Cameron Larkin .com

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

What a week it was – come from behinds, admirable individual performances, and several hammerings to end round 20 in the AFL. We are at the pointy end now and the heat is being turned up – can anyone challenge Geelong and Collingwood?

The Good:

Home ground Advantage: Geelong is unstoppable at home and on the weekend notched up their 29th consecutive win at home. It was also the second week in a row where the winning margin was over 150 points.

Collingwood’s AFL Dream Team results: If you’re into AFL Dream Team and had Collingwood players, you would have done very well this week. Dane Swan was the top-scoring Magpie with 155 points (37 disposals and 3 goals helped out) with 8 overall racking up greater than 100.

Buddy to the rescue:Tasmania on a cold and windy Sunday saw the Hawks play host to North and the pre-game hype that a good game was to ensue didn’t disappoint. The match went right down to the wire however it did look as though Hawthorn would runway with the win when they pulled out to a 21 point lead. Kangaroo’s midfielder Matt Campbell had other ideas though. Campbell, from his own boot, got his team back into the game and then a 2 point lead.

It then turned to Lance Franklin to step up. Buddy kicked 3 gaols in the final term including a 60 metre long-bomb to cap off the win. Special mentions to Burgoyne and Rick Ladson who performed a terrific smother which resulted in the Franklin sealer.

Matt Campbell: Single handedly brought the Kangaroo’s back from the shallow waters with 4 final term goals; awesome performance.

The return of D Kerr: On Sunday afternoon, Eagles fans welcomed the return of Daniel Kerr and Nic Nat and both produced first rate efforts. Kerr, however, was best afield. After spending 3 weeks on the sidelines due to soreness from hamstring surgery last year, the midfielder was central to the home side establishing a 34 point lead early in the game. When the siren sounded his state sheet read 34 possessions (15 contested) including 19 at the main break.

Swoop of the Crows: Adelaide made the journey north into Lions territory and managed to steal the chocolates from the hands of Brisbane after slotting home the final 4 goals in the final period.

The Bad:

Advantage rule: This has become a joke and the AFL must state they got it wrong and change this rule back to how it was. We have seen this rule frustrate players, coaches and fans, and in several situations, impact the outcome of the game.

Thrashings: The 2011 AFL season has this year resembled that of a country footy around the grounds wrap with regards to the final scores. On the weekend fans were witnesses to another slaughter with Geelong taking out the young boys from the Gold Coast minus their captain Garry Ablett Jnr; the end result being 150 points.

Collingwood destroyed Port Adelaide on Saturday night 159 to 21 – the Power was simply awful against the unyielding Magpies kicking 3.3 for the match.

Carlton was merciless against Melbourneand showed no sympathy towards them by tearing them apart for a 134 to 58 victory.

And to cap it off…the Eagles sent Richmond packing on the back of a 57 drubbing.

The following quote from Mick Malthouse sums it all up, “As a purist, you like to see games of football that are relatively even. I just think the score lines at the moment in AFL football have to be a worrying trend to the AFL. We are seeing far too much of this, this season. I think we might murder our game in its present state.”

Taming of the Lions: The smile on Mark Bickley’s face at the moment must be from ear to ear with a head coach record of 2 wins from 2 starts; that record looked like being 1 and 1 in the last quarter when they were looking at a deficit of 22 points. The Crows kicked the final 4 goals of the clash to grab the 110 to 105 victory. Bickley executed a terrific move with Graham Johncock moved forward and slotting through a goal. Bickley said in his post-game media conference, “When I asked them for an effort in the last quarter I looked into their eyes and the belief was there. For me, that was the highlight, they never stopped believing’.

The Ugly:

The un-mighty Dees: Melbourne went into the game with a lot to play for and much more to make up to their fans from the previous week’s effort against the Cats at Skilled. The first quarter was promising but it all changed come the second quarter bounce. Carlton’s midfield was merely dominant with Judd leading from the front with a goal to open and then close the second period after a big tackle; the margin,Carlton by 58 points.

Melbourne had its chances during the game, especially in the first quarter with easy goals missed. They weren’t able to put scoreboard pressure on the Blues and allowed them to run away with the 4 points.

Overall it was a bad day for Melbourne with a sickening injury to one of its young defenders James Strauss – hopefully he has a successful recovery and returns to the field down the track.

Port Adelaide: It was like a u/16’s team taking on the seniors at training in a Thursday night scrimmage. It was painful to watch with the only score for the first quarter coming from a rushed behind. The end result of 3.3 (21) was the club’s lowest score since joining the AFL.

It was also disappointing to see Chad Cornes go out on that note; he has been an excellent player for the Power and didn’t serve that performance from his team-mates.

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