Saturday of Round Six saw four games contested across the country, with GWS and Brisbane earning bragging rights in their particular cross-town rivalries, while Adelaide and Fremantle continued their winning ways. On the other side of the ledger, St Kilda and Gold Coast both stumbled after positive starts to the season, a Buddy-less Swans continued to flounder and the Bulldogs losing streak extended to four games.
Five Things we Learned
There is life in the Crows
They may not be firing on all cylinders just yet, but the Crows showed they still could be a team to be reckoned with in 2019 after a hard earned victory over the previously high flying Saints. Tex Walker had a big game with four goals, Rory Laird was influential at the other end and Matt Crouch accumulated 36 possessions. They were dominant in the middle, finishing the match with a plus 20 differential in contested possessions which saw them dominate after quarter time.
St Kilda and Gold Coast still have some work to do.
After recording fast starts to 2019, both the Saints and Suns were disappointing in Round Six. Gold Coast couldn’t fire a shot in the second half of their Q-Clash with the Lions after being in a winnable position at half-time. Similarly, the Saints were outclassed after quarter-time against the Crows following a dominant first quarter. With difficult engagements in Round Seven, St Kilda face GWS and Gold Coast play West Coast in Perth, they will need to learn their lessons quickly if they are to have any chance of quickly getting back on the winners’ list.
There is only one team in Sydney.
The Giants victory over Sydney improved their record to 4 & 2 but perhaps more tellingly, it consigned the Swans to a 1 & 5 start to the season. The Swans were competitive for large parts of the contest but the Giants were too slick and too strong and ran out 41 point victors. It means that GWS finds themselves in the crush of teams jostling at the top of the ladder while their cross-town rivals are no longer have a realistic chance to play finals in 2019.
Lachie Neale might be the recruit of the year.
One of the biggest recruiting coups of the past off-season was the Lions acquisition of Lachie Neale. The former Docker illustrated this fact once again during his first Q-Clash against the Suns. A class above everyone else on the ground, Neale helped himself to 28 possessions and kicked a goal. He won six clearances, three of which resulted in Lions goals.
Lyon’s rebuild might be near completion
While it is true they were pushed all the way by the Bulldogs at Optus Stadium, Lyon’s Dockers now find themselves 4 & 2 after six rounds and at the pointy end of the AFL ladder. After a number of disappointing seasons, Fremantle has set themselves up for the season ahead after a much-publicised rebuild on the run. Just how sturdy the foundations are will be tested in the next three weeks with matches against Adelaide, Richmond and Essendon sure to give us an insight into just where they truly sit.
AFL ROUND SIX
PORT ADELAIDE 5.2 7.7 10.9 12.16 (88)
NORTH MELBOURNE 2.3 3.3 6.6 11.6 (72)
Port Adelaide: S.Gray 4, Ebert 2, Ryder, Duursma, Westhoff, Boak, Rozee, Lycett
North Melbourne: Larkey 3, Ziebell 2, Hall 2, Zurhaar, Polec, Wood, Turner
Port Adelaide: Boak, S.Gray, Rozee, Howard, Ebert, Wines
North Melbourne: Cunnington, Anderson, Ziebell, Goldstein, Wood, Larkey
Port Adelaide: Jonas (calf tightness) replaced in selected side by Lienert
North Melbourne: Higgins (virus) replaced in selected side by Hrovat, McDonald (knee)
Umpires: Donlon, Nicholls, Gianfagna
Official crowd: 36,099 at Adelaide Oval