Round 19 gave us another Geelong v Hawthorn classic, some tremendous individual performances, and an unexpected but not unsurprising result at the Sydney Showgrounds.
What a man. It now seems eons ago when people were questioning if he had what it takes to fulfill his AFL potential. Hawkins delivered in spades once again on Friday night, notching 6 goals, including the one to steal the game from Hawthorn as the siren sounded. I’ve never witnessed the birth of a new life, but I imagine the 2011 Grand Final was the footballing equivalent for Tom Hawkins. Now when I see him play I feel as if I’m watching an advert for a children’s action figure.
THE ALL NEW TOMAHAWK! NOW WITH ACCURATE KICKING! WATCH AS THE TOMAHAWK DESTROYS DEFENCES AGAIN AND AGAIN! SCHOENMAKERS DOESN’T STAND A CHANCE AS THE TOMAHAWK CRUSHES ALL BEFORE HIM!
Warning. Tomahawk figurine may mislead children in their understanding of what is humanly possible. Please note the ruckman model is discontinued.
One of my favourite occurrences in football is when a solitary player outscores the entire opposition. Saturday afternoon saw Pavlich 8.2.50 defeat West Coast 6.12.48. Pavlich also had a casual 24 possessions and 9 marks. Just an immense performance from the Captain as his side claimed their fifth victory in a row. The Dockers are now only percentage behind the torn hamstrings for eighth on the ladder.
The goal for most clubs heading into the season is to win the premiership. This isn’t the case for first year expansion clubs, whose premiership equivalent is not finishing on the bottom of the ladder. The Giants took a massive step toward that goal with their commanding 34 point victory over Port Adelaide. Callan Ward continues to extend his lead in the ‘GWS player you would most likely name in response to the question which GWS recruit is supposedly getting more than a million dollars this year’. Phil Davis is second. It is also clear that the Giants have more good Port Adelaide players than Port Adelaide.
I dismissed the Kangaroos as pretenders following their implosion against the Hawks and subsequent showing against the lowly Suns. So, naturally, they’ve won 7 of 8 since the murder in Launceston, with the solitary loss a 2 pointer against West Coast. In the past two weeks North has done exactly what is required of genuine finals bound teams when they come up against the cellar-dwellers. They’ve crushed them, beating both the Demons and the Bulldogs by 54 points over the past fortnight. Drew Petrie has kicked 23 goals in the past month, which is a goal to game ratio usually reserved for people named Lance.
Dangerfield willed his team to victory Sunday night in a ‘so-clearly-best-on-ground’ performance. He had 29 possessions in total. He led all comers in contested possessions with 20. He had 11 clearances, 3 more than the next best on the ground. He also continued his trend of impacting on the scoreboard directly with another three goals against the Dons. Perhaps most importantly, he holds the distinction of being the only Crow who realised the game had actually started before three quarter time. Everything about his performance was marvelous. My shrink calls my appreciation of Patrick “concerning” and “dangerous”. I call it justified.
There is no chance the Neil Craig era Crows come out at three quarter time and win. None whatsoever.
Purely because they finally avoided losing a game when leading in the 43rd minute of the final quarter.
The Hawks losing to Geelong has joined Death and Taxes.
There is no joke I could make that comes close to the joke that was Port Adelaide on Saturday afternoon. I can’t even make fun of Port Adelaide fans, because they are shot. I don’t know if they can go down the “de-list all the deadwood” route because they’d have about 4 players remaining, and if the Port Adelaide model of player progression remains the same, then it won’t be long till those 4 are on the list as well. Every Port Adelaide player that shows some talent seems to violently regress as early as their second year on the list. Talent isn’t the only problem. I don’t think I’ve ever seen players look as if they cared less than this group. Stuff spending the off-season in Arizona, go down to Oz and ask for some heart. Things can turn around quickly in football, but one gets the feeling Port’s journey to success is going to make Frodo’s seem like a trip down the driveway to retrieve the paper.
That said, maybe this is exactly what Port Adelaide need long term. Such a disastrous result forces change. It cannot be glossed over. Perhaps this is the first step toward Port Adelaide returning to former glory?
It’s like giving a cooking job to a beloved family member instead of an actual chef, asking him to prepare a gourmet dish with an apple skin, some road kill, and rhubarb, then dismissing him when he fails to deliver such a dish. In fairness this beloved family member didn’t really do anything beyond plonk those ingredients on a plate, but at least his heart was in it.