SNAPSHOT OF WHAT HAPPENED AROUND THE AFL IN ROUND 21
THEY SAID IT: “Yes I’m an idiot I thought I was in the clear!! Also sorry to the umpire.. I wasn’t aware the ball hit you in the face.. I would have apologised!!” – Geelong forward Steve Johnson on Twitter after he was run down in the goalsquare by Shane Savage as the Cats drew with St Kilda.
STATS THAT MATTER: A 20-point loss isn’t much to most teams but Port Adelaide inflicted Hawthorn’s biggest loss in 52 matches on Friday night. Are the Hawks quick enough to win a third successful flag? Not on Friday night’s evidence.
MAN OF THE ROUND: Josh Kennedy gave everyone a reminder of his class with 21 contested possessions and two goals in Sydney’s belting of GWS Giants that puts the Swans back in the top four.
TALKING POINT: North Melbourne coach Brad Scott says this could the year that a team from outside the top four wins the flag. With Richmond, Adelaide and Sydney posting resounding wins and North Melbourne taking down the ladder leaders, he could be right.
TRIBUNAL WATCH: Luke Hodge’s sandwiching of Chad Wingard between the point post and his shoulder looked malicious, but the premiership skipper’s plight pales in comparison to Nat Fyfe’s. The runaway Brownlow medal favourite looks in grave danger of ineligibility after being reported for high contact on North Melbourne’s Ben Jacobs.
KEY INJURIES: I Maric (Rich) nose, W Hoskin-Elliot (GWS) hamstring, N Haynes (GWS) illness, S Day (GC) neck, J Caddy (Gee) knee, M Murphy (Carl) shoulder, M Jamison (Carl) head, T Menzel (Carl) shoulder, C Dawes (leg), H Lumumba (Melb) ankle.
UNDER PRESSURE: The worst loss of Nathan Buckley’s coaching career ruled out finals for Collingwood and all but ensures the Magpies’ lowest finish in a decade. The club’s golden boy has a mortgage on the senior coaching job but could find himself under pressure in the last fortnight to avoid blowouts similar to their 91-point belting by Richmond.