We’ve been mightily impressed with Port Adelaides kids this year. Lots of fast running, lots of cheeky goal celebrations and a few big grabs to get us all excited. So who knew that even after Xavier Duursma, Zak Butters and Connor Rozee, there would be more? Port has three new players this week with debutants Joel Garner and Peter Ladhams joining former Lion Sam Mayes on an extended bench.
Strangely Ladhams is the ruckman here, not Joel Garner although Ladhams is unlikely to get a run unless one of Lycett or Ryder is a late out. Gold Coast have named two debutants on their extended bench with number six draft pick Ben King named alongside Jez McLennan.
Backs to the wall
Both Richmond and Hawthorn have been hit by injuries and both faced tough tasks last week in games many predicted they would lose. Hawthorn’s huge win keeping GWS to only five goals stood out but Richmond win in WA against a fast moving Dockers was not far behind in a hostile environment.
Neither team advanced on the ladder but were able to recover from losses the previous week.This week is the proverbial eight point game for both teams. A win for Hawthorn and they could be sitting in the eight at the end of the round, whereas a win for Richmond could lock them into the top four
It’s an early call but if there is any a time that you’d like to have your best defenders fit, it’s coming up against Coleman Medal favourite Jeremy Cameron. He’s had a quiet couple of weeks but against a Blues backline missing Liam Jones and now Williamson and Plowman, Cameron could end up with a big bag and increase his lead at the top of the goal scorers’ table.
Carlton were gallant last week and could so easily have snatched a win against the Pies and we will soon see how they will respond against a Giants outfit missing Coniglio but potentially with some big ins including Whitfield, Deledio and Mumford.
We’ve been watching the MRO with some interest this year. Michael Christian as a Collingwood premiership centre half back was solid and consistent. In his role as Match Review Officer his rulings have been at best inconsistent and at worst contrived.
Despite the singular nature of his title, clearly someone at the AFL is pulling strings here. Gary Ablett has had two clear infractions deemed insufficient force. To add to the confusion, another Brownlow medallist in Nat Fyfe escapes sanction. No fine, nothing.