Greater Western Sydney supporters will have the bragging rights this week after watching their side overcome the Swans in the 25th ‘Battle of the Bridge’ derby.
Giants captain Toby Greene was the hero as he kicked the winner, a right-foot snap with less than a minute remaining, to lead his side to a thrilling one-point victory.
The 29-year-old picked up his first Brett Kirk Medal (pictured below) for a best-on-ground showing that included 22 disposals, 11 score involvements, 11 handballs and four goals.
Speaking in the presser, coach Adam Kingsley was full of praise for his skipper as he said “He’s an outstanding player, there’s no question. He’s been that for a long time. He’s had that impact on games for a long period of time now and he just seizes those moments and looks for those opportunities where he can impact and I thought he was fantastic.”
He continued “His ability to win the ball in contest is elite. Typically, when you go through all the elite players in the league, they all win contest, and his ability to do that in critical moments also is as good as anyone.”
Port Adelaide picked up an impressive triumph as they travelled interstate and knocked St.Kilda off the top of the ladder, under the lights, at Marvel Stadium.
The seven-point margin made it 12 out of the last 13 for the Power who continue their fine streak over the Saints while also making it eight straight at the venue.
Former No.1 draft pick Jason Horne-Francis (pictured above) has really copped it since deciding to move back from Melbourne to South Australia, over the summer, but full credit to the 19-year-old who hasn’t let it faze him at all and produced a real breakout display.
That result allowed for Collingwood to take over as the new outright leader; they did it yet again, winning another really close one at the expense of Adelaide.
In a low scoring but pulsating encounter, the Magpies were behind for all but the last 21 seconds, when Steele Sidebottom put through a behind, but that is all that mattered as it got the job done while breaking the hearts of the home faithful.
Talking post-match to Magpies TV, Brody Mihocek said “Amazing, stressful! I would say that it is up there with one of our better wins even though Adelaide had the game won pretty much but we have just clawed our way back. The heart and soul of the team is awesome and it is a special win.”
He added “Even though we are a fast starting team as well, they jumped us. I knew that we were never out of it; they did help us out there with their scoring shots. It is a bit of a blur what happened in that last quarter and how we came back.”
Melbourne flexed their muscles whilst giving their percentage a huge boost, moving up to second, as they hammered a woeful North Melbourne in a one-sided match.
Bayley Fritsch, Kade Chandler and debutant Josh Schache, who arrived in the 2022 AFL Trade Period, amongst twelve different goalkickers for the rampant Demons.
A bad day for the Kangas was compounded by the horrific ankle injury Charlie Comben suffered, which saw the contest have to be held up for several minutes while he was stretchered off and taken to hospital where he will undergo surgery.
There was another monster score, over in the west, as Carlton put 156 points on the scoreboard to register their biggest win, in over a decade, beating West Coast.
It was a top night for forward Charlie Curnow as he kicked a career-high nine majors and also made history – it is the biggest haul ever by a player at Optus Stadium.
Marcus Bontempelli, 27, chalked up his 200th appearance for the Western Bulldogs, in the perfect manner, by leading his troops to a hard fought success over Hawthorn.
They actually trailed at half-time but were able to lift in the second half to eventually see off a young Hawks outfit that despite another loss are showing signs of improvement, which will hearten supporters as the club goes through its re-build.
Reigning Premiers Geelong continue to go along nicely in their campaign, following a slow opening month, as they got up over Essendon in the annual ‘Country Game’.
In what proved to be a very high scoring affair, Cats key forward Tom Hawkins bagged a career-high eight goals which earnt him the Tom Wills Award (9 votes).Embed from Getty Images
Speaking in the rooms to Cats Media, the 34-year-old said “It’s always nice to be on the end of a few personally, but I love it when the team wins and plays well.”
He went on “They’ve been playing some really impressive football so we needed to be at our best which we were for a fair portion of the game. We had lapses at times but their ability around the ball and win it and get it forward was really good as well.”
“I thought that we were brilliant around the footy again like we have been the last couple of weeks. Our pressure and ability to be able to win it and get it forward gives us forwards a wonderful look. I thought we did that really well, particularly early; ahead of the football we had great isolation and behind it we set up really well, so a perfect recipe to play good footy.”
Up in Queensland, Brisbane kept up their recent good form as they led all afternoon, increasing their lead at every change, enroute to beating a below-par Fremantle.
Last week, Lions forward Charlie Cameron scored a ‘Goal of the Year’ contender but already that might have been topped – Will Ashcroft struck with a phenomenal mid-air kick from the boundary, in the second quarter, that brought the 25,528 Gabba crowd to their feet with people comparing it to Daniel Wells’ GOTY winner in 2004.
A strong third quarter showing set Gold Coast up to record their first success on the road this season as they were able to put away a disappointing Richmond.
It wasn’t the prettiest spectacle by any stretch but that won’t bother the Suns who will be looking to use this as a springboard to make it to the pointy end in September.
Noah Anderson and Matt Rowell were pivotal, with both playing major roles in the midfield, while Ben King looks to be heading back to the kind of form he showed before his anterior cruciate ligament injury, putting four through the big sticks.
Round 7 Results
West Coast 8.8 (56)
Richmond 25.15 (165)
St.Kilda 11.10 (76)
Port Adelaide 12.11 (83)
Brisbane 17.13 (115)
Fremantle 10.7 (67)
Sydney 16.10 (106)
GWS 17.5 (107)
Western Bulldogs 14.10 (94)
Hawthorn 9.11 (65)
Melbourne 22.7 (139)
North Melbourne 7.7 (49)
West Coast 6.8 (44)
Carlton 23.14 (152)
Essendon 16.8 (104)
Geelong 20.12 (132)
Richmond 6.12 (48)
Gold Coast 11.6 (72)
Adelaide 7.16 (58)
Collingwood 8.11 (59)
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