Round 16 Milestones and Memories (Part 1)

Unlike round 15, where all but two of the games had a direct impact on both teams’ final chances, round 16 only has four games in which either team playing increases or threatens their finals chances depending on the outcome of the game.

The first of these is Thursday night’s blockbuster between Brisbane and Western Bulldogs.

Brisbane had fallen from the top to third as a result of the beating thrown at them by a rejuvenated Melbourne, who are getting their year back on track after three weeks of turmoil off the pitch.

The Lions bounced back from the belt to defeat the Western Bulldogs – one of the current teams.

Dayne Zorko passed a fitness test and took the field for his 222nd game, meaning he is now the eponymous 11th best player with hybrid Lions and Bears player Daniel Bradshaw.

Jarrod Berry’s 100th game puts him at equal 55th among the combined Brisbane players and equal with Cheynee Stiller.

Bulldogs champion Jack Macrae will play his 200th game for the Bulldogs, the 26th player to do so.

Jackson Macrae of the Bulldogs watches handball

(Photo by Steve Bell/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

That equates to the number of matches played by Norm Ware, a great ruckman who came from Sale and who in 1938 was vice-captain of the club in the first finals, winning the best and fairest five times.

Friday night’s game is also a crucial game for Carlton (fifth) and St Kilda (tenth). The Blues’ main backman, Jacob Weitering, is expected to miss again this week and this will jeopardize his chances of becoming a top 100 player at Carlton in the 2022 season.

Weitering has nine more games to play to join Eric Huxtable (1930-1938) and Jack Conley (1944-1952) on Carlton’s elite roster in a tie at 99th position and after this week there are only seven rounds left.

He will therefore have to play every game and at least two finals to make it to this AFL season. If he does, he will (in theory) join two other current players in the top 100 games played.

But as one of those current players is Ed Curnow and he hasn’t played a game this year, it’s left to Patrick Cripps to carry the flag on his own and this week he’ll be leveling with Simon Beaumont (1995-2003), who in 1999 kicked eight goals in the first half of a match against Collingwood.

The Saints can put up with Dan Hannebery, who has made just 15 appearances for the club in three years, but would make a huge difference if he made it to the park, which still seems unlikely.

However, Jack Billings would have to play his 149th game and quickly climb into the Saints’ top 100, leveling with Clinton Jones (2009-2014), Neil Besanko (1968-1977) and Bill Cubbins, who started just three months after his death in 1915. 16th birthday, but then enlisted in the military even though he was a minor.

He returned to St Kilda in 1919 and became captain of the club in 1922. Cubbins was then deputy to St Kilda great Dave McNamara, but was again captain for part of 1925 and all of 1926.

He crossed over to Warrnambool in 1927, but was back at St Kilda in 1928 and 1929 as captain. In 1930 he became captain-coach.