Nine quick takes from AFL Round 20

Josh Elliott Editor

By Josh Elliott, Josh Elliott is a Roar Editor

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    Just three weeks left in the season, and the race for finals is more intriguing than ever. Here’s my quick takes from AFL Round 20.

    Port didn’t show up for the Showdown
    What can you say after a match and a result like that – the Showdown is usually a highly competitive affair regardless of where the teams are on the ladder, but this was anything but.

    The Crows came out of it with a 14-goal win, and amazingly, the margin flattered Port given how inaccurate Adelaide were in front of goal.

    Adelaide finished the match with +100 disposals, +20 clearances, +50 inside 50s, +46 contested possessions. That’s a victory of hilarious proportions.

    Last week when Port Adelaide escaped with a win over St Kilda, Ken Hinkley said it was the kind of victory that can make a season.

    What it really should’ve been was a warning sign that the Power are not where they want to be. If they didn’t know that then, they certainly know it now.

    Port Adelaide Power walk off sadly

    (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

    Cats in crisis – not challenging Danger ban was the right call
    It’d be harder to come up with a worse nightmare scenario for the Geelong Cats than Patrick Dangerfield and Joel Selwood both being unavailable at the same time.

    That was, to a degree, the case this Friday night – Dangerfield out with a one-match suspension, Selwood copping an ankle injury during the game.

    They only had to spend a short time with neither of them available, but it was disastrous – they were given a very sound beating from the visiting Sydney Swans.

    What’s worse though is that on Sunday afternoon it was confirmed that Selwood needs surgery on his ankle and won’t be playing again during the home-and-away season.

    The earliest we’ll see him back is the first week of finals and he likely won’t have had any chance to prepare or gain match fitness.

    That’s incredibly bad news, possibly season-ruining for the Cats. Right now though, they should be thanking their lucky stars they didn’t challenge Dangerfield’s suspension.

    They would not have had any success doing so and would only have put themselves in a position where next week they would face a fellow top-four side in Richmond with neither of their star combo available.

    As it is, they’ll have Danger back – and they’ve got to hope that’ll be enough to keep them in the top four until Selwood returns at finals time.

    Joel Selwood Geelong Cats AFL 2017 tall

    (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

    Breathe easy, Hawthorn (probably) aren’t making finals
    Hawthorn’s remarkable revival of form following the bye has been something to behold, and over the past week or two it became a terrifyingly realisitic possibility that they could still creep into finals.

    Well, take a nice, relaxing breath – after their defeat at the hands of Richmond on Sunday, that possibility is now almost purely mathematical.

    Here’s how Hawthorn could still get in – they must win all three remaining games, and then hope for results to go their way.

    What results, exactly? Port Adelaide, Sydney and the Bulldogs only need one more win each to lock in a finish above them, and Essendon, West Coast, Melbourne and St Kilda need two. So long as four of those teams hit the required mark, the Hawks can’t make it.

    Port Adelaide have: Collingwood, Bulldogs, Gold Coast.
    Sydney have: Fremantle, Adelaide, Carlton.
    Bulldogs have: GWS, Port Adelaide, Hawthorn.
    Essendon have: Adelaide, Gold Coast, Fremantle.
    West Coast have: Carlton, GWS, Adelaide.
    Melbourne have: St Kilda, Brisbane, Collingwood.
    St Kilda have: Melbourne, North Melbourne, Richmond.
    Hawthorn have: North Melbourne, Carlton, Bulldogs.

    There’s a mathematical scenario out there somewhere things can happen for the Hawks, but we’re probably not going to see it.

    Their loss on Sunday showed potentially the downside of the magnet-shifting tactics that have made revitalised them lately.

    Alastair Clarkson has been experimenting a bit with turning forwards into defenders and it has had some brilliant results this year with Ryan Burton, James Sicily and Jack Gunston all having an impact.

    However, that strategy should really come with a warning to ponder – if you turn all your forwards into backmen, who is going to kick your goals?

    Going up against one of the league’s best defensive teams in Richmond, Hawthorn could only manage two goals in the first half. They didn’t have an answer.

    Jarryd Roughead Hawthorn Hawks AFL 2017

    (AAP Image/Joe Castro)

    And that’s good news for Sydney
    I said three weeks ago that the Sydney Swans were my new tip to win this year’s premiership and now that Hawthorn, the only side to have beaten them since Round 6, are effectively out of the race, I’m feeling yet more confident on that one.

    We could debate a fair bit whether or not to take much out of Sydney’s big win over Geelong on Friday night. After all, as already discussed, the Cats were missing some handy blokes.

    That said, Sydney weren’t exactly at full strength either, missing their skipper and most important midfielder in Josh P Kennedy – and they still made the Cats look second-rate.

    Sydney’s midfield just has such a remarkable depth of elite players in it, and the way they tore apart high-quality sides like Adelaide and Geelong last year shows that.

    When push comes to shove in finals, I don’t see any reason why the Swans shouldn’t be able to put in simillar performances, and this year there probably won’t be a fairytale finish to get in their way.

    If someone’s going to stop them, it might come from a lot closer to home…

    Lance Franklin Sydney Swans AFL 2017 tall

    (AAP Image/David Moir)

    Are GWS set for a Giant finish?
    GWS have had a pretty significant injury list at times this season, but of the players who are generally best 22 for them, here’s who won’t be there next week: Jeremy Cameron, Ryan Griffen, and maybe Tim Taranto. That’s it.

    The Giants are very close to being a fully fit side again. Griffen and Taranto are no guarantee to make it back this year but they’re not the most important. Cameron should be back for Round 23, or if not then, for finals.

    With the Cats stumbling and losing Selwood, the Giants have jumped up into second spot on the ladder and it is theirs for the taking if they can keep playing footy like they did in Canberra on Saturday.

    That was, by a mile, their best performance of the year to date, and while they’ve been questionable at times during 2017, this is the right time of year for things to come good.

    They’ve got the Bulldogs, West Coast and Geelong to close out the home and away season. In three weeks time, we’re going to know very well whether or not they’ve got what it takes to come home strong and contend for the flag.

    Josh Kelly GWS Giants AFL 2016

    (AAP Image/Brendan Esposito)

    Richmond can’t afford to lose Dustin Martin
    There’s been questions at times this year over whether or not Richmond can afford to keep Dustin Martin given he could command a salary of as much as $1.2 million a year.

    However after another elite effort on Sunday to guide them to a win over Hawthorn, and likely a spot in the top four, the facts are inescapable – they can’t afford not to.

    32 disposals and two goals just almost feels like the standard Dustin Martin game at the moment, which is remarkable enough on its own.

    I’m not saying that Richmond with Dustin Martin is guaranteed to be a premiership contender in the years to come – they’re in with a chance, though.

    The Tigers without Martin though? A flag would be well, well beyond them you’d say.

    For that reason – whatever it takes, Richmond have got to get that signature. Give the man a blank cheque and make whatever other decisions have to be made to fit that number in the salary cap.

    If they don’t, Richmond fans will spend the many years to come wondering what might have been.

    Dustin Martin Trent Cotchin Jack Riewoldt Richmond Tigers AFL 2017

    (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

    Time for Essendon to make tough calls on veterans
    With only three games of the home-and-away season left, and no guarantee of finals to follow, Essendon are nearing the point where they must decide what to do with the older members of their list.

    One would think that Heath Hocking and Brent Stanton, neither of them playing in the best side at the moment, are certainly set to finish up.

    However things are a little more difficult when it comes to the question of Brendon Goddard, Jobe Watson and James Kelly.

    Brendon Goddard is in the best form of the three but there are often questions over his leadership and behaviour. If the Dons don’t believe he can be part of a flag push then it may not be worth retaining him.

    Jobe Watson has played some great games this year but has been rested more than once and had some quiet ones. On Saturday against Carlton, he seemed a long way off the pace.

    James Kelly was set to retire two years ago and against all odds is somehow still going at an admirable pace – but you’d think he is probably set to finish up too.

    What does that all mean for the Dons? This off-season is going to be a big one for them with some crucial decisions made, and if they do some serious pruning, they may find the have plenty of salary cap room to play with.

    Essendon captain Jobe Watson. Photo: Greg Ford

    (Photo: Greg Ford)

    Ziebell tolls for a move forward
    It was the kind of performance that might have turned some serious heads, had everyone not turned the match off at half time.

    After copping an injury just before the main break it looked like Jack Ziebell’s day was done – instead, he came back on and kicked five goals in the second half.

    The fact that it came in a match where North’s big man up forward Ben Brown was taken off without a goal to his name because of concussion made it all the more unique.

    Quite a similar story to Patrick Dangerfield’s heroics a few weeks back, unfortunately it came against the backdrop of an uncompetitive, unwatchable game rather than memorable MCG thriller.

    Still, it’s something that should have Brad Scott and the rest of North Melbourne’s coaching staff thinking over the summer.

    Ziebell does present a very difficult match-up as a forward – a bit like Toby Greene – and if the Roos can find some capable coverage for him in the midfield it may be worth playing him there close to full time.

    If North’s dream scenario of landing Josh Kelly and Dustin Martin comes true then they’ll certainly have that option.

    If not, they’ll have to get a bit more creative – but one of the few upsides about being rooted to the bottom of the ladder is there’s no reason not to experiment.

    Jack Ziebell North Melbourne Kangaroos AFL 2017 tall

    (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

    Percentages the proof of incredibly competitive year
    At the end of Round 20, the AFL boasts a competition where 11 teams have a percentage of 100 or better, including all of the top ten.

    I haven’t run the numbers but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the first time in the history of the game that we’ve had so many teams with a positive record. With a bit of luck St Kilda could even make it 12 before the end of the year.

    After that, only two teams in the league are below 80 per cent, and none at all below 70 per cent.

    I’ve said it before many times, but it’s a great year to be a footy fan.

    Josh Elliott
    Josh Elliott

    Josh Elliott may be The Roar's Weekend Editor, but at heart he's just a rusted-on North Melbourne tragic with a penchant for pun headlines - and also abnormal alliteration, assuredly; assuming achievability. He once finished third in a hot chilli pie eating contest. You can follow him on Twitter @JoshElliott_29 and listen to him on The Roar's AFL Podcast.

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    The Crowd Says (94)

    • August 6th 2017 @ 9:23pm
      Mattyb said | August 6th 2017 @ 9:23pm | ! Report

      I think most of the takes are correct except the mentioning of North but I can see the fun 🙂
      Port are a huge talking point,has there ever actually been greater down hill skiers?
      Richmond are a huge talking point,it very much could be ‘tiger time’ which is an excellent trending statement we are hearing on these pages,love the colourfulness of that statement. ‘Tiger Time’ really does have a ring to it.
      Geelongs week has been a disaster,and I’m surprised there hasn’t also been more talk of Hawkins continual carry on,I think their week is about to get a whole lot worse.
      Essendons a funny one,they were terrible on the weekend,yes they got dragged down by the opposition but their kicking for goal continues to be a concern that’s in their own hands. Essendon really do look good at their very best which is the frustrating thing,they’re a much better side than some of those above them.

      For my team that you don’t like to discuss Josh,fair enough.
      Woods injury is going to be a big loss but the reigning premiers are back in the 8. Been coping a bit of criticism and I love that,shows we are relevant. I’m sure a few clubs will be weary of the mighty dish lickers if we make finals.

      Winners of the round clearly Adelaide and ‘Tiger Time’.

      • August 6th 2017 @ 9:56pm
        Matto said | August 6th 2017 @ 9:56pm | ! Report

        If dogs make the eight with the run home they have I’m sure they’ll be a threat. Even with Cloke in the side.
        They did get pushed almost the way by a team with less wins than Carlton though.

        • August 7th 2017 @ 7:57am
          I ate pies said | August 7th 2017 @ 7:57am | ! Report

          They got pushed by the umpires and their inability to kick goals. They doubled Brisbane’s inside 50’s and flogged them in pretty much every stat, except free kicks, which were double in favour of Brisbane. Umpiring in the AFL has become farcical.

          • August 7th 2017 @ 10:18am
            JR said | August 7th 2017 @ 10:18am | ! Report

            I’m sorry, I just need a moment to take in the irony of the Bulldogs complaining about the umpires. They have had the sweetest run with umpiring all season.

            • August 7th 2017 @ 12:07pm
              I ate pies said | August 7th 2017 @ 12:07pm | ! Report

              Actually that’s Brisbane JR, but it’s easier to jump on a bandwagon than search for the truth isn’t it.

              • August 7th 2017 @ 2:13pm
                Mark said | August 7th 2017 @ 2:13pm | ! Report

                No, you struggle when you don’t get the rub of the green.

              • August 7th 2017 @ 7:07pm
                I ate pies said | August 7th 2017 @ 7:07pm | ! Report

                No, we struggle when we don’t kick goals.

      • Roar Guru

        August 6th 2017 @ 10:14pm
        Paul D said | August 6th 2017 @ 10:14pm | ! Report

        The dogs are still quite a good side but I just don’t see the magic there this year.

        I do hope they make the finals and at least get a chance to defend their flag in the knockout stages. Barring Beveridge fooling the entire AFL community with an elaborate rope-a-dope these last few weeks I don’t see how they’re going to come out and win 4 straight – and it will have to be 4 straight – for a 2nd year running. Hawthorn did it in 2015 but with all due respect, Hawthorn were a much more complete and veteran outfit.

        • Roar Guru

          August 7th 2017 @ 10:12am
          Pumping Dougie said | August 7th 2017 @ 10:12am | ! Report

          Hawthorn didn’t win 4 finals games in 2015. The Bulldogs from 7th (2016) and Adelaide from 4th (1997) are the only two teams that have done that in history.

          Hawthorn were beaten in Week 1 by West Coast, then proceeded to win the next three.

          • Roar Guru

            August 7th 2017 @ 10:23am
            Paul D said | August 7th 2017 @ 10:23am | ! Report

            I blame Monday mornings and need for coffee.

            You are of course, totally correct.

      • August 6th 2017 @ 10:31pm
        The Ghost said | August 6th 2017 @ 10:31pm | ! Report

        You bet it’s Tiger time Mattyb. This is the most profound observation you have made. It’s not too late to join the Tiger army. The Dogs have had their moment in the sun, but Richmond are about to start a yellow and black era.

        • August 6th 2017 @ 10:51pm
          tibor nagy (big four sticks) said | August 6th 2017 @ 10:51pm | ! Report

          Mattyb has been our band wagon since I announced 2017 would be our year, at the end of last year, when we started playing youngsters like Castagna, who showed a lot against the Hawks, last year. I think he should ditch the dogs and the blues (because we all know that he is an ex Carlton fan who has been burnt by their board one too many times. Why else would he spend so much time focusing on Carlton? It is a case of protesting too much). It is like the person who has a crush on someone, and constantly goes on about their annoying qualities. You’re welcome at Punt Road because you are a true believer.

          • August 7th 2017 @ 9:49am
            Macca said | August 7th 2017 @ 9:49am | ! Report

            ” It is like the person who has a crush on someone, and constantly goes on about their annoying qualities” Is that why he is fixated on Silvagni personally?

      • August 6th 2017 @ 11:02pm
        Col in paradise said | August 6th 2017 @ 11:02pm | ! Report

        You forgot the swans – tigers n crows – the three form teams – cats were but have now been blown away by the crows and swans with or without Dangermouse !!! Tigers next ???

    • August 6th 2017 @ 10:09pm
      Philby said | August 6th 2017 @ 10:09pm | ! Report

      Jobe does look to be at the end, and even though I’m a Tiger’s fan, you can’t help but feel for him, and the way the whole Bombers drug saga clearly took such a toll on him.

      When you think of where he was in 2012, it’s been a wretched final few years of his playing career.

      • August 6th 2017 @ 11:01pm
        GoSwans said | August 6th 2017 @ 11:01pm | ! Report

        He was the captain. He’s guilty of leading young players into cheating and cheating himself (although more senior staff are more responsible he still should take some).

      • August 7th 2017 @ 11:00am
        Aransan said | August 7th 2017 @ 11:00am | ! Report

        Watson has been through a lot and has handled himself with real class. I believe a good part of his problem this year is that the game has speeded up and has left him behind. He did miss a lot of football apart from the years suspension and no doubt that is also a factor.

    • August 6th 2017 @ 10:41pm
      SamBo said | August 6th 2017 @ 10:41pm | ! Report

      I can’t believe that you don’t rate the crows as the flag favourites. They demolished a full strength giants in round 1 and have managed to trounce most teams since then.
      Since rd 7 the swans have beaten maybe 2 decent teams , I don’t count their win over the cats as danger was out and selwood injured, and as we all know, no dangerwood = no cats

      • August 7th 2017 @ 12:16pm
        Glenn said | August 7th 2017 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

        Thankfully your opinion matters not a whole hell of a lot as far as who they’ve faced and have beaten is concerned. The Swans have been playing with the threat of missing the finals every week since round 7, they haven’t played Adelaide yet, but have beaten everyone else, bar the Crows and Port, that are in the 8. If you are going to not rate the Swans based on whatever feeble reasons you are currently using, I could say the same about Adelaide’s chances of winning a game that isn’t played at their home ground. In no parallel universe is 1 player the difference between winning and losing by 8 goals. The Swans, based on their record, which is a couple of wins better than Adelaide’s over the past 13 rounds is a good enough reason to rate the Swans higher than the Crows as a flag chance and even if the Swans lose in Adelaide, they might not have to play them again over there so no reason to change a tip for the flag. Your feeble argument hasn’t changed my mind either.

        • Roar Rookie

          August 8th 2017 @ 10:02am
          Pedro The Fisherman said | August 8th 2017 @ 10:02am | ! Report

          Crows not capable of winning games away from Adelaide Oval? Now that is funny.
          The Crows have lost 2 games at AO, 1 in Tassie and 1 at Geelong this year. They also have a draw at the MCG but have won the rest (yes all of them).
          Do you actually follow the game at all?

          • August 8th 2017 @ 10:26am
            Geoff Schaefer said | August 8th 2017 @ 10:26am | ! Report

            Well said Pedro. The number of people who either overlook or just ignore Adelaide’s stats this year is mind boggling. Mostly Victorians methinks…

    • August 6th 2017 @ 11:37pm
      Mattyb said | August 6th 2017 @ 11:37pm | ! Report

      Col,I’m not forgetting the Swans I’m just not surprised with their current form,a huge premiership chance.

      Tibor,I certainly am not on the tiger bandwagon but their form is sensational and your commentary spot on. I do love the blues because they were a VFL powerhouse,we need to weigh up those who’s commentary is constantly wrong.
      Is it ‘tiger time’, I reckon it’s something worth considering,they should actually be much higher on the ladder.

      • August 7th 2017 @ 7:02pm
        Col in paradise said | August 7th 2017 @ 7:02pm | ! Report

        Fair enough MattyB – thanks.

        The next three in the chase are Crows , GWS and Cats the rest are playing for experience and building or trying game plans….except Dogs they are struggling and the Cloke signing I still cannot fathom and as mentioned was a worrying sign RE structure plus he has become a bit of a albatross since 2013!!!

    • August 6th 2017 @ 11:57pm
      13th Man said | August 6th 2017 @ 11:57pm | ! Report

      Thoughts on the potential issues to be looked at by the MRP?
      Grundy’s tackle was even better than Dangerfield’s, in my opinion it was a perfectly executed tackle but as Brown was knocked out I think Grundy will get a week because of the precedent set by Danger last week. The MRP will get howled down if they let Brodie off but I honestly think it was a perfect tackle that was correctly rewarded a holding the ball decision by the umpire.

      Zach Merrett’s was pretty soft and he’ll probably get away with a fine, yet of the two incidents Merret deserves a suspension more than Grundy but I can almost guarantee it’ll be the other way round.

      • August 7th 2017 @ 7:43am
        Matto said | August 7th 2017 @ 7:43am | ! Report

        Game has changed. A tackle that knocks someone out is no longer the perfect tackle.

        It’s the same as the bump and running past the ball, there’s always the unlucky few that cop it (a suspension) when they are making the game safer until the players adjust.

        Merret will only get off because of his good record?

        • August 7th 2017 @ 10:09am
          13th Man said | August 7th 2017 @ 10:09am | ! Report

          See I honestly don’t think Grundy should get suspended. If Brown doesn’t get injured it’s a perfectly good tackle and he’s lauded by the commentators. I understand the need to protect the head but I don’t like that the MRP is purely results based.
          Technically that is the perfect tackle and unfortunately the nature of a contact sport is that people will get injured.

          • August 7th 2017 @ 10:49am
            truetigerfan said | August 7th 2017 @ 10:49am | ! Report

            A perfect tackle? Why? Because Nathan says so? Any Collingwood bias there’ 13th Man?

            • August 7th 2017 @ 4:08pm
              13th Man said | August 7th 2017 @ 4:08pm | ! Report

              First of all I’m a Fremantle supporter so no there is no Collingwood bias here.
              Secondly Grundy has laid technically a really good tackle, even much better than Dangerfield’s last week. The proof is that the umpire paid holding the ball.
              I get the need to protect the head, but it is also a contact sport and things can happen by accident. There is nothing malicious in the tackle nor is there any intent to hurt Brown.
              As I said it is complete misfortune that Brown hits his head and this creates a Grey area.

              Players now don’t know whether they can actually tackle when they pin the arms, which is the kind of tackle that ideally you want as it doesn’t allow the player being tackled to handball it away. It’s been pretty much a part of footy for years and until a couple of years ago had been considered a great tackle.
              But if your going to punish people for tackling like this, pinning the arms etc then it has to be for everyone whether or not the player hits the head or not. It is either allowed or it isn’t, it can’t be allowed but only if the player that gets tackled is ok. The MRP is far too results based, i.e. it’s only a suspension of the player gets injured but if they’re ok, great tackle mate.

              I’m a fan of some of the tough stuff in footy, the more you take it away the more AFL becomes like Soccer but if we are going to outlaw the pinning the arms tackle (I wouldn’t even call what Grundy did a sling tackle) then it has to be completely outlawed, i.e. free kick and report every time regardless of the result of the tackle or else it is far too confusing for players, coaches and fans. Right now players don’t know whether it’s a fine tackle or not. The MRP is inconsistent and until there is a black and white rule on what actually constitutes a ‘dangerous’ tackle then it is quite frankly a joke.

              • August 7th 2017 @ 4:19pm
                Macca said | August 7th 2017 @ 4:19pm | ! Report

                “Players now don’t know whether they can actually tackle when they pin the arms, which is the kind of tackle that ideally you want as it doesn’t allow the player being tackled to handball it away” – the players should now exactly that they can tackle to pin the arms, they just cant then throw that player to the ground.

                Both Dangerfield and Grundy had done enough to win a free kick from the tackle well before they brought the player down – bringing them to ground is aimed at hurting them.

              • August 7th 2017 @ 7:07pm
                Col in paradise said | August 7th 2017 @ 7:07pm | ! Report

                Spot on Macca – as a back on all contact on opposition players you wanted to sting them, hurt them bruise them – make them feel it – make them think twice about grabbing the ball – make them rush their kicks or disposal etc – coaches expect it or you shouldn’t be there – they just over cooked it and have to take the hit !!!

              • August 7th 2017 @ 5:17pm
                Pope Paul VII said | August 7th 2017 @ 5:17pm | ! Report

                I think the rule is clear now. If you knock someone out it is a dangerous tackle. This tackle is quite sophisticated. Grundy pins one arm and holds the other and brings him to ground with force. If he thought that wasn’t going to hurt someone he’s got brains in his manbun. The triumphant shove in the back to the unconscious Brown was a nice touch.

              • August 7th 2017 @ 11:40pm
                13th Man said | August 7th 2017 @ 11:40pm | ! Report

                Sorry but I disagree, the MRP cannot base it’s findings on the fact that a player gets injured, its a joke. Either every single tackle where you pin the arms is outlawed regardless of the impact to the player being tackled or they are allowed. Simple as that. Players don’t know where they stand at the moment.

                As a side note, it’s even more of a joke that Grundy for two when Danger only got one. Again ridiculous inconsistency from the MRP.
                Also the Duncan and Merrett ones were soft. It’s not soccer.

              • August 8th 2017 @ 12:04am
                Glenn said | August 8th 2017 @ 12:04am | ! Report

                What garbage. You can pin arms and bring a player down without crunching their head into the turf. Both tackles were meant to hurt and they got what they wanted before getting punished accordingly. It isn’t the pinning of the arms that is the problem, it is the spinning of the player so that they hit the ground first that is being stamped out.

          • August 7th 2017 @ 2:18pm
            Matto said | August 7th 2017 @ 2:18pm | ! Report

            A technically perfect tackle now doesn’t stop brown from protecting his head from hitting the ground.
            I guess now players have to know to release one of the pinned arms while they’re on the way to ground?

            As a note I too would love the rough stuff to stay, as it’s good watching, and like you say, people will get hurt playing contact sport.
            Everyone wearing head gear?
            I saw in japans rugby union competition all players do. Why wouldn’t you?

            • August 7th 2017 @ 4:20pm
              13th Man said | August 7th 2017 @ 4:20pm | ! Report

              I agree, I think head gear should be encouraged. It’s like a helmet in cricket, 20 years ago not many people wear them, now it’s considered crazy to go out without them.

              Yet in the end it comes down to personal choice. When you choose to play a contact sport you do so with the knowledge that it isn’t safe, I’m not saying I think that it’s bad that the AFL is tightening up on player safety but the fact is we can’t just take danger out of our game. It’s a fact of sport that sometimes people get hurt and really no one is responsible for it, it’s an accident.

              I hate to bring it up but the example I can think of is Phil Hughes, it was the most tragic of accidents and it makes me sick thinking about it but did the ICC go out and ban Short Pitched bowling because of it? No we came up with ways to further protect batsmen such as the new stem guard.
              The same has to come in footy, instead of banning tackles where you pin the arms perhaps new initiatives such as headgear should be considered.

              • Roar Guru

                August 7th 2017 @ 4:55pm
                Cat said | August 7th 2017 @ 4:55pm | ! Report

                I agree, I think head gear should be encouraged.

                Scientific fact: helmets do nothing to prevent concussion. Your brain is still going to slam into your skull whether you have a helmet on or not. Helmets only protect against fractures.
                NFL players have all worn helmets for decades and the NFL still has major issues with concussion.

              • August 8th 2017 @ 2:28am
                Mattyb said | August 8th 2017 @ 2:28am | ! Report

                Gene,it’s not a scientific fact at all,maybe it’s some kind of theory.
                Plenty of players who have worn helmets have said they help and doubt the science theory. Rod Ashman and Gary Wilson are two who are on record supporting helmets first hand.
                Stop calling theories as facts,it’s actually an insult to science and proves you have no understanding at all on scientific theory as opposed to law.

              • Roar Guru

                August 8th 2017 @ 10:06am
                Col from Brissie said | August 8th 2017 @ 10:06am | ! Report

                Just something for you to ponder matty.

                From Sports Medicine Australia.

                Sports Medicine Australia, Australia’s peak national umbrella body for sports medicine and sports science, wants to remind parents that there is no good clinical evidence currently available to show protective equipment will prevent concussion.

                Neurosurgeon Professor Gavin Davis says that while helmets, especially soft shell helmets used in AFL, are useful in preventing skull fractures and scalp lacerations, they do not protect against concussion.

                “Given that helmets in AFL and NRL do not prevent concussion, I do not advocate their universal use, but accept that the helmet often provides comfort to the child’s parents in thinking they are being proactive in assisting with their child’s well-being,” he said”

                He went onto say not only do helmets not protect against concussion; they may lead to an increase in head impact injuries.

                “There is potentially some risk-taking behaviour by some of those wearing helmets, where they are more likely to go head first, and expose themselves to increased risk of concussion, or, they may be more likely to be “targeted” by opponents because they wear helmets,” he said.

                I think I would take the advice of a Neurosurgeon over Rod Ashman and Gary Wilson.

              • August 8th 2017 @ 10:28am
                Aransan said | August 8th 2017 @ 10:28am | ! Report

                Matty, I think the science is pretty strong against the effectiveness of helmets regarding concussions. The brain injury is caused by extreme acceleration or deceleration of the head when contacted and no helmet currently being used will have much effect on that. The helmet would have to be enormous in size to possibly have any effect.

        • August 7th 2017 @ 2:33pm
          Joe said | August 7th 2017 @ 2:33pm | ! Report

          I think both will be suspended optics are very important to the afl

      • August 7th 2017 @ 9:40am
        Birdman said | August 7th 2017 @ 9:40am | ! Report

        Grundy is getting a rest this week for sure.

    • August 7th 2017 @ 8:41am
      Geoff Schaefer said | August 7th 2017 @ 8:41am | ! Report

      Here’s my take on the round. Crows are still the best team in the comp.

      • August 7th 2017 @ 10:01am
        Birdman said | August 7th 2017 @ 10:01am | ! Report

        It certainly seems so but they need to be in form come the pointy end.

      • Roar Guru

        August 7th 2017 @ 10:02am
        Paul D said | August 7th 2017 @ 10:02am | ! Report

        Sportsbet need a premiership market on anyone but the Crows, I’ll be on that for sure.

        Have seen far too many meek exits from Adelaide in recent years to have any sort of confidence in them to go 3 from 3 or 3 from 4 come September

        • August 7th 2017 @ 2:20pm
          Matto said | August 7th 2017 @ 2:20pm | ! Report

          “Tiger time” is surely something you find hard to believe in as well then Paul?

        • Roar Guru

          August 7th 2017 @ 2:22pm
          Paul D said | August 7th 2017 @ 2:22pm | ! Report

          I want to believe it as I’ve always had a soft spot for the Tiges but I won’t believe it till it happens.

          Richmond are the sort of team who could be up by 20 with 4 mins to go in the grand final and still lose it from there

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