classic.
The game saw the Cats hold no more than a three-goal lead over the Lions, who appeared to be the more attacking team but just couldn’t piece it all together.
Both sides found getting the ball through the goals tough as each side’s defence withstood an avalanche from their opposition, proving that their defences can withstand the best attacks in the competition.
With Geelong being ranked as the No.1 defensive side and the Lions the No.1 offensive side, it was always going to be a strong battle at the Cats’ defence held up their end for the most part.
Charlie Cameron lit up the Gabba once again as he kicked five of his side’s 10 goals for the game, and that proved to be the difference in the end as the Lions stamped their premiership credentials as the Cats couldn’t hold on.
1. Rd 22: Richmond 13.10 (88) def West Coast 13.4 (82)
In what could very well have been a preview of this season’s Grand Final, these two sides well and truly lived up to the hype.
The Eagles were ruthless early, leading by five goals as the Tigers appeared to be ill-equipped to challenge last year’s premiers.
But that was in the dry, and as the wet weather began to settle in on the MCG, the Tigers began to kick into gear.
The Tigers clawed their way back for the next two quarters to trail by just five points at three-quarter time before a goal-fest in the final term left fans wanting more.
But that wouldn’t last long as a Jack Riewoldt goal with four minutes remaining was the difference and saw the Tigers pull off a memorable win.