Nine Things We Learned from AFL Round 23

What did we learn from Round 23?

Eagles might have blown it

Saturday night’s loss to the Hawks not only cost West Coast a shot at a home qualifying final, it cost them the double chance all together, as the Eagles plummeted to fifth spot and will now have to take on Essendon in an elimination final. Although they should still win that, the next month has become a lot harder for them, as now they’ll have to travel interstate three times if they are to win back to back flags. Before this week, the Eagles were my tip for the flag, now I’m all aboard the Tiger train.

Cameron deserves his prize

Jeremy Cameron’s big nine goal haul against the Suns on Saturday lifted him to 67 goals for the season to claim his first Coleman medal. Cameron has had a fantastic season, and will need another big effort next week, as his side takes on one of the form teams of the competition in the Western Bulldogs at home.

Melbourne needs a break more than anyone

In a season that promised so much, Melbourne has been the team that has disappointed more than any. Whilst we can talk about Adelaide, St. Kilda, Fremantle, Gold Coast and Port Adelaide as much as we like, there will never be enough time to talk about just how far the Demons fell this year, from a preliminary final right down to 17th, managing just five wins this season. It’ll be a long off season in Demon-land, as they try to figure out how the most miraculous of falls even occurred.

Richmond’s streak rolls on

A ninth straight victory for the Tigers in turn ended Brisbane’s nine game run, in a warmup match for next week’s qualifying final. Dustin Martin and co are looking very sharp moving forward and next week they travel north to face the Lions, this time on their home turf. In what should be an absolute classic, the Tigers will take Sunday’s win with them in confidence they can repeat the dose.

Who rated a zero for their Third Test performance?

Pies win gutsy and clinch a ‘home final’

Collingwood’s determined win against Essendon this week was something to be admired, but most importantly, it landed them in fourth spot on the ladder and has gifted them a golden opportunity to knock of the minor Premiers Geelong, with the final being played at Collingwood’s home ground, the MCG. Collingwood now all of a sudden after being nowhere only a few weeks ago is a real chance to host a Preliminary final, and they could seriously turn September on its head.

Cats gear up but improvement needed

As mentioned, Geelong have to play their home final next week at their opponent’s home ground. Although the Cats are a Victorian side, it’s still not quite the same, and although the AFL is a business that needs to make money, I’m sure I’m not the only one a little upset for Geelong after all the effort they’ve put in to becoming minor Premiers. Saturday’s win against Carlton was clinical and showed great skills. If they can bring that and a big crowd with them to the MCG, then perhaps they can prove they are the competition’s top side.

Power on but final game fizzles

There isn’t really a lot to say about Port Adelaide’s win over Fremantle this week. Thing’s went pretty much as expected and the result meant nothing except some pride. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the classic finish to the home and away season we were hoping for. But both sides will be big players in the off-season, and perhaps they will both be back in the hunt for finals in 2020.

Swans send stars out with style

A couple of great Swans names in Jack and McVeigh got to bow out as winners on Saturday. Although the Swans had easily their worst season in recent memory, The two legends were seen out with class as the team rallied for a comfortable win over St. Kilda and a quality display of footy to two quality men and football players. Best of luck in retirement gents.

The Dogs loom large

Another good win against Adelaide this week saw the Dogs leapfrog a few sides and drag themselves to 7th, the position they won their Premiership from in 2016. Although maybe a repeat of that is a little farfetched, the Bulldogs will look to be increasingly damaging in their first finals campaign since that flag. With the Giants looking a little limp, the Dogs can smell blood in week one, get through that match, and honestly there’s no limit to what they can produce. They’re definitely one to watch for September.

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