Round 10 is an important weekend of footy honouring the contribution that Indigenous people make to the game.
The weekend started perfectly, with Charlie Curnow kicking six goals for the Blues. Max King of the Saints also bagged six.
There were plenty of points of interest in the round, in particular the opening game, in which Carlton kicked nine goals in the second quarter.
The two players that played their 200th games deserve credit: Bradley Hill of Saints and Adam Treloar of the Bulldogs. Remarkably, both players were playing for their third team in the AFL.
A special mention to Hawthorn, who had an upset win against the Lions; to the Magpies, who defeated the Dockers in Perth; and also to Jeremy Howe, who took a mark of the year contender.
The rising star award is going to be fascinating, with Jai Newcombe, Nick Daicos, Jason Horne-Francis and Corey Durdin all performing well. The recruiters clearly got it right this year, as there are many in contention.
Adelaide Crows: they can’t kick straight
The Crows were the better team against the Saints at times. The game had many changes of momentum and the lead, but unfortunately Adelaide didn’t take their chances when they needed to and lost by 21 points a game they could well have won. Jordan Dawson was a shining light with two goals and 22 disposals. It’s not all doom and gloom for the Crows, but they had four more scoring shots than St Kilda and lost by four goals.
Brisbane Lions: an honourable loss
The Lions scored over 100 points for the fifth game in a row despite losing narrowly to Hawthorn. Brisbane dominated the ruck battle with 44 more hit-outs than Hawthorn. The Lions also had more centre clearances, at 19-12 in their favour. Everyone loses, but the way they lost was a definition of an honourable loss. There was a total of 63 free kicks, with the Lions conceding nine more than the Hawks.
Carlton Blues: they looked invincible
The Blues played a great second quarter, and it’s the first time since 2012 that Carlton have kicked nine goals in a quarter. There’s no disputing that every player played their role. It wasn’t all about Patrick Cripps, which would be most pleasing for Michael Voss. Jacob Weitering curtailed Lance Franklin’s influence. He symbolised the fact that they are now a ruthless footy team. There was an outstanding effort from Charlie Curnow, who kicked five goals in the first half despite being the main forward target. Carlton have scored 100-plus points four weeks in a row, but despite that, the Swans fought their way back into the game in the second half to get within 15 points at full time. The Blues nearly threw all their hard work away, even though Sydney deserve credit.
Collingwood Magpies: they’re flying high
The Magpies would be happy with the way they approached the game. They probably used their uncompetitive display in Round 9 as motivation. There’s no doubt they’re a team capable of featuring in finals in 2022. If they perform as they did in Round 10, they can beat just about anyone. Jack Crisp didn’t miss a game once again, continuing his streak of games played in a row to 173 despite having the flu during the week. Oliver Henry kicked four goals, and he was fortunate to be subbed into the game early due to Mason Cox injuring a finger, giving him an opportunity to make a case for being a permanent part of Collingwood’s best 22.
Essendon Bombers: where to now?
The Bombers were led well during the week by captain Dyson Heppell, who spoke well, but talk is cheap. They showed some more grunt and determination than they did in Round 9, but it wasn’t enough to get the four points. They have plenty of work to do, as they’re no chance of making finals.
Fremantle Dockers: all at sea
The Dockers looked like they didn’t have a viable plan. They didn’t have enough winners on the day. It was as if they weren’t prepared for a Magpies team that came to play. The usual suspects in the midfield played their role, with the Dockers having the four highest disposal winners on the ground – Will Brodie, David Mundy, Andrew Brayshaw and Caleb Serong – who combined for 133 disposals. Sean Darcy fought hard in the ruck, but the Magpies outclassed the Dockers. It’s a worry that despite the fact that the Dockers got their hands on the footy, they lost the game kicking half as many goals as their opposition with six goals to the Magpies’ 12! Another concern would be that the Dockers had 26 more hit-outs and 23 more contested possessions than the Magpies but lost quite comprehensively.
Geelong Cats: they controlled the game, but Danger’s in pain
Geelong would be content with their display. They had 27 scoring shots to Port Adelaide’s 12, yet the Cats won by only six goals. They trailed their opposition at the end of the first two quarters. Despite that, they conceded only two goals in the second half and dominated in the premiership quarter with five goals to the Power’s one. There’s an injury cloud over Patrick Dangerfield, as he was subbed out with a calf injury in the fourth quarter. Jeremy Cameron was a standout with three goals and 629 metres gained, the most of any player.
Gold Coast Suns: they just wouldn’t go away
The Suns displayed great character. They were kept in the game due to the Bulldogs’ poor goal kicking. They are accustomed to being down on the scoreboard at quarter-time, as they have still won only two first quarters. Despite that, there’s plenty for Gold Coast to take out of the game, as they nearly pinched it. Jarrod Witts proved he’s one of the best ruckmen in the AFL, as he finished with 55 hit-outs despite the fact that they lost clearances by 14. They had nine fewer scoring shots than their opposition but were seven points down with just over a minute left in the game. Joel Jeffrey and Ben Ainsworth combined for eight of the Suns’ 13 goals. Mabior Chol has still kicked a goal in every game this season.
Greater Western Sydney Giants: they got the job done
The Giants won the game comprehensively despite making nine changes in Round 9. It’s a new era, with three Bombers coaches sitting in the coaches box. They scored a minimum of 21 points in the four quarters. They would be stoked with the result and the depth they displayed, but they can’t get carried away. There’s work to do defensively, as they conceded 13 goals to the Eagles, who are struggling. Their positional changes will make it hard to pick a 22 in Round 11, as they had many winners on the day despite many of the changes being enforced due to injury or illness. Moving co-captain Stephen Coniglio from a half-forward flank to on the ball worked, as he was probably the best player on the ground, with 36 disposals at 92 per cent efficiency.
Hawthorn Hawks: a career-defining win for Sam Mitchell
Hawthorn handed Brisbane just their second loss of the season, and the mental strength and skill execution they displayed to get it done was first class to cause an upset. They finished the game with 11 different goal kickers, which shows that they spread the load. They kicked five goals in three of the four quarters. It was a showcase of what Sam Mitchell is capable of – they won a game that they conceded 112 points in, which indicates that they have a risk-reward game plan. They’re willing to risk losing the game by a big margin to win the game, and that’s why they prevailed.
Narrm Demons: the premiership hasn’t been won yet
The Demons would be happy with the end of the match but disappointed with the first two and a half quarters. They did lose one of their most important players in Ed Langdon through a rib injury, being subbed off in the second quarter. It was a massive loss, but they worked as a team in the last quarter and a half. Clayton Oliver was a standout with 45 disposals. It’s still a wake-up call for them, as they led by only one goal in the third term. They’re a team with weaknesses that can be exposed. They still haven’t lost a game, but they have work to do.
North Melbourne Kangaroos: outclassed but courageous
The Kangaroos were in the game from a scoreboard perspective until shortly after midway through the third quarter. At one stage they trailed by six points, but there’s no disputing that their capitulation was disappointing. They failed to kick a goal in the fourth quarter. Despite that, Cameron Zurhaar finished with three goals, which was a good effort. Todd Goldstein led from the front with nine more hit-outs than Max Gawn. Hopefully there are more of these performances and Jason Horne-Francis eventually puts pen to paper.
Port Adelaide Power: finals are a long way away
The Power lost to the Cats by 35 points. The most disappointing thing was that they led at half-time and didn’t take the game on in the second half. There’s no disputing they should have risked losing the game by ten goals or more by endeavouring to switch play at times and during other times using the corridor. Their ball movement was stagnant in the second half. It was a season-defining match, as there’s a big difference between 4-6 and 5-5.
Richmond Tigers: back to their best but at a cost
The Tigers played the free-flowing football that we became accustomed to when they were the team to beat. They moved the ball well and were extremely miserly when it came to conceding goals. They finished the game with 25 scoring shots to Essendon’s 13. Incredibly they won by 32 points, but it could’ve been more had they kicked straighter. Everyone played their role against a woeful opposition. Jack Riewoldt, Shai Bolton and Maurice Rioli combined for eight goals. Dion Prestia was voted as the best player on the ground. Unfortunately Richmond lost Kane Lambert to a hip injury and Tom Lynch to a hamstring injury, which could dampen their spirits somewhat. Despite that, Damien Hardwick will move the magnets around, as he did with moving Daniel Rioli to a halfback flank.
St Kilda Saints: King steals the show
The Saints can thank Max King and to a lesser extent Bradley Hill, Brad Crouch and Jack Sinclair. All the plaudits will go to King, as he kicked six goals straight, but the game was about more than that. It was fitting that Bradley Hill played a pivotal role in what was his 200th game of AFL footy and Indigenous Round.
Sydney Swans: it was a tenacious second half
The Swans were completely outclassed by the Blues in the second quarter, losing it by 39 points. Despite that, they never gave up. They showed plenty of character by getting themselves back into the game. After trailing by 38 points at half-time, they won the third quarter by 21 points. They need to look back at the second quarter and review it, but on a positive note the endeavour was there; they lost by only 15 points against an in-form Blues outfit.
West Coast Eagles: out of form and struggling for answers
The Eagles would be utterly disappointed once again with their display. There’s no disputing that they need to improve, as it’s not that they have won only one game but that they have been uncompetitive. They did win the third quarter by three points and finish with 13 goals for the game, but it doesn’t matter, as you’re not going to win any games of footy when the opposition scores 138 points.
Western Bulldogs: it was a tough test and they didn’t kick straight
The Bulldogs were back to their best apart from the fact that they didn’t kick well when they had shots at goal. The game should’ve been over at half-time. They still have lost only two of ten first quarters in 2022. Despite controlling the tempo of the game and the balance of the game, they had only two more inside 50s than the Suns. Despite that, for the first time in 2022 they have had back-to-back wins. It was great to see Adam Treloar get a win in his 200th game and hit the scoreboard.