One of the marquee match ups across the season, the Saturday night game at Adelaide Oval between Collingwood and Port Adelaide, delivered on its hype and again the Magpies found a way to win!
They were 17 points down at three quarter time, before charging home to win a ripping encounter by two points, 13.7 (85) to 12.11 (83). Taylor Adams in his landmark 200th senior game was outstanding, along with veteran Steele Sidebottom, Josh Daicos, skipper Darcy Moore, and Scott Pendlebury, while Jamie Elliott chimed in with three goals.
Connor Rozee was the Power’s best, along with ‘The Bull’ Sam Powell-Pepper, Zak Butters and Daniel Houston.
Earlier in the day, on the back of Charlie Curnow’s 10-goal haul, the Double Blues gave cellar-dwellers, West Coast Eagles a 71-point shellacking at Marvel Stadium. In the one-sided victory, Carlton also received sterling service from Sam Docherty, big man Tom De Koning, along with defenders Brodie Kemp and Jacob Weitering.
For the West Coast Eagles, Gaff and Dom Sheed were gallant. Alex Witherden, Jack Darling, who kicked his 500th goal for the Eagles in this contest, and Noah Long all had their moments.
In the early evening game at the Gabba, it was a surprisingly low scoring affair, Brisbane got up against the Geelong Cats. Only kicking one-goal in the first half, Geelong went down to their hosts, 9.10 (64) to 7.11 (53) by 11 points.
For the winners, Callum Ah Chee played one of his best games in Lions colours. Josh Dunkley, Hugh McCluggage, Connor McKenna and Cam Rayner were all influential.
Tom Stewart, captain Patrick Dangerfield, Marc Blicavs and Mitch Duncan stood up for the Cats, while Jeremy Cameron kicked three of their seven goals.
The early Saturday game at the MCG was equally exciting. Hawthorn were the better side for the opening three quarters, but the Tigers charged home to grab victory by the smallest of margins on the back of Liam Baker’s second goal with 63 seconds remaining.
In the 14.12 (96) to 15.5 (95) Richmond victory, Don Prestia and Tim Taranto with three goals were key ingredients. Noah Balta in defence, Jack Ross and utility Jack Graham also were integral.
At the Hawks, follower Jai Newcombe, James Sicily, James Worpel, Karl Amon and Tom Lewis with four goals were their best.
On Friday night the Western Bulldogs has a big win over Essendon, enhancing their finals credentials.
In the 13.12 (90) to 7.7 (49) triumph, the Doggies recorded a tenth win and are fifth on percentage.
Essendon drops out of the top eight after this pivotal 41-point loss.
Marcus Bontempelli continued his brilliant season for the Western Bulldogs, closely followed by Tom Liberatore. Bailey Smith, Adam Treloar and the diminutive Caleb Daniel were all purposeful. Jamarra Ugle-Hagan and Cody Weightman both kicked three goals in the win.
For the Bombers, Jordan Ridley, Nic Martin, Kyle Langford, Zach Merrett and Darcy Parish were all serviceable.
Fremantle, after promising so much early in the year had its season hit rock bottom, with a home loss to the travelling Sydney Swans at Optus Stadium.
Superstar Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin, who still hasn’t confirmed if he will play on in 2024, was influential in the 16.9 (105) to 12.4 (76) win, kicking three goals, which keeps the Swans’ chances of climbing into the top eight alive.
For the victors, Luke Parker, James Rowbottom, Will Hayward (three goals), Tom Papley and Errol Gulden all excelled.
Now in the bottom four, the Dockers’ better players included Caleb Serong, Lachie Schultz with four goals, Luke Jackson, Luke Ryan and Andrew Brayshaw.
On Sunday, the GWS Giants six-game winning streak continued with a handsome 40-point victory over the Gold Coast Suns. Greater Western Sydney stormed into the top eight with this impressive win, getting up 15.13 (103) to 9.9 (63). Harry Himmelberg and Sam Taylor in defence, Lachie Whitfield, Brett Daniels, Stephen Coniglio, and skipper Toby Greene with three goals, were Greater Western Sydney’s best.
Sam Flanders has a match high 31 disposals for the Gold Coast, while Jack Lukosius kicked three goals. Captain Jarrod Witt battled manfully in ruck, while Sam Collins was stoic at full back.
Adelaide’s dismal away record continues to grow with a heart breaking four-point loss to Melbourne. The Demons held off multiple challenges from the Crows to secure a tough win, 14.13 (97) to 13.15 (93).
The Crows charged home with seven majors in the final stanza, including three of Taylor Walker’s four goals, but they fell just short.
For the hosts at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Kozzie Pickett was electrifying while Todd Viney, Angus Brayshaw, skipper Max Gawn, and Kade Chandler with three goals, were their leading players.
Before he was injured late, Adelaide’s best was the mercurial Izak Rankine. Mitch Hinge, skipper Josh Dawson, Wayne Milera junior and Matt Crouch took the eye as well.
In the final match of the weekend, St Kilda defeated a gallant North Melbourne Kangaroos by eight points. St Kilda hung on in a scrappy thriller to break North Melbourne’s, and their sacked former Saints coach Brett Ratten’s (North’s interim coach now in charge at the Kangaroos) heart, winning the twilight game at Marvel Stadium, 9.15 (69) to 9.7 (61).
Second club small forward Jack Higgins kicked the match-winning goal with an incredibly clever major in the dying moments of the contest. Jack Steele, Jack Sinclair, Rowan Marshall, Marcus Windhager, Troy Wilkie were major contributors for the winners.
North Melbourne were well served by Luke Davies-Uniacke, Ben McKay, rookie of the year candidate Harry Sheezel and Tarryn Thomas.