Fresh off last week’s multi-faceted drama, the question was whether this Round could provide similar drama and surprises. The answer, a new AFL footballer to meet, a NEW GAMBLING GAME, and this week’s results, coming up on
Welcome To Balls of Steel’s AFL Beat!
In last week’s preview, I mentioned that the first game of this Round, the Friday Night Footy clash between Patrick Dangerfield and his Geelong Cats against his old club the Adelaide Crows, would be the Match of The Round and would draw the most attention. It did. It was truly worthwhile to wake up an hour early on a work day to watch this game. My beloved Cats played very well throughout, but kept missing goals which allowed the Crows to stay in it until about midway through the fourth when a critical miss changed the game. It sucks that I don’t have a highlight because it truly was the play of the game. The Crows were able to get the ball to Paul Seedsman about 15 meters straight in front of the goal on a mark, so he had a clear set shot to give the Crows their first lead of the entire game and to cap a comeback from as many as 19 points down. He Florida State/Scott Norwood’ed it and the Crows had to settle for a behind. The Cats then countered with a goal from a defenseman (!) and never looked back. The final margin was 26. Here are a couple of other highlights:
So, predictably, that made me a very happy person going into work on Friday. Later, on North American Friday Night, five more games were on tap. The first two looked like absolute blowouts, and I was also tired, so I didn’t watch much beyond the first quarter. Little did I know that there would be some quite exciting footy played!
Let’s start with the lowly Essendon Bombers going up against the undefeated league leaders North Melbourne Kangaroos. It was a mismatch on paper and played out that way for the first half as the Roos grabbed a commanding 54-4 lead at the break! Well, something either got into the Bombers or the Roos thought the game was over because the Bombers came roaring back. The final margin was 14, but if there had been another two or three minutes, the Bombers might have completed the comeback. In spanish soccer, they call that ” acabar pidiendo la hora”, basically getting saved by the bell. The Roos are still the leaders, but some doubt may start creeping in now…
I love the use of the phrase “selling candy”:
Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. Ben Brown is both:
The other expected blowout was Hawthorn “hosting” Fremantle in Tasmania. The big surprise at halftime of this game was that the Dockers were ahead on the scoreboard! That must have been a hell of a Rex-Ryan-esque halftime pep talk for the Hawks, though, as they roared out to a 50+ point lead by the end of the third and ended up winning by 41. Here, the Dockers exhibit some quick outside-the-box thinking:
While here, Hawthorn’s Luke Breust shows he can be resourceful too:
The next game on the schedule also looked like a blowout and there were no surprises here as the GWS Giants demolished the Gold Coast Suns (Sorry SonofSpam!) by a score of 149-58. It was a steady beat-down too. It wasn’t like the Suns had the lead at any point in time. This highlight shows how easy it was for the Giants:
More surprises were in store when the Collingwood Magpies visited the Brisbane Lions. On paper, this seemed like a close matchup, specially considering that the game was in Queensland. Well, a certain someone better have an octopus gif or jpg ready because the Pies broke their losing streak in a big way with a 143-56 blowout win. It was so bad that the Lions were held scoreless for the entire first quarter. These highlights give you a flavor of the Pies’ dominance:
And now, the best surprise is saved for last. At least the best surprise of Friday night. The Sydney Swans were taking on Richmond in what seemed like an easy game. It was anything but. This was one of the greatest finishes ever. Watch the video:
Here is an artist’s interpretation of Sill on Saturday morning:
strapping young lad coming to the stage is Orazio Fantasia. Give it up for Orazio Fantasia!
Orazio debuted for the Bombers in 2014 and is a mere 20 years old. Here is his twitter profile photo and I sincerely hope that is his sister and niece:
He’s a young guy that is ready to become a big part of the Bombers this year since his playing time will be greatly enhanced as a result of the Essendon 34 ban. It will be a tough year, but the experience should prove valuable for years to come as he becomes one of the Bombers’ stars. I don’t have much beyond that, but I just wanted to bring to your attention that there is a gentleman whose name is Orazio Fantasia.
North American Saturday Night brought the last three games of the Round with the first featuring an intriguing matchup of the resurgent Carlton Blues, winners of three in a row, against the also resurgent Port Adelaide Power, winners of their last two. The game was held at Etihad stadium and it was a close one throughout. Port held the biggest lead in the game about midway through the fourth, but the Blues picked it up and finally grabbed the lead for good on this late goal:
The final two minutes were frantic, but there was no further movement on the scoreboard. The Blues escaped with the narrow victory and are now winners of four straight. Later that night, the Western Bulldogs “traveled” to the MCG to meet the Melbourne Demons. This game went according to form as the Doggies handled the Demons with ease, winning by 30. There are so many good things about this highlight, that I can’t name them all:
FYI, my ex-girlfriend may or may not have nicknamed me The Package. Or The Bont.
The last game of the Round had the St. Kilda Saints going west to meet the West Coast Eagles. This is never a good thing as the Eagles are dominant at home. This game was no exception as the Eagles trounced the Saints by a score of 132-29. Ouch. Here is a nice turnaround goal by the Eagles’ Jamie Cripps:
Let’s take a look at the ladder, shall we?
|1||North Melbourne Kangaroos||8||8||0||0||123.00||32|
|7||West Coast Eagles||8||5||0||3||132.50||20|
|10||Port Adelaide Power||8||4||0||4||101.60||16|
|13||Gold Coast Suns||8||3||0||5||78.50||12|
|14||St Kilda Saints||8||2||0||6||78.30||8|
Litre_cola was nice enough to put together a Footy Tipping contest which you can find here. It’s completely free and a lot of fun. All you have to do is pick the winner of each game, straight up, and predict the winning margin for one game. The closer you get, the lower the number and the higher your position on the ladder. You should join! Here are the results for this round:
|PLACE||TIPPER||Correct Tips||Margin Differential|
Since we just started this round, those are also the overall results. Next round, I’ll expand the table to show the Round results as well as overall. Here is next week’s schedule (All times Pacific):
Friday May 20
Hawthorn v Sydney Swans at MCG (2.50 AM)
Collingwood v Geelong at MCG (8.45pm)
Gold Coast Suns v Adelaide at Metricon Stadium (9.10pm)
Port Adelaide v West Coast Eagles at Adelaide Oval (11.35pm)
Saturday May 21
North Melbourne v Carlton at Etihad Stadium (2.25 AM)
Fremantle v Richmond at Subiaco Oval (2.40 AM)
Melbourne v Brisbane Lions at MCG (8.10pm)
GWS Giants v Western Bulldogs at Spotless Stadium (10.20pm)
St Kilda v Essendon at Etihad Stadium (11.40pm)
The games that stand out for me right away are the Giants-Doggies clash in Sydney and the Hawthorn-Swans Friday Night Footy clash. That one might be worth waking up extra early for. Don’t forget to join the tipping contest! See you next week!