TEN THINGS I LEARNT AFTER ROUND 10...
1 - Collingwood are the current champions of winning ugly.
Three consecutive ugly wins against three teams who probably won't feature in September. Is it a cause for concern? Not really. Good sides don't have to play well to win, and the Pies do have a knack for rising to the occasion against the better teams as well. That said, the Eagles do seem to be their nemesis, but with all the players Collingwood still have up their sleeve, it is looking pretty good for a big tilt at the flag.
2 - Port Adelaide are notoriously slow starters when playing in the Eastern states.
Here's an interesting stat: Port have played four games in the Eastern states (one in Brisbane, two in Melbourne, one in Launceston). In all four games they were soundly beaten in the first quarter. The Power have scored a paltry 39 points in total in those four first quarters, whilst their opponents have scored 132 points against them. Maybe there really is something in the fact that Adelaide time is 30 minutes behind.
If you don't believe my theory, consider the fact that when Port went to Perth to play the Eagles, at quarter time, they were 23 to 7 ahead and went on to win by 42 points against the reigning premier - and Adelaide is 90 minutes ahead of Perth!!!
3- Players fire up when their coach quits!
Does anybody besides me think it's odd that a playing group would find their best form when their coach of over nine years decides to abandon ship as he doesn't believe the list will take them to flag contention? I would be a bit pissed off and probably not put in the greatest effort at work if my boss was ditching the company because he thought his staff weren't up to it. Anyway, I guess sport is different.
4 - Tex Walker needs to step down as captain.
I'm a Taylor Walker fan. I have seen him impose himself on some games to great effect. I feel, however, that captaincy is too much of a weight on the guy. The last couple of seasons have seen a less than brilliant performance by Tex, and who can forget the 2017 Grand Final? I think it's time he handed over full control to Rory and just kept focus on kicking goals and busting packs open like I know he can.
5 - If Gary Ablett escapes a penalty again, it’ll be time to shut down the MRO.
What's up with Gazza? Such a clean record for so long, and he seems to have lost the plot in recent weeks. He also seems to be getting away with it too, although I'd say he's done this time. I can just hear the sighs of frustration from the AFL and the MRO knowing that they have to do something in order to avoid a major fan backlash. I mean, it's not like the custodians of our game are overly reactive right???
6 - If you keep McDonald-Tipungwuti goalless, you will beat Essendon.
Here's another strange stat: In Essendon's four wins, AMT has kicked 16 goals. In all their losses, he's kicked zero. Coincidence maybe, but it certainly seems the team's fortunes run parallel to his formline. So, perhaps opposition coaches need worry about nothing else when coming up against the Bombers.
7 - The Giants can win at the MCG, but can they do it in September?
The Giants also made a mockery of the alleged Carlton curse this week after the Pies did so last round. So we can put that one to bed. We can also put the MCG hoodoo behind us for now despite just how poorly the Dees played for the first three quarters. It seems the Giants put their cue in the rack at three quarter time and allowed Melbourne a seven-goal quarter to just two, but such was their lead they still won comfortably. Although I'm guessing Leon Cameron would be less than impressed.
8 - The Blues are in the 4th year of a 20-year rebuild which may take 50 years!
It seems the people responsible for the rebuild at Carlton might be the same people responsible for the failed East-West Link project. The Blues have probably spent over a billion dollars on a project which, by the looks of it, has achieved nothing, and it's quite possible that they might need to bulldoze Ikon Park and start again.... AGAIN!!
9 - Bradley Hill is the reason Fremantle won.
In close games, it's often the side that wants it most gets the win. In the Freo-Brisbane game, it was one player who wanted it most that got his whole team over the line. The smother as the Lions were surging forward in the dying stages with scores tied was something to behold. Freo regained possession and were able to get it to Walters who registered a point after the siren to seal victory. Take a bow, B. Hill.
10 - Prior opportunity is dead and everything is now deliberate!
Umpiring seems to have different "rules of the week" each round. They seem to become overzealous on certain types of decisions, probably because they discussed something about it in their Friday meeting or whatever. This week, we have two. One was the deliberate rule. They definitely were tougher on that one. Skill errors aren't considered anymore, because apparently, slicing it off the side of your boot out of bounds is a deliberate act now, even if one of your teammates is two metres from where the ball landed!
The other is prior opportunity and holding the ball in general. I saw many instances of a player being grabbed as they took the ball and still being penalised. I also saw many instances of incorrect disposal being adjudged when there was a clear legal handball executed. Sure, it may have been a scrappy handball, but it seems that this week, a scrappy handball under pressure was not sufficient to avoid being penalised. I'm assuming the umpires wanted to see the ball spin a certain way for it to be considered a "correct" handball.
I look forward to seeing which rules become subject to fascist umpiring next round
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