AFL 2022 Round 8: ‘Dusty’ returns, Rising Suns, Eagles turmoil, McDonald 200th, ‘Two Metre’ Peter

AFL Premiership 2022

Dustin Martin made his eagerly awaited return to a Richmond line-up that cruised to victory over Collingwood, in the rain, before a crowd of 64,481 at the MCG; forward Tom Lynch weighed in with six majors and now leads the Coleman Medal table.

The 3xAFL premiership, 3× Norm Smith Medal and 2017 Brownlow Medallist (pictured below), who took a leave of absence following the passing of his father, was cheered every time he touched the ball by Tigers supporters and certainly played his part for the team.

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Speaking on ground to Fox Footy, captain Trent Cotchin paid tribute to ‘Dusty’; he said “Obviously it is good to just have him around the footy club, let alone game day. We know how special he is as a footballer, but the contribution he makes to our culture, the energy he brings is critical and the reason he has been such a big part of our footy club for a long time.”

He continued “We are just glad that he is back and we can put our arm around him and support him in the way we love to. He is obviously an important part of our footy club, but as well just a great person and a great friend for so many.”

Tom McDonald marked his 200th appearance for Melbourne with two goals and they continue their incredible run after chalking up a 38-point success over St.Kilda.

The reigning Premiers blitzed the Saints early, playing some great footy, which gave them the platform to go on to make it eight-zip and remain top of the ladder.

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Despite being forced into several changes, due to Covid protocols, Fremantle still had far too much and hammered a poor North Melbourne outfit at Optus Stadium.

Debutant Jye Amiss had an evening to remember – the 18-year-old, called up from Peel Thunder in the WAFL, scoring with his very first kick to the delight of his family watching in the stands, before adding another, and making quite the impression.

The stats make grim reading for the Kangas that put up their lowest score for the year as well as it being the fourth consecutive match in conceding over 100 points.

No doubting the result of the weekend which came at the SCG, a venue that Gold Coast seem to enjoy playing and they caused a bit of an upset by defeating Sydney.

It was a particularly special afternoon for Suns defender Rory Thompson (pictured below) who played his first game since 28 July 2018 (1,379 days) following back-to-back ACL injuries.

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Speaking in the rooms to Suns Media, the 31-year-old said “It was a hectic couple of days once I found out that I was playing. I just tried to get back into the routine and the most important thing was the team getting the win, not so much me coming back, and we did that which was great.”

He went on “It was great work from the boys. We knew that they would come at us all day which they did; they’re a good team. I think we all showed that if we all play our role and stick to our structure for four quarters then we’ll get the job done; a great effort by everyone.”

West Coast supporters probably thought that things couldn’t get much worse but, unfortunately, endured another horror week that ended in a heavy loss at Brisbane.

Firstly they saw their side ravaged by a second wave of Covid and then came the news that, despite all this going on, a group of players, including Jackson Nelson and Josh Rotham, were photographed partying at the Hip-E club in Leederville.

On the matter, coach Adam Simpson said he was “furious and disappointed with the actions of these players” while Eagles CEO Trevor Nisbett told Sportsday Radio he was “disgusted, to tell you the truth” and that a full investigation is now underway.

Jeremy Cameron came back to haunt his old club, booting five majors, as Geelong led all afternoon and put away Greater Western Sydney in convincing fashion.

The duo of Mitch Duncan and Patrick Dangerfield, on his return from a calf injury, dominated the midfield while Cooper Stephens (Colac) and Mitch Knevitt (Falcons), both having coming up through the ranks, looked comfortable on debut for the Cats.

Port Adelaide exacted some revenge for last year’s Prelim heartache as they beat the Western Bulldogs, in Sam Powell-Pepper’s 100th game, by a 17-point margin.

It makes it three in a row for the Power who, on the back of a zip-five opening, look to have regained their confidence and are now steadily climbing back up the table.

For the Doggies, a disappointing result was compounded by losing Tim O’Brien (calf), Laitham Vandermeer (hamstring) and Cody Weightman (shoulder) to injury.

Out of form, under the pump and forced into five late changes due to illness, Essendon defied the odds as they came from behind to triumph over Hawthorn.

‘Two Metre’ Peter Wright (pictured below) was the standout performer and kicked a bag as the Bombers, trailing by 15 points at the end of the third, lifted in the final term to kick the last seven goals of the contest and run right over the top of the helpless Hawks.

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Speaking in the presser, coach Ben Rutten was a happy man; he said “It was a really important and positive day for us. The guys really grew into the game well and showed resilience. A lot of it was how we can stay connected and look to play our way, regardless of the situation, and trust in that we have done the work.”

He added “We’ve been really consistent and methodical about the way we’ve been reviewing training and working during the week so to be able to get the reward under pretty unique circumstances will be definitely good for the group.”

Closing out the round, Charlie Curnow grabbed a six-goal haul as Carlton recovered from a slow opening term before going on to belt Adelaide at Marvel Stadium.

Patrick Cripps really stood out for the Blues and led the players with a real captain’s performance (35 touches, 12 score involvements, nine clearances and two goals).

Round 8 Results

Port Adelaide 12.14 (86)
Western Bulldogs 10.9 (69)

Fremantle 15.12 (102)
North Melbourne 3.6 (24)

Richmond 17.11 (113)
Collingwood 12.14 (86)

Sydney 8.13 (61)
Gold Coast 10.15 (75)

GWS 4.11 (35)
Geelong 12.16 (88)

Essendon 16.12 (108)
Hawthorn 11.15 (81)

Brisbane 16.9 (105)
West Coast 4.6 (30)

Melbourne 14.9 (93)
St.Kilda 8.7 (55)

Carlton 17.14 (116)
Adelaide 10.8 (68)

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