Round 12 had nail-biters (Geelong v Carlton), ultra-defensive games (Melbourne v Collingwood), some amazing comebacks (North Melbourne v Richmond), and an upset (Bulldogs v Lions).
Here’s my review of the round.
Did Geelong prove themselves on Friday night?
Just as they looked like they were going to be buried by a defiant Carlton outfit, the old timers picked their team up and rushed home to win by five points, with captain Joel Selwood kicking the winning goal with just over a minute to go.
The Blues couldn’t regain the lead and their season was officially over as Geelong proved they can still be finals contenders.
Geelong aren’t a good enough team to make the top four, but they can still secure a home elimination final, and Selwood’s inspirational goal has put the Cats back on track.
For Carlton, this loss coupled with their defeat to Brisbane has written their season off. They can take a few positives out of the game though – Bryce Gibbs and Dale Thomas performed brilliantly as they dominated for three quarters, but let the Cats in in the final ten minutes.
The Cats still have it, if only just.
How good are the Gold Coast?
The Suns showed patches in the third quarter, but in the end Sydney proved they are the form team of the AFL, along with Port. Gold Coast just couldn’t break down Sydney’s defence, even though Gary Ablett did everything possible for a striving Suns outfit.
The best thing for the Swans was that Lance Franklin and Kurt Tippett didn’t particularly dominate, much to the credit of Gold Coast’s young defenders, but they found other avenues to goal.
Gold Coast didn’t exactly show their talent, but they proved they can make the finals.
Was the Queen’s Birthday clash finally close?
Melbourne kicked the first goal in under 30 seconds with a brilliant kick from Nathan Jones, before becoming bogged down and falling to the Magpies’ pressure. The Pies started to dominate in the second quarter but couldn’t break away, only being a few goals in front.
In the end, the Pies didn’t play anywhere near their best but outshone the Demons in a super defensive game of low-scoring tactics. This has been Roos’ game plan and it’s a tactic which won’t work when you only score three goals for the match.
Melbourne will look to rebuild, while the Pies can start their run towards the top four, with their match against the Hawks looming as a season definer.
The Pies could actually be the real deal this year.