AFL Beat 2019 Round 18

This week,

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Dick tackle? Dick tackle.
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Welcome to Balls of Steel’s AFL Beat!

Round 18 Recaps and Highlights

Lots happened this week. Let’s get right to it.

This week, the first game had the surging Essendon Bombers visiting the Adelaide Crows for one of their first true tests of the season.

The Bombers had won a few games in a row, but those were against lower opposition. This was a team already in the Eight, at their home. The Crows started well and looked to have control of the game at the tail end of the second quarter.

However, the Bombers hung in there, cut the deficit before the half, and continued to hack away until they got the lead in the third. They completed the job in the fourth quarter and are now themselves solidly in the Eight. Here are the full game highlights:

Adelaide Crows 75 Essendon Bombers 96

The proper Friday Night game had the Richmond Tigers hosting the Port Adelaide Power at the MCG and I did manage to catch almost the whole game after flying home from Texas.

The Tigers were in command throughout and look to be really tough come finals time.

Here are the full-game highlights:

Richmond Tigers 101 Port Adelaide Power 63

Later, the Battle for the Wooden Spoon played out at Marvel Stadium as the lowly Gold Coast Suns visited the Carlton Blues.

It really wasn’t much of a battle as the Blues have rebounded under their interim coach and are now 16th on the ladder, very safe from the Wooden Spoon.

Here are the full-game highlights:

Carlton Blues 99 Gold Coast Suns 75

Even later on Friday night, the GWS Giants hosted a crucial game for them considering they had lost quite a few games lately and that they were facing the second-placed Collingwood Magpies.

The Giants took the game over early as they scored eight goals in the first quarter to the Pies solitary one. That was, in essence, the game.

The game hovered around that margin for most of the rest of the game until another Giant surge in the fourth set the final margin. It was a comprehensive and morale-boosting win for GWS.

Here are the highlights:

GWS Giants 122 Collingwood Magpies 75

The first of the two late late Friday night games had the Sydney Swans visiting the Fremantle Dockers and do you remember what I’ve said all season about the Swans playing better on the road?

It proved to be true once again. It was a wild back and forth game in which the lead swapped places several times and one team would get out to a large lead only for the other to come back and take a large lead of its own.

The game ended up getting decided in the last two minutes. I’m not sure why they haven’t uploaded the “Last Two Minutes” video yet, but it was exciting.

Here are the full-game highlights:

Fremantle Dockers 52 Sydney Swans 51

The last game of the night had the Brisbane Lions hosting the North Melbourne Kangaroos

This one did get the “Last Two Minutes” video. Weird:

Here are the full-game highlights:

Brisbane Lions 87 North Melbourne Kangaroos 75

The first North American Saturday Night game was a modern classic: Geelong v Hawthorn.

Unfortunately for Geelong fans like me, the Hawks started the game strong and had many more inside 50s and scoring opportunities than the Cats.

Luckily for the Cats, the Hawks were missing a lot of shots, so the margin was close. In the third and fourth quarters, the Cats outplayed the Hawks, but this time it was the Cats’ turn to miss in front of goal and that was ultimately the story of the game.

Here are the full-game highlights:

Geelong Cats 61 Hawthorn Hawks 85

The second of the Saturday night games had the Melbourne Demons “hosting” the West Coast Eagles in Alice Springs, which is located in the Northwest Territory.

The Eagles essentially made Alice Springs their home as they easily took the game from the Demons.

Here are the full-game highlights:

Melbourne Demons 78 West Coast Eagles 91

The last game of the Round had the most question marks around it as the Saints’ coach, Alan Richardson, had resigned earlier in the week and an interim coach was named to carry the Saints on through the rest of the season.

Keen followers of the AFL Beat will note that interim coaches have had a good record this year with the North Melbourne Kangaroos and Carlton Blues both enjoying multiple wins and a climb up the ladder after their original coaches departed.

Well, chalk another one up for the interim coach! The Saints played extremely well and took care of the surging Bulldogs in impressive fashion.

Here are the full-game highlights:

St. Kilda Saints 116 Western Bulldogs 89

Let’s take a look at the ladder, shall we?

1Geelong Cats134052135.8
2Brisbane Lions125048114.9
3West Coast Eagles125048113.5
4Collingwood Magpies116044111.9
5Richmond Tigers116044107.5
6GWS Giants107040123.6
7Essendon Bombers107040103.9
8Adelaide Crows98036110.2
9Port Adelaide Power89032102.3
10Hawthorn Hawks89032101.9
11Fremantle Dockers8903296.2
12Western Bulldogs8903293.4
13North Melbourne Kangaroos71002898.7
14St. Kilda Saints71002882.9
15Sydney Swans61102495.4
16Carlton Blues51202085.6
17Melbourne Demons51202080.6
18Gold Coast Suns31401264.8

Here is the Balls Graph:

Download (PDF, 254KB)

Some teams are mounting a late-season push to make finals. I’d say the teams from St. Kilda on up still have a shot, but the Saints and Roos must win this coming week or else their season is over.

In a weird coincidence, it was a bad week for teams to score 75 points. The four teams that scored 75 this week all lost.

I still expect the battle for the last few spots in the Eight to go down to the last game of the season with maybe only one spot available for five teams.


Footy Tipping Contest

Here is where we are after Round Eighteen:

Total TipsTotal Margin
3Son Of Spam42997486
5BC Dick44388614
6Why Eagles Why43486464
7Dolph Ucker33185475
8Yeah Right54083680
9Game Time Decision5082499
11Joliet Jake Delhomme54277608

Congratulations to BFC, who got our high score of the week and is zooming up the ladder to almost catch the leader! Another week like this, and he’ll be right there next to Litre.

Overall, the rest of us had a rough week with no one else getting more than a 5 and several of us getting 3s. Better luck next week!



AFL Round 19

Here is the schedule for this week (all times Pacific):

Friday, July 26, 2019

2:50 AM (Late Thursday Night!) – Collingwood Magpies v Richmond Tigers at the MCG

This is probably the Match of The Round. Too bad it’s on in the middle of the night on a workday.

8:45 PM – Hawthorn Hawks v Brisbane Lions at the University of Tasmania Stadium

The red-hot Hawks go up against the red-hot Lions in a bid to maintain their finals hopes. Meanwhile, the Lions are looking to catch the Cats for the #1 position.

9:10 PM – Carlton Blues v Adelaide Crows at the MCG

The Blues have played well of late, but this time they face a team in the Eight.

11:35 PM – West Coast Eagles v North Melbourne Kangaroos at Optus Stadium

The Eagles are back on track to return to the Grand Final while the Roos are back on track to miss finals.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

2:25 AM – St. Kilda Saints v Melbourne Demons at Marvel Stadium

The Saints have started their climb back up the ladder so that they can finish 10th.

2:40 AM – Port Adelaide Power v GWS Giants at Adelaide Oval

Weirdly enough, this is a must-win game for two teams already in the Eight. The loser could very easily fall out by season’s end.

8:10 PM – Western Bulldogs v Fremantle Dockers at Marvel Stadium

This is another must-win game for the Doggies. Lose this and their season is done.

10:20 PM – Sydney Swans v Geelong Cats at the SCG

The Cats desperately need to right the ship if they hope to do anything in finals. The Swans at Sydney should be doable.

11:40 PM – Gold Coast Suns v Essendon Bombers at Metricon Stadium

Is it the Bombers’ turn to get an early holiday/win on the Gold Coast?


That’s all for this week! See you next week!


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Fuck Hawthorn.

And also, am I the only one who gets vertigo when looking at Balls Graph?

The Right Reverend Electric Mayhem

I once saw Keith Richards’ EKG trace, so I’m desensitized


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Was it his EKG or a readout from a seismograph?


Man, the Giants sure are a different team with Lachie Whitfield in the lineup. And when they score first.


I have to say, rooting for the Bombers is much, much, much, much, much more fun than being a Raiders fan. Much.