Round 10 of the 2012 AFL season shall be forever remembered as bizzaro round.
Mark Neeld and his Melbourne Demons
The siren is about to go, right?
I believe it is.
And our score is a bigger number than theirs?
It appears so.
Well, this is new.
Melbourne notched their first win of the year. They, and most folks who don’t support the Bombers, were quite chuffed with it all.
It’s amazing what a win does. Suddenly the sun is brighter, the grass is greener, and the Mayans are wrong. I bet the cereal Mark Neeld had Sunday morning was the best cereal he has ever had.
On the night the Demons played with a four quarter intensity they hadn’t given in the previous 9 weeks. Colin Garland was switched from his usual post in defence to the forward line with great success. He had 20 disposals, 11 marks and two goals, taking the focus off Mitch ‘why won’t anyone help me put this ball between those two big sticks?’ Clark. The win also provides additional benefits. For example this week might be the only week where Jack Watts is scrutinised less than the Zapruder film.
The St Kilda v Richmond game
Anyone who didn’t find this enjoyable cannot be entertained.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is football. If you had taken someone new to the sport to this game, and they hadn’t enjoyed it, then they will never like Australian Rules Football. What took place Friday night wasn’t just a good football match, but a good sporting event. This game had everything. Ferocious attack on the ball. Constant lead changes. Cousins. It ticked every box.
Buddy kicked 13 goals on Saturday. I didn’t know numbers went that high. Now admittedly it was against a group of 11 year old children but 13 goals is 13 goals and… wait, it was against a professional club?
No player had kicked 13 goals in a single game since Matthew Lloyd did it against Sydney in round 3 of the 1999 season. Franklin ended that drought against the Kangaroos, outscoring their entire team on his lonesome. He jumped from eighth in the Coleman Medal race to first. He outscored the opposition by himself.
Joshua Green and the Brisbane Lions
Now introducing the heavyweight super-sub champion of the world, JOSHUA GREEEEEEEEENNNNN!
3 goals and a goal assist in the final quarter for Green, who helped engineer an incredible upset and add another storyline to an already epic round.
A frenetic final term that lasted longer than the Lord of the Rings trilogy finally concluded with Brisbane prevailing over the Eagles by two points. With just over a minute to go the Eagles were denied a match sealing goal by the hand of Niall McKeever. As the fans blew a sigh of relief, the Lions raced the ball out from the backline to the centre square, where the ball eventually fell into the hands of James Polkinghorne. Not needing more than a second, Polkinghorne thumped the ball forward from around 60 out. The ball trickled through the unguarded square, and the Brisbane fans erupted like Mount Doom.
Hamish Hartlett and the Port Adelaide Power
Harlett combined his elite disposal with industrious effort, sprinkled in a dash of not doing a hamstring, and helped deliver a 54 point victory against the downhill ski… I mean Carlton.
Hartlett had 16 contested possessions, 9 tackles, 8 inside 50s, 7 clearances and 3 immense goals. His incredible kicking ability means he is one of those players whose hands you want the ball in as often as possible. Importantly, Hartlett didn’t limit himself to just playing outside. He was more than happy to win his own ball and do the gritty things in contested situations. If he keeps that up he is well on his way to being an elite footballer.
Matthew Broadbent was another who was fantastic on the night. He had 25 kicks and 2 goals. Broadbent has been very good throughout this three week run of wins for Port Adelaide (yeah, they’ve won three in a row). Jay Schulz ended up being subbed out, but his improvement since leaving the Tigers has been quite impressive and entirely overlooked. The man doesn’t miss set shots, and tends to have a few in most matches. I would say Port Adelaide ripped the heart out of Carlton Saturday night, but I’m not entirely sure they’ve got one at the moment.
Rory Sloane had 33 possessions, 17 contested possessions, 9 clearances, 7 tackles and 3 goals. But it was when and how he did it that made it even more impressive. Having been down by over 30 points at one stage, the Dockers wrested back control of the game and took the lead early in the final quarter. Adelaide looked tired while Fremantle seemed to still have plenty of freshness in the legs.
Then Sloane said this.
Sloane provided the necessary spark and dragged his team back into the game. He had 10 possessions in the final quarter and kicked his third goal to put Adelaide back in the lead. With the lead retaken, Adelaide found that seemingly lost energy and put Freo to the sword, running out 29 point victors to the delight of Adelaide fans, people who don’t like Hayden Ballantyne, people who don’t like Ryan Crowley, and people who don’t like Ross Lyon. So pretty much everyone bar about 14% of Fremantle supporters.
The Sydney Swans
Numbers, massive numbers everywhere! Jude Bolton, Kieran Jack and Daniel Hannebery combined for 110 disposals and 4 goals. To put that in perspective, the Bulldogs only kicked 5 goals, and had 100 less possessions than the Swans.
Thomas had 32 possessions, 20 of which were contested. He also had 11 clearances and lazy 3 goals. He was so good that people are saying he was better than a man who had 53 touches. They’re right.
Collingwood scored their 7th win in a row, despite the fact most of their players live in a hospital ward.
Four teams tied atop the ladder. One team 4 points behind. Teams like Hawthorn and Geelong make up the bottom half of the eight. We are in for an awesome season and a brilliant September.
Is it just me, or do Carlton carry with them an aura that they’ve won something other than a few wooden spoons these past 10 years? I get the feeling many of them have bought into a notion that it’s only a matter of time until they win another flag, with all those draft picks and all. Well, fortunately for football it doesn’t work that way. Forget top four, I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if Carlton missed the finals entirely (their next four games are against Geelong, West Coast, Hawthorn and Collingwood. Ouch). They just don’t have “it”. I don’t know what “it” is necessarily, but I know they don’t have it.
Have North Melbourne just wasted everyone’s time? Here is the North Melbourne guide to any given season:
Step 1: Talk about how North Melbourne will be taking a big step forward this year.
Step 2: Nosedive.
The Kangaroos have lost by over 100 points at least once every year of Brad Scott’s three seasons as coach. That is ugly. This would be ugly if he had taken over a team entirely dearth of talent with an understanding that it’s going to be a few years before they are in the realm of competitiveness, but it’s even uglier when he has a team with several talented pieces and talked incessantly about beating the best teams and making the finals and all that jazz.
Gary Ablett Jnr
Come this Saturday night to see Gary Ablett perform some of his solo classics like “I had winning once but now it’s gone”, “All alone on 53rd Street”, “Big fish, small waterless pond”, and a cover of Cher’s “If I could turn back time”.
Harley Bennell on back-up vocals.
Gold Coast Suns
The Demons moved out. The basement is yours now. Feel free to decorate.