Time on – round 9Posted: May 23, 2011
WINNERS & LOSERS
Carlton 14.16 (100) def. by Geelong 15.12 (102)
St Kilda 16.10 (106) def. Melbourne 13.8 (86)
Port Adelaide 14.6 (90) def. by Fremantle 21.16 (142)
Brisbane Lions 10.13 (73) def. North Melbourne 8.11 (59)
Richmond 16.9 (105) def. Essendon 13.11 (89)
Collingwood 20.15 (135) def. Adelaide 14.8 (92)
Sydney Swans 8.12 (60) def. by Hawthorn 15.16 (106)
West Coast Eagles 26.19 (175) def. Western Bulldogs 8.4 (52)
TEAM OF THE ROUND
B: Heath Shaw (Collingwood) Ben Rutten (Adelaide) Chris Newman (Richmond)
HB: Brendon Goddard (St Kilda) Chris Tarrant (Collingwood) Grant Birchall (Hawthorn)
C: Leigh Montagna (St Kilda) Trent Cotchin (Richmond) Andrew Embley (West Coast Eagles)
HF: Lance Franklin (Hawthorn) Nick Riewoldt (St Kilda) Andrew Krakouer (Collingwood)
F: Mark LeCras (West Coast Eagles) Josh Kennedy (West Coast Eagles) Jack Riewoldt (Richmond)
FOLL: Dean Cox (West Coast Eagles) Scott Thompson (Adelaide) Chris Judd (Carlton)
I/C: Dyson Heppell (Essendon), Marc Murphy (Carlton), Luke Shuey (West Coast Eagles)
SUB: Kepler Bradley (Fremantle)
COACH: John Worsfold (West Coast Eagles)
HERO – West Coast Eagles
The Eagles are, for mine, the best improved out of last year’s bottom 4. The rise from 16th last year to likely finals contenders this year is an extraordinary turnaround. Their defensive mechanisms are terrific, their press is as good as anyone’s and they have a forward structure of height (Kennedy and Lynch), a crafty small forward (Le Cras), a young gun (Darling), a reborn defender (Nicoski) and quality midfielders (Shuey, Kerr, Embley, Ebert, Masten and the Selwoods). They will be full of confidence heading into their biggest challenge next Sunday afternoon, Collingwood at the MCG.
VILLAIN – Western Bulldogs
I haven’t seen a capitulation like I’ve seen from this club in 2011 for a long time. Is it injuries? Lost hunger? Inconsistency? Eade’s game plan against the press? Brian Lake fallout? Are they simply not good enough? Or all of the above? Whatever it is, I’m certain their premiership window is now closed. We know David Smorgon’s demands of reaching the GF, so it really leaves one question: Is Eade the man to restock and go again? Or does Eade and the Bulldogs need to look at the alternatives? Early call but the signs for both aren’t great. The Dogs’ dramatic fall from top 4 material to barely finals contenders is staggering. It’s a long road back.
1. Saints’ edge
It’s back, but for how long? The Saints’ walked the talk we’ve been hearing since the season began, and finally delivered their second win against the depleted Demons. Riewoldt played his best game all year (31 disposals, 3 goals) to lead the charge, which saw the likes of Goddard and Montagna return to their best. Like the opportunities given to Siposs, Cripps and Winmar on the weekend but want to see alot more of that. Saints still a mile off where they were as a premiership contender.
2. Browny’s return lifts Lions
Browny returns, Brisbane win. Very simple. They knocked off the wasteful Roos in horrible wet conditions but got the job done. The skipper’s 4 goals in his return after an 8 week facial injury is a big plus. His presence in the forward half gave them a big confidence booster. Had he been injury-free the past 8 weeks, the Lions would’ve had a few more wins in the bag. Good to see them claim a win, which’ll ease pressure of Vossy’s ongoing coaching future beyond 2011.
3. Brendon Goddard
Couldn’t leave out this man in this week’s likes. 37 disposals and 10 contested possessions was a clear indication Goddard is back to his best. Looked at home across half-back on the weekend and that’s where he should stay – for now.
1. Port Adelaide
9 rounds gone and the Power sit rock bottom with just one win. Nothing is going Port Adelaide’s way at the moment, so evident it was in the loss to the Dockers on home turf. Too many players look lazy and disinterested. Can’t see how they can win another game at the moment. The coach must continue to blood kids and cut loose the senior players who are disinterested and lazy. It’s a long road back to the premiership year of 2004.
2. Adelaide’s last quarter fade out
Well done first to Scott Thompson for 14 clearances of a team total of 40, but allowing 11 goals in a 20 minute period was just unbelievable. I was in awe of Collingwood’s ability to kick into gear and produce the best quarter of dominance I’ve seen in a long time. Nevertheless, the Crows were fantastic most of the game and led at three quarter time by 12 points before being over run in the last. Disappointing last quarter for the Crows but something to build on.
3. Dogs’ inconsistent performers
Higgins, Grant, Williams, Stack, Minson are all way too inconsistent. Higgins has had injury worries but more was expected from his return on the weekend. Both Grant and Williams are top 10 picks and are yet to prove their worth. Stack and Minson are battlers with serious question marks hanging over their heads. The Dogs have a good, talented list but the current chemistry isn’t working. It’s time for an almighty shakeup.