SNAPSHOT OF ROUND 10 IN THE AFL
THEY SAID IT: “I think it needs to be looked at.” – Sydney coach John Longmire on the trend of AFL players such as North’s Lindsay Thomas dropping their knees to try to milk a free kick for a high tackle.
STATS THAT MATTER: Four. As in premiership points. For the first time this season, a gap has emerged between the top eight and the rest. It’s only four points but who reckons Melbourne, Port or perhaps even Carlton can make it up to eighth-placed Adelaide by finals time?
MAN OF THE ROUND: Richmond’s Dustin Martin. In the Dreamtime game, Martin delivered the kind of performance Tiger fans have been dreaming of for a while. Martin’s career-high 38 disposals featured seven clearances and six inside 50s and helped Richmond overwhelm Essendon.
KEY MOMENT: Carlton’s upset win against Geelong not only lifts Brendon Bolton’s Blues to within reach of the top eight but also creates pressure for the inconsistent Cats, now among five clubs with seven wins for the year. “We, right at the moment, are a shadow of the team we were even three weeks ago,” Geelong coach Chris Scott said.
TALKING POINT: Eddie Betts’ goal. The Adelaide forward’s freakish long-range snap left punters drooling – commentator Nathan Brown dubbed it the best goal of the past two decades. Betts trapped the ball on his haunches, rose, tiptoed along the boundary line while holding the ball in, and then – under pressure – snapped accurately from 40 metres.
TRIBUNAL WATCH: Melbourne’s Jack Viney faces scrutiny for three rapid punches, of minimal force, to the head of Port’s Brad Ebert in Saturday afternoon’s Alice Springs match.
KEY INJURIES: Marc Murphy (Carlton, ankle), Darcy Moore (Collingwood, shoulder), Alex Fasolo (Collingwood, shoulder), Taylor Adams (Collingwood, hamstring), Matt Spangher (Hawthorn, knee or hamstring), Daniel Rioli (Richmond, knee), Michael Hartley (Essendon, hamstring), Matthew Leuenberger (Essendon, achilles) and Adam Kennedy (GWS, concussion/shoulder).
WHAT’S NEXT: North Melbourne seek to end Richmond’s revival in Friday night footy, while two other matches will shape the top eight: Geelong host Greater Western Sydney on Saturday, and the Western Bulldogs are at home against West Coast on Sunday.