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My take on Round 22 of the AFL season

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Roar Rookie
19th August, 2019
9

The penultimate round of the 2019 campaign threw up plenty of talking points, including Dale Thomas’ contract situation in 2020.

It would be unfathomable if Thomas is not offered a contract by another club next season after the Blues said they won’t renew him in 2020.

Since the call by newly appointed coach David Teague, Thomas has been a shining light for the Blues, putting up two strong performances in the last two rounds, including 32 touches against Richmond.

The Blues are mad to not offer Daisy a new contract.

With 35-year-old Kade Simpson set to play on next year, it’s hard to believe that they want to offload 32-year-old Thomas, who has been in better form than last year, which saw him finish fifth in the club’s best-and-fairest.

We will have to wait and see. Thomas seems content about his career and happy to retire, but I’ve got a feeling this is not the end for ‘Daisy’. Surely someone like the Gold Coast could do with some silk off the back flank.

Carlton Blues player Dale Thomas

(AAP Image/Julian Smith)

What a weekend it was for neutrals of the game who got to see the top four sides battle it out against each other in a preview of perhaps what’s to come in a fortnight when finals are on the menu.

The Brisbane Lions and Geelong Cats served up an absolute belter with the Lions getting the nod by a single point on their home deck at the Gabba.

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It looked like it was going to be a Geelong win when Brisbane small forward Charlie Cameron kicked the ball out on the full with his team narrowly trailing with only a few minutes remaining, before former Cats player Lincoln McCarthy spoiled his old club’s party by taking a screamer and putting the Lions in front in the dying moments as they held on for a famous win.

The embrace between coach Chris Fagan and in-form defender Harris Andrews showed how much it meant for these Lions as they climb to the top of the AFL ladder with one round to go. Who would have thought they would be topping the standings at all this season?

If Saturday’s game between the Lions and Cats didn’t get you up and out of your seat, then you were in for a treat on Sunday afternoon as fellow top four candidates – reigning premiers the West Coast Eagles and the 2017 champions the Richmond Tigers – did battle to keep their spot in the top four and potentially book a home final.

With the Eagles holding the ascendancy for the first term, the Tigers clawed themselves back into fray with the help of some wet weather, which saw the Eagles’ backs stretched, as they looked too tall at various stages down back, trying to contend with quicker players in the Tigers’ forward line.

After getting embarrassing decisions against him for studs up, Jack Riewoldt put the Tigers one goal up with time running down on the clock as the Tigers diminished an early 29-point deficit to come rampaging back and record an amazing win. The Tom Lynch and Riewoldt combination looked ominous and here’s hoping they will put it together in September.

Tom Lynch

(Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos/Getty Images)

The Eagles are still a premiership contender. If it weren’t for the rain, the Eagles would have run away with it.

Likes

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Ben Brown and Nick Larkey
Fifteen goals between them. Enough said.

Essendon’s response
A great reply from John Worsfold’s men after two absolute hidings in recent weeks.

Aaron Sandilands and Hayden Ballantyne
Absolutely loved seeing the 211 centimetre big man in Sandilands carry off Balantyne on his shoulders. Two of the Dockers’ greats. One a serial pest and goal sneak, and the other the competition’s best big man at the peak of his powers.

Dislikes

South Australia
Both Port Adelaide and Adelaide were both deplorable. They showed no heart, and with performances like that, will not go far in September. That’s even if they make it in the first place.

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GWS
You can only blame injuries so much. When you copped a ten-goal loss to a rampant Bulldogs outfit on your home deck, it’s not a good look. At this stage, only just crawling into the top eight. Aren’t looking themselves.

Melbourne Demons
Obviously the competition’s biggest disappointment this season. Getting beaten by 53 points by a struggling Swans side at the MCG is not a good sight. Boasting one of the better midfields in the competition on paper, there seems to be no cohesion within the side at all. They are a worry.

With a Round 23 clash coming up against a firing North Melbourne, I can’t see much changing. Another heavy defeat on the cards.