THEY SAID IT: “We have just got to accept it and make the most of it, and try and be more competitive because it was unacceptable tonight. It was embarrassing.” – West Coast coach Adam Simpson reflects on a record-breaking defeat to Sydney as his struggling team reached a new low.
PLAYER OF THE ROUND: Brisbane Lions co-captain Harris Andrews made light work of young Saints forward Anthony Caminiti in Friday night’s 28-point victory and cut off a string of opposition raids. The key defender finished with 21 disposals and game-high tallies of 14 marks and 14 intercept possessions in a crucial contribution.
THE MOMENT: There were just 15 seconds left on the clock when Adelaide ruckman Reilly O’Brien launched a desperate final attack with a scrambled kick that found turf in the Crows’ forward line. Players from both sides threw their bodies at the contest but the ball fell to Collingwood defender Isaac Quaynor, who combined with Jeremy Howe and Jamie Elliott to clear the danger and ensure the ladder-leading Magpies hung on for a two-point victory on Sunday in yet another classic comeback.
TALKING POINT: Gary Rohan accidentally knocked out fellow Geelong forward Jeremy Cameron in a collision that raised all sorts of issues, with some fans even going as far as asking whether a player could be suspended for injuring a teammate. That suggestion was fanciful at best, but the friendly-fire incident did prove there can still be accidents in the game at a time when AFL players are being held accountable by the match review officer for all high contact with opponents. Cameron will miss at least one match under concussion protocols and there is also a fear the star goalkicker sustained a right shoulder injury in the collision.
STATS THAT MATTER: West Coast suffered their heaviest loss (171 points) and conceded their highest score against – 31.19 (205) – in club history in the abysmal showing against Sydney. The rampant Swans’ score was their fourth-highest in history and the margin marked their equal-biggest win as Sydney or South Melbourne. It was also the first time any team has racked up a double-century on the scoreboard since 2011. The Eagles have now lost four of their last eight games by triple-figure margins.
TRIBUNAL WATCH: Saints pair Max King (striking) and Liam Stocker (rough conduct) were cleared of match-day reports and Melbourne’s leading goalkicker Bayley Fritsch was not cited by the match review officer over a dangerous tackle on Geelong’s Jake Kolodjashnij. Geelong star Tom Stewart was fined $1500 for unnecessary contact with an injured player after he shoved Jack Viney to the ground when the Melbourne midfielder was nursing a sore shoulder.
INJURIES: J Cameron (Geel, concussion/shoulder), J Williams (WCE, ankle), B Zerk-Thatcher (Ess, groin), N Murray (Adel, hamstring).
WHAT’S NEXT: Regular programming resumes after the completion of the bye rounds, with Brisbane hosting Richmond in a high-stakes encounter on Thursday night. Sydney and Geelong meet for the second time since last year’s grand final on Friday night, while all four of Saturday’s matches have top-eight ramifications. The Essendon-Port Adelaide clash at the MCG looks the pick of the bunch. The AFL returns to Alice Springs on Sunday when Melbourne seek to bounce back against GWS after their loss to Geelong.