Last week in the AFL...

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Around the grounds - Weekly Wrapup

AFL Round 10

Late in the first quarter at the SCG on Sunday, Sydney captain Paul Kelly and his opponent, Collingwood's Scott Burns, chased the ball towards the boundary on the Swans' half-forward flank. Burns accidentally soccered it out on the full. Kelly held the ball and peered forward expectantly, then lobbed his pass into the pocket where Tony Lockett was leading. Plugger hugged the ball to his chest as Magpie Schauble drifted across in front. Plugger went back, tucked his guernsey into his shorts. The quarter-time siren sounded. Lockett thumped a flat, helicopter punt through the big sticks and with that 1300th career major broke Gordon Coventry's 62-year-old record for the most goals in a VFL/AFL career. In the words of Jack Thompson, now we can all get some sleep.

The crowd flooded on, fireworks exploded and music played as the game was stopped for 10 minutes, handily coinciding with the quarter-time break so there wasn’t much of an actual delay to the game. I found myself wondering how many of those Swan fans had been to see their team play St. Kilda in 1992 (?) when Plugger single-handedly beat the Swans and reserved some abuse, both verbal and physical, for the crowd behind the goals. Anyway. After the game was over (Sydney won easily) Plugger did a lap of honour in a car with the rapidly-snaffled ball under his arm while a "specially written" song belted out (There's Only One Tony Lockett to the tune of (excuse the spelling) Guantana-Mera). Why not Greg Champion's Plugger Be Good? Probably politically incorrect with its Moorabbin references. Celebrations carried on into the night. "It's a bit too early to say much," said the big man. "It hasn't really sunk in yet. But I'm very honored and very privileged. I'm overawed at the moment. To get it (the pass) off Kell, who I hold in probably the highest regard of anyone I've come across in my time in footy, was fantastic." Kelly himself was rapt too, and it was truly moving to see him charge into and over the scrum of security men and players surrounding Lockett to hug his mate after the goal. Despite some narkiness provoked by all the hype, it was a great moment and Plugger deserved it.

Other news...moves are afoot to ban shirt-fronting, sparked by Kangaroo Byron Pickett's KO-hit on Hawk Krummel two weeks ago. Carlton coach David Parkin is a strong advocate, saying "I don't know of another game in the world where someone not involved in the play can be legally taken out." Blocking in American football? Anyway, I thought we already had the charging rule, heavily employed against Ablett a few years ago, to stop that. Geelong escaped with just a fine when it emerged they'd played an unregistered player in their round 1 win over North. North themselves were fined 20 grand for beer-inspired behaviour on their flight back from Perth last fortnight. But what about the big controversy. Hawthorn's ridiculously baggy white shorts for away games.

At the MCG:

Melbourne 3.5  6.6   9.8  13.12.90
Fremantle 6.4 12.7 18.10  22.12.144

Over here in the east there was some doubt over Modra's position regarding being the Dockers' leading goalkicker in a season. None now as Big Tone booted ten to continue the Demons' series of inexplicable thrashings. Another record was also set - this was Fremantle's first win at the MCG, on their 11th visit. In selection the Dees had Garry Lyon in for his first game of the year and Jamie Shanahan back for his 150th, but more crucially were without midfielders Tingay and Stephen Febey. Fremantle had defender Carroll and winger Walker in for injured Sinclair and McManus. Melbourne hosted a group of Kosovo refugees at the game. "Haven't they suffered enough?" quipped Seven's Commetti.

Although Modra grabbed the headlines, the win started with Docker ruckman Bandy who handed ex-teammate White a hiding. Bandy had 19 disposals and 6 marks in the first half, eight kicks in the first quarter. On the back of his dominance Prescott and Fletcher continually pumped the ball Modra-wards. Tone's fast leads and the (for once) pinpoint passing of his teammates was too much for Shanahan. Modra kicked 3 in the first quarter as Freo booted five of the first six goals. Farmer and Schwarz were active for the Dees in the first term. But the Dockers carried on in the second term with another four goals for Modra, including one where Tone slapped the ball away from Shanahan and recovered first to snap truly. Lyon booted what should've been an inspirational torpedo goal just before half time. Shanahan was dragged and Ingerson went onto Modra. It was a move which worked momentarily but Fremantle found other scoring routes with another 6 goal to 3 quarter in the third. O'Reilly had a go at CHF and he outplayed Grgic with three goals in the quarter. Viney and Schwarz fired the Dees in the final term but up bobbed Mods again with three late goals to get into double figures.

Modra finished with 10.2 from 8 marks and 13 kicks. Bandy had 30 possessions, 10 marks and 19 hitouts, a very good effort. Midfielders Prescott (21 disposals, a goal), Fletcher (26) and Norrish (23) beat their Melbourne opponents and back-flanker Harding was also handy with 22 touches. O'Reilly finished with 3 goals and there were 3 majors also for Shipp and Waterhouse. Wira booted 2. Bond did a decent job on Farmer and Carroll kept Viney ineffective. For the Demons CHF Schwarz got the ball 30 times, took 12 marks and booted 2 goals (and 4 behinds), but few others stood up. Woewodin was useful with 16 disposals and a goal and on-ballers Leoncelli (20 touches), Rigoni (20) and Matt Febey (17) boxed on although all had fewer possessions than their direct opponents. Farmer got 3 goals, White and Beams bagged 2 each. When asked what was wrong, Daniher said "Just about everything...Confidence has gone from a lot of the players and we're probably getting thrashed through the midfield fairly comprehensively." Drum said "Winning that game got the (Melbourne) monkey off our backs, but also made a rod for our backs because we've shown what we can do...the players will wake up tomorrow morning and feel like decent human beings."

At Football Park:

Adelaide 2.2 5.3   6.9    8.13.61
Essendon 5.4 9.10 12.11  16.13.109

Injury-struck Adelaide's fourth consecutive loss has them in a bit of trouble although it's worth remembering that a win over Fremantle next week will leave the Crows 5-6, where they were after 11 last season. But they're not going well with many players missing. Essendon continue to go nicely although they lost Lucas for the season here with a broken leg. The Crows made a number of enforced changes with incoming Atkinson, Ellen, Gallagher, Thiessen and debutant Dean Howard from West Adelaide and the rookie list. Out went injured Jarman, Caven and Eccles, the last for the season with a knee injury. Connell was dropped. The Bombers had Mercuri and Heffernan return from injury.

Blight went mad with the magnetic board, starting Robran at CHB, Herbert at CHF, Smart at full-forward and Ellen on a wing. Ben Hart was at full back on Lloyd. However the Bombers sprang from the blocks after Rioli was off early with a cut head. He was replaced by Blake Caracella who kicked their first three goals, the third after Lucas marked and fell awkwardly, snapping the aforementioned limb. Caracella took the kick. Despite kicking against the breeze the Dons led 4.4 to 0.1 at one stage, with Misiti and Long busy across the middle while ex-Crow Wellman stopped any Adelaide thrust, helped by the Bombers flooding back in defence. Ricciuto and Bond managed to get late goals for the locals. Blight gave his men a tongue-lashing a the first break, although Mal's moves might've been a factor. Caracella got two more goals and Rioli returned to kick one as the Dons had the breeeze in the second term, however the Camrys improved in the quarter with young Burton and James getting the ball, Edwards came off the bench to get a few kicks. For the second half Blight restored Robran to the forward line and sent Mark Stevens to CHB, but again the Bombers outscored the hosts into the wind - and rain too, by now. Crows don't seem to like the wet much. Caracella got another goal, as did Rioli. Robran got a goal but the Camrys missed a few. Crow fans were leaving the wet and cold stadium in the last term as the Bombers strolled in, McVeigh kicked a couple of goals as icing on the cake.

Esserdun centreman Smokin' Joe Misiti played very well with 20 kicks and 13 handpasses around packs. Caracella booted 6 goals from 17 kicks and 5 marks in an excellent performance. Long (27 disposals, a goal) and Blumfield (22 touches) were handy too midfield, Wellman (19 possessions) saw off a variety of opponents complemented by Hardwick and Prior. Rioli, Heffernan and McVeigh kicked 2 goals each. Crow Brett Burton was one of their best on a forward flank, getting 15 touches along with 6 grabs including a few of his now-trademark back-breaking speccies. Johnson (20 disposals), McLeod (17, 2 goals) and James (25) battled hard in the middle, Hart did well at full back in keeping Lloyd to a single goal. Only James and Johnson had 20 possessions or more for the Crows, while the Dons had 6 players in that category. Blighty said "Probably three patches cost us the game, notwithstanding that Essendon is in pretty good nick.- our first quarter, in the third quarter when we kicked some points and in the end when we gave up some soft goals in the last ten minutes. With the mix of players we've got at the moment, we're playing some too early...and we haven't been able to catch up with the group that are out. So you accept your lot and try to work from there." Sheedy perhaps back-handed Richmond's celebrations of a fortnight ago. "I wouldn't get carried away with it, but it was good for our morale and team spirit that we came over here and had a win. In fairness to Adelaide you can lose some players and they're never going to hurt you, but when you lose class players, it always hurts you."

At Kardinia Park:

Geelong   5.3 12.7 15.8  16.12.108
St. Kilda 6.2  8.4 12.7  18.10.118

This time the Cats took a 19-point lead into the final quarter with a 4-goal wind at their backs, but were outscored 6 goals to 1 and lost. And were applauded off. Still, it was an improvement on recent efforts where they've been thrashed from start to finish. Terrific comeback by the Saints and Rob Harvey, who was hammered off the ball by Hocking just before half time. Cats had recalled Mansfield and Sholl, axing Corrigan and Hall. Just one enforced change for St. Kilda, Sziller out with a fractured thumb. He was replaced by Walton.

Saints had the stiff breeze first and quickly booted three goals. They received a free at the opening bounce, Mitchell ran onto the kick and goaled. Hall got the first of his three opening-term goals from a nice running shot. But the Cats stormed back with Riccardi and half-back Rahilly getting plenty of the ball. Burns twice outmarked Burke for goals. Saints' Aboriginal reconciliation adviser Everitt booted a long set-shot goal but Snell got another for Geelong, then a mistake by Jones saw Mensch pass to unattended Mansfield, he put the Cats in front before a late Stakilda major. Geelong relished the wind in the second quarter. Barnes, playing well, booted two excellent goals including a huge wind-assisted bomb and a wonderful shot from the boundary line on the "wrong" side. Burns bagged another and Mansfield continued to play well in attack. Right on half time Hocking shirt-fronted Harvey, sending the Saint champion into the rooms assisted by trainers and looking pretty pale. Hocking copped some attention from Saint players.

St. Kidla had the wind again in the third quarter but Geelong did well to kick 3 goals against it. Thompson worked hard for the Saints and Burns continued to go well for Geelong, including a great across-the-body snap at top speed late in the term which put his mob 19 points up. Mensch goaled early in the final quarter and the Catters led by 25 points. Time for the Sainter comeback, led by Thompson, Harvey and the unlikely Traianidis. First Mitchell goaled, then Harvey slotted nicely and it was Geelong by 12 points. Walton roved a goalsquare pack to get another sausage. Traianidis found Tony Brown directly in front and he converted to cut the margin to a point. Tight spell ensued, Geelong squandered an opportunity and Everitt missed a long shot. A Hall handpass found Walton and he passed to Everitt who kicked accurately this time, St. Kilda by 5 points. Saints clung on desperately until Darryl Wakelin's tumbling kick flopped into Walton's arms and he sealed it.

Former Ammo Andrew Thompson was very good for St. Kilda with 30 disposals and 2 goals from the centre and Hall was excellent once more with 10 marks, 12 kicks and 4 goals. Riccardi and being thumped impeded Harvey but he was still a big influence with 26 disposals (9 in the last quarter) and a goal. Everitt and Loewe made a good rucking/forward combination with 45 disposals and 23 marks between them, plus 2 goals each. Hudghton did well at CHB on Mensch. Burke was shifted off Burns but was a contributor with 22 touches. Walton and Mitchell kicked 2 each. Cat Riccardi, directly opposed to Harvey, was good with 23 disposals (16 long kicks) but he kicked 4 behinds. Barnes played well in the ruck with 19 disposals, 8 marks and 2 goals, young defenders Bizzell (19 disposals, 7 marks) and Rahilly (17 touches, 9 marks) showed improved form. Ben Graham was also handy at the back, although he had his hands full with Loewe. Burns was very good with 4 goals from 7 kicks until starved of opportunity in the last quarter. Sholl did well on return with 24 possessions and a goal. Mansfield kicked 3 goals and Mooney got 2. In addition to being outscored by 29 points in the last quarter, the Cats were out-possessed 102 to 52. "The two things I was upset about were our inability in the last quarter to stick to the game plan and the way we bombed the ball into the forward line..." said Ayres. "But it was a big improvement today, there was a fair bit of passion there...their big guns got us in the end." Watson said "I thought it was going to be a bit of a task at three-quarter time...we threw caution to the wind, we knew we had to run really hard to create something into the wind. This group of guys has an enormous self-belief. They showed a lot of mental toughness today."

At the MCG:

Richmond 1.5 4.9 8.11  11.15.81
Hawthorn 4.3 6.5 9.8   12.15.87

If you told someone that your team's centre half-forward had taken 19 marks but you'd only kicked 11 goals and lost, they wouldn't believe you. If you then furnished the information that the player and team concerned were Matthew Richardson and Richmond, then they'd probably nod in comprehension. And/or laugh derisively. But Hawthorn deserved to win, they led most of the day with improved performances from Holland and Salmon and some good signs at last from expensive recruit Joel Smith. McKee replaced injured Turner for the Tigers, the Hawks made five alterations. Graham was out with a calf strain and Lord, Tallis, Vandenberg and Cox were dropped. In came Barker, Krummel, Smith, Chick back from injury and Dennis.

Hawthorn had the best of a swirling breeze and began well with a flukey soccered goal from Chick. With Salmon winning at the centre bounce they got two more, Smith roved beautifully to the Fish at a throw-in and slotted on the run, then Hawthorn's Holland led, marked, converted. Richmond were getting a fair bit of the ball and Richardson, opposed by Hay, marked it a lot. But always 70-80m from goal. Inside their defensive 50 Hawthorn did well, aided by Richo's uncertain delivery. Tigers Holland and Bowden postered, then the Hawks got another major when Tiger Biddiscombe was caught running from defence, Chick passed the free to Krummel for the six points. Late in the term Richmond got on the board when speedy Sampson tackled Taylor in the goalsquare and booted the free kick through. Broderick goaled from Powell's long kick to open the second quarter, then Andy Kellaway's strong tackle coughed the ball up for Biddiscombe to kick a goal and the Tiges trailed by 5 points. Hilton postered among a series of Tiger misses but they were doing better midfield now with Daffy and Broderick busy. Eventually Daffy's snap put the Tigers 5 points ahead. Hawk Holland had a shot from the boundary line which clearly missed, but Nicholas disagreed and abused the goal umpire about it. Moments later Holland got a clear goal and told the goal ump all about it. Lekkas snapped nicely to re-establish the Hawk ascendancy at half time.

For the third quarter Tiger coach Gieschen removed the ineffective Ben Holland and put Ottens at full forward. However the Hawks goaled first when Taylor passed to Nick Holland and he booted truly for a 16-point Hawk lead. Later the out-of-sorts Crawford fumbled and the Rogers pass found Ottens, he majored with a good kick. A nice Lekkas handpass allowed Chick to answer for the Hawks. Tiges got to within 3 points when Bowden passed to Ottens for another goal, then booted a very good long shot himself. Smith, having an excellent quarter, expanded the gap for the Hawks with a superb solo goal. But the Tiges closed again at the last break when Salmon shoved opponent Gale in the back at a throw-in, Benny drilled the free. "Surely Richardson has to be moved to full forward," opined Terry Wheeler at 3/4 time. But he wasn't. And Ottens wasn't left there either. Immaterial anyway as Hawthorn, powered from the centre by Salmon, Taylor and Crawford, dominated the opening of the final term but scored four behinds. Richmond's first attack saw Richardson set up a goal for Rogers and the Tiges trailed by a point. Hawthorn answered, as they had all day, with a goal from Chick created by Rock's handpass. Then rover Richard Taylor sealed it with two excellent goals, the second a superb piece of risk-taking which paid off when Taylor sprinted full pelt past a throw-in, grabbed the ball and blasted it through. Hawthorn were 21 points clear. Richmond made belated attempts to win it, Richardson's 18th mark was close enough to goal for him to kick it himself. Gale and McKee missed set shots before Hay kicked on the full and Daffy put the free through the big sticks, making it a goal the difference with 30 seconds left. But the Hawks took the ball away from the restart and that was it.

The Hawthorn on-ballers were great, led by Salmon with 30 hitouts, 19 possessions and 8 marks. Salmon also dropped back to very effectively block up Richmond's forward line. Angelo Lekkas, opposed to Daffy but roaming free, had 27 disposals and a goal and Woods did well enough against Knights. Importantly the Hawk forward line worked much better than recently, Holland had 7 marks and kicked 3 goals, Chick had 17 disposals and 3 goals, Smith got 19 possessions and kicked 2 goals. Taylor played well with 18 touches and his 2 game-busting goals and Collica was good at the back. Crawford got 23 touches but fumbled and often used the ball poorly. Tiger Richardson had 29 disposals and a goal to go with his 19 marks, but The Plan for everyone to feed off him ala Carey didn't work so well. Daffy worked hard in the centre for 25 disposals and 2 goals, half-backs Powell (20 disposals) and Rogers (17, a goal) did well, Rogers was on Crawford for much of the game. Knights battled for 22 possessions and Proctor showed a bit in defence. Ottens kicked 2 goals. It's The Plan for Ottens to play for 15 minutes total in each game until 2065, by which time he'll be ready to step up. "While Richardson's performance was outstanding, we probably didn't get enough support around him from the other five forwards," said Gieschen. Judge claimed that forcing Richardson up the ground was their Plan, but also added "I felt we had control of the game most of the day...we had a big pre-season and we've been a bit flat over recent weeks, the week off did us good."

At the Gabba:

Brisbane  1.1 3.5 4.6   6.8.44
Footscray 1.7 5.7 7.8  9.12.66

One of them day-long tropical downpours turned this game into the struggle in the puddle, eminiscent of those terrible days at the old Western Oval. The Bulldogs continued their excellent record in Queensland combining some very good handling and skill in the difficult conditions with some more regressive aggression and scragging. The Lions' midfield struggled. They had Brad Scott back to replace Gowers, Lambert and Boyd were selected originally but didn't play. The Bulldogs had Winmar return from injury, Ellis was out with a knee strain.

At the start Bulldog ruckman Wynd crashed his bulky frame into Lion tapmaster Clarke while Liberatore lined up on in-form goalscorer McRae and set to work with his full repertoire of scratching, holding and face-gouging. McRae managed the first goal of the game, but the Bulldogs did the bulk of the attacking with Garlick, Powell and West busy, Grant worked hard at CHF. Both sides determined to keep open forward lines and Brisbane hopped into the lead with the first two goals of the second term from McRae and Black. But the Bulldogs got the next four, two each for Cook and Smith. Brisbane's already struggling midfield was weakened further when Voss departed with a corky and Brad Scott broke his arm, or had it broken for him, more probably. Dogs added two more majors in the third stanza, Winmar got one and Liberatore and Garlick combined to provide the games' nominal highlight, the former flipping a good handpass to the running latter who stomped through the slush and thumped the ball through from 40m. Libber allegedly provided the lowlight too when McRae went off under the blood rule with scratches on his face. Bulldogs led by 27 points before Al Lynch broke the Lion goal drought, popping it through from point blank. Lynch got another in the final term to give the locals a sniff but Cameron and a very good long shot from Brown sealed it. Just to round things out for the Lions, Lappin received a shoulder injury.

Dog midfield again, Simon Garlick enjoyed the weather for 25 disposals and a goal plus shutting out the dangerous Ashcroft. West had 29 touches and Dimattina 30, Wynd had 13 handpasses and 33 hitouts and bullocked Clarke's influence aside. At CHF Grant adapted his game for 24 disposals and Liberatore kept McRae reasonably quiet while having 19 disposals. Croft was good in defence while Cameron had 14 kicks and booted 2 goals. Smith and Cook finished with 2 goals each. Lions' better players were defenders although Matthews shuffled players all over the place. Full back Leppitsch was good with 18 disposals and smaller men Akermanis (20 disposals) and Lawrence (15 touches) played well. Champion battled hard at both ends of the ground and Black again did nicely on half-forward for 19 possessions and 2 goals. McRae and Al Lynch also kicked 2 goals. Matthews said "I find it very frustrating from the coach's box because you can't do anything when free kicks are the main goalkicker. You know the game's a difficult one, a Russian roulette." Apparently there were a few goals scored from free kicks. "Libba was extremely determined to have a good game this evening," said Wallace. "I think he copped a fair bit of flak from the game up here last season , and most of it was unwarranted. He was pretty keen to make sure he finished his game off tonight." Wonder if Plough'll be asked hard questions about Libba on Talking Footy. He should be if the show's got any cred.

At the SCG:

Sydney      7.4 10.5 15.8  22.13.145
Collingwood 1.3  7.6 12.7  14.10.94

All Pluggerhype aside, Sydney were too good for the Magpies despite a flat spot after Lockett attained the record. Lockett himself made a fair contribution in the end with 9 goals. Collingwood tried hard again, at least. Swans had defender Brad Seymour return, out went Bennett. Pies swung the axe, again, with Crow, Godden, Tarrant, Oborne and Scotland all dumped. Sav Rocca and Gav Brown returned along with Betheras, Wild and Lane.

Big crowd in attendance saw Mal Michael line up on Plugger while Crouch picked up Pie leader Buckley. The Sydney middlemen dominated early, led by Goodes in the ruck. Collingwood's poor disposal was costly. Maxfield, who got 10 kicks in the first quarter, passed to Saddington for the opening goal. Nicks and Lockett combined nicely for Nicks to banana a goal from close range. The lively Betheras got Collingwood on the board, booting a long behind, then marking the kick-in and pumping it back for a goal. All Swans and The Record for the rest of the quarter. McPherson kicked long for Lockett to mark, play on and blast it through, then Plugger equalled the Coventry record in similar fashion from Barry's long kick. Barry again found O'Loughlin and he punted the Swans 24 points clear, then McPherson chipped backwards and Goodes booted another goal. Lockett fluffed a couple of chances for the record, dropping a mark on the lead and scuffing an attempted soccer. "Ooohh, he can't get it like that," said Brooce. He didn't of course, and the record-breaker put the Swans a handy 35 points up at the extended first break. The crowd and the Swans relaxed in post-coital mode for the next quarter and the Pies improved. A terrific smother by Wild allowed Lane to kick a long goal. Swan Campbell replied after marking Maxfield's roost. Gav Brown marked and goaled for the Pies, but then some typical Pie play as Sav Rocca missed a shot and Wild fell over while running into goal. Eventually Sav marked Betheras's long kick and goaled, Swans by 24 points. O'Loughlin and Maxfield majored from marks to boot 'em 6 goals in front once more, but the Maggies got the last three goals of the half to halve the margin. Sav Rocca marked Buckley's long punt and converted, Patterson seized a loose ball to major and Lane roved a pack well for the third.

Pies cut the margin to 11 points after Wild slammed it through to open the third quarter but Kelly shook the Swans to life, passing for Plugger to boot another and then converting on the run from Luff's good handpass. Luckless Swan Filandia re-injured his reconstructed knee and the Magpies clung on with goals from Brown, from a free kick, and Sav Rocca. It was 13 points to the Swans. From the bounce following Rocca's goal McPherson booted high towards the goals where Lockett took a good, strong grab and goaled. Collingwood answered again when King's shepherd and Brown's handpass saw Davis score, but there was Plugger again for a clinical lead, mark and goal. Magpies cleared the next bounce and punted forward where Rocca pushed Dunkley in the back, then held the Swan full back down while Jacotine goaled. Swan fans weren't too happy about that. But they were happier when Lockett marked at the back of the pack and booted the Swans 19 points clear after the siren. Sydney romped away in the final term, draftee Fosdike did well as players from both sides tired noticeably. A scrappy opening was typified by Buckley's fumble which led to Lockett snapping a goal. More majors from Fosdike, Lockett on the lead, Maxfield and Fosdike again after some poor Collingwood play put the Swans a comfortable 8 goals clear.

Lockett finished with 9 straight from 8 marks and 10 kicks. Kelly got 26 disposals altogether and a goal against a decent player in Burns, who also did alright himself. Barry played well across half-forward with 20 disposals and a goal. In the middle Maxfield (22 disposals and 2 goals), Schwass (27 touches) and Cresswell (25) did well. Nicks was very competent again on his back flank with 23 handlings and a goal. Goodes did very well in the ruck. Fosdike and O'Loughlin kicked 2 goals each. Pies’ best were Buckley (33 disposals) and probably Williams (19), although Bucks faded a bit in the third term. Betheras had a great first half and finished with 23 disposals and a goal. Burns had his hands full with Kelly but still got 26 possessions and a goal, Wild (14 touches, a goal) and Brown (3 goals) tried hard. Sav Rocca kicked 4 goals and Lane managed 2. "They just wanted it a bit more for the occasion, but no excuse, it wasn't good enough," said Shaw. "At three-quarter time we were a chance, but you had to get people to work hard. They did it better than us and that's why we capitulated in the end." It's June. Eade said "Our focus has been pretty good but having said that it good to get it (Lockett's record) out of the way. At times we can get complacent. We were six goals up and subconsciously maybe the guys thought it's just going to happen...and they didn't have to work as hard."

At Subiaco:

West Coast 2.4 6.6 10.8  12.12.84
Carlton    2.2 5.7 10.9  15.11.101

Great win for the Blues in a fixture where they've a good record. Carlton fought a tremendous midfield battle with the Eagles, which they finally won thanks to veterans Brown and Ratten, capped off by Hamill. Umpires were also very prominent, the home teams' fans became quite agitated. Three changes for the Eagles, Jones was out with a knee strain and Peter Matera was suspended one match for an off-the-ball elbow on Crouch two weeks ago. Wooden was axed. Replacements were Embley, Holmes and veteran Dean Kemp back from injury. Another veteran, half-forward Brett Heady, decided to retire after being unable to shake off back and hamstring injuries. "Jobby" played 156 games including the 1992 Grand Final and booted 237 goals for the Eagles. Carlton had Rice back after suspension but Sexton missed with a calf strain. Teenage Blue forward Lance Whitnall was sent to a health farm in Queensland over the SOO break, dropping 3 kgs.

Tough opening with plenty of physicality, the ball pinged from half-back to half-back. Cousins, Read and Braun got plenty of leather for the home team as the Eagles dominated the centre while Carlton's half-backs Murphy and Manton were prominent. Whitnall got the first goal for Carlton, the ball catching in his fat rolls. West Coast missed some shots before Cousins found Cummings on the lead and he goaled. Eags got another when Gardiner tapped nicely to Phil Matera at a throw-in and Phil snapped truly. Carlton closed to 2 points with the first of a series of off-the-ball frees for holding, McIntosh done for retarding Hamill who converted. From the opening bounce of the second term Read punted the Eagles into attack and Cummings snapped a goal. Cummings got another from a free against Silvagni for pushing, another free kick to Phil Matera - a very soft one - as he was opposed to three Blue defenders saw him convert. Only Cummings and Matera seemed allowed inside their attacking 50 and being the Eagles, they followed the instruction to the letter. Matera led for a good mark on the flank and centred the ball for Cummings to mark and punt the Eegs 25 points clear. However Carlton fought back as Murphy, Beaumont and ?? started to wrest control of the midfield. Another free-kick goal, to Whitnall against Jakovich for pushing, cut the margin to 20 points. From the restart Rice charged forward to hit the post and Franchina missed badly from a set shot, finally Murphy ran down from defence to boot a nice goal on the move and Brown passed to Hamill, he cut the margin to 4 points.

The Eagles dominated the early bit of the third quarter. Mitchell White hit the leading Cummings but he missed, however some tough and very good play from Phil Matera saw him boot the Weegs 12 points clear. Carlton's next goal was another off-the-ball free, a weak one against Jakovich for holding Whitnall. Jakovich expressed displeasure with the decision, earning a 50m penalty and the easiest of shots for Whitnall. However the Eagles kicked the next 3 goals to go 23 points in front, from the bounce after Whitnall's goal Cousins got the ball to White, he speared to the leading Cummings for the first. White booted long to the goalsquare, Manton dropped a mark although Cummings interfered a bit, he snapped the goal. Phil Matera hooked another one. But the Blues got the next four sausage rolls. Lappin kicked very well after drifting forward for a mark, then the inconsistent Hamill arrived. He kicked a good long goal straight from the next centre bounce, another after marking the busy Beaumont's pass, then Hamill passed to Pearce on the lead. Pearce kicked accurately to put the Blueboys a point up at the final break.

And they went on with it. Ratten snapped the opening goal of the ultimate quarter, although the locals were incensed as their McIntosh clearly marked the ball just before it was forcibly wrenched from him and ended up with Ratten. Eagles Wirrpunda and Cummings missed badly, cutting the margin to 4 points Carlton's way. Passes from Brown and Murphy set up a goal for Beaumont, Hamill missed from another free and it was Blues by 11 points. West Coast's forward line responded, Matera did superbly to get the ball amongst three Carlton defenders and handpass to set up a goal for Cummings, Eagles were 5 points behind. The Blues closed it out. More hard running and good foot passing saw the ball go from Hamill to Lappin to Hulme in the pocket, he majored. From the restart Camporeale found the leading Pearce, he converted and finally Hamill booted his fifth goal - from a free kick.

Many good performances for the Blues, Allan again won in the ruck with 20 disposals and 36 hitouts, helping Ratten (26 disposals, a goal), Camporeale (26) and Brown (20) to send the ball forward. Half-back line was very good, Murphy had 26 touches and goal, Bradley played loose back there for 26 touches also and Koutoufides got 22 handlings and 8 marks at CHB on White. Hamill was the key with 5 goals from 15 kicks, Beaumont played very well on the wing/half-forward, especially early on. He finished with 23 touches, 10 marks (mostly on the lead) and a goal. Whitnall kicked 3 goals and Pearce 2. As can be gleaned from the report, all of West Coast's goals came from two players - Cummings kicked 8 and handed Silvagni a hiding, Philip Matera kicked 4 goals from 9 kicks. Midfield Braun (30 possessions), Cousins (28) and Read (21) worked hard, but they struggled to get the ball off Carlton as the game wore on. Malthouse had plenty to say: on the game "You don't lose games where you get four goals in front, I was very disappointed with our senior players and particularly our back half. I thought we were quite poor and Carlton capitalised on our ordinary play. It was just a dreadful performance."; on the umpires "There were factors I was annoyed about today that I'm not allowed to talk about."; on Lockett's record "That is about as interesting to me as the worms crawling through the grass at Subiaco." Those last two comments may be related. Parkin said "Some of their young legs hurt us for periods of time but they didn't get the result they might have for the amount of possession they had. The Rattens and the Browns were very, very good when they had to be."

At the MCG:

North Melbourne 3.3 9.7 13.10  20.13.133
Port Adelaide   5.5 9.8 14.14  18.18.126

It was a bit over 12 months ago that Adelaide were probably robbed of a win over the Roos at the 'G by a string of bizarre umpiring decisions. Now it was Port's turn in a terrific game, although just one decision this time. Scores were level with 30 seconds remaining when North's Shannon Grant tried to crash through three Power tacklers in the centre of the ground. He didn't get through and it was probably holding the ball, at worst a ball-up. But the umpire didn't like the aggression of the third man in, Fabian Francis, and gave Grant a free. He found Brent Harvey who kicked a point, King pounced on the kick-in to boot a goal and North were home. Unlike Blighty last year, who was pretty restrained, Port coach Mark Williams fumed. In selection the Kangas picked two South Australian first-gamers, Woodville/West Torrens's Kent Kingsley and Shannon Motlop from North Adelaide. Dropped were Anderson and Daniel Stevens. Port lost Cornes for the rest of the season with a knee reconstruction and lost an appeal against CHB Darren Mead's one-week suspension for biffing Riccardi in last weeks' state game. Bode and Naish were dropped. However, returning after injury were Bond, Dickie, Lade and forward Lockwood.

Port controlled all the opening stages with Burgoyne, Adam Kingsley and winger Nick Stevens getting the ball off their more reputed North opponents. Tredrea was busy early, kicking a wonderful snapped goal as Port got the first three before North's debutant Kent Kingsley (no relation, I think) got his and North's first. But the Power pressed on, Lockwood particularly good with three goals in the first quarter. They got the first three of the second term, too, to lead by 34 points before the Kangaroos rumbled into action. SOO hero Harvey toe-poked a goal, Sholl and Kingsley (operating as twin full-forwards) added two more and then Carey awoke with two quickfire majors, leaving the Roos just a point down at half time. Tight third term. First North threatened to break clear, McKernan galloped downfield like a flanker and booted a terrific long goal and Kingsley booted two more. But Port hung in with goals from Harwood and a beautiful running bomb from Steinberner, Tredrea snapped a great goal from the boundary to end the term and leave the visitors 10 points in front. Another great Tredrea snap to open the final quarter sent Port a commanding 17 points clear early in the final stanza. But the Kangas got the next three sausages, Kingsley again and then two from Sholl put North in front. Lockwood, anonymous for two quarters, took a great mark and squeezed the shot through from the narrow angle to nose Port Adelaide ahead again. Sholl handpassed to Harvey, North were in front. Lade put the Power ahead with a goal from a free against Pickett, who came under heavy umpiring scrutiny in the game. Sholl booted his third goal of the quarter to leave North in front, but defender Francis ran down and replied for Port. Phew. Peter Bell topped that with a fantastic running shot from the boundary line, now North led by a point. Dew's miss for Port levelled the scores before the umpire's fateful intervention and King's sealer. North players were pretty excited about it all.

Kent Kingsley had a debut kids dream about, booting 6 goals from 12 kicks and 7 marks. Alongside him Craig Sholl had a big hand in winning the game with 5 goals, 10 kicks and 5 marks. Midfielders Simpson (26 disposals) and Anthony Stevens (24) were important and Archer did well in defence. Bell had 25 touches and a goal, Carey kicked 3 goals but was generally well-held by Paxman, Harvey scored 2. Port’s Burgoyne did very well, opposed to either Simpson or Bell he finished with 32 disposals in a very good game. Pity about the 0.3 in front of the sticks. Tredrea impressed again with 19 disposals, 9 marks and 5 good goals. Kingsley and Nick Stevens had 27 disposals each powering the Power forward, Stevens also kicked 2 goals. Lockwood had 4 kicks and kicked 4 goals, Dew did well with 21 disposals although he must be the worst shot for goal in the AFL - the paper here says he kicked 0.5. As mentioned, Paxman did well on Carey. Two goals each for Breuer and Francis. Mark Williams fumed about the umpiring and losing. "The stats say we were the better side on the day...There was no doubt the players looked at their game and weren't satisfied, nobody was at the club. We had a few players back and it showed that we get our better players back and we are a very competitive side." Pagan reckoned "We didn't play well, we've got to be realistic about it. We probably stole one but there have been times when we have played very well and got beaten by a small margin...I think if you persist and persevere...you can keep coming all the time, you can never be denied."

Cheers, Tim.

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Author: Tim Murphy Email: [t.murphy@rmit.edu.au]
Curator: Darryl Harvey email: {darryl@myinternet.com.au}
Last Updated: 7 June 1999
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