Round 12 was all about raising money for MND, which was inspired by Neil Daniher.
The highlight of the weekend from a football perspective was the performance of Carlton under interim coach David Teague in his first game as coach of the club. Unfortunately, there were three one-sided games, most notably with Richmond being annihilated by Geelong.
There was another issue with the score review that didn’t impact the result of the game but was fairly embarrassing. Maybe we just need to take the good with the bad with regards to the score review system and accept that it’s not foolproof. There were only six games this round as six teams had the bye.
Consequently, I only chose the top three coaches of the Round as there were three fewer games.
Top three coaches of Round 12
1. David Teague (Carlton Blues)
2. John Longmire (Sydney Swans)
3. Don Pyke (Adelaide Crows)
Round 12 key points
Richmond Tigers vs Geelong Cats
Tigers uncompetitive for the second week in a row
The Tigers controlled the tempo of the contest in the first quarter, remarkably, but they failed to capitalise and create scoreboard pressure. Tom Lynch missed two goals in the first quarter, which must have been deflating for his teammates as momentum is such an important part of team sport and those goals that Lynch missed would have done the antithesis.
The Tigers kicked two of their five goals for the match in the first quarter, which gave them an 11-point lead at quarter time. After quarter time it was pretty much a flawless performance from the Cats as they kicked 16 goals in three quarters. The Tigers may have won seven games this season, but all of their losses have been blowouts.
Tigers’ team lifter: None.
Cats’ team Lifter: Gryan Miers.
Carlton Blues vs Brisbane Lions
Lions fail to roar as Blues bounce back from depths of despair
The Lions kicked the first six goals of the game. However, unlike other times this year, the Blues’ belief never wavered and they took the game on, but at the same time new interim coach David Teague implemented a solid game plan; Teague tagged Lachie Neale out of the game, with Ed Curnow tagging him after Neale was prolific in the first half.
Every player for the Blues played their role and they came back and won the game, overturning a 37-point deficit due to the Lions lowering their intensity and attack on the footy. They won because they stuck to the game plan.
No words can do justice to Patrick Cripps’s second-half performance where he kicked four inspirational goals. It was an unbelievable comeback that will hold the Blues in good stead for the rest of the season and beyond; give Teague a long term contract already. It’s only one game, but it was great to see the Blues’ morale and belief improve.
Blues’ team lifters: Patrick Cripps, Sam Walsh.
Lions’ team lifter: Daniel Rich.
Gold Coast Suns vs North Melbourne Kangaroos
Suns gallant in defeat
The Kangaroos started well leading seven goals to one at quarter time; the Kangaroos were outstanding for the remainder of the quarter after conceding the first goal. It would be concerning for Rhyce Shaw that they were outscored after quarter time; the Kangaroos were extremely inaccurate after quarter time as they kicked seven goals and 13 behinds.
The Suns showed that their morale and belief is still okay as they played some reasonable footy after the first quarter. Granted that the Kangaroos would have won the game more comprehensively had they kicked straight, but it would still be a bit of a worry for the Kangaroos. The story of the day was a shoulder injury suffered by Shaun Higgins who is expected to be unavailable for selection for six weeks.
Suns’ team lifter: Lachie Weller.
Kangaroos’ team lifter: Ben Cunnington.
Adelaide Crows vs Greater West Sydney Giants
Crows pass test
The Crows showed that they may well have the best list in the competition, at least they would definitely be in the conversation as far as the best list is concerned. The Giants would have known that they needed to win this game if they were to be considered a genuine contender, but unfortunately, they had too many passengers.
The highlight of the game was the goal kicked from the boundary line from Eddie Betts. For the Crows Brad Crouch was a standout, while for the Giants Josh Kelly was prolific, however, it was a team performance from the Crows.
Crows’ team lifter: Brad Crouch.
Giants’ team lifter: Josh Kelly.
Sydney Swans vs West Coast Eagles
Swans dominant as Eagles fail to fly
It was a four-quarter performance from the Swans; it was definitely their best display of the season. Lance Franklin was back to his best kicking five goals; he kicked the first and last goal of the game. Tom Papley was impressive with five goals; he was unstoppable playing in the midfield and pushing up to hit the scoreboard.
The Eagles were shell-shocked, to put it simply they were outplayed and it’s fair to say that the Swans’ game plan that was implemented was much better than the Eagles’ one; therefore it’s fair to say that John Longmire outcoached Adam Simpson.
Swans’ team lifters: Tom Papley, Lance Franklin.
Eagles’ team lifter: Liam Ryan.
Collingwood Magpies vs Melbourne Demons
Magpies soar while Demons self-destruct
This day was all about Neil Daniher and the work that he has done for MND; Daniher is truly inspirational. Unfortunately, the Demons didn’t win the game and their skill level wasn’t up to standard. The Magpies should have won by more as they could have put the game beyond doubt by quarter-time and won the game more convincingly than the final 41-point margin.
Max Gawn worked hard in the ruck but to no avail, as the Demons’ morale must be low as it stands with some of the skill errors unacceptable for players playing at AFL level. Not taking anything away from the Magpies, but they may well have lost to a better side. They only had one more scoring shot than the Demons, which substantiates the fact that the Demons skill wasn’t what was required to win the game.
Hopefully, there isn’t a day like this next year and there is a cure found for MND.
Magpies’ team lifter: Jaidyn Stephenson.
Demons’ team Lifter: Max Gawn.