AFL 2023 Round 13: Kings Birthday Clash, Big Freeze 9, Buddy 350th, Tex 250th and kicks ten, Hawks stun Lions

Big Freeze 9 logo

Two of the flag favourites locked horns, in the first ‘Kings Birthday Clash’, with Melbourne edging ladder leaders Collingwood before a crowd of 83,578 at the ‘G’.

The Demons inaccuracy (18 behinds) and failure to put the match away looked like it might come back to haunt them as the Magpies, the masters of late comebacks got to within fours points, but, in the end, were able to see it out for a statement victory.

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Jack Viney (pictured above) (32 disposals, 19 handballs, 13 kicks, 11 tackles, nine clearances and a goal) won the Neale Daniher Trophy for a sensational best-on-ground effort.

The annual Big Freeze event took place, prior to this blockbuster, where nine well-known personalities went down the celebrity slide as part of the big fundraiser – the participants were: Mick Fanning, Tayla Harris, Abbey Gelmi, Jason Dunstall, Eric Bana, Tony Shaw, Michelle Payne, Aaron Finch and Shaun Burgoyne.

Iconic landmarks and buildings across Australia were lit up in cornflower blue to commemorate of all of those who have been impacted by the ‘Beast’.

Along with sales of the Beanies, over $2.5million has been raised so far, in 2023, for the charity FightMND, founded in 2014, established with the purpose of finding effective treatments and, ultimately, a cure for Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

The previous night, in front of another packed house, two arch-rivals met with Essendon coming out on top to get the chocolates against Carlton in a fiery affair.

A devastating third quarter from the Bombers really put them in the ascendency, well on the way to making it four in a row, since 2019, and placed firmly in the eight.

‘Two Metre’ Peter Wright marked his return to the starting line-up, following three months out with a dislocated shoulder, by hitting the scoreboard with five snags.

Port Adelaide travelled interstate and extended their club historical winning run to ten games as they saw off the challenge from the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium.

Charlie Dixon (pictured below), on his return from a quad injury that had kept him sidelined for a month, booted four majors for the Power whilst there were impressive showings from Zak Butters, Jason Horne-Francis and young defender Lachie Jones down back.

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Speaking on ground to Channel 7, the 32-year-old forward said “It was good to see the ball land in my hands and I was able to get the first one straight away which is always good for your confidence.”

“All of our young boys have come on leaps and bounds this year. It is pretty exciting watching them come out of the middle; not just their offensive stuff but some of their defensive is incredible and good to watch.”

He added “We know that we are going to have those opportunities to score and we don’t care who scores. It is great to have that versatility through our forward line and I am just happy to be winning.”

Richmond kept themselves in the September finals picture by getting over the line to defeat Fremantle, on their home deck, in very wet and slippery conditions.

Veteran forward ‘Jumping’ Jack Riewoldt scored two more goals to take him up to joint third on the Tigers’ all-time goalkicking list (778) alongside Kevin Bartlett.

Hawthorn provided the shock of the weekend with a quality performance that saw them take down high-flying Brisbane who continue their poor run at the MCG.

It makes it three out of the last four for this young Hawks group that appear to be growing in confidence, which is a really encouraging sign for everyone at the club.

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Speaking in the presser, coach Sam Mitchell (pictured above) lauded “I thought we controlled a lot of the game, other than those three goals in three minutes just before half-time. We’re always after the results, but really what we’re trying to do is show progress.”

He went on “Even in some of those losses we saw some steps forward. They’re one of the best sides of the competition and we can tick that box and say, ‘On our day we can compete with the best’.”

St.Kilda rolled into town and crashed the celebrations for Lance Franklin’s 350th AFL appearance with a strong finish that saw them run over the top of Sydney.

They managed to keep the hosts scoreless in the opening quarter, time ever at the SCG, enroute to chalking up a success, at the venue, in well over a decade.

Whilst it wasn’t the perfect night for ‘Buddy’, with his side coming out on the wrong side of the ledger, the forward did kick two majors to bring up another milestone.

It took his career tally to an amazing 1,059 as he surpassed Doug Wade to move into fourth spot overall on the all-time goal kicking leaderboard behind three legends – Tony Lockett (1360), Gordon Coventry (1299) and Jason Dunstall (1254).

On his feat, he told the club’s website “It’s something I’m very proud of, there’s no doubt about that. To reach 350 games in AFL football is an enormous achievement.”

As for the key to his longevity, he replied “You can’t do what you did when you first started. You can’t be doing every training session, which is for me is pretty hard.”

“That can be mentally challenging at times; everyone wants to train as much as possible. But when you get to my age, you’ve got to manage yourself as best as possible and do all the right things to make sure that you’re right to go game day.”

Taylor ‘Tex’ Walker had an afternoon out, in his 250th start for Adelaide, by bagging a career-high ten majors as they put West Coast to the sword in a one-sided affair.

The eventual 122-point margin meant that it was the biggest ever win under Crows coach Matthew Nicks whilst also condemning Eagles gaffer Adam Simpson to his heaviest loss, in his ten years at the helm, in what has been a nightmare campaign.

Greater Western Sydney picked up their third triumph on the road this year as they travelled down to Tasmania and knocked over a spirited North Melbourne outfit.

Toby Greene (24 disposals, three goals) led by example with a real captain’s display whilst there were other notable contributions from Callum Brown and Jake Riccardi.

Round 13 Results

Sydney 9.12 (66)
St.Kilda 12.8 (80)

Western Bulldogs 13.7 (85)
Port Adelaide 16.11 (107)

Hawthorn 15.8 (98)
Brisbane 11.7 (73)

Adelaide 27.12 (174)
West Coast 8.4 (52)

Fremantle 10.10 (70)
Richmond 12.13 (85)

North Melbourne 11.9 (75)
GWS 15.13 (103)

Carlton 6.16 (52)
Essendon 13.8 (86)

Melbourne 8.18 (66)
Collingwood 9.8 (62)

Bye: Geelong, Gold Coast

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