AFL Round 16 gave us thrillers, disruptions, beltings and nail biters and was a very entertaining weekend full of footy.
Time for a five-legged multi that we like to call afterwards, AFL Five Lessons Learned
(1) Bad kicking is bad football
Carlton and Sydney should have won at the weekend had it not been for their sad kicks in their respective third quarters.
The Blues scored 1 goal against the Saints on Friday night, trailing six in the third inning, and the Swans scoring just 2 goals, eight from 20 entries within 50.
They say the third quarter is Premiership quarter, but you won’t win flags kicking like that.
Instead, the Blues and Swans lost matches they should have won – comfortably and keeping the final race well in play.
(2) Death, Taxes, North to lose with 40+
They say there is no such thing as a dead certificate in the Punting game, but losing North by 40+ is akin to backing Winx.
Having barely managed to beat a West Coast WAFL team in Round 2, the Kangaroos have lost 11 consecutive games by more than 40 points and face Collingwood in the MCG on Saturday afternoon.
Much will be said about what goes on both on and off the field in Arden Street, but you can consider Collingwood 40+ for $1.35 a dead certificate*.
(Now that I’ve written this, the Magpies will probably win by 38 points instead)
(3) West Coast will ruin anyone’s hopes for the final
Finalists Carlton and St Kilda had better not head west expecting to collect the four points in the coming weeks when they face the west coast at the Optus Stadium in the coming weeks.
The days of the western percentage booster are over.
The West Coast’s covid and injury problems have cornered the Eagles who are virtually at full strength and currently playing very good football.
Since returning from the mid-season bye, the Eagles yesterday threatened Richmond in the MCG, defeated Essendon at home and hounded Geelong.
Adam Simpson and his men now look like a team that wants to ruin someone else’s season and they now have the cattle to do it.
Playing West Coast is no longer an easy win, it’s serious game with a banana peel.
(4) Rising Star is done and dusted.
We’ve often talked about this year’s Rising Star award being a Group 1 field, and while it is, it’s clear Nick Diacos will win it by the length of the Flemington straight.
For a guy who’s only played 14 games, Diacos managed 37 disposals, two-goal assists, seven scoring engagements, three evictions and eight rebounds 50s and an overall average of 32 disposals and 5.5 scoring engagements per game.
Don’t get us wrong, Jai Newcombe, Sam De Koning and Nic Martin along with a few others in the mix will be damn good players, but the purebred Collingwood bloodline Nick Diacos comes from makes him the standout this year.
Give him the car, savings account, stock portfolio or whatever the Rising Star is already winning!
(5) The top 8 is still in play, but it could just be
Having 10 teams still able to make the eight round 23 certainly keeps it interesting.
Carlton and Sydney both tried their best by losing to give Western Bulldogs fans hope there’s still a chance, but if you’ve kept Richmond, Sydney and St Kilda at 10-5 and heavy draws for other games, you can just about anything happen.
Some might like to think that we turned 10 into 8 this weekend and that we might be done from here, it’s just a matter of top 4 and bottom 4.
Getting the wins and percentage is key from here on out, but you already knew that.