The Queensland derby produced few highlights except for the unexpected closeness of the result, Stefan Martin’s 100th game for the Lions and Peter Wright’s 50th game for the Gold Coast.
Brisbane could also celebrate the movement of their two current leading players up the games played list – backman Daniel Rich joined Joel Patfull in 14th place on the Lions all-time game-players list and Dayne Zorko equalled Robert Copeland’s tally of games.
Brandon Starcevitch got his goal-kicking career underway in his third game for Brisbane, kicking his first AFL goal. Luke Hodge is now equal 32nd on the AFL all-time games-played list with Nathan Burke.
The second four-point margin of the day saw Hawthorn sneak home against a surprisingly competitive St Kilda. The closeness of the margin saw Collingwood overtake Hawthorn by 0.2 per cent, and the Magpies therefore sit in third position ahead of the Hawks. With one round to go Hawthorn will need to work hard to regain the double chance as next week they meet Sydney.
For St Kilda, Tim Membrey’s two goals were enough for him to leapfrog Charlie Baker, who played for the club between 1902 and 1906, while Jade Gresham equalled Horrie Mason and Jack Billings equalled Jeff Moran.
The usual Hawthorn suspects, Jack Gunston and Luke Breust, were multiple goal-scorers but neither’s position on the all-time goal-kicking list changed. Conor Nash scored his first goal in the big time.
Sunday’s first game was a low-key, low-scoring event that was a close battle for three quarters before the Western Bulldogs ran out winners by 17 points. Carlton cannot avoid the wooden spoon this year but saw some hope in the form of Charlie Curnow (two goals) and debutante Tom De Koning, who scored one goal in his first game.
Lin Jong kicked two goals for the Bulldogs but the remaining eight goals were kicked by eight different players, with only Mitch Wallis figuring in the Western Bulldogs all-time goal-scoring list, on which he drew level with Norm McDonald.
The battle in the west was a ripper. Melbourne, still stinging from last year’s lost finals opportunity, took it right up to West Coast, who were down one goal-scorer when Jack Darling went down with a concussion early in the match. In a high-quality attacking contest the Demons eventually held off the aggressive Eagles and ran out winners by 17 points.
Nathan Jones played a great captain’s game and scored one goal, while Tom McDonald scored three to continue his climb up the Demons’ top-100 goal-scorers list, passing Lou Rieffel, Glenn Lovett and Adrian Battiston.
For the Eagles, excitement machine Willie Rioli was the main goal-scorer with three goals, while number three on the club’s all-time goal-scorers list, Mark LeCras, kicked only one.
The Dees are now certainties for the finals but must negotiate Greater Western Sydney next weekend to decide their final position on the ladder.
In the final game of the round Adelaide got the job done against a disappointing North Melbourne team, whose assault on the top eight fizzled out to nothing over the past two weeks.