AFL Beat 2018 Round 22

This week,

Geelong and Fremantle played in HAIL
The Q-Clash got hot
And that’s a lot of O faces

Welcome To Balls Of Steel’s AFL Beat!

Round 22 Recaps and Highlights

The Round started on Australian Friday Night with Essendon’s last and only hope of staying in the finals picture:  Beating Richmond at the MCG. Yeah, that wasn’t really going to happen, right? To their credit, the Bombers kept it close throughout and put up a fight at the end before eventually losing by 8.   Here are the highlights:

On proper Friday night, the Port Adelaide Power were desperately trying to stay in the Eight but were facing the Collingwood Magpies, also at the MCG.  The Power hung tough for three quarters, but then the Pies reminded the Power why they are in the Top Four and the Power are not.  In fact, the Power are no longer in the Eight after a 115-64 thrashing.  Highlights:

At roughly the same time, my Geelong Cats were fighting for their playoff lives at home against the Fremantle Dockers.  They needed a lot of things to go their way:  Port or Melbourne to lose, win by a large margin to boost percentage, and to have no injuries.  Well, the day went about as well as it could have as all three boxes were ticked.  This was a highly enjoyable game to watch as the Cats overcame a 9 point deficit in the first quarter to score an AFL record 23 goals in a row.  They held the Dockers to 5 (five!) behinds for the rest of the game.  The final score was Fremantle’s worst loss ever:  158-25.  Here are the glorious highlights:

The next match was the Match of the Round and boy did it live up to the hype!  Unfortunately, I was too tired from the week and I could not watch the whole thing. Everything seemed to be going well for the Giants until Phil Davis got hurt.  This enabled the Swans and Buddy Franklin to mount a furious comeback in the second half and end up with the victory 80-60.  Highlights:

The two late late games proved to be extremely exciting as well.  In the first, the St. Kilda Saints surprised everyone and played the Hawthorn Hawks super tough.  It actually came down to the last two minutes:

Unfortunately for the Saints, it’s been that kind of season.  Here are the full match highlights:

In the other game, the “Q Clash” between Gold Coast and Brisbane got quite heated due to a pre-game comment by the Lions’ Nick Robertson saying the Suns were “soft”.  It seemed the Suns were out to prove a point as multiple fights and melees occurred.  In the end, the Lions barely scraped by with a 4 point win (78-74) and here are the highlights:

North American Saturday night brought three more games with the first “featuring” the Carlton Blues against the Western Bulldogs.  Now, in my preview last week, I joked that I would rather watch the AFLW teams play as they would probably score more.  I was actually not that far off.

It was a dreadful game with awful execution and very low scoring.  The 66-49 scoreline actually flatters the Doggies as they didn’t really do much to earn the win.  Here are the “highlights”:

The next game was actually the Match of the Round Part Two.  The Melbourne Demons were in the midst of their patented late season swoon out of the Eight while the West Coast Eagles were at home and looking to wrap up the second spot in the ladder.  Well, you can colour me surprised as the Demons scored the last three goals in the game after giving up a nice lead to pull away at the end and win by 17.

This is Melbourne’s finest win in many many years and gives their fans hope that maybe finals won’t be one and done.  Here are the highlights:

The last game of the Round proved to be quite exciting as well.  The Adelaide Crows hosted the North Melbourne Kangaroos in a game that ended up being played mostly for pride, but the two teams represented themselves well.  North fought until the very end:

The loss basically eliminates the Roos from finals as they would need Port Adelaide to lose, Geelong to lose, and to make up 21 percentage points.  That is just not feasible.  Here are the highlights:

Let’s take a look at the ladder, shall we?

1 Richmond Tigers 17 4 0 68 138.3
2 West Coast Eagles 15 6 0 60 120.8
3 Collingwood Magpies 14 7 0 56 120.7
4 Hawthorn Hawks 14 7 0 56 120.5
5 Sydney Swans 14 7 0 56 110.6
6 GWS Giants 13 7 1 54 118.1
7 Melbourne Demons 13 8 0 52 129.8
8 Geelong Cats 12 9 0 48 125.7
9 Port Adelaide Power 12 9 0 48 109.6
10 North Melbourne Kangaroos 11 10 0 44 108.1
11 Essendon Bombers 11 10 0 44 104.1
12 Adelaide Crows 11 10 0 44 98.4
13 Western Bulldogs 8 13 0 32 76.3
14 Fremantle Dockers 8 13 0 32 75.8
15 Brisbane Lions 5 16 0 20 89.9
16 St. Kilda Saints 4 16 1 18 75.3
17 Gold Coast Suns 4 17 0 16 62.2
18 Carlton Blues 2 19 0 8 61.0

Here is the Balls (TM) graph:

Download (PDF, 285KB)

Our Eight is pretty much set unless Geelong somehow turns into Carlton and loses to Gold Coast at home while Port Adelaide beats Essendon.


Footy Tipping Contest

Here is where we are after Round 22:

P TIPPER Round Tips Round Margin TOTAL Tips TOTAL Margin
1 SonOfSpam 7 10 137 537
2 Sunrisesunrise 8 13 134 566
3 BALLS 7 15 131 572
4 Spanky Datass 8 17 130 668
5 Litre_Cola 7 3 129 530
6 WhyEaglesWhy 6 9 124 578
7 Dolph Ucker 7 9 123 740
8 BFC 7 16 120 561
9 Game Time Decision 7 12 109 683
10 Joliet Jake Delhomme 5 8 105 653
11 JPF 5 8 101 636
12 nomonkeyfun 5 8 96 600
13 blaxabbath 5 8 86 646
14 Sharkbait 5 8 84 689

A good week for most of the tippers as we head towards finals.  Don’t forget that the pool continues THROUGH the Grand Final, so even though next week is the last week of the Home and Away season, there are still more games to come!

For those of you not putting the tips in, this is for you:



AFL Round 23

Here is the schedule for this week (all times Pacific):

Friday, August 24, 2018

2:50 AM (Late Thursday Night) – Port Adelaide Power v Essendon Bombers at Adelaide Oval

If the Power beats Essendon and the Cats lose to Gold Coast, the Power could sneak back into the Eight.  I think the former will happen, but not the latter.

8:45 PM – Geelong Cats v Gold Coast Suns at Kardinia Park

This is where I say that if the Cast lose to the Suns, I will do something extremely stupid.

9:10 PM – Richmond Tigers v Western Bulldogs at the MCG

The Tigers are in the enviable position of resting starters as they have the #1 spot all locked up.

11:35 PM  – Fremantle Dockers v Collingwood Magpies

The Dockers are in shambles and will look to rebound at home against a Pies team looking to get the Double Chance.

Saturday,  August 25, 2018

2:25 AM (Late Friday Night) – Carlton Blues v Adelaide Crows at Marvel Stadium

This season cannot end soon enough for the Blues.  The Crows are looking to end the season on a high note.

2:25 AM (Late Friday Night) – Sydney Swans v Hawthorn Hawks at the SCG

The Match of the Round, for sure, as both teams are looking to get into the Top Four and secure the Double Chance.

8:10 PM – Brisbane Lions v West Coast Eagles at the Gabba

The Eagles are hurting and need to win this game in order to stay in second place with the Double Chance and a home final.  The Lions have played really well though and will be tough to beat.

10:20 PM – Melbourne Demons v GWS Giants at the MCG

The Giants have plummeted down the ladder after the loss to the Swans. Meanwhile, the Demons are feeling good about themselves.  The winner of this game hosts an Elimination Final

11:40 PM – St. Kilda Saints v North Melbourne Kangaroos at Marvel Stadium

Neither team is playing for anything but pride.  Based on this week’s results, it should be a close game.


That’s all for this week.  After Round 23, there will be a one week break before finals start the week after Labor Day.   See you next week!



International Member of the Geelong Cats and recovering Steelers fan. Likes Butts. And Balls. And Boobs. Pretty much anything that starts with the letter B. Preferably together.

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Going to be tough for anyone to catch Spammy. The Geelong game was disgusting for how Freo mailed it in.


Everyone on the Giants got hurt. Not just the previous decimation of the lineup, but in-game injuries in the second half continued unabated. Davis kept playing so the announcers kept saying the Giants had “half a fit” player on the bench.


RIKKI: Who should I root for in the playoffs?

BALLS: Don’t root for my Cats, I don’t want you jinxing them.

ANDY REID: And stay the hell away from my ‘Pies!