Published on 18 Jul 2022 6:20 pm (UK Time)
In what many considered to be a preview of this year’s Grand Final, the top two clashed at GMHBA Stadium where Geelong came out on top against Melbourne.
It certainly lived up to its billing, hard fought and full of momentum shifts throughout the contest, with the Cats finishing strongly to claim a well-deserved 28-point victory.
Patrick Dangerfield (32 disposals, nine clearances, eight inside 50s, 702 metres gained) was best on ground while Isaac Smith (pictured below), in his 250th, also impressed.
Speaking in the presser, coach Chris Scott was a happy man; he said “I think we won’t get carried away with the win. It doesn’t make us the best team in the comp because we beat them at home. But what it does say to our players is the things we’ve been working on can stand up against the very best teams.”
He added “It was tense for the whole game but as expected against such quality opposition. They were always going to have their moments and I think that’s one of the best parts about AFL footy in general at the moment.”
Fremantle showed that away form is no longer an issue as they headed east and chalked up their largest winning margin over St.Kilda, in Victoria, since 1995.
Captain Nat Fyfe, playing a more forward role, looks to get getting back to his best, following a lengthy injury lay-off, with three goals. The trio of Andrew Brayshaw, Jordan Clark and Will Brodie also playing pivotal roles for the victorious Dockers.
Essendon travelled up to Queensland and secured their first interstate triumph of the year, causing a bit of a shock, as they overcame a covid-ravaged Brisbane.
The Lions were forced into nine changes due to a combination of injuries and health & safety protocols. Despite giving it a real go, they ultimately succumbed to their first loss at the Gabba in 2022 as Matt Guelfi sealed it for the Bombers in the last minute.
Up in New South Wales, two sides vying to make the all-important eight clashed where Sydney boosted its chances at the expense of the Western Bulldogs.
The hosts flew out the blocks with a seven-goal first term that laid the foundation for them to lead all evening and enroute to thrashing the visitors by a 53-point scoreline.Embed from Getty Images
In the rooms, talking to Swans TV, midfielder Chad Warner (pictured above) said “Our key performance indicators which are our pressure, contested footy and our defensive transition were the main things we worked on in the week and we nailed it today.”
“Their midfielders are real hard workers, they get in hard backwards and forwards, so a key factor for us was just to run with them and I thought that Luke Parker did really well on Libba tonight; he can be real proud of himself.”
He concluded “It was a massive game tonight, we really stood up well and next week will be really tough against the Dockers, an amazing team and top four for a reason, so we will need to do the same as we did tonight.”
Mitch Lewis (pictured below) kicked an equal career-high five goals, all within the space of 26 minutes, as Hawthorn put a sad week behind them in defeating Adelaide.
The club in mourning following the passing of premiership player Paul Dear, who played 123 games for the Hawks during a nine-year career spanning 1987 to 1996, as well as Ray Gunston, father of forward Jack, a former AFL executive but who attended all of his son’s matches and was considered part of the family.
Collingwood made it seven in a row but only after surviving a huge scare as they scrapped over the line against a fired-up and much improved North Melbourne outfit.
It looked like one of the upsets of the season was on the cards but the Kangas, under a club review and coming into this on the back of thirteen losses and a 112-point mauling last week, just ended up falling short in a heart-breaking finale.
Noah Anderson was the hero, kicking the winner from 45 metres out after the siren, as Gold Coast pulled off a sensational comeback in getting up over Richmond.
The Suns looked gone midway through the third quarter but somehow managed to rouse themselves in a dominant final term to keep their faint finals hopes alive.
Commenting on his big moment to Suns media, the 21-year-old said “Pretty good. I hit it off the instep a little bit but it was always coming back. We had great belief and confidence that we were always going to keep coming. We back in our fitness and our run and it was pretty special.”
A perfect result for coach Stuart Dew who earlier in the week put pen to paper on a new two-year contract extension that will keep him at the helm until the end of 2024.
Another side with an outside chance of being there in September were Port Adelaide that proved far too strong and brushed aside a poor Greater Western Sydney.
Forward Conor Rozee was the stand out performer with four majors while, at the other end, the Power defence kept the Giants to their lowest score of the year.
Closing out the round saw Carlton’s lethal strike force of Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay combine for ten goals as they belted lowly West Coast at Optus Stadium.
The Blues blitzed early and hit the scoreboard whilst managing to keep the Eagles pointless in the opening term. Although they were challenged midway through the contest, Michael Voss’s team hit back to run completely over the top of the hosts.
Round 17 Results
Geelong 12.19 (81)
Melbourne 9.9 (63)
Sydney 17.18 (120)
Western Bulldogs 9.13 (67)
Collingwood 13.10 (88)
North Melbourne 12.9 (81)
Gold Coast 14.10 (94)
Richmond 13.14 (92)
St.Kilda 10.10 (70)
Fremantle 17.9 (111)
Port Adelaide 12.12 (84)
GWS 3.11 (29)
Brisbane 13.12 (90)
Essendon 15.10 (100)
Hawthorn 13.8 (86)
Adelaide 8.6 (54)
West Coast 8.5 (53)
Carlton 17.14 (116)
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