AFL Beat 2019 Round 21

This week,

Seriously, for the first time EVER there was snow at an AFL game!
And yes, Scotchy and Yeah Right, that was the final score…

Welcome to Balls of Steel’s AFL Beat!

Round 21 Recaps and Highlights

This week, we had quite a few firsts. There was, as you can see above, snow for the first time ever. Two teams were also held to their lowest scores ever. Considering Australian football goes back more than a hundred years, that’s pretty impressive.

We also had some impressive blowouts with certain teams making statements and others being embarrassed. Let’s get right to it!

The first game had the “essentially-eliminated” Hawthorn Hawks visiting the “virtually-locked-in finalist” GWS Giants in Canberra. If I told you that one team beat the other by 56 points, would you have guessed correctly which team won?

BIG questions are being asked about whether the Giants are any good this year and if they will be able to challenge for the flag once finals begin. With two games to play, they are two games in front of the last spot in the Eight.

While they most likely will stay in the Eight, they can’t play the way they did against the Hawks. The 29 points scored became the lowest score ever recorded by the Giants. Combined with the snow in the first quarter, history was made twice on Australian Friday Night. Here are the full game highlights:

GWS Giants 29 Hawthorn Hawks 85

The proper Friday Night game had the lowly Melbourne Demons hosting the Collingwood Magpies at the MCG in a game that seemed destined to be a Pies blowout. It turned out not to be that way.

Despite the fact that they played better, the Pies could not make the difference between the two teams show up on the scoreboard. As it was, they got the victory, but failed to impress and now questions are being asked about how finals-ready the Pies really are.

Here are the full-game highlights:

Melbourne Demons 53 Collingwood Magpies 70

Later, the Port Adelaide Power hosted the always-good-on-the-road Sydney Swans in a game they had to win to stay in the finals conversation. Sydney’s season is over and they are now preparing for next year.

Sydney did not live up to their reputation as road warriors as they succumbed to the Power by 47 points. They must have been late for their tee times.

Here are the full-game highlights:

Port Adelaide Power 103 Sydney Swans 56

Even later on Friday night, the Brisbane Lions met the Gold Coast Suns in another edition of the “Q-Clash” or the Queensland Derby.

The competitive portion of the game lasted only for about a quarter and a half. Starting at the midway point of the second, the Lions went on a tear, on their way to a comprehensive 91 point win.

Here are the highlights:

Brisbane Lions 144 Gold Coast Suns 53

The first of the two late late Friday night games brought what I considered to be the biggest surprise of the entire round. The Essendon Bombers, who are currently in the Eight, were facing the Western Bulldogs, one of several teams fighting to get in the Eight. A close and fiercely-fought game was expected.

That’s not at all what happened. After the Bombers scored the opening goal of the game, 20 seconds in, the Doggies scored 21 goals in a row. That’s the second-most in history.

The Doggies are firmly in the race for the last finals spot while the Bombers’ hold on their spot in the Eight is now as shaky as Ridgecrest, CA.

Here are the full-game highlights:

Essendon Bombers 33 Western Bulldogs 137

The last game of the night had my Geelong Cats hosting the North Melbourne Kangaroos down in Geelong. While I was concerned about the Roos’ form coming into the game and the Cats’ lack of form, it turned out that I didn’t need to worry.

Somehow, the Cats woke up, especially the defence, as they held the Roos to their lowest ever score, 14 points. Yes, they won.

Here are the full-game highlights:

Geelong Cats 69 North Melbourne Kangaroos 14

The first North American Saturday Night game turned out to be the Match of The Round. St. Kilda and Fremantle went back and forth all night at Marvel Stadium with multiple lead changes and no team getting a lead larger than 4 goals.

In the end, a late Saints goal made the difference as the Saints kept their faint finals hopes alive.

Here are the full-game highlights:

St. Kilda Saints 72 Fremantle Dockers 69

The second of the Saturday night games had the Richmond Tigers continuing to enjoy the home cooking of the MCG while hosting the Carlton Blues.

Straight away, the Tigers took the lead and never looked back. The Blues mounted a bit of a comeback in the second half to make the scoreline more flattering to them, but they were never really a threat.

Here are the full-game highlights:

Richmond Tigers 73 Carlton Blues 45

The last game of the Round had the West Coast Eagles hosting the Adelaide Crows in a game that seemed very tough for Adelaide to take. The Eagles have been playing very well and the game was at home for them.

The Eagles took the early lead, but the Crows hung tough and didn’t let the lead get too large. The Eagles did have a spurt in the third quarter where they were able to extend the lead, but the Crows promptly came back to make it surmountable.

Unfortunately for the Crows, that was all they could do. It ended up being relatively close, but the Crows were never a threat to take the game.

Here are the full-game highlights:

West Coast Eagles 90 Adelaide Crows 80

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

1Geelong Cats155060134.3
2Brisbane Lions 155060121.8
3West Coast Eagles155060117.0
4Richmond Tigers146056112.8
5Collingwood Magpies137052113.9
6GWS Giants128048116.5
7Essendon Bombers11904493.8
8Port Adelaide Power1010040109.0
9Adelaide Crows1010040107.5
10Western Bulldogs1010040102.17
11Hawthorn Hawks1010040102.15
12Fremantle Dockers91103695.8
13St. Kilda Saints91103685.3
14North Melbourne Kangaroos81203294.0
15Sydney Swans61402491.6
16Carlton Blues61402486.1
17Melbourne Demons51502079.7
18Gold Coast Suns31701262.8

Here is the Balls Graph:

Download (PDF, 261KB)

As predicted last week, Adelaide lost, so the Power replaced them in the Eight on percentage. We have four teams tied for that last spot on points with another two teams only one game back.

Given there are two games left, there are mathematically chances for each of those teams to make it into finals. The games this week will be YUUUGE for the finals picture.

Even thought the Bombers have been stinking it up lately, I still think that the top seven teams are all locked in for finals. However, the Bombers must win at least one more game and the ones they have remaining are against teams fighting to get into the Eight. It’s getting VERY interesting…


Footy Tipping Contest

Here is where we are after Round Twenty One:

Total TipsTotal Margin
2Son Of Spam874118588
5BC Dick767109732
6Dolph Ucker694105593
7Why Eagles Why769104589
8Yeah Right877103823
9Game Time Decision779100666 (Nice!)
10Joliet Jake Delhomme77198750

Well done to Sunrisesunrise, Yeah Right, and SonofSpam, who all got 8 out of 9 correct! With that performance, Spam climbs to 2nd place and is, along with BFC, only 4 tips behind the leader Litre.

Overall, it was a good week for tipping for the entire pool. Remember that we go all the way through to the Grand Final, so there is still time to catch the leader and the person in front of you in the standings!



AFL Round 22

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

Friday, August 16, 2019

2:50 AM (Late Thursday Night!) – Melbourne Demons v Sydney Swans at the MCG

The schedule-makers must be kicking themselves for putting this game on Australian Friday Night. It’s going to suck.

8:45 PM – Carlton Blues v St. Kilda Saints at the MCG

The Saints’ surprising victory over the Dockers keeps them mathematically alive. They must win this and win big to have any hope.

9:10 PM – Brisbane Lions v Geelong Cats at The Gabba

This is the Match of The Round and possibly the Match of the Season. It’s #1 against #2 with the top spot in the ladder on the line.

11:35 PM – Adelaide Crows v Collingwood Magpies at Adelaide Oval

The Crows dropped out of the Eight and get the Pies at home. This should a tough and close contest.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

2:25 AM – North Melbourne Kangaroos v Port Adelaide Power at Marvel Stadium

The Roos got embarrassed and have a chance to redeem themselves at home. Port needs to continue to win to stay in the Eight.

2:25 AM – Fremantle Dockers v Essendon Bombers at Optus Stadium

This is another must-win for both teams. The Bombers have to win one more to stay in the Eight while the Dockers have to win to stay in contention.

8:10 PM – Richmond Tigers v West Coast Eagles at the MCG

This is the second Match of The Round. It’s #3 v #4 and it’s a battle of the last two Premiers. It should be a great game.

10:20 PM – GWS Giants v Western Bulldogs at Giants Stadium

After last week’s embarrasment, the Giants need to rebound, but they come up against a Doggies team that made a strong statement last week against the Bombers. Tough game to call.

11:40 PM – Hawthorn Hawks v Gold Coast Suns at Marvel Stadium

The Hawks had things fall their way and are technically still alive. At this point, a healthy percentage-boosting win against the Suns would vault them right into contention.


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


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yeah right

That was a dagger of a loss by the Dockers. Probably meant the end of the season. Still this is the best they’ve done in years.
We can build on this!


This Round–and the rumors about Coniglio going to Carlton–can both suck it.

Game Time Decision

hahaha 666 point margin.


Words cannot explain how disastrous of a loss that was for the Bombers. It’s like I made them turn into the Raiders simply by rooting for them.


Must.Kill. Mike. O’Shea.