Time on – round 6

WINNERS & LOSERS

West Coast Eagles 15.16 (106) def. Melbourne 6.16 (52)

Sydney Swans 10.11 (71) def by Carlton 12.15 (87)

Kangaroos 18.25 (133) def. Port Adelaide 10.13 (73)

Richmond 18.16 (124) def. Brisbane Lions 14.14 (98)

Adelaide 13.12 (90) def. St Kilda 9.17 (71)

Essendon 31.11 (197) def. Gold Coast Suns 8.10 (58)

Collingwood 15.15 (105) def. Western Bulldogs 8.9 (57)

TEAM OF THE ROUND

B: Brady Rawlings (Kangaroos) Lukas Markovic (Western Bulldogs) Jake King (Richmond)

HB: Hamish Hartlett (Port Adelaide) Daniel Merrett (Brisbane Lions) Heath Shaw (Collingwood)

C: Steele Sidebottom (Collingwood) Dustin Martin (Richmond) David Armitage (St Kilda)

HF: Andrew Krakouer (Collingwood) Jack Riewoldt (Richmond) Robin Nahas (Richmond)

F: Kyle Reimers (Essendon) Kurt Tippett (Adelaide) Leigh Brown (Collingwood)

FOLL: Dean Cox (West Coast Eagles) Chris Judd (Carlton) Daniel Rich (Brisbane Lions)

I/C: Trent McKenzie (Gold Coast Suns), Matthew Priddis (West Coast Eagles), Daniel Motlop (Port Adelaide)

SUB: Stewart Crameri (Essendon)

COACH: Damien Hardwick (Richmond)

HERO – Richmond

I really liked the way Richmond went about their football on the weekend. The beat Brisbane in style at the MCG and the past two successive wins would’ve done their confidence a world of good. Jack Riewoldt just gets better, while I’ve been super impressed with the rapid development of Dustin Martin and Trent Cotchin this season. Former Blue Shaun Grigg and former Bomber Bachar Houli have fitted in well in what will be a bluechip midfield, while former Demon Brad Miller compliments Riewoldt. What I liked the most about the Tigers’ win against the Lions was their run and flair, they took the game on and ran Brisbane off their legs in the end. They got the football into their premier ball users in Newman, Deledio, Cotchin and Martin who were crucial in the win. Damien Hardwick has his young cubs on the right track. A win against the highly rated Dockers at the MCG on Saturday would be telling in their rapid improvement.

VILLAIN – Port Adelaide

Port Adelaide were my villains in round 5, and they’ve made it twice in a row. An embarrassing loss to the Gold Coast Suns in Adelaide last week led to a 10-goal thumping at the hands of the Kangaroos on Saturday. Former and current players have admitted there’s a culture problem down at Alberton, even assistant coach Dean Laidley. To be fair, Cassisi, Boak, Pearce and Schulz didn’t play against the Roos due to injury and form but that’s no excuse. Matthew Primus needs to play the kids, go through the list to place a tick or a cross next to each name and even a question mark on those who may be moved on at season’s end. For now, expect Primus to only pick a 22 who will perform and compete for the entire four quarters. But at the moment, that’s no easy task. It’s a long road back.

3 LIKES

1. Chris Judd

The Carlton skipper was instrumental in arguably his best performance as a Blue, gathering 33 disposals in Brownlow Medal form. Easily Carlton’s most important player and he is the difference between Carlton winning and losing. A third Brownlow in 2011 beckons.

2. Andrew Krakouer

Back after a week in the VFL, the clever small forward picked up 26 disposals and kicked 2 goals in his best performance as a Magpie. Krakouer handled the wet conditions as well as anyone and was influential in Collingwood’s 8 goal last quarter against the Bulldogs.

3. North Melbourne

The Kangas rebounded after a shocking first month of 2011 to post their first win of the season against a horrid Port Adelaide side on Saturday. Wright, Rawlings, Grima, Wells, Thompson all played as though their careers hung on the one game and it got them over the line. One win, though, doesn’t make a season. The Roos tackle Geelong, Melbourne and then the winless Brisbane Lions in the next three weeks. Two wins from three games here would be a pass mark. Anything less and the pressure will be back on.

3 DISLIKES

1. Jaymie Graham footage

Clearly the worst knee injury I’ve seen. Worse than Nathan Brown’s broken leg and Trent Hentschel’s dislocated knee cap. Once it buckled, you knew he was in big trouble and in lots of pain. Long way back for the former Eagle.

2. St Kilda

St Kilda’s sudden fall from grace has shocked many. After a dominant display from 2004-2010, all but a premiership, the once high flyers have fallen. Lenny Hayes’ season ending knee injury has hit them hard, and several stars have struggled to fire – Riewoldt and Goddard in particular. Cracks appearing in the once “complete list in the competition”. Saints desperately need an injection of youth. Only one game out of eight, but the odds are against them.

3. Melbourne

Melbourne supporters will be concerned at the current state of their club. They’re playing stop-start football, allowing the opposition to play as they like and it is producing average results. They have pace on their list and need to utilise it. There’s little excuse for the defeat to the West Coast Eagles in Perth on Thursday, having been there 48 hours prior to the game. Sylvia and Davey, the club’s two genuine match winners, need to lift. As do others. Adelaide, North Melbourne and St Kilda await the Demons in the next three weeks. The blowtorch will be on Dean Bailey if they fail to win any of those games.

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