1 – SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT WITH THE ADELAIDE CROWS
They played off in a Grand Final just two years ago. On paper, they have as good a list as anyone, with a midfield consisting of Rory Sloane and the Crouch brothers. The Crows have a strong back six and a forward line most fans would be happy with. Yet, here they are looking less and less likely to make the finals after yet another disappointing loss to an Essendon side who are well below full-strength.
Kudos to the Bombers for the great comeback win on the road, but from the Crows’ perspective, not playing finals this year puts enormous pressure on Don Pike.
2 – WHILE MANY TOP TEAMS ARE SLIDING, THE TIGERS ARE BUILDING
Everybody expected Richmond to win this week, and win they did. The reliability factor at Tigerland is increasing round by round, and it’s certainly no coincidence that it’s occurring on the back of players returning from injury. The odds for another Richmond flag are tightening.
3 – WHEN THE BLUES GET A BIG LEAD, THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO.
Early in the third term, the Blues found themselves in unfamiliar territory leading the struggling Gold Coast Suns by 43 points. From that point, however, the Suns gained the ascendancy and dominated clearances and controlled many stages of the game. The Blues were able to hold them out to be eventual winners by 24 points, but it is clear for all to see that while the Blues have clearly improved under their interim coach, they’ll need to find another gear to find any more wins this year.
4 – THE GIANTS AT THEIR BEST ARE STILL PRETTY OMINOUS
After their last three weeks, one could easily be forgiven for writing off GWS as any kind of force to be reckoned with. Saturday was a reminder of just how good they can be. The first quarter alone put the game out of reach for the brave Collingwood outfit. Other sides would do well to keep that quarter in mind come September. The Giants may well still remain a threat even if they were to finish outside the Top 4, especially once Kelly comes back and if they can regain Coniglio come finals time.
5 – OSCAR MCINERNY PUT IN HIS BID FOR THE OLYMPIC DIVING TEAM.
I’m being a little tongue in cheek here. I don’t want to be too tough on “The Big O” but while the focus around all this has been the AFL’s admission that the umpire decision was wrong, not a lot of commentators mentioned the ease with which McInerny went to ground. Keeping your feet is one of the most important attributes a good AFL player should have. Oscar didn’t, and the resultant uncontested mark to Thompson should’ve been the end result, but the umpire saw things that not many others didn’t and paid a free kick. Perhaps a week umpiring Benalla v Wangaratta might be where said umpire can contemplate the error.
6 – FREO AND SYDNEY NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT WINNING GAMES REQUIRES SCORING GOALS
I wonder what Stephen Hocking was thinking while watching this game, in which the Dockers won with just seven goals scored. It’s games like this that give the AFL twitchy butts that result in them inventing rule amendments designed to “open up the game”. Perhaps the powers that be have got this whole philosophy wrong. Instead of changing rules to help scoring improve, maybe the AFL should be given the power to sack boring coaches like Lyon and Longmire. You’re welcome AFL!!
7 – GEELONG MIGHT BE GETTING AHEAD OF THEMSELVES REQUESTING A HOME FINAL.
There’s been so much talk emanating from the Geelong camp with regards to the idea that they should be given a home final if they were to finish the season in first or second place. What I find amusing is the notion that the Geelong Football Club assume that they will be there come season’s end. They’ve won two out of their last five against Adelaide and St Kilda at home and they’ve lost the other 3 to sides who currently sit just in or outside the 8. Whilst they have a strong percentage and are a game clear on top, their formline can only be described as indifferent right now. The Cats look very gettable, and I would not be surprised if they slip down the ladder. So, for now, if I were the GFC, I’d shut up about the whole home final thing and just worry about beating their weekly opponents.
8 – THE EAGLES WON THE GAME, BUT THEY’RE CLEARLY NOT INVINCIBLE.
West Coast has a pretty favourable draw, and should finish Top 4. That said, their last few weeks have produced some interesting results. The big loss to Sydney in Round 12 and the shock loss to Collingwood last week showed a vulnerability many haven’t seen. Even the 17th placed Melbourne challenged them despite trailing by as much as 32 points. Like the Cats, I also think the Eagles will need to find better form than what is currently on display if they are to make a case for back to back premierships. All the ingredients are still there, but I just can’t help but feel that, unlike last year, the ultimate prize is a lot less likely without a certain Fijian ruckman on the field.
9 – SACK THE COACH, AND YOU WIN THE FIRST GAME EVERY TIME!
It’s three from three. North Melbourne, Carlton and now St Kilda have won immediately after appointing interim coaches. The Saints following suit seemed far less likely to me, especially considering just how many key players they have on the sidelines for what can only be described as the most diverse list of reasons we’ve ever seen resulting in players being unavailable for selection. Brett Ratten comes to the role of interim coach once again, only this time he’s been instructed to coach to win. Us poor fans are always left wondering why the players seem to spike in performance whenever a coach gets moved on or resigns. The Saints were fierce. Where has that intensity been?
10 – EXTEND THE COACH’S CONTRACT AND YOU’RE CERTAIN TO LOSE.
Last week, John Longmire’s contract was extended and the Swans went on to lose at home against a struggling side in Carlton. This week Luke Beveridge also was granted another three years in the top job, and what most thought would’ve been a win to the Dogs turned out to be a nail in the coffin to their finals aspirations. Both Longmire and Beveridge do have premierships against their name, so I get why they’ve been given more time, but particularly in Beveridge’s case, is now the best time to extend? After winning a flag, missing the subsequent three years of finals seems to raise questions with everyone except the chiefs at Whitten Oval.