A crowd of 78,113, the highest attendance at a sports stadium anywhere in the world since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, watched Essendon take the honours as they downed Collingwood, by 24 points, in the big Anzac Day blockbuster at the ‘G’.
Darcy Parish (42 disposals, nine clearances, two goals and nine score involvements) unanimously won the medal for his best on ground display and Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti bagged five goals as the Bombers finished strongly to secure a result that will further increase the pressure on under fire Magpies coach Nathan Buckley.
Leaders Western Bulldogs produced a monster last term to overcome a plucky GWS up in Canberra. A very tight contest up until three-quarter-time, the Doggies really stepped it up and simply ran right over the top of the Giants to a 39-point success.
Unfortunately, though, it came at a cost as they picked up a number of injuries along with the way – Lin Jong (hamstring) and Josh Dunkley (dislocated shoulder) look set to be on the sidelines for a while and Tim English was forced off with a concussion.
Nathan Jones became only the second Melbourne player in their history to reach 300 appearances, playing a big part as the Demons flexed their muscles and put the rest of the competition on notice after getting up over Premiers Richmond.
Seen as their toughest match to date and a bit of litmus test, they passed with flying colours and now quite rightly are being talked about as genuine flag contenders.
It was also supposed to be a big night for three-time Norm Smith Medallist and Tigers superstar Dustin Martin making his 250th appearance. However, it didn’t go so well as he was forced off with a concussion and also suffered a foot injury.
Geelong supporters finally got the opportunity to see high-profile summer signing Jeremy Cameron make his long-awaited debut as they took on West Coast.
In a game that saw club milestones for both Luke Dahlhaus (200th game) and Rhys Stanley (150th), the Cats were simply awesome in running out 97-point winners.
A day that the Eagles will want to forget in a hurry – it was their worst loss since 2009 and coach Adam Simpson’s heaviest ever defeat during his eight seasons in charge.
Ben King booted a career-high five majors as Gold Coast put on a powerful showing and led for the whole game as they knocked over Sydney at the Metricon Stadium.
Speaking to @reality, post-match, the 20-year-old forward said: “Very happy. The boys were kicking it in pretty well and I was lucky enough to get on the end of a few. It was a great team win and we really stepped forward today.” He continued “It was a great atmosphere and always good to get a win in front of the home crowd.”
Down in Launceston, Hawthorn marked its 21st anniversary of the club’s Tasmanian partnership by pulling off a stunning comeback to get over the line against Adelaide.
The Hawks were behind by 32 points at one stage, in the third quarter, but with the help of five goals from Jacob Koschitzke never gave up and managed to find a way.
Although he ultimately finished on the losing side, Crows’ Riley Thilthorpe still had a debut to remember. The 18-year-old, No.2 pick from the 2020 NAB AFL Draft, showed no signs of any nerves, really impressed and kicked five snags of his own.
Brisbane coach Chris Fagan hailed his players’ effort after watching them recover from a slow opening, before going on to record an 18-point triumph over Carlton.
Speaking in the presser, he said: “It was a really brave effort by our boys because there’s no doubt Carlton came to play and had a real crack today. I was really proud of the way that they went about it and the way they stood up under pressure.”
Lachie Schultz and Matt Taberner scored four apiece as Fremantle enjoyed a straight forward afternoon enroute to defeating bottom side North Melbourne.
The only disappointment for the Dockers was they weren’t able to do it in front of their members and fans. Instead, the Optus Stadium was empty due to a snap three-day lockdown announced by WA Premier Mark McGowan on Friday afternoon.
Closing out the round, down in South Australia, saw Port Adelaide put on a dominate display, increasing their lead at every change, to easily see off a poor St.Kilda outfit.
Orazio Fantasia and Steven Motlop were amongst the goals for the Power while Ollie Wines (36 disposals) and Karl Amon (34 disposals) also played key roles.
Round 6 Results
GWS 9.11 (65)
Western Bulldogs 15.14 (104)
Geelong 21.10 (136)
West Coast 5.9 (39)
Gold Coast 15.10 (100)
Sydney 9.6 (60)
Carlton 12.13 (85)
Brisbane 15.13 (103)
Melbourne 12.10 (82)
Richmond 6.12 (48)
Fremantle 14.15 (99)
North Melbourne 6.12 (48)
Hawthorn 15.12 (102)
Adelaide 16.3 (99)
Collingwood 13.6 (85)
Essendon 16.13 (109)
Port Adelaide 14.9 (93)
St.Kilda 5.9 (39)
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