The Round 5 extravaganza goes on for some time yet, but there is so much happening in this festival of football that I need all of my 500 words to describe what’s happened so far.
Thursday night saw an awesome display of forward power from the Magpies as they dismantled the unimpressive Lions at the Gabba.
Their two exes got some goals, and their fleet of goal-kickers in the forward line suggests there may be a number of players breaking into the Magpies’ top 100 goal-scorers over the next two seasons, barring form slumps or injuries.
For the Lions, there were no stand-outs amongst the goal-scorers but – led by Eric Hipwood – the team managed to share around the eight goals scored.
Friday’s early game saw Orazio Fantasia score four for Essendon and move rapidly up through the ranks, passing Greg Tate, John Somerville and Stewart Crameri and drawing level with Keith Rawle and Geoff Leek in the club’s top 100 goal-scorers list.
It also took him to within two goals of a career century, and next week’s Anzac Day game should be a race between him and Collingwood’s De Goey to see who gets there first.
That is unless Geelong’s Patrick Dangerfield usurps them this week!
Also adding excitement for the Bombers was Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti, who now stands on the door step of being a top 100 goal-scorer. He’s shoulder to shoulder with Cale Hooker, but I know who my money is on to get the two goals necessary.
Add to this the return of Joe Daniher, who slotted two goals to pass Bill Brittingham, as well as the comprehensive thrashing of North Melbourne and it is easy to see why next Thursday’s Anzac Day clash is a sell-out.
For the Kangaroos, the only good news in relation to the club’s top 100 goal-scorers was the two late goals slotted by Ben Brown and Ben Cunnington’s one.
The interstate late Friday game was the big upset of the round, with Port Adelaide being on top all evening and running out impressive winners.
As with most games so far, the goals were shared around. The West Coast Eagles only scored eight and Jack Petruccelle nearly doubled his career goals in his eighth game by scoring five.
Josh Kennedy only managed one, and that took him to the lead by one in the trifecta of current AFL leading goal-kickers.
But with Jarryd Roughead and Eddie Betts – who is lining up for his 300th game – yet to play this weekend, it would be extremely long odds that he will lead the pack by Monday night.
Andrew Gaff scored one goal and Liam Ryan made it 24 goals from his 18 games.
Both the big two at Port Adelaide – Robbie Gray and Justin Westhoff – failed to score, but Brad Ebert and Sam Gray both progressed their totals by two, as did Xavier Duursma, a 2019 recruit.
Six other players contributed one goal.