HIGHLIGHTS FROM ROUND 19 IN THE AFL
THEY SAID IT: “What did Alastair Clarkson say … ‘I don’t give a toss?’ I care a little bit more than that. I give a bit of a toss.” – Geelong coach Chris Scott when asked about badly losing the contested possession count in their win over the Western Bulldogs.
STATS THAT MATTER: 976 – the combined number of AFL games played by Geelong champions Jimmy Bartel (300) and Corey Enright (326), and Fremantle great Matthew Pavlich (350). Enright became the Cats’ games record holder on Friday night in his side’s win over the Western Bulldogs, but Pavlich wasn’t so fortunate, with his Dockers thrashed by Sydney.
MAN OF THE ROUND: Brent Harvey. Could it be anyone else? History was made at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night when Harvey played his 427th AFL match to overtake Hawthorn great Michael Tuck and become the games record holder. The Kangaroos didn’t let him down, either, clawing their way to a scrappy win over St Kilda.
KEY MOMENT: Jack Watts has had more than his share of detractors and it was nice to see him continue his resurgent season with a clutch kick late in the Demons’ two-point win over Gold Coast. The former No.1 draft pick coolly slotted a difficult set shot at goal to put his side in front with two minutes remaining at the MCG.
TALKING POINT: Finals may be out of the picture for Collingwood and Richmond, but the way the traditional powerhouses finish the season is important. The Pies knocked off finals-bound West Coast, while the Tigers succumbed meekly to GWS a week after they turned their toes up against Hawthorn. Richmond host the Magpies on Friday night – they must dig deep and show their fans something.
TRIBUNAL WATCH: Magpie Jonathon Marsh looks to be in trouble after he launched a round-arm blow to the stomach of Luke Shuey that felled the West Coast midfielder. Kangaroos players remonstrated with St Kilda’s Sam Gilbert after his late high spoil on Andrew Swallow. Jed Anderson flattened Nick Riewoldt with a ferocious bump that looked like it might have collected a bit of the St Kilda champion’s head. Fremantle stopper Zac Dawson was reported for a clumsy high hit on Sydney’s Jake Lloyd.
KEY INJURIES: T Liberatore (Western Bulldogs, ankle), J Macrae (Western Bulldogs, hamstring), R Lobb (Greater Western Sydney, ankle), D Moore (Collingwood, hamstring), E Yeo (West Coast, illness), J Waite (North Melbourne, hip), H Hartlett (Port Adelaide, calf – late withdrawal), J Hogan (Melbourne, knee), S Jacobs (Adelaide, ankle), J Lloyd (Sydney, concussion), M Shaw (Gold Coast, ankle).
WHAT’S NEXT: A lopsided round of footy looms. The Western Bulldogs host North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night in the only clash between top-eight sides. St Kilda must beat Carlton at the MCG and Port must find a way past Sydney to keep their mathematical finals chances alive. Fremantle will hope to spoil West Coast’s top-four hopes in their derby.