Round 5 Winners and Losers

Round 5 is in the history books. The Swans and Eagles are undefeated at the top of the ladder and it’s feeling like a movie I’ve seen before. Here are the winners and losers from a round that gave us several thrilling encounters and a crushing loss or two.

Winners

Dane Swan

The Brownlow Medallist/art canvas delivered a virtuoso performance in Wednesday’s Anzac Day clash. His 42 disposals, 13 clearances, 3 goals and belly rub ranked about a 9.6 on the Russell Crowe ‘Are You Not Entertained?’ scale. Swan collected the Anzac Day Medal for best on ground and would later be seen rubbing his performance in the face of his early season critics.

The Sydney Swans

The Swans travelled to Tasmania to collect the head of Hawthorn, and in doing so they let the rest of the competition know they’re ready for anyone. Attached is their post-match press conference here

There were several standout performances. First and foremost was former Hawk Josh Kennedy, who had 27 touches, laid 11 tackles, and kicked 3 goals. Kennedy leads the league in both contested possessions and involvement in discussions about past trades.

It seems the in thing is to criticise the Hawks for trading Kennedy and Ben McGlynn for the measly return of picks 39, 46 and 70 in the 2009 draft. However they did manage to turn pick 46 into Benjamin Stratton, and pick 70 was used to elevate Matthew Suckling from the rookie list. It isn’t the worst trade ever. Still, they wouldn’t mind having Kennedy in the brown and gold; especially given he is one of the competition’s best in terms of clearances, a category the Hawks are dead last in.

Second on the list of praise is defender Ted Richards, who has sneakily evolved from ‘handy’ to ‘extremely good’. Richards held Franklin goalless, something that occurred only once last year.

Finally Adam Goodes celebrated breaking the Swans’ AFL games record with three second half goals. The Swans forward/midfielder/everywhere looks just as fit at 32 as he did at 19, so hopefully we get to see him for another few years yet.

The Richmond v West Coast Game

Surely everyone who doesn’t call themselves an Eagles fan was watching this game rooting for the Tigers. I think they might be the only side that frequently gets this ‘we all want you to do well except for when you are playing the team I support’ love. This probably isn’t a good thing, as it speaks more about Richmond’s extended period of ineptitude than anything else. It’s similar to liking a household cat. People like cats because while they sometimes scratch they are ultimately harmless. In the AFL you don’t want to be a cat, unless you’re one of the Geelong variety. You want to be a Lion. People don’t like Lions. People fear and revere Lions. Just not ones of the Brisbane variety. I’d like to thank those two clubs for making my analogy seven times more difficult to decipher.

But alas in the end it was another ‘honourable loss’ for the Tigers (fun game: Tell a fan of a losing side that it was an ‘honourable loss’. The reaction is nearly always the same. Their eyes glaze over and they just get mad). If we factored in ‘honourable losses’ for ladder calculation then Richmond would probably be top (and reigning premiers). The Tigers have this trend of playing well against the good sides and then average against the sides they should beat, so the upcoming match against Port Adelaide will probably be a scrappy affair with one side eventually stumbling upon victory. The best part will be the ensuing meltdown from the fans of whichever team loses. Grab your popcorn and enjoy the show.

If it does all go downhill for Richmond then I suggest the Tiger faithful just collect footage of Trent Cotchin and watch it on repeat.

For West Coast it was Daniel Kerr and Matt Priddis who shone in the middle of the park, notching 31 contested possessions and 17 clearances between them. That, and Ashton Hams looks primed for an assault on the limbo world championships.

The Showdown

Showdown 32 was dominated by a man wearing number 32. Adelaide’s Patrick Dangerfield notched a career best 39 touches, using his kicking boot and his legs to get the ball forward at any and every opportunity, delivering the ball into the forward 50 a remarkable 14 times during the match. Fellow young midfielder Rory Sloane had 27 touches himself. With 30 contested possessions between them, Adelaide fans will be hoping to see them running around for the next ten years. Another outstanding young Crow was Taylor Walker, who posted career best figures of 6.1 in what was his 50th game. The young forward is tied with Lance Franklin with the most scoring shots so far in season 2012, with 29.

Curiously, Walker and his forward line partner Kurt Tippett seem to alternate who is the more accurate on a weekly basis.

Round 3: Walker 0.2 : Tippett 3.3

Round 4: Walker 1.5 : Tippett 4.1

Round 5: Walker 6.1 : Tippett 1.4

For Port Adelaide it was Justin Westhoff who starred with 4 goals, prompting leading mathematicians to devise the following theory.

Justin Westhoff’s output in showdowns > Justin Westhoff’s output in all other games combined

That isn’t exactly fair, as Westhoff has been quite good so far this year. He does seem to save his best for the Crows though.

Sea World

You have to give credit to the tourism industry; they are always trying new things in order to drive up interest. This past weekend they hosted the Brisbane v Geelong game. Descriptions of the playing envrionment range from ‘wet’, ‘really wet’ and ‘aquarium’.

It was Tom Hawkins, not Shamu, who was the star of the show. Staking his claim for the title of ‘Best Wet Weather Key Position Player’, Hawkins kicked 6 goals straight and didn’t attack any of the trainers.

Special praise should also be given to Simon Black, who played in his 300th game and confirmed beyond all reasonable doubt that he is the most liked person on the planet.

Losers

Richmond

I’ve already touched on them, but those poor, poor souls. Being a Richmond fan must be like being given candy by someone, then having that someone punch you in the stomach and take back that candy 30 seconds later, only this continues every 30 seconds for over 30 years.

And every single Richmond fan continues to cop this because one day, maybe, they’ll get to taste that candy again. They’ve tasted it before, and it was damn good candy, so it’s worth copping it right in the stomach repeatedly if that’s what it takes to get it again.

St Kilda, Melbourne and Western Bulldog fans

Purely because they seem to miss out on that Richmond pity and affection they are just as entitled to. Oh and the fact I’m writing about them missing out on something they, and nobody else, wants to begin with.

Sure, these 3 clubs have had a few fun sized bars lately while the best the Tigers have seen over the past ten years are cough drops, but Richmond got their hands on the king sized bar much more recently than these 3. Don’t cry for Richmond, tell them to grab a ticket and get in the waiting room. The Doggies can show you around. After all, if you spend 57 years anywhere you get to know the place.

About Adam Ritchie

My name is Adam. I started watching football with two fellow parapsychologists in an abandoned firehouse. When we’re not watching footy, we’re running our own pest control business. What do you mean I stole that from Ghostbusters?

Comments

  1. Rick Kane says:

    Go the Hawks!

  2. Phantom says:

    Those who have a Degree in all matters Cats, majoring in Tomahawks would be fully aware of the fact that the recently emerged young cat simply does not miss shots for goals in the wet. Even his posters are goals.

    Dry days are a very different and all together sad species.

  3. Phantom says:

    Rick,

    you could have included that classic line from Monty Python.

    Come back you cowardly Swans; we can still bite you on the knee caps.

  4. Dave Nadel says:

    It doesn’t matter who Hawthorn picked up in the trade, you don’t trade (or pass on) members of legendary club families. Josh’s Grandfather was Hawthorn’s first premiership coach, his father played in several Hawthorn premierships, it shouldn’t have been that difficult to realise that Josh would eventually be a good footballer.

    Actually I couldn’t care less about Hawthorn’s poor trade but the whole thing reminds me of Liam Picken. Collingwood had several opportunities to draft or later rookie Liam Pickering. His father had not only been a very talented footballer, he had been close to the clubs’s best player during all those grand

  5. Rick Kane says:

    Ah, Mr Phantom, we meet again. This time, good sir, it is I that placed the trap. I put it out there, knowing my adversary, my Moriarty if you will, would take the bite.

    This allowed me to remind you that it was indeed the Cats who, but only a few years previous hung precariously outside the eight after 5 rounds with a win loss ratio of 2 and 3. And then they did turn their season around, losing only one more game and taking out the Premiership. One of their losses in that unsteady start was to their nemesis, the Hawks.

    Here’s hoping the Hawks turn their season around as successfully in the year of the Lord, two thousand and twelve. And if we don’t, well, I’ll see you after I’ve had a very long winter sleep.

  6. Rick Kane says:

    And by the way Adam, enjoyed your take on Round 5, except the Hawks nonsense. Cheers

  7. Dave Nadel says:

    (rest of post – don’t know why the thing posted halfway through) ……all those grand final defeats in the late seventies and early eighties. OK Liam didn’t have his Dad’s obvious ability or height but he had his father’s consistency and persistence and the Pies should be benefitting from those traits rather than the Dogs,

  8. Rick Kane says:

    Dave, Sydneysider Shaw played a pretty good game for his family’s side on the weekend as well.

  9. Dave Nadel says:

    This is what it looks like as a single post.

    It doesn’t matter who Hawthorn picked up in the trade, you don’t trade (or pass on) members of legendary club families. Josh’s Grandfather was Hawthorn’s first premiership coach, his father played in several Hawthorn premierships, it shouldn’t have been that difficult to realise that Josh would eventually be a good footballer.

    Actually I couldn’t care less about Hawthorn’s poor trade but the whole thing reminds me of Liam Picken. Collingwood had several opportunities to draft or later rookie Liam Pickering. His father had not only been a very talented footballer, he had been close to the clubs’s best player during all those grand
    defeats in the late seventies and early eighties. OK Liam didn’t have his Dad’s obvious ability or height but he had his father’s consistency and persistence and the Pies should be benefitting from those traits rather than the Dogs,

  10. Dave Nadel says:

    Fair comment Rick, but Rhyce Shaw’s case is different to Josh Kennedy or Liam Pickering. Shaw had had a good chance to make it at Collingwood. At the time that he went to Sydney not only had the club lost confidence in him, he had lost confidence in himself. Sydney helped him rebuild his career. Kennedy wasn’t at Hawthorn long enough for the club to write him off and Picken wasn’t at Collingwood at all (apart from a brief pre-season)

  11. Phantom says:

    Mean while bubbling away in Iron Chef Kamikazie Kane’s magic wok the recently stalked, burleyed, baited, hooked,landed, filleted, battered and frying Phantom respectfully comments on the Hawks great trading coups over the years.

    If they had been smart enough to have kept G Ablett (senior) they may have won a few more flags when they were up and flying a few decades ago and a few more in their recent 10 premiership (whoops Jeff) dynasty.

    I just love stories with happy endings.

  12. Phantom says:

    Looks like it is going to be Rip Van Winkle Kane.

    Nighty night, sleep tight.

  13. Rick Kane says:

    Take a long line, take a long, long, long line, reel ‘im in. How sad it would be to see Thawk finally fulfill his destiny as a Cat that matters, as the team itself fitfully fades into the shadow of its glory days. Are they over or are they regenerating? Take a long line. Cheers

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