The Winners and Losers of Round 12

Simple concept from a simple man – five winners and five losers from Round 12.

Let’s go!





Here’s something you might like. Or maybe not, actually.

This season, the most goals a North Melbourne forward has kicked is three – that was Nick Larkey, Paul Curtis, and Cam Zurhaar a couple of times each. There was a time when North wanted Mason Wood to be one of those players that kicked bags, but their patience ran out and Wood found himself at St Kilda, discarded by North.

And here he is bobbing up to snag more goals in this game than any of the North forwards in a  game all year.

Wood was fantastic, particularly after Max King went down injured. His three last quarter goals put the Saints on his back and carried them over the line against the Eagles in a ripping contest. After that massive collision and injury earlier in the year, I was genuinely rapt for Wood to have a day out like this.

He deserved it.



In the pre-season, this bloke’s name had an asterisk next to it in my notes. With great goal sense, excellent running capacity, and a tremendous ability to read the game, Dempsey has slotted in on the wing perfectly at Geelong, and has managed to remain disciplined in the role whilst others have been drawn to the contest.

He knows exactly when to push hard forward, but is also doing the team-things for the Cats, making sure he gets back on defence, and so on.

His three goals were vital to Geelong keeping pace with Richmond, ensuring the Cats were close enough to strike. With 27 touches and a couple of direct goal assists, he played a blinder on the wing.



Oh, you thought I forgot about the Carlton skipper?

No, no, no… how could I? Playing Thursday nights make the game seem like it was ages ago, but Cripps’ performance cannot be easily forgotten.

When the Blues needed someone to stand up and take control of the game in the final quarter against Port Adelaide, the captain stepped up, kicking two goals in the first 80 seconds of the quarter to give the Blues the breathing room they needed.

He added nine touches, the majority of which came early in the quarter, as his team pulled away from Port and secured the massive road win.

Just another in the long line of games that Cripps has put this team on his shoulders. The only difference now is that there are plenty of others willing to take the load off him.



It was as though Bont watched the heroics of Patrick Cripps the night before and thought ‘Anything you can do, I can do better!

In a contest that was dominated by one superstar in the early going, it was the established gun that stepped up when the game needed to be won. Nick Daicos has another blinder, with his early form scintillating, but an AFL game is a marathon, and it is often how you finish that matters.

Bont finished all over the Pies. Tee hee…

His last quarter returned 14 disposals, five clearances, four tackles and a goal. Hell, I’d be pleased with those numbers across four quarters from a normal player.

But Bont is no normal player.

It was a timely reminder that, although many of the young guns get the majority of press, the old dogs, and in this case, the big dog of the Western Bulldogs, are still forces to be reckoned with.



We’re watching a boy become a man, this season.

Josh Treacy was viewed as a talented kid who was a good second or third option for the Dockers last season, but with another powerful performance, this time against the Dees, Treacy is fast becoming one of the more reliable key forwards in the game.

With three goals to go along with his 18 touches and 11 marks, he is showing signs that he could actually become something special.

He is 21 years old, people… he is still developing, and the way he attacks the contest should make some of the big name forwards in the game feel embarrassed. This bloke is rapidly becoming one of my favourite players to watch.

Aggression, skill, mongrel… and the ability to convert his chances – Josh Treacy is for real.





Is the big fella cooked? He didn’t look like getting near the footy as Port fell over against the Blues on Thursday night.

Subbed out of the game with one disposal, Dixon looked banged up and like his body simply couldn’t respond to what his brain was asking it to do. In the air, he was a non-factor, appearing to be unable to elevate, at all.

It’d be nice if the Power had some backup from Todd Marshall, but he played like he was allergic to the footy for most of the game, too. Only Mitch Georgiades showed anything in terms of big forwards, and coming back from a knee reconstruction, that’s a huge ask.



The first of three Dees in this section this week – when you get beaten by 92-points, you’re gonna cop it. I could have filled all five spots with Demons, really.

Harrison Petty is not a forward. He is plonked down inside fifty on the back of one game last year where he kicked some goals. In the past seven games, Petty has averaged 5.4 disposals and 0.28 goals per game.

Either get this bloke back into defence, or get him out of the side. Playing him as a forward is like playing one man down.

What was that offer the Crows made for him last year? If only the Dees could turn back the hands of time, huh?



I don’t enjoy writing this one, but Oliver is not the same player he was 12 months ago, and the harrowing off-season has obviously had an impact on him.

Four contested touches. This, from one of the best contested-possession players in the history of the game. It was an equal career-low from Clarrie, who is not playing footy the in the manner that made him a star of the game.

For further context, over the years 2017-23, Oliver had just five games with fewer than ten contested touches. He’s had five of those games this season, alone.

I don’t think we see him at his best until 2025, and I hope he can get back to playing the brand of footy that made him such a special player.



Oh, you’re thinking about the tackle and suspension, huh?

Nah, that is low-hanging fruit, and really, I like that he is an aggressive little bugger!

What I was concerned with was the way he gave away 50 metres late in the game after having his colours lowered by Marcus Windhager in the second half. He looked flustered, visibly frustrated, and was probably lucky not to give away a couple of free kicks, or 50 metre penalties for dissent as he yapped back at the umpire.

He is a prodigious talent and is obviously going to go a long way in this league, but he has to keep that temper in check. It may end up costing him and his team more than a 50-metre penalty.

As for the tackle… I knew they’d suspend him, but I hated seeing it come to fruition. He’s just a beast of a player, and beasts are gonna beast.



Imagine sitting there and watching your side get pounded like that, and the best you can do is move Tom McDonald forward and Bayley Fritsch to the wing to start the last quarter? The game was gone.

The Demons coach had bugger all to offer as his team failed every challenge against the Dockers, and with Melbourne now sitting outside the top eight, and facing Collingwood next week, there is a very real chance that we might be talking about the demise of one of those two clubs in a week’s time.

I’m being harsh on Goody, here, I know. If you’re moving a player failing at one position into another, chances are you’re just swapping around two players who are going to stink it up in different areas of the ground, but when you’re looking down the barrel of a hiding like the Dees were, I would have liked to have seen a few more things tried

A massive seven days coming up for the Demons, for Goodwin, and their supporters. They need a big response.


Feel free to add your own, and of course, you can criticise my selections. You’re good at that – haha.


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