COBURG 16.6 (102)
GOLD COAST 11.12 (78)
COBURG honoured co-captain Ryan Exon in the best possible way with a withering second-quarter burst springboarding it past Smithy’s VFL finals contender Gold Coast by 24 points at Piranha Park on Sunday.
Exon, the heart-and-soul of the Lions for six years, produced his typical gutsy effort in the backline in his 100th VFL game, and his teammates lifted for him to record their best victory in recent memory.
The Lions led by two points at quarter-time after the Suns wasted chances but the visitors kicked three of the first four after the break to edge 10 points clear and look like they were taking control.
Then the home team roared like it hasn’t done in a long time, piling on seven unanswered goals including five in eight minutes to finish with nine for the quarter and take a 32-point lead into the main break.
Gold Coast gradually pegged back the deficit, drawing within six points 12½ minutes into the final term, but Coburg had the answer again, with Charlie Thompson’s third starting a match-sealing run of four goals in a row.
The Lions’ score of 16.6 (102) represents the first time they have kicked 100 points in a game since their 15.12 (102) in a losing cause against North Melbourne on July 21, 2019, and the first time they have done it in a win since kicking 20.18 (138) against Frankston on April 21, 2019.
Thompson was best-on-ground in a brilliant performance that netted him 29 disposals, six clearances, six tackles and four goals, while impressive youngster Flynn Gentile (29, seven clearances, six inside-50s, nine tackles, two goals) and Mitch Podhajski (26, eight marks, seven rebound-50s, one goal) weren’t far behind, Corey Ellis (22, five marks, five clearances, nine entries, five tackles) made a welcome return to form, Edyn Sibbald kicked three goals and Adam Swierzbiolek had 35 hitouts and seven clearances.
Brayden Fiorini (34 possessions, nine clearances, nine entries, nine tackles) stood out for the Suns, with Ned Moyle (18, seven marks, 32 hitouts, six clearances, five rebounds), Rory Atkins (21, six marks, one goal) and Jeremy Sharp (20, five marks, six entries, one goal) also firing Sam Day (nine marks, four goals) and Frosty Miller Medal leader Chris Burgess (three goals) doing their job in attack.
Jack Lukosius gathered 10 touches in his return from injury for the Suns.
FRANKSTON 18.10 (118)
GEELONG 9.8 (62)
FRANKSTON finally reproduced what VFL watchers know it is capable of as it ambushed Geelong by 56 points in a Saturday night boilover at Skybus Stadium.
The Dolphins have been inconsistent this year, including being blown away by a powerful Southport team last week, but they turned it on in front of a cold but raucous crowd under their lights against a Cats team that only fielded seven AFL-listed players and were powerless to stop the onslaught.
Frankston made an early break with five goals in 14 minutes through the middle of the first quarter to lead by 18 at the first break, but there was little sign of what was to come.
The Cats kicked the first goal of the second quarter but were then rendered bystanders as the Dolphins piled on the next 12, including five in the last nine minutes of the third quarter to blow the margin out to a remarkable 89 points turning for home.
Geelong dominated the last quarter, booting 5.10 to 1.1 to slice the final margin inside 10 goals, but the home team was cruising to the line as it recorded its first win over the Cats at Frankston Park since 2005, first victory anywhere since 2008 after 11 straight losses, and only its fifth in 25 head-to-head contests.
Full back Taylin Duman was unstoppable for Frankston, seemingly having his own footy as he racked up a stunning 43 disposals, 15 marks, five clearances and seven rebounds, while Trent Mynott revelled in a permanent forward role to kick five goals from 16 touches and nine marks alongside regular full-forward Brodie McLaughlin (16, nine marks, 4.1).
Will Fordham (24, two goals), Bill Mackay (20, two goals), Josh Begley (18, nine marks, two goals), Josh Newman (23, six marks) and Connor Riley (23, six tackles) starred through the middle, Will Arthurson (22, nine rebounds) provided great support for Duman, Bailey Lambert (22, nine marks) was released to a wing and produced his best game of the season, Colby Nayna laid 11 tackles and Austin Bradtke won 20 hitouts filling in for James Rendell, who suffered an ankle injury in the first term.
Jye Chalcraft (24, eight clearances, 11 tackles) continued his fine season for the Cats, with support from Mitch Knevitt (21, seven clearances, six inside-50s), Scott Carlin (18) and Francis Evans (14, 10 tackles, two goals) but Geelong fell to a third straight loss despite winning hitouts (58-31) and clearances (42-38) while squaring inside-50s (41-41), with the Dolphins having a whopping 120 more disposals.
RICHMOND 11.14 (80)
COLLINGWOOD 12.12 (84)
COLLINGWOOD’s amazing penchant for getting over the line in close games was on display once again as it edged out Richmond by four points in another Swinburne Centre epic on Sunday.
The Magpies won their seventh consecutive match decided by under 10 points dating back to an eight-point reverse against Williamstown in Round 16, 2019, as they extended their undefeated run at Punt Rd Oval to five games since 1894 – amazingly their four wins in the VFL era have been by three, two, five and now four points.
On this occasion, the Tigers looked in good shape when they led by 18 points at quarter-time before Collingwood fought back to hit the front midway through the third term, setting up a thrilling second half where the lead changed eight times including six in the last term.
Trent Bianco was the hero for the Magpies sharking a marking contest in the goalsquare and kicking the winning goal at the 25-minute mark to break a four-game losing streak that has seen his team slip out of the eight.
Bianco’s matchwinner capped off a terrific game that yielded 26 disposals, seven marks and two goals, with Finlay Macrae (29, nine clearances, five entries, one goal) NAB AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft selection Josh Carmichael (25, five marks, five clearances, eight entries), Sam Fowler (17, six marks, six entries, three goals), Caleb Poulter and Neville Jetta (23, nine marks each) and Tyler (23, six clearances) and Callum Brown (20, seven marks) also shining.
The only downside for Collingwood was the sight of No.2 rookie draft pick Charlie Dean (eight disposals, four rebounds) on crutches after the game with an ankle injury suffered in his first game for the club after a long-term foot problem.
Matt Parker (29, eight marks, 10 clearances), Tyler Sonsie (31, five marks, five clearances) and Thomson Dow (26, five marks, six clearances, five entries) were Richmond’s best, while Jake Aarts (23, five marks, five rebounds, one goal), Rhyan Mansell (22, six marks) and Will Martyn (20, five marks, five rebounds) also worked hard.
GWS GIANTS 14.7 (91)
BOX HILL HAWKS 7.18 (60)
GWS climbed back into the top eight after jumping Box Hill Hawks to win by 31 points at a soggy Giants Stadium on Sunday.
With torrential rain having been falling in Sydney again, clean ball handling was going to be vital, and it was the Giants who handled the conditions better, slamming on six goals to one in the opening term to all-but put the contest to bed.
The margin hovered between 27 and 47 points for the rest of the day as the home team was never threatened despite only having 21 scoring shots to 25 as the Hawks sprayed 7.18 a week after conceding the first 10 goals to Footscray.
Braydon Preuss monstered the Hawks in the ruck, finishing with 16 disposals, six marks, 43 hitouts, five clearances, six inside-50s, six tackles and a goal, handing first use to a dominant Josh Green (30 possessions, 11 clearances, five entries, six tackles), while Jarrod Brander (29, 10 marks) again proved himself above the level, Jake Stein (27, eight marks, 11 rebounds) and Ryan Hebron (22, nine marks, five rebounds, one goal) were brilliant in defence and Will Shaw snagged three goals.
Jacob Hopper made a strong return from a four-month knee injury, gathering 18 disposals, five clearances, five entries and a goal.
Josh Ward (27, eight clearances, five tackles, one goal) and Finn Maginness (28, five clearances, five entries) relished the wet conditions, with Dan Howe (21, five marks, one goal), Mason De Wit (19, six rebounds), Callum Porter (11 tackles) and the returning Jaylon Thorpe (six marks, 1.4) also having their moments, the latter clunking a typical Jumpin’ Jaylon speccy.
NORTHERN BULLANTS 9.8 (62)
WILLIAMSTOWN 13.9 (87)
WILLIAMSTOWN remembered how to play Williamstown footy as it outclassed a disappointing Northern Bullants by 25 points in a highlight-laden clash at Genis Steel Oval on Sunday.
Joel Ottavi reached to the clouds for a grab in front of the grandstand that rivalled almost any seen in recent years and Corey Preston put in his own nomination in virtually the same spot only a quarter later, while Seagulls Daly Andrews, Teia Miles and Noah Gown twice and Bullants Tynan Smith, Jean-Luc Velissaris and Mackenzie Doreian all kicked spectacular goals.
But around the ground it was Williamstown who blitzed the first half, tackling with intent and using the ball well to kick six goals to two in the first term and another four to two in the second to lead by 35 points at half-time.
The Seagulls pushed out to 42 points with the first goal of the second half before the Bullants finally got some skin in the game, but despite overturning a 50-disposal deficit and winning both quarters they could only take 10 points off the half-time margin.
Miles was again magnificent with his reading of the play in defence, winning 29 disposals including nine rebounds, taking nine marks and kicking a goal, while Liam Hunt (28, nine clearances, six tackles), Nick Mellington (22, seven clearances, five inside-50s, six tackles) and Brayden Monk (21, five marks, five clearances, eight entries) found their best form through the middle and Gown was outstanding in attack to kick three classy goals.
Tom Downie was a behemoth around the ground for Williamstown with 22 disposals, nine marks, seven clearances, five inside-50s, six tackles and a goal as he shaded a terrific battle with lion-hearted Bullants youngster Liam Podhajski, who matched the experienced big man’s 26 hitouts and finished with 16 possessions, five marks, five clearances and six inside-50s.
Jackson Barling (28 disposals, five marks, 11 clearances, nine tackles) regularly put himself at the coalface in Preston's famous PFC monogram and won eight free kicks, Velissaris (20, seven marks, three goals) and Tom Wilson (27, seven marks, six inside-50s, seven rebounds, one goal) were outstanding all day, Will Mitchell (30, nine clearances) had a huge second half and Doug Lawrence (14, seven rebounds) was much better at full-back than his numbers indicate as he waged a running battle with Corey Rich and held Ottavi to 1.2.
ESSENDON 5.9 (39)
SYDNEY 14.14 (98)
SYDNEY climbed into the top four for the first time after ending Essendon’s four-match winning streak with an easy 59-point win at Windy Hill.
In the Bombers’ 250th home game, the almost full-strength Swans outfit did it easily against an undermanned home team, kicking five, four and four goals to two, zero and one across the first three quarters to lead by as much as 72 points early in the last before conceding the last two majors as they cruised to the line.
Harry Cunningham was simply unstoppable in his first State league game since 2017, roaming across half-back to pick off 15 marks and have 38 disposals including five inside-50s and six rebounds with support from the excellent Will Gould (21, seven marks, five rebounds).
James Bell (34, nine marks, five entries, six tackles, one goal), Lewis Taylor (33, 12 marks, five clearances, one goal) and Sam Wicks (28, seven marks, five entries, one goal) linked up well through the midfield, Matt Roberts (24, five clearances, Angus Sheldrick (22, seven inside-50s, eight tackles) and ruckman Peter Ladhams (24, 19 hitouts, nine clearances, one goal) also impressed and Hayden McLean was brilliant with four first-half goals and late inclusion Harry Morrison booted three.
Stefan Rasinac (27, eight clearances, six inside-50s, seven tackles, two goals) was easily Essendon’s best player, with Brad Bernacki (23, eight clearances) also on song, youngster Joel Fitzgerald (19, five rebounds, five tackles) continuing to improve and Cody Brand (16, five rebounds) fighting back well on McLean after the main break.
BRISBANE LIONS 14.14 (98)
FOOTSCRAY 10.13 (73)
BRISBANE Lions consolidated their own top four spot in a convincing 25-point victory over Footscray at Red Rooster Park on Friday.
The Lions grabbed the initiative with a powerful but wasteful 6.7 to 3.1 first term and never let the Bulldogs get closer than two goals for the rest of the day, with the decisive move being five goals in a row either side of half-time.
Ball magnet Rhys Mathieson racked them up again, finishing with another 39 possessions, five marks, a stunning 15 clearances and seven inside-50s and Darcy Fort controlled the ruck with 20 disposals, 36 hitouts, 10 clearances, five rebounds and a goal, while Mitch Robinson (26, five marks, seven inside-50s, nine tackles, one goal), Nakia Cockatoo (23, two goals), Ely Smith (23, six entries, one goal) and Darcy Wilmot (24, five marks) were all crucial.
Captain Lachie Sullivan again led from the front for the Bulldogs with 26 disposals and seven clearances, with support coming from Louis Butler (26, five tackles, one goal), Riley Garcia (24, seven entries, six tackles, one goal), Toby McLean (24, five tackles), Luke Cleary (20, five marks, six rebounds) and Lachlan McNeil (three goals).
WERRIBEE 15.15 (105)
NORTH MELBOURNE 9.4 (58)
WERRIBEE hit back from its disappointing performance against Port Melbourne last week to overrun North Melbourne by 47 points at Avalon Airport Oval on Saturday.
The Kangaroos put the pressure on for a quarter and a half, leading by a point until Tigers captain Tom Gribble broke through for his 50th VFL goal after several weeks of trying, with the home team going on to kick 10 of the last 14 goals to edge into the top eight for the first time this season.
Reigning Liston medallist Gribble was in stunning form once again, knocking up 41 disposals, seven marks, 12 clearances, five inside-50s, 11 tackles and that goal, with his little brother Noah also sparkling with 24 possessions and nine marks, and Louis Pinnuck (21, 10 marks, eight rebounds), Keegan Gray (25, six marks, five inside-50s), Matt Hanson (24, six marks, five clearances, six entries, one goal) and Jack Hendrson (24, six marks, six tackles) also sparkling.
Kye Declase dominated his wing with 19 touches, six marks and three goals, Logan Wagener and Jay Dahlhaus kicked three each and Hudson Garoni plucked 10 grabs and booted two goals.
Callum Coleman-Jones wasn’t far behind Tom Gribble for best-on-ground offers with a herculean effort in a losing cause, finishing with 24 disposals, five marks, 34 hitouts, eight clearances, six inside-50s, four rebounds and five tackles.
Marty Hore (27, five marks, 10 rebounds), Flynn Perez (23, five marks, six rebounds), Josh Goater (19, six marks, eight tackles), Jack Watkins (19, seven entries) and Eddie Ford (16, five marks, three goals) also put in strong shifts for the Kangaroos.
CASEY DEMONS 18.11 (119)
PORT MELBOURNE 8.13 (61)
CASEY Demons moved to 13-0 and three games clear on top of the ladder after shaking off a concerted challenge from Port Melbourne to win by 58 points at Casey Fields on Saturday.
The Demons were under the pump early after the Borough kicked four of the first five goals to lead by 20 points, and it took until a Jimmy Munro goal 19 minutes into the second quarter to catch up as the visitors continued their impressive mid-season form.
But after Cody Szust kicked his third goals for Port to level the scores a third time nine minutes into the third quarter, the Demons finally clicked into gear, slamming on the next eight goals and 11 of the final 12 to run away with a margin that was a little unfair to the Borough’s efforts.
Kade Chandler had a day out for Casey, earning an equal game-high 29 possessions and adding six marks, five entries and five goals to put himself firmly back in Simon Goodwin’s selection conversation, with Oskar Baker (24, 11 marks, seven entries), Luke Dunstan (23, eight clearances, six entries, one goal) and Trent Rivers (19, six marks, one goal) also important.
Szust was magnificent for Port Melbourne with 21 disposals, five inside-50s and three goals, with Nash Holmes (25, 10 clearances, one goal), Eli Templeton (28, five marks, five clearances), Marcus Lentini (23, eight clearances, one goal), Harvey Hooper (29), Ethan Phillips (18, nine marks) and Corey Wagner (18, seven tackles) enjoying strong performances.
BYE: Carlton, Sandringham, Southport
ROUND 16: Friday, July 8: Geelong v Casey Demons (GMHBA Stadium, 7.05pm). Saturday, July 9: Collingwood v North Melbourne (AIA Centre, 11.05am); Box Hill Hawks v Southport (Box Hill City Oval, 12.35pm); Gold Coast v Frankston (Metricon Stadium, 12.50pm); Werribee v Coburg (Avalon Airport Oval, 2.05pm); Port Melbourne v Carlton (ETU Stadium, 7.05pm). Sunday, July 10: Sandringham v Footscray (Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval, 12.01pm); Williamstown v GWS (Williamstown Oval, 1.05pm). Bye: Brisbane Lions, Essendon, Northern Bullants, Richmond, Sydney.
NEXT WEEK: ROUND 17: Friday, July 15: Southport v Sydney (Fankhauser Reserve, 7.05pm); Frankston v Northern Bullants (Skybus Stadium, 7.35pm). Saturday, July 16: GWS v Brisbane Lions (Blacktown International Sports Park, 11.35am); Coburg v Sandringham (Piranha Park, 1.05pm); North Melbourne v Richmond (Aegis Park, 2.05pm); Box Hill Hawks v Werribee (Box Hill City Oval, 2.05pm); Carlton v Geelong (Ikon Park, 2.35pm). Sunday, July 17: Port Melbourne v Collingwood (ETU Stadium, 12.01pm); Essendon v Gold Coast (Windy Hill, 1.05pm). Bye: Casey Demons, Footscray, Williamstown.
THEN: ROUND 18: Saturday, July 23: Sydney v Frankston (Lakeside Oval, 10.05am); Footscray v Casey Demons (Victoria University Whitten Oval, 2.05pm); Richmond v Williamstown (Swinburne Centre, 2.05pm); Carlton v GWS (Ikon Park, 6.05pm). Sunday, July 24: Northern Bullants v Box Hill Hawks (Genis Steel Oval, Preston, 12.01pm); Southport v Essendon (Fankhauser Reserve, 12.05pm); Sandringham v Port Melbourne, Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval, 1.05pm); Brisbane Lions v Gold Coast (Red Rooster Park, Moreton Bay, 1.05pm). Bye: Coburg, Collingwood, Geelong, North Melbourne, Werribee bye.
All VFL matches in 2022 are live-streamed free. The match of the round can be viewed on Channel 7, while all remaining games are streamed live and on demand via www.afl.com.au and the AFL Live and VFL apps. Radio 3WBC is again broadcasting Box Hill Hawks matches.
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