Gary Rohan kicked a sensational winner, after the siren, as Geelong got up over the Western Bulldogs in a thrilling Friday night blockbuster at the GMHBA Stadium.
Easily billed as the match of the weekend, it certainly didn’t disappoint as these two flag contenders clashed in what proved to be a really even contest, with the lead changing on thirteen different occasions, that ultimately went right down to the wire.
Marking around 45 metres out, the 30-year-old then went back and held his nerve to put the ball straight through the big sticks to the delight of the Cats supporters.
Speaking on his big moment to Channel 7, he said “It was pretty good. I just back in my routine, that is all I have to do. I just went back, calmed my nerves; I have full confidence in my routine and it went through; the result was finished.”
He continued “We knew that it was going to be a hard, contested ball game so we just had to stick with them, stick with them and we got there in the end. We knew that it was going to be a hard one but those close finishes, the younger boys knowing what to do in the closing stages, we were able to get the result.”
Chris Fagan celebrated his 100th game in charge of Brisbane by getting one over on fellow Tassie David Noble and his North Melbourne side with a 23 point triumph.
The Tasmanian Football Hall of Famer becomes the oldest, by seven years, and 86th coach to complete the feat. He is also just the third in AFL history (John Worrall – Adelaide and Neil Craig – Melbourne) not to have played in the elite competition.
Taking over the reigns as the 11th Lions coach, the oldest debutant in AFL history aged 55 years 275 days, he has a 50/50 win loss record but more importantly, during his time, really turned things around with the club again likely to be involved in finals.
Forward Jeremy Finlayson booted five goals as GWS heaped more misery on Carlton by handing them their biggest defeat of the season with a 36-point belting.
Speaking to Giants TV, the 25-year-old said “It was a good win and important to bounce back from last week. I just got on the end of it from our midfield; they started it all in there and I was just lucky enough to get on the end of it. I am super proud of the boys. It was so good to see fans in the stadium and smiles on their faces.”
The highlight of the night was a monster 67 metre torpedo, on the first quarter siren, from acting Giants captain Toby Greene who also got in on the act with four majors.
Port Adelaide enjoyed a very comfortable afternoon as they travelled interstate and knocked over a woeful Gold Coast outfit in convincing fashion at Metricon Stadium.
Connor Rozee hit three snags for the Power, who led for nearly the whole encounter, while Ollie Wines was in scintillating form with a career-high 40 disposals.
The only sour note was the sight of Robbie Gray, in his 250th club appearance, forced off with a knee injury during the second quarter. He will be sent for scans but the early indication is that he has suffered some medial ligament damage.
Closing out the round, down in Launceston, Jake Stringer was the star of the show, having arguably the best game of his career, as Essendon managed to hold off the challenge of a spirited Hawthorn to get over the line at a packed UT Stadium.
The 27-year-old was simply awesome and proved the difference with four goals, career-high 29 disposals as well as racking up six clearances, seven tackles and 12 score involvements to help his side record their 100th victory over the Hawks.
Speaking in the presser, on his performance, Bombers coach Ben Rutten said “I was really pleased with his four-quarter effort. Love the fact that he hit the scoreboard but I am probably most pleased with his seven tackles and the fact that he pressured the ball so well and also bringing his team mates into the game.”
He continued “He is one of those unique players in the competition that has got the ability to do that and what I think we need to keep supporting Jake to do is understand that was a pretty standout performance. But also to keep producing his best footy week in, week out, understanding what that is and tonight was a great look at what he is capable of doing and a great reward for all of his effort.”
Adelaide, Collingwood, Fremantle, Melbourne, Richmond, St Kilda, Sydney and West Coast all had the bye this round but will return to action next weekend.
Round 14 Results
Geelong 12.11 (83)
Western Bulldogs 11.12 (78)
Gold Coast 4.7 (31)
Port Adelaide 12.9 (81)
North Melbourne 6.9 (45)
Brisbane 9.14 (68)
GWS 16.6 (102)
Carlton 9.12 (66)
Hawthorn 10.13 (73)
Essendon 13.8 (86)
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