Of the final three matches of Round 13 Fremantle won the one game that really mattered, beating Port Adelaide by 21 points.
The Dockers rose to sixth place on the ladder courtesy of a percentage better than that of the two other teams on 28 points, Brisbane and Richmond. Port Adelaide remains ninth, one win outside the eight but with better percentage than the other sides on the same number of wins.
The other two games of the round featured a nailbiter between Carlton and the Western Bulldogs, with the Bulldogs hanging on to win by three points in the closest result of the round, and Greater Western Sydney eventually overpowering a spirited North Melbourne in Hobart.
The top five still appears settled, but surprise results in the last ten rounds could mean positions six, seven and eight are up for grabs and may not be decided until late in the season. Two key matches – West Coast versus Essendon and Port Adelaide versus Geelong – will be the highlights next week.
Individual goal kicking highlights were many in the final three games of Round 13, with Justin Westhoff kicking the one goal he needed to be the third Power player to reach 300 goals and Paddy Ryder achieving the much more modest milestone of 50 goals for Port Adelaide. His two goals took him to 51, passing Dean Brogan and drawing level with Brett Montgomery and Michael Wilson. Brett Bewley kicked his first goal in AFL football.
For Fremantle, Michael Walters kicked six to continue his good run of recent times and reach 246 career goals. Brandon Matera kicked three to move past Paul Duffield, Luke Tioa, Matthew Burton and Tom Sheridan and equal the goal tally of the club’s first captain, Ben Allen.
For Carlton, Charlie Curnow kicked a superb seven goals and in this sort of form could be considered an elite Blues goalscorer as early as the end of this year. Two elite goalscorers at the Blues, Marc Murphy and Matthew Kreuzer, each kicked one goal, and while Murphy needs another five to move up one rung, Kreuzer moved past Charlie McInnes and Brent Crosswell.
Tory Dickson was the only elite goalscorer at the Western Bulldogs to score a goal. He scored two but still remains in 30th position among the Bulldogs all-time top 100 goalscorers. He needs a further two goals to catch Harry Hickey, a triple best and fairest winner and captain of the club in the 1930s and 40s.
In the final game North Melbourne’s two current leading elite goal scorers, Ben Brown (2) and Jack Ziebell (1), both scored goals but not enough to stop Greater Western Sydney running out convincing winners. Brown needs one more goal for his 250th, while Ziebell climbed into the top third of the club’s top 100 goalscorers. He went past Kerry Good, Mark Roberts and now injured Magpie Daniel Wells. Kayne Turner passed the 50 goal milestone.
At Greater Western Sydney Toby Greene kicked three goals to bring up his 150th and Jeremy Cameron kicked one to raise the No. 1 goalscorer bar even higher.