Despite amassing a club record 76 inside 50s, Richmond failed to make the most of it and were pushed all the way, in the rain, before seeing off the challenge of Carlton.
In what proved to be a fiery affair, Jack Riewoldt hit the scoreboard to surpass Stephen Kernahan and become the 16th all-time AFL goalkicker, while fellow forward Tom Lynch (pictured below), on his return from a hamstring injury, also weighed in with three majors.Embed from Getty Images
Speaking on ground to Channel 7, the 29-year-old said “Feeling good. Great to be back in, no-one likes watching from the sidelines. We feel like we play wet weather footy pretty well, it suits our game style. First half things were going our way but they really came hard in the last half, so a hard fought victory.”
He went on “Dimma (Tigers Coach) has said our best football is in front of us; I still think we can improve and got things to work on but there has been great growth thorough the year and we want to keep pushing on.”
The Western Bulldogs managed to put a difficult week behind them as they bested Greater Western Sydney in a thrilling shootout style encounter at Giants Stadium.
In what has been the highest scoring match of the season to date, Cody Weightman (pictured below) became the first Bulldogs player since Lindsay Gilbee, in 2011, to score five goals in the first half and combined with Aaron Naughton for a total of ten; at the other end, Toby Greene chalked up a career-high seven, through the big sticks, for the hosts.Embed from Getty Images
A result which came as a welcome relief and distraction for the club that have featured heavily in the news this week after 20-year-old midfielder Bailey Smith was handed a two-match suspension from the AFL for conduct unbecoming. This in response to the appearance of a video, shared on social media, which shows the player engaging with an illicit substance late last year at a party.
Tom Hawkins booted three majors, including his career 700th, as Geelong travelled interstate and did just enough to get the job done against bottom side West Coast.
They didn’t have it all their own way, though, with the scores level at the main break before going on to hand the Eagles an unwanted club record ninth straight loss.Embed from Getty Images
The ‘Tomahawk’ (pictured above) becomes only the third Cats player in history to reach the milestone, following in the footsteps of Gary Ablett Snr (1021) and Doug Wade (834).
Essendon upset the form book as they produced a very strong showing to put away St.Kilda, by 35 points, in the second annual ‘Spuds Game’ which aims to raise life-saving funds to deliver pioneering mental health and suicide prevention programs.
In a touching tribute to Danny ‘Spud’ Frawley, the two sides and umpires came together to join arms in the centre of the ground. Bombers and Saints legends Tim Watson and Nathan Burke then addressed them, the crowd and the broadcast audience, urging everyone to take two minutes to talk to a mate about mental health.Embed from Getty Images
Speaking in the presser, a delighted coach Ben Rutten said “I think our effort’s been there for a while and just to get a bit of belief and confidence for the work we’ve been putting in. When I talk about the effort, it’s the effort through the week as well; the guys have been really good Monday to Friday, so it was nice tonight to get a bit of reward on the scoreboard.”
He added “I think it might have been five goals in a row against us, but we walked away winning the quarter. I think the maturity, the guys kept some cool heads out there. The feedback I was getting on the bench from the guys, they were clear on what was happening, we weren’t getting our hands on the ball and a little bit sloppy at times. They were able to identify that; but the most pleasing part, they did something about it.”
Down in South Australia, a devastating third quarter kept Port Adelaide finals aspirations alive as they went on record an important 23-point success over Sydney.
It came at a bit of a cost with the Power losing forward Zak Butters to what looks like a medial cruciate ligament injury and debutant ruckman Brynn Teakle, who has made a remarkable rise from WAFL club East Fremantle, breaking his collarbone.Embed from Getty Images
In the rooms, speaking to Pirate Life TV, Ollie Wines said “It is a key moment in our season. I think to be able to show the resilience we did with only three on the bench, fight out a really physical and contested team and beat them; really proud of the boys for showing that grit and we will take a lot out of it. I think it is one of those wins that you need to reassure yourselves that you are going in the right direction.”
Assessing where they are at, he replied “We have never had any doubt about our capability of playing finals. We know we are in the hunt and have to win a lot of games and probably get some luck along the way but we think we are a really good footy side. I think we have a lot of trust and confidence in our game plan and how we can play. We have just got to keep attacking every week like it is our last.”
Gold Coast returned from the bye and picked up where they left off, making it three wins in a row, with a dominant display in the 43-point thrashing of Adelaide.
Ben Ainsworth, Izak Rankine, Levi Casboult and Mabior Chol all scored three apiece for the home side while ruckman Matt Rowell put in another impressive performance.
Unfortunately play had to be held up for five minutes, in the third quarter, with Suns defender Wil Powell suffering a horrific knee and ankle injury after landing awkwardly; he left the field in a medi-cab and was taken straight to the hospital.
Round 14 Results
Richmond 11.15 (81)
Carlton 9.12 (66)
St.Kilda 11.6 (72)
Essendon 15.17 (107)
Port Adelaide 12.10 (82)
Sydney 8.11 (59)
West Coast 9.9 (63)
Geelong 12.9 (81)
GWS 16.9 (105)
Western Bulldogs 19.11 (125)
Gold Coast 18.8 (116)
Adelaide 10.13 (73)
Bye: Brisbane, Collingwood, Fremantle, Hawthorn, Melbourne, North Melbourne
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