SNAPSHOT OF ROUND 15 AFL ACTION
THEY SAID IT: “It’s been a happy hunting ground the last two years, a couple of incredible wins and tonight is worth about 10 (wins) I think. They showed a lot of grit our boys … it was just a brilliant victory.” – Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge after his side’s stunning come-from-behind win over Sydney at the SCG.
STATS THAT MATTER: 106 – the number of tackles laid by Port Adelaide in their 38-point win over Richmond. The Power effectively ended the Tigers’ finals chances at Adelaide Oval and it was on the back of their willingness to tackle.
MAN OF THE ROUND: There were plenty of players who touched the ball more but it’s hard to argue against Western Bulldogs’ comeback king Jason Johannisen. In his first game since round four due to a severe hamstring injury, the speedy midfielder iced a memorable win for the Dogs with a nerves-of-steel set shot in the dying seconds against the Swans at the SCG.
KEY MOMENT: You’d have to have a heart of stone not to be a little bit taken with the romance of a third generation of Silvagnis taking the field for Carlton. When Jack, son of Stephen and grandson of Sergio, broke through the banner in the long sleeves on Saturday night at the MCG a little bit of history was made. He showed encouraging signs with 15 possessions in a scrappy 12-point loss to Collingwood.
TALKING POINT: Who wants a top-four spot? Adelaide’s hard-fought win over Melbourne moved them from eighth to fifth spot, with the Crows now one of a staggering six teams with 10-4 records. Hawthorn, a game clear on top, and West Coast, a game adrift in eighth, are the bookends for an extraordinary top eight, which promises an enthralling run to the finals.
TRIBUNAL WATCH: Essendon veteran Mark Jamar looks set for a stint on the sidelines after he caught West Coast defender Jeremy McGovern in the face with a swinging elbow. David Zaharakis’ thump to the stomach of Jackson Nelson in the same game will also be looked at. Carlton’s Dale Thomas faces a nervous wait to see how the match review panel assesses his high bump on Collingwood’s James Aish.
KEY INJURIES: M Jamar (Ess, hamstring), M Leuenberger (Ess, knee), P McCartin (St K, concussion), M Rosa (GC, hamstring), J Weitering (Car, ankle), C Byrne (Car, knee).
WHAT’S NEXT: The AFL’s meandering run of bye weeks ends with a bang, with some mouthwatering match-ups in a full slate of games. Geelong host Sydney at Simonds Stadium on Friday night and North Melbourne travel to Perth to take on the Eagles on Sunday in a pair of games that will help shape the top four.