AFL 2023 Round 23: Lions roar, Carlton end finals drought, Farewells at the ‘G’, Record breaking Giants, Eagles pull off shock

AFL 2023 Round 24

Brisbane ensured that the race for the minor premiership will go down to the final round after getting up over ladder leaders Collingwood at a packed Marvel Stadium.

They will need to win next week and hope the Mapgies lose; but even if that doesn’t happen, they can still secure that second spot, which guarantees the double chance home final which, given their form at the Gabba (10-0), will be a huge advantage.

The Lions started very brightly and led for nearly the entire contest. When they were challenged, in the third term, by the comeback kings who threatened a trademark surge, the Queenslanders held firm and then went on to see it out strongly.

Speaking in the rooms to the club’s website, captain Dayne Zorko said “We’re rapt with that obviously. They had some big outs during the week but they’re still a class act and on top for a reason. We had to come and play our best game. I thought in patches we did that, bit sloppy defensively here and there.”

He continued “Overall, I think we can be pretty proud of that. I thought our pressure, even though the tackle numbers weren’t as high as they normally are, just to get a finger in here and there, disturb their offence was really important, so team effort tonight, and full credit to the boys.”

Another club with top two aspirations, if others were to slip up, are Port Adelaide that put in a solid four quarter display to overcome the challenge from Fremantle.

It was their first ever win against the Dockers at Optus Stadium and also guarantees them a double chance in September. It completes a good few days for the club after coach Ken Hinkley (pictured below) put pen to paper on a new two-year deal through to 2025.

Embed from Getty Images

Melbourne captain and star ruckman Max Gawn marked his 200th appearance for the Dees by leading his players to hard fought victory over a spirited Hawthorn outfit.

Jake Melksham and Jacob van Rooyen scored three each as the Demons are now a lock inside the top four and could finish second but will need everything go for them.

The wait is finally over and after a decade of drought, Carlton fans can start thinking about finals after watching their side get over the line in a thriller against Gold Coast.

They certainly put them through a rollercoaster with a horror opening term before getting in front, late on, and then holding out, at the end, to make it nine in a row.

Embed from Getty Images

It was the Charlie Curnow (pictured above) show as he seemed to single handedly drag them to victory. Not only did the current Coleman Medal leader kick five goals but then switched down back to play a very important role, in the latter stages, for his side.

Speaking in the presser, coach Michael Voss (pictured below) said “That was a big moment for the club. Since I started, that goal has been clear about what our direction needed to look like. We’ve had to work through a lot of things as a team.”

Embed from Getty Images

“We’ve had an extreme amount of adversity. There’s a great story in behind that. We’ve taken a lot out of that. The last nine weeks have been amazing. It was a great moment for the club to be able to have that confirmation that we’re playing finals footy. It hasn’t been said for a while at this club. I’m pleased I’m saying it.”

On Curnow, he lauded “It was a brilliant performance. He’s taking his moments. Any little window he is getting, he’s been able to impact significantly. The boys have a lot of confidence going with him. He brings an enormous amount of energy. He doesn’t just bring the crowd along, he brings the players along as well.”

It was an emotional afternoon, in front of nearly 60,000, at the MCG as Richmond and North supporters turned up to say farewell to three players hanging them up.

Triple Premiership players Jack Riewoldt (347 games, 787 goals) and Trent Cotchin (306 games, 6896 disposals) for the yellow and black whilst former Kangaroos captain Jack Ziebell (280 games, 183 goals) also bowed out as well.

For the record, it was the Tigers that came out on top in a dead rubber; this fixture was more about celebrating the trio that have given so much to the AFL game.

West Coast pulled off the shock of the season, claiming their first interstate win in 2023, and moved off the bottom of the ladder after upsetting the Western Bulldogs.

Nobody outside the club would have seen this coming; the Eagles had only won three times in their last 46 matches and were belted by over 100+ points in the Western derby last Sunday, and especially against a finals chasing Bulldogs.

Embed from Getty Images

Jaime Cripps (pictured above) booted a career-high five majors whilst midfielder Tim Kelly (32 disposals, 12 score involvements, eight clearances and five goal assists) was immense to give the club a rare moment of joy in an otherwise horrendous year.

For the second consecutive week, there was another highly controversial umpire call to award a behind, instead of a goal, that had a direct impact on the result.

This time it came in South Australia where Adelaide looked to be coming from the clouds as they reeled in a 44-point deficit, at one stage, against Sydney, with Ben Keays seemingly putting his team into the lead with just 80 seconds remaining.

Embed from Getty Images

However, whilst he and the home faithful were celebrating, the shot was judged to have grazed the post, no score review was called, to a spark a high-drama finale – play continued with the Swans, under the pump, clinging on to a one-point success.

Today (Sunday), AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan confirmed that an incorrect decision had been made, the individual had been stood down but that the result would stand.

In a statement, he said “This was a mistake and they happen repeatedly through games by players, officials and others. The challenging part through this is the moment of this and ultimately the mistake could have been reviewed and wasn’t. It could have been changed. That’s the challenging part of this.”

“Last night in the umpire’s mind there was a clear noise and a clear deflection. On review from the video evidence that wasn’t right. It was a human error that happens repeatedly through games across the course of the year, but this is an error that given the context and the moment was of great consequence.”

“I want to acknowledge that it was a mistake and I take accountability for the mistake on behalf of the League. I have spoken to the goal umpire and he is taking personal accountability for that mistake.”

St.Kilda took a giant step towards being part of next month’s action, in the first season with Ross Lyon at the helm, after getting the job done over Geelong.

At the same time, it brings an end to the Cats campaign with the current reigning Premiers now unable to qualify – the last time that happened was back in 2015.

Greater Western Sydney set a new club record, putting up the highest ever score in their 14-year history, as they hammered Essendon in a very one-sided affair.

Veteran forward Jessie Hogan had a day out by kicking a career-high nine majors as the Giants boosted their percentage to keep themselves in top eight contention.

Round 23 Results

Collingwood 15.10 (109)
Brisbane 19.10 (124)

Richmond 14.17 (101)
North Melbourne 10.12 (72)

Gold Coast 13.9 (87)
Carlton 13.13 (91)

GWS 25.12 (162)
Essendon 5.6 (36)

St.Kilda 12.16 (88)
Geelong 8.7 (55)

Adelaide 10.13 (73)
Sydney 11.8 (74)

Western Bulldogs 12.13 (85)
West Coast 14.8 (92)

Melbourne 13.9 (87)
Hawthorn 9.6 (60)

Fremantle 8.10 (58)
Port Adelaide 11.8 (74)

Related links

Scroll to Top
1.4K view
Share via
Copy link