WILLIAMSTOWN 11.6 (72)
CARLTON 8.10 (58)
WILLIAMSTOWN has a history-long proud record of being tough to beat at the Williamstown Cricket Ground, and it picked one of the biggest days to pull off its best performance of the Smithy’s VFL season, stunning Carlton by 14 points on Saturday.
Running out for their 1150th match on their famous old Point Gellibrand home ground, the 20th-place Seagulls ambushed the fourth-ranked Blues with five goals to two with the wind in the first quarter before defending like their lives depended on it to hold the visitors to just six behinds while managing a terrific team goal to Corey Rich at the other end.
Williamstown dominated again in the third term with four goals to one to blow the margin out to 42 points and withstood a late rally to claim its third and best win of the season, tipping Carlton out of the top four and leaving the visitors with work to do to claim the double chance.
Ruckman Tom Downie was the catalyst for the Seagulls’ victory with 23 disposals, 43 hitouts, eight marks, seven tackles and 11 clearances as he handed Alex Mirkov a lesson around the ground, even though the young Blue still managed 34 hitouts of his own in a stoppage heavy contest.
Corey Preston had the best game of his young VFL career for the home team with 24 disposals, five clearances, six tackles and three goals, while James Cousins (27, 10 clearances, one goal) showed just how much he was missed while injured, Nick Mellington (25, seven clearances, six tackles) stepped up in the absence of Liam Hunt, Teia Miles, Jordan Gallucci and Jake Greiser were terrific rebounding from defence and Billy Myers went forward to cause problems with six marks and three goals.
Brodie Kemp was massive for Carlton as he desperately tried to hold back the tide, finishing with 10 marks and 18 disposals in defence alongside Sam Durdin (17, eight marks) before going forward and snagging a goal, with Lachie Fogarty (30, seven clearances, eight tackles) becoming more influential as the game progressed, Paddy Dow (22, five clearances, one goal) and Tom North (20, five inside-50s) playing well in the middle and Jack Martin making a lively return from a calf injury with 16 touches and a goal.
But the Blues were hurt by the late withdrawals of travelling emergencies Jack Silvagni, Jack Newnes and Josh Honey, while Liam Stocker was out of the game before half-time with concussion after a clumsy tackle from second-gamer Jack Noonan that has seen the young Seagull offered a season-ending two-match suspension by the MRP.
GEELONG 5.9 (39)
COBURG 12.11 (83)
IT WAS also a day to remember for another history standalone club as Coburg mauled Geelong by 44 points to celebrate its 1800th VFA/VFL game in perfect fashion at MARS Stadium in Ballarat on Sunday, breaking a 13-match losing streak in beating the Cats for the first time since 2009.
Led by unstoppable skipper Peter McEvoy, 50th-gamer Mitch Podhajski and full-back Jack Maibaum, who plucked a scarcely believable 42 marks between them, the Lions kicked 4.7 to 0.2 with a five-goal wind in the first quarter to take the upper hand and were never challenged after holding the Cats to 1.4 in the second term.
McEvoy kicked two early goals and was a monolith in the last line of defence when Geelong had the wind, pulling in a remarkable 12 marks in the first half on his way to 17 for the day to go with 25 disposals, while Podhajski plucked 14 grabs and delivered 10 rebounds in his 28 possessions, Maibaum took 11 marks for 19 touches and six rebounds and Jesse Corigliano had 17 and six marks as Coburg’s defence completely outplayed the Cats’ forwards despite conceding 53 inside-50s to 39.
Nathan Boucher (30 disposals, nine marks), Lachlan Walker (24, seven marks, five clearances, five entries) were brilliant on the outside, Braedyn Gillard (27, six clearances, 10 entries and Flynn Gentile (23, five tackles, one goal) starred in the middle and Ben Reddick, who had not kicked a goal in his seven previous VFL games, booted four in a classic display of the small forward craft.
It was hard to find winners for Geelong as its slumped to a seventh consecutive loss, although Nick Stevens (27 disposals, seven inside-50s) was good all day, Sam Simpson (25, eight clearances) got better as the game progressed and Matthew Ling (24, eight marks, Cooper Stevens (25) and Luke Dahlhaus (21, six marks) all tried hard, while Quinton Narkle provided one of the goals of the day and the best mark as well on his way to 16 touches and two goals.
Shannon Neale (Geelong) and Josh Watson (Coburg) each finished the match on the bench with concussion after strong contests.
COLLINGWOOD 13.10 (88)
SOUTHPORT 6.14 (50)
COLLINGWOOD consigned Southport to a second-straight defeat and put the Sharks’ top two position in jeopardy after outclassing the Queenslanders by 38 points at Victoria Park on Saturday.
After a tight start, the Magpies gained confidence through a Campbell Lane just before quarter-time and another to Jack Madgen shortly after the restart, while the Sharks kicked themselves out of the game with 1.8 in the first half.
Leading by 20 points at the break, Collingwood put it to bed with three quick goals to start the third to climb within percentage of the top four, led by 30 disposals, 10 marks, five inside-50s and a goal from Lane, while Fin Macrae (28, eight clearances, seven tackles), Campbell Hustwaite (28, eight clearances), Callum Brown (28, eight tackles) and Lachie Tardrew (26, seven clearances, seven entries, seven tackles) gave the Sharks more than they could handle.
Jack Madgen showed he can play at the other end with 20 disposals and three goals, while Ollie Henry also booted three.
Southport big man Brayden Crossley had the better of the returning Brodie Grundy, finishing with 24 disposals, four marks, 28 hitouts and eight clearances, but the Collingwood superstar got through and did enough with his 11 touches, 21 hitouts, five clearances and nine tackles to put his hand up for an AFL recall.
Boyd Woodcock (36, eight clearances, one goal) and Jacob Dawson (31, five clearances, five entries, 12 tackles) were once again tireless for the Sharks, while Jesse Joyce (28, six entries, six tackles) was terrific in his 50th NEAFL/VFL game and Mike Manteit (27, eight marks, one goal) also did his best to keep his team in the game.
RICHMOND 8.11 (59)
BRISBANE LIONS 12.12 (84)
BRISBANE Lions put themselves in the box seat to pinch a top-two position after outclassing Richmond by 25 points at Swinburne Centre on Sunday.
There was nothing between the teams all day in a game where the lead changed five times, but after trailing by a point at the last change, the Lions bared their teeth with four goals to none in the last quarter to move within one win of Southport with a better percentage and a game in hand this week.
Kai Lohmann had the Tigers at sixes and sevens as he racked up 22 disposals, took 11 marks and kicked 2.2, Mitch Cox had his best game as a Lion with 21, six marks and two goals, Ryan Lester was trialled forward successfully with 23 touches, eight inside-50s, seven tackles and two goals and James Tunstill (29, six marks, six clearances, five entries), Deven Robertson (26, eight clearances), Connor McFadyen (21, eight marks, Tahj Abberley (20, 10 marks, five rebounds) and Harry Sharp (20, five marks, one goal) also contributed strongly to the victory.
Thomson Dow (29, nine clearances) and Jake Aarts (24, 11 clearances, six tackles) were clearly Richmond’s best, with Riley Collier-Dawkins (20, five tackles), Jason Castagna (18, five marks, two goals), Hugo Ralphsmith (17, six marks), Lachlan Street (18, one goal) and Ivan Soldo (36 hitouts) all had an impact, but the Tigers missed a golden opportunity to move into the eight and now have no more wriggle room if they want to play finals.
SYDNEY 10.17 (77)
GWS 5.9 (39)
SYDNEY overwhelmed GWS after quarter-time to cruise to a 38-point VFL Sydney Derby win at the SCG on Saturday night to climb into the top four and leave the Giants needing to win their last two games to have any hope of scraping into the finals.
The teams traded goals in the first quarter, but after James Bell capitalised on a Giants mistake to regain the lead in the 10th minute of the second term the Swans booted the last four majors before half-time before settling into cruise control, with only their wasteful kicking (10.17) costing them a bigger percentage boost.
Josh Kennedy once again dominated at the State league level after being the unused medi-sub in the Swans’ earlier AFL victory, picking up a game-high 26 disposals, six clearances and six tackles, while Ben Ronke also starred with 20 touches, seven marks, five inside-50s and three goals.
Callum Sinclair (18, eight marks, 23 hitouts, one goal), Matt Roberts (23, five rebounds, seven tackles), Lewis Taylor (22, six marks, seven entries), Hugo Hall-Kahan (21, eight marks, eight entries) and Hayden McLean (three goals) also played well for the Swans.
Tanner Bruhn showed his class for GWS to match Kennedy’s 26 possessions while winning 10 clearances and laying six tackles, but his support was limited to Jake Stein (19, five marks, 10 rebounds) and Kieren Briggs (17, 21 hitouts, seven clearances, six entries).
GOLD COAST 19.14 (128)
PORT MELBOURNE 8.11 (59)
GOLD COAST climbed into the Smithy’s VFL top eight after blasting Port Melbourne by 69 points to put a dampener on Borough skipper Tom O’Sullivan’s 150-game celebrations at Metricon Stadium on Sunday morning.
The Suns rose well and truly before Port got out of bed for the 9.05am start, piling on five goals inside the first 10 minutes and eight to none by the 25-minute mark before Jesse Cucinotta put the visitors on the board to make it a 41-point game at the first break.
The Borough fought hard for the rest of the game, kicking three goals to one in the second term, and held the margin to 43 when Jackson Weidemann goalled in the 17th minute of the last, but the floodgates finally opened again and the Suns kicked the last four goals.
Gold Coast was led by Brayden Fiorini (35 disposals, seven clearances, five entries, eight tackles, two goals), Sam Flanders (32, two goals) and Josh Corbett (10 marks, five goals), while Alex Sexton (21, nine entries, three goals), Alex Davies (23, seven clearances, six rebounds, 11 tackles), Rhys Nicholls (26, six marks), Charlie Constable (22, eight marks), James Tsitas (22, five clearances, five tackles, one goal), Charlie Constable (22, eight marks), Ned Moyle (17, 50 hitouts, 14 clearances) and Sam Day (three goals) also dominated.
Eli Templeton (33, five marks, six clearances, eight entries), Corey Wagner (30, six marks), Marcus Lentini (24, six clearances) and Harvey Hooper (21, six marks, seven tackles) did their best to help O’Sullivan himself (24, four marks) celebrate his milestone with a victory, but the Suns simply had too many stars and too much to play for.
WERRIBEE 8.10 (58)
FOOTSCRAY 12.12 (84)
WERRIBEE’s finals hopes are hanging by a thread after suffering a third successive loss, this time a convincing 26-point reverse to Footscray at Avalon Airport Oval on Saturday.
The Tigers have threatened to tear the competition apart at different stages this year but have never been able to build consistency, and without Matt Hanson and Nick Hayes they couldn’t go with a Bulldogs team hellbent on shaking up the top eight even though they can’t make it themselves.
Footscray conceded the first three goals and trailed by 18 points at quarter-time, but gradually took control before kicking clear with five goals to two in the last quarter, led by outstanding skipper Lachie Sullivan (29 possessions, seven clearances, eight inside-50s, eight tackles, two goals) and Joel Garner (28, five marks, 12 clearances, five entries), while Sam Darcy had 20 touches and pulled in 14 marks in a wonderful display and Lachie Hunter (24, eight marks), Toby McLean (24, nine clearances, six entries, seven tackles) and unlikely goalkicker Cody Raak (three) also starred.
Werribee was best served by tireless co-captain Dom Brew (24 disposals, eight clearances and a stunning 17 tackles) and Hudson Garoni, who played a lone hand in attack with five goals, while Kye Declase (22, six marks, six inside-50s, two goals), Tom Gribble (24, six marks, five tackles), Jack Henderson (20, five marks, 10 tackles), Nick Coughlan (20, eight marks, five rebounds, six tackles), Ollie Hanrahan (27) and Noah Gribble (20, eight marks) also tried hard.
ESSENDON 11.8 (74)
NORTH MELBOURNE 6.9 (45)
ESSENDON banked its sixth win in its last eight matches by running away from an undermanned North Melbourne in the second half to win by 29 points at Windy Hill on Sunday.
The Kangaroos lost AFL carryover Josh Goater at half-time, plus Cooper Smith (shoulder), Tom Williamson (concussion) and Charlie Comben (managed), meaning they finished with no fit players on the bench, and the Bombers took full advantage, turning a three-point half-time lead into a comfortable win.
Brad Bernacki was best on ground for Essendon with 31 possessions, six clearances, five tackles and three goals, with Tom Cutler (36, nine marks, seven inside-50s, 10 rebounds), Billy Cootee (32, five marks, nine clearances, seven entries), Nick Bryan (28, five marks, 34 hitouts, eight clearances, six entries, one goal), Joe Atley (28, six marks), Brayden Ham (24, five clearances, five entries, one goal, Stefan Rasinac (21, nine marks, seven entries) and Joel Fitzgerald (22, five marks) all did as they pleased.
Tarryn Thomas was all class in his return from injury for North Melbourne, having 20 touches in the first half on his way to 26, six clearances, eight entries and six tackles, with Harry Jones (29, seven clearances, eight entries, six tackles), Dom Tyson (24, six marks, five clearances, six entries) and Marty Hore (17, five marks, 10 rebounds) providing good support.
CASEY DEMONS 18.17 (125)
NORTHERN BULLANTS 5.4 (34)
CASEY Demons moved to within two wins of an undefeated home-and-away season after thrashing a depleted but gallant Northern Bullants by 91 points at Casey Fields on Saturday.
The bottom-placed Bullants went into the game against the minor premiers without captain Tom Wilson and fellow stars Will Mitchell, Jackson Barling, Will Mitchell, Mutaz El Nour, Doug Lawrence, Liam Podhajski, Tim Jones and Kyle Dunkley, and it looked like being seriously ugly when the Demons kicked five goals in the first 14 minutes.
The Bullants managed to win the second quarter four goals to two and held the deficit to 42 points entering time-on in the third term, but the Demons finally broke the dam wall and kicked clear on the back of five goals from Jacob van Rooyen and 42 disposals, 12 clearances and five entries from Luke Dunstan, while Jimmy Munro (33, seven clearances, seven entries, eight tackles), Adam Tomlinson (29, 11 marks, five entries, six rebounds), Jake Bowey (27 (five marks), Daniel Turner (21, eight marks), Riley Baldi (21, five marks, five entries), Kade Chandler (20, five marks, two goals), Toby Bedford (17, six tackles, three goals) and Mitch Brown (five marks, three goals) were too good for the visitors.
Liam Mackie was tireless in defence for the Bullants with 14 rebounds in his 23 disposals, while Jean-Luc Velissaris (28, five clearances), Billy Murphy (24, seven clearances, one goal), Matt King (19, five marks) and Andrew Courtney (32 hitouts) also battled hard against the odds.
BYE: Box Hill Hawks, Frankston, Sandringham
ROUND 20: Saturday, August 6: GWS v Essendon (Giants Stadium, 10.35am); Brisbane Lions v Werribee (Red Rooster Park, Moreton Bay, 11.05am); Footscray v Coburg (Victoria University Whitten Oval, 12.05pm); Collingwood v Williamstown (AIA Centre, 12.35pm); Frankston v Box Hill Hawks (Skybus Stadium, 1.10pm). Sunday, August 7: North Melbourne v Sydney (Arden St, 11.05am); Geelong v Sandringham (GMHBA Stadium, 1.05pm); Northern Bullants v Richmond (Genis Steel Oval, 2.05pm). Bye: Carlton, Casey Demons, Gold Coast, Port Melbourne, Southport.
NEXT WEEK: ROUND 21: Saturday, August 13: Sandringham v Brisbane Lions (Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval, 11.05am); Gold Coast v Southport (Metricon Stadium, 12.35pm); Coburg v North Melbourne (Piranha Park, 12.35pm); Box Hill Hawks v Geelong (Box Hill City Oval, 2.05pm); Port Melbourne v Frankston (ETU Stadium, 2.05pm). Sunday, August 14: Sydney v Collingwood (SCG, 11.35am); Casey Demons v Carlton (Casey Fields, 12.01pm); Essendon v Werribee (Windy Hill, 12.05pm). Bye: Footscray, GWS, Northern Bullants, Richmond, Williamstown.
THEN: ROUND 22: Saturday, August 20: North Melbourne v Gold Coast (Arden St, 9.45am); Brisbane Lions v Casey Demons (Red Rooster Park, Moreton Bay, 11.35am); Southport v Coburg (Fankhauser Reserve, 11.35am); GWS v Footscray (Blacktown International Sports Park (12.05pm), Box Hill Hawks v Sydney (Box Hill City Oval, 12.35pm); Richmond v Frankston (Swinburne Centre, 2.05pm); Werribee v Northern Bullants (Avalon Airport Oval, 2.05pm). Sunday, August 21: Carlton v Collingwood (Ikon Park, 12.01pm); Geelong v Port Melbourne (GMHBA Stadium, 1.05pm); Williamstown v Sandringham (Williamstown Oval, 1.35pm). Bye: Essendon.
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 and Casey Radio are also broadcasting matches.
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