Front and Square

FIRSTLY, apologies for the late start of Front and Square for the 2012 season, but we’re now so let’s dive in and look at this week’s agenda…

An injury rattled round

A month into the season has given us plenty to ponder and discuss but round four proved unfortunate for some, with numerous severe injuries sustained to the likes of Gary Ablett (Gold Coast), Robbie Gray (Port Adelaide), Gary Rohan (Sydney), Andrew Carrazzo (Carlton) and Michael Hurley (Essendon).

Gray and Rohan proved the worst of the lot, who will both miss the remainder of the season an ACL and a broken leg respectively – never a good sight.

Ablett will be back in 2-3 weeks after knee brusing while Hurley will miss Essendon’s Anzac Day clash with Collingwood due to a hamstring and Blues’ onballer Carrazzo will miss 6-8 with a fractured shoulder.

It was a horrid round for injuries, with the graphics of Gray and Rohan’s falls making any footy fan cringe.

Former Tiger Nathan Brown, now apart of Triple M’s footy coverage and a panelist on Channel 9’s Sunday Footy Show since his retirement, broke his leg in similar circumstances to Rohan in 2005 and never got back to his best.

That won’t give Rohan or the Swans confidence but given he’s just in the early stages of his AFL career at 20, the speedster will have the time on his side.

Injuries aside, it just proves how tough and brutal our game is.

Your club’s verdict

Adelaide: Got the four points against GWS, but doubts continue to linger. Crows are 3-1, but haven’t impressed anyone since their NAB Cup triumph.

Brisbane Lions: Big second half got the job done, skipper Brown starting to find touch with Cornelius showcasing his obvious talent along with a dominant midfield performance from reigning B & F winner Tom Rockliff.

Carlton:Big disappointment, looked flat and switched off after best possible start of the season. Loss of Carrazzo is a huge blow to midfield.

Collingwood: Pies back on track, O’Brien finding touch and big guns Pendlebury, Swan and Cloke all firing after a dismall showing last week.

Essendon: The Bombers’ best win of the year and couldn’t come any better than against arch-rival Carlton. Finding good balance of hardness and plenty of run, a criticism in years gone by.

Fremantle: Big statement made by the Dockers away from home – where they have a woeful record – but have found a harder defensive edge under new coach Ross Lyon.

Geelong:No easy beat for the Cats at home but a win is a win. Work to be done if they are to go back-to-back.

Gold Coast: Failed to build on gains made last week, and it doesn’t get any easier with injuries to keys Ablett and Harbrow. Still very much developing in year two.

GWS: The Giants’ best effort thus far, made Adelaide work, and good leadership from co-captains Ward and Power. Will win a game this year.

Hawthorn: Failure to seal the deal in big games becoming more of an issue, should finish top four but has work to be done to advance on last year’s preliminary final.

North Melbourne:Midfield solid but Roos wasted too many opportunities in attack to back up last week’s heroic win over the Cats.

Port Adelaide: The Power continue to plug away and remain competitive but needs to consolidate a win against the cross town rivals this weekend’s showdown. The loss of Gray for the year will hurt.

Richmond: Impressive in defeat to the Cats away but had their chances throughout. Starting to toughen up in most areas.

St Kilda: Saints not getting enough for the return of Hayes’ midfield strength and for plenty of forward entries against the Dockers. Effort is there but output must improve to play finals.

Sydney: Swans again impressive with best start to the season in a long while at 4-0 with more scoring options and midfield depth. Win even more impressive without regular startups Mumford and Goodes.

West Coast: Survived a low-scoring, brutal contested game against the Hawks at home but dug deep to get the four points. Incredibly hard to beat in the West and won’t drop a home game this year. A grand final appearance is not beyond them.

Western Bulldogs: Made to work hard for first win of 2012 by the desperate Demons, but had more poise and delivered when it counted most. Can build from here.

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