Time on – round 15

WINNERS & LOSERS

Western Bulldogs 19.13 (127) def. Melbourne 8.15 (63)

Carlton 28.16 (184) def. Richmond 12.9 (81)

Fremantle 17.10 (112) def. Gold Coast 9.8 (62)

Essendon 18.7 (115) def. Geelong 16.15 (111)

Adelaide 8.9 (57) def. Sydney 6.14 (50)

Brisbane Lions 15.9 (99) def. Port Adelaide 13.10 (88)

Collingwood 15.16 (108) def. Hawthorn 9.11 (65)

St Kilda 12.7 (79) def. North Melbourne 10.10 (70)

3 LIKES

1. Essendon

Down and out for the past six weeks, the Bombers responded against quality opposition on Saturday night, but it must be asked where that attitude of desperation and intensity to the win the football was, until now? The tactical nous of ex-Geelong premiership minds Mark Thompson and Brendan McCartney had to play a big part in the upset win by the Bombers but the Cats will now be asking where they got beaten, why and what they need to do to rectify the performance against the Eagles in Perth on Friday night. I loved the attitude of the Bombers the most though, they were relentless and their intensity was excellent. They forced Geelong to tackle by keeping possession of the footy and made Scarlett and Taylor accountable, robbing them of their usual uncontested marks and rebound from the back half. Lots to like, if you can get a copy of the game grab it and you’ll see a completely different Essendon side who were smashed by Hawthorn the previous week. The Bombers now must back it up against the team who started their losing streak, Richmond, this weekend.

2. Paddy Ryder

James Hird gave the out of form Ryder a job on Saturday night and he delivered. He took on Brad Ottens as the number one ruckman and his efforts were full of intent and desire to win the football to the advantage of his teammates. His ruckwork was very good, but his defining moment was his running chase and tackle of Geelong speedster David Wojcinski. Players without desire and intent don’t chase down blokes who are as quick as Wojcinski. Ryder was on the verge of being dropped the last couple weeks in particular but he has turned it around. Well done to Ryder and well done to James Hird for backing him in.

3. Mitch Robinson

Chris Judd is a genius and his numbers against the Tigers on Saturday were incredible but Mitch Robinson might just have become the Blues’ most important player. He brings hardness and a highly competitive edge to the contests, and is rated extremely highly by both Brett Ratten and Judd. Ferocious and hungry for the contest, he summed up Carlton’s 103 point demolition of Richmond on the weekend.  

3 DISLIKES

1. Melbourne

Disappointing, again. Will this club ever make a statement in big games? Going by Friday night’s effort, the answer is a firm no. Many of the Demons’ key playmakers were shut down, leaving too much to the likes of Trengove and McKenzie. The Dees have the bye, but plenty of soul searching and changes are needed before their Round 17 clash with Port Adelaide.

2. Richmond

Extremely disappointing. On one of the club’s biggest days, where financial fans were acknowledged and Richmond had the front of the footy record, they produced what former great Matthew Richardson described as “the worst loss for the club in recent times”. That’s a given. The Tigers let themselves, the fans and sponsors down on a big day, again failing to deliver on the big stage. Damien Hardwick handled it the best way possible, apologised and moved on. Redemption starts with the Bombers on Saturday night.

3. Sydney’s inaccuracy

Sydney’s inaccuracy is killing them this season. They rank 10th for set shots in the comp, and 15th in general play. They were their own worst enemy on Saturday night, kicking 6.14 to Adelaide’s 8.9. A dysfunctional forward line makes things difficult, the injury plagued and now retired Daniel Bradshaw robbed them of a key forward target forcing Adam Goodes to play forward. It’s time for John Longmire and his coaching staff to restructure this Sydney team. O’Keefe needs to play more as a forward and Jesse White also needs to come in to at least give them a marking target in the goal square. This inaccuracy has really affected their win/loss ratio and as a result they can’t beat the better teams and may miss out on finals. Losses to Collingwood, Carlton (twice), Hawthorn, Geelong and now Adelaide is a big concern. They were infront at half time but couldn’t finish the job. A vital clash against the Suns at Metricon Stadium awaits.

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