AFL 2022 Round 20: Dominant Demons, Selwood 350th, Battle of the Bridge, Magpies do it again

AFL Premiership 2022

Reigning Premiers Melbourne flexed their muscles, with a performance that showed they will be a force come the finals, after defeating Fremantle on their home deck.

Despite some recent patch form, the Demons were far too strong as they blitzed the Dockers early, led all night and increased their advantage at every change.

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It completes a good week for the club that finally managed to lock in key defender Angus Brayshaw (pictured above) to a new six-year contract following speculation about his future.

Speaking in the presser, a jubilant Simon Goodwin said “We knew it was time to start to really build and it is time. As a footy club we know what it is going to take, and it’s going to take an effort like we saw tonight, more often and more consistently.”

He continued “There was a bit of a ruthless edge about us tonight. We were ruthless with how we wanted to defend, and really strong in the contest and that’s how we build our game. Tonight was the urgency and intensity we need as a football club and it was on show.”

Incredibly Collingwood did it again, getting up in another match by a single figure margin (five in a row), as they held on to see off the challenge of Port Adelaide.

They have now set a new record as the first side to win nine games by 12 points or fewer in an AFL/VFL season. It makes it ten straight victories for the Magpies, who move into the top four, and continues what has been a fantastic season so far, especially when you take into account that they finished 17th on the ladder last year.

Sydney took the honours in the 24th ‘Battle of the Bridge’ derby as they hammered their crosstown rivals Greater Western Sydney in front of a big crowd at the SCG.

Lance Franklin, Isaac Heeney and Sam Reid all kicked three apiece for the rampant Swans while captain Luke Parker (34 disposals, six tackles and six clearances) picked up his third consecutive Brett Kirk Medal for his best on ground display.

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Speaking in the rooms to Swans TV, the 29-year-old said “We had to be right on it from the start and they were up for the fight early. It was great to see that we had a four quarter effort of pressure, just getting our game plan right and flowing that through to the end of the game and maintaining our standards throughout.”

On winning the award, he replied “Kirky has been a legend of this club for a long time. To have a medal named after him just shows his presence around the place. To win it again is an honour; I think, as a whole, it’s just helpful what the team is doing in general to help each other play their roles.”

Noah Cumberland booted a career-high five majors as Richmond pulled off an amazing comeback to get over the line against Brisbane at the MCG; the result continuing the Lions’ miserable run at the venue which dates back to 2014.

The Tigers, behind on the scoreboard for most of the contest, successfully chased down a 42-point deficit, following a powerful second half showing, with forward Tom Lynch, on his return from a hamstring strain, scoring the sealer in the final minute.

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This encounter saw Shane Edwards (pictured above) become the first Indigenous player at the club and only the eighth in AFL/VFL history to reach the 300-game milestone; his impressive career includes three premierships as well as an All Australian (2018).

No doubting the shock of the round, which came down in South Australia, where lowly Adelaide’s tough brand of footy proved too much for a below-par Carlton.

It was to be a dirty night for the Blues, who drop to seventh on the ladder; they weren’t helped losing the trio of Corey Durdin (shoulder), Nic Newman (knee) and Matthew Kennedy (concussion) to injury which certainly hampered their rotations.

St.Kilda kept their September hopes alive but only after surviving a huge scare before managing to get over the line against a gusty Hawthorn outfit by 12 points.

The Saints looked well on course for a comfortable win, with a healthy lead in the third. However, the Hawks hit back by kicking eight of the last ten goals (including the final five) and with momentum firmly behind them set up a nail-biting finale.

A devastating third quarter from ladder leaders Geelong was pivotal as they came from behind to run over the top of the Western Bulldogs in Joel Selwood’s 350th.

The 3x Premiership player becomes just the 21st in AFL/VFL history to reach the milestone, surpassing Essendon legend Dick Reynolds with win No.160 as captain.

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On his big night, talking to Cats Media, he said “It has been a big week; I probably thought that it would be a big week but not as big as what it was. The club have done a fantastic job; so lucky they have reached out near and far and a lot of people have touched base. It was nice to have the stands filled for a game like that.”

With regards the match, adding “First quarter obviously didn’t go to plan but we got rolling in the third quarter. It was a few positional changes but, to be honest, it was just the boys starting to win the ball a bit more and getting those spaces.”

Malcolm Rosas scored what ended up being the winner as Gold Coast held out to defeat a plucky West Coast in a high-scoring, shootout affair at Metricon Stadium.

The Suns looked well placed heading into the final term but the Eagles, for whom Jack Darling kicked a bag of six, finished strongly as it went right down to the wire.

Closing out another exciting weekend of action saw Essendon lead for the whole contest as they romped to a 48-point success over basement side North Melbourne.

Jake Stringer hit the scoreboard with a season-high five snags while there were impressive displays from Zach Merrett, Mason Redman and captain Dyson Heppell.

Round 20 Results

Fremantle 5.9 (39)
Melbourne 12.13 (85)

Collingwood 13.10 (88)
Port Adelaide 12.10 (82)

Sydney 17.10 (112)
GWS 5.9 (39)

St.Kilda 10.15 (75)
Hawthorn 9.9 (63)

Geelong 14.10 (94)
Western Bulldogs 9.12 (66)

Adelaide 12.12 (84)
Carlton 8.7 (55)

Gold Coast 16.11 (107)
West Coast 16.8 (104)

Richmond 15.14 (104)
Brisbane 14.13 (97)

Essendon 17.12 (114)
North Melbourne 9.12 (66)

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