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Ten Things I Learnt After Round 12

1 - It might be time to ban Richmond from Friday night football!

I wrote last week that when Richmond were bad, they were terrible. Friday night was no exception. Smashed in every single department and managed just five goals for the match. Of course their injuries are a major factor, and I still admire what the Tigers have been able to achieve in recent times, but they're definitely under the pump, and if they continue to serve up efforts like this, you may see their Friday night schedule reduced in 2020.

2 - You're a fair team when you have Patrick Dangerfield and he's not even your best midfielder.

As great a player as Dangerfield is, give me Tim Kelly any day of the week. There are growing whispers that the Cats are going to be able to keep him in to next season despite his apparent yearning to return to WA for family reasons. How this guy was overlooked as long as he was is mind-blowing. An absolute star. And, for what it's worth, even Mitch Duncan is playing good enough footy to rival Danger these days as well. Any wonder the Cats are two games clear atop the ladder.

3 - In 2019, all sides who have moved on their coach have been undefeated ever since.

Brad Scott announces his departure, the Roos win that week and the next two as well. The Blues moved on Brendon Bolton, and they come out and beat fifth placed Brisbane. As a supporter of the Blues all I can do is shake my head. The match-winning move was putting renowned Blues tagger Ed Curnow onto Lachie Neale to quell his influence. Bolton stubbornly refused to use Curnow in that role this season. I think that's telling.

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4 - Patrick Cripps is not human.

He'd had a couple of bad weeks. and the questions were being asked, so we expected a return to form. But nobody saw a bounce-back of this magnitude coming. A second half which included 22 possessions and four goals single-handedly blew the Lions off the park. This was possibly the greatest individual performance for the season to date. It was complete in every sense and bordered on super-human.

5 - The Suns may still get the wooden spoon.

Will the Suns win another game? They certainly will need to. The Blues have finally cracked it for a win, so Round 18 looms as a potential clash for the spoon against Carlton at Marvel Stadium. I guess even the Dees are in spoon calculations, but surely they'll get a win or two at some point, as long as they aren't relying on Max Gawn to score a goal on the siren. He doesn't seem to enjoy those moments.

6 - The Giants and the Eagles are confusing.

Most pundits had GWS and West Coast winning their respective games this round, but it wasn't to be. The Giants conceded the last 4 goals and faded badly, while the Eagles just weren't in the game. I mentioned last week that Richmond's losses were all bad. The Tigers average losing margin now is 48 pts. The Eagles four losses were by the same average. This is a concern.

7 - Were the umpires in Adelaide influenced by the local crowd?

Free kick count 24-7 in favour of Adelaide. It would be hard to umpire in front of the SA crowd. I imagine a poor decision against the local team would result in insults far greater than being called "a bald flog". Whenever I see a freekick ratio of 3.5 to one, I always wonder if one side is the beneficiary of some favour. Watching the game I thought the Giants were stiff - or maybe I felt that way because I tipped them?

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8 - Tom Papley is fast becoming the best small forward in the AFL.

He's probably flown under the radar a little, but five goals from 27 possessions on the weekend mean he's closing the gap on the likes of Eddie Betts and Gary Ablett Jr. Tom's booted 21 goals for the year, while Eddie has 24 while Gary has 22. But it's his forward pressure that impresses me. Many sides are screaming for a quality small forward like Papley. The Swans will be doing well to retain him beyond 2020.

9- Somebody needs to tell Clayton Oliver that he's allowed to kick it.

Clayton Oliver is one of the games better midfielders, and he racks up big numbers every week. In the last four games he has averaged 28 possessions, but only averaged seven kicks. That means he kicks it just once out of every 4 disposals. Surely that's a bit out of whack. Clayton, I love your grunt work and your in and under style of play, but when you're clear, kick the bloody thing.

10 - These three weeks with only six games per round are the worst part of the year

Sunday was the worst day of this round. Just one game. That meant from the hours before 3pm and then after 6pm, I had to engage with my wife and kids! This is cruel and unusual punishment. I think I speak on behalf of many when I say how much I despise these three weeks and their sheer lack of football games. I'm old enough to remember the days where we had just six games every week and they were played simultaneously. I don't know how we managed living this way. I'd rather have one week of no games than three weeks of this...

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