AFL 2021 Round 15: Lions roar, Goodwin’s 100th as coach, O’Brien speccie, Cripps megadeal


Joe Daniher booted four majors as Brisbane made an emphatic statement to the rest of the comp with a 44-point demolition of Geelong, under the lights, at the Gabba.

There was certainly no love lost between the two sides in what proved to be a fiery encounter. Lions captain Dayne Zorko led by example with a best on ground effort while there were important contributions from Daniel Rich and Charlie Cameron.

Coach Chris Fagan, speaking post-match, was a happy man; he said “It was important tonight to try and start winning against other top four sides which we hadn’t been able to do at all yet this season. It’s always better, as you are going into the latter end of the year to record those sorts of victories if you can; so very pleasing.”

Port Adelaide found a way as they came from behind to defeat Sydney in a fantastic contest at a wet and slippery Oval; with the game on the line, ruckman Scott Lycett scored the sealer, with just minutes to go, to keep up the Power’s top four charge.

Despite finishing on the losing team, Swans forward Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin was at his vintage best with four goals to take his career tally to 973 and surpass Jack Titus (Richmond 1926–1943) to take sixth spot in the all-time AFL/VFL goalkicking table.

Simon Goodwin celebrated his 100th game in charge of Melbourne by watching his side come out on top and overcome the tough test provided by an in-form Essendon.

It makes it twelve wins and sees them in a very strong position, at the top of the ladder, as they chase a first minor Premiership since their last flag year in 1964.

Speaking on the performance of his players, he said “I thought they responded really strongly tonight. It was one of those games where they had to grind away and they got the result.” He added “I think what they see in front of them is a great opportunity and they know they’re going to have to continue to build a certain way of playing.”

The Western Bulldogs, in second, kept up the pressure and did so in emphatic style as they thrashed a below-par West Coast, by 55 points, at an empty Optus Stadium.

In truth it could have been an even bigger margin with more accurate kicking (20 behinds); Aaron Naughton and Marcus Bontempelli amongst the goals for the Dogs.

The game had due to be a sell-out before a very late decision by the WA Government that no crowds would be allowed to attend the match due to a positive test in north Perth. It was the Eagles’ heaviest defeat and lowest score at the venue.

St.Kilda recorded their first Friday night win at the ‘G’ in over a decade and also blew the top eight race open, in the process, after thumping reigning Premiers Richmond.

Easily their best four-quarter display of the year, the Saints were awesome with their pressure and led for nearly the whole night, increasing their advantage at every change; if they can maintain this form, then it re-ignites their hopes of making finals.

A dirty night for a Tigers outfit that recorded their lowest score since 1961, their lowest at the MCG since 1927 and the sixth lowest in their history. It was further compounded by the news that defender Noah Bolta will require surgery, following scans, after he suffered a significant ankle syndesmosis injury in the third quarter.

GWS missed the golden opportunity to slide into the eight as they dropped to a disappointing 18-point defeat against lowly Hawthorn at a sun drenched MCG.

Dylan Moore booted a career-best four majors for the Hawks but the highlight of the match was a spectacular ‘Mark of the Year contender’ from forward Tim O’Brien.

Speaking to Channel 7, he said “I decided ‘eyes on the footy’ and went for it. Jumped a little bit early, I got a bit of a ride off Luke Breust. At the peak of it I looked down and it was a fair way to the ground and I didn’t know how I was going to land it.”

“I was still thinking about trying to complete the mark and then once I knew I had the footy it was a bit of survival mode like ‘how can I land this without hurting myself’?”

Brett Bewley scored the winning goals as Fremantle went interstate and managed to get up over Collingwood in a thrilling see-saw encounter at Marvel Stadium.

Even more impressive given that the midfielder was only called up as a last minute inclusion following the withdrawal of captain Nat Fyfe with a shoulder injury.

Not the ideal start for Robert Harvey in his debut as the Magpies’ interim coach, until the end of the season, following the resignation of Nathan Buckley two weeks ago.

Patrick Cripps marked signing a new six-year, long-term deal by leading Carlton to a 10-point success over Adelaide in what turned out to be a very heated affair.

A bit of relief for under-fire coach David Teague, his staff and players who are in the midst of an external review being led by Matthew Pavlich, Geoff Walsh and Graham Lowe to deep dive into the reasons why the club has been failing on the field.

Bottom side North Melbourne picked up just their second triumph of the campaign as they held off a late surge to get over the line against Gold Coast down in Tasmania.

It is another positive step for an improving Kangaroos, in their current rebuilding process, under David Noble. This latest result brings them closer to the sides directly above them as the club look to avoid their first wooden spoon since 1972.

Round 15 Results
Brisbane 13.16 (94)
Geelong 7.8 (50)

Richmond 2.10 (22)
St.Kilda 9.8 (62)

Collingwood 12.7 (79)
Fremantle 14.7 (91)

North Melbourne 9.18 (72)
Gold Coast 9.9 (63)

Port Adelaide 12.9 (81)
Sydney 10.11 (71)

Essendon 8.9 (57)
Melbourne 9.14 (68)

GWS 11.6 (72)
Hawthorn 13.12 (90)

West Coast 6.7 (43)
Western Bulldogs 13.20 (98)

Carlton 12.11 (83)
Adelaide 10.13 (73)

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