Time on – round 20


Carlton 11.14 (80) def. North Melbourne 9.8 (62)

West Coast Eagles 15.13 (103) def. Western Bulldogs 15.5 (95)

Geelong 37.11 (233) def. Melbourne 7.5 (47)

Hawthorn 13.17 (95) def. Fremantle 6.8 (44)

St Kilda 10.14 (74) def. Gold Coast Suns 6.18 (54)

Collingwood 25.16 (166) def. Essendon 14.8 (92)

Adelaide 16.15 (111) def. Port Adelaide 11.13 (79)


1. Attitude and courage

Two efforts from two Carlton players on Friday night typified the club’s improvement in 2011. The first was Kade Simpson, who was crunched by North full forward Drew Petrie, which resulted in a spillage and was a great defensive effort. The other was 26 year old South Australian Nick Duigan, whose mark flying back with the ball was similar to that of Jonathan Brown’s except Browny was extremely unlucky to miss the footy and have his season end through another facial injury. The coach, a ex-Blue hard man, would be proud.

2. Alex Silvagni’s shutdown on Buddy

Fremantle defender Alex Silvagni was superb on the weekend, shutting down Hawthorn ace Lance Franklin and keeping him goal less. He opted to play Franklin from the front, rather than behind, and will not only be viewed as a winner by opposition coaches but his tactics will now be used by most opposition clubs. Full credit to Silvagni and the Fremantle coaching staff.

3. Changes at Crows

Coaching change offers freshness and a new beginning. Adelaide caretaker coach Mark Bickley made a couple significant changes since taking over from the resigned Neil Craig. He brought back key forward Taylor Walker (4 goals) who had appeared to have been out-of-favour with Craig. The other distinct move came in the Showdown against cross town rival Port Adelaide where Patrick Dangerfield played predominately as a midfielder, whereas under Craig he was used as a permanent forward. On Sunday Dangerfield was very damaging, picking up 27 possessions. Great move by Bickley.


1. Melbourne

All of it. The players should be ashamed for their output on the weekend, a 186 point loss is more than just embarrassing at this level. Dean Bailey has copped the sack and rightly so, he’s had three years to put this list together and he’s made a few blues but he gave it his all. If the players confronted Jim Stynes about the front office then there’s more issues at hand. If footy manager Chris Connolly and CEO Cameron Schwab were in a power struggle then it’s very clear there’s alot more internal damage that must be addressed first. The biggest issue is who coaches this club next year. I’d be going after an experienced coach but Dees must start afresh and completely refurbish the entire football department with new appointments.

2. Excuses 

No excuses for Melbourne’s humiliating and dreadful 186 point loss to Geelong at Skilled Stadium on Saturday. A club in crisis right now that has more issues than one.

3. Fremantle

Fremantle will be lucky to play finals. Injuries have decimated and robbed this club of their best football this season, none more so than Aaron Sandilands. Losses at Patersons Stadium has hurt them too – St Kilda embarrassed them earlier on in the season and Hawthorn did exactly the same on the weekend. They face the Saints at Etihad Stadium this Friday night and a loss here would dash their finals hopes, depending on other results. I credit Mark Harvey for what he’s done to regenerate this team since he took over from Chris Connolly 3 years ago, but his greatest challenge is re-energizing them now.



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