SNAPSHOT OF ROUND 14 AFL ACTION
THEY SAID IT: “Instead of the killer instinct that we’re looking for we probably got complacent … I’m after a clinical performance. That’s probably the difference between us and the upper-echelon sides.” – Richmond coach Damien Hardwick after an uninspiring victory over Brisbane that made it five wins from six starts for the Tigers.
STATS THAT MATTER: 28 – Adelaide claimed an unwanted record when they kicked the most behinds in a game in the club’s history on Thursday night. The Crows were horribly inaccurate against North Melbourne, but their total of 12.28 was still enough to give them a 33-point win over the wobbly Roos.
MAN OF THE ROUND: Dustin Martin picked up where he left off after the bye, with the in-form Richmond midfielder gathering 35 possessions in a best-on-ground performance in his side’s 42-point win over Brisbane. The 25-year-old has taken his game to the next level this season and is being spoken of as a legitimate Brownlow Medal chance. Honourable mention to Gold Coast’s Gary Ablett, who was back near his best with 40 touches as the Suns surprisingly pushed the Hawks in Launceston.
KEY MOMENT: St Kilda’s Jack Steven proved the match-winner with his soccered goal in heavy traffic in the tense dying minutes against Geelong at Etihad Stadium. Tom Hickey did well to tap the ball goalward where Steven lost opponent Jimmy Bartel to get a boot on the bouncing ball, while being tackled by Joel Selwood. His goal gave the Saints a lead they wouldn’t surrender in a stunning three-point upset of the Cats, who were top of the ladder at the time.
TALKING POINT: There are a whopping five teams sitting two games outside the top eight after 14 rounds – are any of them capable of snagging a finals berth? Port Adelaide, Melbourne, Richmond, St Kilda and Carlton – in that order – occupy ninth to 13th on the ladder with 6-7 records. West Coast are currently the most vulnerable side in eighth spot with an 8-5 record.
TRIBUNAL WATCH: Patrick Dangerfield’s errant knee to the head of St Kilda’s Jarryn Geary has been a talking point because of the Geelong superstar’s favouritism for the Brownlow Medal but there really wasn’t a lot in the incident. Brisbane’s Mitch Robinson was concussed after a high bump by Richmond’s Jacob Townsend.
KEY INJURIES: S Hampson (Rich, knee), P Davis (GWS, calf), M Buntine (GWS, hamstring), M Robinson (Bris, concussion), F Ray (NM, concussion), N Wright (St K, shoulder), D Armitage (St K, calf), L McCarthy (Geel, ankle).
WHAT’S NEXT: Sydney host the Western Bulldogs in the match of the round at the SCG on Saturday evening. The Power host Richmond at Adelaide Oval on Friday night with the loser all but eliminated from the finals race. North Melbourne, Greater Western Sydney, Brisbane, Fremantle, Geelong and Hawthorn have the bye.