Round twelve, the second of three shortened rounds kicked off on Friday night with what many would have predicted as game of the round, with Carlton taking on premiership favourites Hawthorn at Etihad Stadium.
Hawthorn got away to a fast start as was expected, but credit must be awarded to Malthouse and Carlton who played a high pressure game and were on top of Hawthorn from mid-way through the first term and for most of the game. However with the influential leadership of Luke Hodge and clutch goals to Roughead and Franklin when it mattered most, Hawthorn proved too strong and finished 15-point victors.
Saturday football kicked off at the MCG with a critical clash between Richmond and Adelaide. Favourites Richmond thoroughly outplayed the Crows, who never looked like a serious finals side, in spite of Dangerfield’s explosive efforts to lift his side. Martin and Deledio were dominant in what turned out to be an impressive 38-point win to the Tigers, who now sit firmly in the top 8.
Saturday footy continued with a visually unappealing slog at Pattersons Stadium where Fremantle hosted Brisbane. In an inconsistent affair, Brisbane were on top for portions of the match where they failed to convert opportunities, before Fremantle eventually pulled away to win by 40 points. Ross Lyon and Fremantle would not be overly impressed with the messy game their side produced, though the Dockers still managed to emerge with a comfortable win.
The Suns presented the football world with another glimpse of daunting things to come for a large part of their match against Essendon on Saturday night, before the Bombers asserted their dominance late in the third quarter and throughout the last. Goddard and Watson lead from the front for the Dons, with 38 and 31 disposals respectively, while Ablett showed once again how consistently brilliant he is, with 36 disposals – 21 of those contested – in his side’s 43 point loss.
A Sunday lacking a great deal of blockbuster potential began with GWS hosting Port Adelaide at the Sydney Showground. Port came out with a clear intention to prove a point, as they took control of the game from the opening bounce and never looked in doubt. The young Giants did manage to win the final quarter, but the game was long decided and the Power finished huge 75-point winners. The outstanding resurgence from Kane Cornes this year continued as he tallied 34 touches and a goal, while Chad Wingard and Angus Monfries were both important in the percentage-boosting win.
The sixth and final game of round 12 saw Collingwood present as short-priced favourites against the Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium. The Pies flew out of the blocks, holding the Bulldogs goalless in the opening term and threatening to completely embarrass Brendan McCartney’s boys. This game, similar to the Port v Giants clash, was never in doubt. The Bulldogs finished the game off strongly, winning the final quarter by 3 goals, though this was largely down to a lack of intensity once the margin was put beyond reach by Collingwood. Cloke was huge with 5 goals, while Swan and Pendlebury racked up 73 disposals between them.
All results in round 12 were as predicted – with all the favourites eventually saluting – though as always in the world of AFL, there is much to discuss before round 13 kicks off on Friday night.
Here are the best 10 highlights of the round as chosen by you:
@nickrog83 Would have to be Richmond.. More to them this year, delivering more when it counts.
@52johnm Cloke kicking straight.
@stephenmarson Port Adelaide back on track with a big win.
@Lucrious Ryder’s banana goal from 50m and Daniher’s excellent first half, finished with three goals and some great contested marks.
@MVFCLR22 Jaegar O’Meara. Was a joy to watch him live for the very first time last night.
If you want your highlight of the round to appear in our article next week, be sure to tweet @Bound4GloryNews during the week using #BFGNHighlight. The top tweets will make our round 13 article.