AFL Round 20 – Review: The View from Shepparton

This week’s big winner had to be the Pies, there is no doubt about it, they were phenomenally impressive in beating the Swans if not on their home  turf at the SCG then certainly in Sydney, anyway. The way Sydney started with Tippett getting those two frees because he was simply too big for Brown to handle, and the goal to Jack spinning his way out of the pack and then Rhyce Shaw running into goal against his old club, I thought that it would be a massive drubbing. Typical though that Cloke should get his first goal by pushing Richards into the turf in order to place himself into position to mark. How did he get away with it? Anyway, enough surly negativity, I would love to have Elliott in my side, he is seriously good. In a following passage of play Reid hand balled to Sidebottom who kicked a great goal from an angle. Handballs through the centre and a goal to Grundy, another bloke who had never crossed my radar. Reid to Pendlebury, and the Pies in front. What a game this had turned out to be after the Pies had given the Swans four goals start. I don’t know these days where Harry O is supposed to be playing but his return to the side had been massive. Tippett took a pack mark with seconds to spare before half time, goaled! Then he kicked the first goal of the third quarter. What a player he is now. I thought that with the Crows he was a bit up and down. He had put Sydney back in front, and then he got another from a free after being held.  Then Collingwood got away from what was  a “maul” almost, at half back, and Reid found space and from a long way out, goaled. Then following a series of handballs Thomas goaled. Pendlebury to the goal front, pack formed, ball loose, Elliott swept onto it, rushed into goal. Jude Bolton had played 320 games still can play as he showed with the goal that drew Sydney back to within 5 points. Thomas got free at centre half forward, great goal, great response by Collingwood. Cloke goaled from the square, no need for the following review. Tippett again, sixth goal. Gees Reid is a good player as well, his mark and answering goal on the three quarter time siren was tremendous. Last quarter, quick baulk and dodge, Sidebottom, goal. Collingwood couldn’t lose now. Just in case you didn’t get it, Elliott goaled again from 35 metres out. Kennedy’s goal for Sydney was a bit of a consolation score really. Short version, Sydney were out classed and good luck to the Pies. They must be serious contenders now.

 

Much has been said about Essendon. Put simply I think that even in this day and age players ought to be able to rely on professional advice they are given regarding their health or supplements or anything else. To me I could identify with a caller on the sporting segment of Jon Faine’s program today who said words to the effect  that if he had a seventeen year old ready to be drafted he would take legal action to prevent him being allocated to the Bombers. I reckon that is the bottom line in terms of any potential charges that the AFL might make in terms of the Dons bringing the game into disrepute. Meanwhile they were flogged by the Eagles. Their season is finished one way or the other.

 

Hawthorn beat St Kilda although the latter put up a decent fight for one quarter. Unfortunately most teams beat the Saints these days.

 

Melbourne played better against the Suns but again no one was surprised that they lost. Who would have thought at the beginning of the season that this would be the take on the game.

 

I don’t think though that many would have backed the Bulldogs against Carlton. You have to say that Mick’s tenure has not turned out to be a roaring success. The situation is exactly the same as in 2011, that is, on their day they are the best but they have too many key players who run hot and cold. The West Coast played really well particularly given their outs and are thus still arithmetically  an outside chance to get into the finals but this chance could well be snuffed out next weekend. For the Doggies they are having a pretty positive end to their season.

 

The score in the Port Geelong in the end flattered Port. Even allowing for the huge home advantage that Geelong enjoys this result really underlined the gap between the top sides and the wannabes as the finals approach.

 

This is  a big year for Richmond. The Lions are playing well enough now so that they can’t be presumed to be pushovers even away from home but the fact is that not withstanding some Rich heroics my mob were never convincingly in it. Richmond too good, would love to see them really dish it out in the finals to the more fancied clubs.

 

The Sprawlers were back to normal against Freo unfortunately. I actually  watched most of the second quarter of this game. Given that they gave Freo near enough to a seven goal start before getting the lead back to eighteen points I thought that they showed real fight and a chance to cause an upset. Cameron was on fire and for a short time Freo was made to look slow and ineffective. Thus the end result was very disappointing but from Freo’s perspective it was a huge percentage booster and they looked really OK in the end.

 

North Melbourne got things wrong this time. Instead of catching up in the last quarter they did it in the third. This was an enjoyable game to watch if you weren’t a Shinboners supporter. Yet another close loss. Sloane was fantastic for Adelaide.

 

At the cricket everyone was talking up Roger’s ton. Well it was certainly an achievement particularly given the fact that he had been overlooked previously but the reality was that this was the luckiest hundred that I can remember.

 

High: Collingwood

 

Low: Essendon

About Peter Schumacher

Wannabe footy commentator and writer, used to be a wannabe footballer

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