The story of the round was that Jarryd Roughead may have played his last game of footy at AFL level.
David Teague coached his first game without training wheels against St Kilda, in what was a narrow victory for Carlton.
There were two other close games in Round 22, both of which had top four teams playing in them. The first was a one-point margin that involved Brisbane and Geelong. The other was between Richmond and West Coast, which went down to the wire.
There were two teams that turned their form around in one week: Essendon and North Melbourne.
There are a few coaches that deserve to be under the microscope as their teams suffered heavy losses. It hasn’t just been one poor week, but a series of poor performances over the season, with sport being a business nowadays and a ruthless industry.
Top five coaches of Round 22
1. Rhyce Shaw (North Melbourne Kangaroos)
2. Luke Beveridge (Western Bulldogs)
3. Damien Hardwick (Richmond Tigers)
4. Nathan Buckley (Collingwood Magpies)
5. Chris Fagan (Brisbane Lions)
Coaches under the pump
Ken Hinkley (Port Adelaide Power)
It’s all or nothing for Port Adelaide. They are either outstanding or the complete opposite. Unfortunately, the game plan implemented by Ken Hinkley in Round 22 means he shouldn’t be a senior coach in 2020 at AFL level.
Don Pyke (Adelaide Crows)
Adelaide followed up a good performance in Round 21 against West Coast with what we have become accustomed to in 2019 with regards to Adelaide’s performance. In Round 22, it didn’t appear as if the Adelaide players were playing for their coach.
Simon Goodwin (Melbourne Demons)
Melbourne weren’t up to standard as far as endeavour and attack on the footy was concerned in Round 22.
Leon Cameron (Greater Western Sydney Giants)
Greater Western Sydney’s second half was unacceptable as they didn’t score any goals for the second week in a row.
Stuart Dew (Gold Coast Suns)
Gold Coast were uncompetitive yet again. Something needs to happen, whether it’s a change of coach or a substantial turnover of the list.
Round 22 key points
Melbourne Demons vs Sydney Swans
Swans on song, Demons destroyed
There was plenty to play for in terms of building belief going into the pre-season for the 2020 AFL season on Friday night. Sydney were more efficient than Melbourne when it came to creating opportunities and turning them into scoreboard pressure.
Magic moment: Jordan Dawson kicked an outstanding goal in the second quarter of the game from 50 metres out.
Who stood out from the pack? Oliver Florent performed well, proving that he has a strong future at AFL level.
What went right? The high intensity at which the game was played. Aliir Aliir played in the ruck, as Hayden McLean was a late omission, which turned out well as Aliir was a revelation, in what proved to be a good move as he curtailed the influence of Melbourne ruckman Max Gawn.
What went wrong? The second quarter was low scoring for both sides, as they didn’t show much in that term from an attacking point of view.
(Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)
Carlton Blues vs St Kilda Saints
Blues win tough game
The two teams that were playing some poor footy earlier this year put on an outstanding spectacle, particularly in the first half. It was great to see the camaraderie of Carlton. The players were clearly playing team-first football. They gave their fans something to look forward to in 2020. All aboard the Teague train.
Magic moments: Nick Hind kicked St Kilda’s first goal of the game, running with the footy and bouncing it for quite a while, then finishing off his good work in the best way possible. Harry McKay snapped a goal from 50 metres late in the game, which was a phenomenal finish.
Who stood out from the pack? Matthew Kreuzer was probably the difference between the two sides.
What went right? The game was a high standard, despite the ladder position of both teams. Both teams played as if there was a finals spot on the line.
What went wrong? St Kilda lacked the class and polish of a Carlton team.
Brisbane Lions vs Geelong Cats
Lions roar, Cats fail to claw a victory
Geelong controlled the game from a scoreboard perspective for the majority of the game, but Brisbane persevered and had a great work rate. They thoroughly deserved their victory.
Magic moments: Dayne Zorko scored a goal from a tough angle, approximately 50 metres, then Lincoln McCarthy took what could be mark of the year late in the fourth quarter and finished off his good work with a pivotal goal.
Who stood out from the pack? Charlie Cameron kicked five goals. Cameron played an important role in Brisbane claiming the four points.
What went right? The game was on the line right until the final seconds.
What went wrong? The two teams kicked a combined total of 20 goals and 29 behinds, which is inaccurate.
(Photo by Bradley Kanaris/AFL Photos via Getty Images )
Adelaide Crows vs Collingwood Magpies
Crows fail to turn up thanks to Magpies massacre
It was a one-sided contest with Adelaide being uncompetitive, while Collingwood played some of their best footy. The Collingwood defence stood tall against Adelaide, with Brayden Maynard particularly prolific in curtailing the influence of the Adelaide forward line.
Magic moment: Jeremy Howe took a freakish mark near three quarter time.
Who stood out from the pack? Jamie Elliott kicked goals at pivotal times in the game.
What went right? Collingwood conceded just three goals in the first three quarters, leading by eight goals at three quarter time.
What went wrong? Adelaide lacked effort and didn’t do the basics right.
North Melbourne Kangaroos vs Port Adelaide Power
Kangaroos force Power outage
Who would have thought that North Melbourne would have gone from kicking one goal in Round 21 to accumulating 12 goals in one half in Round 22. Port Adelaide, on the other hand, went from destroying Sydney in Round 21 to a lack of endeavour and fight.
Magic moment: Jared Polec kicked an outstanding goal against his old side late in the third quarter.
Who stood out from the pack? Ben Brown had pretty much the perfect game as far as a full forward is concerned, creating plenty of scoreboard pressure. Nick Larkey kicked four goals in the first half and Todd Goldstein was outstanding in the ruck, helping North Melbourne have a comfortable victory.
What went right? North Melbourne created plenty of scoreboard pressure in the first half.
What went wrong? The first half from Port Adelaide was deplorable.
Fremantle Dockers vs Essendon Bombers
You wouldn’t have known that Essendon had lost embarrassingly in Round 21 if you had watched the manner in which they went about it in Round 22.
Magic moment: Zach Merrett kicked the first goal of the game with a clever snap.
Who stood out from the pack? Zach Merrett showed his class with a quality display in Round 22.
What went right? Essendon were back to their best and bounced back well from the loss that they suffered in previous week.
What went wrong? Fremantle’s performance wasn’t up to AFL standard. They were devoid of a system and lacking a viable structure as they failed to be competitive against a team that was poor the previous week.
Richmond Tigers vs West Coast Eagles
Tigers win cliff-hanger
Richmond had a bad first quarter, but fought their way back into the contest to win the game by just one goal. The game was a cauldron-like atmosphere. It had a finals-like feel about it.
Magic moment: Jack Riewoldt kicked what proved to be the winning goal for Richmond.
Who stood out from the pack? Dustin Martin was the difference between the two sides.
What went right? It was a tight, tough contest between two teams that are contenders to win this season’s premiership.
What went wrong? West Coast allowed Richmond to come back into the game, and in the end, it cost them the four points.
Greater Western Sydney Giants vs Western Bulldogs
Dogs the team to beat
The destiny of the Western Bulldogs is in their own hands. All they need to do is keep winning. They don’t need to rely on other results, which means that the Bulldogs are a contender.
Magic moment: Bailey Smith kicked a long goal in the third quarter that was an important score in the context of the game.
Who stood out from the pack? Jack Macrae continued his good form with yet another performance where he was a pivotal part of the Western Bulldogs strong showing.
What went right? The first half was entertaining to watch for the neutral spectator with 18 goals between the two teams.
What went wrong? Matthew Suckling appeared to kick what would have been one of the best goals this season, but it was adjudged to have been touched and was therefore adjudicated as a behind. Heath Shaw gave away a careless 50-metre penalty in the fourth quarter, which led to Sam Lloyd kicking a goal.
Hawthorn Hawks vs Gold Coast Suns
Hawks dominate hopeless Suns
It’s difficult to determine whether Hawthorn were outstanding or if the Gold Coast Suns were spiritless. The game had an exhibition-like feel about it as the story of the day was Jarryd Roughead.
Magic moment: Roughead snapped his sixth goal in the final quarter.
Who stood out from the pack? James Worpel showed that he is one of the elite players in the competition.
What went right? Roughead played well in his last game, kicking for goal accurately.
What went wrong? There were few positives for the Suns.