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Round 18 AFL Wrap

Round 18 Wrap

The results are in for round 18 in the AFL, a weekend of footy that may have had even the most ardent footy fans reaching for the remote.

The Hawks accounted for the Bombers on Friday night to the tune of 94 points, 27.18.180 to 12.14.86.  Hawthorn are now flag favourites sitting second on the ladder, having won their last 8 matches since a shock loss to Richmond, with an average winning margin of 81 points.  Still to return to the side is Lance Franklin, the only concern for the Hawks would be that they are in such hot form well before the finals.  Essendon however are in freefall, they are yet to book a finals birth after looking premiership contenders only a few weeks ago.

Geelong held off a respectable Adelaide at home, eventually pulling away to win by 27 points 15.12.102 to 11.9.75.  The Crows were only two points down a few minutes into the final term, having trailed by 5 goals at half time.  Geelong look to have found form, the smell of September on the horizon doing to this team what most were expecting.  The big story to have come out of the game was an incident at the first bounce, where Brownlow Medal fancy Scott Thompson ended Steve Johnson’s day.  The mercurial Cat left the ground bleeding from the face, the match review panel will no doubt investigate.

North Melbourne did enough to notch up a comfortable win over Melbourne, 19.13.127 to 11.7.73.  The match did not reach any great heights, Drew Petrie played up the ground for the Kangaroos though finished with four goals, emerging fellow forward Robbie Tarrant finished with a bag of four as well.  The result could have been worse for the Dees, who would have been keen to put up a good showing for former captain Brad Green’s 250th, as North played well only in patches displaying their now trademark handball, run and quick movement of the ball.

Collingwood had no trouble against GWS, 26.18.174 to 7.12.54 the result.  The story of the match was the return to form of out of contract Collingwood forward Travis Cloke who finished with 6 goals straight, and had 21 touches.  Dane Swan had a blinder with 38 possessions, a handful of goals and likely 3 Brownlow votes.  Cloke, who has been linked to GWS much of the year, had his contract negotiations suspended with the Pies during the week.

Carlton just got over the line against the heartbreaking Richmond Tigers, 14.11.95 to 13.13.91 at the final siren, the Tigers having led by 13 late into the final term.  The loss was the third in a row by less than a goal for Richmond, and it ends their finals hopes.  The Blues stay in touch with the 8, with plenty of names to return in the run towards the finals.  The match was marred by skill errors all over the field, and was decided by a fluke goal from Brock McLean from the boundary line that evaded a marking contest and several defenders to spill over the back and through for a major.

In the other Saturday night match the Sydney Swans were impressive against the Gold Coast Suns, 19.12.126 to 8.6.54.  The win came at a price for the top-of-the-ladder Swans as they lost key forward Sam Reid with a knee injury in the first quarter and Adam Goodes with what appeared to be a thigh complaint.  Gary Ablett worked hard, amassing 42 touches, laying 9 tackles and kicking a goal.

Fremantle were expected to win and boost their percentage when they travelled to AAMI stadium to face Port Adelaide, they won and keep their finals aspirations in tact however the scoreline 11.9.75 to 6.12.48 reads as a lost opportunity.  The Dockers did not make the most of their dominance, and faded in the final quarter with an effort that coach Ross Lyon admitted was a bitter disappointment.

St Kilda continued the Western Bulldogs’ woes, 16.22.118 to 6.6.42.  The Dogs have dropped off completely after an impressive mid season run, and a competitive attitude earlier in the year.  St Kilda continue to do all they can to ensure a look at finals in 2012, they sit a game out of the 8 on equal points as Carlton but with a far superior percentage.  The Saints looked off the boil much of the first half, they were only 4 goals up at the major break, but they kicked 5 in a row in the third term to put the result beyond doubt.  Brendon Goddard was good in his 200th game, with a season high 33 touches.

The West Coast Eagles smashed the Lions in a much needed percentage bolstering performance, 28.7.175 to 12.5.77.  The Eagles were running on top of the ground even into the final term, where they kicked a stunning 11 goals to finish the game 98 points the better of a faltering Brisbane.  Darren Glass will come under scrutiny from the match review panel after he was reported for rough conduct against Lion Johnathan Brown.  Nic Naitanui shone with the best match of his career, in his best season so far.  He kicked 3 goals, had a bucket load of hitouts and 14 disposals in a wonderful display of his considerable talent.


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