SNAPSHOT OF WHAT HAPPENED AROUND THE AFL IN ROUND 22
THEY SAID IT: “He’s pretty keen for me to coach out the season although I wouldn’t have minded if he had have taken over at some stage,” Carlton caretaker coach John Barker on the Blues’ new boss in waiting, Brendon Bolton. Bolton watched Carlton lose by 81 points against GWS – the Giants’ biggest-ever win.
STATS THAT MATTER: 16. That’s the amount of consecutive losses Melbourne have suffered at Domain Stadium after Sunday’s capitulation to Fremantle. It gets worse for the Demons, who will finish their season next Sunday at Etihad Stadium, where they’ve lost their past 22.
MAN OF THE ROUND: Daniel Menzel. The 24-year-old returned to football after four years and four knee reconstructions. The talented forward played like he hadn’t missed a training session and was Geelong’s best in a poor 48-point loss.
TALKING POINT: It’s clear that Geelong’s golden era is over. Now the burning question is this: which veterans will be forced into retirement? Steve Johnson, Mathew Stokes, James Kelly, Jimmy Bartel, Andrew Mackie, and Corey Enright are among the big names who are no certainties to continue next year.
TRIBUNAL WATCH: The AFL is set for a massive payday in the wake of the mini brawl between Port Adelaide and Gold Coast players. Essendon’s Courtenay Dempsey could be in trouble for his spear tackle on Brett Deledio and indiscretions from Geelong’s Steve Johnson and James Kelly could rob them of a potential farewell match next week.
KEY INJURIES: Collingwood – Dane Swan (knee), Ben Sinclair (broken hand), Travis Cloke (hamstring); GWS – Ryan Griffen (knee); Carlton – Chris Yarran (hamstring); Gold Coast – Clay Cameron (concussion), Harley Bennell (calf), Aaron Hall (back); Sydney – Nick Smith (hamstring); West Coast – Jeremy McGovern (shoulder); Melbourne – Matt Jones (ankle); Fremantle – Cameron Sutcliffe (shoulder).
UNDER PRESSURE: Brad Scott was bitterly disappointed after seeing North Melbourne’s winning streak fall against the Western Bulldogs. Although the Kangaroos have locked in finals football, another non-performance from their midfield will see them tumble out in week one.