AFL 2023 Round 11: Sir Doug Nicholls Round (Week 2), Farewell Dimma, Sidebottom 300th, Hawks stun Saints

Sir Doug Nicholls Indigenous Round logo

Yartapuulti (the traditional name the Kaurna people gave the land around the Port River) continue to travel along nicely, moving up to second place by making it an equal club record eight successes in a row and getting up over Richmond at the ‘G’.

However, the afternoon was all about Damien Hardwick with the triple-winning Premiership coach, deciding earlier in the week, to call it a day on a successful 13 completed seasons and 307 games at the helm which led to a real outpouring of thanks and gratitude through social media/the media from the massive ‘Tiger Army’.

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Ground announcer Sarah Maree Cameron said pre-game that there would be a “massive celebration and thank you at a later date” for the outgoing Tigers gaffer but concluded with the message “Dimma, thank you so much for everything”.

There was also a banner which read “Thanks Dimma forever a Tiger” and everyone took part in a standing ovation, in the 17th minute, in his honour – the number reflecting the drought-breaking flag that the yellow and black won under him in 2017.

Ladder leaders Collingwood carry on setting the pace as they chalked up their seventh straight triumph after overcoming the challenge of North Melbourne.

It can be a really cruel game at times and you have to feel for Steele Sidebottom – it was supposed to be his big afternoon when he became just the fourth player in the history of the club to reach the 300-game milestone, in black and white guernsey, joining Scott Pendlebury (367*), Tony Shaw (313) and Gordon Coventry (306).

However, just ten minutes into the match, he sustained a right-knee injury, after a tackle on Zurhaar, which saw him unable to continue and have to be subbed out.

Football boss Graham Wright said in a statement, posted on the Magpies’ Twitter account, that he had done his MCL and will now face a spell out on the sidelines.

Ruckman Luke Jackson came back to haunt his old club as Walyalup (the traditional name for the Noongar country around the port city of Fremantle) got over the line against Narrm (the traditional name for Melbourne in the Woiwurrung language).

In a contest between two clubs hoping to be there at the pointy end, ‘Jacko’, who actually won a Premiership with the Demons before heading west, was one of the stars as the Dockers are really building into their season following a shaky start.

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Talking on ground to Fox Footy, after the siren, the 21-year-old (pictured above) said “It’s just a game of footy at the end of the day. I love the boys at Melbourne, they’re such good blokes. It’s good to see them again and play them.”

He went on “I feel like everything is clicking with the new team, I know my role really well, all the boys know their role and we have a good bunch of coaches as well. I feel like everything is on the rise here.”

Up in Darwin, Jack Lukosius (pictured below) booted a career-high five majors as Gold Coast managed to hold on and secure a big scalp in defeating the Western Bulldogs.

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It looked like, at one stage, they might get overrun late-on but the Suns showed plenty of spirit, determination and, in doing so, keep their first finals chances alive.

It was an emotional night for Nick Holman as he made his 100th AFL start – the 27-year-old has had to overcome many obstacles, along the way, like being delisted in 2015, suffering a near career-threatening injury and then losing his mother (Kylie).

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Adelaide recorded a season-high pressure factor of 204, keeping the possibility of a September opportunity alive, in the toppling of an inaccurate Brisbane (18 behinds).

Taylor Walker marked his return to the line-up with three snags whilst the trio of Jordan Dawson, Ben Keays and Rory Laird were excellent in the midfield.

There were a couple of big upsets over the weekend – lowly Hawthorn kicked four goals, in a nine-minute spell, right at the end to run over the top of St.Kilda.

It was the perfect tonic for the Hawks that had endured a difficult week following the resignation of CEO Justin Reeves, amidst the ongoing investigation into historical allegations of racism at the club; Ash Klein has stepped into the role in the interim.

James Sicily (pictured below) was simply immense with an incredible display that included a career-high 42 disposals, 21 intercept possessions (the most recorded by any player in any game this year), 17 contested possessions and 11 score involvements.

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Speaking in the rooms, to Hawks TV, the defender said “Winning is a great feeling. To back up last week’s performance – having West Coast and then St.Kilda, a pretty big step up in terms of how they have been going – and come from behind with the younger guys being involved in that is a great belief builder. Also, a lot to learn out of that game because of how close it was; it was a good feeling.”

On his standout match, he replied “That was one of my better games. I have been really enjoying my role since Weddles and Blankey have come into the side; Frost as well, because they have been taking the big guys down there and getting the job done which has allowed me to free myself up a bit to have a match-up I am more comfortable with and play more on my terms.”

The other came at the GMHBA Stadium where Greater Western Sydney captain Toby Greene (pictured below), in his 200th, led his side to an impressive showing over Geelong.

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Whilst most teams have found it to be a real fortress, for the Giants it has actually been a happy hunting ground with this being their third consecutive win at the venue.

The forward grabbed three goals, in a pivotal second quarter, that saw them build a buffer enroute to Adam Kingsley’s (pictured below) best result, so far, in his first season as coach.

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Speaking in the presser, he said “If that can be the bar then that’s going to turn us into a really good team. Our challenge is to continually deliver on that with a relatively inexperienced group across the field surrounded by some really experienced guys.”

He added “I was just so proud of the guys and their fight. Our pressure and our ability to step into tackles was a real feature of our game.”

Two out of form outfits clashed at the SCG where a strong final term allowed Sydney to up get over Carlton and whom they consigned to their fourth straight defeat.

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Midfielder Chad Warner (pictured above), in his 50th for the Swans, picked up the first Goodes-O’Loughlin Medal of his career with a fine best on ground effort (nine votes).

A dirty night for the Blues was compounded by the sight of captain Patrick Cripps having to come off, in the latter stages, with an ankle injury, which will have everyone concerned on how he pulls up and whether he is going to be facing any time out.

Essendon recorded their second biggest ever victory margin, in club history, in the state of WA after putting away bottom side West Coast, with ease, by 50 points.

Kyle Langford, Jye Menzie, Will Snelling and Ben Hobbs amongst the scorers for the Bombers that led for the whole evening and now move back into the top eight.

Round 11 Results

Sydney 11.11 (77)
Carlton 6.15 (51)

St.Kilda 12.6 (78)
Hawthorn 12.16 (88)

Narrm (Melbourne) 10.12 (72)
Walyalup (Fremantle) 12.7 (79)

Geelong 10.14 (74)
Greater Western Sydney 12.9 (81)

Gold Coast 13.6 (84)
Western Bulldogs 11.11 (77)

West Coast 6.10 (46)
Essendon 14.12 (96)

Richmond 9.13 (67)
Yartapuulti (Port Adelaide) 10.17 (77)

Collingwood 16.9 (105)
North Melbourne 10.10 (70)

Adelaide 14.11 (95)
Brisbane 10.18 (78)

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