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AFL Review Round 7
Saints crush Collingwood; Fremantle make it three wins in a row
Michael Clough (clough)     Print Article 
Published 2009-05-12 08:17 (KST)   
Outside of St. Kilda and Geelong at the top of the table and Richmond and Melbourne at the bottom, there is still little separating the bulk of the sides in the Australian Football League after seven rounds but there have been question marks placed on both Hawthorn and Carlton after the pair suffered surprise losses in the weekend's matches.

This round also saw the AFL make a rare foray into Monday night matches with the league testing the waters of alternative slots given the league plans to expand the competition to 18 teams in the coming years.

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Essendon Bombers 17.14.116 defeated Hawthorn Hawks 10.12.72

Hawthorn's title defence has hit another hurdle with the Hawks on the wrong end of a 44 point belting at the hands of Essendon at Etihad Stadium.

After seven games of what Hawks captain Sam Mitchell described as a "diabolical" start to the season Hawthorn sit outside of the top eight with only three wins.

While the Hawks are struggling, credit must be given to the Bombers who played bold football and clearly the better side from the outset.

After Hawthorn scored the opening goal it was the Bombers who made the most of their opportunities in the opening quarter. Essendon kicked the next four goals to lead by 12 points at quarter time, the Bombers cause helped by Hawthorn's inaccuracy near goal with the Hawks scoring a miserable 1.8 for the term.

Hawthorn started to hit their straps in the second quarter and took the lead after 11 minutes after kicking three unanswered goals after quarter time. Goals to Angus Monfries, one of the Bombers best on the night and Nathan Lovett-Murray restored Essendon advantage but late goals to Cyril Rioli and Lance Franklin saw the Hawks with their noses in front at half time with a one point lead.

The second half would belong to Essendon who kicked away in the third quarter kicking six goals to three for the quarter to be 17 points up at the final change. The result looked to be in Essendon safe keeping midway through the final quarter as both side could only add a goal each in the first 15 minutes but the Bombers would rub salt in the Hawks wounds by kicking the last four goals of the game.

Geelong Cats 17.14.116 defeated Sydney Swans 10.5.65

Geelong's unbeaten run has continued for another week with Cats having few troubles in disposing of Sydney with a 51 point win at Skilled Stadium.

After a low scoring, tight first quarter which saw only a goal to each side the Cats laid the foundations of their victory in the second term with the home side slamming home seven goals to lead by 27 points at the main change.

Steve Johnson was the Cats chief destroyer in the first half with the enigmatic forward scoring all his four goals in the opening two quarters.

Sydney launched a brief fightback at the start of the third term with three of the first four goals to narrow the gap to 15 points but the Swans challenge was quickly quashed with the Cats finishing the quarter strongly with the last three goals before the change to hold a commanding 36 point lead with the home side cruising to victory in the final quarter.

Brisbane Lions 15.7.97 defeated Richmond Tigers 10.11.71

Brisbane have recorded a rare victory in Melbourne with the Lions running over the top of lowly Richmond to record a 26 point win in Saturday's clash at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Brisbane captain Jonathon Brown led from the front for his side, the centre half forward taking 11 marks and kicking four goals with fellow premiership Lions Simon Black and Luke Power also prominent with 24 and 27 possessions respectively.

The Tigers made a strong start to the game with the first four goals of the game. It took Brisbane 26 minutes to post their first goal from Jared Brennan with Richmond leading by 19 points at first change.

The Tigers lead by as much as 25 points in the second term before the Lions finally clicked with Brown instigating Brisbane's revival with two quick goals in the middle stages of the term. Further goals to Daniel Bradshaw and Scott Harding saw the Lions cut the deficit to a solitary point and half time.

Scoring chances were limited in the third quarter as both sides getting numbers back into defence. Brisbane could only manage two goals for the quarter while an error laden Richmond could only manage one goal shortly before the three quarter time siren to Troy Simmonds. The most noteworthy event of the term was a sickening head clash between Brisbane's Troy Selwood and Richmond rookie Alex Rance with the collision leaving both motionless on the ground. Neither player took any further part in the game and Rance was taken to the nearby Epworth Hospital with scans showing three fractures to his cheekbone from the collision.

Holding a three point lead at the final change, the Lions ran over the top of an increasingly hapless Tigers. The visitors quickly put the result beyond doubt with the first five goals of the final term to lead by 32 points up by the 13th minute and from their Brisbane were never challenged.

Fremantle Dockers 13.10.88 defeated Carlton Blues 11.15.81

Fremantle have won their third game in succession with the Dockers causing the second upset of the weekend with a seven point win over Carlton at Carrara on Queensland's Gold Coast.

While the match was played at a neutral venue, the game was a Carlton home game, the Blues taking the game against the low crowd drawing Dockers to the smaller Carrara ground purely for the money. It will be a decision that Carlton may now regret after their worst performance of the year so far, the final margin flattering the Blues who were completely outplayed by a far more determined Dockers.

Despite having the better of general play in the opening quarter, Fremantle lead by only two points at quarter with both side kicking three goals apiece. The Dockers started to enjoy the fruits of their labour in the second quarter with the Dockers kicking the first three goals of the quarter to lead by 21 points. As poor as they were Carlton still managed to hang on and narrowed the gap to seven points heading towards the time-on period. Fremantle still had the answers for every challenge the Blues could throw at them and push their lead back out to 19 points.

A late Jarrad Waite goal had reduced the margin to 13 points at the main change and Blues made a good start to the third term but wasted their chances near goal, opening the quarter with five straight behinds. Goals to Dean Solomon and David Mundy then rubbed salt into the Blues wounds as the Dockers moved 21 points clear.

In an ugly final quarter the Dockers managed to keep the Blues at arm's length throughout without ever looking like running away with the game, the opening goal of the final term to Ryan Crowley giving the Dockers enough breathing space.

North Melbourne Kangaroos 20.5.125 defeated Port Adelaide Power 18.12.120

North Melbourne has got their campaign back on track after a thrilling five point win over Port Adelaide in front of a paltry crowd of only 14,342 at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.

The Kangaroos looked to have the match sewn up when they led by 30 points deep into the final quarter but the Power came home with a wet sail with four goals in the space of five minutes to nearly pull off a remarkable victory.

The goals were shared around by both sides with the Kangaroos having 12 individual goalkickers and the Power 11.

Earlier North Melbourne had made a strong start, racing to a 13 point lead after 10 minutes in the opening quarter. It took Port a while to settle but they soon levelled the scores with goals to veterans Brendan Lade and Warren Tredrea.

The Kangaroos led by a goal at quarter time but kicked away in the second term. After conceding the first goal to Port's David Rodan, North Melbourne skipped clear with the next six goals of the contest including two to Aaron Edwards which helped the home side hold a convincing 31 point lead at the main change.

North Melbourne still led by 30 points after Lindsay Thomas goaled in the 25th minute of the third quarter but the visitors began to lift with the Power staying in touch with late goals to Tredrea, Brett Ebert and Chad Cornes to trail by only 13 points at three quarter time.

Goals to Thomas and Ed Lower pushed North's lead past four goals once again but once more the Power threw down the gauntlet with another two of their own to Travis Boak and Dean Brogan. Three straight and North Melbourne looked like they had done enough to secure victory but Port Adelaide threw caution to the wind and went on the attack but their four goal run to end the game wasn't enough with the Kangaroos holding on for a morale boosting win.

Western Bulldogs 17.16.118 defeated Adelaide Crows 12.14.86

The Western Bulldogs are back on the winners list after three straight losses after their impressive 32 point win over Adelaide at AAMI Stadium.

After a tight contested first half the Bulldogs kicked clear in the third quarter to run out convincing winners which sees the Bulldogs move up to third on the AFL ladder.

The Doggies had plenty of winners on the day with Brownlow Medalists Jason Akermanis (17 possessions) and Adam Cooney (29 possessions) among the better players for the victors with the Bulldogs also getting valuable contributions from veterans Brad Johnson and Nathan Eagleton.

The first half was a tightly contested affair with neither side able to build any great momentum. Neither of the two side was able to string together more than one goal in a row and a goal to Eagleton shortly before half time gave the visitors a one point lead at the main break.

The trend of both sides exchanging goals was broken early in the third quarter with Akermanis kicking truly in the second minute and adding his second minutes later to give the Bulldogs a 10 point lead. A further four goals to stretch the Bulldogs run to seven unanswered goals saw them bolt clear of their opponents with Bulldogs 36 points up. A goal to young Crows forward Taylor Walker did little to halt the Bulldogs charge with further goals to Robert Murphy and Eagleton giving the Doggies a 45 point lead with a quarter to play.

With victory out of reach the Crows did fight the game out in the final term, at one stage reducing the deficit to 25 points before the Bulldogs lifted again to shut the home side out of the contest.

West Coast Eagles 12.18.90 defeated Melbourne Demons 13.4.82

West Coast have recorded their third win for the season, the Eagles holding off a determined Melbourne by eight points at Subiaco on Sunday.

The result was in the balance right up until late in the final quarter.

West Coast only had two multiple goal scorers for the afternoon with Mark LeCras kicking four goals and Adam Hunter kicking two. Brad Miller was the Demons only multiple goal scorer with three.

For the second week in a row Melbourne let a goal slip through in the opening seconds with Ben McKinley kicking the Eagles opening goal after only 16 seconds. Goal though would be a rare commodity in the opening term with only three kicks with the home side kicking two of those to hold a nine point lead at quarter time.

The goals flowed more freely in the second term with the match still remained tight. West Coast led by as much as 16 points after 13 minutes of the term before Melbourne lifted to kick three of their own to grab the lead. The Eagles regained the advantage with two quick goals to Dean Cox and Adam Selwood but the Demon got one back on the stroke of half time Matthew Bate saw the home side lead by only four points at the main change.

Melbourne skipped 11 points clear early in the third quarter with the first three goals of the second half including two to Russell Robertson but staring down the barrel of shock defeat the Eagles responded with four of their own and at the final change led by 15 points.

Melbourne scored the vital opening goal of the final quarter to keep the visitors within striking distance before Chris Masten steadied for the Eagles in what would prove to be their last goal for the game.

Two goals to Ricky Petterd had Melbourne within single figures but in a nervous final 10 minutes for both sides the Demons couldn't edge their way closer with Darren Glass standing tall for the Eagles in defence.

St. Kilda Saints 20.8.128 defeated Collingwood Magpies 5.10.40

The rampaging St. Kilda have claimed another scalp with the awesome Saints humiliating a hapless Collingwood in the final game of Round 7 at Etihad Stadium on Monday night.

The Saints sit on top of the AFL ladder, undefeated and with an incredible percentage of 208.2 percent with St. Kilda misery defence having conceded only 378 points for the season so far with Geelong the next best team defensively with 535 points against their name.

The Magpies forward line stocks looked bare with in the absence of Leon Davis (ill), Paul Medhurst (injured) and John Anthony (suspended) and it showed with the Magpies looking anemic in attack against a red hot St. Kilda defence.

St. Kilda led by 11 points at quarter time having kicked three goals to one but really turned the screws in the second quarter. There was little Collingwood do to halt the Saints charge as the ladder leaders slammed home six goals while restricting the Magpies to two behinds to put the result beyond doubt by half time with a 49 point lead at the main change.

Anthony Rocca ended Collingwood's goal drought within a minute of play restarting in the third term but it did little to halt the Saints who added a further six goals to one for the quarter with St. Kilda moving 73 points clear at the final change before coasting in the final quarter to simplest of wins.

©2009 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Michael Clough

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