(Photo: Darrian Traynor/AFL Media)
(Photo: Darrian Traynor/AFL Media)

Round 16 of the VFL saw the top eight transform once again. Reigning premiers Footscray moved into the top four after a win over Essendon, Werribee moved into sixth spot and three games clear of ninth-placed Port Melbourne, while Williamstown returned to top spot after a convincing performance against Collingwood.

Port Melbourne 7.7 (49) defeated by Coburg 12.12 (84) 

Following an inaccurate start (1.10 halfway through the second quarter), Coburg gained momentum to kick 11 goals from 13 scoring attempts to record a 35-point win against Port Melbourne. Coburg kicked five of the last six goals of the game to overrun Port Melbourne and claim back-to-back wins for the first time in 2015.

Leading goal kickers
Port Melbourne: Sandilands 2, Lisle 2, Keogh 2
Coburg: Johns 3, Younan 2, Venditti 2, Hill 2

Port Melbourne: Cook , T. O’Sullivan, Tynan, Mascitti, Clarke, Keogh
Coburg: Uysal, Johns, Allan, Clifton, Hartley, Linton

Box Hill Hawks 15.7 (97) defeated Richmond 8.10 (58)

The Hawks kicked the first four goals of the game allowing them to keep the Tigers at bay all afternoon. However, they were unable to contain Liam McBean who kicked five goals, taking him to a four goal lead in the Frosty Miller Medal for the competition’s leading goal kicker (35 in 2015).

McBean has had an outstanding three weeks for Richmond in the VFL, with his bag of five against the Hawks taking his tally to 14 goals in that time. Keeping up this form will help him push for senior selection as another target to assist the Richmond forward line come finals.

Matt Thomas finished with 35 disposals and has also been a solid contributor for the Richmond VFL this season.

Leading goal kickers
Box Hill Hawks: O’Brien 3, Lawlor 2, Tatupu 2
Richmond: McBean 5

Box Hill Hawks: J. Simpkin, O’Donnell, Mirra, O’Brien, Iles, Pittonet
Richmond: Thomas, Dea, McDonough, McBean, Mellington, Castagna

Footscray Bulldogs 11.10 (76) defeated Essendon 7.12 (54)
Essendon kicked the first three goals of the game after a slow start from the Bulldogs, but could only manage four for the remainder of the match. The turning point in the match was four goals against the breeze to Footscray in the third term, as the Bombers let their chances slide with an inaccurate quarter.

Tayte Pears was among the Bombers’ best. The defender picked up 20 touches as he continued his superb form down back.

“[Pears] just needs to keep continuing his form week-in-week-out, keep putting pressure on the guys above him in the AFL and hopefully he might get an opportunity,” Essendon development coach Paul Corrigan said.

Shaun Edwards also made a strong return to the VFL after missing selection in the AFL. He played a consistent game across four quarters and should be looking to push for a spot in the seniors should his form continue.

Lin Jong (26 disposals) was a solid contributor for the Bulldogs and is a player to watch in the coming weeks, as he will be expected to put pressure on the senior players looking for his chance to play finals.

Ayce Cordy was best on ground and may earn a senior call-up this week to help shoulder much of the ruck work as the Dogs face Port Adelaide on Saturday.

Leading goal kickers
Footscray: T. Boyd 3, Jamieson 2, Hayes, Austin, D. Pearce, Nash, Hamilton, Hrovat
Essendon: Dempsey 3, McKenna 2, Coghlan, McKernan

Footscray: Jong, Kelly, Darley, Smith, Russell, Cordy
Essendon: Edwards, Dempsey, Coghlan, Pears, McNiece, Chapman

North Ballarat 20.17 (137) defeated Northern Blues 2.13 (25)

Seven unanswered goals to start the game set up back-to-back 100-point wins for North Ballarat.

North Ballarat produced an all-round effort with 11 individual goal-kickers.

After a solid few weeks in the VFL, Robin Nahas is a player to watch out for: he will be pushing for selection having kicked over 10 goals in the past two weeks. Nahas finished the game with 16 disposals, seven goals and five tackles.

Leading goal kickers
North Ballarat: Nahas 7, S. Hooper 3, A. Hooper 2, Black, George, Hoy, Keeble, Peters, Preuss, Sewell, Tsitas
Northern Blues: Strachan, Ellard

North Ballarat: Nahas, M. Sewell, Rippon, Tippett, Hoy, A. Hooper
Northern Blues: Walsh, Whiley, Ellard, Kilpatrick, Walker, Jones

Williamstown 14.13 (97) defeated Collingwood 9.11 (65)

A seven goal-to-two final quarter saw Williamstown overrun Collingwood and return to the top of the ladder.

Jonathan Marsh was named Collingwood’s best for a role in defence. A strong performance was lead by a number of impressive intercept marks. Strong, recent form will see Jonathan on Buckley’s radar and his versatility to play as a forward and support Moore in Cloke’s absence may lead to his debut this weekend against Carlton.

Patrick Karnezis was also named in the best and may return to the senior side to provide another forward target and avenue to goal.

Leading goalkickers
Williamstown: Anastasio 5, Banner 3, Masters 2
Collingwood: Hellier 2, R.Pendlebury 2, Karnezis 2, B. Reid, Jack Blair , Jarryd Blair

Williamstown: Banner , Anastasio , Faulks , Marcon , Masters , Johnstone
Collingwood: Marsh, Armstrong, Karnezis, Wallin , Jarryd Blair, R. Pendlebury

Casey Scorpions 10.9 (69) defeated by Werribee 12.10 (82)
After conceding seven goals in the second quarter, Werribee trailed by 26 points at half time.

However, the Tigers stormed into the lead during the third quarter with a dominant display of seven goals to hold a slim lead at the final change.

Werribee scored the only goal of the final quarter to move into sixth spot on the ladder and further cement their position in finals.

Leading goal kickers
Casey Scorpions: King 2, Newton 2
Werribee: Porter 3, Wood 3, Reid 2, Sodomaco 2

Casey Scorpions: Fitzpatrick, Riley, Salem, White, Newton
Werribee: Hanson, Daw, Porter, Brett, McMahon, Conway

Frankston 6.9 (45) defeated by Geelong 16.20 (116)

The Cats kept their slim finals chances alive after a dominant 71-point win over Frankston. The Cats were able to keep Frankston goalless in two quarters with George Horlin-Smith and Dawson Simpson dominating in the middle for the Cats.

Horlin-Smith was among Geelong’s best, finishing with 43 disposals, 8 tackles, 8 clearances and a goal. Daniel Menzel also got through another game successfully to finish with three goals and 9 marks.

Leading goal kickers:
Geelong: Menzel 3, Stokes 2, Sheringham, Paliouras, Luxford, Farrelly, Gore, Horlin-Smith, Lucey, Vardy, Bates, Haintz, Jansen
Frankston: Sutton, Wilsen, Douglas, Irving, A. Collins, Soroczynski

Frankston: Cavarra , Gray , Newman, Irving, Pollard, Kempster
Geelong: Horlin-Smith, Stokes, Gore, Dixon, Menzel, Simpson