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Pros and cons in AFL Round 7, 2019

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Roar Guru
9th May, 2019
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This round threw up a couple of surprises, with the Demons victorious against the Hawks and the Bulldogs overcoming the Tigers.

But from a neutral spectator point of view the weekend was fairly boring, with only three games with margins under four goals. The Cats and the Magpies are the pace setters, while the Blues and Swans are languishing on one win.

Collingwood Magpies vs Port Adelaide Power

Collingwood
Pros
Collingwood’s first quarter was outstanding – that is the template for the manner in which they should attack the contest over the rest of the season. The Magpies didn’t only show great endeavour in the first quarter, but they transferred it onto the scoreboard, kicking seven goals and restricting the Power to be goalless.

Cons
After quarter-time the Magpies were outscored by one goal, an indication they didn’t bring the same intensity to the contest following quarter time.

Port Adelaide
Pros
The Power could have capitulated and lost the game by more than 39 points, becoming more of an embarrassment than one bad quarter of footy, but they won the last three quarters by six points, which shows they had pride in their performance. Justin Westhoff was a shining light for his team.

Cons
The Power’s first quarter was unacceptable. They should have been prepared for the game but failed to bring the right intensity to the contest. Ken Hinkley was extremely upset at quarter-time, singling out captain Ollie Wines and ruckman Scott Lycett, which wasn’t necessary as it doesn’t help to show that sort of agitation from a coach to his players.

Jordan De Goey

Collingwood’s Jordan de Goey (Dylan Burns/AFL Photos)

Melbourne Demons vs Hawthorn Hawks

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Melbourne
Pros
The Demons played for their coach and showed desperation in a game that they needed to win. They almost willed themselves to victory. Sam Frost was inspirational, playing team-first football. Simon Goodwin’s move of tagging Jaeger O’Meara with James Harmes after quarter-time clearly worked as O’Meara only had ten possessions after quarter time.

Cons
The Demons had five more scoring shots than the Hawks but won the game by only five points. The Demons had only one multiple goal kicker in Jayden Hunt, which would be a concern for Simon Goodwin and his coaching staff.

Hawthorn
Pros
The Hawks nearly won the game even though they failed to play their best footy. Jack Gunston was exceptional with 20 possessions and three goals, while James Worpel never stopped trying and Blake Hardwick was an important cog in the Hawks back six. Liam Shiels played to his usual standard.

Cons
Two players kicked seven of the Hawks 11 goals, with Luke Breust finishing the game with four goals and Jack Gunston with the other three. Alastair Clarkson was outcoached by Simon Goodwin, with Goodwin making a matchwinning move at quarter-time, tagging Jaeger O’Meara with James Harmes and effectively shutting down the Hawks midfield with the exception of perhaps James Worpel and Liam Shiels. Chad Wingard isn’t performing up to standard. It appears as if the Hawks will regret trading Ryan Burton to Port Adelaide as Burton has been outstanding for the Power. Wingard displayed some bad body language in the loss to the Demons, which would be a concern for the Hawks coaching staff.

Simon Goodwin

Demons coach Simon Goodwin (Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Greater Western Sydney Giants vs St Kilda Saints

Greater Western Sydney
Pros
The game was all but over at quarter-time, with the Giants taking a 37-point lead into the first break. Jeremy Cameron was outstanding, kicking six goals. The brand of footy the Giants played without the likes of Josh Kelly, Lachie Whitfield and Phil Davis was outstanding and the signs look ominous for the other teams in the competition if their Round 7 performance is anything to go by. The likes of Zac Williams and Tim Tarranto stepped up in the absence of some key players. The Giants kicked for goal extremely accurately, kicking with 75 per cent accuracy.

Cons
The Giants didn’t obliterate their opposition despite having the chance to do so and really gain a lot of confidence out of the game. GWS won the last three quarters by just seven points. They had a genuine opportunity to boost their percentage and improve their confidence.

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St Kilda
Pros
The Saints played well after quarter-time. The loss could have been a lot worse; the margin looked like it would be a lot greater than 44 points, which indicates that they tried to keep their morale up under the circumstances.

Cons
The game was all but over by quarter-time, with the Giants completely outplaying them in the first quarter. St Kilda’s lack of depth was exposed – they were clearly missing the likes of Jack Steven. It’s the domino effect as the loss of one player can impact the structure of the team as a whole. The Saints clearly made an error at selection not picking Nathan Brown to play, as Jeremy Cameron had a field day kicking six goals.

Stephen Coniglio (right) and Josh Kelly of the Giants

Stephen Coniglio (right) and Josh Kelly of the Giants. (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

Brisbane Lions vs Sydney Swans

Brisbane
Pros
The Lions continued their good form and appear destined for a top-eight finish, although it’s still relatively early in the season. Hugh McCluggage was outstanding with 24 possessions and two goals. Dayne Zorko led from the front with 29 disposals and also worked hard defensively, laying 11 tackles. The Lions were forced to fight for their victory as the margin was reasonably close up until the fourth quarter.

Cons
They surrendered a 28-point lead to let the Swans back into the game. The Lions still have some work to do.

Sydney
Pros
Tom Papley was impressive for the Swans, kicking some freakish goals and finishing with four majors. The positives for the Swans were few and far between.

Cons
Sydney needed to win the game to keep their season alive, but they came up short. Sam Reid’s form should be a concern, as he should’ve been expected to step up in the absence of the injured Lance Franklin. Instead he was goalless. He should be in the conversation with regards to players who may be dropped.

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Lincoln McCarthy

Brisbane Lions players Lincoln McCarthy and Charles Cameron (Jono Searle/AFL Photos/Getty Images)

Western Bulldogs vs Richmond Tigers

Western Bulldogs
Pros
The Bulldogs kept their season alive and in a convincing manner when they could easily have crawled into a hole. Aaron Naughton playing in the forward line and kicked five goals. There was a perception Naughton moving forward would be detrimental to him as a footballer and that he should be a defender permanently. It was great to see Josh Dunkley and Caleb Daniel win plenty of the ball and work hard defensively – they had 14 tackles between them. Marcus Bontempelli hit the scoreboard with three goals, while Billy Gowers would gain some confidence from kicking two goals.

Cons
The Bulldogs trailed at quarter-time due to poor kicking for goal.

Richmond
Pros
The Tigers led at quarter-time. Sydney Stack proved in this game that he belongs at AFL level through his solid performance.

Cons
The Tigers kicked just four goals after quarter-time, including a goalless fourth quarter. Tom Lynch shouldn’t have played in Round 7 as it appeared as if the Suns recruit was inhibited by either struggling with coming back from a season-ending injury he suffered last year or an issue with confidence. The end result is it looks like Lynch is uninterested.

Aaron Naughton

Aaron Naughton of the Bulldogs (Michael Willson/AFL Photos/Getty Images)

West Coast Eagles vs Gold Coast Suns

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West Coast
Pros
Brad Sheppard used the ball extremely well; the 25 possessions he accumulated were extremely valuable. Andrew Gaff performed solidly, winning plenty of the ball and working hard defensively with six tackles. Jack Darling kicked four goals in a matchwinning performance for the Eagles. Dom Sheed was outstanding with 32 possessions and two goals. Jack Redden and Elliot Yeo had an impressive 25 tackles between them.

Cons
The Eagles kicked only three goals in the second half and the frustration of coach Adam Simpson was evident. The margin was just 11 points in the last quarter, which meant it wasn’t farfetched that the Suns could have won a game they trailed in by 39 points at half-time. Nathan Vardy, included late, would be disappointed with his performance.

Gold Coast
Pros
Gold Coast’s second half was impressive as they fought their way back into a game that they could have been forgiven for giving up in, capitulating and getting obliterated on the scoreboard and losing by at least ten goals. But instead of throwing in the towel they played the game out and nearly walked away with an unlikely victory.

Cons
The game was all but over at half-time with the Suns trailing by an almost insurmountable margin of over six goals. That’s unacceptable, as they could have been on the right side of the win-loss ledger.

Andrew Gaff

Andrew Gaff of the Eagles (Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Carlton Blues vs North Melbourne Kangaroos

Carlton
Pros
Sam Walsh continues to impress, with the young No. 1 draft pick showing great endeavour trying to lift his team. He was probably the best player for his team. Patrick Cripps performed solidly after quarter-time with two goals and eight tackles.

Cons
The Blues were uncompetitive in a game they needed to win to keep themselves off the bottom of the ladder, but the antithesis appeared to be the case as they were either outworked or Brendon Bolton was outcoached.

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North Melbourne
Pros
The Kangaroos came to play. They brought the intensity they showed in Round 6 in the second half. The first quarter was impressive; the game was over at quarter-time thanks to the tactics implemented by coach Brad Scott and the manner in which the Kangaroos implemented those tactics.

Cons
The Kangaroos were outscored by the Blues by 11 points in the final quarter.

Ben Brown

North Melbourne’s Ben Brown (Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Geelong Cats vs Essendon Bombers

Geelong
Pros
The Cats won by more than five goals even though they had just two more scoring shots than the Bombers. The difference between the two teams was the fact Geelong had five goals between two of the midfielders in the unheralded Mitch Duncan and Tim Kelly. Some of Geelong’s lesser lights, so to speak, also performed at a high level – for example, the underrated Sam Menegola, who deserves more recognition that he currently has, played with plenty of ability.

Cons
Patrick Dangerfield suffered a knee injury that may mean he is unavailable for selection in Round 8 against the Kangaroos.

Essendon
Pros
Zach Merrett led from the front and attempted to lift the team, while Jake Stringer hit the scoreboard, kicking three goals.

Cons
The Bombers kicked four goals from 13 scoring shots in the second half. They struggled to play good footy after quarter-time; they were outplayed and outcoached from the second quarter. They didn’t perform to the level that they should. There was a lack of goals from their midfielders.

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Adelaide Crows v Fremantle Dockers

Adelaide
Pros
The Crows had no players with fewer than ten possessions. They battled hard all day, conceding only five goals. Reilly O’Brien has been a revelation for the Crows since he got an opportunity to play as the No. 1 ruckman due an injury to Sam Jacobs.

Cons
They managed to kick only seven goals despite winning the game, which was low by Round 7 standards.

Fremantle
Pros
The Dockers led at half time despite the fact they had kicked only two goals.

Cons
They kicked only five goals and had just nine scoring shots for the entire game. Based on this, the question has to be asked: is Ross Lyon too defensive a coach or was the performance in Round 7 an aberration?

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