AFL 2021 Round 3: Ten-goal Bruce, Bailey brilliance, Cats edge Hawks


Sydney have put the rest of the competition on alert as they produced a scintillating display in the 45-point drubbing of reigning Premiers Richmond at the MCG.

It makes it three from three for John Longmire’s side – the first time since their 2016 Grand Final campaign – who established a slight first quarter lead and then simply blew the Tigers away in the second and third enroute to a very impressive victory.

Speaking after the game to SwansTV, three-goal Sam Wicks said “Unbelievable win, absolutely stoked. They have been the best team over the last few years so them on the MCG was a real benchmark. It’s a great feeling to go out there and get the win.”

Josh Bruce booted ten majors as the Western Bulldogs take over top spot, on the ladder, on percentage. They hammered a woeful North Melbourne by 128-points in the Good Friday Appeal encounter, which helps raise funds for children in Australia.

Naturally the 28-year-old was elated when he spoke to Bulldogs TV; he said “I think it was the biggest win in our history. Our mids were unbelievable and it was my day, today. The fans were amazing, so great to put on a performance for all of them.”

Zac Bailey was the hero, kicking the winner after the siren, for Brisbane as they overcame Collingwood, by the smallest of margins, in an absolute cracker at Marvel.

The 21-year-old midfielder marked 45 metres out and then held his nerve, despite having all the pressure on him, to put the ball through and spark wild celebrations.

It was the perfect end to what had been a difficult week for the Lions in the lead up. They had been unable to return home, following their game at Geelong last week, due to the latest COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the Queensland Government.

Over in WA, West Coast demonstrated their superb home form, once more, as they lead for the whole evening in knocking over Port Adelaide at Optus Stadium.

Unfortunately, their triumph was soured with the latest injury to captain Luke Shuey – another hamstring issue. He had only just returned to the side, so a real blow for the Norm Smith medallist as he will be out again for at least a few weeks.

A dominant four-quarter display by Essendon handed Ben Rutten his first success as senior coach with the Bombers thrashing a very poor St.Kilda outfit by 75 points.

It was a truly miserable day for the Saints with their coach Brett Ratton labelling the performance “embarrassing”. He then confirmed, the worst fears, that they are likely to be without key player Jade Gresham for the rest of the season. The 23-year-old midfielder suffered an Achilles tendon injury and left the stadium on crutches.

Up in Canberra, Melbourne came from behind with a strong second half showing, maintaining their 100% start to the season, to see off the winless GWS Giants.

It was a fine, all-round team performance, Kysaiah Pickett scoring four goals, although coach Simon Goodwin was keen to point out “We need to keep improving”.

Tex Walker continued his sensational opening to the 2021 campaign, grabbing another six majors as Adelaide defeated Gold Coast in a tight contest at the Oval.

It puts the Crows’ former skipper top of the Coleman Medal table with 17 from just 3 games – there were also notable showings from captain Rory Sloane (35 touches, 11 clearances), Rory Laird (28 possessions) and Brodie Smith (26 disposals).

Carlton picked up their first points of the year, with young forward Harry McKay booting a career-high seven goals, as they swept aside an injury-hit Fremantle.

Eddie Betts scored on his 200th appearance in a Blues shirt while captain Patrick Cripps (33 disposals, 11 clearances and two goals) showcased his talent in the win.

Closing out the round was the traditional Easter Monday clash in which Geelong managed to hold on to defeat rivals Hawthorn in front of a 50,000+ crowd at the ‘G’.

However, they were certainly given a scare by a Hawks side that hit back strongly in the fourth quarter to get within a goal and set up an exciting and very tense finale.

Round 3 Results
Collingwood 11.6 (72)
Brisbane 11.7 (73)

North Melbourne 5.9 (39)
Western Bulldogs 25.17 (167)

Adelaide 14.11 (95)
Gold Coast 12.13 (85)

Richmond 10.12 (72)
Sydney 17.15 (117)

Essendon 22.11 (143)
St.Kilda 9.14 (68)

West Coast 16.12 (108)
Port Adelaide 11.5 (71)

Carlton 16.13 (109)
Fremantle 9.10 (64)

GWS 11.2 (68)
Melbourne 15.12 (102)

Geelong 10.9 (69)
Hawthorn 9.10 (64)

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