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What they got right and wrong: Each club’s wins and woes from Round 10


What did your club get right and what did your club get wrong in Round 10?

We had nine matches across the weekend with some remarkable finishes, some huge spankings and some massive individual performances.

See our assessments below:

ADELAIDE club banner

What they did right

Final term comeback and staying in it all day

Adelaide never gave in on Saturday at the MCG despite trailing for 109 of 121 minutes.

They easily could have dropped their head early on, particularly after the Pies skipped out to a 30-point lead in the second term after kicking six goals in a row.

Many other teams, particularly from interstate, would have dropped their bundle in enemy territory against the reigning premiers.

But not Adelaide. Even though they didn’t win, they gave themselves enough chances to.

This team still believes their best is good enough to match it with the best, and they’re not wrong.

It’s one small thing to hang their hat on.

Getting the ball inside 50

The Crows gave their forwards enough opportunities to win Saturday’s game, going inside 50 on 58 occasions to Collingwood’s 49.

In the final quarter alone, they went in 16 times to Collingwood’s nine. That’s where they really had the chance to win.

Looking at expected score as well, the Crows only were behind 68.3 to 67.6, proving that the result was really a coinflip as the Magpies came up clutch.

On other occasions, those inside 50s will result in more scores and the Crows will get more reward for their efforts.

It was a defeat, but one they’ll take a lot of positives from.

What they did wrong

Not sending anyone to Daicos in the first half

Adelaide should never have let Nick Daicos run free for the first half on Saturday.

I mean, he’s a top two or three player in the competition on form and is only building into his season now.

The Pies superstar had a ridiculous 10 clearances and 24 disposals in the first half alone.

While Jordan Dawson sat on him at stoppage in the second half, restricting him somewhat to four clearances and 17 disposals from then on, most of the damage was already done.

We’re not saying they should have tagged Daicos outright, but he’s one of a couple of players in the league that you need to put time into or else you will bleed.

In a game that was so tight in the end, it was just about the difference in the result.

Lachlan Geleit

BRISBANE club banner

What they got right

Selfless Lions

The Lions shared the ball around at will, given the lack of Richmond pressure that came their way.

They were able to do as they pleased in and around forward 50, highlighted by Lachie Neale’s remarkable six goal assists.

Logan Morris, Eric Hipwood, Joe Daniher and Jarrod Berry all had two goal assists each and the general finding of a teammate in a better position was evident all night.

Despite two bags of five from Kai Lohmann and Charlie Cameron, their 26 goals were spread across 12 players which is a great sign for Chris Fagan.

Finishing was on fire

Brisbane kicked 26.7 in a damaging display of finishing and accuracy.

Before Saturday night, the Lions had only kicked more goals than behinds in two matches in 2024.

It helps when you are afforded so much time and space to be able to conjure constant shots at goal, but they were able to put them away - something that has evaded them for much of the campaign.

Lohmann breaks out, Ah Chee delivers

He’s been bubbling away with some solid performances in the senior side this year, but Lohmann produced the best game of his career.

Lohmann had a nice fill-up with five goals from 14 disposals and seven marks, doing the damage early with a pair of majors in the first term.

It is normally the usual suspects whenever the Lions have a win, so it was nice to see an emerging player, in just his 18th AFL game, shine so brightly.

Callum Ah Chee also got in on the act again with 19 disposals and 12 marks.

His hanger in the second quarter was a thing of beauty.

Relentless and ruthless all night

The Lions jumped out of the blocks with seven first-quarter goals to Richmond’s zero.

But it wasn’t a one off.

They kept their foot on the throat of the Tigers, piling on six goals in the second, eight in the third and five more in the last.

It was a relentless and ruthless performance, perhaps the one that will truly kickstart their run towards finals.

What they got wrong

Hipwood report and clearance numbers

It’s hard to find any woes in a 119-point win.

The only negative we can find is the tackle by Eric Hipwood on Nick Vlastuin which led to a one-week suspension (pending any possible Lions appeal).

Somehow they were also beaten in clearances (35-36) and centre clearances (11-16), but obviously those numbers had zero impact on the game.

Andrew Slevison

CARLTON club banner

What they got right

Zac Williams to half forward

Zac Williams has mostly struggled to find form in defence this year and has looked half the player he was before the ACL injury.

The Blues moved Williams to half forward in this one given the mountain of injuries they have to their forwards and he looked good early.

He was moved around following Jacob Weitering’s injury, but it was a role worth persisting with.

What they got wrong

Carlton’s midfield is too slow

Sydney isn’t the first team to exploit Carlton when they play all of Cripps, Kennedy and Hewett, but it was particularly evident on Friday night.

The Swans did as they pleased at centre bounces and when the ball went their way, they were off to the races.

Carlton clearly noticed the issue, trying Corey Durdin on-ball at stages, but that’s not the answer either.

The Blues need more dynamic players in the middle and Elijah Hollands is surely the one to receive a few opportunities in Adam Cerra’s absence.

Too many forwards don’t touch the footy

Corey Durdin and Orazio Fantasia both played full games of footy on Thursday night for a combined 10 disposals, four tackles and 0.1.

Tom De Koning also spent 80 per cent of the game forward as Marc Pittonet assumes full control of the ruck – De Koning had six disposals, one mark and didn’t hit the scoreboard.

Carlton needs to revamp their forward mix and needs desperately to hope Lachie Fogarty and Jesse Motlop are available to return this weekend.

The Blues also should go back to one ruckman and try to get their forward-half pressure game back, given it has dropped away significantly.

Nic Negrepontis

COLLINGWOOD club banner

What they did right

Clearance domination and midfield start

Collingwood’s midfield got the side off to a cracking start on Saturday.

The Pies kicked eight of the first 11 goals, and that was no doubt thanks to the upper hand they had at the contest.

In the first quarter alone, the top six ball-winners on the ground were all Magpies, with Nick Daicos (15 disposals), Scott Pendlebury (two goals, 12 disposals) and Jordan De Goey (one goal, 10 touches) doing most of the damage.

Getting so much ball from the centre helped launch Collingwood’s scores as the Crows played catch up for the rest of the game.

Even though the Crows worked back into it, the Pies also won the clearance count 44-36.

It’s the third week in a row where they’ve really dominated on-ball. If things remain the same, this side will be very hard to beat once talent returns in other areas of the ground.

Finding enough goalkickers with soldiers going down

Collingwood was already missing a handful of important forwards on Saturday, and things got worse when Will Hoskin-Elliott (hamstring) and Reef McInnes (concussion) went down with injuries.

Somehow though, the Pies managed to kick a winning score, with nine individual goalkickers chipping in.

Of those players, three were genuine midfielders, while half-back John Noble also got in on the action.

Collingwood share the load as well as any team in the comp and that proved to be the case on Saturday.

If they can keep doing that while adding the likes of Mihocek, McCreery, Elliott and even McStay back into the team, this offence will go to another level.

What they did wrong

Didn’t ever really put the Crows away

Even though the Magpies got out to a five-goal lead in the second term, they lacked the killer blow to ever put Adelaide away.

That came back to haunt them in the last quarter as the Crows pressed and even snatched the lead back for a brief moment.

If they had put the Crows away when they had the chance and cattle available, it never would have been an issue.

When you’ve got the momentum, you need to make it count. Things like last week can happen far too easily when the Pies didn’t have a single tall target to kick to in the fourth term at stages, allowing the Crows to lock the ball in their front half.

Lachlan Geleit

ESSENDON club banner

What they got (W)right

Two-metre Peter back in form

Peter Wright hadn’t kicked more than two goals since returning from suspension and was coming off a goalless performance against GWS.

He needed a big game and delivered against North Melbourne in a comfortable 40-point win. Four goals from six shots, as well as 11 hitouts and nine marks is right among the better games he’ll play and inspires confidence for the rest of the season.

Wright also enjoyed an equal club-high six inside 50s. Watch out Richmond this week.

Kept the pressure on

The Bombers had 22 less uncontested possessions than Alastair Clarkson’s North Melbourne but still laid some 56 tackles, 14 more than North Melbourne.

In a game Essendon was expected to win and win well, effort was clearly still the number one priority, with Brad Scott’s forwards still laying 10 tackles inside 50 to the Roos’ two.

If the Dons can bring that on a quiet Sunday against North Melbourne, they can do it against the best teams when it counts.

What they got wrong

What happened in the middle?

Essendon’s clearance game is the 4th best in the competition, while the Roos rank 13th.

So for Scott’s midfield to be humbled 28-42, losing both total centre clearances and stoppage clearances, is a surprise.

For all Richmond’s faults in Round 10, they actually beat Brisbane in the clearance count, adding another fascinating storyline to this Saturday’s Dreamtime.

Seb Mottram

FREMANTLE club banner

What they got right

Luke Jackson one-out in the ruck

Teams have found ways to expose Rowan Marshall in recent weeks, with opposition ruckmen putting up big numbers and Luke Jackson was no exception.

He found 25 disposals, won 39 hit-outs, 10 clearances and laid six tackles. He’s clearly shown his capacity to dominate when given the sole ruck duties.

Of course, Sean Darcy will be needed to spell Jackson and the pair can work together, but it seems clear at this point that the Dockers are at their best with Jackson and Josh Treacy as his backup.

Midfield mix is working beautifully

Fremantle smacked St Kilda in the midfield on Saturday night, allowing them to play with a set defence behind them and making it nearly impossible for the Saints to score.

Caleb Serong, Andrew Brayshaw, Hayden Young and Nathan Fyfe as the predominant on-ball quartet was too much for St Kilda to handle, winning the clearances 50-33.

It’s been their go-to mix all season, with Matthew Johnson the fifth wheel in there and Jaeger O’Meara no longer in there.

What they got wrong

Accuracy issues still plague Freo

After last week’s debacle against the Swans, with the Dockers kicking 4.15, the yips plagued them again against St Kilda.

Freo kicked 4.12 in the second half which ultimately restricted them to just 72 points – a winning score against the Saints but maybe not some other teams.

It’s one to watch as the season goes on. Jye Amiss the chief offender, kicking 2.5. There are worse problems to have!

Nic Negrepontis

GEELONG club banner

What they got right

Three positional calls

Max Holmes to half-back, Gryan Miers playing the connector role and Toby Conway as a full-time ruckman.

On a disastrous night for the Cats, that trio were clearly Chris Scott’s best players in performing exactly what was hoped.

The other 19 have got plenty to learn about breaking momentum and playing wet weather footy.

Scott’s system also fell apart given Geelong won contest and clearance. Lessons to be taken all round.

What they got wrong

Stewart rendered useless again

There are a hundred aspects Geelong got wrong on Thursday, so we won’t harp on here.

But Round 10 was the second straight game where Tom Stewart again had no impact, despite the footy largely living in Gold Coast’s forward half.

It’s a hard one to put a finger on. Stewart had 13 intercepts, a clear game-high, but put almost zero pressure on his direct opponent.

He’s a better player than that and it’s on both Stewart and Scott to get the All-Australian calibre defender back to his impactful best and the Cats not conceding 26 goals.

Cam Guthrie’s management?

It’s certainly too early to tell, but have the Cats made a mistake getting Cam Guthrie straight back into the senior side?

The 32-year-old hasn’t dominated in his four games back from injury and on Thursday was subbed off in the third term of the eventual loss with nine touches to his name.

He wasn’t the only Cat below par. But he’s arguably Geelong’s most important player with Patrick Dangerfield out and a lack of experienced midfielders already and his failure will lead to Geelong’s more often than not.

The Cats were toothless without Guthrie near his best.

Seb Mottram

GOLD COAST club banner

What they got right

Midfield dominance

You’ll be hard pressed to find a better performance from two midfielders in the same team in the same win.

Noah Anderson (42 possessions, two goals) and Matt Rowell (35 possessions, eight clearances, 10 tackles) tore the Cats to shred at the contest and were Chris Scott’s biggest headache all night.

They weren’t up against much, but the Suns will love what they’re seeing from the developing stars. Throw in Ned Moyle’s impressive effort and 32 touches for Touk Miller and you’ve got a complete and utter midfield mauling.

Good call from Dimma

Eyebrows were raised when Damien Hardwick rested co-captain Jarrod Witts for the Suns’ biggest game of the year.

But young ruck Ned Moyle delivered in spades and justified the gutsy call. Moyle had a clear team-high 17 contested possessions and a whopping 42 hitouts, also getting busy to lay five tackles.

At the very least, Moyle – who is out of contract at the end of 2024 – had just seen his trade value jump. He continues to prove himself at AFL level on the rare occasions he gets a gig.

Where did King come from?!

Just quietly, Ben King is a co-leader of the Coleman Medal!

The 23-year-old is in a four-way tie for first and plenty of rusted on footy fans would find themselves surprised to see King atop the goal kicking list.

He flew under the radar again on Thursday. Not his best game, but the key forward found a way to boot four goals in slippery conditions.

He’s looking a far better player than his twin brother at the current time.

What they got wrong

Disappointment in contested footy

Despite starring performances in the middle and blistering periods of attack, the Suns weren’t willing to get as busy as their opponents in the heat.

Against a Cats lineup lacking plenty, especially through the midfield, the Suns still lost contested footy and clearances.

Hardwick’s men rank in the top six for both this year, so perhaps they’re due a mulligan. But don’t let it become the precedent.

Seb Mottram

GWS GIANTS club banner

What they got right

Stars played well

Toby Greene, Jesse Hogan, Lachie Whitfield, Harry Himmelberg, Tom Green and Stephen Coniglio and were among the Giants’ very best players.

Greene kicked three goals from 17 touches, Hogan also booted three goals and took seven marks, Whitfield had 31 touches and 761 metres gained, Himmelberg had 30 disposals and 12 marks, Green amassed 29 touches and seven clearances and Conigio had 22 and six tackles.

Cal Ward did a great job in restricting Marcus Bontempelli to 10 disposals in the first three quarters which is a very impressive effort.

The reliable heads just didn’t have enough assistance from the younger and fringe players who had contributed so well in the first handful of games.

It’s a small win on an otherwise dirty weekend.

What they got wrong

Did not play the conditions well

The Giants were unable to match the Bulldogs in the wet conditions.

Adam Kingsley lamented the fact that his side was easily beaten at clearances (38-46) and stoppage clearances (28-41).

He also felt they were not clever enough with the way they attempted to move the ball on a soggy surface.

They were unable to get their running game up and going which saw them produce just 41 inside 50s, hurting their ability to score.

Toothless in attack

GWS kicked 100 or more points in five of its first seven games of 2024.

Have the Giants been worked out since?

Kingsley’s side has returned scores of 69, 62 and most recently 43, suggesting they are toothless in attack right now.

Toby Greene and Jesse Hogan kicked all six of their goals against the Dogs, highlighting a lack of assistance from those around them.

The once free-flowing Giants have been curtailed of late which has coincided with three defeats on the trot and four losses in their last five.

On a side note…

Did we overplay the Giants’ form earlier in the season?

They beat a hungover Collingwood side in Opening Round before picking up wins over North Melbourne, West Coast, Gold Coast (in Adelaide) and St Kilda - three of those sides are in the bottom five.

They did annihilate the Brisbane Lions, but it does seem perhaps their form has been somewhat overrated.

The Giants have a testing month ahead - Geelong at GMHBA, Hawthorn in Tassie, Port Adelaide and Sydney at home. We will truly know where they are by the completion of Round 15.

Kingsley’s side started the season nicely, but they’ve been well below their best over the last month or so.

Andrew Slevison

HAWTHORN club banner

What they got right

Had it won (before they lost it)

Let’s take the glass half-full approach. For two and a half quarters, the Hawks dominated a club with top-four aspirations on their own deck.

Clearances, contested footy, territory you name it, Hawthorn had it. That’s no mean feat and even though the Hawks lost, it’s a far better performance than most believed they could produce.

Sam Mitchell is the coach that’s touted to be, take nothing away from that.

Blake bloody Hardwick

If you had Blake Hardwick to kick four goals in the opening quarter, hats off.

Given he’d only kicked one goal since Round 5, the performance he put forward on Sunday afternoon at a roaring Adelaide Oval certainly came as a surprise.

He finished with five majors, 23 touches and two direct goal assists as the Hawks opened up a decent gap.

If Mitchell had his time again, you’d expect him to keep Hardwick – typically a small defender – ahead of the footy instead of throwing him down back late.

But alas, giving Hardwick the license to roam inside 50 gave Hawthorn a great shot.

What they got wrong

The entire last quarter

Make no mistake, this game wasn’t only lost in the last 30 seconds.

Hawthorn went back into its shell for the entire last term, registering only four inside 50s for the quarter. Playing that brand of footy is asking to have your 28-point margin cut into and that’s exactly what happened.

There was no forward structure, and Hardwick – his side’s primary hope ahead of the ball – found himself deep in defence alongside Will Day, the Hawks’ best midfielder on the day.

A lack of intent crucified the Hawks and Mitchell paid the price.

Seb Mottram

MELBOURNE club banner

What they got right

Won the ball at the source

Despite the 35-point loss, Melbourne did win the ball at the source.

The Demons beat the Eagles 41-36 at clearance thanks to a 28-21 stoppage clearance superiority.

Clayton Oliver had nine clearances, Max Gawn had six, and Jack Viney and Christian Petracca had five each. The usual suspects dd the job around the ball, but it fell over post clearance.

Although they did the win the first ball more often than not, the Dees had their game taken away from them by the more desperate and hungrier Eagles.

What they got wrong

Untidy by foot and blunt in attack

The Demons struggled to conjure meaningful inside 50s across the course of the contest.

Yes, West Coast’s pressure was high, but the Dees were simply unable to use the ball effectively enough.

Their disposal efficiency was less than 67 per cent and they could only managed 36 inside 50s - their lowest return of the season so far.

Those numbers simply did not give their forwards enough opportunity to score.

After gaining the ascendency in the third term with a positive inside 50 count (+4), the Demons shot themselves in the foot by kicking 3.7, while the Eagles kicked 5.0.

Conceded 100+ in rare occurrence

The Demons conceded over 100 points for the first time this year and just the third time in a season and a half.

The 105 points kicked by the Eagles was the first time Simon Goodwin’s backline has been properly breached in 2024.

A lot of that had to do with the fact that Jake Lever went off concussed in the first quarter which derailed and disorganised their defence.

Missed the chance to go third

A win would have put the Dees into third position.

Playing the last fixture of Round 10, they knew that four points would have placed them behind only Sydney and Essendon.

But they couldn’t get the job done and now sit in the middle of the pack with five other clubs on 24 points.

Andrew Slevison


What they got right

Luke Davies-Uniacke is back

It hasn’t been a great season to date for LDU, but his performance against Essendon on the weekend was one of his career best.

The midfielder was the number one rated player on the ground, well clear of the next highest (Dyson Heppell), per Wheelo Ratings.

He won seven clearances, kicked two goals and had 27 disposals, but looked his explosive best.

Harry Sheezel’s best game as a midfielder

It’s taken Sheezel a few weeks to find his feet as an on-baller, but he really delivered on Sunday afternoon.

He found 32 disposals – back to his usual prolific nature – two goal assists, eight score involvements, six inside 50s and nine marks.

It’s a good sign for the Roos, particularly given the issues they’ve had in the midfield generally this season.

What they got wrong

Second half wobbles

The second half on Sunday was hugely disappointing given the Roos were right in this game.

They went into the half-time break down seven points having traded blows and kept pace with the Bombers.

From there, they conceded 9.5 and only managed four goals themselves, and were blown out in the fourth term.

Nic Negrepontis

PORT ADELAIDE club banner

What they did right

Huge comeback

Port Adelaide were 41 points down 23 minutes into the third term on Sunday.

The likelihood of winning from there could have only been a couple of per cent, but they got there.

This team absolutely believes that 30 minutes of good footy can get them over the top of anyone, that’s how good they are once they click into top gear.

Unfortunately for Hawthorn, that happened late at the Adelaide Oval as the Power kicked the final six goals to win in ridiculous fashion.

That comeback was led by Zak Butters, who collected a ridiculous 17 disposals in the last term alone.

They can thank him for securing the four points in this one.

The final minute

With 35 seconds left, Port Adelaide were down by 11 points.

Literally EVERYTHING had to go right from there to win, and somehow it did.

Firstly, Willie Rioli nailed a long set shot from a free kick. He also went back and kicked it as quickly as he possibly could to make sure time didn’t roll off the clock.

After that, the Power had 22 seconds to find one more goal.

With the ball at a centre stoppage, Willem Drew farmed the ball out to Zak Butters who launched it forward.

A contest ensued 30 metres out from goal directly in front. After the ball spilled out to a Hawthorn player, the ball sat on the ground for Darcy Byrne-Jones to soccer … the rest is history.

It was as perfect as the Power could have hoped for things to go in those dying moments.

They knew exactly what they had to do and executed perfectly.

Hats off to Ken Hinkley and the coaching staff, as well as the players for clicking into an all-out attack mentality to grab the win.

What they did wrong

Sluggish start

Port Adelaide were incredibly slow out of the blocks on Sunday.

The Power allowed the Hawks to kick seven of the first eight goals, an incredibly disappointing effort given Hawthorn is a rebuilding side without some of their best players.

Even though they were able to rope them back late and get over the line, they won’t want to give up that kind of start against any kind of finals contender.

If they do, it’s highly unlikely that they’ll be able to get back into it.

Lachlan Geleit

RICHMOND club banner

What they got

Youngsters got valuable minutes

Richmond had 11 players with less than 40 games of experience.

It certainly was a proper footballing lesson that they received, which hopefully they’ll take plenty away from.

Kane McAuliffe played well in his third game, picking up 20 disposals and laying five tackles

The Tigers also managed to win clearances and centre clearances. But that was about the only stat line they won, and clearly had no bearing on the outcome.

There wasn’t much else to write home about.

What they got wrong

Questionable effort and intent

It’s hard to pinpoint one exact area where the Tigers are being brushed aside.

One thing that has been alarming is the lack of pressure around the ball.

The Lions, despite losing clearances, just moved the ball so easily around the Gabba - and it made Adem Yze’s side look silly at times.

Richmond’s drop-off in effort and intent over the last two weeks has been surprising, seeing as it was keeping them competitive in most games prior.

Somehow more injuries

The amount of injuries Richmond has copped in 2024 is astounding.

They entered the Lions fixture with 15 players on the injury list. Mykelti Lefau hurt his jaw (thankfully it is not broken) and Rhyan Mansell was concussed during the game which did not help the cause.

Unfortunately, ruckman Sam Naismith went down with another ACL injury in the VFL on Sunday, further compounding the club’s personnel issues.

It’s been a season of hell on the injury front at Punt Road.

Can’t score, can’t defend

The Tigers’ lack of scoring ability has been one area that has plagued them in 2024.

They have scored just 622 points in 10 games at an average of 62.2 which is the lowest in the league.

They have failed to kick 50 points in each of the last four games.

Richmond’s defence is also a glaring issue. They’ve conceded 1044 points at an average of 104.4 points per game. Only North Melbourne has conceded more points.

It’s time for Adem Yze to get tough with the playing group to avoid this season being even more of a disaster than it already is.

Andrew Slevison

SYDNEY club banner

What they got right

The Swans have unearthed another tagger

The Sydney Swans have had a knack of uncovering undervalued role players and transforming them into the best tagger in the game. In 2022, it was Ryan Clarke who was tasked with shutting the opposition's most damaging player to great effect.

This year, it’s new recruit James Jordon who added Sam Walsh to his growing list of scalps. Walsh was unable find any rhythm or space in his game as he was held to 20 disposals (27.2 season average), three clearances (3.9), four score involvements (7.3) and one goal at 55% disposal efficiency (64.2%).

Jordon was able to find plenty of ball himself in the meantime with 16 touches, six tackles, three clearances, six score involvements and a goal. After shutting down Jordan Clark at Fremantle and Lachie Whitfield at the Giants, the Western Bulldogs will face a nervous wait to see who his next target will be.

The Chad lights it up for Marngrook

Chad Warner tore Carlton to shreds on Friday night with one of the best individual performances of the season to take home the player of the match award. Warmer amassed a team-high 28 disposals, 14 score involvements, 10 marks, 10 contested possessions, 721 metres gained and 3.2.

Running power overwhelms Carlton

Carlton had no answer for the running speed and attacking play from the Swans whose midfielders and half back line ran circles around Michael Voss’ men. Sydney’s 23 players gained 6,158 metres compared to Calrton’s 5,621.

The Swans recorded a remarkable 17 running bounces on Friday night including nine alone from Chad Warner. There is no shame in Carlton being unable to contain the Swans’ run and carry with Sydney having the second most running bounces in the competition with 84.

What they got wrong

A concerning slow start

The Swans found themselves 26 points behind midway through the first term and it could’ve been far worse if Harry McKay hadn’t missed from straight in front. Whilst the Swans went on to kick 13 of the 14 goals, John Longmire and the Swans should not sweep the slow start under the rug.

Charles Goodsir

ST KILDA club banner

What they got right

Josh Battle continues to shine in a contract year

St Kilda will clearly be hoping to lock defender Josh Battle in long term as he remains a sturdy part of the defensive structures.

Battle took 12 marks to go with 17 disposals in the loss to Freo, and is putting together an incredibly strong month.

Things are going wrong for the Saints generally, but Battle has certainly carrying his load.

What they got wrong

St Kilda’s forward line is toothless

Mattaes Phillipou – four disposals, one goal – can’t find the footy.

Max King – 10 disposals, goalless – is shockingly out of form.

Liam Henry has been slow in re-integrating post injury, Lance Collard can’t be expected to find much of the footy and Anthony Caminiti comes in and kicks two goals, but likely makes way again for Tim Membrey.

Mitchito Owens kicks three, but only has eight disposals? How does that happen?

St Kilda needs to drastically adjust what they’re doing inside 50 and get these top-end players involved.

Nic Negrepontis

WEST COAST club banner

What they got right

Harley Reid… again.

The scariest part of Harley Reid’s ascendance is that this is likely the worst he is going to be in his career.

The young Eagle was absolutely electric against the Demons, dominating for stretches at a time and putting together a single-game highlight reel that would rival many players’ career highlights.

Reid has singlehandedly revitalised the entirety of West Coast, and the direst situation in the AFL has suddenly become full of optimism.

Jake Waterman is unstoppable

On current form, there is arguably no better forward in the AFL than Jake Waterman.

That is not a sentence that many would have expected to exist coming into the season.

After another bag of five against Melbourne, Waterman moves into equal-first in the Coleman race with 29 goals, with 23 of those coming in the last five games.

While he is undoubtedly riding an unbelievable hot streak, the forward is playing a brand of footy that could conceivably span through the entire season, dominating aerial contests regardless of opponent.

It will be fascinating to see how Adam Simpson balances the forward line once Oscar Allen returns, as the right combination could suddenly make the Eagles’ attack look very scary.

What they got wrong

Not slamming the door early

It’s hard to nitpick a comprehensive victory over a premiership contender, other than the fact that it should have been even more comprehensive.

The Eagles led the Demons by 13 points going into the main break, despite having eight more scoring shots in the first half.

West Coast’s inaccuracy kept Melbourne in the game early on, and if they had kicked 10.5 rather than 7.8 in that opening half they could have completely slammed the door.

Otherwise, it was a completely dominant display from the Eagles, with the 35-point margin arguably flattering the Demons.

Jack Makeham


Dominance everywhere but the scoreboard

In almost every single facet of the game, this had the makings of a comfortable thrashing.

The Bulldogs easily came out on top in the clearance game, contested possessions and inside 50 count, all while forcing the Giants to play an unfamiliar, slow brand of football with a strong defensive structure.

It was the kind of performance that answered the bulk of concerns that had been levelled at the Bulldogs all season long and reaffirms their case for finals just weeks after they seemed out of reach.

With a tough stretch ahead of them, including games against the Swans and Magpies in back-to-back weeks, it’s time for the Bulldogs to prove that this display against GWS wasn’t an aberration.

What they got wrong

Kicking accuracy

Even considering the slippery conditions, this was one of the worst goalkicking performances of the season.

The Bulldogs racked up a monstrous 30 scoring shots, 17 more than the Giants, and only managed a 27-point victory.

A scoreline of 8.22, highlighted by a goalless opening term is simply unacceptable for any AFL team, let alone a Dogs side that is now back in the thick of the finals hunt.

Expect plenty of kicking drills to be on the agenda down at Whitten Oval this week.

Jack Makeham

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