On a recent episode of the Bill Simmons Podcast, the topic of Tim Duncan came up.
The Hawks’ defeat of the Giants was the only game in Round 8 decided by a margin of over five goals.
The weekend threw up some shock results, even in terms of the margin between the two teams involved. Belief and morale should have been high for the Blues and Saints even though they didn’t win.
Sydney Swans vs Essendon Bombers
The game was tight throughout the four quarters with both teams having the same amount of scoring shots (22).
The Swans just got over the line with the result of the game coming down to last kick of the game. David Myers had a chance to win it, but the distance proved to be too far.
The match was marred by a bizarre incident with Sydney defender Dane Rampe shaking the post in an attempt to put off Myers’ kick for goal, however no free kick was awarded against Rampe for his antics.
Swans team lifter: Luke Parker
Bombers team lifter: Michael Hurley
Western Bulldogs vs Brisbane Lions
It was a game that the Bulldogs needed to win to stay in touch with the top eight and to prove that their Round 7 win over the Tigers wasn’t a fluke.
The Dogs trailed at quarter time and the game proved to be a fairly close contest with the Lions failing to win a match that would have helped to keep their momentum up.
Bulldogs team lifter: Sam Lloyd
Lions team lifter: Mitch Robinson
Carlton Blues vs Collingwood Magpies
Round 8 was all about the Blues proving that their disappointing loss to the Kangaroos in Round 7 wasn’t the start of a trend, but an aberration.
Carlton lost a game that they should have won, playing better footy than the Magpies for three quarters, so it will be a case of whether the Blues take the glass half full or half empty approach to the analysis.
Blues team lifter: David Cuningham
Magpies team lifter: Brodie Grundy
Gold Coast Suns vs Melbourne Demons
This was a low-scoring contest that went down to the last second of the game.
It was 21 scoring shots to 15 in the Demons’ favour, but the Suns were ahead by a goal with 50 seconds remaining.
Marty Hore was the hero for the Demons, levelling the scores with his first career goal. In the final seconds of the game, Tom McDonald had an opportunity to win the game for the Dees, missing a goal that he should have kicked, but it didn’t matter as they won the game by a solitary point.
Suns team lifter: Nick Holman
Demons team lifter: Clayton Oliver
St Kilda Saints vs West Coast Eagles
The Eagles just had too much class and polish for the Saints, but the game was a fairly good spectacle throughout.
St Kilda showed a lot as far as playing the game out was concerned – they have clearly improved from last year, but that won’t mean a lot as they didn’t claim the four points.
The third quarter was where the Eagles won the game, kicking six goals to the Saints’ two.
Saints team lifter: Shane Savage
Eagles team lifter: Jamie Cripps
Port Adelaide Power vs Adelaide Crows
The game was over at half time with the Crows ahead by eight goals on the scoreboard.
To make things worse for the Power, they lost new recruit Ryan Burton to a hamstring injury, but that’s no excuse for the first-half capitulation.
Port did show something in the final quarter, kicking six goals to the Crows’ three.
Power team lifter: Sam Powell-Pepper
Crows team lifter: Tom Lynch
North Melbourne Kangaroos vs Geelong Cats
It was fascinating to see the coaching battle between the two Scott brothers.
The two teams played a good style of footy, with the Kangaroos’ inaccurate goal-kicking costing them a chance to win a game that they weren’t expected to win.
Geelong won without the likes of Joel Selwood and Sam Menegola, and with Gary Rohan suffering concussion and unavailable to play a part in part of the game.
In the end, the Cats showed why they sit on top of the AFL ladder with their elite kicking for goal.
Kangaroos team lifter: Ben Brown
Cats team lifter: Gary Ablett
Hawthorn Hawks vs Greater Western Sydney Giants
It was a low-scoring contest that was difficult to watch at times.
Jeremy Cameron’s performance summed up the Giants’ day with the key forward going goalless, registering four behinds. Hawthorn’s team changes worked well to claim the four points.
Hawks team lifter: James Sicily
Giants team lifter: Jeremy Finlayson
Fremantle Dockers vs Richmond Tigers
This game was a relatively tight contest up until half time, with the Tigers controlling the third quarter, when Richmond kicked six goals to Freo’s three.
The Tigers suffered two more injuries to add to their growing list with Toby Nankervis and Jack Ross testing their depth, but the visitors stood up in a game that they were expected to lose.
Ross Lyon was out-coached by Damien Hardwick, given the players missing from the Tigers’ line-up.
Dockers team lifter: Nat Fyfe
Tigers team lifter: Bachar Houli