There was a mixture of close games and one-sided matches, but few contests that were in between. It was great to get back to discussing the footy and not have any controversy.
The race for the finals is well and truly alive. There were four games with a margin of three goals or less, but the performances from the Dockers, Suns and Crows were unacceptable.
Thankfully the performances by the teams who performed well such as the Bulldogs made up for the mediocre displays by some of the other teams.
Top five coaches of Round 16
1. Adam Simpson (West Coast Eagles)
2. Luke Beveridge (Western Bulldogs)
3. Ken Hinkley (Port Adelaide Power)
4. Chris Fagan (Brisbane Lions)
5. John Worsfold (Essendon Bombers)
Coaches under the pump
Ross Lyon (Fremantle Dockers)- In a derby you’d expect your team to be up for the contest, but it was the opposite of that.
Stuart Dew (Gold Coast Suns)- The game was all but over at quarter time, which is an indication of how poor the Suns played.
Don Pyke (Adelaide Crows)- The Crows were deplorable in the premiership quarter, which is the third quarter; that’s unacceptable in the showdown.
Allan Richardson (St Kilda Saints)- The Saints were uncompetitive for much of the game; they need to improve if Richardson is to see out his tenure at the club.
Nathan Buckley (Collingwood Magpies)- By his own admission the Magpies aren’t playing their best footy and injuries aren’t an excuse.
Round 16 key points
Hawthorn Hawks vs Collingwood Magpies
Hawks victorious in a scrappy contest
The Hawks controlled the game early as far as territory was concerned, but they were behind on the scoreboard, yet they trailed by thirteen points at quarter time.
The Hawks had 31 to 18 inside fifties at half time, but they failed to take advantage of their dominance of general play on the scoreboard. The Hawks managed to transfer their control of general play in the fourth quarter and subsequently won the game.
Magic Moment: Mitchell Lewis kicked his second goal of the game in the fourth quarter to put the Hawks in front.
Who stood out from the pack? James Sicily and Jarman Impey helped the Hawks get over the line.
What went right? Not a lot, apart from the game being reasonably close on the scoreboard, which made the game bearable to watch from a neutral perspective.
The better team on the night won the game, which appeared unlikely as the Magpies led for the first three quarters of the game.
What went wrong? The Hawks inefficiency in the forward half in the first quarter, kicking one goal from six shots at goal. Both teams turned the ball over a lot and struggled with their ball handling. It was a frustrating night for both coaches.
Essendon Bombers vs Sydney Swans
Swans succumb to brave Bombers
It was a tough and tight game early, with no goals scored for the first half of the opening term. Goals were hard to come by after that point in time too.
Magic Moment: Nick Blakey worked hard to get inside the forward fifty, take an unbelievable mark and kick the first goal of the match from the resultant set shot.
Who stood out from the pack? David Zaharakis was prolific for the Bombers accumulating plenty of the ball and kicking three goals.
What went right? The morale and belief of the Bombers were evident; this was a must win game for the Bombers and they attacked it accordingly. The margin separating the two sides on the scoreboard was minimal throughout the game.
What went wrong? The Swans hit the post with their set shots on a few occasions. The game was relatively low scoring.
Gold Coast Suns vs Richmond Tigers
Suns slaughtered by tenacious Tigers
The first half was like a training drill for the Tigers, with the Suns not turning up. It’s difficult to decipher whether the second half was the Suns improving on their first half performance or the Tigers taking their footy off the peddle.
Magic Moments: The first few minutes of the first quarter were entertaining from a Tigers perspective, despite the game being like a training drill.
Who stood out from the pack? Jason Castagna was influential when the game was there to be won in the first quarter.
What went right? The Tigers first half was just about flawless, while the Suns first two quarters were the antithesis. The Suns showed some spirit in the second half.
What went wrong? The Suns were deplorable in the first half, while the Tigers would be relatively disappointed with their second-half performance as percentage could be important in the race for the finals.
Adelaide Crows vs Port Adelaide Power
Power surge past Crows
The Power played a good brand of footy, applying themselves to the contest by capitalising on their robust belief in themselves. The Crows fans would have been very disappointed in the endeavour shown by the Crows, particularly in the second half.
Magic Moment: Scott Lycett’s goal from almost fifty metres out was outstanding; it was also extremely important as it gave the Power the momentum in the third quarter and it was a big goal in the context of the game.
Who stood out from the pack? Brad Ebert played a solid game for the Power finishing with three goals.
What went right? The Power’s third quarter display was extremely impressive; the Crows couldn’t curtail the Power’s momentum. Scott Lycett recovered from a knock to his knee in the first quarter to influence the game, with the knee injury initially appearing to be serious.
What went wrong? The Crows failed to take their opportunities in the first half and paid for that in the second half where the game was controlled by the Power. There weren’t any positives for the Crows.
Western Bulldogs vs Geelong Cats
Bulldogs outhunt the Cats
The Bulldogs did a good job at restricting the Cats from running away with the game on the scoreboard in the first half, but the Cats still had the ascendancy on the scoreboard. The Bulldogs played an outstanding fourth quarter to take the four points.
Magic Moment: The Bulldogs hit the front for the first time in the game in the fourth quarter thanks to a goal from Marcus Bontempelli.
Who stood out from the pack? The entire Bulldogs team endeavour and ruthless attack on the footy made it impossible to single anyone out.
What went right? The game was a good contest. Luke Beveridge sticking with Aaron Naughton up forward, despite being criticised for not playing him in defence, with Naughton kicking four goals. The Bulldogs hunger and attack on the footy was impressive.
What went wrong? The kicking for goal in the first half was deplorable from both teams. The Cats would be disappointed with their performance as they were completely outplayed by the Bulldogs, despite the scoreboard not showing how shocking they played.
The Cats kicked their lowest score for the season.
Fremantle Dockers vs West Coast Eagles
Eagles destroy deplorable Dockers
The Eagles dominated the game from start to finish without Josh Kennedy playing. The Eagles had many contributors and the Dockers had no answers. The Dockers were obliterated even though they had more inside fifty’s than the Eagles.
Magic Moment: Jarrod Cameron kicked an outstanding goal in the second quarter.
Who stood out from the pack? Jarrod Cameron managed to hit the scoreboard at an important time in the second quarter with two successive goals.
What went right? The Eagles display was pretty much perfect; it was difficult to see any flaws in the manner in which the Eagles played.
What went wrong? The Dockers first half performance was disgraceful; the game was all but over by that point in time. The Dockers had little to cheer for; they kicked just two goals from twenty-one scoring shots.
Carlton Blues vs Melbourne Demons
Blues leave comeback too late
The Blues only took the lead momentarily in the last quarter, as once again they gave up an early lead under the tutelage of David Teague.
Teague has done a good job in his tenure thus far, but he would want to rectify the Blues slow starts if he is to be appointed senior coach of the Blues on a permanent basis.
Magic Moment: Jayden Hunt kicked the final goal of the game, which was a long set shot from fifty metres out, it was the only goal that the Demons kicked in the last quarter.
Who stood out from the pack? Tom Mcdonald was outstanding for the Demons, Mcdonald managed to kick six goals.
What went right? There was plenty of attacking footy played with both teams kicking a total of fifteen goals each.
What went wrong? Once again, the Blues gave up a big lead and fought back, but this time they didn’t manage to get over the line. The Demons gave up a lead of five goals at three quarter time to nearly lose the game.
North Melbourne Kangaroos vs St Kilda Saints
Same old story for the Saints
The Saints struggled to be competitive and unfortunately, it’s difficult to decipher what their game plan is.
Magic Moment: Cameron Zurhaar kicked his fifth goal of the game in the fourth quarter, with an exquisitely executed snap from the pocket.
Who stood out from the pack? Cameron Zurhaar continues to be a revelation under the guidance of caretaker coach Rhyce Shaw, Zurhaar kicked five goals, having a big impact on the game.
What went right? The Kangaroos continue to play good footy following the game plan implemented by Rhyce Shaw to perfection; every player is playing their role for the team for the Kangaroos.
What went wrong? It’s worrying signs for the Saints, as the magnitude of the loss from a scoreboard perspective was unacceptable.
Greater West Sydney Giants vs Brisbane Lions
The Giants are beatable at home
The Lions further solidified themselves as a premiership contender with a good win over the Giants away from home. They controlled the game from a scoreboard perspective from start to finish.
Magic Moment: Eric Hipwood took a great mark and kicked a fantastic goal from the resultant set shot in the third quarter at an important point in the match to give the Lions momentum.
Who stood out from the pack? Lincoln Mccarthy was outstanding for the Lions, Mccarthy is a player that often goes under the radar, but after performances like the one he had in Round 16 that won’t be the case anymore. The former Cat showed why the Lions recruiting has been first class.
What went right? The Lions couldn’t have performed much better than they did. The Lions midfield continues to impress, in particular the likes of Hugh McCluggage who has stepped up significantly this season.
What went wrong? The Giants would have gone into this game expecting a win, without intimating any disrespect towards the Lions, but at home, they would have expected to have gone away with the four points.