1 – SHAUN HIGGINS IS NORTH MELBOURNE’S MOST IMPORTANT PLAYER.
It’s no secret how good a player this guy is. And I’m fairly certain that Kangaroo supporters will point out Cunnington, Ziebell, Brown and others also having equal importance. I’m not suggesting the Roos are a one man team by any means. All I’m saying is that this guy is that good that he can truly affect the result of a game. North Melbourne had to overcome a sluggish start that saw them four goals down early. Once Higgins inserted himself into the game with 28 silky touches and two goals, the whole side lifted. He was involved in everything, and his skills are second to none in the comp. You can’t find a more reliable distributor of the ball. I’m in awe of him, and I’m just sad that he’s on the wrong side of 30 and at the tail end of his career.
2 – ROUND 20 WILL BE REMEMBERED AS THE ROUND THAT THREE SHAKY COACHES HAD A REPRIEVE.
2019 has seen three clubs part ways with their coaches. There are definitely another three coaches who were under increasing pressure in Ross Lyon, Ken Hinkley and Don Pyke. So it was timely that they were able to win their games, all of which were very much no certain victories. The question remains as to whether or not their fortunes will change. It’s just my opinion, but I think Ross is pretty safe, but if the two South Australian coaches finish the season poorly, there may just be a change.
3 – ORAZIO FANTASIA NOW HAS THE WORST HAIR IN THE AFL
Dear oh dear Orazio! What were you thinking? Have you not seen how ridiculous Matt Guelfi’s hair looks? Are you and Matt thinking of starting a boy band maybe? And when you’re struggling a bit for form, it’s probably not the best idea to draw more attention to yourself. Any wonder the Bombers stunk it up over the weekend. They were too embarrassed!!
4 – THE GIANTS REMAIN IN TOUCH WITH THE TOP 4 – JUST!
How’s this for a cliché: “It doesn’t matter where these two sides are on the ladder…” On paper, GWS should’ve smashed the Swans who really haven’t been travelling well in 2019. With the Giants vying for a Top 4 spot, it was surprising that they almost let this one slip. As for the Swans, if they can fire up for these sorts of rivalries, perhaps they need to treat all clubs as rivals. It’ll be a year they’d rather forget, and I feel the Giants will be thinking about what could’ve been after the season is over. And who knows how many players will leave Western Sydney…
5 – GEELONG WILL NOT FINISH ON TOP OF THE LADDER
I think it’s official. Geelong are on the slide. The lack of a top-line ruckman is clearly a problem, and Aaron Sandilands turned back the clock and showed he may not be done with yet. Only three Geelong players had over 20 possessions. The mercurial Dangerfield only had 16 in a rare display of mediocrity. And Freo were hardly setting the world on fire coming in to this game. Surely the alarm bells are ringing at GMHBA Stadium. At least, if this form continues, the AFL won’t have to worry about the issue of playing a final in Geelong. It appears all that talk was a little premature.
6 – RICHMOND ARE WINNING GAMES WITHOUT RAISING A SWEAT
When watching the Tigers take on the Dees, one got the impression that the Tigers never really got out of third gear. It was clinical and workmanlike without blowing them away. From where I sit, it seems the Tigers are saving themselves for the finals while still getting the job done week to week. Dusty is all but back to his best, their remaining games are all at the G, and if they win all three they could even finish as high as second. There are tough opponents in West Coast and Brisbane to come, but if they get through those it will be the perfect preparation.
7 – ADELAIDE ACTUALLY GO ALL RIGHT WHEN THEY SELECT THEIR BEST PLAYERS.
Don Pyke, in his infinite wisdom, brought Eddie Betts and Bryce Gibbs back into the side after strong showings in the SANFL. Betts kicked three and Gibbs had it 29 times. Will Pyke keep these guys in for the remainder of the season, or is he clearly nuts? The next three weeks can make or break his career. I can’t help but wonder if the inside story at the Crows reveals the real reasons for these seemingly illogical selections.
8 – GOLD COAST’S “HONOURABLE LOSS STREAK” IS OVER.
After the previous two weeks, I have to admit that I was seduced by what I believed was an improvement in form by the Suns. I even went into this week’s game thinking they were a real chance against a very depleted Magpies outfit. So, to see them go down by 69 points was very disappointing. The talk has already reverted to priority picks. Apparently the club will be in discussions with the AFL following Round 23. For a club like Melbourne who may finish 17th, forgoing this year’s number two pick will most likely cause some heartburn. Watch this space as things could get ugly.
9 – IT HAS BEEN TWO YEARS SINCE THE EAGLES HAVE LOST IN MELBOURNE.
It was August 6, 2017, when the Saints defeated the West Coast Eagles by eight points. Since then, every trip to Melbourne by the Eagles has resulted in a win. Clearly travelling to Melbourne and playing at the MCG or Marvel Stadium holds no fears for this West Coast team. There’s every chance the Eagles will finish top two if this continues, however, in Round 22 they play Richmond at the MCG, and I feel this dream run may come to an end.
10 – THE GABBA HAS BY FAR THE BEST PLAYING SURFACE IN THE AFL
Whilst watching the Brisbane v Bulldogs game, I couldn’t help but notice how incredible the playing surface looked. I’ve seen billiard tables that don’t look as smooth. And the grass looked so lush as well. I imagine it would be soft underfoot as it appears to be such a healthy covering of rich green grass. I’m guessing that Brisbane’s injury list being small is no coincidence. We all know how much trouble the Perth teams are having on the back of playing at Optus Stadium which has been widely criticised as being too firm. Food for thought..