Round 9 Review
Barely any time to catch our breath before Round 10 kicks off, so this will be a quick review! No point dwelling on the past. Just a few points on what was a bit of an odd round of football...
Western Bulldogs v Richmond
We mentioned in the preview that the angle to Richmond winning was their ability to mark the ball inside 50. The Bulldogs have conceded more F50 marks than any other side this season, and gave up 12 to the Tigers last Wednesday night. This will be their challenge moving forward because every side they will face for the remaining 7 rounds will have noticed...
Melbourne v Port Adelaide
We gave the Demons a chance against the Lions the week prior and they really should have won. We gave them another chance against Port Adelaide and were wildly wrong.
Skill execution is appalling, the forward structure is terrible (it's incredibly hard to see why the forwards end up in the positions they find themselves in) and the whole side is playing like they're petrified of body contact and making a mistake.
It's still very hard to get a line on Port Adelaide but winning form is good form, I suppose
Carlton v Hawthorn
In a lot of ways, your greatest strength as a side can often be your greatest weakness...the Blues and their "go forward at all costs" game style can really catch teams napping like it did against the Hawks, but once the opposition adjusts it can become incredibly predictable. If sides like Carlton (and to a lesser extent Melbourne & St Kilda) don't have another gear to drop down to, then they can get into trouble.
The Blues' straight line style is great to watch, but David Teague will be desperately trying to add another layer of their offence which takes the ball off the line a little more. Or some ways to slow down the ball movement a little when they are under the pump
Credit to the Hawks - they aren't quite off the cliff just yet
Essendon v Brisbane
Not much to say, as this one went entirely to script. You have to feel for the Bombers and their makeshift forward line. Impossible to post a score good enough to trouble the Lions here, and they knew it.
North Melbourne v Adelaide
We thought North had the edge on the Crows, but not by nearly 70 points. Just shows how bad Adelaide are going...
St Kilda v Sydney
This is a classic game where it's important not to get too carried away with the winning side. The Saints busted the game open late but the Swans missed some golden opportunities to put some serious scoreboard pressure on them much earlier. Expected score: 101-76, actual score: 101-48
West Coast v Geelong
Gee, the Cats showed how important it is to take your chances in this one. 9.2 by 3/4 time and an expected score two goals better than it should've been nearly pinched it against the current flag favourites. With a competitive ruckman vs Nic Naitanui, do they win? Starting to warm to Geelong as a genuine contender but the ruck issue is the same worry it has been for years...
Gold Coast v GWS
The Suns were brave as usual, but they're really lacking polish at the moment, something you can't afford to be without against a Giants side who are absolutely lethal inside 50. An expected score of 56 for the Suns vs the 35 they posted - really should've made the Giants work harder for the win, that's for sure.
Fremantle v Collingwood
The Pies have lost the unloseable. Incredible to think they couldn't take care of the Dockers who had scored 23 points in their past 7 quarters (including 0.0 in the first quarter yesterday) and then piled on 25 points in the second term. Collingwood were ahead by 3 points at 3/4 time after kicking the last three goals but the last quarter was a shambles. Hard to see how they don't just find a way to win with Grundy absolutely dominant at stoppage...incredible result.
Round 9 Burning Question:
Is the West Coast hype an overreaction?
We were emphatic in our answer that the Eagles are far from unbeatable from here. Sure, they get an armchair ride living at home for the foreseeable future and the potential for all of their finals being played at home, but Geelong showed what can be done when they are denied the chance to mark their way to victory.
Of course it is one thing to know a team's weakness (for the Eagles it is ball-on-the-deck, deny uncontested marks) and another to actually get the job done, but there are some team in particular who will give them a run for their money for the rest of this year and through the finals series.
Who Won The Round?
Very tough to pick a winner here, but we will go back to last Wednesday and give it to the Tigers. The Bulldogs started dominant favourites but the enthusiasm was back for Richmond off the back of some hungry inclusions and a forward line back to being an aerial threat after a few lean weeks. And of course we knew Dustin Martin could explode at any moment, and he did...unstoppable.
Beware the Tigers from here...
Who Lost The Round?
Melbourne. They had the perfect chance to plant their flag in the season against a quality side with a few queries of their own, and never looked like it. They won't be the last team to put in a shocker in this condensed block of games, but the way they are playing is more torturous for Melbourne fans than a Stage 4 Lockdown.
The response this week will be telling, but might be masked by how bad the Crows are...
Round 10 starts today. Time for another coffee, and into the Round 10 preview...