AFL 2021 Round 9: Demons win again, Q-Clash, Heeney return, Kangaroos end losing streak

AFL 2021 Round 20

The AFL‘s Western Bulldogs produced arguably their strongest performance of the year, so far, after coming out on top and defeating Port Adelaide on their home deck.

Coach Luke Beveridge lauded his players in the presser; he said “They’ve been significantly strong and don’t drop many here; we can definitely bank that and feel good about it. Hopefully, it’s an experience that, as we continue on, will help us.”

“I didn’t think we exerted any control or overall dominance for the whole night. But what I was most pleased about is that we were able to last the four quarters in the physicality and the pressure game. From that point of view, it was very encouraging.”

Ladder leaders Melbourne made it nine-zip and ensured their best start to a season since 1956 after putting away Carlton before a crowd of 38,581 at the MCG.

Tom McDonald continued his recent good scoring form with three snags while Clayton Oliver (29 disposals, 10 tackles, one goal) and Christian Petracca (27 disposals, eight clearances) both played key roles for the victorious Demons.

A bad day for the Blues as they lost David Cunningham with a serious knee injury, which could well put him out for the rest of the season. In addition, forward and current Coleman Medallist leader Harry McKay picked up a troubling shoulder issue.

In the 20th Q-clash, Brisbane supporters left with the bragging rights over their Queensland rivals Gold Coast following a very one-sided encounter at Metricon.

Daniel McStay and Charlie Cameron were amongst the goals for a rampant Lions side that led all evening and for whom Ryan Lester made his 150th appearance.

Former Suns midfielder Jarryd Lyons won the Marcus Ashcroft Medal for his best on field performance (match-high 38 disposals, nine clearances and nine tackles).

Daniel Rioli put a difficult week behind him by kicking the winner as reigning Premiers Richmond managed to get the job done against GWS in a thrilling contest.

All the build-up to the game, in the media, had been focussed on him and teammate Shai Bolton who were involved in an altercation at a nightclub, which led to both of them getting injured, after his girlfriend had been subjected to offensive comments.

Coach Damien Hardwick, post-match, praised the 24-year-old as he said “I was a little bit worried about him last night. However, he was pretty cool, calm and adamant he wanted to play and played an important part in getting us over the line.”

“I thought he got his hands on a couple of important balls. His last quarter was quite special, I thought. It was great for him to finish with that goal that put us in front.”

West Coast forward Jack Darling became the first player to kick 100 goals at Optus Stadium by adding another five to his tally and help his team beat Adelaide.

The 28-year-old scoring all of them in a devastating ten-minute spell, in the second quarter, to put the Eagles in a strong position and from there they never looked back.

Geelong coach Chris Scott admitted “I thought we were a bit lucky to be honest” after watching his side overcome the challenge of St.Kilda and get up by 21 points.

However, they say that Premiership winning sides are those that don’t play so well but still come away with the result, so maybe an omen that it could be their year.

As for the Saints, they will look back on this as a big missed opportunity with their inaccuracy in front of the posts (17 behinds from 23 scoring shots) proving costly.

Isaac Heeney returned from an ankle injury and played a starring role as Sydney overcame a slow opening before completely running over the top of Collingwood.

Speaking to Swans TV, on the game, the 25-year-old said “It is good to be feeling better; the ankle is alright now so good to get back out there.” He continued “They are a high-pressure team and we saw that early on but pleased that we were able to grind away and get the win with what was a good overall team performance.”

On the return of supporters back to the ground, he added “It’s amazing; great atmosphere and great to have them back in here as we play for the fans.”

Fremantle’s poor run at Marvel Stadium continued, now seven straight defeats, despite a brave showing as they lost out in a close affair against Essendon.

The big talking point from this encounter was the hard tag from Dockers’ rising star Caleb Serong on Bombers’ Zach Merrett and a few off-the-ball incidents – something that drew very contrasting views from the two coaches when asked about it.

Cameron Zurhaar booted four majors as North Melbourne won the battle of the bottom two sides, with a narrow seven-point success over Hawthorn, down in Launceston.

The perfect 54th birthday present for David Noble who earned his maiden win as an AFL coach and also helped end the Kangaroos’ unwanted 21-game losing streak.

Round 9 Results
St.Kilda 5.17 (47)
Geelong 10.8 (68)

Sydney 10.12 (72)
Collingwood 5.12 (42)

Hawthorn 12.8 (80)
North Melbourne 13.9 (87)

Gold Coast 7.9 (51)
Brisbane 19.10 (124)

Richmond 13.9 (87)
GWS 12.11 (83)

Port Adelaide 12.5 (77)
Western Bulldogs 15.6 (96)

Essendon 10.8 (68)
Fremantle 8.13 (61)

Melbourne 13.16 (94)
Carlton 10.8 (68)

West Coast 16.10 (106)
Adelaide 11.10 (76)

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AFL 2021 Round 20
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