We’re getting close to the halfway point and the dreaded byes have started, so this week’s Beat is going to be a little abbreviated. How abbreviated? Six games in all instead of our usual nine. I know, I’m as disappointed as you are, but if we stick together, we’ll make it.
Welcome to Balls of Steel’s AFL Beat!
The Round started with Thursday Night Footy in Australia, which meant Wednesday late night/Thursday morning for us in North America. This has now become a pattern as the Bye Week rounds have begun to feature mostly night games in Australia to draw in a larger TV audience. Works great for them, but not so much for us. Luckily, I have to wake up early for work anyway, so I’m able to catch at the very least the fourth quarter of the weekday games. The weekend games, not so much.
Port Adelaide was playing its second Thursday Night game in a row after narrowly losing to the Cats last week. This week, they faced the resurgent Hawthorn Hawks that had come off a victory over Sydney and were looking to revive the season. Someone must have told the Hawks that the game was on Sunday because they just did not show up. Not only did they get COMPLETELY shut out (0 goals, 0 behinds, 0 points) in the first quarter, they only managed 3 behinds for the first half, which was the lowest amount in club history. By that point, the Power had 9 goals and 8 behinds, so the game was pretty much decided. The final margin ended up being 51, which frankly flattered the Hawks. This could have gotten REALLY ugly. Here are the highlights:
The Friday Night Footy game was probably the match of the Round as the #1 Adelaide Crows traveled to Geelong to take on the #3 Cats. This was the third game in a row for the Cats at Simonds Stadium and probably their most important. This would be the match that really would tell if they were for real. Well, the Cats are for real. They took control of the game early and progressively built a large lead by Three Quarter time. The fourth quarter (the one I managed to see live) turned into garbage time and the Crows reduced the eventual margin to 22, which greatly flattered them, but the win was not in doubt. Here are the highlights:
Proper Friday night brought a game that I thought would end up being a blowout but which actually became quite exciting. Well, maybe exciting is not the right word. Close? Yeah, that’s a better way to describe it as neither team ever had a three goal lead. West Coast and Gold Coast went back and forth trading the lead as if it was a hot potato that nobody wanted. The truth is that the team that messed up least ended up winning this game. In the end, Gold Coast got the last goal and the four points. Here are the highlights:
I managed to catch the first quarter of GWS versus Essendon, which the Bombers took by two goals. However, I could see the handwriting on the wall and could tell that 1) the Giants let the Bombers back in it after starting off strong, and 2) the Bombers could not sustain that for the whole game. Turns out I was right as I woke up on Saturday to see that the Giants came back and won by 16. Here are the highlights:
The last Friday night/Saturday morning game featured the North Melbourne Kangaroos hosting the Richmond Tigers at the Etihad. The game was close for the entire first half but then the Tigers woke up and ran away with the game in the second. The final score was 101-66 and the Roos were actually flattered by that. Their coach was NOT happy about their performance. Here are the highlights:
The last game of this abbreviated round was the Fremantle Dockers hosting the Collingwood Magpies. The game started at close to midnight Pacific, so I didn’t really watch it. When I woke up Sunday morning, I saw that the Pies played well, built up a lead, and then held on for dear life as the Dockers mounted a comeback. In the end, the Pies scored a vital away win in Perth where not many away teams win.
Here are the highlights:
Let’s take a look at the ladder, shall we?
|5||Port Adelaide Power||10||6||0||4||24||148.6|
|7||West Coast Eagles||11||6||0||5||24||101.4|
|11||St. Kilda Saints||10||5||0||5||20||98.4|
|13||North Melbourne Kangaroos||11||4||0||7||16||93.8|
|14||Gold Coast Suns||10||4||0||6||16||85.8|
Here is the updated Balls graph:
Things get murky with all the byes, so it’s best to wait a few weeks until we are out of them before we can fully assess where teams are.
Footy Tipping Contest
Here are the updated standings:
|PLACE||TIPPER||Round Tips||Round Margin||TOTAL Tips||TOTAL Margin|
As you can see, our leader had a bad week and JolietJakeDelhomme had a fantastic week and is now nipping at his heels! SonOfSpam also made up ground as did I. Things are very tight in the middle, as they should be.
Thanks to the Port Adelaide-Gold Coast game in China, we have 7 (SEVEN!) games in Round 12 instead of the usual six.
Here is the schedule for next week’s games (all times Pacific):
Thursday, June 8, 2017
2:20 AM – Sydney Swans v Western Bulldogs at the SCG
Two teams that were on bye this week meet early in the week in Round 12. Even though the Swans are at home, the Doggies are a tough team to beat anywhere. If the Swans lose this, the season may truly be lost.
Friday, June 9, 2017
2:50 AM – Adelaide Crows v St. Kilda Saints at Adelaide Oval
The second straight Friday Night Footy game for the Crows promises to help them get over the thrashing they took at Geelong. The Saints are coming off a bye, but getting the Crows after a beating is not going to help them at all.
8:45 PM – Hawthorn Hawks v Gold Coast Suns at the MCG
The Suns stunned the Eagles at home and now take on the stunned Hawks in Melbourne. I can’t figure out either of these two teams. They both essentially suck, but pull out great performances at random times.
11:35 PM – Brisbane Lions v Fremantle Dockers at the Gabba
The Lions are coming off the bye and they face a Dockers team that just lost at home to Collingwood. I stick with my assessment that the AFL Women’s team will have more points than the Men’s team by the end of the year.
Saturday, June 3, 2017
2:25 AM – Essendon Bombers v Port Adelaide Power at the Etihad
The Power rebounded nicely from the loss to the Cats and travel again to Melbourne. The Bombers played very well in losing to the Giants, so they could make this close.
10:20 PM – Carlton Blues v GWS Giants at the Etihad
Yes, you read this right. Back to back games at the Etihad. The Giants will surely win this and solidify their top of the ladder position, right?
Sunday, June 11, 2017
10:20 PM – Melbourne Demons v Collingwood Magpies at the MCG
This is a rare Australian Monday/North American Sunday night clash between the Demons and Pies. This is due to the Queen’s Birthday celebrations in Australia. The Demons come off the bye hungry to get a win and get back into the race while the Pies come off a big win in Perth.
The teams on bye are Geelong, West Coast, Richmond, and North Melbourne.
That’s all for this week. On the bright side, there are more games next week and more games at watchable hours to see live! Plus, a bonus Sunday night game!
I leave you with Reason#290 why the AFL is run better than the NFL. Here is link to a story in the AFL website that talks about how one of the stars of the GWS Giants, Stevie J, had his car stolen this weekend. Now, Stevie J is a hilarious guy as is, but his reaction was awesome.
— steve johnson (@Steviejohnson20) June 2, 2017
Car has been found – involved in a high speed pursuit across Sydney and crashed… more importantly no news on the golf clubs as of yet! ?
— steve johnson (@Steviejohnson20) June 3, 2017
The last line of the article was this:
Johnson’s golf clubs were found untouched in the boot.
See you next week!