The Winners and Losers of Round 13

Poor, simple HB… needs to keep things nice and easy the day after a round is completed.

Here are his five winners and five losers from Round 13







Well, you see, the big fella was dropped for this week. He was replaced in the team by Kieran Strachan, and for a little while, it appeared as though his replacement would hold the fort.

Right up until he didn’t.

Strachan injured a groin, Toby Nankervis monstered the Crows in the ruck, and the Tigers stormed to an upset win on the road. And Reilly O’Brien had people openly questioning whether Adelaide could have won the game had he been included in the line-up. Possibly the biggest win for a non-playing player all season.

Not so great for the Crows, though.



He has battled shoulder injuries for a couple of years, leading to people telling me they’re “shot” earlier in the year.

Apparently not, as he took on the responsibility of slowing down Marcus Bontempelli, and managed to do what so many others have failed to do.

But hang on… Bont kicked three goals, right? Surely that counts for something?

Yep, it counts as three goals in a loss, as Berry kept Bont to 19 touches and just two clearances for the game, forcing the Dogs’ captain to go forward. Meanwhile, Berry had 23 touches, five clearances, and snagged a goal of his own

Also, apologies to Alex Neal-Bullen, Marcus Windhager, and Alex Cincotta for not including their run-with roles over the weekend. Can’t have an entire list filled with taggers.



This is exactly why the Swans recruited Grundy to the side.

An impressive performance against the Cats saw Grundy register a rare 20-20-20 game, notching 24 disposals, 21 contested possessions, and 34 hit outs, as he dominated Rhys Stanley.

I feel sorry for Stanley… apart from him being a premiership player, and all. He has been asked to play ruck for the majority of his career despite not being a natural ruck, and it is never more evident when he comes up against a high-quality big man in full flight.

Grundy was a monster on the weekend, and a huge reason for the Swans’ comeback win.



Speaking of dominant rucks, we are seeing Tom De Koning emerge as a real threat both at centre stoppages and around the ground.

Against the wily old Todd Goldstein, TDK recorded a career–best game, notching 24 touches, 19 hit outs, and ten clearances, as he simply stepped around Goldy to take clean possession onn several occasions.

Also, I loved his second efforts in this one. It provides a bit of a dilemma for the Blues, with Marc Pittonet soon available. Luckily, TDK has proven he can go forward and provide a marking target.

… De Koning’s in the air…



Love him or hate him, he stood up against the Dees, and played the game in a manner consistent with a bloke that goes hard at the contest.

On two occasions, he put Melbourne players on their backsides with big hits (Howes and Fritsch) as he went about providing the Pies with another stable and reliable presence in their back 50.

Yes, he was booed. Yes, nobody likes that Angus Brayshaw was forced to retire after last year’s hit in the finals, but looking at this game in isolation… he was a beast.





Anyone who’s read my stuff over the past six years (yes, it’s been that long) would know I am a huge Toby Greene fan, so this is coming from a place of concern, as opposed to sticking the boots in.

I haven’t seen Greene fumble as much as he did in the first quarter against the Hawks. For a guy who has so often done the extraordinary, he looked… pretty ordinary.

And then, he copped a stray elbow in the head from Sam Frost, forcing him to wear one of Darcy Jones’ tea-cosy helmets for the remainder of the game.

Not the best day at the office for TG4.



Ah yes… Marvel Stadium.

Dimma was back at his least-favourite ground in the league, and walked away with yet another loss.

Thai was a game the Suns had to win. They have not won on the road all season, and going into a game against the underachieving Saints, this should have been the one they picked up in Melbourne.

Nup… couldn’t get it done. And you’re not going to play finals unless you can pick up a win or two away from home.



What a fizzer!

Really, Harry McKay is at fault, here, playing a game where he led away from the goalmouth and allowed Charlie Curnow to go to work. This meant that Ben spent a bit of time on Charlie, or following his brother up the ground where nothing much was happening.

Nine years in the making – one should have got a dose of gastro and made it an even ten.



Screw it – they are going in here every week until Petty does something.

He is not a forward. I don’t care that he once kicked six in 2023. Know what he’s done this year?

He’s kicked three. Total. In 11 games.

Simon Goodwin, you had a defence under siege and Steven May trying to improve things by yelling at everyone. For God’s sake, send this bloke back to defence, and while I am at it, put Ed Langdon back onto the wing – it is where he plays his best footy.

And then there’s the Petracca stuff… see below. It gets its own section.



Come on, fellas, you kicked 2.15 for the first three quarters of the game.

The umpire pinging Elliot Yeo in a line-ball decision didn’t cost you the game. Your inability to hit the ocean from the beach in the first three quarters is what cost you the four points. Yes, nice comeback in the last quarter, and a good show of heart (where was it earlier?) but you cocked this one up, yourselves.

Blaming someone else is fine when they’re genuinely at fault, but 95% of the blame for this loss goes to blokes who could not kick straight.


Oh, I have a couple more things to yap on about.

I both loved and hated the sportsmanship from the Magpies when Christian Petracca re-entered the fray in the second quarter. He was obviously suffering and looked incredibly sore from the knee he copped from Darcy Moore. I was watching, wondering why someone didn’t just smash into him and take him out of the game – would have taken one relatively tame bump and that would have been it.

Particularly given what has come about the extent of his injuries this morning.

I guess Craig McCrae and his team are better blokes than me, and I am happy they are, as they simply concentrated on their own game when there was a live kill out there. It was a great display of sportsmanship and demonstrated that I am a crusty old neanderthal. Hard to hate a team that did not go after him – the three-peat Lions and Hawks would have… you know it.

As for the decision to re-insert him into the game… wow, that’s looking like a complete screw up, isn’t it? Had there been a thug out there, Trac could have been in even more trouble. They’re reporting there are multiple broken ribs, a laceration to his spleen, and a small puncture in his lung.

One more hit… it could have been a disaster. Trac was very, very lucky.

And North… I am sorry I didn’t include any of you in the winners’ list, as this was the first chance to do so all season. Jy Simpkin was on the short list. Anyway, congrats boys… well done on picking up the four points, especially in hostile territory. Build from there, fellas.



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